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Conference Planning

Never knew conference planning looked like this, did you?
This picture doesn't show it, but I can tell you there will be a lot of great sessions this year! 

Posted by mrsjustice at 5:08 PM

Presenting at NCSLMA Conference--a great opportunity!

Explain the birds and the bees to my daughter...wear a bathing suit...teach a group of 7th graders while my skirt is tucked into my pantyhose...these are all things I would rather do than make a presentation to a group of my peers. But, since I don’t have a daughter (two boys so I’ll leave that talk to my husband), I never wear a bathing suit except at the beach, and I never wear pantyhose, much less a skirt (hello!  I climb under the computer tables all day long to plug in the elusive missing cables)...a few years ago I decided to sign up for a presentation slot at the NCSLMA conference, and I have done it almost every year since. I have attended the NCSLMA conference every year since my first year in the media center. Sometimes, I would have difficultly finding a session to attend because most seemed to be geared towards elementary and middle grades only.  After a few years of complaining to myself about this, I decided that since I was a high school person, maybe I would squash that fear of speaking in front of my peers and sign up for a spot.  At that time, DPI was discussing the idea of requiring Graduation Projects for all schools.  Since our school had required the projects as part of graduation since 2000, I felt like I should impart the knowledge that had made ours such a success.  Would anyone care about this?  Would anyone show up to the presentation?  Did I actually know what I was talking about?  To say I stressed out would be an understatement.  But, thankfully the presentation was a success.  There was an overflow crowd, I ran out of handouts, there were some great questions, and I don’t think anyone walked out. So, for the next few years, I did this same presentation until DPI decided that maybe requiring the projects wasn’t such a good idea (shame on them).  During this time, I also was drafted by NCCAT one time to present on their National Boards support program.  I was more than happy to brag on this since I have taken advantage of it many times as a participant and a mentor.  And last year, I presented once again.  This time I talked about “fun”draising.  We all need more money, don’t we?  And it should be fun! You  might be asking, “What’s the point in this article?”  Well, it’s just a little pep talk for those of you who are on the fence about presenting.  We all are great at something, but might not realize that other people would like to hear about it.  I think we all feel that what we do in our program is probably what everyone else does...but a lot of times that is not true.  Teach us!  Share with us!  And, if it is something that we all do, at least know that some of us feel better about ourselves to know that others do the same thing.  Are you ready to present now?  If this isn’t enough to push you over the edge, maybe you should take into account that a lot of conferences waive your registration fee for presenting.  This was always a nice way to convince my director that I had to go to the conference, and she could pay for food and travel instead!  But, the Call to Present form will be available only a few more days.  So, before July 15th, you need to fill out an application at  http://tinyurl.com/5uzqmg7. And finally, my journey to sheer terror has not stopped with my small group presentations.  This year, I am the president-elect of the NCSLMA.  So, during my first presentation to the whole group if I happen to have my skirt tucked into my pantyhose...don’t giggle...too much. 

Posted by mrsjustice at 6:49 AM

Lessons from The Big Easy

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

Focusing on Solutions

Gina Webster, media specialist at Walkertown Middle School, posted this on the NCSLMA listserv back in November, but it is very timely and worth revisiting, considering the impending budget cuts. 

I've been feeling a sense of urgency and a call to action lately. I'm generally focused more on solutions than problems, so I thought I'd share a few ideas that may be worth considering as we consider our emerging and evolving place in education.

1. Develop a student focus group to get feedback & fresh ideas to connect w/ what they need/want from their library.

2. Create a space on the library/media center's website that showcases collaborative work with teachers & students.

3. Find at least 5 other School Librarians who have a positive attitude about growth/change.

4. Develop an online request system to solicit ideas for future purchases.

5. Weed.

6. Invite someone from the Board of Education to participate in a lesson, program, or special event.

7. Realize that books may change in format and such but READING isn't going anywhere.
Focus on reading and literacy and you won't go wrong.

