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Tabitha Wakefield is 2016 TEL Trainer of the Year

During the 2016 Tenn-Share Fall Conference welcome, Erin Loree presented the 2016 TEL Trainer of Year Award to Tabitha Wakefield. Tabitha is the librarian at Macon County Junior High School and her combined TEL training sessions reached more than 1,000 attendees this year. Tabitha began her career in the classroom teaching fifth grade for five years before getting her librarian endorsement. She was an elementary school librarian for three years and is now in her 11th year as a middle school librarian. Tabitha does extensive TEL training with her students and takes a graduated approach to her teaching. She starts by giving her sixth graders a general introduction to TEL and an in-depth lesson on World Book. Seventh graders get a detailed look at Research in Context and a mini-lesson on Books & Authors. Finally in the eighth grade, students try out Powerspeak Languages and explore the Learning Express Career Center. By the time they leave middle school, Tabitha's students have had tremendous exposure to TEL resources.

Like many librarians in our state, Tabitha lives in a small town and her school would not be able to afford many of the resources in TEL. When asked to name her favorite thing about TEL, Tabitha said: "What I love about TEL is that it offers something for everyone.  I show the students things for their little brothers and sisters, college age siblings, and even parents, and I always stress that it is a reliable source. I feel so fortunate to have access to TEL."

Each year, librarians from all over the state volunteer their time and talents to spread the word about the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL). TEL ( gives everyone in Tennessee free access to trusted online resources like World Book Encyclopedia, homework help, and practice tests. During the Tenn-Share Fall Conference one of these dedicated TEL trainers is recognized as the TEL Trainer of the Year.