Tuesday, April 4, 2017

IASL Awards Galore!

Check out the IASL Book Awards that were announced at the 2017 IASL Conference as well as our Distinguished Advocate Recipient and the Outstanding Library Program Awards!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

2017 IASL Conference: The Perfect Blend

The 2017 Iowa Association of School Librarians conference starts tomorrow (April 2)!

Don't forget to share and follow the learning via Twitter and Instagram with the conference hashtag: #IASL2017!

Monday, March 6, 2017

IASL Shirt Order

Attention IASL members!

The Membership Committee is organizing an IASL shirt order.  Purchases can be made through the links below.  There are two pick-up options.  The first, is to pick up at the conference.  The second option is to ship to an address of your choice.

If interested in ordering, please select the correct link for your pick-up method. Ordering will close March 19.

Please direct any questions to:
Miranda Kral, 
IASL At-Large Board Member, Membership Chair

Friday, February 10, 2017

Deadline to Comment on ESSA Draft Plan--FEBRUARY 15, 2017


The first draft of Iowa's Plan for implementation of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) is available until February 15th for review and comment. I urge you to go look through the draft and make comments online regarding the role of teacher librarians and effective school library programs.

The fast way to do this is to go to the plan and search for all mentions of libraries and librarians and read what they have planned. Then go to the online survey to make specific comments. Director Wise recommended that when commenting about language that suggestions be made such as, "In section 4 on page 48, amend the language under ENVIRONMENT, Physical Environment to read, "The extent to which school facilities are adequate, [add]equitable, clean, and up to date."

I attended the ESSA meeting with Director Wise and Associate Director Tilly in Marshalltown, and listened to their explanations of the plan. I urge you to comment. 

Thanks to the work of Christine Sturgeon, Becky Johnson, Val Ehlers, Sarah Staudt, and others in our organization, our voice has been heard loud and clear. But we cannot afford to go quiet. 

The second draft is slated to appear in May. The final draft is due in September. Implementation will likely be 2018-19.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Book Review: Heartless

Living in the kingdom of Hearts, Lady Catherine loves baking and would love to open her own bakery with her best friend.  But her family expects her to marry the King of Hearts, who is perfectly nice but also slightly foolish.  Cath has no hope of making her dreams come true...until she meets the new mysterious court joker, Jest, and her dreams start to change.  Can she really sacrifice love for family duty?

Heartless is Marissa Meyer’s new work, set in the world of Alice in Wonderland (before Alice).  As in the Cinder series, there are many references to characters and ideas in the original, from the Cheshire cat to the Mad Hatter’s tea party to the looking glass between worlds, but with Meyer’s own twists. This new work starts to flow more quickly than her previous series, but if the reader doesn’t know much about Alice in Wonderland, they may not pick up on some of the foreshadowing.  Good for readers who enjoys twisted or fractured fairy tales.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

American Library Association's Youth Media Awards

Yesterday, the American Library Association announced this year's Youth Media Awards! If you haven't had the opportunity, be sure to check out the lists here: ALA 2017 Youth Media Award Winners.

And don't miss the opportunity to discuss these award-winning titles! Connect with other Midwest Teacher Librarians tonight (January 24) through #mwlibchat on Twitter!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Honoring our Retirees - Deadline Approaching!

Do you know an IASL member who is retiring this year?

Please complete this form so we can recognize their service at the spring conference!

Deadline for being recognized at the conference is February 1st!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

ESSA meeting update

The statewide Iowa  Department of Education meetings will start with a presentation of the first draft of the plan and how it was developed. At the end there should be an opportunity to speak.

Upcoming meetings will be held at:
Jan. 12, 2017 - Heartland AEA, Ames, 511 S. 17th St - Join by video conference 
Jan. 17th, 2017 - Mississippi Bend AEA, Clinton and Northwest AEA, LeMars.
Jan. 18th - Oelwein HS
Jan. 19th - AEA 267, Marshalltown
Feb. 2 - Prairie Lakes AEA, Pocahontas

Here are some things you might consider saying:

"Thank you for mentioning effective school library programs in the first draft of your ESSA plan.

"I and other school librarians hope that you will consider including effective school library programs - consisting of a certified teacher librarian, a paraprofessional assistant, and current, relevant materials – as one of your Accountability Systems Indicators in Section 4.1.A of your plan.

"Additionally, I would ask that you consider encouraging the use of school improvement funds to increase library staffing and keep school libraries open in the evening and through the summer months to promote academic engagement in a literacy-rich environment. This would help schools provide extended learning time for struggling students as required in Section 4.3B."

Also give a personal story or anecdote about how you and your library make a difference.

I would greatly appreciate you sharing with me what happens at the meeting, including how many people attend and what they speak about. You can email me at bcjohnson@cr.k12.ia.us. 

For more details on the statewide tour, check out this link.

Thanks again!

Becky  Johnson