Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sandy Hook Snowflake Project

This has been floating around the web. See what you can do to help - Sam Garchik
Today the sixth graders and my fifth grade class made paper snowflakes for Sandy Hook. It's a small way we can do something for the students at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Their PTSA is making a Winter Wonderland for the students. 
When they go back to school after break they will be in a different building. The idea is to decorate all the halls and classrooms with snowflakes, so they walk into a magical wonderland. PS-It's also a great way to up-cycle pretty wrapping paper:)

*Snowflakes for Sandy Hook  (from:
*Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school! Get Creative!!  No two snowflakes are alike. Make and send snowflakes to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT  06514, by January 12, 2013.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chris Harris gives an Iowa shoutout

Chris Harris held a preconference workshop, gave a dynamic keynote address and presented two presentations at the Iowa Library Association conference in October. Our IASL President was a key figure in making that all happen. Read what Chris has to say about Iowans in his American Libraries column E-content, "Simon & Schuster Ebooks Can't Resist Persistant Iowans".

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review: Ashen Winter

What if a supervolcano erupted in the United States?  According to CNN, a supervolcanic eruption would be “at least 25,000 times larger than the Mount St. Helens eruption.”  If the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, "’devastation would be complete and incomprehensible’...After the initial eruption, clouds of gas and rock would burn everything in its path...Ashfall would cover the western United States and also enter the jet stream with the potential to cripple air transportation and threaten the world's food supply” (  This is exactly what has happened in the Ashfall series, by Mike Mullin.

Ashen Winter continues where Ashfall left off, with Alex and Darla staying with his uncle’s family and living as well as they can off of the snow- and ash-covered land.  When they unexpectedly get a clue to his parents whereabouts, Alex and Darla decide to return to devastated Iowa to try to find them and bring them home.  Along their journey, they are met with obstacle after obstacle, including bandits, Black Lake soldiers, and slave traders, not to mention the frigid weather conditions, lack of supplies, and cannibals.  Will they ever make it back home in one piece and bring Alex’s family back together again?

For lovers of Ashfall, readers will not be too disappointed.  The book is full of action and adventure, along with development of relationships and the addition of a few interesting new characters, as well as revisiting a few favorite characters from the last book.  However, the series takes a bit of a downward turn in this book.  It has been just six months since the eruption, and conditions are not improving.  In fact, they are depressingly and disturbingly awful, with little hope for improvement. There are few high points in the novel, and an open ending may be frustrating for readers.  However, lovers of apocalyptic novels like Life As We Knew It, by Susan Pfeffer, will enjoy this series as well.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Review: Raven Boys

The latest work by Maggie Stiefvater (author of Shiver) is Raven Boys, set in Henrietta, a town where there is a distinct line drawn between the haves at the private academy and the have-nots of the “normal” public school kids.  Blue is of the latter category, and prides herself on being strange, coming from a family of psychics.  Although Blue herself does not have psychic abilities, she is said to be able to focus others’ supernatural strength.  Gansey and his friends Adam, Noah, and Ronan attend Aglionby Academy, who Blue calls “raven boys.”  However, Gansey and his group are not typical raven boys because they have more on their minds than cars, ivy league college, and money.  More specifically, they spend all their time looking for Glendower, an old Welsh king who they believe is buried on a ley line that goes through Henrietta.  Their search for Glendower leads them to cross paths with Blue, which is a connection that will change all their lives forever.

Stiefvater is a master of creating characters and relationship that draw you in and make you care about each person.   Her twists of the uniquely supernatural add to the story without taking it over.  However, this development of characters does take time, and readers that are quickly bored may not become engrossed enough to read this book.  For those who do take the time, it is an excellent read, though the ending seems rather abrupt and somehow unfinished (to be continued in the four-book series of the Raven Cycle).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

IASL Leadership Academy Announcement

What is coming up?
A School Library Leadership Academy, supported by AASL, IASL, and ABC-CLIO

Who is invited?
Iowa Teacher Librarians who aspire to be leaders and have up to 5 years of professional experience as Teacher Librarians

June 20-21, 2013

An opportunity for 15 teacher librarian aspiring leaders to gather in the Iowa City area for June 20-21, 2013, for inspiration, idea sharing, collegiality—and some fun. Tuition and lodging in Coralville will be provided by the sponsors.

