By Shannon Johnson
Recently the Montana Library Association, a statewide organization that promotes outstanding library services, held its annual conference in the state capital, Helena. The theme of this year’s National Library Week was “Libraries = Strong Communities”. This theme sparked the Montana Library Association to celebrate and honor the librarians who take part in creating the type of libraries that are essential to strengthening their communities.
Diane Van Gorden has been a librarian at Baker High School since 1981. Since she took the position, she has been dedicated to staying knowledgeable about helpful resources for both students and teachers. Along with being knowledgeable about new resources as they become available, she also goes above and beyond to ensure that other people know about them as well and makes it a priority to be available to assist with implementing them.
Diane’s outstanding librarianship and commitment to the education of her students has not gone unnoticed, as she was awarded School Library Program of the Year, which places emphasis on fully integrating the school library program with curricular goals.
Diane’s colleagues had taken note of her outstanding contributions to the school library program as well as the school and decided that she was suited for this award. “It’s very unusual to have a teacher nominate for it,” she explained. “It’s usually librarians nominating other librarians.”
Diane explained that she had signed something for an award nomination, but she didn’t realize that she was the one being nominated. “I was kind of surprised,” she noted.