This is an opportunity to serve the library profession that some of of you might be interested in. It would be great to see some NC names within these committees!
Here's an opportunity for you to expand the influence of school librarians within the American Library Association – a key part of the AASL Strategic Plan. On July 20th, Maureen Sullivan, ALA President-Elect and chair of the Committee on Appointments, began to encourage members to volunteer for ALA committees. AASL needs your voice to represent school library issues and concerns on these committees which help to govern the largest and oldest organization devoted to libraries. It is important that school librarians play an active role! Members can volunteer by filling out the online form
Serving on an ALA committee is an excellent opportunity to build leadership skills and networking opportunities. ALA is looking for volunteers for the following committees:
The deadline for completing the ALA Committee Volunteer form is Friday, Nov. 4, 2011.
- American Libraries Advisory
- Budget Analysis and Review
- Chapter Relations
- Constitution and Bylaws
- Council Orientation
- Human Resource Development and Recruitment Advisory
- Information Technology Policy Advisory
- Intellectual Freedom
- International Relations
- Library Advocacy
- Literacy and Outreach Services Advisory
- Membership Meetings
- Policy Monitoring (current Council members only)
- Professional Ethics
- Public and Cultural Programs Advisory
- Public Awareness
- Research and Statistics
- Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds
- Scholarships and Study Grants
- Status of Women in Librarianship
- Training, Orientation and Leadership Development
- Website Advisory
- ALA-Children’s Book Council (Joint)
- ALA-Association of American of Museums (Joint).
Carl A. Harvey II
President, American Association of School Librarians
President-elect Sarah Justice and I spent six days in New Orleans at the American Library Association annual conference at the end of June. We attended meetings as your NC representatives to the American Association of School Librarians Affiliate Assembly and spent some time stalking authors and speakers on the exhibit floor and in concurrent sessions.
Here are some lessons I learned from our trip to The Big Easy:
- Network with as many folks as you can. At our meetings, we had the opportunity to talk with school librarians from our region (KY, SC, WV, VA, TN, NC) as well as across the country. But it was also the conversations standing in author signing lines and on the airplanes and throughout the conference that reconnected us with passionate readers, tech savvy individuals, and information gurus.
- Pack lightly and mail your books home or stick them in your suitcase. Yes, I borrowed my five year old daughter's suitcase for the trip -- rolled clothes and I had plenty to wear for our six days. But I did mail two boxes of books (freebies and a couple that I purchased) back home to avoid hefting 40-50lbs of books on the plane.
- Wear comfortable shoes to a national conference. While Deb Christensen clocked over 16,000 steps on her pedometer one day during the conference, I'm sure that between the two of us Sarah and I walked 40 miles during our trip. Comfy sandals and supportive tennis shoes were our friends.
- AASL has some great resources, if you'll just take advantage of them. At our Affiliate Assembly meeting, we were reminded of the toolkits and planning guides at the AASL website that can help us be better teachers, assessors, planners, and advocates in our library media programs.
- Leadership is key to making things happen in our profession. While we heard some incredible speakers and authors, we also heard from key leaders in our profession, folks who are at the building levels just like us and making a difference everyday in the lives of students, teachers, and fellow school librarians.
Posted by Ms. Dee at 5:31 PM
It's day 4 on my great NC-to-DC adventure and it's been non-stop meetings, sessions, and chances to network with some great school librarians from around the US and the world.
Yesterday was a morning-long meeting at AASL's Affiliate Assembly where we discussed concerns and commendations from across the U.S. This morning I had the special opportunity to attend a meeting with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Secretary Duncan talked about the dire economic decisions facing school districts now and said it was imperative that we make our voices heard and tell our stories loudly and clearly. I'll post more about this meeting later when I have time to collect my thoughts and decipher my quickly typed notes! The meeting ended on a perfect note with AASL President-Elect Nancy Everhart telling Secretary Duncan about the showcase of exemplary school libraries on her Vision Tour website of Outstanding School Libraries
. (Check for our Gina Webster, of Walkertown Middle School in Walkertown, NC on that site!)