Topics will include
·       self-awareness, developing personal leadership skill
·       the teacher librarian and the school culture
·       leading from the middle
·       advocacy and effective communication
·       mentoring
·       principle-centered leadership, technical leadership skills: group process, time management, prioritization

Applications are due March 1, 2013. Application form is linked below.

Google Docs Application

Application in MS Word

Jean Donham, Ph. D.
School Library Studies
University of Northern Iowa
College of Education

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Levitation.  Rejuvenation.  Invisibility.  
Shapeshifting.  Incredible strength.  

As Jacob is growing up, his grandfather Abe tells him stories of people who could do all these incredible feats and even more, from the time when he lived in an orphanage during World War II.  He even has pictures to prove it.  As Jacob grows older, he realizes his grandfather is probably pulling his leg, and, as he examines the pictures, he can see how they could be easily faked.  But as his grandfather ages his mind seems to grow more frail, and it is difficult to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

After the mysterious death of his grandfather, Jacob decides to take a trip to the orphanage to see for himself the place and people that had such a profound effect on his grandfather's life.  What he discovers is more mysterious and life-changing than he ever imagined.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs, starts out as a mystery, has a touch of horror, but by the end of the book turns into a supernatural fantasy.  The pictures, which are actual antiques from personal collections, add to the book, but can also be a bit awkward as the story tries to fit the details of the pictures.  The novel has some great action and suspense, although some readers may be disappointed with the open ending (set up for the untitled sequel, slated to be released in June of 2013). I would recommend this book for junior high and up, particularly for those who are looking for a mystery book.  It may also be a good introduction to students who who are not usual readers of fantasy, although fantasy lovers will enjoy it as well.

What's new on AASL eCOLLAB?

What's new on AASL eCOLLAB?

Suggested by Jean Donham

These webinars are now available as part of AASL's
professional development repository!

How to be a Ninja Warrior Filter Fighter! *
In honor of Banned Websites Awareness Day, this webinar focuses on how overly restrictive filtering of legitimate, educational websites and academically useful social networking tools affects student learning. Presenter Gwyneth Jones will also share what school librarians can do to fight this type of restrictive filtering in their schools.

Opening the Space: Libraries as a Site of Participatory Culture *
Andy Plemmons looks at the school library as a site of participatory culture through elements such as student book budgets, collaborative projects, opportunities for students to showcase their creations to others in a variety of ways, and students taking leadership in teaching one another how to use technology to create.

The Power of Data *
The Power of Data analyzes the types of data available to school librarians and how the data can be used to support school library programs. Dr. Sandra Andrews explores with participants a variety of datasets at the local, state, and national level that include information on schools and school libraries.

Wanted: Information Literacy Skills in a World of Google & Wikipedia *
The amount of information that has already been indexed online and the amount that is being added everyday is enough to overwhelm even the sharpest of researchers. Emily Gover discusses recent findings on the status of plagiarism, research methods and citation practices and cross-references these results with data pulled and analyzed directly from EasyBib.

Join AASL Forum!
* These links will prompt you to log into the AASL website.

Did you know?

AASL's eCOLLAB: Your eLearning Laboratory is resource provided to you as a feature of your AASL membership. In eCOLLAB, you'll find webcasts, podcasts, and resources from various AASL professional development events. Members can also view read-only version of the latest issue of AASL’s print journal, Knowledge Quest. Fit professional development into your schedule! Visit eCOLLAB today!
Join AASL Forum!
Copyright © 2012 American Association of School Librarians, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this e-mail because you are a member of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).
Our mailing address is:

American Association of School Librarians
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Add us to your address book

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

EduTech Smackdown/Open Mic night

This will be a great event. Let's have a real showing of Iowa support!
PlMonday, December 3rd at 8PM Eastern, TL Virtual CafĂ©
2nd annual FREE EduTech Smackdown/Open Mic nightwebinar.  
Please plan on visiting or participating!/11/

2012 School Library Counts! Survey Report

This report is worth checking out at . Do you feel that it is representative of your situation? If not, think seriously about participating next year. It only takes about 20 minutes to complete the survey.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: Son, by Lois Lowry

If you haven't yet heard, not only is there a series following the The Giver (and possibly someday a movie?), which comes as a shock to many people, but the fourth and final book in the series has been released.  Each of the first three books followed a different character in different communities of the same world; the final installment revisits the original world of The Giver, and brings the characters together.

