Accepting Award from AASL at ALA Annual

Below is my acceptance speech for the AASL Information Technology Pathfinder Award Secondary. I wanted to post the entire speech because some of the people that I thank were not able to attend the luncheon where I received the award. This was definitely one of the huge highlights of a 30 year teaching career, 21 years as a school librarian. 

Let me tell you that running a school library is the best job on Earth! Winning this award makes me smile, big time.

I am very excited to accept this award from AASL today. Winning this helps validate for me all the hard work that I have done over my 30 years of teaching. In ‘91 I left the classroom to become a school librarian. I took over a library that had a Macintosh SE computer running a circulation program that no one else in my district was using. I had to back up the library on dozens of floppy disks, and we still used a card catalog.

Now let’s fast forward 21 years later, my students can download an app on their smart phone to search the library catalog, as well as conduct research in our databases on that same device. I have been able to create a library website with little knowledge of HTML and with social media can reach out to educators around the world. Librarianship at the end of the 20th century and into the 21st has radically transformed, and I feel lucky that I have had the opportunity to be on the forefront and ride the wave of these changes. 

Before I step down, I would like to thank some people who helped me along the way.
First, the AASL committee that selected me for this award. I am truly honored. I want to thank my principal, Jaime Zapico. She is very patient and listens to every harebrained scheme that I come up with for the school or for the library, and believe it or not many of them actually do work. Also, I had the pleasure of working next door to English teacher, Mary North, for four years before she retired for the second time in 2011. We collaborated on many lessons and units. She was also a great cheerleader of mine. She convinced me that I could compete at the national level. I would never have attempted to apply for this award without her in the wings pushing me onto the stage.

Last, I want to give a shout out of thanks to my husband who is with me today. He has had to suffer with me sitting for hours at the kitchen table tweaking the library website and listening to me as I recorded instructional videos and digital booktalks over and over again to get them just right. Steve, thank you for being there. Without your support, I don’t think that I would be standing here right now. Thank you. 


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