MHMS History

MHMS: A History – Recalled by Gwyneth Jones – Library Media Specialist 1997-2021

Murray Hill Middle School opened in 1997.  It was a cornfield. . Winter Sun Road just a road to nowhere. A big muddy patch that had a sign that said “Future Home of Southwest Howard County Middle School”  We weren’t’ even named yet. No Gorman Crossing – no houses just corn and pasture land where you could see some cows grazing in the distance.

The original owners of the land (the King family, they own the big mansions on Murray Hill Road – allegedly) they sold their property to the county but then seemed to be really resentful when we planned to build a school here. But that was maybe gossip at the time.

A beautiful school. It rose up from the ground in lovely brick and our school colors were Teal, Black, and Gold. Our name was Murray Hill – after the road the family mansions fronted? No pool on the roof – I started that rumor for fun – but the skylights in the Library have always been well loved for their illumination.


Field trips to the roof with the MHTV Studio & Science kids only happened a few times – to check on our AWS weather station. No defunct. It was free when we opened (or HCPSS paid for it?) but then they wanted $800 later when it stopped working. As if. Sad but we didn’t have the money to replace it.

Our MHTV Studio was one of the first purpose built TV studios in a middle school in Howard County. We were so excited to equip it with the latest technology.

Mr. Mark Dunbar, GT Teacher is now our Co-Executive Producer of MHTV – Here’s an early picture of him from 2003



A Flickr slideshow of historic MHMS Pics:
MHMS History - Old Skool Pics!

Our Principals over the years:


BLOG History

The original MHMS Daring School Library Blog was started by Gwyneth Jones, aka The Daring Librarian  in 2006 on Blogger. In March 2011 HCPSS blocked Blogger in the schools because Blogger hosts questionable content on some of their blogs. So we’ve moved here. My advice for any new school or library wanting to start blogging I would def say Edublogs!


NPR and The Bob Edwards Show Visits the MHMS Daring School Library!

We were SO excited & flattered to host the Bob Edwards Sirius XM show! A few years ago, they were doing a month long series called Shhhh… Libraries at Work!” (of course I HATE the Shhh! part!) and chose Murray Hill Middle School to represent school libraries. They found us through my professional blog and the interview focused on the future of school libraries, digital literacy, creating a positive digital footprint, research strategies, creating student assessment products, audio books, and how we always push the love of reading to our kids!

In Part 1 (#6 on the iTunes list) you can listen to the Bob Edwards XM Show Podcast featuring MHMS kids, MHTV, & our school library! It starts with Mrs. Singleton’s 6th grade reading & research class visited for seminar book selection & talked about the kind of books they like, transitions into our MHTV crew creating our news show, and finishes with ..Mrs. Cullison’s class coming in for the Book Pass orientation lessons, and more about books – in all kinds of formats!

From his blog: “We start today’s show off with a visit to a model, modern-day school library. Gwyneth Jones, aka The Daring Librarian, has pulled out all the stops to make her library the coolest place at Murray Hill Middle School in Laurel, Maryland. And it’s hard NOT to feel excited about school libraries after spending a morning with her and the students at Murray Hill. Jones has embraced technology— even (gasp) television – to get kids interested in reading and learning. Forget the stereotype of a matronly, bunned, button-upped librarian trying to maintain silence and order —- Jones likes her library a little rowdy!”

But it’s true, we have learning going on but there’s also time for fun, teaching, research, & inquiry that is not always…. hmmmm silent!

Also during the interview I talk about our Playaway audio book program so I wanted to show a few pics of how cute these single digital audio books are!

Part 2 is #5 on the iTunes list and it’s an interview with yours truly about school libraries and the importance of digital literacy and creating a positive digital footprint.

Ok…as a cringeworthy aside, after listening to both parts of the podcast I do realize I say AWEsome a bit too much! But gee, I mean we’ve got an AWEsome kids and an AWEsome school! So there! MHMS Before There Were Houses Pics


2 thoughts on “MHMS History

  • October 23, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    I am following your blog for my INFO 5001 class. I chose to follow your blog because I feel you incorporate the best qualities of a librarian (passion for students, learning, and others). I especially like the way you incorporate technology and social media in your job. Would you be so kind and answer two questions. What does a typical day look like for you? Also, what advice would you give to future librarians?

    Thank you:)

  • October 30, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Thank you so much for your kind words! I emailed you back all the information you requested & more! Did you get it? I never heard back. Thanks! ~Gwyneth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *