The issues of the teacher librarians and para-professionals in California School Libraries. Please share your concerns, feedback and questions.

Friday, September 26, 2014

CSLA Awards

All state level awards and scholarship deadlines are October 1, 2014, and they will be presented at the Annual Conference in San Francisco in February, 2015.  Application can be found on the Awards section of the CSLA website.

Administrative Leadership Award

The purpose of this award is to honor administrators with direct responsibility for a school or group of schools who have made influential, unique and sustained contributions to effective school library programs, furthering the integral role of the library media programs in elementary and/or secondary schools. Traditionally, administrators have been nominated by teacher librarians working in the same district. 

Advocate for School Libraries Award

Please contact CSLA at info@csla.net if you have a candidate you would like to nominate for outstanding advocacy in support of California school libraries.

Good Ideas!

Newsletter contains compelling ideas for administrators, teachers, the PTA, and the school board. It is published once a year by the Committee for Standards Integration of CSLA, whose mission is to provide leadership to ensure that California educators and students are effective users of ideas and information. Winners receive $50 discount on annual conference registration. 

Honorary Membership Award

The Honorary Membership Award recognizes retired members of the Association who have made outstanding contributions to school library programs and the Association over a sustained period of time. The Honorary Membership Committee publicizes and solicits nominations throughout the year and tries to make the nomination process an easy one. Individual active members may submit nominations. 

Leadership for Diversity Award

The purpose of the CSLA Leadership for Diversity Award, is to recognize an elementary or secondary Teacher Librarian who has facilitated a lesson or project in collaboration with a classroom teacher that promotes multicultural literature or media and emphasizes diversity in any curricular area. The award of $1,000 will be used to purchase materials for the winner’s school library. 

Presidents’ Award Sponsored by Demco

DemcoThe CSLA Presidents’ Award is a $400 award funded by Demco, Inc. and presented to an outstanding teacher librarian selected by the State, Northern, and Southern section presidents. The award money may be applied to transportation, lodging, conference registration fees, and incidental expenses. Nominations may be made by library peers, administrators, teachers, or by the nominee himself or herself. This is award honors an individual who, through the library program, directly affects students and teachers. 

Technology AwardMackinVIA_Logo

Showcase how 21st century technology skills are part of effective school library technology integration: We want to hear about strong teacher-librarian use and promotion of technology tools for students, teachers, school, and/or district, as well as ways they are collaborating to combine technology with curriculum to research or present information. Nominations should brag about student and/or broader school community technology use and programs, and incorporate one or more of CSLA’s three core messages of “equitable access,” “school library standards,” and “strong school libraries build strong students". Award candidates must be CSLA members who are credentialed Teacher Librarians working at the site or district level. Applicant may be self -nominated. This award is sponsored by Mackin and includes $1,000 award money for use in the award-winner’s library. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Is this December or is this September?

I don't know about you- wait- maybe I do... the beginning of the school year seems long ago, doesn't it? We are now deeply into testing and tablet and laptop carts and reconfiguring them and learning MS Office 365 and becoming acquainted with PBS Learning. Most students have now been to the library at least once and the freshmen have heard my refrain- I get to see you and know you for four years and your classroom teacher only gets to know you for one year. In that way we're similar to coaches and office staff, counselors, and administration. But the four years goes fast. One minute they're goofing around (as freshmen are wont to do) and the next they are walking across the stage at graduation. It is such a privilege to be part of that four years.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Banned Books Week at Redlands East Valley High School

by Korrie Krohne

This is my second year as teacher librarian at REVHS. Last year was such a whirlwind of figuring out which end was up that Banned Books Week slipped right by without my being able to draw attention to it at all. This year I really wanted to do student generated Banned Books Trading Cards. Over the summer I began planning and I am really pleased with how it has all come together.

Earlier this year I worked with an art teacher, Tracy Massimiano, who had two advanced art classes. I came into her classroom and gave a lesson on Banned Books Week, freedom to read, and first amendment rights. We then made a list of banned classics available to the students. I showed the students how they could find information about the books online and explained that critical analysis papers and discussion of themes would give them ideas for their artwork.

I showed the art teacher examples of Banned Book Trading Cards from other libraries and she designed a back for the cards. She sent me digital images of the fronts and backs of the students’ cards. I resized them so that 4 cards fit on an 8 ½ x 11 piece of cardstock. I printed the cards double-sided on my color printer. The result is that I have 36 cards that look really terrific! I printed 15 copies of each card and divided the cards up so that I could release several different cards a day.

Over the weekend, my daughter and I went in to set up for Banned Books Week. I found a great use for those 20-year-old “For Dummies” books we are weeding—I pulled pages out and used them for the background of my giant sign hanging across from the front door. We arranged all the banned or challenged books on the tops of low shelving with caution tape and signs that said “Danger: these books contain ideas that might be controversial and may cause you to learn something!” I put up signs explaining the event, along with some great quotes supporting intellectual freedom. I felt ready to go. Before I left the library I sent out an all school announcement and an email to the staff inviting them to come up and get celebrate their freedom to read by getting a banned books trading card.

