AASL sponsors Emerging Leaders Shannon Harris and Melissa Iamonico

For Immediate Release
Tue, 12/23/2014


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)



CHICAGO — The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will sponsor two participants in the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2015 Emerging Leaders program. The AASL-sponsored participants will join more than 50 of their peers as the program kicks off at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.

Shannon Harris of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Melissa Iamonico of Hartsdale, New York, 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 their careers. In sponsoring these two participants, AASL will defray the cost of attending the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting and the 2015 ALA Annual Conference.

“I consider myself a life-long learner, always wanting to develop and grow in order to better myself personally and professionally,” said Harris. “The Emerging Leaders program will allow me to network with other motivated library experts, understand ALA and its structure, and provide avenues for leadership opportunities beyond my circulation desk.”

Harris, currently the upper school librarian at Durham Academy in Durham, N.C., holds a master’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in mathematics from California State University, Fullerton along with a master’s in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an active AASL member. She currently serves on the Frances Henne award committee and her co-authored article, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ)-Themed Literature for Teens: Are School Libraries Providing Adequate Collections?” appeared in School Library Research. Harris is also active in her state-level association and serves in several leadership capacities in her school, including membership on the academic and technology committees.

Iamonico also holds dual masters’ – a master’s of liberal arts from Manhattanville College and a master’s of science in library and information science from Long Island University. She is currently the school librarian at R.J. Bailey Elementary School in Greenburgh, New York, where she serves on various committees at both a district and school wide level, including the district technology committee, district literacy committee and the school SINI committee. Iamonico is an active member of her regional, state and national associations and has presented on topics including e-Readers, reluctant readers and using non-fiction picture books.

“I am thrilled to be sponsored by AASL for the 2015 Emerging Leaders Program,” said Iamonico. “This program is very important to me because I am eager to be more involved in ALA, and AASL in particular. I believe that professional organizations are key to my growth as a librarian, and making sure that my library program is current and relevant. I am so excited to work with other like-minded librarians in the upcoming year!”

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 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. Upon completion of program, participants have an opportunity to serve on an ALA, Division, Chapter or Round Table committee or a taskforce or workgroup.

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