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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
December 23, 2009     Hays Free Press
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December 23, 2009

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Page 4B EDUCA110N Hays Free Press * December 23, 2009 Tobias librarian reaps pair of honors BY JIM CULLEN The Tobias Elementary School library website cites a simple, but challenging mis- sion statement, vowing to "inspire a lifelong quest for learning by facilitating aca- demic, social, and emotional growth in a risk free nurturing environment." It concludes with the advice, "Be an ex- plorer of books." Tobias librarian Karen Kes- sel strives to meet the terms of that mission statement ev- ery day and her professional: efforts have recently drawn national recognition through the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), of which she is a member. The recognition comes in the form of a pair of selections to national panels. Kessel heard in November that she has been chosen as one of 28 members to partici- pate in the "Bill Morris Semi- I nar: Book Evaluation Train- ing," a gathering set for next month in Boston, just prior to the American Library As- sociation (ALA) mid-winter meeting. The invitational semi- nar honors its namesake's dedication "to connecting librarians and children with excellent children's books." According to an ALA release, the gathering brings together participants who have served on media evaluation com- mittees with those who have limited experience in the area to mentor and train the inexperienced group. Kessel is clearly one of the former group. Noting that the seminar had drawn nearly a hundred applications from across the country, ALSC's Kathleen Homing termed the compe- tition for slots "really stiff." Further reinforcing Kes- sel's credentials for the Mor- ris Seminar is her most recent "even better news," the an- nouncement that she's been appointed to the ALAs 2011 Randolph Caldecott Medal Committee. That prestigious award, honoring one of the most influential children's il- lustrators in 19 th century Eng- PHOTO BY JIM CULLER Tobias Elementary librarian Karen Kessel strives to create a school culture where students love reading. Caught in a moment of enchanting readers (left to right) Marc Arnold, Trey Howe and Marissa Pedroza, Kessel has recently been honored with selection to a pair of national level posts, including the Caldecott Medal selection committee. land, goes to the artist of the most distinguished Ameri- can picture book for children published in the United States during the preceding year. The ever-busy local school librarian says of the Calde- cott Committee news, "It is a huge honor for a librarian! I am still in shock and awe." Tobias Principal Kristi Jack- son said of her staff member, "In a world of school librar- ians, Mrs. Kessel rises to the top," adding that what stands out the most about her li- brarian "is her commitment and dedication to achieving the things she sets out to do, whether it's a circulation goal or her highest professional goal of being selected for the Caldecott Committee. You can be sure she will accom- plish it." Nancy Turner, Hays CISD Director of Library Media Ser- vices, adds, "Dedicated, ener- getic, innovative and vision- ary are just a few of the words describing Karen Kessel. Her expertise in children's litera- ture will play an important role in the choices facing the Caldecott Committee. This is a prestigious honor and I am very proud of Karen." Ught healthy hmches: soups, quiche and chicken salad sandwiches Soda ddnks, coffees and ice cream Desserts: Pies, cookies, scones 203 Railroad St. Buda Pharmacy 312-2111 Fountain 312-2172 Fountain Hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. + TARGET00 ERA00 t