Library Director Christina Pommer was honored on March 3 with the highest award given by the Association of Independent School Librarians (AISL) – the Marky Award. It is given annually to an AISL member who has made a significant contribution to the national organization. Pommer has been a leader in AISL for more than a decade and has held multiple roles within the organization, including conference organizer, technology coordinator, president-elect, and president. She currently serves as past president.
At a ceremony announcing the honor, Pommer was noted for, “always being the first to say, ‘We can do this,’ and ‘How can we make it happen?’ She gracefully and resolutely led AISL through the beginning of the pandemic when none of us knew what to expect. One of her biggest accomplishments in a particularly challenging year was the 2021 AISL virtual conference, which she envisioned and wrestled into reality. She has remained an integral part of AISL after her leadership role was complete, and is a consistent and passionate advocate for everything we do.”
The Marky Award was inspired by Mark Hillsamer, the librarian at St. Albans School in Washington D.C. for 36 years. Hillsamer helped to establish AISL in 1987 and fostered its growth for 14 years. The Marky Award has been given annually since 2002. The award itself is a mask from Thailand of a lady who holds her index finger gently to her lips in a familiar “shushing” gesture. A mounted replica is given to the winner to be displayed in his or her library for a year, together with a small unpainted replica of the mask for the honoree to keep. The honoree is chosen by the past Marky winners.