Left to Right: Britni Sauceman and Shannon Silvers
The winner is of this year’s Innovative Library Media Award in the high school division is Britni Sauceman from Tennessee High School in Bristol City Schools for her Potty Press and Potty PD newsletters posted in her school’s bathrooms. Potty Press was focused on students and was used to promote the library, new titles, curated collections, and information on a range of library services. Potty PD was focused on teachers and included information on a variety of approved professional development opportunities, like podcasts and webinars, as well as new titles that might interest teachers and other professionally-relevant information. She found that people would often come into the library asking about the “books from the bathroom.”
Britni told us about her background as an educator.
“I’ve been an educator for 15 years. I started as a high school English teacher at Morristown East, and I taught there for three years. Since then, I’ve been in Bristol, TN. I taught English at Tennessee High for several years before transitioning into the role of library media specialist. I’ve been in the library for seven years – one year at the middle school level and the rest at Tennessee High. I love working with students on research and helping them to find books that meet their needs or spark their interest (or both). I still teach English as an adjunct for our district’s online school (TOPS), and I am a Teacher Ambassador for our district. I feel that my background in teaching English has helped me in my current role, and I am thankful that I get to spend my days with kids and books.”
Britni and her co-librarian work together on the Potty Press. Her co-librarian, Shannon Silvers, told us about her background in education.
“I have been in education since 2000. I graduated with my M.S. in English Education from UTK, and I taught high school English from 2000-2012. While I was teaching, I completed my M. Ed. In Educational Media & Technology from ETSU. In the fall of 2012, I began my library career at Tennessee High, and I have been here since. I love being a librarian!”
Britni told us about more about her project and shared an example.
“Potty Press and Potty PD are one of our most effective methods of marketing. The concept is pretty straight-forward – we created a newsletter for students and for staff that keeps them up-to-date on the library’s collection and highlights different news/events/new books/etc. I post them monthly in all the bathroom stalls around the building.”
Potty Press and Potty PD have both been successful. Britni told us more.
“I would say that the initiative has benefited the library. We regularly have students and teachers come in to check out something they saw on the latest issue. That’s always exciting, and that success is why we’ve continued this program into the new school year. In high school, sometimes it’s hard to get kids in the doors to see all we have to offer, as many teachers do not require library visits. Posting Potty Press each month has boosted our independent checkouts and keeps the library fresh in everyone’s minds.”
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