Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Resource - Thanks to the ILA and our elected officials!

This came the other day from the ILA Government Affairs people. Be sure to contact the folks at your school and local libraries about how to use it. ICPL already has it, but this is a great tool for those who live in places that don't already have it.


Good news!  Last Friday afternoon, Governor Branstad signed two appropriations bills, passed by the Iowa legislature this spring, that provide funding to support Iowa libraries.
The education appropriations bill, SF2321, restores $500,000 to Enrich Iowa funding for libraries.  This funding will be divided proportionately among the three Enrich Iowa programs:  Direct State Aid to Public Libraries; Open Access; and Interlibrary Loan Reimbursement.  This means that your Enrich Iowa checks this fall will be, on average, about 18% larger than last year.
HF2337, the funding bill for the Department of Workforce Development, includes $150,000 to be allocated from IWD "to the state library for the purpose of licensing an online resource which prepares persons to succeed in the workplace through programs which improve job skills and vocational test-taking abilities." 
Thanks for all of your hard work in letting both your legislators and the governor know about the LearningExpress online resource and Iowa libraries' need for such a product to assist job seekers! 
(Please note:  State of Iowa purchasing rules most likely will require Iowa Library Services to issue a Request for Proposal before an online resource can be purchased - even though Iowa Library Services issued an RFP for an online resource for job seekers 14 months ago, and LearningExpress was selected.  The new RFP will be accomplished as quickly as possible and we'll keep you posted on the timeline.)
While the legislators did not cut the operating budget for Iowa Library Services, they did not increase it either.  With a flat budget for the coming year, required but unfunded salary increases and a 37% budget cut over the past three years, ILS continues to struggle with limited resources. These cuts affect the level of service that ILS is able to provide to Iowa libraries in such areas as providing courses and workshops for librarians and trustees, purchasing databases for libraries, and supporting library infrastructure through the SILO Locator and the PLOW program. 
Overall, this legislative session was positive for library issues.  Please contact your legislators and the governor to thank them for the increase in Enrich Iowa funding and the funding for an online resource for job seekers.
Thanks, Sarah
Sarah Willeford – ILA Governmental Affairs Committee, Chair
Sarah Willeford
Library Director
Kirkendall Public Library
City of Ankeny
1210 NW Prairie Ridge Dr
Ankeny, IA 50023-1564
Ph 515-965-6461
Fx 515-289-9122 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Action Needed on Learning Express ASAP - Contact the Governor

This was sent to me from the ILA Government Affairs people. This is still very important to ALL librarians. 

Immediate Action Needed:
Today a letter has been delivered to Governor Branstad from Lorraine Borowski, President of the Iowa Library Association regarding HF 2337, the appropriations bill for economic development and workforce development.  It includes a provision in section 3b that allocates funding to the state library for the Learning Express Library database.  Please contact the Governor and ask him to support the funding for the database.  A copy of the letter that was sent to the Governor is below.  Please feel free to use the wording from the letter in  your message.

Link to Contacting the Governor:
Thanks, Sarah
Sarah Willeford, ILA Governmental Affairs Committee, Chair

Library Director
Kirkendall Public Library
City of Ankeny
1210 NW Prairie Ridge Dr
Ankeny, IA 50023-1564
Ph 515-965-6461
The Honorable Terry E. Branstad
Governor of Iowa
1007 East Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Dear Governor Branstad,
HF 2337, the appropriations bill for economic development and workforce development, includes a provision in section 3b that allocates funding to the state library for an online resource which prepares persons to succeed in the workplace through online programs to improve job skills and enhance vocational test-taking ability.

As president of the Iowa Library Association, I am writing to let you know how important this online resource, called Learning Express Library, is to all Iowans.   This product helps people improve their job skills and vocational test-taking ability by delivering more than 800 online interactive practice tests, tutorials and e-books.  The appropriated funds would assist the State Library in making the product available to Iowans through public libraries, community college libraries, and college and university libraries.  Iowans will be able to use this resource 24/7, anywhere there is internet access.

