Please leave your testimonial for one (or all!) of the finalists as a comment below. Review all of the 2017 AASL Social Media Superstar Finalists here.
Librarian and Writing Center Coordinator at Bearden High School (Knoxville, Tennessee) Erika Long considers herself a professional learner and regularly shares her thoughts about children’s and YA literature through her blog posts. Her passion for reading and for the books she chooses to share is evident and contagious. That dedication prompted a nominator to write: “Erika cares. Erika cares about her library and the teachers and students she serves. One of the things Erika is passionate about is equality for all. She promotes a welcoming environment within her library and wants every student to know that they are welcome to come and work, learn, or just be in the library without fear or hate.” By highlighting diverse books in her library and online, Erika encourages colleagues to look beyond what they already know to seek out authentic writers for students.
After the elementary librarian positions were defunded in her district, Susan Polos could have accepted the decision as a done deal. She didn’t, according to her nominator. “[Susan] continues to advocate for quality library programs and access to diverse literature for her entire school community and beyond. She questions posts, tweets, speeches and ‘popular’ chatter, and holds each and every person to a higher level on decisions that reflect significant and ethical impact for children, underserved populations, mainstream groups, and our future.” A year later and it appears that at least some elementary positions may be reinstated – but that doesn’t mean Susan is done advocating for libraries. “Susan is a walking/talking heart and soul for school libraries and the kids they transform” and anyone who knows her knows that her work won’t stop until all kids have the library program they deserve. | @spolos
Liz Phipps Soeiro
In her Twitter bio, Cambridgeport School librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro writes she “[b]elieves in the power of community.” Follow her posts or read her contributions to “Field Notes” on The Horn Book’s website and it’s clear that an important part of that power is listening to each member’s voice. Every Wednesday morning, Liz’s library hosts “Coffee and Conversation,” inviting Cambridgeport families to stop by and talk about what’s on their minds. Students at her school have successfully lobbied for the installation of a Little Free Library in a local park, petitioned to have the second Monday in October known locally as Indigenous People’s Day and chosen their own local projects based on discussions following read-alouds. “Your Voice Matters,” announced a sign advertising a library event in January; working with Liz Phipps Soeiro, Cambridgeport students know the truth of this statement. Liz was recently named a Library Journal 2017 Mover & Shaker.
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Author: Jen Habley
Jen Habley is the AASL Manger of Web Communications. She manages the AASL website, writes press releases, and oversees AASL’s web 2.0 tools. When not working Jen spends time researching her family tree, reading, and watching hockey.