Sarah from Battle Creek, Michigan

1. How long have you known the nominee and how did you come to know him or her?
I have known Margaret (Gigi) since I began my internship in the English department at Lakeview High School in August 2001.  I was then hired by the district in January and have had a close friendship with Gigi ever since.

2.  Please list a few ways in which the nominee has helped you and others and made your experience of the library a positive one.
Gigi is an invaluable resource to all staff members at Lakeview.  Although she is primarily in the media center, she interacts with students and teachers throughout the building.  For example, Gigi has helped facilitate an exit skill assignment in English 3 involving reading and presenting a fiction book. Details of the assignment are available at
dbouc_unit_uid1=202&lesson_id  To introduce students to a student-friendly book selection process, Gigi visits all English 3 classrooms during the first month of school. She demonstrates the use of our school’s Web-based Destiny catalog which has a graphical interface. Students learn how they can browse for enjoyable reading material online, viewing book covers, annotations, reviews and even 1st chapter excerpts of books. These features can be viewed at  Gigi also shows students how to place interloan requests through MeLCat, Michigan’s statewide resource sharing network. Students appreciate the fact that Lakeview High School is one of just a handful of K12 libraries in Michigan that have been selected as a MeLCat participant. Lakeview students and staff thus have access to over 30 million items which can be borrowed and delivered directly to our library.  Gigi also gives students a handout summarizing book selection through Destiny and MeLCat. The handout is available on the LHS Library Website at  She points out Websites accessible from the Reading page at that offer suggestions for free reading, for example the Gale database What Do I Read Next.  The classroom visit is popular with students who have a chance to meet Mrs. Lincoln, face-to-face. They remember the seasonal bookmarks and miniature candy bars that she brings along!  Gigi returns to the classroom when book reports are underway, recording student presentations and posting these oral reviews to the Reading page of the LHS Library Website. See example at  Another example of Gigi's assistance is with the English 4 exit research paper.  This exit skill assignment is a four-week unit involving five days in the library. Gigi not only introduces the class to online and print resources but also works individually with students, guiding them in the research process throughout the unit. The assignment is described at Students gather in the library where Mrs. Lincoln gives a presentation highlighting the following resources: Destiny catalog (including LHS library books, ebooks and suggested Webpath Express sites), MeLCat, CQ Researcher, Issues & Controversies from, Infotrac, Gale Virtual Reference Library, and MLA source citations.  Students are provided with a handout summarizing these resources and are also directed to online instructional tutorials which Mrs. Lincoln has created at and

