Leigh Horner in the Haines School library (Abbey Collins)

Students gathered in the Haines School cafeteria this week to celebrate their librarian. She recently won a statewide award.

Students from Kindergarten through high school cheered as Leigh Horner entered the room.

“Thank you, thank you so much. It is my pleasure to work with every one of you,” said Horner.

Principal Rene Martin presented the award.

“Mrs. Horner won the school library staff of the year award for the entire state of Alaska,” said Martin.

Horner received a $250 prize from the Alaska Association of School Librarians, along with a piece of framed artwork. Martin said she is a valuable part of the school.

“We would be hard pressed to find a certified librarian with as much knowledge of the library process and resources that Mrs. Horner brings to our school library,” said Martin.

She talked about Horner’s relationship with teachers.

“I can’t imagine our school without the strong program that Leigh has developed,” said Martin. “She is every teacher’s go-to person for support in multiple disciplines and consistently works to make their jobs easier.”

And, with students.

“Her rapport with students is exemplary,” said Martin. “She has high standards for behaviors in the library but also believes that a school library is not a place for shushing. Our library is a place for lively interactions and debates, excitement about books, games and research.”

Cheers erupted from the room, again, as Horner headed back to the library, past a handmade sign displayed on the wall, celebrating her accomplishment.