Monday, August 29, 2016

Library Associate/Volunteer Training

With a new school year, this can sometimes mean new staffing & volunteers within the library. While each situation is unique, I wanted to try to come up with a list of important topics to cover. Even if you don’t have an associate, but are trying to better utilize volunteers, these might also be some things to consider.
  1. Library System- Library systems are vast. Even though they are fairly user-friendly, there are tricks and quirks to each program. Set goals for what you feel they need to know and what is a nice to know.
Goal for the end of the first day: Checkout & check-in books
Goal by the by end of the first week: put a hold on a book, request a hold from another library in the district, etc
  1. Emergency Stuff
While 75% of the time I would be in the library when a drill happens, it is important for my associate to know how to handle a drill if I am not there.
  • Fire Drill
  • Tornado Drill
  • Emergency Drill/ Intruder Drill/ Lockdown Drill
  1. Tour- This is not just a tour or the building (where various classrooms are located), but also other important locations. Some of these might include restroom, vending machine, copy machine/printers, and mailboxes. This also can include where to find leave forms or the location of the time clock in the building. Also, think about the tour of your library & computer labs. Where are items and supplies stored? What items will he/she need to know how to access & use? Are the items or supplies that they do not need to be aware of right away?
  2. “Virtual Tour” - While you can have a tour of the physical space, there also is a tour of who’s who of the school or district. While I often act as the first line of defense when it comes to questions or problems, I don’t have the answers to everything. It is also important for an associate to know who they contact with questions related to their pay, sick leave, and other issues.
  3. How to part of the job- This comes down to some of the daily tasks. This could include tasks like processing books or other items as well as basic book repair.  As books came in over the summer, I tried to save as many as possible. I tried to give examples of fiction and nonfiction as well as different types of books (paperback, hardback, hardback with a book jacket). This helped as books came in over the year and I did not have to explain how to process each type of book, because, I had already saved examples over the summer.
  4. Job expectations & duties- While this seems obvious, it is simply being clear about what you expect them to do as well as how their job duties vary and differ from the librarian. It also is allowing them freedom in other parts of their job. For example, if you expect your associate to change out bulletin boards would you consider to allow them to create or design a bulletin board.   
  5. Get to know them. Ask questions about family, hobbies, and more. You need to be able to work closely with this new individual. While it takes time to get to know each other and to understand each other's’ likes and dislikes, it is important to build this relationship and start to build trust between each other.  

The most important thing I have learned is to go slow. You have the whole year to figure things out and to train your associate or volunteers so prioritize.

  • What is the most important things for your associate to know?
  • Are there things that they can live without knowing right away?
  • Will it just be easier to teach/show something as it comes up? (For example when a box of books comes in, then teach them how to check the packing slip and other parts processing books).

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Iowa Book Awards - Coming to a Library Near You!

As the school year starts, start thinking about how you will promote the Iowa Book Awards to your school!

IASL has a few resources available for you for free - click on the Awards tab at the top to find specific resources for each award, and watch the blog for more information!

In the meantime, print the bookmarks!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Get to know the Board! Christine Sturgeon

Christine Sturgeon is the Teacher Librarian/Technology Integrationist for Manson Northwest Webster School District in north central Iowa.  It took her 21 years to get her BA in elementary education (Go UNI Panthers!), 18 months to get her MA in Library Science (Go Mizzou Tigers!), and she is now working on a PhD in Educational Leadership from Drake University (Go Bulldogs!).  Her dissertation will be about makerspaces (as her district is the first in the state with makerspaces at all district schools - okay that means two but it still counts), but she is also passionate about early childhood (she started a 1,000 books before kindergarten program at her school's preschool) and writing really long sentences.  

Christine is a past IASL President, and was appointed chair of the Advocacy committee last year! What exactly does that mean?  Well.... here are her duties!

Advocacy Chair

This is an appointed one-year board position that may be renewed.

  • Appoint a committee of 3 IASL members to assist in advocacy and report names to President and Secretary.
  • Work with committee to plan and implement advocacy activities.
  • Submit a proposed committee budget to the IASL president at or before the November ILA Planning meeting.
  • Remain vigilant to needs for advocacy at the state or national level and communicate time. sensitive advocacy opportunities and suggestions to the membership as they arise.
  • Collaborate with publications chair to keep advocacy web page refreshed.
  • Attend IASL board meetings as a voting member of the board.
  • Submit a progress report for the IASL membership meeting.
Sound like something you'd be interested in in the future?  Fill out this form to express interest in joining the committee or being appointed chair!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Get to know the board! Dixie Forcht

Dixie Forcht is the secondary Teacher Librarian serving grades 5-12 at South Tama Community Schools. She is beginning her fourth year at STC, and previously served the East Marshall as the PK-12 TL. Dixie holds a B.S. and M.S. from the University of North Texas in Communication Studies, an M.A.E. from the University of Northern Iowa in School Library Studies, and UNI's Educational Leadership endorsement and K-12 TAG endorsement. Dixie enjoys working with students and teachers to improve research and analysis skills.

