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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

CSLA is now on Pinterest!

by Sharlene Paxton

In an effort to extend our social media presence and engage with our members and the school library world in another way, we are now pinning school library related content. Pinterest is a visual curation tool that allows users to curate web resources by pinning content, which is arranged by boards. We're pinning information about makerspaces, student-created book trailers, library programming, fun library display ideas, school library advocacy, information literacy, technology, and digital citizenship. We have over 60 boards in the works and more on the way. Make sure you follow CSLA on Pinterest to find ideas for promoting the great work happening in your school library, advocating for California's school libraries, and gathering ideas that you can implement in your school library.

You can find us on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/4CSLA/. Make sure to follow us before our annual conference to find conference resources as well.

Free CUE Conference Registration

Attend CUE for FREE!!
CSLA is seeking six members to attend the March CUE conference in Palm Springs at no cost. Yes, there is a catch. In exchange for your admittance ticket, valued at $280, you will volunteer to staff the CSLA booth for a five-hour shift on one day, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, March 19 – 21. You do not need to be a CUE member to take advantage of this offer but you will be responsible for your own transportation, meals and accommodations.

What is CUE?
CUE is an extraordinary conference that brings together technology and teaching. The full conference registration includes the Kickoff Session, General Session and Closing Session Keynotes, over 300 speaker presentations, CUE Tips, Poster Sessions, the Diverse Learners Symposium and 100,000 square feet of vendor displays with the latest in educational technology on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 19-21, 2015. For additional fees, you can attend one or more Seminars and Hands-on Workshops. Visit the CUE website for further information. 

Contact Silvia Gutierrez at joeeg@earthlink.net if you are interested in this offer!

Ideas on How to Secure Library Funding

by RenĂ©e Ousley-Swank 

As I travel around the state in my capacity as the School Library Technology Consultant, I am frequently asked 1) What library funding is available? And, 2) How do I get library funding? My response is always the same, “While there are no targeted library funds, you should be able to ask for and receive funds through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).” The following is a recap of a newsletter item I wrote last year on changes in school funding.

The LCFF and Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) provide opportunities for school libraries to secure funding. The clear need for strong library programs, as evidenced throughout the CCSS, along with funding targeted at improving services to unduplicated students (number of students receiving free & reduced lunch, English Language Learners [ELL], and foster youth) provides a unique opportunity for school libraries to receive funding for both library staffing and collection development. This is a matter of equity, and expansion of school library services is a justifiable expenditure under LCAP. More than 60 studies have shown that reading scores, writing scores, and standardized test scores all improve when students of greatest need have access to a quality library program. See Mansfield University’s, School Library Research Summarized for a summary of school library impact studies from the past 10 years.

In response to the second question, how, let me share some ideas others have successfully used to secure funding. The common strand in those successful endeavors was the development of a clear plan that was shared with administration.
Steps to developing a successful plan:
  • Communicate with your teachers to discover units of study and/or special requests.
  • Use the data you collected in the Annual School Library Survey to provide a longitudinal view of your library program.
  • Run a Collection Analysis – many of the library automation systems have the capability to provide a collection analysis report. Also, remember many of the book vendors such as Capstone, Follett, Mackin, Perma-Bound etc. all offer free collection analysis and provide you a detailed report including stunning visuals (graphs and charts).
  • Develop your plan – armed with the feedback from your teachers, the longitudinal view of your library program, and the graphics from the collection analysis, target your funding request so you can clearly demonstrate why you need the money and how it will be used. As you are developing your plan make sure to consider electronic resources as well as print resources.

School Library Funding

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Do they or don't they have teacher librarians in YOUR county?

CSLA is hoping that CTA and CFT (letters going out to them soon with this request) will join us in asking the state to take a new look at whether or not counties/ districts really do have teacher librarians in place to serve their students, as they are supposed to have. There is some data available but it may be outdated or inaccurate. An equity issue? Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

An interview with Karen Morgenstern, producer of the new CSLA advocacy video

The new CSLA video “Does Your School Have a Teacher Librarian?” has garnered state and national interest (over 3,000 hits in the first two weeks). What’s the backstory behind the video?