In Son, by Lois Lowry, we meet Claire, who has been given the dubious honor of being a Birthmother.  Everything is going along well, until she has problems during the birth, and is released from her duties as Birthmother.  Although she knows she is not supposed to wonder about the boy she has given birth to, she can't stop thinking about him and hoping he is well.  Her story continues as she struggles to find her son and ensure his well-being.

Son is a great conclusion to the Giver series, although, as someone who has loved all of the books in the series, the ending was a little anti-climactic for me, and some of the themes were more heavy-handed than is usual for Lowry.  However, the book overall is an excellent read, and one I would recommend for any lovers of The Giver.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review: UnWholly

UnWholly, by Neal Shusterman, is the sequel to Unwind.  The book continues to follow the stories of the main characters, while meeting a few new ones.

Connor-the head of the Graveyard, is plagued by insecurities that he cannot truly keep the AWOL's in his care safe
Risa-confined to a wheelchair, she is the head of the medical unit in the Graveyard, and one of Connor's few confidantes
Starkey-a new AWOL to the Graveyard, who believes he should be in charge, but is willing to bide his time
Lev-famous for being the clapper who didn't clap, but is now confined to house arrest, save for community service visits to a juvenile detention facility
Nelson-the guard  shot in the leg at the Happy Jack Harvesting Center, is now seeking revenge against all AWOL's, but particularly the Akron AWOL
Cam-a teenage Frankenstein brought to life with the parts of unwinds, who wants nothing more than a companion, but is being used to promote a larger agenda

The book is full of action and suspense, and takes a peek into the larger conspiracy behind the unwinding accord.  If you have students that loved the first book, on the Iowa Teen Award list last year, they will love UnWholly as well.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: The Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan, is the third installment to the Heroes of Olympus series, which is a companion/continuation of the popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  In this book, Percy Jackson and Jason Grace join forces with five of their fellow demigods to continue the battle against Gaea, the Earth Mother.  Each demigod is tested to the limit as they face gods and trials on their quest, but also learn more about themselves and their relationships with each other.

Although the book has some slow moments and is full of cheesy lines, that's part of what readers love about Rick Riordan's books.  The book is quite long (608 pages), but plenty of action sequences will keep readers entertained and turning pages.  If you have readers that love the Percy Jackson series, the Heroes of Olympus series is a must-read.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Election results

Thanks for all who voted and those who ran.  We are always looking for help on committees and people interested in getting involved so please consider running in the future!

Congratulations to the following:

Vice President/President Elect:   Christine Sturgeon

Secretary/Treasurer:   Sue Inhelder

At Large Board Member (Membership Chair):   Diane Brown

Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review: Ashfall

Imagine you are home alone, relaxing the way you only can when the whole family is out of the house for the weekend.  Suddenly, your room explodes with fire and noise, and your entire world is turned upside down.

In Ashfall, by Mike Mullin, Alex is home alone for the weekend in Cedar Falls, Iowa, when a supervolcano erupts under Yellowstone National Park, covering a large portion of the United States with explosions and fire falling from the sky, followed by darkness and ash.  The world quickly also erupts with violence and fear.  Alex determines to travel through the ash to find his family, against all odds.

Cover image for AshfallAshfall is a great read, filled with adventure and courage in a world that seems familiar, but is completely changed.  If you are looking for end-of-the-world books like the Life as We Knew It trilogy, by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Ashfall is a great choice (and look for the sequel, Ashen Winter,  released on Oct. 16, 2012). 

IASL Candidates

Included in this email are description for each of the candidates and the positions they are running for.  Once you have read through the candidates and determined who you would like to vote for please click on the link at the bottom of this email to be taken to the ballot where you can place your votes.  This will only take a minute so please make sure you vote.

