Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lobby from Home Day

Did you know that the Iowa Library Association’s lobbyists, Amy Campbell and Craig Patterson are out there advocating for school libraries? 

One of the points that Amy and Craig are currently focusing on is convincing legislators to Recognize the important role Iowa teacher librarians play in developing 21st century information and digital literacy skills” and to "ensure that teacher librarians remain part of the education team in all Iowa schools.”

This statement is especially relevant to our role in the implementation of the Common Core Curriculum Standards.  While Teacher Librarians are not mentioned by name in the new standards, we can certainly recognize ourselves and our capacity to teach many of the 21st Century skills (find more in this SLJ article about where we fit).

But remember, we can’t leave all of the advocacy up to Craig and Amy.  You can show your support for this important statement and others being advanced by the ILA by participating in the 2013 ILA Lobby from Home Day. On Wednesday, February 6th, contact your legislators by phone or email to show your support. 

Imagine legislators opening their inboxes to find hundreds of emails in support of Iowa’s libraries and phones ringing consistently throughout the day with a message of the importance of library programs in the lives of our students. What an impact we can make if we all just do a little something! Find your legislator's contact info here.

Prepare your talking points and check out the ILA Legislative Agenda here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NYPL Advocacy Campaign

Photo by Aaron Colussi, via Flavoriwire.

Have you seen this wonderful campaign in support New York's public libraries?

The black-and-white photo essay shows loyal patrons of NYPL branches and chronicles who they are, how often they visit, and why they are using the library that day.

Why couldn't this simple form of advocacy work for a school library? Take photos of your most loyal patrons. Ask them why they're visiting. Publish the short photo essay on your library website or print a different one each week in your school's newsletter.

What a great way to communicate what our students and teachers think is important about our library programs.

Monday, January 28, 2013

And the winner is....

For the full list of awards and winners, see the ALA Press Release here.

Newberry Medal Winner:
"The One and Only Ivan" by Katherine Applegate

Caldecott Winner:
 "This Is Not My Hat" by Jon Klassen 

Coretta Scott King (Author) Winner:

"Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America," by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Winner:

I, Too, Am America,” by Bryan Collier

Newberry Honor:
"Splendors and Glooms" by Laura Amy Schlitz
"Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon" by Steve Sheinkin 
"Three Times Lucky" by Sheila Turnage 

Caldecott Honor:
"Creepy Carrots!" by Peter Brown and Aaron Reynolds 
"Extra Yarn," Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett
"Green," by Laura Vaccaro Seeger 
"One Cool Friend ," by David Small and Toni Buzzeo
"Sleep Like a Tiger," by Pamela Zagarenski and Mary Logue 

Coretta Scott King (Author) Honor:
“Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson,and E. B. Lewis 
“No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller” by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and R. Gregory Christie

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Honor:
H. O. R. S. E.,” by Christopher Myers
“Ellen’s Broom,” by Daniel Minter and Kelly Starling Lyons a
“I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Kadir Nelson and Martin Luther King, Jr.

AASL Affiliate Assembly Post

I have attached the AASL Affiliate Assembly Report from Jean Donham to the Resources Page. It can also be found here.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Great advice for conference goers

First on your agenda should be to make plans to attend the IASL spring conference April 7 & 8 right here in Iowa, but if you are thinking ahead, you should check out the mother of all library conferences, ALA annual, which is going to be held within easy driving distance from us this summer.
If you have never been to an ALA annual conference, this is a great opportunity and it will blow your mind. 

These statistics are from the American Library Association's web site.

Total attendance is approximately 25,000, typically including 18,000 paid registrant(including full, one-day and exhibits-only registrants) plus exhibitor staff, ALA staff and guests.

The ALA Annual Conference includes the largest library-oriented tradeshow or exhibition in the world, typically 1500 booths (approximately 950 exhibitors), requiring an average of 350,000 gross square feet of convention center space (including the space for aisles, food service, etc.) 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Review: The Spectacular Now

Sutter is everyone’s favorite party boy.  He does the crazy things no one else is willing to do: dancing like a maniac, singing Dean Martin at the top of his lungs while standing on a table, jumping into the pool fully clothed.  And of course, it helps that he always has his flask handy for a shot or two.  Sutter is a good guy, but doesn’t really ever think about the future or what he’s going to do after graduation...until he meets Amy.  Amy is like no one he has ever met, but she’s not really girlfriend material.  Sutter sets on a quest to “fix” Amy, but things go further than he ever dreamed they would.  What will the future hold for Sutter and Amy?

The Spectacular Now, by Tim Tharp, is a book about maintaining relationships in the midst of addiction.  Sutter is a good guy, but he refuses to see that he has a problem with his drinking and how it affects everyone around him.  The tone of the novel reminds me of an Ellen Hopkins book, where you can see a person going on a downward spiral throughout the book, but the character can’t see it themselves.  This book does have some questionable language, and mentions of sex, drinking, and drugs, so I would not recommend it for younger students or students that are uncomfortable reading about these issues.   The movie for the book should be out sometime this year, with accolades from the Sundance Film Festival.  