The Iowa Library Association and Iowa Library Services/the State Library believe that making this resource available to Iowans will further our partnership with Iowa Workforce Development in serving job seekers and unemployed Iowans.  We will work with IWD to make this resource available through their Virtual Access Points as well as through Iowa libraries.

I urge you to support this funding.  The Iowa Library Association legislation has supported funding for this resource for the past several years.  I appreciate your continuing support for Iowans and their libraries.   

Lorraine Borowski, President
Iowa Library Association

Friday, May 11, 2012

ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant awarded to the Iowa Association of School Librarians

The Iowa Association of School Librarians (IASL) and its program “Growing the Next Generation of Leaders: A Leadership Academy,” were named the winner of the 2012 American Association of School Librarians' (AASL)ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant. Established in 1986 and sponsored by ABC-CLIO, the grant of $1,750 is given to school library associations that are AASL affiliates for planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional or local levels.

The goals of IASL’s leadership academy are to develop the leadership skills of a new generation of school librarians and to identify and engage new leaders for the association.  To accomplish this, project leaders will develop a two-day academy during which selected school librarians will develop skills such as leading from the middle, advocacy and effective communication, mentoring and principle-centered leadership.

To keep new leaders engaged after the two-day academy, IASL will establish a wiki for participants to discuss and share ideas and initiatives related to leadership.  IASL will also invite academy attendees to serve on an IASL or Iowa Library Association (ILA) committee.   To practice their newly learned skills, attendees will also identify another school librarian in their district or area to mentor and encourage.

"The committee was very impressed with the Iowa Association of School Librarians application," said Mary Keeling, award committee chair.  "The organization submitted a clearly articulated leadership development plan.  Recognizing the need to prepare individuals to take the state organization into the future, IASL developed a comprehensive professional development model that identifies and develops potential leaders.  The program deftly blends principles with practical action and will develop self-awareness, collaborative problem-solving and mentoring skills. "

The Iowa Association of School Librarians and other AASL award winners will be honored at AASL's Awards Luncheon during ALA's 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The luncheon will be held Monday, June 25. Carmen Agra Deedy, best-selling author and ardent supporter of libraries, will attend the ceremony courtesy of Peachtree Publishing.  Ticket information can be found on the AASL website at

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

YA Book of the Day

"The cats of Colorado Springs are disappearing. Someone is stealing them in the night and leaving their bodies...And that's just a warning of the terror to come..." Deviant by Adrian McKinty

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

YA - Book of the Day

"An hour before Azalea's first ball began, she paced the ballroom floor, tracing her toes in a waltz. She had the opening dance with the King...who danced like a brick." Entwined by Heather Dixon

Monday, May 7, 2012

Book Review: The Future of Us

What would you do if you knew what was going to happen in the future?  Would you try to change it?  Or would it change simply by you knowing? 

This is what happens in Jay Asher’s The Future of Us.  The story is set in the 1990’s, when the Internet is just getting started.  Emma gets a new computer, and her neighbor and former best friend, Josh, gives her an AOL CD-ROM that they got in the mail.  But when she logs onto the Internet, she finds in her favorites folder a website she’s never heard of and has not yet been invented: Facebook.  She finds herself on Facebook fifteen years in the future, and is not happy with what she sees.  She shares her findings with Josh, and they try to figure out the mystery, while at the same time experimenting with their future selves.  But are they ready to deal with the long-term consequences?

For those of us who grew up in the 90’s, you will get a lovely feeling of nostalgia from this book, but for those of you who loved Thirteen Reasons Why, you might find the story a little unbelievable and lacking the depth of his previous work.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Funding for Libraries still in works

I got this from the ILA membership - I think it's good news?

Keep working on contacting your legislators about Learning Express. It's good stuff.


