2019 AASL Social Media Superstar Finalists Announced!

The Social Media Superstars is a recognition program that highlights school library professionals who enrich the profession and its work on behalf of students by sharing in social media circles. Their shared information, expertise, ideas, encouragement, dialog, and inspiration through a variety of social media channels have positively impacted many librarians. With the closing of the nomination period, the Social Media Recognition Committee is proud to announce the following finalists.

Through Friday, March 15, all are invited to share endorsements of their personal superstar. Endorsements will only be visible to the committee reviewing them. After March 15, the Social Media Recognition Committee will consider the endorsements and the original nominations and select an overall Superstar for each category. As a way to kick off the month-long celebration of School Library Month, Superstars will be announced Monday, April 1.

We want to hear from you! Share how these Superstar finalists have helped you improve and enhance your practice! Convince us to select your favorite as a Social Media Superstar. Be sure to visit all their social media platforms and follow them, cultivating an even more robust and inspiring PLN!

Advocacy Ambassador

Recognizes an individual who effectively uses one or more social media channels to advocate for strong school libraries for all students.

Martha Bongiorno

Martha Bongiorno

Georgia librarian Martha Bongiorno wants visitors to her library’s website to know what happens in the school library: it’s “an innovative space in which students ask questions, create new learning experiences, and collaborate to deepen their knowledge of the curriculum and the world around them.” That knowledge-building isn’t limited to the physical space, as Ms. Bongiorno uses the website and the library’s social media accounts to connect with students and share the power of libraries with all followers. To build more virtual connections, her nominator explains, “Martha founded #GaLibChat – a monthly chat for Georgia School Library Media Specialists. She is active in Georgia Library Media Association and serves as the Communications Coordinator. She is also a co-founder of Edcamp GA School Library and she helps maintain the Georgia Library Media Association site.” In addition to the accounts maintained on behalf of the library, Martha curates a personal Twitter account to advocate vocally for school library funding and professional equity.

LinkTree | Instagram | Twitter | Website

Vilia Garcia

Vilia Garcia is a librarian at Harlingen High School South located in Harlingen, Texas who designed social media accounts for her library to answer the question librarians frequently hear: What DO you do in the library?  Her nominator explains, “What began as a mission to show EVERYONE just how busy the library is, quickly developed into a PASSION for student and library advocacy through social media. Every library has a story to tell and Mrs. Garcia shouts it loud and clear across all platforms!” The library’s Instagram account didn’t just catch the attention of students and community members; the popular website Book Riot featured @South_Library as one of the top 50 school library Instagram accounts to follow. Vilia Garcia believes that Librarians have the ability to impact the culture of their campuses. Librarians be encouraged today: What you do matters and your work is important!

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter (Personal)Twitter (School)

Rebecca Wynkoop

Eagle Staff Middle School librarian Rebecca Wynkoop has a passion for literacy which is reflected in her commitment to accessibility and choice for all readers. She uses Twitter to advocate for quality, adequately staffed library services for all students. Her nomination speaks to her devotion to access: “Rebecca works to ensure libraries are student-centered spaces utilized by families and the community, even during the summer. She believes that the library is too valuable of a resource to ever be closed and advocates for all libraries, for all students.” Using her blog as an instructional tool, Rebecca encourages her students to reflect on their reading lives using digital tools to build a community of readers, both physically and virtually. One of her students recently said, “Our library gives a voice to students who have yet to find theirs.” Rebecca wants her students to be confident, involved citizens of the world and our libraries are the perfect place to do this.

Blog | GoodReads | Instagram | Twitter

Curriculum Champion

Recognizes an individual who effectively uses one or more social media channels to share exemplary school library curriculum.

Corey Hall

Corey is constantly sharing what activities she is doing within her library. The activities she shares inspires others to step up their game in terms of their library program. She is constantly engaging in twitter chats to build up other professionals.

With her educational background, she is always sharing some of the best in research based practice and is willing to elaborate if you want to hear how an activity went with her students.

Corey integrates STEAM into content by maintaining a popular Makerspace that introduces students to 3D printing, coding, circuits, and design thinking. She also regularly leads virtual reality sessions in co-teaching settings that allow students to connect content learning with real world experience.

