Mardis to receive national recognition with AASL Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Marcia Mardis of The Florida State University’s College of Communication & Information (CCI) will receive the 2010 Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of School Librarians next month in Washington, D.C. The award, which recognizes “an outstanding national contribution to school librarianship and school library development,” will be presented at the American Library Association’s annual conference.

Mardis is an assistant professor in CCI’s School of Library & Information Studies and an associate director of FSU’s PALM Center, a research and evaluation center devoted to Partnerships Advancing Library Media. She has been recognized for her research on the intersection of school libraries, science learning and digital resources. In particular, she has been lauded for her efforts to raise awareness of the need for school librarians to support STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] achievement in schools.

Since 1999, Mardis has campaigned for greater recognition of school librarians in STEM outreach efforts and project design. Mardis has received $3 million of research support from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the National Science Foundation and other agencies for her work on school libraries and science. She received one of the first grants awarded by the NSF’s National Science Digital Library (NSDL) to help science researchers understand the power of school librarians as disseminators of resources and professional development opportunities.

“A decade after my first NSF grant, I am so pleased to hear school librarians mentioned in every conversation about building awareness and use of the National Science Digital Library in K-12,” Mardis said. “That accomplishment alone stands to change the way we do science in schools.”

In 2005, Mardis received the Beta Phi Mu Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for her study of school libraries and science achievement in Michigan middle schools. She also received the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME) Margaret Hayes Grazier Award for School Library Leadership. Mardis led the revision of Michigan’s Guidelines for School Library Media Centers. Her research and service was recognized with the 2009 MAME Presidential Award for Outstanding Service to School Libraries.

In 2006, Mardis became the only school library researcher to receive the Association for Library and Information Science Education Research Award for From One to One to One to Many: A Study of the Practicum in the Transition from Teacher to School Librarian. The study, which demonstrated the value of collection development and program leadership in helping teachers who are transitioning into new roles as school librarians, led school librarian programs throughout the United States, Australia, and Canada to revamp their expectations of students in practicum courses.

Mardis was asked to chair the NSF’s first National Accessioning Board, which earlier this year began reviewing and approving collections in the NSF’s Science Digital Library for accessioning (acceptance) and deaccessioning (pruning). The role confirmed her status as an expert at the nexus of digital libraries, education and science materials. She recently was listed as an author of the AASL’s Standards for the 21st Century Learner, now the basis for numerous articles, books, workshops, and presentations, which will ensure that her inquiry-based interdisciplinary learning philosophy will influence school librarians for years to come.

Learn more about Dr. Marcia Mardis. Read her curriculum vita.