Kim Marr: MSLA’s Distinguished Service Award 2017

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 7.51.21 PMKim 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.


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