Falmouth school librarian selected for book award panel

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FALMOUTH — Amy McInerney, the library media specialist at Falmouth Elementary School, is among a group of children’s librarians from across the state chosen to sit on the prestigious Lupine Award Committee.

McInerney’s work on the seven-member committee will include choosing the best youth and picture books with Maine connections for the next three years.

The Lupine Awards are presented by the Maine Library Association to honor Maine authors and illustrators, and books that are set in Maine and tell a uniquely Maine story.

What she’s most looking forward to, McInerney said this week, will be “the opportunity to connect (local) students, teachers and families with literature that has Maine roots.”

“I am also excited to be building professional relationships with librarians across the state,” she said. “As a member of the Falmouth Elementary Arts and Enrichment program, this is also an opportunity for me to learn about local authors for possible future author visits to our school.”

In a recent report to the School Board, Gloria Noyes, principal at Falmouth Elementary School, said sitting on the Lupine Award Committee “is a tremendous opportunity for Mrs. McInerney and our school. We are very proud of her.”

This is McInerney’s second year working at the school and, she said, “working at the elementary level is where my heart lies. I love introducing students to authors and illustrators that excite them and I love matching them with books to (further) explore their interests.”

“Students at this age are also becoming researchers and it’s always exciting to watch them discover their passions and be able to provide them with the tools they need to dig deeper,” she said.

McInerney has worked at public, high school and academic libraries in the past, but said, “Falmouth Elementary is such a wonderful community of readers, I feel it’s a privilege to work here.”

She applied to be a member of the Lupine Award Committee after attending the Maine State Library’s annual Reading Round Up of Youth Literature conference last spring.

“As I listened to the purpose of the (Lupine) award, and how passionately (the chairwoman) described the work of the committee, I immediately wanted to take part,” McInerney said.

Along with selecting the year’s best children’s literature with Maine ties, she said the committee also has the honor of giving out the Katahdin Award, which goes to a Maine author or illustrator who has made a significant lifetime contribution to the state’s literary scene.

Because she will be part of the group selecting the best children’s books in Maine, McInerney didn’t want to say what she most looks for in a youth or picture book.

Recent winners of the Lupine Award include “Grit” by Gillian French, for 2017 youth book and “Freedom Over Me” by Ashley Bryan for 2016 picture book. The first Lupine Award, in 1989, went to “Brickyard Summer” by Paul Janeczko.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Library media specialist Amy McInerney reads to students at Falmouth Elementary School. McInerney has been chosen to sit on the Lupine Award Committee for the next three years, where she’ll help choose the best children’s literature with Maine ties.

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