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2022 School Librarian of the Year Cicely Lewis Discusses the Crucial Role of Libraries

2022 School Librarian of the Year Cicely Lewis Discusses the Crucial Role of Libraries
2022 School Librarian of the Year Cicely Lewis Discusses the Crucial Role of Libraries

 Today, college Library Journal and Scholastic named Cicely Lewis the 2022 college professional person of the Year. The award acknowledges K–12 library professionals for outstanding action and therefore the exemplary use of 21st-century tools and services to interact youngsters and youths by fostering multiple literacies.

Cicely could be a college professional person at Meadowcreek highschool in Norcross, Georgia. She is devoted to making programming that celebrates the range of her students and their world. She is that the founding father of browse Woke, Associate in Nursing initiative encouraging students to browse books that challenge a social norm or the established order, provides a voice to the voiceless, have a protagonist from Associate in Nursing underrepresented or burdened cluster, or give info a couple of cluster that has been disfranchised. She additionally hosts reading-focused events for college kids throughout the college year, as well as a book fashion show, and he or she visits districts nationwide to fret the importance of libraries and authorized librarians in each college.

Learn a lot of regarding Cicely and her unbelievable work here, and within the Q&A below. Congratulations, Cicely!

Q: Why did you opt to pursue a career as a college professional person when being a room teacher for thus several years?

Cicely Lewis: i'd host these large events in my school rooms, like poetry cafes and historic period celebrations, and different students within the college would come back by and say, "I would like I may well be in your category therefore I may participate." i'd additionally facilitate students within the library such a lot that Associate in Nursing foreign terrorist organization teacher with whom I work told Pine Tree State that I ought to be the college professional person. i noticed that it had been the right job on behalf of me as a result of I wished to possess an even bigger impact on the coed body as an entire.

Q: What impressed you to make the browse Woke initiative?

CL: These area unit volatile times. Across the country, folks of color area unit having “the talk” with their youngsters regarding the way to stop the police from seeing them as a threat thanks to their colouring or however they dress. Families area unit being torn apart and deported. on a daily basis on TV, we have a tendency to witness acts of social injustice. I come back to high school and mention these events with my students, several of whom have opinions, however not a lot of data regarding their rights.

Every year, I even have a subject in my college library. In 2017, it had been Harry Potter. This year, in our current political and social climate, I knew that my students were pain and required one thing totally different. when viewing the keep Woke edition of Essence magazine, I launched browse Woke at my library. Learn a lot of regarding browse Woke during this excerpt, that originally appeared at school Library Journal.

Q: however have you ever seen a book modification a child’s life?

CL: one amongst my students browse Rest in Power by Trayvon Martin's folks. She came running to Pine Tree State and he or she aforesaid, "I grasp what i would like to try and do with my life currently. i would like to be a civil rights professional person as a result of i would like to form certain this does not happen to a different person of color. I saw the protests on TV and that i ne'er knew what it had been regarding as a result of my mummy would not let Pine Tree State watch it. I virtually cried after I browse what happened. That was my 1st browse woke book."

Q: Why is it essential for each college to possess a licensed college librarian?

CL: each student deserves a licensed college professional person. At a time once students area unit being bombarded with info, they have somebody to assist them navigate this info. Also, libraries area unit a secure haven for several students, and having somebody WHO actually understands the role will create a distinction. a licensed college professional person is aware of the impact of an efficient college computer program.

I thought I knew it all regarding the college library till I started my studies at Georgia Southern University and complete that I had such a lot to find out. I had ne'er been in a very program wherever each category was helpful and applicable to my growth as a college professional person. each assignment, project, and article, i'd implement into terribly own} library the very next day. i'd decision my favorite academics and say, "Listen, I even have a replacement tool to try!" This passion will solely come back from somebody WHO loves the role enough to become certified. And after you grasp the plight of the college professional person, then you'll be able to actually advocate for the profession. 

Q: does one have any recommendation for fellow educators and librarians on however they will support students, and every different, whereas faculties area unit closed?

CL: My recommendation is to follow self-care 1st. you cannot pay attention of anyone unless you're okay. place your breathing device on 1st. Next, produce video tutorials for academics and send them out via social media or on to academics to assist give resources regarding databases and different tutorial tools. Promote your ebooks and audiobooks! this is often an excellent time to induce students acclimated with these materials. If your college does not have any, connect them with free digital resources like audible and Junior Library lodge. most significantly, listen. conclude what your college and community wants and be there to support them. this is often a time for varsity librarians to intensify to the plate and take the lead. we've been at the forefront of technology instruction therefore this is often our chance to shine. currently with digital learning turning into a requirement, librarians area unit required even a lot of.

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