Saturday, February 26, 2011

Campaign for Strong School Libraries!

I'm a member of the California School Library Association (CSLA) board, but I'm writing as an individual to share with you my excitement that CSLA has just launched the 2011 Campaign for Strong School Librariesa public awareness campaign to increase understanding about the importance of strong school libraries for our children. See the details below in the message that went out to our membership from Connie Williams, a CSLA Past President and Chair of the Campaign. If you live in California, I hope you have already learned about this and visited the site. I also want to share this with all of you outside California for several reasons:
  • We would love any all of you to support our campaign, and/or
  • You can use our ideas in your own state, and/or
  • You can visit our Campaign LIBRARY STORE and get great stuff for your library, you, and your stakeholders
More information:

These are difficult times for school libraries everywhere. Working together, we can make them strong.

Do please feel free to spread any or all of this message far and wide to colleagues and friends.

Here's the letter from Connie:

The California School Library Association (CSLA) announces the launch of the 2011 California Campaign for Strong School Libraries, a public awareness campaign to increase understanding about the importance of strong school libraries for our children.

Through a variety of projects and programs, the Campaign for Strong School libraries is targeting areas throughout California to raise awareness about the importance of strong school libraries for our children.  Some of these projects include:
ê  Expanding the CSLA 2.0 tutorials to include:
A:  Summer 2.0 fun for teens @ their library [public library summer programs]
B:  Digital citizenship tutorial – targeted to teacher librarians and other educators so that they are comfortable teaching about and working with Internet Safety, cyber citizenship and information ethics applications
C:  Administrators 2.0 tutorials in process to provide tech learning for those decision makers in schools and school districts
ê  Campaign LIBRARY STORE:
Book and library-themed gifts for yourself and your library-loving friends!  Includes the incredible artwork of children’s book illustrators who have given us art to advocate for strong libraries. Watch for and widely share the announcement about the Campaign LIBRARY STORE.
ê  Bus Ads in targeted areas in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Help us spread the word about strong school libraries!

Join the public awareness campaign today by contributing your tax-deductable donation to support new ‘action advocacy’ projects as developed by CSLA members to promote library service, instruction and legislative action.  Invite your district and regional library organizations to make a donation to buy regional bus banners and ads.  Donate your time as well so that we can build a coalition of library supporters who will work together to ensure that our students have access to the strong school libraries they need to become lifelong learners.

To join or learn more about the campaign, please visit:

Let the Campaign begin!

Connie Williams
Chair, California Campaign for Strong School Libraries

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Nominees for the Library Super Heroes Contest

Gale/Cengage, a wonderful library reference book and database vendor, is sponsoring a "Librarian Super Hero" contest. According to Gale's Facebook page, "Four librarians will be selected from your submissions and turned into cartoon superheroes! Winners will be featured on a metal lunch box and unveiled at ALA in New Orleans!" 

Well, there are so many, many teacher librarians who I consider superheroes! I have been thinking about this for a few days now, and really hesitated to participate in nominating folks for this award, since I knew, by doing so, that I would feel very guilty and sad to be leaving out so many other wonderful TLs who also deserve my nomination. But, with apologies to all my other wonderful and deserving colleagues, I decided that there were several colleagues who I really, really want to see as action figures on a lunchbox! So, I am going to second Jackie Siminutus's nomination of Connie Williams (in which she states:

"I nominate Petaluma, CA High School Teacher Librarian Connie Williams for being an outstanding instructor, introducing hundreds of students cyber citizenship through her Teen Learning 2.0 tutorial; chairing the California Campaign for Strong School Libraries (; co-developing online professional development web 2.0 tutorials for teachers and teacher librarians; co-creating an audio journal in support of strong school libraries (; writing articles for La Voz and Follett Software, and the list goes on. She and her miniature dachshund Lucy riding in the front bike basket would make great action figures. :)"

as an outstanding teacher librarian, leader, role model, and advocacy superstar, and add three nominations of my own: 

  • I would love to see Marie Slim (@sraslim on twitter) as a lunchbox action hero because she is one of the most talented, energetic - and hip - teacher librarians I know. Until last school year, she was a super TL at Troy High School, correlating collaborative lessons with standards and sharing information literacy, love of reading, and technology-savvy with her students and school staff. When her district - Fullerton Joint Union High School District - cut positions and obliged her to split herself into three pieces at three different schools, she truly made lemonade out of lemons. She is now collaborating with teachers at all three schools, setting up replicable wiki sites for each of the lesson units she develops, and exemplifying a super hero setting the very best priorities - to keep information literacy instruction formost - even when faced with a difficult situation in which she is stretched way too thin. Her district is so lucky to have her! She is also an outstanding volunteer for California School Library Association: she is a member of the Southern Section Board, was social networking chair for the organization's state conference, and is a true social networking maven for teacher librarians in California and beyond.
  • Joyce Valenza (@joycevalenza on twitter) - I have been getting inspiration from Joyce Valenza ever since I entered the school library field in 2002 and began using her Power Tools book. What a way we've come since then, and so much of it with her as our guide into new territory with Web 2.0 tools that now enable us and our students to become creators, not just users, of information. She exemplifies the very, very best and the true cutting-edge of the school librarian profession. Her blog could serve as mandatory reading for any teacher librarian in training. Her incredible knowledge of information literacy and technology tools, and how to integrate them into a dynamic school library program, is matched only by her enthusiastic willingness to share this savvy with other members of the school library profession. Her students and teachers at Springfield Township High School, in Erdheim, PA, must count themselves as blest to have THE #1 school library rock star as their librarian!
  • Gwyneth Jones (@gwynethjones on twitter) - I've just become aware of Gwyneth in the last year or so (I'm sure I should have much earlier), but what a action hero teacher librarian she is! Anyone who reads her tweets, her blog, or her tech wiki has to be blown away by the enthusiasm she exudes for tools of our school library profession and her creativity in sharing them. And, she doesn't just share tools with students, teachers, and other teacher librarians; the tools jump off the page thanks to her incredible graphic presentation and engaging writing style. Gwynneth could be a graphic designer creating all the action hero graphics for us if she didn't already have a job - at which she is a superstar - being the teacher librarian at Murray Hill Middle School in Laurel, Maryland, in addition to blogging, tweeting, and being a member of the ISTE Board of Directors.
Check out Gale's Facebook page for these nominations! And, if you aren't already following their words of wisdom on Twitter and elsewhere, do start!