Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Reading Memories

Iowa school librarians and teachers are busy reading this summer. One list many of us have in common is the 2014-15 Iowa Children's Choice Award nominees.  In addition to reading the books we are preparing promotional efforts when school is back in session. Be sure to check out the custom 2014-15 booklist resource sets from (Thanks to Iowa AEAs for statewide access!).  Teachingbooks has aggregated an array of audio, video, and website content related to the nominated titles and their authors.  Take an occasional break from all that reading, viewing, and listening to head over to twitter to discuss the nominees - #iakidpicks

I've been asking nominated authors to share summer reading memories. Below are the first two responses.

"Reading was a huge part of my summer experience growing up. We would go to the library every day (yes, every day, I'm not exaggerating) and I would get a stack of books and read them and have to bring them back and get another stack the next day. In addition to the library, sometimes I would save a little money and when we went grocery shopping--which I thought was so boring--I would buy a book in the little bookstore in the corner of the supermarket, and read that while my mom shopped. My favorite places to read were on top of my bunk bed and out in the grass in our yard. The library ran a summer reading program, in which you were encouraged to read ten books, and you got a prize for each book you did a report on. The trouble for me was that I would run through the whole program three times each summer and they would have to stop giving me the prizes after a while."  ~ Suzanne LaFleur

"As far as summer reading memories go, my parents were both teachers, so the whole family had summers off. We would go on camping trips in our van for anywhere from 2-8 weeks every year and would each borrow a stack of books from the public library to take with us. When I was twelve, we drove from my hometown of Vancouver, BC, across Canada and down the east coast of the United States, all the way to Key West, Florida and back through Texas. By the time we reached Washington, DC, we were somewhere around the halfway point of the trip and I'd already read all of my own library books as well as the books my parents and brother had brought along. We stopped at a bookstore and I bought a copy of Noel Streatfeild's, "Ballet Shoes". I wasn't particularly interested in ballet, or books written so long ago (1936), but for some reason, it really piqued my interest and I was anxious to read it. So, when my family parked the van and headed

for the Smithsonian Air and Space museum, I brought the book with me (and received a lot of strange looks from people who had traveled from all over the world to see the museum). I toured one exhibit (for less than ten minutes), then told my parents I was going to read in the lobby. I found a comfortable chair and sat down for the rest of the afternoon, totally absorbed in the book. By the time I was finished, so was the museum visit and my family was ready to go. They'd all had a fantastic time and chatted away about all of the amazing and fascinating things they'd seen, then shook their heads when they realized I'd had my nose in a book all afternoon. For years afterwards, whenever the topic of Washington DC or the Smithsonian came up in conversation, I never mentioned to anyone that I hadn't really made it past the lobby. It's the kind of thing that only people who really love reading would understand." ~ W.C. Mack

Pictured at left is W.C. Mack's copy of Ballet Shoes.

Posted by Ernie Cox / @erniec

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

10 Things to Know About Modern Librarians...

Have you read (and shared) this great post by Allegra D’Ambruoso on her blog "Trust me, I'm a Librarian."?

D'Ambruoso shares 10 things she would like to remind classroom teachers (or even the general public!) about our evolving roles and what we really offer to our school communities:
Oh, sure, the typical view of a librarian is an older woman, in a cardigan and cat-eye glasses, with a tight bun, shushing everyone who dares to make a sound. That may have been the case a long time ago, and may still be the case with some dinosaur librarians (they still exist, sorry!), but generally, librarians don’t like quiet. Quiet means that no one is collaborating. 

Thanks for sharing, Allegra! 

D'Ambruoso, Allegra. "10 Things Classroom Teachers Need to Know about Modern School Librarians." Trust Me Im a Librarian. N.p., 18 July 2014. Web. 23 July 2014. .

Mulitple Literacy Series: Mass Literacy

Mass Literacy can be described as getting literacy support to the masses.

The Mass Literacy mission statement is listed below.  How can school librarians and libraries support mass literacy?

Mass Literacy partners with public and private institutions and organizations to achieve these goals: 

  • Educate the public about literacy through coordinated media outreach.  Recognize and reward leadership and excellence in the field of literacy. 
  • Empower strong families and a literate workforce.
  • Encourage collaboration and partnerships that strengthen literacy. 
There are standards that correlate with mass literacy.

