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2008 Bookmark Contest: The Heart of Our Schools PDF Print E-mail
by Gerri FeganDivision 4 winner: Aubrie Hanson, Bishop Feehan Grade 11; Katherine Covintree - Library Teacher

School libraries have ardent fans.  “This was better than ‘Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?’” claimed one of the honorees at the fourth annual MSLA Bookmark Contest.  I have to admit that I love collecting the quotes from all the students who win awards at the State House each year.  Our contest was so special this year because we shared our celebration with the Massachusetts Library Association, and some of the best comments came from our colleagues at the public library.

“Wow! There are my best two librarians!” said the little sister of one of the bookmark contest winners. 

“And look!” said the child’s school librarian.  “We actually know each other!” 

“That is so cool!” said the beaming first grader.

On April 2nd, 2008, we joined our friends and colleagues who are public librarians in Massachusetts to celebrate students who love libraries.  There was a large audience of supporters: parents, teachers, and legislators who caught the infectious excitement in the Hall of Flags as each name was announced.

The judging for the fourth annual MSLA Bookmark Contest took place on Monday, March 3rd at the Plympton School in Waltham.  There were almost 300 entries from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from students in grades K-12 and, once again, local authors and illustrators, as well as members of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and other guests, spent three grueling hours selecting division winners and awards of honorable mention. 

Our panel consisted of Ann Perham, Region I Director-Elect of AASL; noted authors Mary Newell DePalma, Mitali Perkins, and Janet Tasjian; special guest Emily Elizabeth Bridwell; Vicki Kaufman, Irving Zangwill, and Em Claire Knowles, MBLC.  Most of these judges have been with the contest for three or more years – it is always a pleasure to have them participate in this contest.  They will always be welcome!

This year’s theme was “School Libraries: The Heart of Our Schools.”  Many librarians commented that they tied the theme into recent Valentine’s Day activities, and that school libraries were adorned with hearts and bookmarks.  And while hearts were abundant at the judging, there were so many original designs that were creative and innovative.  The judges noticed that students were using glow-in-the-dark colors and gold and silver.  Also, there were many pastel and watercolor bookmarks that were blended so carefully, as well as humorous anime characters that would make any cartoonist proud. 

The judges made their choices from the hundreds of bookmarks: 

In Division One, grades K-1: winner Thomas Houle, Douglas Elementary School, Douglas (MSLA member Elaine Loehmann); honorable mentions Sarah Donovan, Allen Avenue School, North Attleboro (MSLA member Tricia Svendsen); and Brigid Misage, Shawsheen Elementary School, Andover (MSLA member Liz Lamoreaux). 

In Division Two, grades 2-3: winner Isabella Mayo, Beebe Elementary School, Malden, (MSLA member Claire Pagnotta); honorable mentions Emai Lai, Bancroft School, Andover, (MSLA member Nancy Snow); and Melissa MacQueen, Boylston Elementary School, Boylston (MSLA member Shannon Bokankowitz). 

In Division Three, grades 4-6: winner Daria Lugina, Peaslee School, Northboro (MSLA member Nancy Riemer Kellner); honorable mentions Nicole Ericson and Sierra Jamir, both from West Middle School, Andover (MSLA member Gerri Fegan). 

In Division Four, grades 7-12: winner Aubrie Hanson, Bishop Feehan High School, Attleboro (MSLA member Katherine Covintree); honorable mentions Alaina Belanger, Hampshire Regional High School, Westhampton (MSLA member Andrea Belanger); and Bryan Camerlin, Bellamy Middle School, Chicopee (MLSA member Kathy Lanza).

At the State House, the students were honored by legislators with commendations and were presented with bookmarks for their classrooms and schools.  They listened to speeches made by senators and representatives who admired their artwork and shared their dedication to school libraries, and then they headed off to a tour of the historical State House building before lunch.  There were many smiles and handshakes before the day was through and many hearts were warmed by the friendships being formed between librarians and students.

I am quite nostalgic as this is my last Bookmark Contest.  I have fond memories of  breaking the news to winning school librarians and families and being present at so many judgings and ceremonies.  I hope that school librarians will encourage others in their districts to participate in this sparkling event.  It has been my pleasure to serve all the families and students who have participated over the years, and I eagerly await the opportunity to continue working with the MSLA Legislative Committee to make sure that school librarians get “more than just bookmarks to hold their places.”  Please consider being part of the Bookmark Committee to continue this collaborative celebration with the Massachusetts Library Association.





Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 May 2008 )

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