This morning I also attended a session on Collaborative Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension: Maximizing Your Impact led by Gail Bush, Liz Deskins, and Judi Moreillon. I was surprised and glad to learn that there is a toolkit of fabulous free resources available on the AASL website on how to collaborate in reading instruction. I'll post some of those links in a later post when I re-cap ALA10. I've been tweeting as time permits -- you can search for me on Twitter as kellybrannock or under the name of ncslma. Or, just search for the Twitter hashtag #ala10 to find all kinds of tweets on lots of activities here in DC.
Kudos are in order to our own Deb Christensen, past-president of NCSLMA, who has been appointed Director-Elect of Region 4 in AASL's Affiliate Assembly. I also have to give a shout-out to Evelyn Bussell, from Wake County Schools, who has been using her Flip camera to capture comments and reactions from school librarians about their experience here at ALA. I can't wait to see her finished product!
Tomorrow is Library Advocacy Day on Capital Hill and hopefully there will be thousands of us rallying at the Upper Senate Park, dressed in our bright red t-shirts and making lots of noise about the importance of libraries. If you can't be here in person to join the chorus, won't you add your voice by sending a message to your representative and Senators tomorrow? It only takes 5 minutes to email a message and ALA makes it easy for you by supplying talking points. Please check out the ALA site
, put together a brief message, and email your message tomorrow. We're all in this together!
connecting -- learning -- leading
Posted by Kelly Brannock at 9:55 AM
Kelly Brannock and I are braving the D.C. heat to represent you as your North Carolina delegates to the American Association of School Librarians Affiliate Assembly.
On Friday night, we met with other delegates across the country to discuss concerns brought to the AASL from the various regions. Region 4, which we belong to, was well represented and our two concerns were discussed by the assembled delegates.
We both spent time in the exhibits on Saturday, talking with some of our favorite vendors and meeting up with fellow North Carolinians on the floor.
On Sunday, we will meet again at AASL Affiliate Assembly and share our discussions with you via the blog and listserv!
If you're in D.C., we hope you're enjoying the conference and the D.C. sights! If you couldn't make it, we hope your friends are bringing you back lots of autographed books and free posters!
Posted by Ms. Dee at 5:47 PM
Thanks to my trusty side-kick, NCSLMA President-Elect Deanna Harris, who faithfully blogged about our experiences pal-ing around together at ALA Midwinter in Boston last weekend. Yes, we really did see and hear Al Gore -- I even got up close for an autograph of his newest book, Our Choices. As you may have seen on this blog (and on Facebook), we had our picture taken with another celebrity, "Flat Sara", a life-size cutout of ALA Presidential candidate, Sara Kelly Johns
. (Sara is a former AASL President & she's looking for support from AASL members when we vote for ALA President in the spring.) Out of obligation to our host city, Deanna and I slurped down some tasty clam "chowdah" and did extensive field-testing of their famous Boston Creme Pie. We can confirm that they know how to make a scrumptious dessert in Boston!
Of course, there were more substantive things that happened in Boston. One of the more intriguing moments was when AASL President-Elect Nancy Everhart described her plan to visit an outstanding school library in all 50 states! Nancy's excellent adventure (she'll be rollin' cross-country in an RV) might be the ticket to your fame, since Nancy is looking for an exemplary school library in NC to visit. I will provide her with our state's recommendation for this honor in April, so put on your thinking caps and consider nominating yourself or someone else. An "offical" NCSLMA nomination form will be posted on the website soon, but in the meantime here are the specifics that Nancy is looking for in her 50-state school library tour:
- The school librarian is fully certified and a member of AASL
- The facility and activities going on in the facility are engaging and visually stimulating.
- The school library makes the most of the resources available.
- Schools should be diverse and at various levels – elementary, middle, high, K-12, etc.
