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OELMA Awards Season is HERE!

OELMA Awards Season is HERE! By Gayle Schmuhl 

This is an interesting blog piece for me to write as I now assume the Director of OELMA’s  Awards and Scholarships position.  I never envisioned that I would be the recipient of an award let alone become the director.  What does it mean to win such an award? First, it is indeed an honor to be selected by your peers for such an award. It means that you have accomplished something that has contributed in some small way positively to your profession. Somebody recognizes that contribution and believes in you enough to submit you for this honor. 

Secondly, it made me aware of my strengths as a school librarian. I am not the most creative, technologically adept, or even the best informed when it comes to the latest books, but I do love providing the best services to my staff and students. The students are what is my primary focus and I enjoy every day they step into the library. I want to ensure that they have a safe, and secure environment during the school day, but I also want the library to be someplace they remember long after they graduate from school. The way to achieve this I have always thought is to be the best school librarian I can be. I don’t have to be the best at everything but a kind face when a student is in crisis because their paper isn’t printed or they are afraid to tell me they may have misplaced their book is how I impact them each day they are in school.  

Finally, I find it easy to make the library relevant to the school including providing the types of service whether that is a class on plagiarism, the best resources, or a place where things happen, a club, activity, or special presentation.   I guess I like to say if there's anything interesting going on, it's happening in the school library.  Being the recipient of the Follett Solutions School Librarian of the Year in 2017 was a great honor and I hope that if you read this post will consider submitting yourself for this award and/or another worthy OELMA member.  

The award application/nomination window is Feb. 15 - March 29. All application materials for awards/scholarships must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on March 29. Go to  to get started on your application or to nominate another outstanding OELMA librarian.