Dr. Lesley Farmer, who suggested to CSLA that they should involve Karen Morgenstern in this advocacy video initiative, interviewed this teacher librarian, who works at an independent K-6 school library. Karen had eleven years of film industry experience before starting her school librarianship preparation at CSULB where Dr. Farmer coordinates the program.

When asked how she felt about the video, Karen replied, “It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever experienced. It’s so satisfying to show what I know, to create something to advocate to get more teacher librarians in California.”

Karen continued, “Probably the most startling statistics are the comparisons between California and Texas.” Karen remembers her research days at CSULB. “Information science has certain sets of facts based on research, but in the education world, that data hasn’t hit teacher preparation programs.” She continued, “I remember saying in my class that there needs to be a documentary about what kids are doing with information.” As a teacher librarian in an independent K-6 school, Karen was startled by the difference between the openness of Internet access for her students compared to a CSULB peer’s “closed universe” public high school. “Access to the Internet is not enough; kids need access to teacher librarians.”  

Karen recounts the many connections in the process of making the video. “I heard that several CSLA members were going to do a presentation about the value of teacher librarians at the California School Board Association’s conference in San Diego last December. When I found out that no one was taping the session, I thought that the presentation should be documented for CSLA. I went to the high school Media Academy where my sons learned film making, and I borrowed a high-quality video camera from their former film teacher James Gleason.” Karen’s son videotaped the presentation, which she edited—her first foray into editing.
Karen explained to Gleason that documenting this panel presentation was part of a larger process of producing a CSLA advocacy video, and Gleason said he would be interested in shooting and editing it with his former student TerryKhai Ngo. James is very active in an ongoing nonprofit international student film festival always in need of support. The California School Library Foundation approved the funding, using Follett’s donation. “James really believed in the project, even if he didn’t know much about teacher librarians.”

Karen didn’t write a script, but organized the video’s content around interviews she conducted with James and TerryKhai of a variety of teacher librarians and other experts in the field during a CSLA conference. “The narrative would come out of the stories people told.” In one day James and TerryKhai filmed at three school libraries, which showcased the experts’ messages.
Karen said that every interview was valuable. “I have enough raw footage to create several topical videos.” Karen transcribed every interview, and boldfaced important sound bites for James to include in his draft video. Karen also interviewed her own students, prompting them: “Just talk about what I have taught you.” The results were authentic and compelling. “I’d like to compare the statements of legislators’ and superintendents’ own children about school libraries and information literacy with the statements of students who have had school librarians. It would confirm the difference that a teacher librarian makes.”

Then James handed off the video to Terry, who was a wonderful young collaborator. “He anticipated every change I thought should be made, and every problem.” Karen also connected with her school’s music teacher, Lilly Aycud, who is also a composer and performer. She and her husband, Marc Stuart, composed the score for the video, which was their first such effort. “I learned how much music can contribute to the film’s effectiveness. The film and the music came together beautifully.”

When asked what was the most challenging part of making the video, Karen answered: “Confining what we did to ten minutes without having just talking heads. The kids needed to be seen. The school settings needed to be seen. I had to strip the video down to the bare essentials.”  Karen continues, “I would like to include footage showing teacher librarians in action—actually teaching a lesson.”

Karen continues, “I would like to interview college professors and have them talk about the contrast between their students who have had access to teacher librarians with those that haven’t. I would like parents to see that difference. What I see is a disconnect all along the way. Classroom teachers don’t know how to teach information literacy and many don’t know the value of teacher librarians. It’s such a waste of time and energy when students are not using reliable and accurate information. It makes so much sense for all students, including elementary school students, to have teacher librarians.”

