June 2023 – Houston Middle School is celebrating a victory! The HMS librarian Emily Squires received recognition this past spring that she was the Tennessee Association of School Librarians Librarian of the Month! She won this award in April, and she is still unsure of who nominated her. However, Mrs. Squires is known for making the library a fun and interactive time for middle schoolers, so it is no surprise that she was honored with this award.
Mrs. Squires works to make the library so much more than just reading in the quiet. Her library has game tables, legos set, and spaces for kids to be able to just spend time chatting and getting to know one another. She said, “Middle schoolers are typically struggling to find joy in reading, so I get to show them what they can read to enjoy reading again. That’s my favorite part of being a librarian, getting to be with the kids and help them find joy in reading.” She gets to know her students individually, and she takes special care to help them find a book that they truly will love reading.
She is also known for creating unique crafts and projects for her ESE students, as well as welcoming them into her regular library sessions as well. Some of these projects included painting pumpkins for the fall and making gnomes for Christmas. This gives these students the opportunity to get to know each other better and interact with students that they might not see throughout the rest of their day. During library time, everyone comes together.
Not only did Mrs. Squires win this award, but she was also one of thirty-six librarians across the country to get the opportunity to travel to Saipan and learn about the Battle of Saipan and the United States’ relationship with the natives there through the National Endowment of the Humanities. She leaves for this trip in July and will certainly have many new stories to share with her students upon her return.
We are grateful for Mrs. Squires and for her hard work to help cultivate a love for reading and a space where every student can find a friend. Congratulations Mrs. Squires!!