The scholarship recipients are Aimee Babcock-Ellis, librarian, University of Maryland, Bethesda, Md.; Yu-Hui Chen, bibliographer and outreach librarian for education, University at Albany, Albany, N.Y.; Susan K.S. Grigsby, library media specialist, Elkins Pointe Middle School, Roswell, Ga.; Danielle Whren Johnson, digital access librarian, Loyola/Notre Dame Library, Baltimore, Md.; Ann B. Perham, school librarian, Needham High School, Needham, Mass.; Susan Ridgeway, teacher librarian, Wooster City Schools, Wooster, Ohio.
As part of the application process, librarians were asked to explain how attending the ALA Annual Conference will contribute to their professional development. “School librarians are ‘Lone Rangers.’ We collaborate with every teacher, yet we have no one with whom to exchange and brainstorm ideas that will help us grow professionally,” said Perham. “State and national conferences offer superior professional development opportunities.”
Their essays also revealed another common theme: service. Our winners look forward to gaining skills that will help them better serve their users. “My first duty as a librarian is to teach my students how to become information literate,” said Johnson. “Attending sessions at Annual on tools and techniques of instruction will help me become a more effective teacher, because I can learn new methods of instruction from other librarians that will benefit my students.”
Furthermore, they are focused on serving their fellow librarians by taking on and advancing in leadership roles in ALA. “This conference is a prime venue for monitoring developments and best practices in academic librarianship, sharing research findings, and providing services to the library profession,” says Chen, who is a mentor of the 2011–2013 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Diversity Scholars. “I will attend events hosted by the ARL Diversity Program to offer guidance to potential future colleagues.”
The applications were judged by an ALA-appointed jury. This year’s jury was chaired by Julius C. Jefferson Jr., information research specialist, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; also on the jury were David A. Brackus, librarian, Jefferies & Company Inc., Houston; Elizabeth Nelson, knowledge analyst, UOP LLC, Des Plaines, Ill.; Tobi Oberman, head of circulation, Skokie Public Library, Skokie, Ill.; and Dawn J. Zeig, library media specialist, Malcolm S. Mackay School, Tenafly, N.J.
EBSCO and ALA representatives will host a breakfast honoring the scholarship recipients during the conference on Sunday, June 24, 2012.<
EBSCO has sponsored scholarships to ALA conferences for more than 16 years, awarding scholarship money to be used for conference registration, travel, and expenses. EBSCO will continue the tradition of awarding librarians again in 2013.