Meg Finney selected as an AASL Emerging Leader

For Immediate Release
Thu, 12/17/2015


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Meg Finney has been selected as one of two American Association of School Librarians (AASL) sponsored participants in the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2016 Emerging Leaders program. Finney and Hattie Garrow will join more than 50 of their peers as the program kicks off at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

Finney, of Vineland, N.J., will participate in project planning workgroups; network with peers; gain an inside look into ALA; and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in her career. In sponsoring participants, AASL will defray the cost of attending the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting and the 2016 ALA Annual Conference.

“The Emerging Leaders program has been one of my major goals during my first years as a school librarian,” said Finney. “I am already known for being ‘loud about libraries’ in my building and district, and being named a 2016 Emerging Leader will allow me to boost my participation to the national level. I hope to serve ALA and AASL during my tenure and well into the future, as well as bring those leadership skills home for the benefit of my own library.”

Meg Finney earned her master of science in library and information science at Drexel University in Philadelphia. As the newly hired school librarian at Memorial High School in Millville, N.J., Finney dedicated herself to revitalizing her library in terms of facility, collection, instruction and reputation, by changing previous misconceptions about what a school library is and what a school librarian is capable of producing.  

Finney actively pursues collaborative partnerships inside and outside of her school building. Working with another district high school librarian, she established a book program based on teen mental and emotional health. She also reached out to the local city and county library staff to begin a free library card program for district students. Finney also plans to work with another teacher in her building to launch the first Gay-Straight Alliance in her school and promote the school library as the building’s “safe space” where students can be open and themselves.

Another future plan includes the creation of an online course to reach students that she may not have the opportunity to directly instruct. The course will contain tutorials, research guides, and videos students may access on-demand and teachers can use to support instruction.

Following the kickoff session at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, the Emerging Leaders will collaborate with their peers in an online learning and networking environment for six months. This culminates with a poster session showcasing the results of the project-planning work at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. Upon completion of the program, participants will have an opportunity to serve on an ALA, Division, Chapter or Round Table committee or a task force or working group.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.