Charter Librarian and Archivist
Ms. Guarin’s work with the Academy began in 1986 when she became a member of IMSA’s charter staff as IMSA’s Head Librarian. When she started, the library was without books, staff, space—just some boxed computers. Through her connections, the IRC grew and became the first high school to be accepted in the Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization (ILSCO) and the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI).
In 1989 Ms. Guarin integrated library instruction into the curriculum through sophomore chemistry where each incoming student received a library orientation. She contributed to this integrative way of knowing through the writing of three of IMSA’s Standards of Significant Learning (SSLs) which “set reasonable but high expectations for learning and understanding across all areas of the Academy experience.” Her vision of an IMSA Archives led to the development of a fully recorded history of the Academy, with the Archives being formally recognized at IMSA’s 10th Anniversary. In 1997 the IRC was awarded a grant for the equipment and staff necessary to create the IMSA Archives website and it wrote its mission statement, and also the Archives Access Policy and the library Collection Development Policy. In 2002, she took on collection development in the IRC and revitalized and updated the collection with the result of increasing circulation by 30% in the following year.
Throughout the years, Ms. Guarin has leveraged IMSA’s position by serving on library boards throughout Illinois. IMSA has benefitted locally from her board position with the Aurora Public Library and statewide through the position she held on the Illinois State Library Advisory Committee. Her long service with the Illinois School Library Media Association provided a partnership for IMSA’s 21st Century Information Fluency Program. When Ms. Guarin was invited to the White House Library Conference in 1992 she brought two IMSA students with her, making IMSA the only school to bring student representatives.
Ms. Guarin continues to stay connected to IMSA through her ongoing relationships with alumni and assistance to IMSA Archives as a volunteer consultant. She assists with the annual displays for Alumni events and the development of digital collections at IMSA, beginning with Campus Art, and the ongoing project “IMSA Oral History” that includes interviews with our founders.