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

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.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Textbooks and the time capsule of the CSLA 2015 Centennial Celebration

If you're a library person at a school site, you're probably dealing with textbooks right about now. And wondering, how soon will we get e-textbooks? Not soon enough! My district, Fresno Unified, is going to pilot a few e-textbooks this coming year. I hope it goes really well and they decide to jump in with both feet.

One of the features of our CSLA 2015 Centennial Celebration Conference, Feb. 5 - 8, 2015, at SFO Hyatt, is a time capsule. We're going to solicit written contributions as well as suggestions for realia. We're going to ask you to write about what changes you've seen in the school library over the years of your career. I hope one of those changes will be in textbooks. Maybe we can put a textbook in our time capsule, and in another hundred years when they open it up, they'll say, "How quaint. Paper textbooks."

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Tonight I attended an LCAP "Draft" meeting for Fresno Unified on LCFF. I am trying to figure out how/ if this relates to our library resource funding or teacher librarian and library technician position funding. I spoke about how the library is the great equalizer and that Fresno Unified is to be commended for keeping its libraries open, staffed, and resourced. There are some wonderful resources for learning about this funding and addressing it in your district at http://csla.net.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Two Upcoming Spring Webinars for CSLA Members

Cost: free

This is a CSLA member benefit.

Booktalk Webinars for Elementary and Secondary Libraries
presented by Junior Library Guild.  
The program includes time for comments from participants and will end with a brief explanation of JLG book services.

Date: April 29
5-6 PM for Elementary School
6-7 PM for Middle/High School

There is a limit of 25 people per session.
Registration information was sent to all CSLA members in an email on April 7.
This event is hosted by CSLA Southern Region Section 5

Google Calendar Webinar
Date: May 6 Time: 7 PM.
Google Calendar can help you stay organized and increase communication, collaboration, productivity, and efficiency.  
This webinar will cover:
·         creating calendars
·         creating events and Appointment Slots (repeating or recurring events)
·         sharing calendars
·         publishing and embedding calendars
·         customizing email, SMS, and pop-up notifications and reminders
·         share meeting materials/documents via Google Calendar
You will be sent an email with a  link to join the webinar.
This event is hosted by CSLA Southern Region Section 1

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Interest Students in STEM via Sports!

In the Winter 2013 CUE magazine, there is an article about sports and STEM-related careers by Dr. Harry Bloom. Let's start thinking about how we can interest students in STEM via sports! Bloom mentions a terrific website/blog called Sport Techie (http://www.sporttechie.com)
Here's a screenshot of part of the site on 4-8-14 to give you a taste of the breadth of articles. To quote Glen Warren, VP of Government Relations, CSLA, "Let students study what they're interested in." For many students, that would be sports!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CSLA at the CUE 2014 Conference

CSLA had a major presence at the CUE Conference March 20-22. In addition to hosting a booth in the exhibit hall, we also presented a special "Digital Citizenship Summit" on Saturday.
This summit provided valuable information for all educators on a variety of aspects of digital citizenship that are crucial for us to model and teach our students. The summit also showcased the special expertise of teacher librarians in this area. Please visit the Digital Citizenship Summit page on our website for links to all the session presentation files.

Here are some of the highlights:

We were very fortunate to have Gwyneth Jones, aka The Daring Librarian, a middle school librarian from Maryland, as our visiting lead speaker. In her session on "Secrets of the Remix Mash Up YouTube Generation" she shared that "Everything is remix; use it for engagement." We all learn by repeating; we can leverage that and help students to be respectful remixers by working with the tools they already love, sharing other engaging tools with them, and teaching them about Creative Commons and attribution. Here's a tweet shared by teacher librarian Sharlene Paxton during Gwyneth's session:
To engage students, we need to be using tools like YouTube and great YouTube channels like Horrible Histories and the History Teachers Channels, while also introducing innovative tools such as Scoop.it for curation, LessonPaths for online lesson playlists, and Flocabulary for engaging learning through rap music. Gwyneth also presented three other sessions during the conference. She generously shares all her presentation materials. You can see the file for this and her three other sessions on her presentation wiki.

The Digital Citizenship Summit also included Pam Oehlman on "Teaching Digital Citizenship by Crafting Quick Flipped Tutorials and Using Existing Resources," Glen Warren on "The Uncommon Core: New Standards, New Literacies, and Student Significance," and my session on ""Inspiring Creativity While Respecting Copyright with Fair Use and Creative Commons."
Pam shared an analogy comparing the pencil to digital citizenship instruction; our kids today need the same careful instruction on using devices as we use to teach kindergartners the safe use of pencils. She shared lots of great resources for digital citizenship instruction, and you can see them reviewed in her presentation file:

All too often in school, Glen shared during his session, we don't ask kids what they want to learn. Instead, we just tell them what they have to learn. One the great things about school libraries, is that we ask them what they want to learn, and we help them connect that to the literacies, including those covered in the Common Core, that they need to learn. Here is a graphic showing how information literacy, which librarians teach, crosses all curricular areas, including personal interest:
Glen advocated for giving students the same kind of 20 percent time  that Google provides, allowing them to pursue their own interests in that time. He also shared how he makes students accountable for their time and has them simultaneously learn and practice information literacy skills. He uses a Google Form to have them submit information about their work, including the questions they asked and the research they did.

In my own session, I focused on teaching respect for intellectual property, on understanding copyright and fair use, and on taking advantage of using Creative Commons material to make that task easier. I also advocated for contributing to a creative society by licensing our own works with Creative Commons licenses and encouraging our students to do the same. Here is the presentation file:

If you haven't already joined the Creative Commons community, please do so! By sharing, we all contribute to a more vibrant, creative world. Gwyneth Jones included this powerful message in one her slides from her Friday session on "Marketing Your Program Like Lady Gaga":

I tweeted a photo of the slide during her session, and it clearly resonated with many people, since I got lots of retweets.

Thanks to CUE and Executive Director Mike Lawrence for enabling CSLA to present the Digital Citizenship Summit.
CSLA's exhibit hall booth provided information promoting the summit, as well as information about what teacher librarians do and what strong school libraries can provide. In addition to poster displays and handouts, we had iPads showing clips from the the December California School Boards Association panel presentation by our members Doug Achterman, Barbara Jeffus, John McGinnis, Rick Phelan, and Connie Williams. Visit this page on our website for more information and to see the full recording.

Here is a photo taken by Sue Heraper of President Janice Gilmore-See, 2011-2012 PresidentPam Oehlman, and me, your current Past President, at the booth:

Here's another photo at the CSLA booth, with members Janice, Lesley Farmer, and Joan McCall sharing the Digital Citizen buttons we handed out:

And, we had fun, too! Here's some of our CSLA members at Happy Hour with our guest, Gwyneth Jones, in the front of the photo:

If you attended the CUE conference, please be sure to complete the evaluations for our sessions. There are evaluation links for all the Digital Citizenship Summit on our Digital Citizenship Summit page. You can also visit cue2014.sched.org/ to view all the CUE sessions and complete evaluations for all those you attended. 

(This posting is adapted in part from my postings on Jane Lofton's School Library Journey and the Mira Costa HS Library Blog. Please visit those blogs for some additional CUE highlights.)