School Librarians Receive KASL and KLA Awards

School Librarians Receive KASL and KLA Awards

October 22, 2018 Feature, KASL 0

KASL Awards

The Kentucky Association of School Librarians rolled out the red carpet on July 16 to honor and recognize individuals for their service to the organization and to the libraries they serve. With a Hollywood awards night theme, Deidre Bowling-Meade, awards chair for the organization presented awards to this year’s recipients with the help of past winners of the awards.  

KASL awarded nine Kentucky Bluegrass Award Grants.  The recipients of the grants were Crystal Little (PK), Cynthia Rogers and Janet New (K-2), Tami Dodson and Laura Barnes (3-5), Damonica Partin and Jennifer Geddes (6-8), Angela Lewis and Susan Gasaway (9-12).  These grants were made possible through donations from Don & Jennifer Hayes from Permabound and KASL.

The Student Technology Award recognizes an outstanding Kentucky student who has demonstrated leadership through technology activities coordinated with the school curriculum. The recipient, CJ Dyas from Newport High School, was a four-year member of STLP and a member of Tech Defenders and worked weekly with a local cyber security company.  He competed at state level in a networking challenge in 2017, worked in technology at the Newport Independent School District with the district technology director the past two summers and, most recently, developed an app to be used for Newport High School communication.

The Jesse Stuart Media Award was presented to Scott Schupe for his book, Kentucky Wildlife Encyclopedia.  The Jesse Stuart Media Award recognizes an exceptionalproduction of media, such as a movie, book, or podcast that relates to and promotes our beautiful Kentucky.

The Service Award for Administrators recognizes and honors administrators who have made worthy contributions to the operation of effective school library media services and to stimulate planning, implementing, and supporting library services in the school. The 2018 recipient is James Campbell from Crabbe Elementary. Mr.Campbell was nominated by Amanda Cole. The committee felt that Mr. Campbell demonstrates outstanding support and sustained contributions to the library through the allocation of $24 per pupil expenditures for library materials annually. Ms. Cole stated, “In a time when, many colleagues are seeing budget cuts, I have seen my budget grow to meet the needs of our students. He is very generous and always makes sure we are meeting the funding recommendations outlined in Beyond Proficiency.”

“When he first became principal, he viewed the library as another itinerant class in a fixed schedule. He then realized I could be much more effective with a flexible schedule. After visiting other schools, we adopted a flexible library schedule based on what would best benefit students.”

In addition, “Mr. Campbell encourages me to participate in professional development opportunities and understands the importance of collaboration with others outside of our school.”

The Outstanding School Library Website was awarded to Jordan Franklin from Henry Moss Middle School. The award committee stated that the tutorials and Google forms used to gather information and disseminate training were quite helpful and unique.  The inclusion of student pictures throughout the site also conveyed how active and engaged these students are at the library. The url for the Henry Moss Middle School Library is .

The Eleanor W. Simmons Memorial Grant is to given to encourage participation in the field of library science. KASL awards two $500 grants each year. The first recipient, is Erin Piffer. Because of Erin’s passion to pursue her National Board certification AND the enthusiastic support of her colleagues, she has been selected as a recipient for this grant. Innovative Tech Week activities, going above and beyond with teachers in terms of collaboration, planning and PD, and facilitating reading regularly through KBA and NKU’s Bookfest made this candidate’s application stand out. One reference vouched that Erin’s hunger for growing in this position has never wavered since she began this journey over 9 years ago. The committee recognized Erin’s impact at several schools and felt she is very deserving of this grant as she wants to keep pushing herself to become National Board Certified.

Leadership takes time, energy and effort and not everyone feels called to step up. The next recipient of the Eleanor Simmons Grant, Amanda Cole, is ready to answer the call. She is planning to use the grant to offset costs associated with National Board Certification so she will be in a better position to take on greater leadership roles within her school, district and professional community.  Ms. Amanda Cole has been recommended, among others, by her principal, who said Amanda’s “determination to see students succeed is unmatched by any media specialist she has ever worked with.” Librarian colleagues, too, attest to her dedication and commitment to the profession. She is active in her district’s regional library organization and presents informative and engaging sessions at state conferences and implements all she learns within her library walls so every child at her school benefits from her engaging, creative, and developmentally appropriate lessons.

