Lori Pringle receives OELMA emerging leader

Lori Pringle receives OELMA emerging leader

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The Ohio Educational Library Media Association, Ohio’s professional association for highly effective school librarians and libraries, recently added some Holmes County flavor to its honorees, naming Lori Pringle, district library media specialist with East Holmes Local School District, as the recipient of the 2022 Emerging Leader Award.

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes OELMA members who have recently assumed an OELMA leadership role for the first time. This award honors members who demonstrate leadership potential and encourages members’ active participation in OELMA.

In her letter of recommendation, Lori Lee, INFOhio, said, “From the very beginning of my library career in 2012, Lori Pringle was a strong example of a librarian who supported building quality schools and strong partnerships. During my first month as a school librarian, I reached out to Lori after seeing a scavenger hunt she shared using INFOhio resources. Lori was so gracious as she welcomed the opportunity to collaborate on this lesson to help me better service my learners.”

Lee said she and Pringle continued to share and learn about how each was supporting the district, especially around technology integration. Much of that centered around the work at WOUB.

Pringle said her work with WOUB has been fascinating and educational.

“It’s been neat to see this program evolve,” Pringle said. “Bringing this literacy program to Ohio has been exciting. I always aspire to do what is in the best interest of students. I’m always looking for new opportunities to bring new resources to teachers and into the classroom. This actual initiative was a national PBS literacy program I learned about at a conference. Recognizing that professional excellence opportunity was out there for free and partnering with OELMA and collaborating with them was exciting. We are always looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge and meet all the needs of our students.”

As Pringle moved into her role with WOUB, she partnered with host Zanesville Technology & Treats, where teachers had opportunities to share different technology tools and ideas. While COVID eventually canceled the event, Lee said the planning and organizing of the event shone a light on Pringle’s ability to embrace the power of partnerships across libraries, communities and public organizations like WOUB.

Pringle said as an active member of OELMA for more than two decades, her desire to serve others and make sure both students and teachers have the necessary tools in place to be successful is what drives her.

“My grassroots desire to bring PBS Media Literacy Educator Certification by KQED to Ohio became a reality over the past two years,” Pringle said. “Keeping our educators at the peak of these technological advancements can help them excel in the classroom and provide the best for students so they can become wise consumers.”

She went on to note that in working with some of the Amish schools in East Holmes, the ability to put technology to use doesn’t exist because they don’t use computers in the classroom setting, but that is part of the challenge of finding creative ways to provide the best educational scenarios for them.

She said there is still a great need to teach these students the importance of knowing what they are doing online when the opportunities arise, as her libraries do lessons across the district on internet literacy and social media safety instruction.

“We are always looking for new ways to make the experience meaningful for students, opening their eyes to becoming aware of what’s out there and what to be aware of,” Pringle said. “It’s really about finding the right resources that fit children at each school, whether it is physical books, e-books or the internet. There are so many avenues from which kids can learn today.”

Pringle has presented webinars on media literacy as part of Digital Learning Day and OELMA conferences. This fall she collaboratively developed Ohio’s PBS Media Literacy Academy. She said while this year’s academy is over, she’s hopeful to provide future media literacy certification support.

“The academy’s intention was to bring awareness and offer support to Ohio’s educators as they collaboratively worked toward the PBS Media Literacy Educator Certification by KQED,” Pringle said. “The Ohio Library Guidelines for Librarians and Learners drive my passion. Wearing my consultant hat, I provide educators access to the latest technologies and ensure equitable digital access from the ODE Library Guidelines.”

As examples, Cambridge and Hiland high schools received professional development working with Pringle and borrowed WOUB Learning Lab 3-D printers, drones, iPads and Spheros through the WOUB Lending Library, which has positively impacted STEM learning and encouraged learners to become increasingly self-directed as they create digital products.

Pringle said as a library media specialist, she has collaborated with educators to foster media literacy education and provided access to technology for k-12 students, meeting numerous guidelines.

“I am grateful to lead beyond the library and positively impact student lives,” Pringle said.

Pringle will be recognized at the 2022 OELMA Conference and Awards Ceremony on Oct. 7 at noon at the Dublin Embassy Suites, 5100 Upper Metro Place, Dublin, Ohio.