The Massachusetts School Library Association (MSLA) has named Ariel Dagan, Library-Media Specialist at Tri- County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin, as a recipient of the 2019 President’s Award. This award honors an MSLA member who, in a career of one to five years, has made a significant impact on student learning through a quality school library program.
Since coming to Tri-County in March 2014, Mr. Dagan has made extensive changes that have been beneficial to the students, faculty and the school in general. He began by renaming the school library to The Library Media Center, a name meant to promote a place within the school that is a resource center that students and teachers love to visit. Then he rearranged the Library in a way that created greater use by students and staff. He purchased tall café-style tables for students and staff to use when working in small groups and new rolling tables that allow for flexibility based on group activity. Recently, the Library Media Center hosted classes listening to first hand stories from a Vietnam Veteran, and an initial performance by thespians in the school’s Music Club during lunch. Mr. Dagan created an online library portal filled with useful information and lesson plans co-designed with staff. The goal is to allow patrons to become better consumers of credible information for their academic or vocational programs and advance in their media literacy skills acquisition.
Mr. Dagan has collaborated with the various vocational career programs, initiating independent reading in both the Medical Careers and Metal Fabrication career programs. He has been working with the Early Education career program to develop online resources enabling students to find the material they want to use in their lessons with pre-school aged children. Mr. Dagan was instrumental in introducing Newsela to vocational and academic teachers, bringing differentiated learning in classes. Under Mr. Dagan’s leadership, Tri-County significantly increased database usage in the school for five years in a row. By developing independent online guides for each of the 16 vocational career programs, he has enabled them to reach specific online tools that would help them with their Senior Project research, a requirement for graduation for all Tri-County seniors.
Mr. Dagan received the award this past Sunday, March 31, 2019 at the MSLA Awards Banquet at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center. The awards ceremony is a part of the MSLA Annual Conference, “School Libraries are for Everyone.” He also participated in the IdeaLab, featuring projects/initiatives from the Tri-County library program.
“Mr. Dagan is an inspiration to our students and the school itself,” said Superintendent Stephen Dockray. “His innovative approach and seemingly limitless wealth of knowledge of collecting, maintaining and making accessible media resources to students and faculty has been remarkable. We look forward to seeing more of what his vision and passion will bring to our school.”
The Massachusetts School Library Association works to ensure every school has a school library program that is fully integrated at all grade levels across the curriculum and has a significant and measurable impact on student achievement. For more information, consult the MSLA website, maschoolibraries.org.