Thursday, December 1, 2016

Recognizing our Retirees! Deadline: February 1st

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!

IASL Awards - Deadline February 1st

Do you know an IASL member who is retiring this school year?  Someone who is an outstanding advocate for school libraries? How about a Teacher Librarian who advances our profession on a daily basis?  

You should nominate them for an IASL Award!



Fill out this form to nominate IASL members for the Vision Award or to recognize a retiree. 

Fill out this form to nominate anyone who stands up for school libraries for the Distinguished Advocate Award

Fill out this form to have your library recognized as an Outstanding Library Program (This one requires additional materials - please see criteria on the Awards page).

The deadline to nominate someone or apply for IASL Awards is February 1st!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

School librarians and libraries help Every Student Succeed in Iowa!

Steven Yates, president-elect for AASL, presented a wonderful workshop on ESSA in Cedar Rapids and via Zoom to other AEAs across Iowa on Tuesday, Nov. 29th. We taped this workshop and will be sending out a link to the recording soon.

On Wednesday, Nov. 30th, a small group of teacher librarians and library professionals from across the state are meeting with Director Ryan Wise – at his request - in Des Moines to have a conversation about ESSA, school librarians and effective school library programs.

 We all have an excellent opportunity to help Every Student Succeed in Iowa! We can send emails to essa@iowa.gov with messages (see steps 4 through 9 for some ideas). 

It’s hard to sum up all of what happened in the three-hour workshop to a single email. For now, I will give a brief summary of what you can do now.

1.       First of all, go to the ESSA web site and download the Iowa handbook we used for the workshop: http://essa.aasl.org/forums/topic/iowa-112916/ There are excellent resources in there, including video links for more information about ESSA and libraries.

2.       Next, think about who in your community would have a stake in local school district plans to ensure that school library program provide students an opportunity to develop digital literacy skills and improve academic achievement? Who needs to have college and career ready individuals graduation today?  Those might include teachers, administrators, parents, current students, other library and educational associations, community colleges, private and public colleges in your region, news organizations, businesses, former students, public libraries, and many more. I am sure you can think of some to add to this list.

3.       Next, think about what they can contribute to our efforts and three things you could do today to build or strengthen your relationship with them.

4.       Now it is time to develop your personalized “elevator speech” based on ESSA’s key areas that relate to school librarians and effective school libraries.  You can use this message for an email to the Iowa DE or to share with friends to ask them to share with the Iowa DE.

5.       Start with ESSA’s key messages for school librarians are as follows:
a.       School librarians and access to effective school library programs, impact student achievement, digital literacy skills, and school climate/culture (Title I)
b.       School librarians share their learning with other professionals when they attend conferences and workshops, applying the benefits of new techniques, strategies, and technologies to the entire district (Title II)
c.       School librarians are uniquely suited to lead the effort in applying for competitive grants because of their expertise and access to strong professional learning networks (Title II, Part B)
d. School librarians increase access to personalized, rigorous learning experiences supported by technology, allowing equitable resources for all students. (Title IV) 

6.       Connect the message specifically to your work with a quick fact or data point and a story. It is OK to use data from a survey or research if you do not have specific data from your school or district to support your story. A story or anecdote that shows the impact you have on a student or students is key here.

7.       Consider who you are talking to, what they care about and what it is within their power to impact.

8.       Wrap it up by making a specific request of what you would like them to do to help.

9.       If it helps, practice in front of a friend or the mirror. It’s important to be prepared should you find yourself faced with questions and comments such as “Are there really any libraries left?” … “We don’t need librarians when you have the Internet.” … “Everything kids need is on Google.” …

Check the IASL web site for more updates on ESSA at http://iasl-ia.org and on state listservs.


Keep up the good fight!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Update on Tuesday's ESSA workshop


The Iowa Association of School Librarians is partnering with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) to offer a free three-hour workshop on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Tuesday, Nov. 29th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Cedar Rapids.  

Additional locations include Heartland AEA in Johnston, Northwest AEA (Sioux Center and Sioux City), AEA 267 in Marshalltown, Prairie Lakes and Mississippi Bend.  Check with your local AEA for details.

Steven Yates, AASL President-Elect, will facilitate the session which will include:
•  The most current information on developments at the Federal level and work through the sections of ESSA that can be directly linked to the school librarian/library program.
•  Connecting ESSA language to the school librarian’s role.
•  Discussing current state work with recommendations for opportunities at state and local levels to ensure the effective school library program’s language in ESSA.
This hands-on session will aid in identifying stakeholders, building coalitions, message crafting and elevator speech development.  While the content will be directly related to ESSA, the tools and exercise portion is advocacy for positioning school librarians in general as leaders for teaching and learning. Each participant will receive an ESSA handbooks.
To RSVP so we can know how many people to expect, please complete the following survey:
goo.gl
The Iowa Association of School Librarians is partnering with AASL to offer a free three-hour workshop on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Tuesday, Nov. 29th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Cedar Rapids. Additional sites will be available virtually. Please RSVP if you plan to attend so we can have some idea how many participants there will be. Thank you!

