Middle school librarian honored by state library association

Jan 25, 2018

Laura Gardner’s goal in advocating for school libraries reaches far beyond the doors of Dartmouth Middle School. From chairing state-level advocacy groups to writing articles about her profession, the middle school librarian is always busy both on and off the clock.

Now, the Massachusetts School Library Association is recognizing her work, as she has been named a recipient of the association's 2018 Service Award. The award recognizes school librarians for their dedication and leadership at the state and national level.

“She generously shares best practices with colleagues and has emerged as a leader and model of a 21st century school librarian,” said association Executive Director Katherine Lowe in a press release.

Gardner explained that she’s been involved with the association since 2012. She hosts Twitter chats where other librarians weigh in on the profession and discuss their work, and currently chairs the advocacy committee. It’s an especially important position because many school districts only have one school librarian, making professional development and peer networking a challenge.

“It’s my goal to support school librarians across the state and the profession,” Gardner said. “We really have to reach out to peers at other schools to support each other.”

In the press release, association officials also praised Gardner’s work within Dartmouth Middle School’s library. She runs a makerspace and maker clubs featuring electronics and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics projects, hosts book clubs and special activities during lunch periods,

“It’s just a very busy place,” Gardner said.

Gardner will receive the award at the MSLA Awards Banquet at the DCU Center in Worcester on March 25.