The Long Beach School Librarians Association recently announced three Teacher Librarians of the Year for 2020-21. High school teacher librarian Gail Ashbrooke and middle school teacher librarians Nina Jackson and Robyn Justus earned the awards. They have served the Long Beach Unified School District for a combined 75 years.
Ashbrooke is retiring as head librarian at Cabrillo High School after 17 years with the district. She began as a library media assistant at McKinley Elementary School in 1999. She also served as media assistant at Keller, Alvarado, Harte, Lafayette, Twain, Jordan Plus and PAAL. In 2006, she became the teacher librarian at Butler, and then at Muir and Keller the following year. In 2014, she was the teacher librarian at Jordan Plus and PAAL, and she became the head teacher librarian at Cabrillo in 2017. As a high school teacher librarian, she has received $26,000 in funding for library computers and books from grants and fundraisers. Her efforts have helped increase book circulation. She is also a reference librarian and adjunct instructor at Long Beach City College.
Nina Jackson, a National Board Certified Teacher Librarian, has been on the California School Library Association state board since 2005 and will lead as state president next year. Locally, Jackson is the LBSLA president and has been the teacher librarian at Franklin since 1995. She has also served as the teacher librarian at Tincher K-8 school and Hill Middle School (now Sato High School).
Robyn Justus began her career with LBUSD as a teacher librarian 32 years ago at Rogers Middle School, where she is currently assigned. She also works at Bancroft Middle School, where she has served for ten years. She has been the advisor to the Rogers Student Council for more than 25 years. For almost 20 years, she has accompanied eighth grade students on trips to Washington D.C. and New York City, as well as other student groups to Florida, Iceland, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands. She is the recipient of the PTA Honorary Service Award and the Golden Oak Award.