BEST OF THE BEST
SAS Librarian Katie Archambault was honored on March 8 with the highest award given by the Association of Independent School Librarians (AISL) – the Marky Award. It is given annually to an AISL member who has made a significant contribution to the national organization. Archambault has been a leader in AISL for more than a decade and has held multiple roles within the organization, including hosting a summer institute, frequent blog contributor, annual conference liaison, president-elect, and board president.
At a ceremony announcing the honor, Archambault was recognized for her "willingness to try something new and out of her comfort zone." A long-time friend noted, "She jumps in where others fail to tread. She has a way of making challenges feel exciting and worthwhile." Associate Head of School Kelley Black describes her as "an ambassador for the school and for the library. Her 'super positive energy' is magnetic, not just in the library but in the dorms and anywhere she's found on campus. She supports the students and genuinely cares for them, teaching them to use information ethically and responsibly." In her second year at the school, Archambault's library cafe', Foggy Mountain Brew, has drawn students in for books and conversation. The library is full of life.
The Marky Award was inspired by Mark Hillsamer, the librarian at St. Albans School in Washington D.C. for 36 years. Hillsamer helped to establish AISL in 1987 and fostered its growth for 14 years. The Marky Award has been given annually since 2002. The award itself is a mask from Thailand of a lady who holds her index finger gently to her lips in a familiar “shushing” gesture. A mounted replica is given to the winner to be displayed in his or her library for a year, together with a small unpainted replica of the mask for the honoree to keep. The honoree is chosen by the past Marky winners.