Today, School Library Journal and Scholastic have announced Cicely Lewis, a school librarian at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia, and “Read Woke” creator, the 2020 School Librarian of the Year.
Each year, the award recognizes K–12 library professionals for outstanding achievement and the exemplary use of 21st-century tools and services to engage children and teens toward fostering multiple literacies. This year, Cicely is featured on the cover of the April 2020 issue of School Library Journal.
Cicely is a dedicated school librarian who creates programming that fosters a community of learning and celebrates the diversity of her more than 2,600 students and their 240 teachers.
She is the founder of Read Woke — an initiative encouraging students to read books that challenge a social norm or the status quo, give a voice to the voiceless, have a protagonist from an underrepresented or oppressed group, or provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised.
Students at Cicely’ school are encouraged to support one another by sharing book recommendations and utilizing the media center’s modern offerings, such as exercise bike desks and glass study rooms with projectors, to learn, collaborate and be creative. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a number of events Cicely hosts at the library including a book fashion show that shines a spotlight on powerful reads, Tech Woke projects where students use technology to learn about social justice issues, and a virtual reality experience during Black History Month where students “travel back in time” to learn about pivotal moments in Black history.
Cicely also visits districts nationwide to advocate for the importance of libraries and certified librarians in every school.
Learn more about Cicely and the School Librarian of the Year Award, here.
Read a Q&A with Cicely over on the EDU blog, here.
Photo by Fernando Decillis for School Library Journal