Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Iowa Restores School Librarians' Value

We are working together to make a difference! United we stand!  
Here is the scoop from American Libraries associated with ALA.

Iowa Restores School Librarians’ Value

Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 10:33
Screenshot from Iowa Association of School Librarians advocacy video
The Iowa Association of School Librarians (IASL) righted a legislative wrong this session by persuading state lawmakers to reverse a provision in a 2013 law that increased the per-pupil funding formula for school districts that shared a single librarian rather than employing their own.
Enacted in 2013, HF 472 provided a financial incentive for sharing resources between school districts that were considering consolidation with each other, IASL President Christine Sturgeon tells American Libraries. However, the new law “put teacher-librarians (TLs) onto the ‘operational functions’ list,” which increased the count of 1.0 for each student to 1.02 for each student in districts that employed one librarian between them. The unintended consequence was that “school districts that had no intention of consolidating shared librarians, even districts quite large for Iowa—2,000 students and five buildings, for example.”
Sturgeon says that “after the law passed, IASL Past President Becky Johnson spoke to our Iowa Library Association/IASL lobbyists and let them know that we really wanted to be involved in any talks that affected TLs.” Johnson and Sturgeon were “in constant communication” with lobbyists Craig Patterson and Amy Campbell and met repeatedly with legislators. Additionally, IASL members peppered state legislators about the importance of teacher-librarians to student achievement and sent links to anadvocacy video (9:07) created by IASL Advocacy Chair Chelsea Sims in 2013.
The multipronged strategy worked. In the 2014 session, Iowa has removed school librarians from the operational functions list by enacting HF 2271. “Obviously, schools can still share librarians and save money, but the state shouldn’t be encouraging it with extra funding,” Sturgeon says.
After the 2014 bill passed, one legislator told Patterson, “Make sure that you tell the teacher-librarians.” Sturgeon interprets that as a plea for a letup in librarians’ advocacy messaging. But there’s more work to be done, says Sturgeon. “We’re looking to the future and how we can strengthen these bonds with legislators and perhaps mandate a full-time librarian in each district. We’ll see on that.”

Choose Privacy Week May 1-7, 2014

-Information taken directly from ALA

"Every day new technologies and social networks are collecting our personal information and allowing advertisers, corporations, and the government to monitor and track our private lives.  Choose Privacy Week provides an ideal opportunity for libraries to create programming that helps library users make more informed choices about their privacy and to thoughtfully consider the importance of privacy rights in a digital age."

Learn more about Choose Privacy Week that is an initiative of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Have you heard about the two search engines listed below? Some of my students alerted me to their existence and told me that they don't track our online activities as much as Google. I appreciate learning from my students! 

Here is a video from the Society of American Archivists Click here to access it. 

Choose Privacy Week Video

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Becky Johnson...She Has It Covered

Becky Johnson is the lead librarian for the Cedar Rapids Community School District lead and the teacher librarian at Jefferson High School.  Becky is the Past President of IASL but she is still very active in our work through her IASL executive board position as the delegate to AASL.

Becky says, “I like the kids that I work with.  Every day is a little bit different. Every child is a little different.  Just when you are having a bad day is seems like you have a kid come up and say something that makes you realize that you do have an impact.”

Becky loves attending local, state, regional, and national conferences primarily because it is an opportunity to connect with other professionals.  Becky always learns more than she shares.  Becky says, “Don’t do what I’ve done and try to pick up so many handouts because you wind up with a sore shoulder from carrying so much stuff.  Just exchange business cards and contact information to connect later. It will spare you a lot of pain.”

Rarely will you walk into the Jefferson High School library and find it quiet.  It is not a shhhhh… kind of library and she is not a shhhh… kind of librarian.  The only librarian stereotype that Becky would like to portray is someone who works valiantly to defend all students’ freedom to read, view, or listen, or be who they are.  

Oh, and don’t forget you need to have a tattoo!  Check out her library’s website at this link: and check out one of her tattoos!

-Thanks to Diane Brown for conducting this interview!