- The school administration agrees to a site visit with media coverage which may include television, radio, and/or web coverage
- Appropriate permissions are obtained which include photos, video and potential research
- The school visit will occur on a day that fits Nancy's schedule
- Evidence of learning will be provided
- Tour schedule will be finalized in May and June and announced at ALA Annual in Washington, DC in June 2010.
Besides fame as a stop on Nancy's 50-state tour, there's fortune to be had as an AASL member. Several AASL awards are still up for grabs and we would LOVE to see an NCSLMA member bring home the money. The application deadline is February 1, 2010, so time is of the essence! For more information, including an application, go to http://www.ala.org/aasl/awards
. Award winners will be honored at ALA Annual in Washington DC in June 2010. Given the current budget environment, there's no better time to showcase your library program, demonstrate your very best practices, and support the work you love by bringing home an AASL Award!
The other interesting news out of Boston is that AASL has officially adopted the professional title of "School Librarian" to describe the work we do. According to ALA's Cognotes, "a recent AASL survey indicated confusion, misperceptions, and inconsistencies about job titles in the school librarian profession." Affiliate Assembly requested that the AASL Board of Directors "choose a title for its professionals that is clear to other educators, administrators, and the public, and that presents a common nomenclature for all publications and advocacy efforts."
So, School Librarian may be an old name, but it's our new professional title for the 21st century. While most people are very familiar with this old new name, they are likely not as conversant with what it means to be a 21st century School Librarian. If we are at our very best, we're making this clear every day through the work we do in school libraries across North Carolina. (I don't know about you, but I wear this professional title proudly and make it part of my signature line.)
Happily back in NC (but still lovin' Boston),
your NCSLMA President and School Librarian
connecting . learning . email@example.com
kellybrannock at Twitter
Kelly Brannock on Facebook
Posted by Kelly Brannock at 5:40 PM
Well, Kelly and I were wimps this morning. We didn't venture out in the cold, wet freezing rain and snow to head to the convention center for the live and in-person 2010 Youth Media Award announcements. But we did manage to get logged on and watch the live webcast in the comfort of our hotel room (while still in our pajamas!) and enjoy some of the excitement of being the first to learn who the winners are.You can read the entire list of winners and the press release at www.ala.org/yma
Newbery Award winner: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Caldecott Award winner: The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Printz Award winner: Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Belpre' Award winners: Return to Sender by Julie Alvarez (text) and Book Fiesta! by Pat Mora, illustrated by Rafael Lopez (illustrations)
Siebert Award winner: Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone
Posted by Ms. Dee at 6:14 AM
Here's Al Gore on the big screen. We really did see him on stage. We promise! It was just easier to take a picture of the bigger than life Al Gore than the tiny Gore on stage.
Here we are posing with "Flat Sara", the life-size cardboard display of ALA Presidential candidate, Sara Kelly Johns, former AASL President.
Kelly, Sandra Andrews - UNC-G and AASL Affiliate Assembly chair, and Deb Christensen - NCSLMA Past-President
Kelly and Deanna posing at the Backstage Library Works booth in the exhibit hall.
Kelly and Deanna "getting to know" Oscar the Robot, the Emery-Platt book distributors mascot.
Posted by Ms. Dee at 6:58 AM
Saturday was a great day for networking with librarians from all locations and backgrounds, but especially our fellow school librarians.
We started our day with AASL Affiliate Assembly roundtable discussions. The topic of this year's discussions was on setting and size of school libraries and the unique problems that arise with each. Kelly and I, along with Deb Christensen, joined the 'suburban' table since we both teach in schools that seem to fit that definition best. Other discussion tables included rural, urban, small, and large.
The folks at our table included librarians from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Delaware, and the discussion focused on issues that uniquely affect suburban schools. The main issue we reported out to the larger group is that in suburban schools we are starting to serve a wider range of students, students from the very poor to the more affluent. How do we make sure that we have the instructional strategies, the teaching tools, and the resources to meet the needs of that wide range of students?