8. Try a new techy tool and shamelessly show it off to anyone who'll listen.

9. Use a social network to build a professional support group, think tank, sounding board, and cheering section for yourself.

10. Find a reason to make parent phone calls every week. Solicit volunteers, reinforce student accomplishments/learning, whatever you can do to remind parents of your role in their child's education.

Lots of library love to you all,
Gina

Posted by Ms. Dee at 7:41 PM
1 Comments

Save the NC Teaching Fellows

It's almost like we are all becoming endangered species---I've written to the "officials" about our media programs, about NCCAT, and now, sadly, the Teaching Fellows program.  I thought I'd share my letter with you all because I know that at least you will give me a response (and I would think that response is total indignation).

Over the years, I have accomplished many things that I can honestly say I am proud of--I’m proud to be a mother to two adventurous boys (7 years of my life); I’m proud to be getting ready to celebrate my wedding anniversary (9 years of my life); I’m proud to be a middle and high school librarian in an amazing small school in Western North Carolina (13 years of my life); and finally, I’m proud to be a Teaching Fellow.  I have been a Teaching Fellow for HALF of my life.  I am so proud of this accomplishment that I achieved when I was 18 years old.  I was just starting my “adult” life and I knew exactly what I wanted to do, which was to work with the students of North Carolina.  I have dedicated my life to this endeavor.  In my years of working with high school students, I have met many of the younger generations who feel this same way.  A very grateful senior at my high school just received word that she will be receiving the scholarship for next year.  And now, this wonderful opportunity that I was given is being ripped away.  I do not understand how anyone could think that this action is a good idea. 

By being a Teaching Fellow, I was introduced to so much more than what the average education student experiences--and I feel I can truly say this because my college roommate was also an education major, but not a Teaching Fellow.  I had extra classes in education, was introduced to the classroom much earlier than during student teaching which is when most future teachers step into the classroom, and had a network of fellow educators to lean on.  After graduating, when I applied for jobs I had that extra gold star of being one of the “best and brightest” because of being a Teaching Fellow. 

With all the cuts to people who are currently in education, how can you already punish those that wish to become teachers?  Please fight to keep the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program...future generations of students will thank you. 

Posted by mrsjustice at 6:32 PM
2 Comments

Tammy Young Advocates at Library Legislative Day

Tammy Young, NCSLMA Advocacy Committee Chair, shares her experience from this year's Library Legislative Day.

As the Advocacy Chair for NCLSMA, I have stepped waaaaaaaaaaaaay outside of my comfort zone. When I volunteered for this position I was intimidated a bit by the responsibility required of me in “speaking for NCSLMA”.

My first opportunity came when the NC Library Association (NCLA) invited me to join the NC delegation’s trip to Washington, DC May 9 and 10 to participate in ALA’s “Library Legislative Day”. NCLA has coordinated a group for the past several years and I was very excited to be able to travel and network with these colleagues.

The journey began on the morning of Monday, May 9 when the “western” delegates met in Greensboro to board the chartered coach and head toward Washington with a stop in Henderson, NC to pick up the “eastern” delegates. Among this group were public library directors and branch managers, library board members, NCLA leadership, academic librarians, a county commissioner and Mary Boone, our state librarian. It was a boisterous group of 27 advocates lead by the energetic Carol Walters, Director of Libraries Sandhill Regional Library System.

During the ride to Washington, the delegates were given information and key talking points regarding the state of NC libraries to utilize in our legislative discussions. Information packets with statistics were distributed on Tuesday to the NC legislators and their staff –including among the multicolored and informative papers, flash drives with video presentations that put faces and places with the numbers. One piece of advice I’ve heard over and over is the importance of showing the “transformative power of libraries” not simply statistics, when advocating for our patrons, programs and personnel.

The NC delegation focused on three key points: fund Federal initiatives including the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Improving Literacy Through School Libraries, support school libraries through Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and assure stabilization of the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (USF) and simplify the E-rate discount program.