Facebook (Personal) | Facebook (School) | Instagram (Personal) | Instagram (School) | Twitter (Personal) | Twitter (School) |

Nancy Jo Lambert

Through the use of online and social media platforms, Nancy Jo Lambert takes away the walls of the Reedy High Library. Her teachers often seek her out to collaborate in order to ensure what is happening in the classroom is supported through their library so students have at point of need resources.

Her use of the Reedy High School website, YouTube, SnapChat, and Instagram allow students to quickly access their campus clearinghouse of digital resources to assist with their classroom assignments or keep up with what is happening in their library. Her Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are where other library professionals can find inspiration and helpful tips to strengthen their own library/professional goal.

Instagram | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Twitter (Personal) | Twitter (School) | Website (Personal) | Website (School) | YouTube

Leadership Luminary

Recognizes an individual who effectively uses one or more social media channels to empower leadership among school librarians.

Emelia Fleck

Emelia Fleck, Library Media Specialist at Plymouth Regional High School, Plymouth, NH, for the past nine years and a board member of NHSLMA, is highly regarded by her professional peers and colleagues. She offers them a chance to reimagine their work in the context of the changing information landscape. Emelia works diligently to offer an inviting atmosphere for student patrons and encourages teacher-librarians to investigate professional trends that positively shape library learning spaces. Her library website engages the whole community and is an incredible resource for the 8 schools in her district. Emelia believes that communication and collaboration with her local public library and local university library are essential for offering students the shared expertise of multiple librarians. Emelia believes,  “Positivity changes the culture of the school community and is completely contagious!” Her philosophy of positivity guides her in all her leadership roles.

Twitter | Website

Lynn Kleinmeyer

Lynn Kleinmeyer has caught the attention of many librarians with her use of Twitter to connect with other librarians in the US and abroad and to share the value of a school library program with her followers. Her nomination speaks to this talent: “From using Twitter to promote teacher librarians who share their ideas and work, to sharing information on new resources and learning opportunities, she helps bring together librarians who are often the only librarian in their building or district(s).” While she was still a school librarian, Lynn co-created Midwest Teacher Librarian Chat (#mwlibchat) with a colleague from Nebraska, a biweekly Twitter chat currently in its fourth season. In her new role as a digital learning consultant to Teacher Librarians in her region, Lynn created a unique hashtag #gwaealibs. This hashtag crosses social media platforms and serves to empower school librarians to share their unique stories.

Twitter | Website (School) | Website (#mwlibchat)

Allison Mackley

Allison Mackley is a National Board Certified Teacher Librarian at Hershey High School in Pennsylvania, where is also serves as an Instructional Technology Coach. Through Twitter and Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube, Allison stays connected to her students and fellow staff members locally, and school librarian colleagues nationally.  As the president of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, Allison is constantly sharing resources with other school librarians to help improve professional practice statewide. Her “Behind the Scenes” PSLA Pulse blog posts focus on leadership, transparency, and the power of community. Her nominator remembers specifically the work completed by Allison Mackley when new AASL National School Library Standards were released: “…[Allison] created a collaborative document where people could share technology tools based on the AASL standards. She constantly is empowering others to try and spread their voice and perspective.”

About Me | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Website (School) | Website (PSLA)YouTube

Program Pioneer

Recognizes an individual who effectively uses one or more social media channels to promote exemplary school library programming.

Jenahlee Chamberlain

Jenahlee Chamberlain is an elementary Teacher Librarian at Garner Elementary for the Iowa City Community School District. Jenahlee works tirelessly to create opportunities for students to connect, create, and explore. Jenahlee has worked to create a culture of collaboration, reaching out to colleagues to create programs which align with curriculum and standards. She has worked with her students to create a culture that celebrates literacy, risk-taking, exploration, and an honoring of community. It is amazing to see all the incredible things Jenahlee’s students are doing in her library. Jenahlee’s library program provides students with multiple opportunities to engage and to own their learning experience. Their voices are honored and celebrated. Her program creates opportunities for all of her students. Jenahlee constantly leverages social media to share the amazing things her students are doing, which not only give an insight for parents and colleagues, but, more importantly, inspire fellow Teacher Librarians.

Instagram | Twitter

Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones is the school librarian at Live Oak Middle School and uses social media platforms to promote her library’s programs. She posts information on books, articles, and authors, and what the students and classes are doing in the library. Her program encompasses library lessons in ELA on digital citizenship, research, and genres, as well as STEM lessons in math and science. She shares about Skypes and virtual field trips she takes with the social studies classes, hosts contests in the library, and shares important information on the reading programs she runs in the library — 40 Book Challenge, Battle of the Books, and Millionaires. She runs after school programs such as 2 Girls Who Code Clubs, Novel Bunch Book Club, and her STEAM program. Because of the sharing of her ideas in library programming via social media, our district office supervisors are now showing more interest in channeling funds to the school libraries.

Facebook | Twitter

Kelly Wadyko

For the past several years, Kelly Wadyko has been on the “Spirit of Texas – High School Reading List Committee” for Texas Library Association’s Young Adult Round Table in which she partnered with a public librarian to create passive, academic, and active programming to correlate with a chosen book as well as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. She’s well-versed in meeting the needs of her school community through program creation and implementation. She also provides teacher training when necessary to help librarians and teachers facilitate programming with their students. Additionally, she promotes and shares programs she’s created via social media as well as with librarians at regional conferences and to faculty departmental school district curriculum development days. Furthermore, she assisted the Texas Library Association’s Young Adult Round Table’s social media liaison with Texas Reading List promotion once lists were announced in December: Twitter and Instagram.

FacebookInstagram (Personal) | Instagram (School) | Twitter (Personal) | Twitter (School)

Reader Leader

Recognizes an individual who effectively uses one or more social media channels to highlight authors and literature and exemplify collection development.

Laura Gardner

Laura Gardner is a Teacher Librarian, a 2016 Finalist Scholastic/School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year, a Nation Board Certified Teacher and a self proclaimed Reading Maniac! A peek at her Instagram gives the profound sense of her deep passion for reading and sharing. Laura reads, and reviews for her Instagram and Twitter, as well as for @kidlitexchange and @sljournal. Laura inspires other librarians, teachers, her students and her own children to become better readers through her thorough reviews, her honest and heartfelt thoughts, as well as motivational programs such as her Reading Wall of Fame in her library. Laura reviews books that help us all connect with powerful struggles and issues that are current in all of our students’ lives. Laura reads and shares so much that I’m convinced she has a reading super power!

GoodReads | Instagram | Twitter

Erika Long

Erika Long is a leader who facilitates learning for others with her online presence and is a powerful advocate for our profession. A scroll through her Instagram or Twitter feed will lead to reviews for the latest and greatest in children’s and young adult literature, and lesson ideas and curricular connections. For her students, she models engagement with the literary community and demonstrates how reading can positively impact students’ lives. In her lessons she includes children’s/YA lit – titles that reflect her diverse population and encourage community, acceptance, and inclusion. When she shares book reviews, she always focuses on how the book will be received by her students. It’s this unwavering focus on her students that makes Erika’s social media posts so helpful to other school librarians, and makes her more than deserving of recognition as a Social Media Superstar Reader Leader.

Instagram | Twitter

Melissa Thom

As you can see from her Twitter handle, Melissa Thom definitely has a raging case of “book-i-tis”. One of her main symptoms is chronic connections — she’s always looking for ways to connect readers and writers. Side effects of this symptom include Tweeting at authors on behalf of students, sharing upcoming professional events with educators, and Retweeting inspiring content. Another symptom includes a fever for diverse texts. Melissa often Retweets book lists that encourage library media specialists to take a critical look at their libraries and to update them. Her final symptom is the nagging feeling in her chest to buy more books. A quick glance at her Twitter will reveal images of her most recent hauls from local book sales, thrift shops, and conferences. Though Melissa’s case of “book-i-tis” is not treatable, we feel fortunate to work with someone so contagious.

InstagramTwitter (Personal) | Twitter (School) | Website (Personal) | Website (Personal) | Website (School)

Sensational Student Voice

Recognizes an individual who effectively uses one or more social media channels to empower student voice.

Hannah Byrd Little

Hannah Byrd Little has created an environment in the Bond Library through social media that exudes the essence of student voice. Her social media accounts are full of personality and make an almost personal impression on students; not to mention her unbridled support for student participation in library improvements. Through social media, Ms. Little endorses the student-run Library Committee, an influential outlet for students to be heard. She also posts the pursuits of the students in the library regularly and is always accepting suggestions for book orders, library policy changes, and physical library improvements from any person in the student body. The Bond Library is a pillar in the Webb School’s student community.