Vice President/President-Elect

Dixie Forcht serves as the PK-12 Teacher Librarian for the East Marshall Community Schools. Dixie is a native Texan, and has been in Iowa since 2006. Dixie has a master's in Communication Studies from the University of North Texas, a master's in School Library Studies from the University of Northern Iowa, and is currently working toward the Advanced Studies Certificate in Educational Leadership and a TAG endorsement at UNI. Dixie has presented at the last two IASL Conferences.

Christine Sturgeon is a K-12 teacher librarian/technology integrationist, working at Manson Northwest Webster School District.  She is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa (BA, Elementary Education, 2009), and the University of Missouri (MA, Information Science and Learning Technology, with an Emphasis in Library Science, 2011).  Previously, she worked at the Sioux City Public Library in the Youth Services department, and volunteered for years in her children's school libraries.  She spoke at the IASL meeting in April ("Gosh!  You could have told me that!") and the TICL conference in June ("Limitless learning: Combining 21st century skills, digital citizenship, and student interests into an independent study high school class").  She is a member of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council for the North Central region.  She is a mother of five and lives with her husband and their school-aged children in rural Gowrie.  You can follow Christine on her blog at or on Twitter at@c_sturgeon.


Sue Inhelder serves as Teacher Librarian at Marshalltown High School and District Resource Specialist for Marshalltown Community School District Libraries.  Originally from Iowa, Sue returned to the state in 2003 after her husband retired from active duty with the Air Force.  She has a Master of Library Science and Information Services from the University of Central Missouri.  Sue is passionate about reader engagement: she co-founded and is coordinator of Iowa High School Battle of the Books and publishes a daily YA Book of the Day Quote.  Sue has hosted a table presentation at an IASL conference, has served as IASL Member-at-Large, and currently serves as IASL interim Secretary/Treasurer.

Judy Russell is currently the District Librarian for Saydel Schools in Des Moines. She has previously worked at Dallas Center-Grimes K - 8, Newton (Berg) K-6, Prairie City-Monroe K-12, Carlisle 7-12 and Murray K-12, for a total 30 years of experience as a school librarian. She has served on the Iowa Teen Award committee for several years and was selected to present at the 2010 and 2012 IASL Conferences.

At-Large Board Member (Membership Chair)

Chelsea Sims is the Teacher Librarian at Hills Elementary and South East Junior High in Iowa City. Chelsea earned her B.A. in Secondary English Education at Cornell College and her M.A. in School Library Studies at University of Northern Iowa. She is energetic, with skills and leadership qualities that will be an asset to the organization.  Chelsea is an enthusiastic advocate for school library programs and hopes to bring her creativity and passion to IASL.

Diane Brown--I am excited to be nominated for the position of IASL At-Large Executive Board Member representing membership.  Professionally, I have been a member of the IASL and a full-time Teacher-Librarian at Central Middle School in Muscatine, IA since 1999. I graduated from the University of Iowa in 2000.   Since then, I have seen many changes in the terminology in our field.  What hasn’t changed is our need to work together on behalf of our profession.  I will be glad to do that as an IASL Board Member.  I am also a member of the Iowa State Education Association and a building representative for our local union.  Personally, I am the proud mother of two very busy high-school boys.  I love to read and sew.  I make cards, quilts, and other fun crafts in my free time.  I am honored to be considered for this IASL position.


***Vote by October 27th.  Please do not share this email.  All eligible voters have received it.  Only one vote per IASL member!***

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ILA Member of the Year - Barb Corson

The Iowa Library Association member of the year was recently bestowed on Barb Corson, Program Director for Specialized Library Services in the Des Moines Iowa Library Services office.  The presentation was made at the fall ILA conference on October 12, 2012 in Dubuque IA. Ms. Corson was recognized for her work with libraries throughout the state of Iowa including academic, school, public and special libraries. She also is instrumental in the ILA newsletter, Catalyst. Her nominator described Barb as "the ideal professional colleague - creative, hard-working and focused on the broader goals of ILA and service to Iowa libraries." Congratulations to Barb for the hard work offered to Iowa school librarians and other ILA members.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

ILA Conference a success!

