Below is a press release from the Shawsheen Tech:
BILLERICA, MA — The Massachusetts School Library Association (MSLA) awarded Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School Librarian Katie McGinness the 2022 Audrey Friend Scholarship during their annual conference last month.
The award was presented to McGinness during the MSLA Annual Conference on Saturday, March 26.
The scholarship, named after a long-time member of both the Massachusetts School Library Association and the Massachusetts Library Association, is presented annually to, “…an applicant who is currently enrolled in an academic program to earn the degree or certification necessary to become a library teacher.”
“I didn’t know my dream job would be a librarian when accepting a math aide position at Shawsheen a few years ago,” McGinness said. “I have always loved reading, so it was inevitable that during my time as an aide I would find my way to the library. It was there that I met the soon-to-retire Librarian Tricia Healey, who shared about the school librarian role.”
McGinness is in her second year as the librarian for Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, after two years of mentorship from recently retired successor Healey.
“Tricia’s mentorship was critical for me to attain this position, but more importantly, she instilled in me the importance this role plays in school culture and student success,” McGinness said.
McGinness has started the literacy initiative, “Walk a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes” to encourage students to read about people different from themselves, while promoting students to read more. This effort resonates with her vision for the library, as being a safe space for students to be themselves and explore.
She believes, “…the most important job a school librarian has, is being a safe and reliable adult for students.”
McGinness has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and joined the Shawsheen staff in 2018. She is enrolled at Salem State University and is expected to graduate with a Masters’s in Education (Library Media) in the fall of 2022.
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