The Calcasieu Parish School Board has named DeQuincy High School Librarian Laura Manuel as the 2022-2023 High School Librarian of the Year.
Manuel has been a librarian for 11 years at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Before she was a school librarian, she worked as a reading interventionist, a paraprofessional, and a substitute teacher, bringing her total time in education to just over 15 years.
Manuel holds a Bachelor of General Studies degree from McNeese State University and a Master of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University.
Manuel is a member of a both the national and state librarian associations and their school librarian chapters. As part of her professional duties, she has led workshops for the school librarians of Calcasieu Parish, presented at state librarian conferences in Louisiana, and is a member of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians National Standards Committee. At school, Manuel leads the Board Game Club and the Library Club. While books, reading, and curiosity are at the heart of her library program, she strives to bring in technology, coding, robotics, and 3D printing for student use.
Manuel splits her spare time between teaching teachers how to become librarians for Northwestern State University, practicing photography, tumbling rocks, diamond painting, and reading. Her enthusiasm for books and reading bleeds into most of her life–so much so that she will often throw in random book suggestions into everyday conversation. She passionately believes, “that everyone, especially school aged children, should be able to see themselves, and their experiences, represented in a book.”