This morning, I donned my “regalia”—my banned books jewelry and skirt—and headed to work with great excitement. I pinned a little card to my shirt that said, “Ask me about Banned Books Trading Cards!” I carefully laid out today’s sampling of cards on my counter -- The Lord of the Flies, Huckleberry Finn, Alice in Wonderland, Brave New World, and Animal Farm-- and waited for kids to arrive. I couldn’t wait to talk to kids, but technology problems arose, and I didn’t get to talk to as many students as I had wanted -- my TAs did a lot of the talking instead. Students seemed reluctant to take cards, but expressed surprised that these books had been challenged or banned when I explained things to them. After first period, some students came in to ask for cards; turns out an AP Government teacher was giving extra credit for picking one up.
So at lunch time when I still had quite a stack of cards, I made a sign (Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read.) and stuck it to my back and took cards outside and “worked the crowd.” My cards were gone within a few minutes! It was delightful.

The interest, which was at first polite because I was a teacher, became genuine when they saw titles that they knew. (My favorite overheard conversation: “Dude, Animal Farm . . . didn’t we see this movie? We just rented it.” . . . Laughter . . .“No way man, that was Animal HOUSE. Now that one would be a banned book!”)

I think that the word is getting out. Teachers have asked for cards; some teachers even said they want to print the whole set to frame and put in their classrooms! My friend in the English department shared her card for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with her classes and later remarked, “They were floored by the kinds of things that can happen and it sparked a great conversation.”

This morning several kids were flipping through today’s releases. I am chatting with a lot of kids who aren’t my “library regulars.”  I am feeling pretty happy about the whole situation and I can’t wait to lay out tomorrow’s cards.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

California School Library News Back-to-School Issue

CSLA's VP of Communications, Sue Heraper, has added another tool to your librarian toolbox. It is a brief and colorful newsletter called "California School Library News." It is designed for parents, teachers, the public, anyone who is interested in what is going on in California School Libraries these days. You may want to share the news with your parents or staff. You may want to put a link to it on your library webpage, or embed it. It is a fun and easy way to educate others on all of the marvelous things that go on in a school library.  The latest issue has articles from "Picture books that will help students conquer first-day jitters" to "Voting on the Teens Top Ten." Check it out at

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fall Workshop in Bakersfield on October 18, 2014

The Southern Region of the California School Library Association (CSLA) invites school library staff and supporters from all segments of the profession, and all parts of the state, both Southern and Northern Regions, to come to our Fall Workshop in Bakersfield on October 18, 2014, from 8am-3:30pm.  This is a great opportunity for networking, social interaction, new ideas, and professional development.

CSLA will celebrate its 100th anniversary in February 2015, a monumental time, and with the Common Core State Standards, librarians are more important than ever…our time is now.  With the Common Core, all levels, K-16, and all members of CSLA, both professional and paraprofessional, have so much in common…working together to help students reach that common goal of being ready for college and career.
“Our Time is Now!  We Have So Much in Common.”

All of you have wonderful ideas, lessons, and successes to share, and we would love to learn from you!  The CSLA SR Fall Workshop is your opportunity to shine.  Please submit your proposals to present at our upcoming professional development event.

Procedure for submitting a presentation proposal:
1.     Please fill out this Google Form by 11:59pm, Saturday, September 20, 2014.

2.    All submitters will be notified of their proposal status by Saturday, September 27, 2014, in order to give plenty of time for them to prepare their presentation.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

CSLA State Board, Northern Region Board, and Southern Region Board

A long time ago, the CSLA state board members met in person. That seems almost quaint now in our times of cost saving virtual meetings. But we still need that face time (e.g., you know how emails can sometimes be misconstrued) to communicate with one another about the direction of our great organization. We meet in person in August (recent past, present, and near future board members) and at our conference in February. The board continues to be a dedicated group of professionals working to create, support, and nurture an organization that represents you, the California school library person!
The other ten months we meet online for a couple of hours on a Saturday. And there is a Northern Region Board and Southern Region Board doing much the same thing.
I'm writing this rather pedestrian post to let all CSLA members know that we welcome all members to run for board positions, and that our work is not mysterious. Our work is invigorating and the people are fun! Contact any of us listed at http://csla.net/ in the "About" section if you're interested in exploring ways to pitch in.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

CSLA Southern Region is Offering Scholarships to Members

Are you a CSLA member or future CSLA member enrolled in courses to become a certificated Teacher Librarian or earn a Paraprofessional School Library Technician certificate? Do you know someone who is? Could you use some money to help pay for your courses?
The California School Library Association makes every effort to support all persons working in a school library or working toward earning a position in school library. We understand the importance of making sure that every school in California has a Teacher Librarian and a Paraprofessional, or at least one of those if not both. Therefore, CSLA wants to make it easier for people to gain the education needed to fill those positions.

The Southern Region of CSLA is offering three scholarships at this time. We are offering two  $1,000 scholarships to assist those persons working toward a degree or credential which will qualify them to work as a professional Teacher Librarian. We are also offering one $500 scholarship to assist a school library paraprofessional in completing a school library technician or paraprofessional certificate program, or obtaining a teaching credential with the ultimate goal of pursuing a Teacher Librarian credential.
There is an application process for these scholarships, and applicants must live in the Southern Region of California. 

The applications and information are available at http://cslass.wikispaces.com/Scholarships, our CSLA Southern Region website. The applications and letters of recommendation are due by September 19, 2014. 

Questions? Email Sharlene Paxton, CSLA Southern Region President-Elect, at sharlenerpaxton@gmail.com.