Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) alumna Sue Kowalski G’03 was recently honored with one of the most prestigious awards in the Library and Information Science (LIS) field. Kowalski works as the school librarian for Pine Grove Middle School, which was named the National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) by the Association of School Librarians (AASL). This award recognizes school library programs that are dedicated to staying on top of the ever-changing educational landscape.

Kowalski has worked hard to integrate the library into the school’s curriculum and increase its visibility throughout the East Syracuse community, using a blend of traditional and more contemporary methods. From email and faculty meetings, to sporting events and band concerts, Kowalski takes every opportunity to connect with staff, students and parents. Some of the school’s administrators are even signed up to receive text messages with daily updates about library events.

“I am extremely proud of Sue and the work she has done at Pine Grove Middle School,” said iSchool Dean Elizabeth D. Liddy. “This award is a testament to the strength of our LIS program and I’m delighted to see Sue’s success.”

Kowalski will teach a workshop at the iSchool this summer as part of the “The Innovative Librarian” series. She will present “No Library Left Behind: Innovative Tools for Power Marketing Your Library” on August 20, which will focus on using technology to develop and implement a marketing strategy to increase awareness and maximize the potential of library programs and services.

Kowalski is also a member of the School Media Program’s Governing Council, a group comprised of select teachers, school administrators, New York State Education Department representatives, library system coordinators, faculty members from the iSchool and the School of Education. This advisory group meets once a year to discuss issues and provide counsel to the school media program director.

Pine Grove Middle School will receive $10,000 to use toward its school library program and will be honored at AASL’s award luncheon on June 27, 2011. The award is sponsored by Follett Library Resources.