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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cyber Safety Program

FREE Cyber Safety Program and Pizza for Your School Library

Teach your school community to "connect with confidence" by putting on a cyber-safety workshop for free. Everything you need to promote and conduct the workshop will be provided, including free pizza for everyone who attends

Hurry to sign up by December 25, 2013, to be ready to put on a workshop by spring

For more information, click HERE.

Early Bird Registration

Early Bird Registration Ends December 20!

Don't miss out!  Watch this video to see what's in store at the annual conference in San Diego!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Introducing Our New President

A Message from Our New President

I am so excited to start my term as President of CSLA, and I have this opportunity to tell you about a few of the goals I have set for my presidency. I am grateful to you for giving me this opportunity and will strive in every way to be worthy of your confidence and to fulfill my duties the best I can. I will have the distinction, perhaps, of having the shortest term of service as President since I will be handing over the gavel to Liz Dodds in August as we are re-aligning our terms to coincide with the terms of the Southern and Northern region boards and at the same time to preside over two Membership meetings since our next annual membership meeting will be in three short months at our Annual Conference in San Diego.

In my work, I will remember my predecessors and the examples they have given -- Sandra Yoon, Connie Williams, Rosemarie Bernier, and Diane Alexander. I have closely followed the work of two presidents, Pam Oehlman, and Jane Lofton. They have both become role models whose work is a joy and honor to continue. At the same time, their achievements have posed high expectations and goals for my own term, now, as I carry on after Jane.

I have been able to witness how intensely, skillfully and elegantly both Pam and Jane have represented CSLA across the state bringing our organization back into a healthy financial position. Jane’s theme, "School Libraries Link Lifelong Learners", has continued the work of her predecessors, emphasizing the active, visible role of school libraries. CSLA and its members are indebted to you, Jane, for your excellent work for the good of CSLA.

For the past two years, our association has been run completely through volunteer power, without support or office staff. One of the first goals is for the executive board to approve a job description and find an exceptional administrative assistant to support the day-to-day activities of the association. This will free up our officers to pursue additional projects to enhance our association.

My aim during my term as President of CSLA is to continue to promote strong school libraries staffed with both Teacher Librarians and qualified paraprofessionals. Therefore, I have chosen as my presidential theme “Journey to Expertise”. I firmly believe that for many schools the library is seen simply as a place or perhaps a program, but exceptional libraries have exceptional people working in them. A strong school library cannot be measured merely by the building, the tables, the computers, or the books. One of the pillars of strong libraries (not just school libraries, but all libraries) is the democratic ideal of freedom of access to information and knowledge. The Internet now puts this access literally in the palms of the hands of most students. What has been overlooked is access to the information expert. The expertise of the person in the library and the expertise in teaching students how to access, evaluate, integrate, originate, and use information safely and responsibly is critical for students to become efficient and effective users of information and ideas.

Public schools are facing unprecedented change as we are changing not only what we teach, but how we test our students AND how we are funded. We can’t sit back and hope the library is remembered while schools are implementing the Common Core State Standards, the students are expected to take Smarter Balanced assessments, and local school boards struggle with competing interests lobbying for their programs through the Local Control Funding Formula.  We must remain vigilant, participative, and cultivate long-lasting relationships with our colleagues at the CDE and our legislators. I am thrilled that the CDE has reinstated the School Library Consultant position, and that Renee Ousley-Swank, our longtime member and colleague has stepped into that role. I am thankful, also, that Barbara Jeffus will remain active and involved for the good of CSLA.

However, even as our focus on advocacy for public school librarians must be steadfast, I believe we must remember to remain inclusive. Our membership is diverse, including public schools teacher librarians and paraprofessionals and independent school librarians. We need to leverage the expertise of our independent school librarians. While public school libraries have faced years of budget and staff cuts, many private and independent schools have thriving school library programs that offer us opportunities. Some of the public schools have also maintained their libraries and staffing. They can share their expertise by providing professional development and showcasing what can be done when programs and personnel are valued. We are dedicating ourselves to inclusion and offering more for all our member groups.

We need all our library colleagues to showcase the good things happening in school libraries, to act as advocates and spokespeople for school libraries to make the decision-makers and politicians, and all other relevant stakeholders, aware not only of the benefits of school libraries to society but, at the same time, of the needs of libraries if they are to fulfill their tasks.