And speaking of name dropping, we had the opportunity to hear Al Gore as he delivered the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture. Gore discussed his latest book, Our Choices
, about the climate crisis. This book is accessible to younger readers. Kelly got up close and personal with Gore when she had her book autographed.
Lots of librarians, including Kelly, are tweeting during the conference. So if you'd like more updates and information, you can search the tag #alamw10 for their comments and postings.
Posted by Ms. Dee at 3:53 AM
Kelly and I arrived in Boston Friday afternoon. (We hope our friends in NC enjoyed the warmer temperatures on Friday because it's cold here!)
Our afternoon was spent organizing ourselves for the weekend -- registering, finding our way around, locating the rooms for our meetings. We attended the Exhibitor's Reception and roamed around looking for some familiar faces, and it's a veritable "Who's Who" from NC in Boston.
NCSLMA Past-President Deb Christiansen and Piedmont Director Catherine Barone are just two doors down from us. Deb currently serves as past recording secretary for AASL Affliate Assembly, and Catherine is on the YALSA Teen Read Week committee.
We ran into a couple of folks from the hometown universities -- Sandra Andrews, Chairperson of Affiliate Assembly, and Linda Gann from UNC-G
and Linda Teel from East Carolina University
. (We'd also already seen Sandra Hughes-Hassell
from UNC-Ch on our flight to Boston.) These ladies were enjoying the clam chowder at the reception and making their way around to find those deals at the exhibitors.
At dinner at Legal Test Kitchen
(very yummy!), we conversed with Kevin Cherry, NC native and former State Library of NC staffer, who now works with ILMS
We're off to brave the cold this morning as we head back to the convention center for our roundtable discussion! Watch for pictures and more postings!Deanna Harris, NBCTNCSLMA President-Elect
Posted by Ms. Dee at 4:34 AM
Who knew that going to Charlotte could be a life-changing experience? (Well, I suppose a few NASCAR drivers at the Speedway have seen their lives flash before their eyes!). I drove to Charlotte with plans to rev-up at the NCSLMA program, attend some cool sessions at AASL, pick up some freebies in the exhibit hall, catch up with old friends, and maybe enjoy some local cuisine. What I didn't expect was to start thinking big, and to begin seeing my professional life in a new way.
It all started during the opening session when I decided to log in to Twitter
to follow the conversation @#aasl2009. I began by reading other people's tweets, and then I thought about the technology friend who'd introduced me to Twitter. I knew that she couldn't come to the conference, so I decided to start tweeting about what I was hearing as a way to connect with her and to share my learning. Surprisingly, the more I tweeted for her, the more engaged I became. Now I'll admit that I used to be an avid Twitter-basher, but in Charlotte I appreciated how Twitter prompted me to take charge of my personal learning, discover some exciting new sessions, hang out in the blogger's cafe (which, honestly, I would not have explored otherwise), and connect with some amazing people in our profession.
My metamorphosis continued . . . as I listened to leaders like Ross Todd, Joyce Valenza
, and David Loertscher, while I shared ideas with some inspiring new people during small group discussion, and when I started thinking about the library media center as a learning commons. I heard the words "ubiquitous" and "21st century learning" everywhere. Now these ideas have found a growing place in me.
I went to NCSLMA
thinking about what I would get out of the conference, but I left thinking about what I still need to give -- both to my profession and to my students. It's a little scary hanging out on the edge of the future (to paraphrase Doug Johnson), but it's also an exciting time & place to be. I can't wait to see and experience what the next year brings!
One more thing --
connecting, learning, leading... you'll hear that theme from me this year as I peer out from the edge of our profession, looking squarely into the future. I invite you to join me out on the edge -- be a part of the conversation, hang out with me and with Deanna Harris (our new President-Elect), and get involved in NCSLMA, your professional organization.
NCSLMA President 2009-2010
Posted by Ms. Brannock at 4:29 PM