We were fortunate enough to meet some truly incredible school librarians in 2014.
These library professionals are charging ahead, exemplifying what it means to be a librarian in the 21st-century by integrating digital technologies and creative ideas into everyday learning—and sharing their ideas on social media!
In September, we were honored to announce the first-ever School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year Award, which was presented to Michelle Colte from Hale Kula Elementary School and finalists Colleen Graves and Andy Plemmons. Whether they are creating unique Makerspaces, challenging teens to learn computer programming, presenting at conferences or training their peers, these three school librarians stood out for their achievements and undeniable passions for learning and empowering their students.
Just in time for the New Year, we pulled together a handy list of “10 School Librarians to Follow on Twitter,” including the SLJ Award winner and finalists!
Be sure to follow these social media savvy school librarians from across the Internet for tips and tricks, book recommendations, relevant hashtags, conference updates and much more.
1. Betsy Bird (@FuseEight)
The New York Public Library in New York, NY
As the New York Public Library’s Youth Materials Collections Specialist, Betsy Bird knows a thing or two about good books. In addition to writing the picture book Giant Dance Party, Betsy is a School Library Journal blogger. You can learn more about Betsy, read her book reviews or check out her interviews with authors on A Fuse #8 Production or by following her on Twitter.
2. Michelle Colte (@Michelle_Colte)
Hale Kula Elementary School in Wahiawa, HI
Michelle was named the inaugural School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year in September. By integrating technology into instruction and advocating for community building within the library, Michelle stood out as a 21st century librarian. At her school in Hawaii, Michelle works hand-in-hand with teachers to emphasize the importance of playful learning, and strives to develop a sense of “ohana,” or family, in the library through school events.
3. Sherry Gick (@LibraryFanatic)
Rossville Consolidated Schools in Rossville, IN
Sherry is fanatic about all things reading and technology-related. As a Library & Instructional Technology Specialist in Rossville, IN, she shares her experiences on her blog “The Library Fanatic” and actively tweets about exciting books, conferences and tools that she encounters. Sherry works to give students a voice in their education and is always looking for new ways to make connections and share ideas.
4. Colleen Graves (@gravescolleen)
Lamar Middle School in Flower Mound, TX
Colleen considers herself a maker, a teacher and a librarian. She was chosen as a School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year Award finalist in September 2014 for her “Makerspace” initiative and her creative use of technology in the library. In a recent edu@scholastic guest blog post, Colleen explored how modern librarians can help teachers make global connections by connecting with authors, other classrooms, and even curricular experts or mentors.
5. Travis Jonker (@100scopenotes)
Dorr Elementary School in Dorr, MI
Travis Jonker has been an elementary school librarian since 2005 and a successful blogger since 2007. On his School Library Journal blog 100 Scope Notes, and on Twitter, Travis talks about all things children’s literature including reviews, news and more—perfect for fun, new ideas for the classroom and library.
6. Shannon Miller (@shannonmmiller)
Van Meter Schools in Denver, CO
Shannon is a former teacher librarian and current teacher librarian educational consultant based in Colorado. Perhaps you have seen her blog, The Library Voice? Shannon was named a 2014 Mover & Shaker by Library Journal and can often be found speaking and consulting around the country on education, librarianship, technology, social media and education. She is a must-follow on Twitter!
7. Andy Plemmons (@plemmonsa)
David C. Barrow Elementary in Athens, GA
As a School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year Award finalist, Andy knows what it means to be a lifelong learner. He is passionate about professional collaboration, helping students experiment with new technologies and enriching classroom instruction with lessons and activities from his school’s media center program. Andy’s goal this year? To empower student voice.
8. John Schumacher (@MrSchuReads)
Brook Forest Elementary School in Oak Brook, IL
John Schumacher, also known as Mr. Schu, describes himself as a Library Media Specialist working diligently to put the right book in the hands of children. His blog “Watch. Connect. Read.” explores the world of children’s literature through book trailers and you can find even more book recommendations and literary insights by following Mr. Schu on Twitter!
9. Joyce Valenza (@joycevalenza)
Rutgers University from Abington, PA
You could say that Joyce is on a never-ending quest to learn about all things technology and learning. This School Library Journal blogger is currently an Assistant Professor at Rutgers School of Communication and Information, where she helps shape the minds of new librarians. Fun fact: in 2011, Joyce’s Twitter chat #tlchat won an Edublogs Award.
10. Matthew Winner (@MatthewWinner)
Ducketts Lane Elementary School in Elkridge, MD
This elementary school teacher librarian is an avid gamer, a persistent reader and an author! Matthew was named a 2013 Library Journal Tech Leader Mover & Shaker and currently blogs at “The Busy Librarian” where he interviews authors, promotes innovation both in and beyond the library, and provides book recommendations to readers and fellow teacher librarians. Be sure to check it out!