Dixie is now the Past President of IASL. What exactly does the Past President do? Well, here are her duties!

Past President
This position falls to the president at the end of the presidential term for one year.

  • Assist President in transition to office.
  • Chair the Nominations and Elections Committee consisting of at least three members.
  • Identify elected positions to be filled for the upcoming year.
  • Identify and invite at least two candidates for all open elected positions, and report the names to the IASL board.
  • Carry out the election of new officers in October.
  • Notify candidates of outcome of election.
  • Send new officers information about expectations for their respective positions and assist in their transition into office.
  • Communicate with the ILA Nominations Committee when that committee is seeking school library representation and submit names of potential leaders for their consideration.  
  • Attend board meetings as voting member of the board.

Sound like something you'd be interested in doing? We are now seeking self-nominations for the role of Vice President/President Elect! Fill out this form to express interest!

Get to know the board! Val Ehlers

Val Ehlers is the K-12 Teacher Librarian at Gladbrook-Reinbeck and Grundy Center schools and the 5-6 drama teacher in Grundy Center.  She is starting her 6th year as a TL and has been in education for 26 years as a 7-12 English, drama, speech, debate, reading, and TAG instructor.  Val keeps busy as a speech and drama coach for both schools..  Val enjoys spending time watching her son play on the ISU Baseball Club Traveling Team, and watching her daughter compete in cross-country, basketball, track, and softball.

Val was elected to serve as an At-Large Board Member and ILA Liaison.  What exactly does that mean?  Well, here are her duties!

At-Large Board Member——ILA Liaison
This is an elected position with a three year term.
  • Serve as liaison to ILA.
  • Coordinate with ILA Board liaison.
  • Report at each board meeting about ILA Board activity of interest to IASL.
  • Attend board meetings as voting member of the board.
  • Appointments as requested by the board
  • ILA IF representative
  • IRRC Liaison
  • ILA Liaison

She has also served as our Conference Planning Committee Representative.

ILA Conference Planning Committee Representative
This is not a board position, but a position appointed by ILA.

  • Attend the ILA Planning Meeting in November and participate in ILA Conference Planning Committee meetings throughout the year for the October ILA Conference.
  • Suggest/submit proposals for a pre-conference for the ILA conference, if IASL intends to sponsor a pre-conference.
  • Solicit and submit proposals for IASL-sponsored concurrent sessions for the next ILA October conference.
  • Advocate for programming of interest to school librarians at the ILA conference.
  • Submit a budget to the IASL President at or before the November ILA Planning meeting.
  • Communicate with other committee members, potential speakers and IASL Board.
  • Report to IASL Board developments from the ILA Conference Planning Committee meetings.
  • Collect speaker information.
  • Write articles for publication on speakers and presentations.

Sound like something you'd be interested in? Fill out this form to express interest in running for an At-Large position or in serving as an ILA Conference Planning rep!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Get to know the board! Jen Keltner

Jen Keltner is in her third year as the Muscatine HS Teacher Librarian. She previously taught 6th and 8th grade English at ADM Middle School in Adel, IA and Tipton Middle School. She graduated with her English Education degree from Iowa State University in December 2006 and her School Library Studies degree from the University of Northern Iowa in December 2014. She currently lives in Columbus Junction where her husband, Kasey, is a teacher and coach. This past July they celebrated their daughter Eloise's first birthday.

Jen began her role as Secretary/Treasurer in January 2016. What exactly does that mean? Well, here are her duties!

This is an elected three-year position.

  • Keep a ledger of all financial documents to compare with ILA records.
  • Attend all board meetings and create minutes for each meeting.
  • Before each board and membership meeting, obtain financial statements for the association from the ILA web site and Executive Secretary and prepare to give a financial report of income, expenditures, and balance.
  • Before each board and membership meeting, distribute to the officers and board members a draft of the minutes of the preceding meeting to be approved.
  • Submit at the end of the year to the ILA Executive Secretary copies of all approved meeting minutes and other documents for the ILA Archives.
  • Provide successor with one-year set of minutes and reports.

Sound like something you'd be interested in? Consider running for this position in 2019, or express interest in another role by filling out this form!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Get to know the board! Alicia Patten

Alicia Patten is a Teacher Librarian at Fisher Elementary in the Marshalltown Community School District. This year is her 7th year as a Teacher Librarian and her 13th year of teaching. Previously Alicia was an Elementary Special Education Teacher at Woodbury Elementary in Marshalltown, IA. She earned her BA in Elementary Education, with a minor in Special Education at Buena Vista University, her MA in School Library Studies from the University of Northern Iowa, and a Masters Certificate in Instructional Design at Iowa State University. She enjoys helping students develop research skills and seeing them grow throughout their elementary career. Recommending great books is definitely another perk! 

Alicia has served as the chair of the Awards Committee since 2013. What exactly does that mean? Well, here are her duties!