Therefore, we need innovative ways to make libraries more visible. One example is my goal to create a Score Your School Library app. This app will be available online, and for iPads and Android devices. The score will be determined through a series of questions that focus on four key factors for strong school libraries; (1) level of access, (2) expertise of staff, (3) facility design and strength of collection and resources, and (4) comprehensive instruction using the California Model School Library Standards. We must encourage as many schools as possible to find out their library score. We want administrators to know their libraries score because they care about rankings. We will be able to gather data about schools across the state, we will be able to create press releases that celebrate the schools with the strongest school libraries – think of articles trumpeting that a school has one of the Top 10 school libraries in the state.

And finally, my goal during my presidency is to facilitate the continued progress of the important issues facing CSLA. I will by no means do this alone but together with my colleagues, and especially through the vice presidents. The State Board of CSLA, the Northern and Southern Region Boards, the many committees and our Foundation Board all have extremely competent members with whom it is a pleasure to work for the betterment of CSLA and school libraries.

I would be remiss if I didn’t extend special gratitude to Kathie Maier, my conference chair, to the continued support of Jane Lofton, now our Past President, to the new state board officers, to the CSLF, and to the committee members and region boards … all combining to do the real work of the organization. Without your commitment, my job would be impossible to do.

I hope for your continued support and confidence in my upcoming presidential responsibilities. Doing this job together, we will achieve the best results in advancing CSLA’s goals and in building strong libraries for strong students.  

Janice Gilmore-See
CSLA President

The World's Strongest Librarian

The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne is a delightful read about the author's life, especially his struggles with Tourette Syndrome, his relationship to the Mormon church, and the life of a public library librarian. Josh is a funny writer with a touching story. At first the writing is choppy but fun, then Josh hits his groove and his stories about growing up, and his family absolutely pull you in.  The book goes right up to his present age and it leaves you wanting more. Read it to find out why Josh Hanagarne is the world's strongest librarian.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Special offer for CSLA members

PowToon is a great online animated video-making tool.  If you want students to pay better attention, there are few better ways than creating and using cartoons to spark excitement.  Create awesome animated videos that will capture their imagination and convey your message in a powerful way.

PowToon also provides a creative outlet for students to work individually or collaboratively on projects. As a dynamic, interactive, and online resource, PowToon enhances and supports teaching and learning.

PowToon has an offer for CSLA Members that expires at the end of November.  You can get a free teacher account for one year as well as the ability to establish up to 30 free student accounts.  To take advantage of this offer go to http://www.powtton.com/toonup/. Once the payment window pops up, type in the coupon code: TOONUP243.  The payment amount due will revert to zero. 

You can visit this link to view information from PowToon about why cartoons are a powerful tool for learning and how to create an awesome video.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

CSLA Southern Region Scholarship Opportunities

Are you in school, or do you know someone in school, to earn a Teacher-Librarian credential or Paraprofessional School Library Technician certificate? Could you use some money to help pay for that?? Then keep reading...

The California School Library Association makes every effort to support all persons working in a school library, or working toward such a job. 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 3 scholarships at this time. We are offering two (2) $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 (1) $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 persons must live in the Southern Region of California. The applications and information are available at http://cslass.wikispaces.com/Scholarships, our CSLA Southern Region wiki. The applications and letters of recommendation are due by January 10, 2014. Questions?? Email Sondra Keckley, CSLA Southern Region President-Elect, at sondra_keckley@kernhigh.org .

CSLA Members, 
Please plan to attend our Virtual Membership meeting next Saturday, November 9 at 10 AM. (Please check the October 31 email from info@csla.net with the subject line "Nov. 9 Virtual Membership Meeting Information & Satellite Locations" for details about the meeting.
In anticipation of the meeting, please review the draft minutes from November 17, 2012 annual membership meeting, which have been posted in our membership portal. Here is a direct link to the November 17 minutes. We will be voting to approve these minutes next Saturday.
We look forward to seeing you online on Saturday.
Your CSLA Board

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back-to-School with Common Core

