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West Maple school library earns state award

By Lisa Brody

The Library of Michigan announced that Birmingham Public School's West Maple Elementary School's library has earned the state's 21st century Model School Library award for the 2021-2022 school year.

The library won this year's honor for its focus on bringing diverse life experiences to its school community, as well as providing outstanding academic support. The Library of Michigan said that “During the challenges brought about by the pandemic this past year, school librarian Carrie Betts created a virtual read aloud and discussion program, using titles from the MISELF in Books list, to her students and school community groups.”

MISelf in Books is an annual list from the state school librarians' Michigan Association for Media in Education that promotes quality diverse books for preschool through high school readers.

“The West Maple Elementary School library is a place where students and members of the community have opportunities to learn beyond their daily experiences, and that is a model for every school library,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice.

Rice noted that the support that 21st Century Model School libraries provide to their students and schools is aligned with Michigan's Top 10 strategic education plan.

Michigan state librarian Randy Riley said the quality work that Betts and West Maple principal Jason Pesamoska do for their students is an integral element to successful learning.

“Learning is about academics and also about understanding the wider community,” Riley said. “The support the school and school library are providing West Maple’s students as they learn about experiences outside their local environment are a successful part of that endeavor.”


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