Rising school library leader receives AASL's Frances Henne award; makes first trip to ALA Annual

Contact: Melissa Jacobsen

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

May 4, 2010

CHICAGO – Melanie Gibson is the recipient of the 2010 Frances Henne award given by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Established in 1986, the $1,250 award, sponsored by Greenwood Publishing Group, recognizes a school librarian with five years or less experience who demonstrates leadership qualities with students, teachers and administrators. Because of this award, Gibson will be able to travel to the ALA 2010 Annual Conference for the first time.

Gibson is a school librarian at Bishop Dunne Catholic School in Dallas, Tex. In her letter of support for Gibson, school president Kate Dailey said, "As an inner city school with 75% minority population, there are no funds for upgrading a library. Melanie has been at the forefront of drives for parents to celebrate special occasions with a book purchase and improving school awareness of the importance of maintaining an up-to-date library with a central function."

Taking over the school library program only a week before the 2009-2010 school year began, Gibson quickly went to work updating the library's collection, revamping the look of the library and making the facility more inviting. She increased the library hours, reestablished a monthly book club, hung student artwork and updated the library Web site.

"Ms. Gibson has accomplished much in only two years. She took an inner city school with a 75% minority population, with no funds and outdated materials and transformed it into an attractive and essential component of the school. Her passion, leadership and energy captured the hearts of the students, the faculty of Bishop Dunne Catholic School and the support of the Henne committee. We feel that Ms. Gibson will continue to be an asset to her students and a contributing school library leader," said Frances Henne Award Subcommittee chair Catherine Marriott.

Gibson will be honored at AASL's Awards Luncheon during ALA's 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The luncheon will be held Mon., June 28.

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library 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 field.