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Senior School librarian recognized for contributions to profession
  • teacher holding award plaque

The Marky Award has been given annually since 2002, honouring members of the Association of Independent School Librarians (AISL) who have made a significant contribution to the organization over a long period of time. At the recent AISL virtual conference held during the March Break, Trinity College School’s Senior School librarian, Shelagh Straughan, was presented with this prestigious award. 

Speaking about Shelagh’s contributions was Katie Archambault, librarian at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School in Tennessee and last year’s award recipient, who said: “She is the type of librarian that we all aspire to be like, humble beyond belief, she goes above and beyond without ever seeking recognition or praise.” Ms. Archambault noted that Ms. Straughan is “always the first to volunteer to help out with virtual and in-person conferences, mentorship events and facilitating summer reading discussions. She works exceedingly hard behind the scenes, and she has been involved in every major event we’ve done over the past few years. She is one of the [AISL] blog’s original contributors, starting with its inception in 2014, inspiring us and making us laugh with her positivity, wit and grace, sharing practical lessons learned from living through a library renovation, creating a robust summer reading program, dealing with donations, sharing tried and true low tech makerspace ideas, and more philosophical lessons, like encouraging us to think about the value of failure in our lives.”

In addition to her role as library services director, Ms. Straughan has worn many hats during her 20 years at TCS, including teacher, advisor and assistant head of Wright House. She has worked tirelessly to ensure the library is a welcoming space for all, encouraging reading, writing, research and the sharing of ideas. She is sought out as a resource, a mentor and a sympathetic ear for students and staff alike. As one TCS library colleague noted, “Her deep wellspring of compassion for her fellow humans and her inspirational presence are treasures to all who have the privilege of working with her.”

In her presentation, Ms. Archambault added another quote from a TCS library colleague: “Most people around our community and in AISL will know that as a librarian, she is always seeking to do more. She is not content with the status quo – there is always more to learn and try. She is an amazing model of life-long learning. She has a passion for the School and community she works in and it shows in everything she does.”

Heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Straughan on this very well-deserved recognition!