We arrived in Washington in time to drop in at the ALA reception and meet other delegates. The NC delegation received an award for the largest number of delegates of all states represented.

Day 2 began with an early AM departure to Washington where we began the day by meeting Celia Sims, a staffer of Senator Burr. Delegates from 2010 were very enthusiastic about reconnecting with Celia due the previous year’s meeting resulted in Senator Burr co-sponsoring the Museum and Library Services Act of 2010, which provides expanded authority to the Institute of Museum and Library Services to promote and ensure library and information services, and reauthorizes appropriations for and programs under the Library Services and Technology Act.

The entire group then moved to Senator Hagan’s office where we met with her staffers and we gave testimonials about the importance of libraries to all North Carolinians. To cover as much ground as possible, the large group divided into two groups and thanks to prearranged meeting times, we met with House members and/or staffers. I along with the other western delegates met with Rep. McHenry’s staffer Krista Stafford, Rep. Myrick’s staffer Andy Polk, Rep. Foxx, Rep. Shuler’s staffer Erin Georges, Rep. Coble and Rep. Kissell. The eastern delegates met with Rep. Miller’s staffer Brandy Dillingham, Rep. Ellmers’ staffer Josh Babb, Rep. Price’s staffer Laura Thrift, Rep. McIntyre’s staffer Alyssa Dack and Rep. Butterfield’s staffer Meredith Morgan. During each conversation we shared stories of the value and importance to maintaining and/or improving library funding and staffing.

While it was thrilling to meet personally with several representatives, we were told by veteran advocates that the staffers are often the best “pipeline” to our elected officials. These staffers can ensure the legislator continues to focus on library needs and concerns. Rep. Kissell (District 8), a former educator, asked pointed questions and expressed his support of educators. The group met on the Senate steps to have our photo made with Senator Burr and present him with a certificate of appreciation for his past support of NC libraries.

Following a quick lunch at Union Station the group boarded our coach for the ride back to Henderson then Greensboro, very tired but feeling like our presence “planted a seed” with NC’s federal representatives (and their staffers). Personal thank you notes were written to each staff member and/or representative in an effort to help keep our concerns “front and center”.

If you are in Washington or Raleigh during a break from school, drop in and allow your representatives and/or their staffers to hear from you how much libraries mean to you and your patrons. I would encourage you to remember your local, state and federal elected officials and issue a “blanket” invitation to visit your library next time they are available (or nearby)! Check out this link to "District Days" -- an opportunity to take advantage of legislators summer breakhttp://wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/District_Days.

Please let us know your plans to advocate for libraries with legislators by posting to the Facebook NCSLMA discussion and following up with photos from your events. 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 6:30 PM

Pilot Mountain Middle School Wins BOB Competition

Monday, May 9, 2011 Pilot Mountain Middle School Wins BOB Competition On Tuesday, May 3rd, NCSLMA hosted the annual Middle School State Battle of the Books competition on the beautiful campus of UNCG in Greensboro. What an exciting day for the teams that represented each of the nine regions in the state. 

After 36 rounds of challenging questions and evenly-matched teams, the ultimate victor came from Region 7—Northwest. Congratulations to the students and coach of Pilot Mountain Middle School! 

Congratulations to the second place team, Pembroke Middle School (Region 4—Sandhills), and to the third place team representing Topsail Middle School (Region 2—Southeast)

Congratulations to ALL the participating teams who won their regional competition to represent their region at the state level:
Region 1—Northeast: G.R. Whitfield
Region 3—Central: Apex Middle School
Region 5—Piedmont: N.L. Dillard Middle School
Region 6—Southwest: Marvin Ridge Middle School
Region 8—West: Waynesville Middle School
Region 9—Independent: Our Lady of Grace

Thank you to all those who made the competition a flawless event, especially members of the State MS BOB committee, Mary Swoope (chairperson), and Jean Howard and Ann Woerle who edited the questions. The 2011-2012 MSBOB list is available on the NCSLMA website:http://www.ncslma.org/BookCompetitions/bookcompetitions.htm 

Happy Reading! 
-- Jackie Mills 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 6:19 PM

National Library Legislative Day

Contact your elected officials on National Library Legislative Day!

