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Update: May 1, 2014 Board Meeting

Please see the attached document for an update from the May 1, 2014, Board Meeting.

As a result of the election of Allison Burrell as Vice President, there will be a director’s position vacant as of July 1, 2014. The vacancy is for the term of July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. The PSLA Board elected Stephanie (Sweeney) Pennucci to fill the vacancy. Congratulations Stephanie!

Update from the May 1, 2014 Board Meeting


Update: January 18, 2014 Board Meeting

Please see the attached document for an update from the January 18, 2014, Board Meeting.

Update from the January 18, 2014 Board Meeting

Adoption of a Definition of a Quality School Library Program

As part of the PSLA Advocacy Plan, the PSLA Board of Directors approved a position paper on the Definition of a Quality School Library Program. It is the first step in the development of a public awareness campaign. 

PSLA Member Selected For ALA Leadership Institute

Allison Mackley, librarian at Hershey High School, is one of only 40 librarians selected from a highly competitive national pool to participate in ALA Leadership Institute: Leading to the Future, a new four-day immersive leadership development program for future library leaders offered in August by the American Library Association (ALA).

Allison is a National Board Certified teacher-librarian who is actively involved at the local and state levels to promote library program services, to foster teacher leadership, to build professional learning networks, and to embrace 21st century teaching and learning.  Allison acknowledges the changing role of librarians, and in her collaborative partnerships, she has advocated for an integrated and relevant curriculum that will empower students to reach their greatest potential as digital and information literate citizens.   When asked what she hopes to bring back to Hershey High School, Allison responded, "I hope to find more effective ways to honor the strengths of others.  By doing so, there is a greater chance for distributive leadership and collegiality that is necessary in order to create innovative and necessary change.  Overall, I believe you should do work with others.  Lift each other up.  Celebrate the accomplishments."
The selection committee looked for a diverse participant mix based on type of library (public, academic, school, or special library), professional responsibility, geography, gender, and race/ethnicity, as well as demonstrated leadership potential, readiness for increased responsibility, professional achievement, and community or campus involvement.  Participants are expected to return to their library equipped with new skills for leading, coaching, collaborating, and engaging within their organizations and in the communities they serve, and prepared to identify, develop, and implement solutions which benefit everyone.

Led by leadership experts Maureen Sullivan (2012–2013 ALA President) and Kathryn Deiss (Content Strategist for the Association of College and Research Libraries), the institute takes place in August and is designed to help participants develop and practice their leadership skills so they can better help the libraries and the communities they serve thrive in a future that promises continued turbulence and uncertainty.

State Library Announces New School Library Advisor

The State Library is pleased to announce that Sara Gerhart has joined our staff as the School Library Advisor. 

In this role, Sara will provide leadership and expertise to school library personnel, classroom teachers and administrators in areas such as staffing, Model School Library Curriculum, Common Core Standards, best practices.  In addition, she will serve as the Act 48 coordinator and school library liaison for the POWER Library Project and Pennsylvania Electronic Library Catalog (formerly known as Access PA Database) program.

Sara comes to us from the Daniel Boone School District where she was the High School Librarian for eight years.  Sara received her B.S.Ed. in Library Science and Masters in Library Science from Kutztown University.  Books and reading were a large part of her childhood and turned in to a passion as an adult.

Advocacy Plan to Impact Decision Makers

The PSLA Board of Directors continues to be concerned about the support of school library programs by the decision makers. Based on feedback of a stakeholders’ meeting consisting of representatives of Commonwealth Libraries, Pennsylvania PTA, Pennsylvania Library Association, Education Law Center, and members of the House of Representatives, the PSLA Board of Directors is working on a three-year action plan. As part of this plan the Board has approved the following activities for year one of the plan:

  • Begin working on a plan for a public awareness campaign for school library programs for every child in Pennsylvania
  • Create a School Library Coalition
  • Advocate to restore and to increase funding for POWER Library services

The PSLA Legislation Committee will launch the campaign to restore and to increase POWER Library at our annual conference.

To help address the potential of more furloughs or position cuts of professional librarians and the reduction in library funding due to Governor Corbett’s educational budget, the Board created a letter that can be sent to the superintendent of any district that is cutting or eliminating professional staff. The following procedure needs to be followed:

Any librarian from within that district can request this letter by contacting Deb Kachel. The requesting librarian will need to provide the mailing and email address of the Superintendent.  If librarian wishes that a copy of the letter be sent to any other administrator or school board member, please supply the email address.

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