Ambassador: Kristina Holzweiss

As a school librarian, I strive to create a nurturing environment for ALL my students, by respecting and embracing their differences. Over the years I have found a common need for students, regardless of their age or academic ability…the need to be empowered. So many children feel powerless and that they have little say. Many feel that adults are “in charge” and all that they can do is follow. It is important for students to feel that their voices matter, the quiet ones as well as the louder ones. They need to understand that they can be thought leaders and change leaders now, and they don’t need to wait for the future.

It may seem like such a simple idea, but these positive affirmations were the perfect posters for my library. Sometimes we will never realize how much a kind word or a smile can impact a student’s life. We might not know about a family situation or what is going on in a child’s mind. A daily affirmation of “you matter” could be the reason why a student puts more effort into a class than another. And this could eventually mean the difference between graduating or not.

Decorating the empty spaces above the library bookstacks with Inspired Minds affirmation posters was twofold. First, they inspired my students to believe in themselves and to think positively about the learning process. Second, these posters served as a reminder to me as I was teaching to always accentuate the positives. And, honestly, sometimes I needed to be reminded about my own strengths.


A smile impacts a life!

Kristina A. Holzweiss

Ed Tech Librarian

Long Island, NY Web:



Kristina was named the School Library Journal Librarian of the Year in 2015, a National School Board 2016 – 2017 “20 to Watch” emerging education technology leader, and a 2018 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

She is also the winner of the 2015 NYSCATE Lee Bryant Outstanding Teacher Award and 2015 Long Island Technology Summit Fred Podolski Leadership and Innovation Award.  In 2015 she founded SLIME – Students of Long Island Maker Expo (

In 2016 she was invited to represent Long Island, NY in Washington, D.C. during the National Week of Making.   Kristina is an international speaker on the libraries and the maker movement and has presented at conferences including ISTE, AASL, ALA, and NYSCATE. 

She is the Long Island Director for NYSCATE. Kristina is the co-author of Hacking School Libraries and is the author of two series of makerspace books published by Scholastic.

Other Posts from Kristina: