February 8, 2016

Jennifer LaGarde | Movers & Shakers 2012 — Advocates

Edgy Library Girl

Jennifer LaGarde Movers & Shakers 2012


Myrtle Grove Middle School, Wilmington, NC

MLS, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, 2007

Library Girl
School Library website

Photo ©Sean McGinty Photography LLC

You may know Jennifer LaGarde as one of the winners of the 2011 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times American Library Association I Love My Librarian! award. Or you may know her as the mind behind the blog The Adventures of Library Girl, which was nominated for a 2011 Edublog award. Maybe you’re one of the more than 1500 people following ­@jenniferlagarde on Twitter, have participated in one of her Teacher-Library Virtual Café presentations, or you are one of the librarian-dots on the Google map of North Carolina (ow.ly/9cyZt) that she created as a hopeful response to A Nation Without School Libraries.

A former language arts teacher, LaGarde, now a teacher-librarian at Myrtle Grove Middle School, has only been in the library field for five years. Yet she’s having a big impact. Her knowledge-sharing presentations and library advocacy, most notably through the North Carolina School Library Media Association, influence librarians statewide.

“The budget situation in North Carolina is dire, and school library jobs have been lost, but Jennifer’s twist on this situation gives all members of the NC school library community a chance to learn advocacy strategies from others,” says Kelly Brannock, a school library consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public ­Instruction.

LaGarde’s Web 2.0 ease, pedagogy, and collaborative spirit have put her name on the national map, says Gwyneth A. Jones, a teacher-librarian at Murray Hill Middle School in Laurel, MD (and a 2011 M&S).

“I first became aware of this edgy Library Girl a couple of years ago, when I was growing my Twitter personal learning network because she always replied to my tweets with great ideas, suggestions, and resources,” says Jones. “Her approach to librarianship is one of fierce advocacy for literacy and lifelong reading combined with a fearless ability to try new things, all for the benefit of her most important customers—her students.”

With up to eight classes in her library every day, that’s who LaGarde spends most of her time with. “Though I am also a reader and a major tech geek, first and foremost, I am a teacher,” she says. “I have the best gig in the world…how much fun it is to be the person in the school who connects kids to books, new technologies, and the skills they need to navigate our social, online world.”

Create the Library Your Community or Campus Needs
LTC Online Course Join Library Journal and a roster of design experts for our latest 4-week interactive online course. Starting January 27, 2016, Library Design Workshop will guide participants through complex issues of library space design projects such as space programming, fundraising, and finding the right design team.
  • Develop a roadmap to create a flexible library space suited to your community.
  • Inspiring ideas, concepts, and perspectives from leaders in the library design field.
  • Build a framework to create a robust report for key stakeholders.
Lead the Change logoLTC register Lead the Change
Library Journal's Lead the Change offers timely resources and tools to stay ahead of the innovations and changes impacting the library profession. Library staff at all levels can participate in hands-on live events, access insightful on-demand webcasts, and enroll in LTC Leadership Academy - Online, a new online learning program that will help staff learn essential skills to advance their careers, solve problems unique to their libraries, and put strategic plans into action. LEARN MORE


  1. TW Connors says:

    Wow!!! I knew this young lady a long time ago…and even then she was a remarkable teacher!!! Keep up the great work Mrs. LaGarde!!!

  2. I am so tickled pink & proud of the AWESOME Jennifer La Garde, this distinction is so well deserved! Honored to be one of her mentors & can’t rave enough about this cutting edge teacher librarian. W00t!
    ~Gwyneth Jones
    The Daring Librarian