Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Nominees for the Library Super Heroes Contest

Gale/Cengage, a wonderful library reference book and database vendor, is sponsoring a "Librarian Super Hero" contest. According to Gale's Facebook page, "Four librarians will be selected from your submissions and turned into cartoon superheroes! Winners will be featured on a metal lunch box and unveiled at ALA in New Orleans!" 

Well, there are so many, many teacher librarians who I consider superheroes! I have been thinking about this for a few days now, and really hesitated to participate in nominating folks for this award, since I knew, by doing so, that I would feel very guilty and sad to be leaving out so many other wonderful TLs who also deserve my nomination. But, with apologies to all my other wonderful and deserving colleagues, I decided that there were several colleagues who I really, really want to see as action figures on a lunchbox! So, I am going to second Jackie Siminutus's nomination of Connie Williams (in which she states:

"I nominate Petaluma, CA High School Teacher Librarian Connie Williams for being an outstanding instructor, introducing hundreds of students cyber citizenship through her Teen Learning 2.0 tutorial; chairing the California Campaign for Strong School Libraries (; co-developing online professional development web 2.0 tutorials for teachers and teacher librarians; co-creating an audio journal in support of strong school libraries (; writing articles for La Voz and Follett Software, and the list goes on. She and her miniature dachshund Lucy riding in the front bike basket would make great action figures. :)"

as an outstanding teacher librarian, leader, role model, and advocacy superstar, and add three nominations of my own: 

  • I would love to see Marie Slim (@sraslim on twitter) as a lunchbox action hero because she is one of the most talented, energetic - and hip - teacher librarians I know. Until last school year, she was a super TL at Troy High School, correlating collaborative lessons with standards and sharing information literacy, love of reading, and technology-savvy with her students and school staff. When her district - Fullerton Joint Union High School District - cut positions and obliged her to split herself into three pieces at three different schools, she truly made lemonade out of lemons. She is now collaborating with teachers at all three schools, setting up replicable wiki sites for each of the lesson units she develops, and exemplifying a super hero setting the very best priorities - to keep information literacy instruction formost - even when faced with a difficult situation in which she is stretched way too thin. Her district is so lucky to have her! She is also an outstanding volunteer for California School Library Association: she is a member of the Southern Section Board, was social networking chair for the organization's state conference, and is a true social networking maven for teacher librarians in California and beyond.
  • Joyce Valenza (@joycevalenza on twitter) - I have been getting inspiration from Joyce Valenza ever since I entered the school library field in 2002 and began using her Power Tools book. What a way we've come since then, and so much of it with her as our guide into new territory with Web 2.0 tools that now enable us and our students to become creators, not just users, of information. She exemplifies the very, very best and the true cutting-edge of the school librarian profession. Her blog could serve as mandatory reading for any teacher librarian in training. Her incredible knowledge of information literacy and technology tools, and how to integrate them into a dynamic school library program, is matched only by her enthusiastic willingness to share this savvy with other members of the school library profession. Her students and teachers at Springfield Township High School, in Erdheim, PA, must count themselves as blest to have THE #1 school library rock star as their librarian!
  • Gwyneth Jones (@gwynethjones on twitter) - I've just become aware of Gwyneth in the last year or so (I'm sure I should have much earlier), but what a action hero teacher librarian she is! Anyone who reads her tweets, her blog, or her tech wiki has to be blown away by the enthusiasm she exudes for tools of our school library profession and her creativity in sharing them. And, she doesn't just share tools with students, teachers, and other teacher librarians; the tools jump off the page thanks to her incredible graphic presentation and engaging writing style. Gwynneth could be a graphic designer creating all the action hero graphics for us if she didn't already have a job - at which she is a superstar - being the teacher librarian at Murray Hill Middle School in Laurel, Maryland, in addition to blogging, tweeting, and being a member of the ISTE Board of Directors.
Check out Gale's Facebook page for these nominations! And, if you aren't already following their words of wisdom on Twitter and elsewhere, do start!


  1. I.Am.Gobsmacked. Darn you got me teary eyed today! Thank you so much for your kind words & cape thanks you, too! Poor cape, always feeling left out.

  2. @gwyneth - While it was so hard leaving out so many great people, I went with those I could really picture as action heroes, both visually and because of their strong public profiles on Twitter, blogs, etc. Your avatars and graphics have already made you one! I get excited each time I see you have a new blog post because I know that, not only will I get good information, but I'll also have the pleasure of seeing super fun images. Thanks so much for following my blog. Would you also make my day by becoming one of my Twitter followers? Thanks! :-)

  3. Jane, I am so very flattered and kinda overwhelmed. I am also so grateful. I would love to be on that lunchbox!!! You are very kind to take the time to nominate me and our very fabulous friends!

  4. JANE!!! You and your tenacity exemplify Super-Librarianship! Thank you for the nom, especially in the company of Connie, Gwyneth and Joyce! And coming from you, it's especially flattering. You are one of my idols, Jane! :-)

  5. @joycevalenza and @library slim Thanks so much for your comments. You absolutely deserve to be featured as library super heroes!