Social media has connected me with so many amazing educators since I started using it many years ago. I had no idea when I started using Twitter at a conference that it would connect me with so many people who I consider to be great friends as well as colleagues. Today, I can’t imagine what it would be like to not share on social media. Showing our work on social media allows us to define for the world what happens in school libraries. Through social media we inspire one another, push one another’s thinking, and connect the voices of our students. Social media has developed strong relationships with authors, developers, and vendors as well, and each connection means more opportunities to empower student voices around the globe.
I was surprised to learn on Sunday that I was nominated for the American Association of School Librarians Social Media Superstar Award in the category of Sensational Student Voice. Not only was I nominated, I was one of the three finalists. The other two superstars are Stony Evans and Beth Redford, who both doing amazing work with their students. Student voice is a main foundation of our library program. I want students to have opportunities in our library to know that their ideas and creations matter in the world. I want them to see that their work can have an impact within our school but far beyond as well. To be nominated in this particular category is a huge honor to me.
One of the most exciting things about this particular award is that it showcases to the world many individual leaders in the world of school libraries. These are people who share out of the goodness of their hearts to show their work, inspire others, collaborate beyond walls, advocate for libraries, and get student work out to an authentic audience.
If you are looking for some people to follow on various platforms of social media, this is one great place to start. Many of you will probably find people on this list who are already inspiring you. AASL is asking that people give public testimonies for the nominees on this list. This is a great opportunity for you to share stories about these individuals that they might not even know about. Many times I’m inspired by someone’s work, but I forget to tell them in detail about what their social media post caused me to do.
There are many names that are missing from this list, but I’m hopeful to see many of those names as this tradition continues in future years. Thank you AASL for this highlight of some of the important work happening in libraries.
I’m slowly making my way through the list to leave comments, and I invite you to do the same. You have until April 14th. The final “winners” in each category will be announced in a webinar on April 27 for School Library Month.