Four M.S. grads on Pa. outstanding school district library program’s winning team
When the Pa. School Library Association named Southern York County school district’s library system number one in a state with 500 school districts, professor Mona Kerby had four reasons to be proud – four of the district’s five librarians are graduates of McDaniel’s School Librarianship master’s program.
McDaniel grads Anne Bozievich, Norma Conley, Kayse Corrieri and Wendy Fitzgerald with colleague Lynn Clements earned the outstanding district school library award for their innovative programs and integration across the curriculum to meet the diverse needs of all learners in the district. Each of the five schools in the district has a full-time librarian and the librarians say their success is buoyed by generous budgets and the total support of the district’s administration.
District assistant superintendent Sandra Lemmon lauded the librarians’ accomplishment.
“They are five extra talented, knowledgeable individuals who have the passion to look beyond the walls of the library,” Lemmon says. “We need to just get out of their way and let them do what they know how to do best.”
The librarians are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating their programs – developing offerings that will engage learners at every level. With the district goal of helping students become critical thinkers actively involved in gaining and sharing knowledge, the libraries offer book clubs, fairs, Skype sessions with authors and student-generated reviews to encourage reading. Scavenger hunts and other activities exercise research skills, and students and teachers have 24/7 access to many library resources, including e-books and educational video games.
Favorites at Southern Middle School, says librarian Norma Conley, are the Anime Club, which meets after school to share manga, learn about Japanese culture and spark creative expression, and the historical fiction project, which helps students relate to the time period they are studying in social studies by fostering a better understanding of what it was like to live in that time period.
Across all grade levels students learn how to find information.
“Basically we teach our students how to use the resources available to them,” says Bozievich, librarian in Friendship Elementary, one of the district’s three elementary schools. “We can’t teach them everything they need or want to know, but we can expose them to where to find the information.”
Although the librarians each have their own library, they consider in their planning the kindergarten through 12th grade program, according to Fitzgerald, librarian at Shrewsbury Elementary.
“All of us think about the other levels,” says Corrieri, librarian at Susquehannock High School, whose husband Steve was recently named McDaniel men’s soccer coach. “When planning our programs we look at what the students are coming to us with and what they need to go to the next level.”
Everyone is constantly learning and growing in their field, according to Fitzgerald, librarian at Shrewsbury Elementary. And that doesn’t surprise their mentor and former professor at McDaniel.
“Norma, Wendy, Anne, and Kayse were outstanding students during their graduate classes, so it is no surprise that they are outstanding school librarians,” says Kerby. “They love to learn, they love books, and they love their students.
“Their dedication, tenacity, and intelligence means that they know how to teach their students to love books and seek knowledge, to live a life well-examined. I am honored to have been their teacher.”