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

Sunday, August 26, 2012

5 Great Reasons for Attending the CSLA Conference in November

by Joan Kramer

The following arguments will help make the case to your administration that attendance at the November 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 math and science curricula that will save your school money in selecting the right program for your students.  One workshop is titled  “50 Free Online Reference and 2.0 Tools (K-12)” – with long-time expert Peter Milbury.
  • 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 conference preview 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.
  • 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.  The book repair workshop is invaluable for those with restricted budgets.   
  • If you register before Sept. 30th, you will save even more money – between $35 and  $45 for full registration.
2.  You will become a more effective teacher librarian
  • 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 Web 2.0 tools and social networks that students enjoy and teachers need to know.
  • Sometimes very simple ideas can enhance your efficiency as a Teacher Librarian – 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 other TLs 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 TL.
  • You will be more valuable to your school because you will have the tools to teach the 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!!

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. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

And the TL of the year is......

from Nina Jackson

     This year the Long Beach School Librarians Association presented the Teacher Librarian of the Year Award to Jane Brooks from Cabrillo High School. If you asked Jane why she was given the award, she would say, “I don’t do anything special!”  But Jane does many things very well and she IS special.
     Some years ago, when she was the Teacher Librarian at Cubblerly K-8, she invited other TLs to come once a month after school to share lessons, materials, and challenges. This is so very typical of Jane; she sees a need, and does everything in her power to fulfill it. She is the most resourceful person I know. She knows where to go and who to ask and doesn’t know the meaning of “no.”
     When developing the collection for the new library media center at Cabrillo, she knew her student population and hand picked every title.  She was sure to select books of interest to her students as well as books to develop critical thinking skills and to challenge her students to stretch and reach for the highest achievements.
     She has transformed the library at Cabrillo into a warm, welcoming oasis. All are welcome, and all come, knowing that they will behave appropriately. No nonsense and mutual respect is the abiding theme.
     Jane goes to great lengths to obtain materials for students and faculty alike. It might be an interlibrary loan from another TL, driving by the Office of Multimedia Services on the way home so that a teacher might have just the right video for her class the next day, or working a deal with the local big box store to purchase materials at a reduced price. She works tirelessly for her students and staff in developing collaborative lessons that meet today’s educational standards.
     Jane seeks out professional development, attending workshops and conferences with the California School Library Association, American Association of School Librarians, and the American Library Association. She seeks innovation and new technologies, providing foundational guidance to staff and students. She is a past president of the Long Beach School Librarians Association and has served as a board member in many capacities since. In addition, she is a site leader at Cabrillo, and presently serves on Cabrillo’s Shared Decision Making Committee. Jane also has worked for our Long Beach Public libraries for many years and she epitomizes the best in both school and public librarianship.
     To sum up Jane in three words, she is tenacious, resourceful and dedicated.  Oops….. One more word…. SPECIAL.