I know that it is difficult for teacher librarians to get away to go to professional conferences, and that we often have to make choices. The ILA last week was well worth the time away. The speakers were motivating, the opportunity to meet with librarians at all levels was great, and the learning was amazing.
Christopher Harris
Chris Harris

 IASL sponsored Christopher Harris' presence in Iowa.

 Harris, a mover and shaker among school libraries nationally, brought a strong message of the need for public, school, reference, academic, and special collections librarians to "work together" to bring about change in the digital content world.

This brought about some excellent chatter on Twitter as well. Check out the back channel at #ialib12.

For more on Harris' presentations, check out the Iowa Library Association link at

For more about other sessions at ILA, check out the Conference links on the ILA

I encourage other ILA attendees to add their comments or blog about their experiences.

On a final note, as the conference title suggests, "We Are All In This Together!"

         -- Becky Johnson, 2012 IASL President

Friday, October 12, 2012

YA Book of the Day is moving....

The YA Book of the Day (daily quotes from YA titles) has moved to Beyond Biblio at (Sue Inhelder's link is also on the left sidebar of this blog).  You can also catch postings on Twitter @sinhelder or @bobcatslibrary, and #iowatl.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

YA Book of the Day

 "My parents drove me home from the police station without speaking. The silence was unnerving." The Exceptionals by Erin Cashman

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"We are Lorien and Earth's only hope, and we are prepared to sacrifice everything. Power in numbers will save us all." The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"How could we have known that the workings of the universe had finally made appropriate the fire of my mother's words?"  The Age of Miracles: a novel by Karen Thompson Walker

Monday, October 8, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"I'd stop to hold her but there's no time for it now. I can hear their giggles coming up the tunnels. I can hear their rustling in the dark." Above by Leah Bobet

Friday, October 5, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"Only one thing could make the last day of school even better; realizing that this is my one-hundredth blog post here at The Superflirt Chronicles!" Just Flirt by Laura Bowers

Thursday, October 4, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"Three heavy metal gates were rolling down over the gaping hole at the front of the store. We were being locked in. And everyone else is locked out." Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

YA Book of the Day

" North Holmes they have this thing that can happen, from out of the blue, and there is even a code word for it - it's called getting stung." Four Secrets by Margaret Willey

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"Mia's trusting eyes fix on mine and her number fills my head. I don't see numbers, but I know hers." Infinity (Conclusion to Numbers trilogy) by Rachel Ward

Monday, October 1, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"This morning every girl will learn if her name is on the list. The ones who aren't will wonder what the experience might have been like. The eight girls who are won't have a choice." The List by Siobhan Vivian

Friday, September 28, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"Poetry is poetry, and one's objective as a poet is to achieve poetry, precisely as one's objective in music is to achieve music." Poetry Rocks! Modern American Poetry by Sheila Griffin Llanas

Thursday, September 27, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"Love is like sticking your car keys in a pocket with your sunglasses and thinking your glasses won't get scratched." Purple Daze by Sherry Shahan

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"Seth had never seen a storm gather so fast. A choking sense of dread was growing inside him." Havoc by Chris Wooding 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe" Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

Monday, September 24, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"I felt her come by later, as I was dozing off. Her standing, by my bed. The depth of shadow of a person felt behind closed eyelids." The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Friday, September 21, 2012

YA Book of the Day

 "We are Lorien and Earth's only hope, and we are prepared to sacrifice everything. Power in numbers will save us all."  The Rise of Nine (book #3 of I Am Number Four) by Pittacus Lore

Thursday, September 20, 2012

YA Book of the Day

 "One day, I'll find the wolf. ... and he'll know I've been waiting, searching for him all my life." The Wolf by Steven Herrick

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

YA book of the Day

 "I start my reentry into the next life. I really hope it's better than this one." The Death of Jason Porter by Jaime Adoff

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

YA Book of the Day

" I lost my boyfriend, Lucca. Love doesn't tell time. Love is simply there or it isn't." Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Monday, September 17, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"I can't believe no one else can hear I am screaming inside my head." I Don't Want To Be Crazy by Samantha Schutz

