Teacher Librarian, Garden City High School, NY; Part-time Youth Services Librarian, Freeport Memorial Library, NY; Adjunct Professor, St. Joseph’s College, Patchogue, NY
MLS, St. John’s University, New York, 2004
Teacher Librarian, Freeport High School, NY; Part-time Bilingual Reference Librarian; Leader of adult Spanish Language Book Club, Freeport Memorial Library, NY
Master’s of School Administration and Supervision, Touro University, New York, 2006; MLIS, C.W. Post, Long Island University, NY, 1998
Photo by RON WURZER/GETTY IMAGES FOR LIBRARY JOURNAL
When Margaux DelGuidice (l.) joined the Freeport Public Schools in 2004 as teacher librarian at the Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School, she met Rose Luna, a teacher librarian at the Freeport High School, at the monthly meeting for school district librarians. The two were (and still are) also coworkers at their hometown library, Freeport Memorial, where both work part-time.
“Things were bad in our district back then,” recalls DelGuidice. “Budgets were slashed, the libraries were severely outdated, resources were scarce, and morale was incredibly low. Rather than using our meetings as a place to complain without any real outcomes, Rose was leading our group toward change.”
The two immediately connected, agreeing on issues like “the importance of advocating for school libraries and building community connections,” says DelGuidice. Six months later, they gave their first presentation, to the local school board, highlighting the link between certified school librarians and student achievement. More presentations followed—to PTA members, public librarians, and administrators—leading to increased library funding for school district libraries. Rocco Staino, School Library Journal contributing editor, says their efforts “increased visibility [for their libraries] and created sustained support and respect for their programs.” More important, they “saw the need for teacher librarians to be in positions of leadership…and rose to the challenge,” he says.
More than seven years later, the duo, who both hold down full-time teacher librarian positions (DelGuidice is now at nearby Garden City HS), still work to make a difference for students and communities—but now their advocacy efforts have gone national. They’ve done three national conference presentations.One of their books, Make a Big Impact @ Your School Board Meeting (Linworth: ABC-CLIO, 2012), positions school and public librarians to do what they have done: create and deliver a successful presentation about the link between librarians and student achievement. They also created a wiki for the book. In late 2012, they began offering webinars to librarians on their successful advocacy methods. And they plan to take these webinars directly to administrators.
“The demand for this type of focused marketing and key advocacy information remains extremely high, especially when economic times are difficult and library programs are vulnerable,” says Luna. Their collaboration also embodies an important emerging trend: building bridges between school and community libraries.