Articles and readings about mass literacy related to libraries. 

Next post multiple literacy series: Visual literacy 

IASL Board Summer Retreat...Making Things Happen

The IASL Executive Board recently met for our summer retreat.  It wasn’t at the Harry Potter Hotel though that would have been fun.  Instead we were at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa.  This beautiful 1913 hotel has many unique rooms and special settings like the library with a copper fireplace.

 Day 1 of the IASL retreat focused on activity and committee reports from Past President Susan Feuerbach, incoming President Dixie Forcht, and current President Christine Sturgeon.  Our presidents provided details on legislative updates, advocacy, and collaborations.  Becky Johnson, AASL Affiliate Assembly chair, detailed her work on behalf of IASL at a national level.  Carol Van Hook, ILA Liason, is excited to be working in the search for a new state librarian. Awards chair, Alicia Patten, has some exciting ideas in mind that will continue to build on the enthusiasm for the Iowa Award book lists.  Publications chair, Amy Power, continues to keep our webpage looking great and up to date.  Kathy Kaldenberg, our Professional Development chair along with Kate Lechtenberg, new to the committee, are already hard at work on the 2015 IASL Spring Conference. Chelsea Sims, Advocacy chair, is spearheading the delivery of our message in many formats.

After this intense day we enjoyed dinner at the restaurant at the Hotel Pattee.  The owner personally checked with us to make sure we were enjoying our stay. Everything at Hotel Pattee was fantastic. We toured the unique rooms and admired the artwork, furnishings, and architecture before we went bowling at the Hotel.  Afterward, we soaked in the hot tub before resting up for Day 2 of the retreat, which focused on our action plans and budget for 2015.

As membership chair, I am happy to say that our membership has grown!  Thank you for being a member.  The IASL leadership team is committed to advocacy for Iowa’s students and teacher librarians. There is plenty of opportunity to join the IASL leadership team so contact us if you want to be involved!

As July winds down and we get ready to head back to school take this quiz to see how well do you know the IASL board!

Which member:
1.    Has 6 children?
2.    Has a son who is a professional wrestler?
3.    Recently found a new favorite free museum in Little Rock Arkansas at Central High School?
4.    Did not get eaten by a cougar on the Pacific Crest Trail this summer?
5.    Has 3 photos at the Iowa State Fair?
6.    Will be hosting an exchange student from China this year?
7.    Planned to stop at the Kate Shelly Bridge and antique stores on the way home?
8.    Recently celebrated her one year anniversary?

 From left to right: Diane Brown, Christine Sturgeon, Chelsea Simms Yates, Alicia Patten, Sue Feuerbach, Becky Johnson, and Dixie Forcht.

1.    Dixie Forcht
2.    Sue Feuerbach
3.    Becky Johnson
4.    Diane Brown
5.    Carol Van Hook
6.    Christine Sturgeon
7.    Alicia Patten
8.    Chelsea Simms Yates

 A big thank you to Diane Brown for writing this post!

Monday, July 21, 2014

FlipGrid - Why be an active member of IASL?

IASL has a flipgrid!  
flipgrid is a place to ask questions and receive responses video style.  Get into the groove back to school teacher librarian style and put in your two cents worth.

Kathy Kaldenberg recommends viewing the flipgrid by Joyce Valenza.

Communicating with your legislators

Do you have a relationship with your local representative? Do they know how students are impacted by Teacher Librarians and their library programs?

Legislators can only focus on what they hear from their constituents. They need to hear what we teach, how we help students and teachers, how we lead in technology integration, and our vision for Iowa's School Libraries.

Call, tweet, email, or have coffee with your representatives. Prepare a short anecdote about your experiences in your school community - better yet, share a story from a student or teacher who has seen what library programs can do for you.  

Collect a few statistics to share about your program - especially if you could compare it to a school with or without a strong library program.

Not sure what to talk about with your legislator? Check the IASL website for our legislative agenda, position statements on issuing affecting Iowa, or our Advocacy Toolkit for ideas.

Want to know if your legislator is on Twitter?  Check the spreadsheet here!

Another great avenue for communicating with legislators is letters to the editor. Get your message into local opinion pages and they will hear it!