Friday, September 14, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"Michael, Tommy, Mixer, and Bones aren't just from the wrong side of the tracks - they're from the wrong side of everything." Gentlemen by Michael Northrop

Thursday, September 13, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"When we started the website we wanted it to be honest. ...some people will say anything. Anything to hurt someone else..." The Truth About Truman School by Dori Hillestad Butler

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"The list was my idea. I didn't mean for anyone to die. Will you ever forgive me?" Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

IASL dates for your calendar

Many of you are planning your professional development activities for this school year. Be sure to put this on your calendar now!

The annual conference of the Iowa Association of School Librarians will be held Sunday evening April 7 and all day Monday April 8, 2012 at Kirkwood Event Center in Cedar Rapids.

Rooms will be available at conference rate at The Hotel.

Additional details and announcement of our keynote speaker to come later.

YA Book of the Day

"My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die." Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Monday, September 10, 2012

What To Look For at the ILA From the IASL

The Iowa Association of School Librarians is sponsoring a number of sessions at the Iowa Library Association Conference in Dubuque Oct. 10-12. The theme is We’re all in this TOGETHER.

More information is available on the ILA web site at

IASL is sponsoring a Wednesday preconference with Christopher Harris, the Director of the School Library System for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in western New York.

Here’s a description of his session:
1. Dealing with Digital
Pre-Conference with Christopher Harris

 What does it mean for our schools and libraries that information is going digital? The rise of the ebook is neither the end of the book nor the end of the librarian.

Christopher Harris, the Director of the School Library System for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in western New York, will better equip librarians who work with youth and teens, to guide students and colleagues through the digital information wilds. "Our mission," Harris notes, "is to find safe ways to get to yes for technologies that drive inquiry, creativity, and student engagement with digital learning." In the near future, this means coming to grips with ebooks, open educational resources (OER), and bring your own device (BYOD) schools. All of this, of course, is wrapped within the need to adapt to Common Core instruction. But don’t despair, working together, we will find ways to deal with digital...and everything else!

This training will include:

•         A work session on bring-your-own-device (BYOD)

•         A work session on open educational resources (OER)

•         A work session on ebooks/econtent

The training will end with time to plan for incorporating digital in your library program.

Cost is only $30 for IASL members; $40 for non-members.

More details to come on other sessions!

Becky Johnson
President, IASL

YA Book of the Day

"The girl had reached the wall, and was opening a door marked NO ADMITTANCE. She beckoned the blue-haired boy after her, and they slipped through the door." City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Friday, September 7, 2012

YA Book of theDay

"It was a dead body, someone he could have saved but chose not to. Jacob had let the person die because,
in his view, it was the right thing to do." Thirteen days to midnight by Patrick Carman

Thursday, September 6, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"I was covered in blood when the police found me." Low red moon by Ivy Devlin

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"A girl in a green dress stands waiting, her heart pounding. Me. The screen is dark and it stays dark. That can mean only one thing."  Matched by Ally Condie

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"You can't. It's April twenty-first! Nobody ever advances a baby this late in the month." Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

Friday, August 31, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"I'm not about to argue with a chance to rest, so I lie on my back on the bare mattress, stare at the lightbulb hanging from the ceiling, and wonder how long my parents have been planning this." Bootcamp by Todd Strasser 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"The same shoebox that sat on my porch less than twenty-four hours ago, rewrapped in a brown paper bag, sealed with clear packing tape, exactly as I had received it. But now addressed with a new name. The next name on Hannah Baker's list." Thirteen reasons why by Jay Ascher

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"After a while Katsa forgot about defiance. It became too difficult to imagine."  Graceling by Kristen Cashore 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"It stole my breath and swallowed me whole, and I tumbled into darkness."  Article 5 by Kristin Simmons 

Monday, August 27, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"I didn't realize until that moment that Dauntless initiation had taught me an important lesson: how to keep going."   Insurgent (Sequel to Divergent) by Veronica Roth 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Inhelder at Marshalltown's experience with Nooks

Sue Inhelder at Marshalltown High has been threatening to post a summary of her e-book experience for a few months. I read it eagerly!