Libraries are increasingly essential in these tough economic times. People are flocking to our nation’s libraries for job and career information, small business research and e-government services as well as support for formal and informal education and lifelong learning. Congress made across-the-board cuts to federal programs in its FY2011 budget, and libraries fill the gaps made when other agencies and services. Unfortunately, libraries are also receiving federal budget cuts.

Even if you can’t make it Washington for National Library Legislative Day on May 9, you can join us by contacting your representatives and senators during Virtual Legislative Day. 

Please contact your elected officials with the following requests:

APPROPRIATIONS FY2012
  • Fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) at $232 million, the level last authorized in December 2010;
  • Preserve the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program with its own budget line and appropriate the program at its FY2010 level of $19.1 million;
  • Maintain funding for the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Compendia Branch at $2.9 million in order to preserve publication of “Statistical Abstracts” and other publications;
  • Fund the Salaries and Expenses work of the Government Printing Office (GPO) at $42,173,000 to preserve public access through the FDLP and FedSYS.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (School Libraries):
  • Support student performance by including an effective school library program as part of ESEA through the LEARN Act to include:
  • A school library staffed by a state-certified school librarian;
  • A school library with up-to-date books, materials, equipment, and technology, including broadband connectivity; and
  • Instruction by librarians for students and staff on digital and computer literacy skills, including collaboration between classroom teachers and school librarians to develop and implement the curriculum and other school reforms.
While these issues are the most urgent at this time, there are many other critical pieces of legislation impacting libraries. 

For full list of key issues that will be discussed at National Library Legislative Day, click here. ALA has also drafted issue briefs on the following areas:AccessAppropriations for LibrariesBroadband & TelecommunicationsCopyrightElementary and Secondary Education ActGovernment Services & InformationSurveillance & Privacy and theWILL Act

Posted by Ms. Dee at 6:24 AM

NCSLMA Conference Call to Present

The planning has started...speakers have been booked...convention center is getting ready...All we need is you!   The 2011 NCSLMA Conference Call to Present is now available at http://tinyurl.com/5uzqmg7.   The 2011 theme is "Hello...My Name Is"  What's the reasoning behind this?  Well, it's simple. For years we have advocated for our program, but now it's time to advocate for ourselves.  The easiest way to do this is to make sure everyone knows your name and knows what your speciality is!  So, show us some of those specialities!  Are you good at technology? library promotion? reading programs? professional development?  Strut your stuff at the 2011 Conference and let us get to know your name. 

Posted by mrsjustice at 11:38 AM

Allan Wolf to Speak at Toast and Tales Breakfast

Toast and Tales Breakfast on Saturday: Allan Wolf
http://www.allanwolf.com/

TEN THINGS YOU (PROBABLY) DIDN’T 
KNOW ABOUT ALLAN WOLF

10) Allan is a past National Sonnet Slam Champion. 
9) Allan can recite hundreds of poems from memory. 
8) Allan did not like school. 
7) Allan has a pet chicken named Atilla the Hen. 
6) Allan has two goldfish named Lewis and Clark. 
5) Allan plays drums with a band called The Dead Poets. 
4) Allan never watches television. (He doesn’t even own one!) 
3) To relax Allan plays guitar or juggles. 
2) Allan dreams of one day living in a house with a secret room. 
1) Allan can ride a skateboard standing on his hands. 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 4:41 PM

Get Motivated with Conference Luncheon Speaker

Friday's Luncheon speaker: Jennifer Pharr Davis
(cost included with pre-registration
http://www.blueridgehikingco.com/index.html

