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2021 OELMA Awards Spotlight on Grace Hammond, Collaborative School Library Award Winner

The Collaborative School Library Award recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school library media specialists and the school community through joint planning of a program, project, or event in support of the curriculum, using school library resources, and incorporating the AASL Standards. This year, we are celebrating a few school library media specialists! Let's meet one of them: Grace Hammond, a Media Specialist at Delaware Area Career Center. 
Q: How many years have you been a librarian/educator? 
A: I started working in libraries the day I turned 14! I've been a school librarian for 14 years but worked in public, academic, and special libraries before that.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
A: An explorer. (As a librarian, I feel like I got my wish.)
Q: What book have you read more than once, if any? And why?
A: My "go-to" book, which I usually have with me, is Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. I love this book for its fearless portrayal of human beings at their best and worst. The other book I read annually is Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan because I love the voice and I love the imperfect characters.
Q: Do you have a fun fact/unique talent you would like to share with us?
A: I lived in a yurt in Wyoming for almost 10 years and, during the pandemic, trained to be a doula. I love learning.
Q: What was your first job?
A: Shelver at the Oberlin Public Library.
Q: What is the furthest place you have traveled?
A: Probably South Africa.
Q: What is your favorite tech tool or app right now that you cannot live without?
A: Trello. 100%, Trello.
Q: What inspires you the most about working in education and libraries?
A: I believe in libraries, at their root and heart. I believe our field has always been progressive, adaptable, and revolutionary. I care a lot about integrating social-emotional skills, metacognition, and reflection as part of supporting students as "whole learners." I think this is the moment to bring that all together in new and exciting ways.
Q: Would you like to say anything specific about your award and/or winning your award within your spotlight?
A: I'm so honored. I'm also excited to share the Work Smarter Boot Camp with other librarians because it's a true work in progress and always growing as my program grows. I love collaboration and this conference is another way to do that.

Congrats, Grace, and thanks for your hard work and dedication!