Let me try to summarize - She went with the Nooks and pre-loaded popular books on them. They were a hit. Read the rest of the post to get the best info!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"Later - how much later he had no idea - Teresa spoke to him again. Tom, something's wrong." 
Scorch Trials (Sequel to Maze Runner) by James Dashner

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"My name is Thomas, he thought. ...that was the only thing he could remember about his life." 
Maze Runner by James Dashner

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"May the odds be ever in your favor!"  Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How do eBooks fit into your collection?

Recently I met with the YA rep at the local Barnes & Noble store. She wanted to share with me a new program B&N was offering that would allow me to trial six Nooks for 45 days. (More to come on that subject in a future post.) 

As a member of the ILA Conference Planning Committee, the subject of eBooks was also a hot topic. In fact, IASL is sponsoring the appearance of an expert on eBooks and e-content at the October conference in Dubuque - Christopher Harris. (Watch for more on this as well)

As you know, most of us either have eBooks or are considering whether we should add eBooks to our school library collections. What role do they play in school libraries? That's something we all are trying to figure out.

New IASL board member, Carol Van Hook, proposed we use a Google survey to gather information about eBooks and the board wholeheartedly endorsed it. 

On Wednesday, Aug. 15, the survey went live and you can do your part by completing this survey. We plan to use this information to help all of us better serve their learning and reading communities in the future.

Please help us help you by clicking here: eBook Survey

Becky Johnson, 2012 IASL President

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A day at SAI

Over 1,500 principals, superintendents, curriculum directors and other officials attended the School Administrators of Iowa annual conference August 7-9 in DesMoines and a few of them stopped by to talk to IASL board members Shannon Miller, Van Meter Community School District and Kathy Kaldenberg, Solon Community District on Wednesday August 8th.

Many conversations were supportive, with administrators acknowledging and praising the work done by their Teacher Librarians. Other administrators were unclear of what role the TL plays during this time of educational change. It was a great opportunity to highlight some of the positive and innovative initiatives taking place right in their own state.

In July, SLIK-12 and IASL list members were invited to ask their administrators for a statement about the role of the teacher librarian for inclusion in a slide show to be used during SAI. The slide show embedded above ran non-stop in the IASL booth and a link to the slide show was shared via Twitter several times during the day.

[It is still possible to add quotations, please send them to]

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Get Involved

By Becky Johnson
President, IASL

A refreshing meeting of highly energized teacher librarians took place on Sunday and Monday, July 15-16, at The Hotel at Kirkwood. On those days, eight dedicated IASL members joined me to review our accomplishments so far this year and plan for next year. We were participating in the “annual” board retreat.  

Those of us sitting around the table were giving up some of our summer vacation because we feel we can make a difference. We made the decision to “get involved” in supporting strong school library programs for all Iowa students.

Some of you are already involved, perhaps as a reader for one of the Iowa book awards. That’s perhaps the most common way to help.

We have several committees that could use members – Publications, Advocacy, Professional Development, and Membership, to name a few. Perhaps you would like to submit a book review or a blog post for this very page! None of these committees require a large time commitment, particularly the more members that get involved.

We also have elected positions you may want to consider.

Please take a minute to complete the Google survey on this page. Click “Do You Want to Get Involved?” and let us know how you can help.

Monday, July 16, 2012

IASL Board Summer Retreat

The IASL board met at the The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Sunday July 15 and Monday July 16 to review activities from the past year and plan for the coming year. 

Lots of great things planned. Stay tuned!

Front row left to right: Jean Donham, Sue Inhelder, Erin Feingold

Back room left to right: Kathy Kaldenberg, Sam Garchik, Becky Johnson, Susan Feuerbach, Carol Van Hook

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nominations for ILA Awards


Each year ILA recognizes member achievements through its awards program. The 2012 Awards Committee, chaired by Dale Vande Haar, Ph.D, MLS, MSE, seeks nominations for this year's awards.

