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Oak Park Middle School’s Melony LeMay, MLIS, can add Librarian of the Year to her already long list of credentials. The school library media specialist was recently given this title for the 2012-2013 season after parents, students and teachers nominated her. (Special to the American Press)<br>

Oak Park Middle School’s Melony LeMay, MLIS, can add Librarian of the Year to her already long list of credentials. The school library media specialist was recently given this title for the 2012-2013 season after parents, students and teachers nominated her. (Special to the American Press)

Oak Park employee named Librarian of the Year

Last Modified: Monday, December 24, 2012 10:45 AM

By Nichole Osinski / American Press

Oak Park Middle School’s Melony LeMay, MLIS, can add “Librarian of the Year” to her already long list of credentials.

The school library media specialist was recently given this title for the 2012-2013 season after parents, students and teachers nominated her.

“I consider it an honor and that I am representing all the librarians in the area,” LeMay said. “I’m a big advocate of information literacy and students need to know how to use the library properly.”

LeMay’s experience comes from 22 years of professional teaching experience, with 16 at Oak Park.

Getting students to read and use the library has been LeMay’s central focus. To prepare for that role, she returned to school to get her master’s in Library & Information Science from LSU in 2011.

She also received a full scholarship from the Project Recovery, Laura Bush Foundation. It recruits and educates librarians to help in communities that are short-staffed due to the flooding and hurricane in 2005. LeMay is actively involved with both the Louisiana Library Association and the American Library Association. Those professional organizations have provided her with outlets to work with other librarians across the state to find ways to improve education for teens.

“She does things like having parent volunteers come in and putting pictures of students on desktops so they feel that they’re important when they go in the library,” said Calcasieu Parish School System Library consultant Helen Curol, MLIS. “She is a can-do person; there is nothing too big or too small that she says ‘I can’t do that’ — she tackles everything that anybody asks her to do.”

On a local level, LeMay can be found looking for new books that she thinks might interest students and encourage them to read. She incorporates parents into the reading system with family reading nights and sponsors a School Library Club. Outside of the school’s library, LeMay is continually involved with reading-related events such as the Louisiana Association of Library and Media Professionals, the Region 5 Technology & Training Conference and the National Middle School Association.

For the students at her school LeMay tries to not only instill a love of reading but provide a place they can enjoy the books. She decorates the library in a way that is both inviting and warm — more like a coffee shop than simply a room with shelved books.

Because of LeMay’s efforts, the school has seen positive results and during the 2011-2012 year had a per-capita average of 47 books read by students — the second-highest among middle schools.

Now she has been nominated through LLA for the LASL School Media Specialist of the Year to represent Calcasieu Parish. In the meantime, she plans to continue making the library and its books a place students enjoy.

“I want to motivate them to read and to develop a lifelong love of reading and learning,” she said. “If you can discover what a teen likes and what their interests are, you can get them hooked on reading — it’s a challenge to me.”

Posted By: Joan Vallee On: 3/24/2013

Title: Mrs.

Congratulations, Melony! I am so proud of your success at Oak Park Middle School. What an honor you were given being named LASL School Media Specialist (Librarian) of the Year for Calcasieu Parish. This is quite an accomplishment. I wish you much success as you work to encourage and enhance the love of reading in the students at Oak Park Middle School, so that they may enjoy reading, discover more about the world we live in, and have a better chance for success in life. .

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