Awards Chair
This is an appointed one-year board position that may be renewed.
  • Appoint or renew appointments to all IASL award subcommittees and report names to President and Secretary/Treasurer:
    • Goldfinch Award
    • Iowa Children's Choice Award

    • Iowa Teen Award
    • Iowa High School Book Award
    • Outstanding School Libraries Award
    • Annual Recognition Awards such as Retirement Awards
    • Vision Award
    • Distinguished Advocate Award
  • Coordinate activities of awards subcommittees.
  • Ensure current information and publicity for awards on the website.
  • Ensure communication to membership of award programs and activities.
  • Attend IASL board meetings as a voting member of the board.
  • Submit a progress report for the IASL membership meeting.
  • Order plaques for President at the conclusion of his or her term.

Sound like something you'd be interested in doing? Fill out this form to express interest in serving on the Awards Committee, or being appointed the next chair!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Save the Date! ILA Annual Conference in Dubque

2016 ILA Annual Conference

October 12-14, 2016


lightpost 2
Click here to download the Conference Registration Brochure.
Online registration is now open.  Register by September 30 to receive the early bird rates!

Sessions which may be of particular interest to Teacher Librarians include: 
  • Using Technology to Connect with Patron and Students (Thursday)
  • Robotics in the Library: STEM Connections (Thursday)
  • Reader's Advisory Crash Course (Thursday)
  • Digital Natives? Basics of Information Literacy (Thursday)
  • Teaching and Learning about Copyright, Creative Commons, and Fair Use in the Digital World (Thursday)
  • Lighting up the Future: A Look at Where We've Been, Where We are Now, and Where We're Going! (Friday)
  • Legislative Resources Beyond the Iowa Code: Tracking your State Legislators (Friday)
  • Google Apps: What you need to know to get started (Friday)
  • Children and Teen Book Awards- Get involved in Selecting and Promoting (Friday)
  • Betwixt and Between: Programs to Entertain and Educate (Friday)
  • Guys Read (Friday)
  • Open Educational Resources and Libraries: Promotion and Support (Friday)
  • Effectively Communicating with Administrators, City Councils, and Boards for Advocacy (Friday)
  • Strong Books Build Strong People - How Books Change Lives (Friday)

Find more details on these and all other sessions in the July/August Catalyst.

Get to know the board! Chelsea Sims

Chelsea Sims has been a Teacher Librarian for 6 years in the Iowa City Community School District. Chelsea was half-time TL at Hills Elementary for 6 years, and has been half-time at South East Junior High for 4 years. This school year, Chelsea will serve half-time at the Junior High and half-time in a teacher leadership position called Instructional Design Strategist of Innovation and Technology. Chelsea graduated from Cornell College in 2006 with a BA in Secondary Education and English, and earned her MA in School Library Studies from UNI in 2012. She has served on the IASL Board as Advocacy Chair, and now as Publications Chair.

What exactly does the Publications Chair do?  Well... here are her duties!

Publications Chair
This is an appointed one-year board position that may be renewed.

  • This person will appoint or re-appoint at least three committee members.
  • Author and manage the IASL website.
  • Assign committee members responsibilities for feeding information to the IASL website and social media outlets.
  • Collaborate with other committee chairs to maintain current information on the website.
  • Attend IASL board meetings as a voting member of the board.
  • Submit a progress report for the IASL membership meeting.

Sound like something you'd be interested in doing? Fill out this form to let us know you are interested in writing for the blog, helping with Social Media accounts, or chairing the committee!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Get to know the Board! Miranda Kral

Miranda Kral is the district Teacher Librarian at Solon Community Schools in Solon, IA.  She will begin her sixth year in the field and her second year at Solon CSD.  Prior to her current position, she was a district Teacher Librarian for Mid-Prairie Community Schools.  Miranda earned her BA in Elementary Education and MA in School Library Studies from the University of Northern Iowa.  Miranda enjoys making connections with students and staff related to literature and technology.

Miranda is an IASL At-Large Board Member and the chair of the membership comittee!  What exactly does that mean?  Well.... here are her duties!

At-Large Board Member-Membership  
This is an elected position with a three-year term.
  • Chair the Membership Committee.
  • Appoint a committee of at least three members and report names to President and Secretary/Treasurer.
  • Design and promote membership initiatives.
  • Monitor membership progress.
  • Confer with the ILA Executive Secretary before each board meeting to get the current membership count and report the count to the board.
  • Send renewal reminders and contact members who did not renew from previous year.
  • Send out Membership certificates in December or early January as a reminder to renew their membership.
  • Solicit candidates for ILA's Leadership Institute from among the membership in the years when the Institute is held.
  • Provide membership highlights or features to the Publications Chair for the website.
  • Identify opportunities for membership benefits.
  • Attend board meetings as voting member of the board.

Sound like something you'd be interested in in the future?  Consider running for an At-Large Board member position in 2019!