Last week at the annual conference held for school librarians in the DCMO BOCES districts, our own Mrs. Allen was named School Library Support Staff of the Year.
The formal nomination written by Mrs. Julie Hammer, our librarian, tells it all:
Sadie Allen is hard to sum up in words.
Instead, picture a multihued garden, vibrant, verdant, and visited by a wide variety of wildlife – well, students – and you will begin to understand who Sadie is and what she brings to our library and our school.
Sadie understands and supports our School Library Program. She is proactive in her support of library policies and procedures. When she saw that lines were forming at the circulation desk, she requested a second computer, which she runs, dedicated to library circulation. Sadie is continually advancing her knowledge of school library programs. She assists with library classes, helping students find books, or reading or drawing with students. When I am absent, she has filled in for our Community Story Time, reading, singing, crafting, puppeteering and even feeding our gerbil with children ages 1-4.
Sadie takes the initiative in learning all sorts of library procedures: she has YouTubed how to put a Mylar cover on a book and how to load laminating film. Sadie supports the role of our library as a professional service organization. With her welcoming personality, Sadie helps create a safe space for students to work, inquire, build, explore and read. She initiates opportunities for students and staff to explore and learn. Her birding center, which includes the livecam at Sapsucker Woods at Cornell, birding books, and a bird log, has made birders of us all.
Sadie exhibits leadership as she helps make our library a better space. She initiates positive action and change. A problem: Chromebooks were not being returned by the day’s end. Sadie’s suggestion: each day students do not return a Chromebook, they forfeit the opportunity to check out Chromebooks for the same number of days. I was resistant: isn’t our mandate to get the students the resources they need to succeed? But soon I realized, here was an immediate and congruent consequence. And it worked: students quickly learned to return their Chromebooks on time. Sadie exercises a high degree of effective interpersonal skills. She is consistently kind to students, but never a push-over. She respects the students and expects respect in return. Sadie participates in library initiatives. Poetry month videos? Sadie is ready to work with our young poem reciters, helping them project their voices, articulate their words, and speak with expression. A jigsaw puzzle craze? Sadie is on it, bringing in jigsaw puzzles of all difficulty levels. Library beautification? As the year progresses, Sadie decorates for the season, making our library more beautiful and inviting.
Sadie supports SLS-related services. She is an active part of our inter-library loan service, and helps our Cooperative Collection Development by keeping track of which books in both fiction- and nonfiction-series are missing.
To come full circle – our library, which is full of light (actual) and the light of learning (virtual), is also full of plants, all because of Sadie’s green thumb. For all Sadie does, she deserves this award.
Warm congratulations are extended to Mrs. Allen for this well-deserved award. She and Mrs. Hammer are the primary reasons why the Otselic Valley Central School library is one of the most vibrant, welcoming, opportunity-filled resources we know.