The Library was my favorite place to be as a kid. I love books, love being surrounded by books, and love the smell of books. I struggled with assignments on the Dewey Decimal System, however, and often got in trouble for not shutting the card catalog drawers quietly. I was an average researcher in college, often getting stuck formatting my footnotes, checking out AV equipment,  or figuring out the Microfiche machine.  I ended up sitting in the reference section looking at encyclopedias wondering how in the world I was going to finish this paper in time.  It hasn’t been all that long since I was in MIddle School either, but when I look at the modern library, it feels like a century ago.

Tori Schneider, Media Director at Hancock County Middle School, is not your average Librarian. She has created a streamlined, easy-to-navigate website that would allow any student or staff member the ability to find exactly what they were looking for, and more. Her website is simple and well designed; yet behind each book on the main page, young researchers will find a surprising depth of information.  Whether students are logging Accelerated Reader Points, searching for a book, researching an assignment, or wanting to practice their reading skills, they will find these easily……and then quickly find their way back to the main page.  Watch the HCMS Announcements, schedule time in the Computer labs, or listen to podcasts on recommended books.  Learn how to submit an assignment to Edmodo, create a Voki, search YouTube, or watch and listen to fantastic, student-created Book Trailers.

This is the library of the 21st Century, and Ms. Schneider is a 21st Century Educator. We are thrilled to announce that she has earned our 5th and final Champions Package.  Her website is a tool – a working, growing, ever-changing instrument for research and exploration. It’s not just a pretty site, or a site worked over for today’s judging; rather, it works continuously, available for students and teachers when they need it. The students and staff of Hancock County Middle School will probably never find themselves sitting in the reference section trying to figure out how to finish their research, or how to work the Microfiche machine.  Her students will, no doubt, spend their time exploring the world through words and images, in books or on screens, thanks to the inspiring behind the scenes work of their librarian: Ms. Schneider.

Congratulations to Tori! The iPods, iPad, iMacs and Apps will certainly enhance her library and be put to use by the students of today, as they prepare for the world of tomorrow.