As we unpack, decode, and analyze the Common Core, one thing is certain. This year will be a transitional one for most schools in California.  Uncertainty reigns.  Even state assessments for this spring are currently undecided. *  While the students may not see any major changes this year, the teaching staff is feeling anxious.  Some of my teachers have told me how excited they are about the new standards which encourage complexity over quantity, delving deeper into subjects.  But many of my teachers are nervous about the lack of clarity.  Materials are in flux with indecision about which textbook to use, the old one or the new untested one.  
This time of change is a great opportunity for school librarians to lead.  I see this transition as fertile ground to plant seeds for stronger collaboration between teacher librarians and classroom teachers.  At schools across the country, new curriculum is moving into place.  Teacher librarians can embed ourselves into that new curriculum.  The first step is to become better informed about the changes so we can help guide the transition in our schools.
School Library Journal has published a series of articles about the Common Core through the lens of the school library.  Those articles are archived here.   http://www.slj.com/category/opinion/on-common-core/
In the Northern Region, all the CSLA workshops for the upcoming year will examine the Common Core and school libraries.  The focus of each workshop may be slightly different, but the theme will be the same.  The first workshop will be in San Francisco in early December. Details will be posted here. The 2014 CSLA conference in San Diego will be another learning opportunity.
This is our chance to embrace the mantle of lifelong learners as we explore what this change means for school libraries, our curriculum, our teachers, and our students.  Let us support each other as we take on this new challenge.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2014 Conference Exhibitor Update

Planning for the CSLA 2014 State Conference, Journey to eXpertise, is underway! 

In mid-July, 400 prospective exhibitors received an Exhibitor Prospectus outlining available exhibit spaces and opportunities at our upcoming San Diego conference. We’ve had excellent response to our call for exhibitors. To date, 48% of available exhibit space has already claimed, and 8 Exhibitor Learning Sessions scheduled. We are also pleased to announce sponsorships from Perma-Bound and Follett School Solutions. Perma-Bound will be sponsoring attendee conference bags, and Follett School Solutions is sponsoring author conference expenses.

If your organization is interested in exhibit space, or scheduling a Learning Session during the conference, please visit http://csla.net/2014-conference-vendor-information to view our prospectus or reserve your exhibit space online. Discount pricing is still available for remaining exhibit spaces, but pricing increases and our publication deadline for the preliminary program are fast approaching!

We hope your journey will bring you to San Diego in February 2014.
Cabanas on the Bahia's beachfront property

Thursday, July 4, 2013

ALA 2013 Highlights

Please see my account of takeaways from the ALA 2013 conference in my TL Back in the Library blog and my write up of the AASL Awards Luncheon in the AASL Blog for some highlights from the ALA 2013 conference. Please consider sharing your own highlights here!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

CSLAsr Section 5 Spring Social and Movie Event Sunday May 26th!

Join us at 2pm on Sunday, May 26th 
for networking and viewing
The Hollywood Librarian!
13137 Poway Rd, Poway, CA 92064

Thursday, April 4, 2013

CSLA Southern Region Workshop Saturday April 27th! Register NOW!

Register now for the 2013 CSLA Southern Region Spring Workshop!

All the info you need is at:


Register before
April 20th, 2013: 
$60 CSLA Member
$75 Non-Member

At the door:
$70 CSLA Member
$85 Non-Member

Free WiFi!  = Upgrade to a faster speed for $2.99
Free Parking!
Continental Breakfast – Lunch – Mid-Afternoon Snack 
Knott's Berry's Famous Chicken Lunch with Boysenberry Pie! 
(Vegetarian pasta available)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

CSLA Southern Region Scholarships - Apply Now!

Need money for library school?  If you are a Southern Region member, fill out the applications posted at http://cslass.wikispaces.com/Scholarships for the opportunity to apply for our paraprofessional or professional scholarships. Any questions?  Contact Yvonne Weinstein: mrsweinstein <at> fastmail <dot> fm (yes, fm!)  Applications are due Friday, April 12th, 2013.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

FREE Resource from AASL- Inspire Girls to STEM Careers!

Sign up by February 14th to receive your FREE CanTEEN Toolkit (www.ala.org/aasl/canTEEN).  AASL has partnered with the Carnegie Science Center: Girls Math & Science Partnership (GMSP) to inspire girls to see themselves in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers through gaming and online activities. 

As part of the Can*TEEN Career Exploration initiative, the Carnegie Science Center has developed the Can*TEEN Trivia Wheel Library Interactive game, a new spin on the classic gaming style of multiple choice trivia questions. AASL, working with the Carnegie Science Center, and with support from the Motorola Foundation, will help distribute Can*TEEN Trivia Wheel Library Interactive toolkits to more than 2,500 school librarians serving children ages 10-14.  This offer is available to any school librarian serving students ages 10-14.

School librarians who participate will receive a free kit for their school library and will be asked to complete a follow-up survey at the end of the school year. The survey will  evaluate how frequently the toolkit was checked out and how it was used in within the school. More information and the opt-in form can be found on the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/canTEEN.

