School Library Leadership Program Advisory Board

PSU Library Leadership Program Advisory Board

Statement of Purpose

The role of the Plymouth State University School Library Leadership Program Advisory Board is one of advice, leadership, and advocacy — assisting the Program Coordinator by pointing out:

  • significant opportunities
  • recommending approaches to new challenges
  • suggesting ways to raise the program’s profile

The Board brings together interests and expertise of a wide variety of school library leaders dedicated to the success of candidates in the program.

Virtual Meetings

The PSU School Library Leadership Program Advisory Board meets online twice yearly. The PSU Program Coordinator will send out a survey of questions about opportunities, needs, and recommendations. Each member will answer the survey. The Program Coordinator will compile the results and report out to the Board.

Virtual Advisory Board meetings will be held in February and August.

Members of the Board

Debbie Abilock
A recognized school innovator with almost 40 years’ experience creating inquiry curriculum, Debbie pioneered online teaching and learning in elementary education. Beginning in the early 1990’s, year-long research projects such as “Turn of the Century Child,” developed while she was an American Memory Fellow at the Library of Congress, and “Wounded Knee: Past and Present” were hailed for their “sound educational methodology incorporating online technology.” As a director of technology and information services, curriculum coordinator and assistant head of school, she received Time Magazine’s first Grand Prize for online learning, the CSLA President’s Award for leadership, and was honored as a LJ “Mover and Shaker” changemaker. She speaks internationally on transformative teaching and learning enabled by technology-rich curriculum and, in connection with several IMLS grants, has been doing professional development with districts developing STEM and data literacy curriculum.

Debbie co-founded and directs the education vision at NoodleTools, the leading online academic-research platform. A cornerstone in thousands of subscribing schools and universities, NoodleTools integrates individual and group note-taking, outlining, citation, document archiving/annotation and teacher feedback loops in order to enable inquiry research. Her column for School Library Connection, “Friction: How to Design Deliberate Thinking into the Research Process,” is based on questions from teachers and students to the NoodleTools support team.   She promotes the role of librarians as professional developers within their schools in Growing Schools (LU, 2012) and “From a Foot in the Door to Being There: Leadership along a Professional Development Continuum” (The Many Faces of School Library Leadership, LU 2017).

Debbie currently serves on the Oversight Board of the American Library Association’s Publishing Division after ten years as founding editor of Knowledge Quest, the journal of the American Association of School Librarians. Debbie is past-president of the Bay Area Library and Information Network and the Bay Area Independent School Librarians and recently joined the board of the Olive Seed Foundation whose mission is to plant “seeds of literacy, critical thinking, and environmental ethics in the next generation.”

Susan Ballard
Susan is a past-president AASL and retired Director of Library, Media, and Technology Services for the Londonderry (NH) School District, a recipient of the National School Library Media Program of the Year. She has been an adjunct professor at Simmons College, the University of Vermont, and Rutgers. She currently serves on the advisory boards for Teacher Librarian and Follett’s Project Connect.  She is a member of the AASL Standards and Guidelines Editorial Board, the 2016 ALA Nominating Committee and a co- chair of the school library committee for ALA President Elect Julie Todaro’s Presidential Initiative. Susan has published numerous articles in a variety of professional and scholarly journals.

Kim Carter
Kim Carter is Executive Director of the Q.E.D. Foundation and Chief Educational Officer of the Making Community Connections (MC2) Charter School . 1991 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year, 1996 New Hampshire Media Educator of the Year, and a Students at the Center Distinguished Fellow, Kim currently serves as President of NHASCD and is an OER (Open Education Resources) Faculty Fellow with ISKME (International Society for Knowledge Management in Education) and long-time affiliate with School Reform Initiative and Coalition of Essential Schools.  She serves on the NH State Advisory Committee on the Education of Children and Students with Disabilities and is proud to contribute to the national Education Reimagined collaborative community. Her expertise and interests include developing adult and youth capacities for co-constructing learning experiences and co-creating learning communities, designing and implementing highly effective learning and assessments, proficiency based pathways, high school redesign, and leveraging technology in service of all of the above. Kim holds a BA in Elementary Education and an MLS from the University of Arizona.

