Michelle Luhtala is a Library Journal 2015 Mover and Shaker

Movers2015webBigLuhtalaXMichelle Luhtala, High School Library Department Chair at New Canaan Public Schools and the presenter of edWeb.net’s Emerging Tech community for school librarians, has been selected by Library Journal as one of the 2015 Movers and Shakers, the people shaping the future of libraries.

According to Library Journal’s announcement, the Movers and Shakers “are passionate about what they do, whether it is advocating for literacy and diversity, serving the underserved, spreading and sharing technology, and much more.” Michelle Luhtala was selected for her advocacy work.

Michelle Luhtala has been a strong advocate for Banned Websites Awareness Day (BWAD), an annual event raising consciousness about excessive filtering in school settings. “The most restrictive districts are the most challenged learning environments-underfunded and underserved,” she says. “By shutting [the Internet] down, we’re denying [students] a full education.”

Michelle Luhtala is the host of the edWeb.net community Using Emerging Technology to Advance Your School Library Program. The program was launched in collaboration with Lisa Schmucki, the founder of edWeb.net, in 2010. Since then Michelle has been the leader of the online community and hosted over 50 webinars on every imaginable topic to help school librarians use innovative technology to revolutionize the role of libraries in schools as tech-centered learning and resource centers. She is a passionate advocate for opening up the use of social and collaborative tools for teachers and students.

Lisa Schmucki, the founder and CEO of edWeb.net, commented, “I met Michelle at the CoSN conference in 2010. I attended her presentation on Using Web 2.0 to Embed 21st Century Learning. I immediately knew we had to get this information out to librarians all across the country. The program is free and the community has grown to over 8,500 members who connect and collaborate to support each other in making libraries a vital part of 21st century schools.” Follett has been a generous sponsor of the program.

Michelle Luhtala commented, “I am truly honored to be listed among such accomplished and committed librarians, deeply grateful to Library Journal for recognizing the importance of intellectual freedom in K-12 learning, and to edWeb.net for providing a platform for discourse on the subject.”

Visit Michelle Luhtala’s website for ideas on learning libraries.