Wednesday, February 25, 2015

IASL Crisis Toolkit...Fighting for Our Jobs

As I ponder the future of school librarianship, I think that IASL needs a crisis toolkit (like the AASL toolkit) that meets the needs of teacher librarians in Iowa.

It is that time of year again with some experiencing uncertainty about the status of their jobs working as a teacher librarian in Iowa. 

The vast inequity between our positions affects us all. This problem is a huge challenge to solve. Librarians have been around since the ancient world. 

I have a feeling that awareness is key right now and that I need to tune in. 

Who is affected and where is this happening? 

What or who is getting in the way for us to become leaders in our library programs and the process of integrating technology?  We are known for being adaptable, flexible, and among the most educated in K-12 schools. Some of us being left out with our job titles/classifications/descriptions not evolving as tech integrationists concerns me.  

What can we do to help? How can we be resilient? Life can not be without difficulties, life is full of challenges.  We are resourceful and committed to our profession. 

Perhaps those of us in the boat of uncertainty need some help knowing more than best practices. We need to be able to hold on to fight another year and beyond. 

It is startling to me the lack of awareness in some of our educational communities ignoring our superhero abilities. 

I am inspired by the wisdom that surrounds us in our community but I am concerned that some of us may not have a future. 

In school librarianship that is.  Not all of us will survive the onslaught of misunderstanding our roles, perceiving us not as instructional staff, and the failure to embrace us as leaders. 

We are curious, value content and eager to share our knowledge creating a rich information rich society. 

It almost feels like an attack on our values that we hold true aligned with democracy. 

We need strength in numbers and I believe that our organizational membership numbers will be adversely affected. 

Our motto is equal access to information. Can we collectively create an IASL Crisis toolkit to support those needing help to reach their full potential as active participants in our profession? 

When it comes to fighting for our jobs I think that we need to be strategically positioned to help others in a formal way on record so we are prepared for whatever circumstances come our way. 

My opinion is that we need to create an IASL crisis toolkit. 

Thank you to everyone who supports IASL and all the people on the legislative front lines advocating for us!!!

A special shout out to Diane Martinson who inspired me to write this post. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Time to speak up!

Today is the day!  

Call or email your legislator about issues important to our patrons: Libraries!

Not sure what to talk about?  Find some talking points and our legislative agenda here:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Just Ask & A Librarian Will Respond

Like the Nike ad says just do it, I say just ask.

A recent slik-12 post inquired about establishing school library online help desks.  The Vision for Iowa's School Libraries states that we are strategically positioned to connect communities of learners in virtual and physical spaces.

I stumbled upon the web link in Florida called Ask a Librarian: The Human Service Engine. I am very curious about this type of service. Is it possible that regional Iowa AEA's could work together to create library online help desks? I think that this has best practice potential and shows that library learning extends past the physical walls. 

Since the Google chat option for students in my district has been disabled other than email or stopping by the library in person, I wonder what an online help desk would look like in schools. 

Any ideas? 

Just asking. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Next Tuesday! Contact your Representatives!

Tuesday, February 24th is ILA's annual Lobby from Home Day - be sure to contact your legislators about libraries and what we offer to our patrons!

But why not get patrons in on the action as well?

Here is a bookmark (Microsoft Publisher file) for you to personalize, post on social media, and print to give to your patrons to ask them to call your local representatives and say how important your library is to their lives.   

You can find your local representatives here:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

IASL T-Shirts For Sale!

Order your IASL t-shirt now!

Long sleeve, navy blue, cotton shirt with white IASL logo
$15 for orders picked up at IASL conference in Des Moines this April
or $20 to ship to your home or school
·         Total payment must be included with this order
·         Make checks out to ILA/IASL
·         Sorry, no cash, credit card, or purchase orders

Orders due by Friday, March 27, 2015 to:
Diane Brown                                                  
Central Middle School Library
901 Cedar St
Muscatine, IA 52761

ORDER FORM - Please print clearly                         Date:

Email:                                                                                                 Phone:


Size: S to XXXL

Fit: Regular or Ladies

Pick up at conference $15
or ship to this address $20:


The work of IASL highlighted on TL News Night

Monday February 16, the activities of the Iowa Association of School Librarians were highlighted during the monthly TL News Night live broadcast. Nikki Robertson emceed the program and representing our organization were: Dixie Forcht, President, Christine Sturgeon, Past President and Kathy Kaldenberg, Conference and Professional Development Co-Chair. Ian Coon, co-founder of the Iowa Student Leadership Institute also joined the panel.

Take time to watch this very informative chat! You might be surprised by the range of initiatives taken by your association on your behalf.

Check out the #tlchat hashtag for the online questions and discussion.

Here are the slides used during the hangout.