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Humanities Leader Awarded for Library Support

Posted Date: 04/13/2024

Library Award

School libraries are like “the kitchen of the house,” a place where people go for different reasons, explained Julie Rosslee, director of humanities for the Wantagh School District. Her support for the library media centers at the high school and middle school earned her the Nassau BOCES School Library System’s Administrator of the Year award for the 2023-24 school year. 

Ms. Rosslee, in her sixth year in Wantagh, oversees English, library media, reading and social studies for grades 6-12, as well as the district world language and English as a New Language programs. She was nominated for the award by middle school librarian Amelia Weber. High school librarian Catherine Mottola helped her write the successful nomination letter.

“There is such tremendous value in the library sciences and it's another angle of education that students need, because it’s a skill set that they can apply in every class,” Ms. Rosslee said. “The library is the life of a school and when used well, every student, every educator goes there on a regular basis.”

A school library, Ms. Rosslee said, should be a comfortable place where students can expand their minds in creative ways. Besides going to the library to check out books, do research or study, there are also puzzles and games that allow students to work together and challenge themselves intellectually. 

Ms. Rosslee worked with Ms. Weber to redesign the library with flexible seating conducive for the middle school level. With renovations upcoming to the high school library from a bond approved by voters in 2022, Ms. Rosslee and Ms. Mottola visited many public and school libraries to get ideas and give their input to architects.  

“She has supported the library programs, ideas, developments and renovations,” Ms. Weber wrote in her nominating letter. “It is because of Julie’s proactive support and true vision of what libraries offer, that we are able to have a thriving Wantagh school library program that all students and staff love.”

Under Ms. Rosslee’s leadership, there has been a great expansion of eBooks and audiobooks. To support a growing ENL population, she has advocated for more books in other languages. She also spearheaded the district’s participation in World Read Aloud Day, in which secondary students, teachers and administrators read to elementary students, either in person or via videoconference, and the annual middle school Geography Bee which is heled in the library every January. 

Ms. Rosslee said the award would not be possible without two great librarians who are innovative, knowledgeable and student-centered. She said that their ability to help students with research is “an art” and their connections with other librarians and within the education community are an asset for Wantagh’s learners.

“Julie has been a proactive and supportive supervisor, helping Wantagh develop the best 21st-century libraries for our staff and students,” Ms. Weber added. “She is a true role model, and her leadership, hard work and passion for libraries is evident.”

Ms. Rosslee will be honored at an awards ceremony on May 15.


Library Award