The Award of Merit honors individuals who have advocated effective school library services, and recognizes the role of those other than building administrators in developing successful school library programs. This year’s recipient is Dr. David Rust, Superintendent of Campbell County Schools.  Dr. Rust’s commitment to improving the schools through improving the libraries shows that he understands the key role that schools libraries can play in the lives of their students. The committee was particularly impressed with Rust’s dedication to not only increasing the number of librarians across the district, but also giving them the support in resources and PD opportunities to help them be successful.   

The Donna Hornsby Joint Technology Award is given to promote the use of technology in the library media center by teachers and students, to increase planning among library media specialists and teachers, and to enhance the learning of information skills.  This award is sponsored by EBSCO, who has graciously donated $400 to the winners of this award.  Plano Elementary librarian Ashley Vincent and teacher Kristin Strode Lindsey created the project Joint Efforts Lead to Student Success!

During the school year, they collaborated on many digital tools to help create engaging learning experiences for students while giving them more time with Social Studies content. The application was less about one joint technology project and more about a year-long collaboration that incorporates digital tools. Using a variety of G Suite and online resources both in the library and classroom, students completed engaging learning activities.

The Barby Hardy Award is given to an individual who has given continuous, sustained support to the school library profession throughout his/her lifetime. Kathy Mansfield has served as the champion of school librarians in Kentucky since 2009. She was instrumental in the creation of Beyond Proficiency@your library which provides guidelines for highly effective Library Media Programs. She served on the committee which developed our new National School Library Standards for Learners. She has already begun the work of familiarizing us with these new standards through webinars and trainings so we will be prepared when we adopt our new state standards in the near future.  Building on the skills she developed as an outstanding school librarian, she has used her experience to improve and support school librarians and their libraries all over the state.

In her savvy polite — yet firm– way, she taught administrators what a quality program looked like and why it was important for our students.  She will leave us with a legacy of leadership, advocacy, professionalism, and a deep desire to positively impact students across the state. Barby Hardy would be proud! As a role model, an advocate, and a leader for Kentucky’s school libraries, she has impacted the learning of tens of thousands of past, present and future students in our Commonwealth.

In addition to receiving the Barby Hardy Award, Kathy was also presented a Resolution by the KASL Board.

The Outstanding School Media Librarian Award  recognizes a school librarian who has made outstanding contributions to the profession on local, district and state levels, is very active in the community, and gives unselfishly of his or her time and effort for the advancements of school libraries in Kentucky on both a local and state level. James Allen is involved with the library profession at a district, state and even national level.  He serves as a resource to others on the ListServ and through the KyLChat. He was nominated for AASL’s social media superstar award as a tech troubadour in 2018 and for advocacy in 2017.  He  certainly exhibits outstanding leadership skills! This quote from the superintendent’s letter sums it up, “He is constantly pushing the boundaries of how libraries operate, what they offer, and how to make them as relevant as possible.”  

KLA Awards

The Kentucky Library Association held its awards luncheon on September 20 at the Galt House in Louisville.  Tara Griffith who was President of KLA at the time of the ceremony presented awards to three KASL members: Sam Northern, Kathy Mansfield, and Donna Morris.  

Sam Northern, the librarian at Simpson Elementary, received the Kentucky Libraries Outstanding Feature Article award for his piece, “Lessons From Antarctica” he wrote as a result from his experience in the Grosvenor Teaching Fellows program.

Donna Morris, school librarian at Daniel Boone Elementary School received the Intellectual Freedom Award. Intellectual Freedom, as defined by the American Library Association, is “… the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored. Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas.” The Kentucky Library Association Intellectual Freedom Award is given to an individual or group who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in Kentucky.  Donna’s school received a challenge to the Dr. Seuss book, If I Ran the Zoo.  As a result of Donna’s defense of the book, the title remains part of the library collection at her school.

Kathy Mansfield, retired Library Media Consultant from the Kentucky Department of Education and former school librarian, received the Kentucky Library Association Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is given to a Kentucky librarian who has contributed significantly to our profession through publications, presentations, and participation in professional library and/ or information organizations. To be a nominee, one must have been a KLA member for at least ten years and have a sustained record of service to the Association.  Kathy received the Barby Hardy Lifetime Achievement Award from KLA in July. Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations and letters of support for both the KASL and the KLA Awards this year.  Be thinking about whom you can nominate for the 2019 awards. Information about the KASL Awards and nomination forms may be found at  Information about KLA awards may be found at

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