Sally Cameron is the Elementary School Librarian at Marymount International School and finalist for the prestigious SLA Librarian of the Year Award. Her nomination for this award, given each year by the UK-based School Library Association, was in response to the work she has done transforming Marymount’s library.
Cameron arrived at Marymount in 1997 as a teacher in the Early Childhood program. In 2007 she moved into her current position in the library, implementing many changes, including utilizing Follett resources, such as Titlewave®, Follett Shelf™, and Destiny® Library Manager™, which allow her to conduct her professional duties more efficiently.
Marymount International School is an English-language school located in Rome, Italy. It follows a U.S.-based curriculum; the elementary grades encompass 310 students from nearly 41 countries.
Sally Cameron, School Librarian of Marymount International School, tackled many challenges before the library became the winning program it is today. “Since I took over the library, I have used Follett as the place to go for ordering books,” she says.
She uses Titlewave, Follett’s free online collection development and curriculum support tool for librarians, teachers, and administrators. With Titlewave she can perform comprehensive searches, create and manage lists, place orders, understand the make-up of her library collection and more.
In addition to Titlewave, Cameron also uses Destiny, Follett’s cost-effective and acclaimed browser-based library management solution. Destiny provides quick and easy access to enriched, educator-reviewed digital content and tools that help librarians like Cameron as well as educators find, share, and use print and digital resources. With its integrated platform, Follett Shelf, gives students access to print books, along with digital resources, like downloadable audio books and eBooks.
One might think Cameron’s physical location could pose a challenge in terms of service. As an international customer for Follett, she is literally half-way around the world from our U.S. headquarters. But she always receives the service and support she needs.
“We are lucky to have Anna Cosio as our Follett rep here in Europe,” Cameron says. “She gets back to us very quickly and is always helpful, and as a result, the time difference doesn’t affect us much.
We are also fortunate to have Rafaela Alonso helping us with our transition to Destiny. She has selflessly dragged herself out of bed in the wee small hours to give us Skype workshops and instruction.”
With such a diverse make-up, the library is often the place where students and parents go to put down roots and connect with others in their educational community. Cameron has created a book-loving community that embraces families, many of them new to the city and from many different countries. “I work really hard to include students and parents as much as possible,” she says.
One of the ways in which she does this is with Rise and Read breakfast sessions, which encourages children and their parents to read together in the library prior to the start of the school day. “I make coffee and the parents take turns bringing muffins and croissants. It’s sociable, but calm and focused,” she says of the program. “There’s no pressure: if families are rushed in the morning and can only manage the last 15 minutes, that’s fine. The point is that the children see the adults making time to read.”
And if someone is looking for a book she doesn’t have, it’s not a problem; she can turn to Titlewave. “Titlewave helps me create lists of books and I can get things ordered for teachers, students and parents. Having happy patrons is very important!” she says.