AASL honors 2009 visionaries in information technology

Contact: Melissa B. Jacobsen

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

May 12, 2009

CHICAGO – Jennifer Gorup, school library media specialist at Quail Run Elementary in Lawrence, Kan., and Melanie Le Jeune, school library media specialist at St. Louis Catholic High School in Lake Charles, La., are the recipients of the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) 2009 Information Technology Pathfinder Award. Gorup and Le Jeune will be honored at the AASL Awards Luncheon during the ALA 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago.

With a challenging budget, Gorup has managed to integrate technology into each grade level at Quail Run. Kindergartners post videos they created using digital pictures, scans and voiceovers to School Tube to celebrate Kansas Day. In second grade, students are introduced to beginning research skills using student friendly Web pages. In fourth grade, students use Filimentality to take a virtual tour of New York City after reading "Cricket in Times Square." Finally, sixth graders discuss books on Moodle with other members of their book club or novel group.Â

In her application, Jennifer Gorup states, "The use of technology taps into the multiple intelligences and allows students to be more actively engaged while giving them access to the most updated information. Learning and practicing typing, navigating Web sites and tool applications, manipulating the equipment and mastering the technology are a few advantages. It is not just the skills they learn, but the confidence and curiosity to be independent learners and thinkers that is key to future learning."

At St. Louis, Melanie Le Jeune recently began a segment at the faculty meetings called "Technology Tidbits." At these meetings, faculty members receive a brief introduction to the technology available to them through the library. This segment has led to many teacher/librarian collaborations at the school, as well as many veteran teachers becoming excited about using new technologies in their classroom. "As teachers are shown new technology… a spark is ignited, and they come to me for more information" says Le Jeune. "The more knowledge a person has, the more willing he/she will be to try something new."

In spring 2007, faculty at St. Louis began to notice the increased use of online sources, such as Wikipedia, for research purposes. In collaboration with the English department, Le Jeune ensured every student received training in using the research databases. At the end of the training, students completed a scavenger hunt designed by Le Jeune to evaluate the training’s success. This collaboration has led to increased usage of the research databases within a year.

The AASL Awards Luncheon will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Monday, July 13, during Annual Conference. The fee to attend is $59. Special guest speaker for the luncheon will be Barbara Kerley, award-winning author of several books including "Greetings from Planet Earth" and "What to do about Alice." For more information about this event and more AASL programs in Chicago, visit

Established in 1985 (as the Microcomputer in the Media Center Award), the Information Technology Pathfinder Award recognizes and honors a school library media specialist demonstrating vision and leadership through the use of information technology to build lifelong learners. This award, $1,000 to the school library media specialist and $500 to the library, is given in two categories--elementary (K-6) and secondary (7-12). The award is generously sponsored by Follett Software Company.

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.