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Hurley receives national library award for collaboration

Amanda HurleyAmanda Hurley, library media specialist at Henry Clay High School, has earned the American Association of School Librarians’ 2021 Collaborative School Library Award. Sponsored by Scholastic Book Fairs, the $2,500 award recognizes school librarian and teacher collaboration during the development and implementation of a curriculum-supporting program using school library resources. “We are passionate about designing activities that foster student voice and choice while maintaining rigorous academic standards,” Hurley said. “Together we create experiences allowing students to think, create, share, and grow in math, communication, and problem-solving skills. No role is too small or too large for the librarian to play in collaboration. It’s being available and invested that makes collaboration powerful.”

Jennifer Powell, the award committee chair, singled out Hurley’s work with math teacher Sarah Zehnder and their library renovation project for advanced geometry students. To adapt during pandemic restrictions, Hurley and Zehnder coordinated with the Jessamine County Public Library and secured 360-degree images so students could do an interactive virtual field trip. Hurley’s AASL application submission, “Engaged2: Yearlong Math & Library Collaborations,” also highlighted a dozen other potential ideas including a digital animation project that incorporates technology and geometry concepts. “Each year looks different,” Hurley said of her continual collaboration with Zehnder. “A lot of times our process involves one of us coming up with an idea and the other one actually making it happen. We talk through all ideas, sometimes we trash them, and sometimes they become awesome projects. Sometimes we do this in person, other times email, Zoom, or text message. Both of us are ready and willing to brainstorm, design and tweak lessons, assignments, and units if either of us has an idea we want to explore.”

Hurley and other award winners will be recognized during the 2021 AASL National Conference, set for Oct. 21-23 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The American Association of School Librarians is a division of the American Library Association.


(Posted May 10, 2021)