Jennifer Pharr Davis, a native of Henderson County, NC, is the author of the book - Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail. The book chronicles her adventures, experiences and challenges during her first Appalachian Trial thru hike just out of college in 2005. In 2008 she became the women's speed record holder by completing the entire length of the 2175-mile Appalachian Trail in just 57 days, 8 hours and 35 minutes. This summer, Jennifer has plans to break the overall speed record on the Appalachian Trail. 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 5:34 PM

Gwyneth Jones, Keynote Speaker for Fall Conference

 Friday's Keynote Speaker will be Gwyneth Jones, The Daring Librarian 

Gwyneth A. Jones, aka The Daring Librarian, is a blogger, a Tweeter, a Plurker, a speaker, a citizen of Nings and a resident of Second Life. Gwyneth is a teacher librarian at Murray Hill Middle School in Laurel, Maryland, a member of the ISTE Board of Directors, and the author of the award winning Daring Librarian blog. The Daring Librarian is a digitally shifted ed tech teaching ninja with a passion for re-mix mash-up production, transliteracy, cutting edge librarianship, graphic design, & being a change agent within in her learning communities both geographically and within the æthernets. Fearlessly daring to take chances, fight the filters, and ignoring the negative naysayers, all for our most important customers – our students. Admittedly, she’s also a goofball & a geek. 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 5:47 PM

Teachers Spared? Think Again about Proposed Budget Cuts

This is a letter that I sent to the reporter at the News and Observer asking for clear, factual reporting of the proposed budget cuts:

Ms. Stancil,

Your article (
http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/02/18/998028/budget-spares-teachers.html#story_tab_comments) indicates that teachers and teaching assistants are spared and that non-teaching positions are reduced, including media specialists.

While for budget purposes media specialists are classified as instructional support, media specialists are TEACHING staff: we are TEACHERS. We INSTRUCT students on a daily basis. We TEACH individual, small group, and whole classes of students. We are evaluated on our TEACHING. We are paid on the TEACHER pay scale (unlike other instructional support staff which are paid on different, higher pay scales). 

It is important that we TEACH students to evaluate, analyze, and think critically, to access information and to use it ethically. It is important that we keep TEACHERS whose curriculum includes information literacy. Those TEACHERS are media specialists, and we are responsible for TEACHING students!

Please be sure to report the fact that not all TEACHERS are being spared in the proposed budget cuts.
 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 7:41 AM

Hello! from ALA Midwinter in San Diego

Sarah Justice, president-elect, and I here in San Diego for the American Library Association Midwinter Conference. This is the time for our meetings with the American Association of School Librarians and Affiliate Assembly where we represent you and the our association at meetings with other delegates from other state school library media organizations.

Sarah and I took this morning to familiarize ourselves with the meeting schedule and convention center. We were even caught on camera by the ALA photographer! (Thanks to my own media assistant who found me on the ALA Flickr site and sent me the link!)
On Saturday, we will represent you and our association at the AASL roundtable discussions, where we will work on topics of interest and importance to school librarians around the country. On Sunday, we will attend the Affiliate Assembly and work with our colleagues in Region 4, continuing to discuss those issues important to our profession.

On Monday morning, we hope to attend the announcement of the book award winners. You can view the program on the ALA website:
http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/mediapresscenter/presskits/youthmediaawards/alayouthmediaawards.cfm

We hear that you all are bracing for another winter storm while we are enjoying the 60 degree weather here in California. Watch for more updates about the conference and our meetings, and we hope to make it safely back to the east coast without too many snow or ice delays on Monday night! 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 4:53 PM

