Who’s That Librarian Bringin’ Change to Tennessee? It’s ME! It’s ME!

Written by: Ginger Kirchmyer

It’s no surprise to any of us that amazing things are happening here in Tennessee’s school libraries! TASL knows how great our librarians are, but maybe some of the incredible things being done by our colleagues will spark a flame in you to take something you’re doing to the next level!

Wanna see what we brought this semester? Here’s some of our most creative, out-of-the-box thinkers, movers and shakers, and downright awesome school librarians! But we know there’s more out there! Please share your accomplishments, cool happenings, creative solutions, celebrations, and all-things positive to your area reps or to Ginger Kirchmyer, TASLTalks Editor. We write several features a year focusing on our amazing librarians, and we’d love to include you!!


One of our innovative librarians comes from smack-dab in the middle of the state in the Highland Rim Region! Melissa Dobbs and her dad designed these great showcases! Her LEGO STEAM elective students had projects to display, but she didn’t want them to get damaged or taken apart, so she did what any librarian would do (cough, cough)…. She created her own shadow box! Aren’t these amazing! Love your ingenuity Melissa!

Melissa is one of two librarians at Stratford STEM Magnet School Librarian in Nashville, TN. Clearly she has a knack for STEAM! Looks like she’s working at the right school!

Send a Librarian to SEYA

“Stories have the power to change lives in meaningful ways.”  T. Parrish

This was the quote (above) that helped Theresa Parrish earn herself a free trip to one of Tennessee Librarians’ favorite experiences of the year! A great big congratulations to Theresa Parrish and Susan Harris who each received a VIP package from SEYA that provided hotel lodging for one night, a meet and greet with bestselling authors, an autographed book of their choosing and admission to the festival that took place on Saturday, March 10.

“Young adult literature is what I love. Getting to listen to writers talk about their books and have one-on-one experiences with them allows me to gain insight into their works and better promote them to my students.”  S. Harris

Susan Harris is the librarian at Ridgeway High in Shelby County (Mississippi River Region). She has an MLIS from University of Southern MS and has been a librarian for 26 years working in both public and school libraries.  Susan was the 2012 TASL Innovative LMS award winner and was recently nominated for the Louise Meredith Award from TLA. Susan has written over $20,000 in grants. Aside from her work in her library, Susan writes reviews for SLJ.

Theresa Parrish is the librarian at Roane County High School in Kingston, TN (Volunteer Region). She currently serves on the Volunteer State Book Award committee for the middle and high school divisions and sponsors her school’s Book Jackets Readers’ Club and GSA.

Well done ladies! You represented librarians well, and we’re glad to have you among the ranks of TASL librarians!


In the Waking Horse Region, Blackman High School co-librarians, Misti Jenkins and Brian Seadorf were featured on local New Channel 5 as Excellent Educators! Check them out here to see what a typical day is like and why they are so appreciated at BHS! 

Misti Jenkins is the Immediate Past-President of TASL. A Trevecca Nazarene University grad (MLIS), Misti taught English for 6 years before moving into the library. With TASL, Misti has served in multiple capacities from airport shuttle for authors to chairing committees to serving in executive leadership positions.

Brian Seadorf, a graduate of MTSU, Brian has been helping with the TASL SWAG bags for 4 years and also enjoys assisting with the setup of the TASL Conference luncheon. Brian was an English teacher for 9 years before becoming a librarian.



Normally I wouldn’t want to write about myself here, but because of the nature of the topic and how passionate I am about it, I decided to include it. This year I have begun a program about which I feel particularly passionate. Those who know me know that my own dog is my life, so I’m sure it would be no surprise to my prior colleagues in Chattanooga or my current ones in Nashville that I have started a Reading Therapy Dog program here at DuPont Hadley Middle Prep, and it is going AMAZINGLY!

Our current therapy dog Molly visits every Friday from 9am-1pm. We’re starting small with only one dog who is certified through Canines for Christ (though there are many organizations who offer therapy dog visits for FREE). Molly works solely with our struggling students. They come with a pass to the library, choose a book, and read to her for 10-15 minutes. They may also pet her and talk to her a little. Then they go back to class, and the next student comes down.

My hope is that we will eventually have more therapy dogs who stay in certain classrooms, but this is how our administration felt comfortable letting it begin, and I’ll take that! If you’d like to read more about our program, click here, or feel free to contact me @ gingerkirchmyer@gmail.com. You can also follow Molly on Facebook @TherapyDogMolly.


Ginger Kirchmyer is a National Board Certified Teacher and the librarian at DuPont Hadley Middle Prep in Nashville, TN; she currently serves as the TASLTalks Editor. She manages her own library website www.technobrary.org and posts her own blog as well.

Here’s a list of our area reps in case you don’t know where you belong. Make sure you reach out if you need help, want to celebrate, or just have a question. That’s what they’re there for!

Mississippi River Region Representative

Katherine Cozzens kcozzens@colliervilleschools.org

Lake, Obion, Dyer, Lauderdale, Crockett, Tipton, Haywood, Shelby, Fayette

Western Plains  Representative

Sherry Copeland sherrycopeland.tasl@gmail.com

Weakley, Henry, Gibson, Carroll, Madison, Henderson, Chester, Hardeman, McNairy

West Tennessee River Region Representative

Cindy Martin cindy.martin@waynetn.net

Stewart, Houston, Benton, Humphreys, Decatur, Perry, Hickman, Lewis, Hardin, Wayne, Lawrence

Highland Rim Region Representative

Jackie Gregory jacqueline.gregory2@mnps.org

Montgomery, Robertson, Sumner, Macon, Dickson, Cheatham, Davidson, Wilson,Trousdale, Smith

Walking Horse Region Representative

Shannon Minner shannon.minner.tasl@gmail.com

Williamson, Rutherford, Cannon, Maury, Marshall, Bedford, Coffee, Giles,Lincoln, Moore, Franklin

Cumberland Region Representative

Julie Stepp JStepp@tntech.edu

Clay, Pickett, Jackson, Overton, Fentress, Putnam, DeKalb, White, Cumberland, Warren, Van Buren, Grundy

Appalachian Region

Cathy Sanders csanders@jcboe.net

Claiborne, Hancock, Hawkins, Sullivan, Johnson, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Cocke, Greene, Washington, Unicoi, Carter

Volunteer Region Representative

Raina Scoggins scogginsr@hotmail.com

Scott, Campbell, Morgan, Anderson, Union, Knox, Roane, Loudon, Blount, Sevier

East Tennessee River Region Representative

WE ARE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE! (Want to fill this role? Contact Blake Hopper)

Marion, Sequatchie, Bledsoe, Rhea, Meigs, McMinn, Monroe, Polk, Bradley, Hamilton

About the author: Ginger Kirchmyer is a National Board Certified Teacher and the librarian at DuPont Hadley Middle Prep in Nashville, TN; she taught English in the classroom for 18 years before becoming a school librarian. In 2014 she proudly earned her MLIS from the University of Alabama. She currently serves as the TASLTalks Editor. She manages her own library website www.technibrary.com and posts her own blog as well.



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