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Behind the Scenes: PSLA Awarded the AASL Past-Presidents Planning Grant

“Behind the Scenes” Allison Mackley, Cathi Fuhrman, Deb Kachel, and the PSLA Teaching and Learning Committee Co-chairs, Dustin Brackbill and Leah Lindenmann, wrote and submitted an application for one of three AASL Past-Presidents Planning Grant for National School Library Standards. Last week I was notified that we were awarded the grant in honor of E. Blanche Woolls (sponsored by Roger and Susan D. Ballard). E. Blanche Woolls, a former member of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, was the Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair (1977-1978) and the Communications Committee Chair (1986-1988). See her bio below.

The AASL Past-President Planning Grant for National School Library Standards will provide the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) with the funding necessary to develop, market and carry out professional learning initiatives that support school librarians as they implement best practices that impact academic achievement for learners. PSLA is dedicated to transforming teaching and learning not only through quality school library programs but also by leveraging the AASL National School Library Standards for local advocacy efforts.

“This prestigious award showcases the impact of strong school library programs in schools and highlights the importance of the school library program in the educational community.”  - Kathryn Roots Lewis, AASL President, and Susan Yutzey, 2018-2019 AASL Awards Chair

The award will be presented at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. during the AASL Awards Ceremony. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 22nd from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.  If you are attending the ALA, please be sure to attend the ceremony to help us celebrate!

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ALA/AASL Elections 2019

The ALA election is now open!  #castyourvote

Check your email for your ballot. You may cast your vote through April 3, 2019, 11:59 PM Central time. Be sure to check off your fellow AASL candidates for ALA Council!   

Two PSLA members are also on the ballot.  

  • Allison Mackley, PSLA President, AASL Region 2 Director
  • Joyce Valenza, ALA Council

AASL Best Websites & Highlights: Classcraft

Each week the Teaching and Learning Committee plans to highlight one app or website from either the 2018 AASL Best Apps for Teaching and Learning or the 2018 AASL Best Websites for Teaching and LearningShare with any stakeholders who may benefit! 
Ready for some gamification activities this spring? Want a new, fun way to reinforce positive behavior? Feeling heroic?! Have we got the website for you!
Description from AASL:
Classcraft transforms classrooms through avatars, gamification, and creating immersive play that promotes self-actualization, engagement, and collaboration for students. Teachers can reshape lessons into quests in which students choose their own adventure or work as collaborative teams that build positive classroom culture. Classcraft offers a wide range of features to continually keep the game(s) fresh, including a random selector for elements of surprise, a timer/countdown, random events added to the story, a live volume meter, boss battles for formative assessments, and a grade converter to make points earned meaningful. Full integration with both Google & Microsoft Classroom and compatibility across platforms as well as extensive teacher resources make this site an educator’s and student’s technology dream. Basic account is free with fee subscriptions for advanced settings. Grades 4 and up.

AASL Best Websites & Apps: EdWeb

Each week the Teaching and Learning Committee plans to highlight one app or website from either the 2018 AASL Best Apps for Teaching and Learning or the 2018 AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning. Share with any stakeholders who may benefit! 

Looking for useful professional development and ways to connect learning communities? Try edWeb, and you'll never be without ideas!

Description from AASL:

EdWeb is a free anytime-anywhere professional learning network for teachers, librarians, and administrators, offering over seventy-five different learning communities, covering a wide range of innovative topics and practices. The heart of Edweb is its community sponsored webinars, which are timely, engaging, and always archived. Edweb is a go-to source for personalized professional development, offering continuing education certificates, follow up online discussions, free resources, and a support network of like-minded professionals.

Submitted by:
Erin Bechdel
PSLA Teaching & Learning Committee

Behind the Scenes - PSLA Delegates @ the AASL Affiliate Assembly

"Behind the Scenes" the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association has two voting  Delegates on the Affiliate Assembly of American Association of School Librarians (AASL). We are part of Region 2, which includes PA, NY, NJ, MD, DE and DC. In addition to providing PSLA with a voice at the national level, sending representatives to these meetings provides PSLA added opportunities to apply for grants and awards.

The purpose the the Affiliate Assembly is described below:

According to the AASL Bylaws, “the purposes of the Affiliate Assembly are to provide a channel of communication for reporting concerns of the affiliated organizations and their membership to the AASL Board of Directors; to facilitate discussion of activities and concerns of the AASL as reported by the AASL president, Executive Director and Board of Directors; and to report the actions of the AASL to the Affiliates.”  

Made up of 48 school library organizations from 45 states, the Affiliate Assembly serves as the representation of AASL’s (number) members. Each year, the Affiliate Assembly gathers for two meetings at both ALA Midwinter Meeting and ALA Annual Conference to handle official tasks such as voting on Concerns and Commendations, share best practices and knowledge, and learn about AASL activities and initiatives. 

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New School Year..New Standards

As you gear-up for a successful 2018-2019 year in your school library, be sure to take advantage of the tools available to align your teaching to the new AASL National School Library Standards.  Through funding from the Library Services and Technology Act, PSLA and the University of Pittsburgh have already begun training sessions around Pennsylvania to help you implement these standards into your school library program. Full details can be found on our AASL Standards Training website.

 

If you were lucky enough to attend our 2018 Pre-Conference, you experienced a valuable working-session on AASL Standards with our current President, Allison Mackley and Past President, Jennifer Bates.  Click here to see the innovative and inspirational project posters which were created by participants as they collaborated on implementing the standards into their library program.

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