Carol A. Gordon
Dr. Gordon is the founder and principal of Gordon Consulting, an international consultancy with a mission to support initiatives that empower educators to develop creative 21st century learning environments and experiences. Her consultancies have addressed the design and construction and renovation of school libraries and technology centers, multimodal literacy programs, information literacy and inquiry learning, and action research and other evidence-based practices in countries across Africa, Central and South America and in China, Taiwan, Australia, Africa, and Europe. She has worked as a teacher of English In New York City Public Schools, a school librarian in public and private schools in the U.S. and abroad, a professor of Education and Head of the education library at Boston University and professor of Information and Library Science at Rutgers The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Gordon’s research focuses on the information behavior of adolescents and professional development for teachers and librarians through action or practitioner research. She has worked on several research projects such as the New Jersey school library study, One Common Goal: Student Learning, Phases 1 and 2, and The Massachusetts School Library Study: Equity and Access for Students in the Commonwealth. As project researcher Dr. Gordon contributed to the IMLS grant, Empowering Public Libraries to Become Science Resource Centers for their Communities. Dr. Gordon has authored several books and book chapters and over 100 articles in research and practitioner journals.  She has delivered over 250 keynote addresses, presentations, and workshops across the U.S. and worldwide. Her focus is to optimize teaching and learning through information and technology while building a strong foundation for literacy development and knowledge construction. Her approach to developing leadership capacity for school librarians and candidates for the profession focuses on  the continuous improvement of teaching and learning performance in the school library program, particularly through evidence-based practices such as action research. Dr. Gordon received her Master’s degrees at the City College of New York, Western Michigan University and the University of Michigan and her Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from Boston University. She is presently serving as President of the New England School Library Association.

Carl A. Harvey, II
Past-President of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and for many years was a School Librarian at North Elementary School, Noblesville, Indiana.  He is currently an Assistant Professor, School Librarianship at Longwood University and Organization and Management Editor for School Library Connection. Carl has been active in the Association for Indiana Media Educators (AIME) and the Indiana Library Federation (ILF) serving both as President and Conference Chair.  He has also served as a member of the Library Media Standards Committee of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.  Carl has published articles in various professional library journals and is the author of six books — The Library Media Specialist in the Writing Process (co-authored with Marge Cox and Susan Page); No School Library Left Behind: LeadershipSchool Improvement, and the Media SpecialistThe 21st Century Elementary Library Media Program; and Adult Learners: Professional Development and the School Librarian, Leading and the Common Core Initiative:  A Guide for K-5 School Librarians, and The 21st Century Elementary Library Program: Managing for Results (second edition). A much sought-after presenter at state and national conferences, Carl is also the recipient of numerous awards including the AASL’s National School Library Media Program of the Year.  Mr. Harvey received his undergraduate degree at Ball State University and completed a MS in Elementary Education with a focus on Instructional Technology and a Master of Library Science both at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

Pam Renfrow
Pam Renfrow has over 27 years of experience as an educator, including classroom and director level experience managing the daily operations of K-12 school libraries. Her expertise is in collaborating with teachers for designing projects, teaching the research process, integrating technology, and assessing student learning.  Pam has held leadership roles in professional organizations at state and national levels, most recently AASL Region 4 Director.  Pam is a Curriculum Specialist for Britannica Digital Learning.

Margaret L. “Peg” Sullivan
Principal the Library Resources Group LLC,  a unique consulting firm focused on enhancing schools and K-12 libraries through innovative space planning.  In addition to work with a national clientele including schools and architectural firms, Ms. Sullivan has numerous articles in a variety of education publications and is the author of the AASL book Library Spaces for 21st Century Learners: A Planning Guide for Creating New School Library Concepts and from Libraries Unlimited ABC-CLIO the recently-published (2015) High Impact School Library Spaces: Envisioning New School Library Concepts. She serves on the Adjunct Faulty for the Center for College and Career Readiness, a national organization focused on professional development for educators and related space planning.  She was the Director of Merchandising and Marketing for Highsmith, Inc.  Ms. Sullivan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA and MA in Communications Arts /Journalism.

More information

For more information about the School Library Leadership Advisory Board, please contact:

Pam Harland
Program Coordinator and Faculty
Plymouth State University, Department of Educational Leadership Learning & Curriculum