3. How has the library, and the nominee, improved the quality of your life?
The library has further impacted students and the instructional process through its own venture into online learning. During the academic year 2007-2008, a hybrid online course was piloted by Gigi at Lakeview High School. The Introduction to Information Literacy course was created in response to a newly mandated Michigan Department of Education online learning graduation requirement. Blackboard Learning Management System was utilized for instruction. Students included 11th and 12th graders who also gained real world library work experience.  As Introduction to Information Literacy proved a successful curricular offering, Gigi made it a priority to collaborate with colleagues in the interest of impacting student achievement in other courses. She worked with fellow teachers to incorporate various online information literacy activities from the Blackboard course into instructional units taught in other academic departments at Lakeview High School. For example, Dawn Goodman in the Social Studies Department shared with me that as part of an assignment for a unit focusing on Web 2.0 tools (coinciding with the observance of Teen Tech Week, March 2-8, 2008), library assistants in the Blackboard course learned how to set up Blogline accounts. Students in a Global Economics course then engaged in a similar project, co-taught by Gigi and Dawn. Students created aggregators to bring in news feeds and also search alerts from the library’s subscription databases. The Global Economics course is designed to provide students with knowledge and tools needed to make rational economic decisions for themselves and our nation while also developing critical thinking skills with which to address the challenges and complexities of globalization. The inclusion of the Bloglines project allowed students to demonstrate mastery of technology tools for accessing information and pursuing inquiry.  Gigi also gave a paper about the online Introduction to Information Literacy course at the International Association of School Librarianship Conference held at Berkeley this past August 2008. An introductory clip about her presentation is available at and the entire session was recorded at  In another assignment that took place in the context of the Information Literacy course, a Lakeview High School student gained national recognition for her entry in the 2008 Library of Congress Letters About Literature contest. Senior Katelyn Wright was one of three winners from the state of Michigan in a contest that saw more than 59,000 winners nationwide.,1607,7-192--190761--,00.html  Through her background in Holocaust education and her position as a Museum Teacher Fellow with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Gigi has designed some important supplemental activities impacting students and the learning process at Lakeview High School. She developed blogging projects involving the works of Elie Wiesel and Gerda Weissmann Klein that have enriched Holocaust studies while supporting meaningful technology integration into the curriculum.  During the school year 2005-2006, 10th grade students from Cold Spring Harbor High School, New York, participated with Lakeview students in an online blog while reading Elie Wiesel’s memoir, Night. Gigi set up and monitored the blog at:  Historical and literary ‘prompts’ allowed students to address such topics as Dehumanization, A Memorable Quotation, and Spiritual Resistance and Faith. Additional links encouraged students and teachers to do research related to Wiesel’s memoir.  At the conclusion of this collaboration, students in both schools exchanged class photos; they wrote articles for their high school newspapers; the “Great Blog” was published in An End to Intolerance, the online global magazine of Cold Spring Harbor’s Holocaust/Genocide Project, Elie Wiesel wrote letters to the students and teachers to congratulate them on their fine work together.  Following a presentation about the Night blog at the National Council of Teachers of English in November 2007, a new round of blogging began between Lakeview and Cold Spring Harbor but also bringing in Columbia Falls High School from Montana. While the organization of posts on the blog remained the same, a new feature included an Unanswered Questions section (similar to Ask the Expert). Additionally, at the conclusion of the reading of Night, Lakeview students were privileged to hear Holocaust survivor and artist Dr. Miriam Brysk give a moving and informative presentation. Students shared with Miriam some of their own writings and reflections which were also published on the Night blog. See Gigi developed an additional blog project for Lakeview students focusing All But My Life, the memoir of Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein. Mrs. Klein was invited to speak at Battle Creek’s W.K. Kellogg Auditorium in April 2007, corresponding to Holocaust Remembrance Day. Funding was obtained from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Other Michigan students were given the opportunity to attend Klein’s address and to participate in a blog set up at  Over 3400 requests were received for students to attend the April event while the seating capacity of the auditorium was only 1900.  Lakeview High School students in a history class taught by Scott Durham read All But My Life and were joined in blog discussion by two other high school classes and by senior citizens from the Lifelong Learning Program at the local Kellogg Community College. Discussion topics focused on Historical Relevance, Life and Religion, the Power of Good, the Power of Evil, Family and Friendship, and Individual Characters. Lakeview students also participated in a Klein videoconference organized by the University of Pennsylvania (MAGPI) and were challenged to engage in service learning projects.  Gerda Klein’s April 16, 2007 address had a lasting impact and was video streamed and archived by MERIT Network via Internet2 at  Gigi has further had an impact on students and the learning process through her involvement in School Improvement work (SIP). Lakeview High School will soon be undergoing a Quality Assurance Review (QAR) by a visiting team from AdvancEd, the accrediting organization that has taken over for the North Central Association.  To facilitate SIP collaborative work, Gigi first set up a wiki at in 2006 and has updated and maintained this site. The Research page at  connects to library databases and brings in live news feeds from CNN, New York Times, and Michigan Department of Education.  Newer pages for AdvancEd Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 provide a place to organize electronic files and links to practices and artifacts, examples of evidence.

4. How does the nominee make the library a better place? Please be specific.
Through her involvement in special projects that have brought several renowned individuals and supplemental resources to our community, Gigi has helped to make Lakeview a school of choice in Southwest Lower Michigan. For example, in 2002, she wrote and received funding for a Kellogg Foundation Expert-in-Residence Grant to bring Big6 co-founder Robert Berkowitz to Battle Creek, Michigan. Berkowitz provided information problem solving training for area librarians and educators in a Big6 workshop. Gigi then led professional development training in the Big6 approach for Lakeview staff and created a Big6 introductory video along with Lakeview’s Theater Arts students. The video is published on the Big6 site at  Gigi was responsible for the Battle Creek community’s hosting of two major traveling exhibitions from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Oskar Schindler in 2003 and Life in Shadows: Hidden Children and the Holocaust in 2005. In each instance, she created instructional materials for teachers to use in support of their students’ visits to the exhibitions. In conjunction with the Life in Shadows exhibition, she received additional grant funding to bring filmmaker and child survivor Pierre Sauvage to speak both at Lakeview High School and to the adult community.  Gigi contributes to the betterment of Lakeview High School through her work as National Honor Society Advisor, a position which she has held since 1975. Within the context of NHS, she developed the first All-City Quiz Bowl program for Battle Creek schools and organized a Quiz Bowl conducted over DIAL (Distance Interactive Learning) fiber optic network. She initiated an annual project whereby National Honor Society students escort senior citizens to school musicals each year and established an ongoing tutoring program.  Lakeview’s NHS Induction Ceremony has seen such noted guest speakers over the years as U.S. Senator Carl Levin, U.S. Congressman John Schwarz and Rice University Head Basketball Coach Ben Braun (formerly at Eastern Michigan University). Gigi has also encouraged and supported student-led service learning projects. For example, Lakeview High School National Honor Society members received funding for a student run free ACT tutoring program modeled after a similar program operated by Sylvan Learning Center.  As one of the senior staff members at Lakeview High School, Gigi has welcomed the chance to be in charge of a Sunshine fund, providing gifts for colleagues (teachers, administrators, and secretaries) and is always certain to acknowledge important life cycle events in our lives.  For many years, she organized staff luncheons, cookie exchanges, holiday activities and this year even created a Lakeview High School social network at to facilitate staff get-togethers.

5. How has the librarian made a difference in the community?
Gigi has demonstrated leadership in the school community and library media profession through her pursuit of lifelong learning. For example, in 2004, she was one of 10 librarians in the United States chosen to receive a full fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in Information Science through a distance-based interdisciplinary program at the University of North Texas (UNT). With funding from the Institute of Museums and Libraries, the program covered tuition, technology support and travel to Denton, Texas, over a two-year period.  The group of librarians or “cohort” members participated in a doctoral program that went beyond the traditional brick and mortar setting by creating a blended learning environment of online education and onsite interaction. Like other cohort members while engaged in the program, Gigi continued to work full-time as a library media specialist at Lakeview High School.  Her research was connected to another fervent interest and project that took place in Battle Creek coinciding with her involvement in the UNT program. Through her position as a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellow, she helped bring a traveling exhibition about Hidden Children in the Holocaust from the Museum in Washington, DC to the local Battle Creek Art Center in 2005 and organized an accompanying educational outreach program. The topic of her dissertation thus became “The Online and Onsite Holocaust Museum Exhibition as an Informational Resource: A Comparative Analysis.”  After receiving her degree from UNT, Gigi accepted a part-time position to teach online at the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University (SJSU).  At the 2008 International Association of School Librarianship Conference held in Berkeley, she gave a presentation about her first experience of teaching a cohort of 29 classroom teachers (newly appointed library media specialists from San Francisco Unified School District) who had entered the master’s program at SJSU.  Gigi has also assumed an active role in the library media profession through her position as a database trainer for the Library of Michigan since 2001. Her knowledge of updates to online resources made available to Michigan libraries benefits users at Lakeview High School.  Gigi has served as chair of the Regional Media Center (REMC) 12 Council since 2002, a group of library media professionals who meet regularly throughout the school year and engage in collaborative work. For example, the REMC 12 Council recently submitted an entry to a contest that was organized by Dr. David Loertscher through Teacher Librarian and that sought visual representations of new AASL Learning Standards.  Gigi has been a frequent conference presenter at the Michigan Association of Media in Education (MAME) and at the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL). She has contributed professional articles to such publications as Library Media Connection and School Library Journal.  Her complete resume is available at