Laredo ISD librarians and librarian assistants were recognized during a luncheon in celebration of National Library Week. The event was held at the LISD Performing Arts Complex in the Dr. Marcus Nelson Conference Center.  During the recognition luncheon Sandra Gonzalez of Macdonell Elementary School was selected and honored as LISD’s 2024 Librarian of the Year.  

City of Laredo Mayor Dr. Victor Trevino presented a proclamation proclaiming the week of April 2, to 6, as National Library Week in Laredo. LISD Board President Juan Ramirez Jr. and LISD Superintendent Dr. Sylvia Rios congratulated the librarians for leading the way in our school libraries.

“Libraries are extremely important for education. They are like a time machine that can take you to the past and the future as soon as you open a book,” said LISD Board President Juan Ramirez Jr. “LISD Librarians and Library aides plant seeds every day in the minds of our students where they develop our future leaders. I’m very proud of our librarians.”

“LISD recognizes and highlights the valuable role our libraries, librarians and library aides play in transforming the lives of our students and strengthening our school community,” said Dr. Sylvia G. Rios, LISD Superintendent. “The library is a special place that is filled with adventures and all the they have to do is open a book and read. LISD libraries are the place to be.”

Macdonell Elementary School’s principal, Michelle Gonzalez describes Gonzalez as an extraordinary librarian. “She is determined to make the library a place where all students, parents, teachers, and staff can learn, have fun and feel at “home” when they visit her library,” said Gonzalez. “The Librarian is after all the “Heart of the School” and Ms. Gonzalez embodies this in everything she does. She is a person that the kids come to for a warm hug and big smile. Her infectious personality pours into the students’ lives daily and ignites a hope for a better tomorrow.”

Gonzalez was overwhelmed with emotions when she was named Librarian of the Year. “When my name was called, I was blown away,” said Gonzalez. “I was so surprised I broke down in tears. I couldn't believe my name had been called.”

Ms. Gonzalez has many activities like Book Tasting and Master Chef Class which the students truly enjoy when participating in the library. During the holidays she does bedtime stories for her kids through her Google classroom where kids log in and listen to her read bedtime stories to them. Gonzalez also motivated her students through tangible and fun incentives that encourage them to become lifelong readers in the process.

“In my library, our students enjoy coming into a relaxed and cozy environment where they can share a good book with a buddy or listen to stories by my rocking chair,” said Gonzalez. “Our kids are constantly doing Accelerated Reading Challenges such as Board Game Day, Bingo Day, Monster Slime Lab, Master Chef Class, and Carnival Games. They also get treated to ice cream, popcorn, or pancakes with the principal, among other treats on special occasions. Students also love to do arts and crafts, go on virtual tours or do hands-on activities using the interactive clear touch panel, and other types of technology that are tied to the books we've read in the library.”

“As a librarian, I get to service all students from PK-5th. I get to do what I LOVE BEST - READ BOOKS,” said Gonzalez. “Teaching has always been my passion and I get to enhance and enrich what students are learning in the classroom by providing support to my teachers within my library lessons in so many different ways.  One of my goals as a Librarian is to make my library the heart of my school where students, teachers, and staff know that my library is a safe space where everyone is welcome.  It is a place where their imaginations can soar and they will be eager to return!”

All LISD librarians and librarian assistants were also recognized with a token of appreciation on behalf of the district.