April is School Library Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning. At the heart of these libraries are school librarians like Monica Abrams at Graham Park Middle School and Karen Scott at Mountain View Elementary School, who do much more than just manage books.

Monica AbramsMonica Abrams and students

Monica Abrams has been an integral part of PWCS and Graham Park Middle School for over a decade. As a librarian, she has dedicated herself to fostering a love of learning and exploration among students. Her innovative spirit led to the creation of the Makerspace Lounge within the library—a dynamic space where students can design, create, and think independently. This initiative has significantly expanded access to STEM activities for a broader range of students, enhancing Graham Park’s focus on math and science.

Monica recognizes that the responsibilities of a school librarian have evolved significantly over the years. While the traditional role involved being “keepers of the books,” today’s librarians are instructional partners. They collaborate with teachers, contribute to the instructional core, and guide students in becoming good digital citizens. Monica’s commitment extends beyond curating resources; she inspires a passion for reading and equips students with essential technology skills.

Monica prides herself on making the library a collaborative and safe space for all students. She has an enthusiasm for working with students and remains dedicated to providing access and fostering a welcoming environment for everyone.

"Hands down, the thing that keeps me most energized as a librarian is working with the kids,” shared Abrams. “They are the favorite part of my day. The best part of my day. They are inquisitive. I can meet the challenge of finding a kid a book to read. Or bring them into the library for the STEM makerspace. Just having access to them. Because that's what this is all about.”

Karen ScottKaren Scott reads to students

Karen Scott has been serving the students at Mountain View Elementary School for 14 years. Her role has significantly evolved over the years, reflecting the changes in K-12 education.

On any given day, Scott’s responsibilities as a school librarian are diverse and extensive. She provides individual book recommendations, records book requests from students, places holds on requested books, and delivers them to students throughout the day.

Scott's impact extends beyond the traditional library setting. She has been instrumental in implementing statewide programs like Reading Makes Cents, fostering financial literacy among students. Also, her role as host of the Mountain View’s Battle of the Books team shows her commitment to promoting literacy and teamwork. She also supports students that visit the library for STEM Maker Stations and communicates with teachers for upcoming collaborations.

What keeps Scott energized in her role as a librarian is her connection with the students and the ever-changing nature of the librarian role, ensuring that every day brings something new and different.

During the challenging times of the pandemic, Karen’s innovative spirit shone through. She led efforts to have a bookmobile deliver books directly to students’ homes, ensuring that learning continued when the school building wasn’t open.

“Librarians are less ‘media specialists’ and more jack-of-all trade educators who are flexible enough to research, teach adults and students, program on a schoolwide scale, and still deliver just the right book to one individual reader,” shares Scott.

PWCS school librarians like Monica Abrams and Karen Scott are instructional partners, collaborators, and technology guides. Their impact extends far beyond the traditional library setting, fostering a love for reading, equipping students with essential skills, and championing innovative programs.