Cory Eckert’s path to Houston was paved with books. A native of Tucson, Arizona, Cory’s studies and love for literature and people charted her course through the Southwest, eventually leading her back to the place where the magic first began: a school library.
With a BA in comparative mythography, Cory spent many undergraduate hours studying the religious beliefs of world cultures, researching literary methodologies, and putting her studies to practical use as a library aide. While getting her Master’s in Library Science, Cory worked in a used bookstore and began to explore the art of visual merchandising and the importance of beautifully showcasing materials in order to capture the eye of a diversity of readers.
With her studies complete, Cory began her career as a librarian, working first in the public library of Gallup, New Mexico. In a town of 22,000, it wasn’t uncommon for kids to tug on Cory’s arm at the coffee shop with requests for a new book recommendation or personal storytime. From small town to big city, Cory moved to Houston to join the Houston Public Library team, which serves 8.2 million patrons per year. With a breadth and depth of experience in libraries, bookshops, and the literary world, Cory found her way to The Post Oak School in 2012, and her role within our community has expanded greatly ever since.
As a kid, Cory spent countless hours in her school libraries, where she kept her librarians busy with book requests and an insatiable appetite for the written word. As Post Oak’s librarian, her work today is shaped by these early positive role models. Our chief bookworm, Cory shares her love for reading with our students, but she is also the steward of a quiet, beautiful space for kids to read and rest. She supports our students as they discover new characters, genres, and curiosities. Beyond the bookshelves, Cory is responsible for storytimes at the lower levels, research skill training at the upper levels, leads our Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum, and is a member of Post Oak’s Diversity Equity Inclusion Justice (DEIJ) Committee. Her expanding role and contributions to our community are a reflection of Post Oak’s commitment to a curriculum and set of values that reflect the diversity and cultural needs of our student body. Beginning with our library, much of Cory’s responsibility is to reflect back to students the joy and wonderful facets of all humanity. One quote, in particular, has stuck with Cory over many years and continues to guide her work and complement our approach at Post Oak.
Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of a larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.
―Rudine Sims Bishop