Facebook (Personal) | Facebook (School) | Instagram (Personal) | Instagram (School)Twitter

Social Justice Defender

Recognizes an individual who effectively uses one or more social media channels to promote social justice for students and the community.

Meg Allison

Meg Allison is a tireless advocate for amplifying ways school librarians can —and should — intersect with social justice. As a founding member of Seeking Social Justice at her school, she promotes student voice, engagement, and agency in addressing social inequalities, was instrumental in helping students raise a Black Lives Matter flag, provided guidance for students organizing a Walkout for gun control, and actively runs book groups featuring diverse authors. She shares widely on her professional social media, as well as through her library and Seeking Social Justice accounts. She has woven into her work her lifetime commitment to equity and empathy.  She’s a tremendous advocate and leader for her colleagues at her high school, in the Vermont learning community, and online. As a promoter of the power of social media to build community, she has presented at state-wide conferences around the power of social media as a conduit for social change.

Instagram (School) | Instagram (School) | Twitter (Personal) | Twitter (School)

Gina Seymour

Gina Seymour is a rockstar librarian, who has transformed her high school library into an incubator that turns her students, and anyone who follows her, into social justice warriors. Her “Makers with a Cause” program extends beyond the walls of her  library. Gina uses her social media platforms to encourage not only her students, but others to use their voices for good. She continually shares ways that teens can take small actions to make the world a better place for everyone. Gina uses her platform to advocate for anyone who needs help. Through the use of social media, she encourages everyone to do the same. She sums up her philosophy better than anyone in a recent tweet, “Compassionate acts strengthens communities and makes the world a better place.”

FacebookLinkedInTwitter | Website

Matthew Winner

Matthew Winner is an ever-evolving librarian who self-reflects and makes changes in his practice to enrich the lives of readers in his community. Over the past couple of years, Matthew has  focused on marginalized voices in children’s literature. Through his Children’s Book Podcast, he empowers authors to share the background of their stories and features many diverse voices. He has engaged in diversity audits of scholastic bookfairs with his students. He has open conversation with his students about the importance of diverse voices and diverse books and is intentional about the books they choose to read together. He is not afraid to engage in hard conversations in groups such as the Future Ready Librarians group on Facebook to defend the importance of developing a library collection that features own voice, diverse voices, and challenging topics.

Instagram | Twitter | Website

Tech Troubadour

Recognizes an individual who effectively uses one or more social media channels to share technology expertise of benefit to school libraries and school librarians and their work.

Michelle Cooper

Michelle Cooper is a passionate educator and enthusiastic proponent of school libraries, technology integration, collaboration with educational professionals, and helping young people succeed.  She emphatically believes in the power of student voice, and today’s technology offers a global platform for students to share and collaborate on real world problems. She is a co-founder of #TXLchat on Twitter, 2016 TCEA Library Media Specialist of the Year, Wonderopolis Wonder Lead Ambassador, Makey Makey Ambassador, Google for Education Certified Trainer, 2016 TASL MVP Honorable Award-winner for Excellence, and 2016 TLA Branding Iron Award-winner for Social Media for #TXLchat. Michelle currently serves as a Digital Learning Specialist, with an emphasis on library media services, at Region 7 Education Service Center.

Blog | Twitter | Website

Katie McNamara

Katie McNamara is a leader in effective technology integration and online PLN leadership in the school library field.

She empowers students to lead their own learning through flipped instruction and has developed many resources for use in her instructional practice via Google Classroom, Google Sites, HyperDocs for library research, a Digital Breakout library orientation, Booksnaps, Flipgrid, Buncee, Canva, and AR and VR with Cospaces, Metaverse, and Google Street View, and more.

Through her passion to help others, she was accepted as a Google Innovator and is co-founder of #CALIBchat – slow chat on Twitter.

She often shares her tech infused programming ideas and activities via social media – including Twitter, Snapchat, and more – both amplifying students’ voices and modeling effective uses of tech tools with other educators and librarians.

Facebook | Snapchat | Twitter

The Committee thanks all the nominators for their nominations. All the nominees were outstanding and all were seriously considered for these recognitions!

Social Media Recognition Committee
Marifran DeMaine, Chair
Liz Dodds
Connie Hollin
Barbara Johnson
Michelle Luhtala
Chelsea Sims
Ann Morgester, Board Liaison
Jennifer Habley, Staff Liaison

Author: Marifran DeMaine, Social Media Recognition Chair

Categories: Association News, News

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