Legislative News!
A proposed compromise for the Education Budget Conference Committee has been reached – this compromise restores $500,000 in funding to the Enrich Iowa programs. The proposed budget also merges the separate funding lines of the previous State Library and Library Service Areas into one budget line. 
We do need to continue to contact our Legislators regarding the $150,000 for Learning Express Library funding.  Learning Express Library is an online resource which helps people improve their job skills and vocational test-taking ability.  It provides more than 800 interactive practice tests, tutorials and e-books.
Thanks so much for your great advocacy work so far.  Keep up the amazing work communicating with our Legislators regarding Iowa’s Libraries. 
Thanks, Sarah
Sarah Willeford – ILA Governmental Affairs Committee, Chair

Sarah Willeford
Library Director
Kirkendall Public Library
City of Ankeny
1210 NW Prairie Ridge Dr
Ankeny, IA 50023-1564
Ph 515-965-6461
Fx 515-289-9122
"The idea of being with him is almost more exciting than being with him for real. But of course I want to turn this fantasy into reality. The thing is, he's never noticed me." So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Go ahead, shoot, I thought, because I was thirteen and desperate and anything was better than the fate to which my parents were leading me." Out Of Shadows - Jason Wallace

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book Review Tuesday

Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin

ARC made available by the publisher, Tanglewood Press - release date October 16, 2012
It’s June but winter still has a firm grip on the weather. Sky-born ash from the eruption of the supervolcano under Yellowstone blocks most of the sunlight from heating the earth. As the winter continues, Alex and his family along with Darla and the community of Warren continue to work together and adjust to the changes in their lives. Darla rigs up one machine after another to enable life to endure. Of course, not all people are working together to survive…
Bandits try to kidnap Alex’s sister and cousins and, in the struggle, the bandits leave several weapons behind. One is the shotgun Alex’s parents took with them when they went back to Iowa to find Alex which prompts Alex and Darla to leave to go look for them.
What Alex and Darla find in their search is even worse than they expected. Towns barricaded against gangs who trade in guns, drugs, and human flesh; refugee camps run by the infamous Black Lake military contractors who look the other way when the gangs kidnap young women; and, in between, families living hidden in their homes trying to avoid disaster. Everywhere Alex and Darla turn it’s as if another layer of humanity is stripped away though some still manage to carry their dignity with them.
As the story progresses, Alex (who needs rescuing several times himself) ends up having to rescue Darla as well as his parents but in the process frees Alyssa, a slave to one of the gangs, and her brother, Ben, a high-functioning autistic military expert who is as handy to have around as Darla.
In the end, the climax of this dystopian novel will leave readers on the edge of their seats waiting impatiently for the thrilling sequel in the Ashfall series. 

 Submitted by Wendy Lamos, Teacher Librarian, West Fork CSD, Sheffield and Rockwell, IA

Introduction of Blog and REQUEST FOR MEMBERS

 Dear Fellow Teacher Librarians:
As some of you may have noticed, we have a new website!

We have moved to Blogger, where we have created an interactive publication that should be more in-line with what some of you are doing and what all of you may need.

Here are five things the new website has:
1 - A Blog Roll listing blogs of Iowa Teacher Librarians.

2 - Reviews and daily book quotes from librarians around the state

3 - A resource page that lists Links to School Library web sites around the state, as well as contact information for AEAs and Public Libraries.

4 - A list of recent posts on #iowatl, Iowa Teacher Librarians on Twitter.

5 - Links to lessons and resources that many of you may find useful.

Part of this new page is a result of our rethinking what the IASL Publications Committee should be.

We are currently looking for a few people who can help out with this. Members of the Publications Committee will:

 *   Help manage the IASL website
 *   Feed information to the IASL website and to the ILA Catalyst
 *   Strategize a future for IASL publications
 *   Maintain regular and routine communications with other Committee members.
 *   Work on annual report for IASL Spring membership meeting.

If you are interested in this, please email me. I welcome any and all comments. If you see anything you want on the IASL web page, also, feel free to email me. And if you do not see your name or blog on the list, please email me at<>

Sam Garchik
Librarian, 7-12, Regina Catholic Education Center
Chair, Publications Committee, IASL
"Tears stream down my face. What are we going to do? It's not as bad as it looks, he says." Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby