Shannon K. Horton
Decorah Middle School and High School
"She is fiercely dedicated to best practice in all areas of library science, whether that be teaching media literacy, finding ways for students to connect to books, adding more current titles to the collections, or vetting new technology tools to help teachers and students get the most out of their learning experiences."
Shannon has demonstrated a commitment to making sure all of Decorah’s students see themselves represented in the books available in the school’s libraries and bringing that representation into the classroom. She helped the high school’s Gay/Straight Alliance create a traveling display to appear in classrooms for a week at a time and in the library the remainder of the year. Shannon has been intentional about purchasing books with LGBTQ characters and has posted signs in the library designating the space a safe zone.
Colleagues highlight Shannon’s work as an adviser to the high school’s “Racial Equality Union,” a racially diverse student group that works to educate students’ peers about their experiences as part of a minority. Under her guidance, members of the group created lessons for third-grade students addressing racism and celebrating differences, then built classroom libraries for teachers in the district covering slavery and modern anti-racist work. Books were carefully chosen to be independent reading choices for students as well as read-aloud options that could be led by classroom teachers. As her nominators noted, “The project was a resounding success on many levels, and we could not have pulled it off without Shannon’s expertise and guidance throughout.
Shannon was honored during the 2022 I Love My Librarian virtual award ceremony. Listen to her remarks below!