The Spectacular Now-IMDB

Sundance: 'The Spectacular Now' is a lovely and original teen

Go on, brag a little!

Advocating for school libraries is important.

Is that an understatement?  I think it is.  However, as Teacher Librarians we often remember advocacy is important and forget to do anything about it.  We are busy people. We have many roles. We spend our time with students and teachers and books and technology and our hard work is appreciated.... quietly.  Yes, students are excited to read that book you recommended. Yes, teachers are thrilled to collaborate on a project with you. Yes, your principal appreciates your willingness to give a PD session on the latest tech.  But do they see the big picture?

They won’t if you don’t show them.

Our students’ successes (and the role the library program has in them) must be made visible to our stakeholders. Not just to other librarians, not just to the teachers in your building, not even to just your principal. We must make the time to make sure we are communicating with our whole school community - students, teachers, administrators, parents, community members, and beyond.

But how?

How do you communicate about your school library program? How do you keep parents in the loop about what the library has to offer to their children? How do you update your principal about your teaching, collaboration and collection development? How can community members learn more about what part your library plays in the life of the school? What opportunities do students have to play an active role in the library program’s success?

The best advocates we have are those who stand up for our libraries without being asked. But before they can speak up on the behalf of our programs, they need to know what our programs are all about and how student learning is benefited.

Stay tuned for tips, ideas, and examples - meanwhile, share what has worked for you in the comments. Go on, brag a little.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Iowa Library Association Executive Board

There are two IASL board members on the Iowa Library Association Executive Board, which met January 18 in Marshalltown. Feel free to contact either Katherine Howsare or Kathy Kaldenberg if you have suggestions, questions or concerns about our parent organization. The next ILA Executive Board meeting is February 22 in Waterloo.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

IASL Book Awards

The IASL Book Award lists for 2013-2014 have been released. The lists are available on each Book Award's web site. Click on IASL Awards to the left. To order through the IEC bib from Perfection Learning visit

Remember that voting for the 2012-2013 list will open soon as well! Please encourage your readers to read enough books from the appropriate lists to be eligible to vote in March! Watch for more news about when the voting will offically open.

IASL Awards

 This is just a reminder that the deadline for the IASL Awards is February 1, 2013. Please see the IASL web page for more details:
We give the following awards:
Distinguished Advocate Award given to a non-member who has advocated for or helped further the cause of school librarians and libraries
Vision Award given to a member who has worked to further IASL’s goals and mission
Outstanding School Library Program recognition of the member’s program

We also recognize members who are retiring. If you know of people who are retiring please let me know.

Finally, we are transitioning to a new awards chair. Alicia Patten will be coming on as the IASL awards chair in 2014. You can contact her or me if you have any questions.

We are looking forward to our IASL Conference April 7-8 and would love to award some of these to deserving people! We will also be announcing the 2013 Book Award Winners. Don’t miss out!

Sarah Latcham

Saturday, January 12, 2013

IASL Board Meeting

The IASL Board met January 12 at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids. 

Pictured: Sam Garchik (Publications), Kathy Kaldenberg (Professional Development/Conference), Christine Sturgeon (Vice-President/President Elect), Becky Johnson (Past President), Jean Donham (AASL Affiliate Assembly Representative), Susan Feuerbach (President), Alicia Patten (Awards), Sarah Latcham (Awards), Sue Inhelder (Secretary/Treasurer), Diane Brown (Membership) and Carol Van Hook (Member at Large)

Please feel free to contact any member if you have questions or ideas. Minutes will be posted soon.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Who will attend the IASL conference?

According to the statistics on the Smore web page, there are people all over the world who are checking it out! Hope you are one of them!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review: Stork

Katla has moved from sunny California to freezing Minnesota after her parents’ divorce, and everything is strange.  The people are strange, their clothing is strange, and everyone thinks she is strange.  But things get stranger still when one night, she stumbles upon a mysterious meeting, and is inducted as a member of the Stork Society.  As a Stork, Katla will help decide where the souls of unborn children will reside, and which women from the town will carry these children.  It’s a unique responsibility that opens her eyes to the possibility of other strange things going on in town.  Not to mention trying to fit in at school, dealing with the attractive but argumentative farm boy Jack, and coping with the separation of her parents!

Stork is written by Wendy Delsol, an author currently residing in Des Moines.  Her debut work is beautifully written, and has received many positive reviews.  I found it to be very accessible and unique, and I would recommend it for fantasy lovers (perhaps more towards female fantasy readers), but it’s also very appropriate for readers of realistic fiction that like just a touch of fantasy.  I would describe it as a cross between Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, with Nordic mythology, and a Sarah Dessen novel.  The next two books in the trilogy, Frost and Flock, were also released this fall.