May 09, 2017
Kim Johnson, media specialist at South Carroll High School, has been named the 2017 Maryland School Librarian of the Year by the Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL) for her exemplary service and outstanding achievements in the field of school library media.
Johnson, who earned a master’s in School Library Media in McDaniel’s School Librarianship program in 2012, is empowered by her philosophy of librarianship based on connections. She creates opportunities for meaningful connections between students, faculty, information, and ideas. Through print, technology or shared experiences, these connections form a foundation of continuous learning and authentic exploration, she says.
An exceptional media specialist who has created a welcoming environment in the Carroll County high school’s media center, Johnson established a special café within the media center where as many as 10 students can eat lunch. She is always aware of what students are reading and works to find books they will enjoy. Among her specialties are creative activities with and for students, such as creating planters out of old books and offering hand-lettering classes and crochet lessons.
Johnson created a Maker Space, a collaborative work area for students to explore, learn, innovate and experiment, and works with classes to incorporate these concepts into their activities. In addition, Johnson provides professional development for staff through “Tech Tuesdays,” in which she helps staff become familiar with different technologies that can be used in the classroom.
The motivator and impetus behind South Carroll’s “One Book” program, Johnson has found appropriate books for the program, written and developed lessons and provided support and motivation for staff and students.
School Librarianship professor and program coordinator Mona Kerby is thrilled that Johnson was selected for the honor.
“Kim personifies every goal we set for our graduates of the McDaniel College School Librarianship Program,” Kerby says. “Kim is a smart and dedicated teacher-leader who is always learning, always enriching the lives of her students with the power of books and ideas.”
Johnson applauds her McDaniel experiences as preparing her well for the career change from high school social studies teacher to media specialist.
“I felt more than prepared to begin working as a media specialist when I started at South Carroll four years ago,” says Johnson, who earned her “Many of the classes at McDaniel, especially Young Adult Literature, Learning Technologies and the Portfolio helped solidify the knowledge that I had made the right choice about my career.”
The 25 award nominees were evaluated by a selection committee based on the extent to which they exemplify the five roles of a library media specialist, including administrator, leader, information specialist, teacher and instructional partner.