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things 

Are these really my favorite things? No, not really, but coincidently enough, this song was playing while I was doing one of my favorite things—shopping for books with my students! Hearing this got me thinking...what are some of your favorite things? Within our libraries, we all have programs, ideas, lessons, etc that fall into the category “favorite things.” One of my favorites happens to fall right at the holiday season which of course heightens the stress, but I think it makes me appreciate the project all the more. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to hear about one of my favorite things...A few years ago at the NCSLMA conference, someone mentioned taking the students to Barnes and Noble to buy books. A light bulb went off and an idea started brewing. I could take all the freshmen English students to Barnes and Noble, they could pick out books, and I would put them in the library catalog. I would call it the “Fresh Books” program. A week later, I had talked to the English teacher (only one teaches 9th grade), reserved a bus, found some money, and was ready to hit the road. I made a deal with the kids that they would have a $20 limit, could pick out any book that would be appropriate for the library, and I would put it in the library with a book plate with their name on it in the front cover and allow them to check it out first.Was it a success? Just ask the kids. Our first group is this year’s senior class. Just the other day, one of the boys was looking up his book in the catalog to see if it was available because he was telling another boy how great it was. That first year, some of the older students complained because they never got to go on any “cool” trips. Later on, I heard a few of the younger students (I serve grades 6-12) discussing what they were going to buy when they got to go. Each semester, as I catalog the books, I have to fight the kids off from the book cart and tell them that the freshman who chose the book gets to check it out first. And before this last trip, one of the sophomores asked me to make sure to get the latest Ranger’s Apprentice book because he had chosen one in the series as his book, and he wanted to make sure we had the next one.We took our latest group of students to Barnes and Noble on December 3 with a few reservations because they are one of “those classes.” You know what I mean. But, $902 and 50 books later, I was extremely pleased. This trip was also the perfect example of what this can do for my library collection. Before these trips started, recommendations for books really only came from the readers. The non-readers were just that—non-readers. But getting these non-readers into the book store has helped my shelves be populated with books that I never would have thought to buy. I never knew there was a series based on the Halo video game. I definitely never knew there were that many hunting books! And this trip, after two boys approached me with “You ask her.” “No, you ask her.”, I have my first two gaming strategy books on my shelves. During the past two days of cataloging, I’ve had more kids pick up those two books than any others, begging to be allowed to check them out. I think I’ve found something to put in my LSTA grant application! But, my greatest satisfaction came on the day the books were checked out. Seeing the kids’ faces when they opened up their books and saw their names printed on the inside cover reminded me once again why this is one of my favorite things. 

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading! 
Sarah Justice, President Elect 

Posted by mrsjustice at 4:58 PM

Something to Talk About

If you were at the NCSLMA conference last week, you had something to talk about. 

If you weren't there, you missed 2 panel discussions that were frank, forward-focused, ferocious at times, and frightening to some. If you weren't in Winston-Salem, you need to connect with someone who was there* and talk about where our profession is headed.

Whatever your reaction to the panelists' remarks, you have to admit it got us talking about our library lives. It's true that some of the statements were pretty strong, even hard to hear, but I also believe that those assertions were meant to challenge our thinking about our current practice and the future of our profession. 

Book lovers in the audience probably cringed at the pointed remarks about storytime. Hard as it was to hear, there was truth in that statement. Unfortunately, there are some in our field who wield storytime as an easy way to fill the time, simply reading aloud without enriching or connecting the literature to the curriculum beyond the boundaries of the book. Even when our schedules make us feel undervalued and overworked, we HAVE to be promoting reading in all formats, focusing on student learning, and supporting school-wide goals for student achievement. If we're using storytime to merely fill the time, then we're not adding any value with our school library programs. 

If you're like me, books worked their magic and lured me into this profession. But books can no longer be the end-all and be-all of school libraries. If we're too focused on the primacy of the book or if we let our easy love of the book interfere with the teaching of other essential skills and content, then there isn't a very promising future for school libraries. Never mind the future, we're doing today's learners a tremendous disservice. 

So, what should we do about our peers whose best just isn't good enough any more? Does it really matter if the school librarian/teacher librarian/media specialist at another school isn't at the top of their professional game? It matters. I am convinced that we have to elevate the practice of our peers -- their practice shapes the opinions of stakeholders about our profession and more importantly, their students deserve better! Whether we want to believe it or not, we're all in the same boat and we need to start talking and paddling hard in the same direction. 