More information on the Can*TEEN Career Exploration initiative can be found at www.canteengirl.org/library.Want to see the game in action? Check out clips from recent playtests, featuring two of the women who helped make the Can*TEEN Interactive at www.canteengirl.org.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2013 Healthivores Video Game Contest – Simple and Rewarding Approach to Student Game Design

Looking for something a little different to teach digital literacy skills?  Maybe you have some teachers in your school who would like to use these lessons or students who would like to participate?  I was thrilled that the organizers were reaching out to librarians to get the word out on this project.  Jessica Gillis

Are you a teacher with zero video game design experience? NO PROBLEM! This year’s Healthivores Video Game Contest has begun and its easier than you think.  Check out the included Lesson Plan that will take teachers, even those with zero game design experience, step-by-step through the process of teaching your students to design games.  You will have your students completing their video games in less than 4 weeks.  This year we have added Technology, Science and Math focused Lesson Plan options to the already popular Nutrition and Fitness Lesson Plan.  Each winning team will receive one laptop for the teacher, one for the school and one for each student on the team (See 2012 Winners here). Deadline for entry is March 31, 2013 (allow 4 weeks for completion of Lesson Plan).  Get started now at the Healthivores Video Game Contest homepage! - Green Ribbon Schools

Friday, February 1, 2013

CSLAsr February Event! Section 1 - Bakersfield

Section 1 Event

The Public Libraries serve many of our School Library patrons.  Creating a partnership with the Public Libraries may help them serve our patrons better, and allow us to offer more resources when we don’t have something available in our library. 
CSLA Southern Region, Section 1, invites all CSLA members and library personnel to explore the possibilities of a partnership with the Public Library.
Flickr CC: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34606192@N00/288022773
When:   Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Time:    4pm-6pm
Where:  Beale Memorial Library
             701 Truxtun Avenue
             Bakersfield, CA 93301

What:  We will get a tour of the Beale Memorial Library, and then meet in a reserved room.  Two public librarians, including the children’s librarian, will join us for great collaboration and discussion time.  This should open some dialogue about how we can work together to support our mutual patrons, including the new Common Core State Standards.
RSVP:  In order to provide enough drinks and snacks, I need to know how many people are coming.  Please RSVP by February 11, to Sondra Keckley at Sondra_keckley <AT> kernhigh.org
Cost:  Free to CSLA members, $5 for non-members

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meet Yvonne Weinstein - CSLA Southern Region President Elect


I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself so that CSLA members will know a little bit about me and how I came to become involved as a member of the State Board. When you read this, you’ll see that ANYONE can become involved in the organization!  I am a Teacher-Librarian at Frank Augustus Miller Middle School in Riverside.  This year, I was assigned to teach 2 periods of AVID as a transitional step back into the typical classroom.  Prior to becoming a librarian, I was a middle school science teacher, and before that worked in private industry as an Environmental planner, writing Environmental Impact Reports for public agencies and private developers.  My pastimes include quilting and geocaching. 

My first foray into volunteering for CSLA was when I was invited to be a member of the conference committee several years ago.  Activities that I’ve helped with over the years have included serving as Concurrent Sessions Chair, organizing the Book Cart Drill Team competitions for two conferences and, this year, putting together the Team Trivia Event.  (What is Ephebiphobia? Ephebiphobia is the irrational fear of teenagers J ).

Being involved with CSLA has been rewarding on both personal and professional levels. I’ve made friends, had fun, and grown in my knowledge of libraries.  Please consider this an invitation to join in the fun – you’ll not regret it!

Yvonne Weinstein
Southern Region President Elect

Saturday, January 5, 2013

CSLAsr January Events!

Mark these events down for JANUARY!  

First event is open to anyone and everyone from anywhere in California.  

The second is a CSLA member benefit.

Upcoming Events:  
Section 1:  
California State University Channel Islands 
One University Drive
Camarillo, CA 93012
Monday, January 28, 2013
6—8 PM
All school library personnel are invited to attend.
This event will include a presentation by staff about the library’s services and collection, a tour of the facility, refreshments, and time to socialize with your colleagues in other school libraries.
Cost: free to CSLA members, $5 for non‐members (helps defray costs for refreshments); parking is $6
RSVP to Sue Heraper by January 25 at sheraper AT conejousd.org

Section 6:  
The Hollywood Librarian
Thursday, January 31st, 2013 
6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Open to all CSLA members. 
Refreshments will be served. 
There is no charge for this event. 
If you have questions, contact Mark (consultant at makaw dot net),
or Stephanie (shall at valverde dot edu).  


Marie Slim
Teacher Librarian/Spanish Teacher
sraslim AT gmail.com
CSLAsr President 2012-2013