Kim Marr has a “connector” personality. She epitomizes what libraries do every day; she connects people with people, and people with resources; she facilitates learning and encourages personal growth and community development. Her passion for libraries and her extraordinary ability to work quietly behind the scenes has enriched school libraries in the province for two decades.
Kim graduated from the Library and Information Technology program in 1980. She has worked at the RRCC Library, the Legislative Library and the Millennium Library (Centennial at that time) before finding her passion in school libraries. Kim has dedicated herself to the library at Linden Christian School since 1998. During Kim’s time at Linden Christian School, the library has evolved from a temporary space for the K-Grade 8 school to a literary rich, visually beautiful, well equipped and stimulating learning commons for students K to 12. Early years students are immersed in literature as library staff dress in character for the Book Fair. Students are supported in creative programming with a video creation room equipped with green screens, cameras and sound equipment found in the Makerspace area. Library staff collaborate with teaching staff to develop their students’ digital literacy skills by providing library computer access using digital subscription resources for content and NoodleTools.
Principal Lorraine Kehler explains how Kim exemplifies a life-long learner, “It is a pleasure to have Kim Marr as a librarian as she works from a lifelong learner context for herself and encourages it in others. She has a “can do” approach to her work and connects with students, parents and staff in a way that builds our community and makes our library one of the “hubs” of our school.” Throughout her time at Linden Christian, Kim has researched, planned and consulted with architects to create the blueprints for the new library; she automated the library system, advocated and planned the expansion of the library with a view to developing a Makerspace, and genrified the fiction collection. As Kim researches the latest library trends she engages with the greater library community and invites colleagues to join her in her quest for knowledge. She strongly believes that all libraries can be stronger when everyone supports, encourages, and learns together.
Kim has been extremely active in the greater library community in Manitoba where she shares her knowledge and expertise. These include serving on the Boards of the MSLA, AIMSL, SLAM, the RDA Working Group and MLCI. Kim has willingly volunteered for these various organizations because she believes in their cause and understands that various libraries working together (school, public, academic and special libraries) makes them all stronger and saves money, too. As part of the MSLA Board, Kim has advocated for school libraries — both public and private — across the province. She has been the voice for many library technicians who are members of MSLA which has helped bring the entire school library community together.
Kim served on the MSLA Executive as the Membership Committee Chair from 2009 — 2012, as the AIMSL Liaison to MSLA from 2012 — 2016, and as the MLCI Liaison to MSLA from 2015 — 2016. She has also served on the MSLA’s SAGE Conference planning committee. She has presented several times at MSLA’s SAGE Conference including in 2013 (“Roundtable on RDA”), in 2015 (“RDA Working Group document”) and in 2016 (“School Library Learning Commons and Makerspace Tours”).
Kim was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Association of Independent Manitoba School Libraries (AIMSL) in 2010. AIMSL was developed to support library staffs in Independent schools by developing a network for sharing expertise and knowledge. After spearheading the development of AIMSL, Kim took on the role of Membership Coordinator to continue her role in building the membership of the Association.
The RDA Working Group was established to update the provincial document, Accessing Information: Cataloguing Guidelines for Manitoba and Saskatchewan School Library Personnel, which was published in 2013. Kim was one of the individuals who worked behind the scenes advocating for a committee to update the guidelines based on the new RDA guidelines. The underlying principle behind the development of the RDA Working Group was to support all school library staffs, regardless of training, to ensure that core requirements were established for school library cataloguing practices. Her work on the RDA Cataloguing Working Group continues and her efforts to disseminate the document to all provincial libraries is commendable.
Kim is currently serving her fourth year (second year of a two year term) on the board of the Manitoba Library Consortium Inc. (MLCI). On MLCI, Kim has been a voice for school libraries when discussing MLCI’s evolving mandate, database subscriptions, and other issues that impact libraries across the province.
Kim Marr always steps away from the spotlight but her quiet enthusiasm is infused in all of the Associations she has served and in her day-to-day practice at Linden Christian School. The greater school library community has benefited greatly for all the work she has done on behalf of school libraries in Manitoba. Thank you, Kim.