So, let's keep the discussion going. NCSLMA isn't just the conference. NCSLMA is us, a reflection of our daily work life and a vibrant professional community if we make it so. 

Just sayin' . . . North Carolina, let's give 'em something to talk about.

Kelly Brannock
Past President, NCSLMA 2009-10

*check out the Twitter stream from the conference at #ncslma2010. 

Posted by Ms. Brannock at 5:06 PM
2 Comments

Talking about the NCSLMA Conference

What are conference authors, speakers, and attendees saying about this year's NCSLMA conference?

Lisa Yee
Lisa Yee blogs about her experience at NCSLMA in Winston-Salem in her latest entry at her blog: http://lisayee.livejournal.com/149019.html

Check out the photos of Lisa and Peepy, her muse, along with school librarians Becky Palgi, Beth Obenschain, Evelyn Bussell, and Yvette Davis and authors Cynthia Kadohata and Kirby Larson. You might even find yourself in the pictures from the author luncheon with Lisa on Friday!

Doug Johnson
Doug Johnson just blogged about attending the NCSLMA conference -- he looked at attendance at our conference and others, and then wonders if library conferences are fading away? Here's the URL for his blog: http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2010/11/6/library-conferences-fading-away.html

On Twitter
#ncslma2010 @DebLogan we have to stop advocating for #teacherlibrariansand start advocating for students and who else we serve. - @jenniferlagarde

Media centers have been seen as a respite from testing, but this doesn't help w advocacy or relevance #ncslma2010 - @kellybrannock

Home from #ncslma2010 and fired up. Look for something big soon. - pcaggia

What are you talking about? 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 8:28 PM

Conference Update: What Great Sessions You Have!

Okay, folks, if you haven't looked at the conference program online, go look now! I'll wait.

Well? Aren't those some incredibly, fabulous concurrent sessions happening on Thursday and Friday?

Yes! Those are your smart, creative, forward-thinking colleagues presenting some of those sessions. 

And yes, those are some well-known national school librarians presenting some other sessions. 

And yes, those are some incredible children's and YA authors and illustrators presenting those other sessions!

So you're coming to the conference, right? Great! 

But what about you? No, you didn't pre-register. Well, that's okay, you can still come on Thursday morning and register on-site for the two day conference.

So you can only make one day? Then do it! Take Thursday or Friday off and get in your car and head to Winston for some of the best professional development you'll get! 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 1:40 PM

Conference Update: Guess Who's Autographing?! (And There's Food!)

Have you seen the list of authors that will be signing their books at Thursday's night's reception and autographing session?! There is an author for everyone!

The All Conference Reception and Author Autographing Session is Thursday, November 4th from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

You definitely do not want to miss the opportunity to meet these authors:
And there's food -- lots of food -- planned for the reception! So much food you could make your own "dinner with an author" session while you graze the buffet, enjoy a drink from the cash bar, and get your favorite author to sign his or her latest book!

See you Thursday night!

Posted by Ms. Dee at 1:15 PM

Conference Update: Get Connected at Lunch!

Get connected at lunch on Thursday, November 4, 2010!

The All Conference "Connections" Luncheon, included in your conference pre-registration, features some of our national leaders in school librarianship, 21st century learning, and leadership and advocacy for school librarians: 
  • Doug Johnson, media and technology director, author of numerous professional books and creative genius behind the blog, Blue Skunk Blog.
  • Cassandra Barnett, immediate past president of American Association of School Librarians
  • Deb Logan, school librarian, member of American Library Association advocacy committee
  • Diane Chen, school librarian, member of American Library Association executive board
The focus of the panel discussion will be the future of school libraries and school librarians.

Be sure to connect with your colleagues and these national leaders at lunch on Thursday!

A limit number of lunches will be available to those who register for the conference on-site; however, all are invited to attend the panel discussion.

Posted by Ms. Dee at 8:02 PM