Southeast librarian named the best in Nebraska

The Nebraska School Librarians Association (NSLA) has named Sara Friest from Lincoln Southeast High School the 2021 Nebraska School Librarian of the Year. The award is in its inaugural year and recognizes outstanding work in the school library field. The award’s criteria are based on an individual’s demonstrated creativity and innovation in the profession through instructional opportunities and programming. 

Friest was nominated by Joy Harvey and Emily Jacobs from the Lincoln Public Schools Library Services Department. In their nominations, they said that Friest “has worked hard to make the library an inclusive and fun place for all students.”

One way she's done this is by collaborating with Southeast English teacher Julie Krueger to create a monthly program called “Community of Learners,” in which they collaborate with students to plan games, crafts, photo booths and other activities with the goal of creating a sense of community and friendship.

The award was presented to Friest at the Southeast library on Oct. 15 by Mandy Peterson of the NSLA. Also on hand were Jacobs, LPS Director of Library Services Chris Haeffner, Southeast administrators and Krueger’s class.

“The Southeast library is the place to be and that is because of her hard work, dedication and vision,” Haeffner said during the surprise award presentation.

The NSLA's Peterson echoed that sentiment. “Sara is a tremendous example of a modern school librarian and the value school librarians bring to the table. It is evident from the time I was able to spend with her, her coworkers and her students in the school library that she is doing great things. We are wildly proud of her."

Published: October 21, 2021, Updated: October 27, 2021