The Marky Award was inspired by Mark Hillsamer, the Librarian at St. Alban’s School, Washington, DC for 36 years. Mark helped to establish AISL in 1987 and fostered its growth for 14 years. It very well may have been “Mark’s smiling face, soothing voice, and wry sense of humor” that kept the organization going during those years. Walter DeMelle formally announced Mark’s retirement at the Skip Anthony Lecture Banquet in 2001 and presented Mark with a special gift: a mask from Thailand of a lovely lady who holds her index finger gently to her lips in a familiar shushing gesture.
The Marky Award has been given annually since 2002, honoring AISL members who had made a significant contribution to the organization over a long period of time. A mounted replica of Mark’s gift is given to the winner to be displayed in his or her library until the next conference, together with a small unpainted replica of the mask for the honoree to keep. The honoree is chosen by the past Marky winners and is presented with the award at the annual Skip Anthony banquet. You can see a list of past winners here.
We are thrilled to announce that the 2019 winner of the Marky Award is Renee Chevallier!
Renee joined AISL in 2004, and her first conference was Dallas ’04. She has been at Ursuline Academy of Dallas for 20 years as their library director, and most recently has also become their archivist (although she wears many different hats at school!).
Renee was the conference co-chair for Dallas ’14, and has been a valued member of the AISL board for five years. Currently, she is our hardworking and diligent treasurer.
Renee followed in her mother’s footsteps as a librarian; she “was like Belle in Beauty and the Beast and always had a book in her hand.”
“Renee has been a wonderful boss and role model during the time that I’ve been at Ursuline Academy and I’m looking forward to continuing to learn from her as her assistant.” Carolyn Croley
“The 2 words that come to mind when I think of Renee are positive and professional. She helped organize an exceptional Dallas conference and has been a stellar treasurer for the organization (and for all the conferences since 2017), including this one. No matter what, she manages to keep a level and cool head!” Liz Gray
“Renee was indefatigable in helping with both the AISL LA conference and the Summer LA workshop. From all of us, we are happy to have Renee as the 2019 Marky recipient, – please raise your glasses for Renee!!” Shannon Acedo
Thank you to Barbara Share, Marky Award winner ’18 for sharing her speech. I have amended the original for the blog format.