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  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Roberts honored with KASL Vision Award

  • Ask Linda A. Roberts, Arma, if libraries still matter, then sit back and prepare to listen for a long, long time.

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  • Ask Linda A. Roberts, Arma, if libraries still matter, then sit back and prepare to listen for a long, long time.
    The Kansas Association of School Librarians honored Roberts with the KASL Vision Award during the state conference award luncheon held last fall at the Bicentennial Center in Salina.
    This award recognizes individuals who have contributed to the vision of Kansas school libraries.
    “Libraries are the hub or key to learning in a school,” Roberts said. “Librarians empower students and others with the knowledge on how to obtain information. No one can be a walking encyclopedia any more, there’s just too much information. They just need to be able to retrieve the information they want.”
    She noted that some people think that Google can replace libraries. Her answer to that is  a resounding “No.”
    “Google just adds to the information overload,” Roberts said. “Librarians help people access, sort and assess the best information for their needs.”
    She started her education career by teaching home economics from 1973 to 1983, then became a librarian at Northeast High School.
    “Bessie Chaussard had retired and the position became available,” Roberts said. “Bessie brought me along and mentored me. We traveled to workshops around the state.”
    Roberts, who earned a master’s in library science from Emporia State University in 1988, later was a librarian at Pittsburg High School. She retired in 2010 after 37 years in education.
    She said that she learned early the value of participating in professional organizations, and has been a member of the Kansas Association of School Librarians for nearly 30 years.
    “I truly believe being involved in professional organizations is so important,” Roberts said. “It’s a way of networking and getting information. I can’t think of a profession that is as sharing as school librarians.
    She has been on the KASL State  Council for 26 years and has served as chairman of various state committees. One of her accomplishments as projects chairman was to create an advocacy video that was presented at a national American Association of School Librarians conference in 1994 at Indianapolis.
    Roberts served as state president from 2005 to 2006.
    “When I was president, I started a mentorship program,” Roberts said. “That’s always been near and dear to me.”
    During her time at PHS she was asked to run for national office, and served a four-year term regional director for Region IX, which covers Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.
    Her term expired in June, 2012, and replacing her in the position will be Cindy Pfeiffer, formerly of PHS.
    Though retired, she continues to be active, and is a member of the Kansas Library Media and Technology Standards Writing Committee and the AASL Retired Special Interest Group.
    Page 2 of 2 - Roberts and Emma Louise Ales compiled a history of the Arma United Methodist Church in conjunction with the church centennial, and she chaired several activities for the Arma centennial celebration. She belongs to two book clubs and is collections and exhibitions chairman at the Miners Hall Museum in Franklin, which includes the museum’s research section.
    “I’m also a trustee of the Arma Public Library, and I substitute, but only for school librarians,” Roberts said.
    She advocates not only for libraries, but for the noble profession of librarians.
    “There are those who say that anybody can check out a book, and that may be true,” Roberts said. “But libraries today provide so many more services and programs that it’s best to have a certified librarian on staff.”
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