Karen concludes, “My message is for California administrators: hire more teacher librarians. And make sure they are full time, utilized to their fullest, and let them provide professional development to other teachers. Karen also says, “I learned so much in making this video—it was a librarian’s dream.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

5 Great Reasons for Attending the CSLA 15 Centennial Celebration Conference in February

The following arguments will help make the case to your administration that attendance at the February CSLA conference will benefit the entire school because:

1.  You will save your school money in times of shrinking budgets.
CSLA workshops and sessions provide time-saving, money-saving and innovative ideas that all teachers and students can use.  There are links to Common Core ideas that will save your school money in selecting the right program for your students, for example, the workshop " I've Got A Digital Tool For That! Tools to Create, Collaborate and Connect" with Shannon McClintock Miller.
  • You will learn new ideas from the workshops and sessions, and equally as important, from fellow teacher librarians whose expertise and experience in the field will enhance your ability to serve your teachers and students.  Take a look at the Preview Guide for workshops.
  • The many exhibits will give you an opportunity to review products and services that might fit the exact needs of your school. This networking with vendors is invaluable, often providing cost-saving solutions to some of your school’s needs.
  • The “Exhibitor Learning Sessions” are an ideal way to see demonstrations of new products and preview new product lines.
  • One of your important duties is selecting resources for your library and school, and the CSLA conference includes experts in Young Adult and Children’s literature.  We have four author panels for you to attend, as well as the California Young Reader Medal Banquet, with CYRM winner Lisa McMann presenting.
  • If you register before Dec. 19th, you will save even more money – save $50 on full registration.

2.  You will become a more effective teacher librarian or library paraprofessional
  • Innovative ideas, strategies, and technology that you learn at sessions and from colleagues will serve your users and help you manage your time more efficiently.  These include many of the latest cloud-based tools and social networks that students enjoy and teachers need to know.
  • Your network of library resources will grow from meeting people from all over California at the conference. Some of the benefits from past conferences have included connecting with the California State Library, resources from the University of California including the California Digital Library  and Calisphere educator resources, etc.   All of these are free resources that make you and your teachers more effective and provide additional resources for your students.
  • Sometimes very simple ideas can enhance your efficiency as a Teacher Librarian or library paraprofessional – for example, learning from an experienced TL specific techniques to involve your administrators and teachers so that they utilize library resources and services more effectively.
  • Learning from experts in the field what has made their program successful can help you implement the new ideas, or adapt them to your own situation.  We may think we cannot or do not have time to do something innovative until we learn how it was done by another.
  • You will be more valuable to your school because you will have the tools to teach the Common Core State Standards, Model California School Library Standards, Digital Literacy, Internet Safety, Cyber Safety for students, Copyright and more.

3.  You will learn how to advocate for your library program
  • Our advocates in Sacramento share important legislation that affects school library programs.
  • The school library consultant to the California Department of Education recommends important ideas and strategies to support site library programs.
  • Other TLs often have great ideas on how to make you INDISPENSABLE to your school, and district.

4.  You will bring fresh new innovative ideas to your school that will energize your teachers and students and, most of all, YOURSELF!!
  • ‘Leave behind “conference guilt” - the sense that leaving your campus for PD disadvantages students and teachers. A day of PD many inspire months of great ideas.’ Carolyn Foote, School Library Journal, October 2014, p. 20.

5.  You will bring recognition to your school library and enhance its reputation by participating in professional development and showing your commitment to innovation and improving services to all stakeholders.

Promise yourself that when you return you will provide your administrator with a written report and share the information you learned from sessions, workshops, vendors, informal meetings and special events with your school staff.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Join/Renew Membership Incentive

Join/Renew CSLA Membership During November and Receive 2 Workshops for the price of 1 at the Annual Conference ~ Burlingame, February 5th-8th!

During the month of November 2014, in connection with registration for the annual conference, we are offering you a very special bonus membership benefit:

  • Join or renew by November 30, 2014, and you can get a 2-for-1 Workshop coupon valued at $55.00.
To be eligible for this offer, you must join CSLA or renew your CSLA membership by November 30, 2014. This offer applies to CSLA Professional and Paraprofessional memberships only.
You will receive a coupon code for your conference registration discount within one week of submitting your membership/renewal. NOTE: You must redeem your 2-for-1 Workshop coupon with your conference registration by January 30, 2015.

What if I am already a current CSLA member, and not yet due to renew?
You can still take advantage of this offer if you renew your CSLA membership in advance by November 30, 2014, extending it an additional 12 months from your current expiration date.

Where do I do this?

Click this link to join or renew: http://bit.ly/1tsX6SO