  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Book Review: Kids of Appetite


Vic is fascinated by a group of kids he sees around his New Jersey town.  Baz is the leader, Zuz is the quiet one, Coco is the comic relief, and, of course, the beautiful and intoxicating Mad.  But he never thought he would actually interact with these people, until he impulsively ran away from home one frigid night, and the group enfolds him within their strange wings and helps him with a very personal quest.  Thus begins an eight-day adventure, with stops at the ocean, a church, a greenhouse, New York, and ending at the police station.  Will Vic fulfill his quest?  What will happen to Vic when the time comes to leave his new friends?

Kids of Appetite, by David Arnold, is a coming-of-age book about family, friendship, and grief.  It is not a quick read, but it is worth every minute.  If you have readers that enjoy books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, or We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart, they will love Kids of Appetite, by David Arnold.

Friday, November 4, 2016

ESSA Workshop in CR Nov 29th

The Iowa Association of School Librarians is partnering with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) to offer a free three-hour workshop on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Tuesday, Nov. 29th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Cedar Rapids. Additional sites will be available virtually.

Steven Yates, AASL President-Elect, will facilitate the session which will include:
•  The most current information on developments at the Federal level and work through the sections of ESSA that can be directly linked to the school librarian/library program.
•  Connecting ESSA language to the school librarian’s role.
•  Discussing current state work with recommendations for opportunities at state and local levels to ensure the effective school library program’s language in ESSA.

This hands-on session will aid in identifying stakeholders, building coalitions, message crafting and elevator speech development.  While the content will be directly related to ESSA, the tools and exercise portion is advocacy for positioning school librarians in general as leaders for teaching and learning. Each participant will receive an ESSA handbooks.

Support is also provided by the American Library Association’s Washington Office and Office for Library Advocacy.


Additional locations will be announced as this information becomes available. Check with your local AEA for details in the next week or so.

Monday, October 24, 2016

ESSA Update


The Iowa DE Task Force developing Iowa's ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Implementation Plan is holding three more listening meetings across the state this fall and we are seeking school librarians and advocates to speak up at these meetings. All meetings are at 5 p.m. and start with about a 30-minute presentation and then the meeting opens up for you to speak. Make sure to check in when you get there so you can speak.

Here are the dates for the remaining statewide listening sessions:
  • Wednesday, Nov. 2 - Grant Wood AEA, Cedar Rapids
  • Monday, Nov. 7 - Great Prairie AEA, Ottumwa
  • Wednesday, Nov. 9 - AEA 267, Cedar Falls
If you are interested in attending one of these meetings, please complete this survey: 

Updated talking points are available on this web site at this link: More on ESSA


Friday, October 14, 2016

How can we improve this website?

We are always seeking ways to make the IASL website more user-friendly.

For example, check the Book Awards pages to find more streamlined and consistent information about each award, based on user feedback!

Do you have other suggestions for how to make the website easier to use?  If so, please click here!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Iowa Teacher Librarians Take Over #ITEC

Once again, Teacher Librarians were big players at this year’s ITEC Conference in Des Moines. We’ve asked several attendees (and presenters!) to think about their experiences and share with us their big takeaways!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Speak Up for Teacher Librarians and Effective School Library Programs

The Iowa Department of Education has a statewide task force that is collecting input on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The Iowa Association of School Librarians has a work group working on this initiative which could have a tremendous positive impact on school libraries and school librarians in Iowa. If we do not get involved, it could have a negative impact.

Here's where we need your help. We just learned the dates of the public input meetings. The first one is Monday in Johnston. We need to have as many teacher librarians and library supporters at each of these meetings. We will provide you with talking points if you are willing to attend and speak.

The Iowa Association of School Librarians (IASL) has an important and necessary role as a stakeholder organization in supporting the Iowa Department of Education’s ESSA plan development. The work school librarians do impacts every student and teacher in every school. Research shows that an effective school library program boosts reading test scores. At this time, there are no school librarians on the task force and we are trying to get our voices heard.

If you are interested in attending one of these meetings, please complete this survey: 
  https://goo.gl/forms/G9zxD4yluBGfXiNr2  We will follow up with emails with directions and talking points. 

All public input meetings will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Meeting dates and locations are as follows:

Monday, September 26 - Heartland AEA, Johnson
Tuesday, September 27 - Green Hills AEA, Council 
Bluffs
Tuesday, October 11 - Keystone AEA, Elkader
Thursday, October 20 – Northwest AEA, Sioux City
 Tuesday, October 25 – Mississippi Bend AEA, Bettendorf
 Wednesday, October 26 – Prairie Lakes AEA, Storm Lake
 Wednesday, November 2 – Grant Wood AEA, Cedar Rapids
 Monday, November 7 – AEA 267, Cedar Falls