For all nominations, complete the online ILA Awards and Honors Nomination Form.  Support documents can be sent to Denise Ballesteros via email, fax or mail.
525 SW 5th Street, Ste. A
Des Moines, IA 50309
Fax: 515-309-4576

The Awards Presentation will take place during the ILA Annual Conference in Dubuque this October.  

Below are descriptions of the five Iowa Library Association Awards:

AWARD #1: Member of the Year
 -  M ust include three to ten letters of recommendation and support for your nomination.
This award is conferred upon a librarian, trustee, friend or institutional member of the Iowa Library Association. The award shall be based upon such activities or accomplishments as the following:
•    Outstanding service to the Iowa Library Association
•    Community library betterment through broadened scope and quality of service
•    Contribution to any area of service benefiting library users
•    Distinguished service to libraries: outstanding participation in activities of a professional library association; notable publications and productions; creative work in interpreting the library to the community.
•    Leadership in education and in-service training for librarians or trustees
•    Extension of library services through cooperation
•    Improvement in library techniques or management
•    Development of library facilities

AWARD #2: Citation of Merit
This award is conferred upon individuals who have made outstanding contributions to quality library services or who have advanced the principles of quality library service to the community. This award may be given to a group of people or an individual. The recipient(s) will have influence and reputation beyond the local community. Either the nominee or the person making the nomination must be a member of the Iowa Library Association.

AWARD #3: Honorary Member Award
This lifetime award is given by the Association to a non-ILA member to recognize meritorious achievement.

AWARD #4: Ted Anderson Library Advocacy Award

This award is given to an individual in recognition of outstanding leadership in the Iowa Legislature.

AWARD #5: Lifetime Membership Award
This award is given to ILA Members of twenty-five years or more upon their retirement. Please notify the ILA office if you qualify for this award.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Volunteers for Children's Lit Advisory Board

Dear colleagues,

Open Learning  is looking for volunteers to serve on a children's literature advisory board to create an online library for their project in Ghana.  We're asking for a one year volunteer commitment with a monthly online meeting with other children's literature experts across the country. Meetings will include the development of a library for teachers to build curriculum.  We need librarians who have an expertise in various genres and informational areas that bring the world to remote classrooms.

OLE ( is developing a worldwide network of 100+local grassroots organizations [OLE Centers] committed to providing universal basic education in their nation by 2015.  OLE is in the process of developing a multilevel digital library network designed to make high quality open learning resources available to all children, even in the most remote parts of the world. The OLE Library Network is designed to work from the global to the personal levels.  We are trying to build a group of experts in children's literature who will meet online periodically.

This is a voluntary position with meetings held virtually to discuss children’s literature that will be used in the curriculum development process in Ghana.  OLE Ghana is focused on improving the quality of elementary-level teaching, especially in those areas of the country with teachers who have a minimum of training as teacher.  It’s an exciting project and we are hoping to form an advisory group with expertise in curriculum connections to children’s literature.  By choosing materials that teachers can use in their classrooms, we hope to develop a free and open source children’s library that can be accessed using OLE’s technology.

By “free” we mean that any person or group of persons may use the curricula and related materials on OLE libraries without paying a fee. Normally the creators of such materials have licensed them under a Creative Commons license making such use free of any charges.There may be occasions where a world-wide license fee, without limit of time ,is paid to the creator of a given set of materials in order for it to be used in that way.

By “open source” we mean that the portions of the content can be extracted from the materials and mixed with other materials to create “new” content. In most such cases, the origin of the source materials must be closely identified with those materials. The license terms may, or may not, include a prohibition for “commercial use” by which is meant that the original material cannot be sold as a part of a new package, for commercial purposes.

The advisory group will be collaborating on methods to acquire books to establish a children’s library in English that can be then translated by local teachers and librarians to use in their classroom curriculum.

This is such an exciting opportunit y– to benefit children in Ghana and enable them to acquire at least a basic education, to provide them with an opportunity to develop an intellectually and economically strong life.  If you are interested in joining us, please contact me at the email address below.  We are hoping to establish a board within the next month or so to utilize funding that is becoming available.  More details about the project or about the Open Learning Exchange and its projects can be found at

I look forward to hearing from you soon,

Gerri Fegan, MLIS

President, NESLA