Maryland's Monthly Amazing School Librarians


Nominate yourself! Nominate a friend! Help us to celebrate the amazing school librarians around our state each month: Click Here for the Nomination Form 


March 2022

Picture of Libby Gorman

Libby (Elizabeth) Gorman
School Librarian
Edgewood Middle School
Hartford County Public Schools

Libby does an amazing job of promoting literacy not only at her school, through creative lessons, book clubs, and maker events but also helps to write curriculum, curate book titles for SORA, and organize events including a successful virtual author event last spring.

“This year, I am really enjoying our “Maker Mondays” once a month, during which students can come to the library during their lunch period after eating and work on a Makerspace-related activity. We have made duct-tape pencil pouches, origami turkeys and fancy folded napkins for Thanksgiving, sock snow-people, and Valentines, and next week, we will be doing Lego activities. Scheduling a special event to feature the Maker activities has let me be fully present with the kids and have fun making alongside them and helping as they need it.”

February 2022

Picture of April Wathen
April Wathen
School Librarian
Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School
St. Mary's County Public Schools


April Wathen excels at relationships with her students. Throughout the COVID pandemic and beyond, students know they are loved as she greets each of the 400+ by name in the morning and throughout the day in the hallway and the library. April teaches SEL, unity, community, diversity and inclusion in her lessons each week in either an overt or covert fashion. Student voice is always elevated. April has collaborated with classroom teachers to make sure all students feel a sense of belonging. She is hosting small groups through the week to work on social skills and belonging with students in K-5th grade. April is not a stranger to the playground with students, early checkout chats or voluntary recess groups.

One of April's favorite parts of her library program is bringing Lauren Tarshish to her students. April's student love historical fiction and she cannot wait to see their faces glow having the chance to interact on their virtual visit with the one and only Lauren Tarshish.

 

January 2022

Picture of Thomas McNicholas
Thomas McNicholas
School Librarian
E Russell Hicks Middle School
Washington County Public Schools


This is my first year as a librarian after 15 years as a classroom teacher. As a social studies teacher, I always engaged students with relevant research topics and technology. I was also a huge advocate for the importance of life-long learning and being an engaged citizen. Now as a library/ media specialist, I can amplify all of those values. In my marking period long classes, I have taught ethical fair use of online material while researching and I have incorporated technology almost every day. Receiving a second master’s degree at 48 has proven that when it comes to life-long learning, I practice what I preach!

My favorite lesson to date involved teaching students how to use one of our county's purchased databases, World Book Online. The reason that this was my favorite lesson is not because of what happened in class that day, but due to two events that happened the following week. First, a teacher reached out to me amazed that multiple students were using a vetted source to conduct research instead of just searching Google. Second, another teacher reached out telling me how one of my students provided an impromptu lesson to her and her class on how to use the database that she was not aware of. Appropriate use of vetted technology for academic gains across content areas. What an amazing day that was!

December 2021

Pamela Rubisch
School Librarian
Rockland Woods Elementary
Washington County Public Schools
 

This is my 30th year as an elementary library media specialist, and I am always learning new educational techniques to implement with my students. Robotics, coding, and engineering are some of my passions that I pass on to my students through Spheros, Ozobots, VEX Robotics, code.org, WeDo Lego kits, and a variety of building challenges. In our media center we build catapults, launchers, towers, bridges, things to hold up basketballs, and a blow up some stuff on occasion. Those are the days I love the best! Research is a key element to all that we build and do and we use databases like World Book Online, Pebble Go, and our Capstone library to dig deeper into everything we do. Also, sharing my passion for literature is never left out of our lessons, we always have a story that has to do with computational thinking, building mental fortitude, or just learning that failure is completely an option as long as we learn from our mistakes. Teaching has been my passion my whole career and I am blessed to say I was Washington County's first library media specialist who was a Teacher of the Year (2001) and was also honored by MICCA as and Outstanding Educator Using Technology (2007). And on the weekends I can be found out dancing with my dance group, Hub City Lindy Hop, sharing my passion for swing dancing with military veterans, businesses, and senior centers.

One of my favorite lessons happened last year after we had students return for instruction during the pandemic. My kids spirits were just flat, the pandemic had kind of crushed their sparkle. I thought that making putty from one of our great STEM books would perk them up. All the supplies were purchased, the lesson planned, and research completed. We started making the putty with shampoo, corn starch, water, glitter and food coloring. Well, the plan worked and my students hearts woke up as we were working, you could see their sparks igniting and their sparkle returning. There was so much laughter and giggles, and so many mistakes and messes, I simply could not count them all! After it was all over I stepped back and looked at my destroyed media center......corn starch everywhere, tables stained with food coloring, shampoo on the rug, and the glitter, oh the glitter, it was as if a sparkle bomb exploded....and I cried. Not tears of sadness or frustration or what, but it was my pure joy at what had happened with them and how a simple STEM lesson making putty had reignited their love for media and my passion for teaching. Just an amazing moment that I will never forget, just one of the best in my many years, and I won't soon forget it.