PSLA Statement Condemning Violence and Racism Towards Black Americans and People of Color

PSLA Statement Condemning Violence and Racism Towards Black Americans and People of Color


The Board of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) stands in alignment with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the American Library Association (ALA) condemning violence and racism towards Black people and all people of color. 

We will continue to work as an organization to break down racial barriers and provide an equitable education for all students. Please reference the links included for more information from ALA and AASL.

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Behind the Scenes: Change is Mandatory

Behind the Scenes - Change is Mandatory - Growth is Optional

“Change is Mandatory, Growth is Optional.” (Author Unknown although many have used this quote.)

This has always been one of my favorite quotes. One that I have to say aloud for myself many times as well.  When I was thinking back to June 20, 2019, I had expectations and visions of what my presidential year in PSLA would be like. But as in all things - it’s never quite as you imagined.

Our world is nothing like we could have ever even guessed or planned for. Our schools, our libraries, our families, our communities, our social circles, our profession, our association - our world has changed.

My heart aches with that our students missed this school year. It aches for the students who were and continue to be impacted by the pandemic - academically, socially, emotionally, physically and financially. Their families and all around us are impacted each day.

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June 22, 2020 - #SaveSchoolLibrarians Day

We face a crisis! Right now, school boards across Pennsylvania are voting to eliminate school library programs and librarians in next year’s budgets. Now, more than ever, it’s critical to amplify and define our roles in effective school reopening plans whether online or in-person. All students deserve equitable school library opportunities. This message must reach all stakeholders before short-sighted cuts lead to long-term educational inequities.

Step up and lead on behalf of all students! The PSLA Advocacy Committee has created sharable “card” messages to be used in social media posts. The “cards” succinctly convey that all K-12 students benefit from an effective school library program and a certified school librarian. Card images are located in this Flickr album. You will find Social Media Storm: Suggested Posts you can use as well as blank cards for customized visuals.

Take action now!Sign! Tweet! Retweet! Post! Repost!

  1. Go to and sign and share the “PSLA Open Letter to School Boards Across Pennsylvania” and share it with others.

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School Libraries are Virtually Open

Our recent video contest called “The School Library is Always Open!” had so many great videos submitted that we decided to feature them all on YouTube! Thank you to everyone who participated. Please share to stakeholders, administrators and others to celebrate the great work that school librarians did during the COVID-19 school closure and how we impact students digitally!  Thanks to EveryLibrary for helping PSLA sponsor this contest!




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Reopening Plans - Let's Share!

We know that schools are beginning to discuss re-opening plans. Some school librarians have been asked for ideas, protocols and plans. However, some school librarians are not part of the conversation.

In an effort to share ideas, strengthen our positions in our schools and to advocate for keeping school libraries OPEN – we have created a space for anyone who has developed a plan, protocol, procedure or ideas to SHARE them. This is what we do BEST! 

Please upload a PDF or Word Document of your Re-Opening Plan that you are willing to share with other school librarians. Please provide your email address IN THE PLAN as well as the form if you would also be willing to answer questions from other librarians through email.


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Professional Development Survey

Professional Development Survey

Hello PSLA Members!

The Teaching & Learning Committee would like to hear from YOU! Please help us by completing the short Professional Development Survey linked below. With a few clicks, you can inform us of your training needs and skills for the upcoming year and beyond! Thank you for your time, and best wishes as we end a most unusual school year!

PSLA Teaching & Learning

Librarian Influencer - Jennifer Roth

Reading Is a Part of Everything: with Jennifer Roth

The Librarian Influencer of the Week is Pennsylvania elementary librarian, Jennifer Roth. She is actively involved in the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association. Her ongoing goal is to advocate that the library is more than just storytime and book checkout.

Click here to listen to her interview now.

Transforming library into school hub helped Selinsgrove's Barrick into Teacher of the Year finals

Congratulations to PSLA member Debbie Barrick for being named one of the 12 finalists for Pennsylvania's Teacher of the Year 2021.

Read about her accomplishments here:  Transforming library into school hub helped Selinsgrove's Barrick into Teacher of the Year finals (May 18, 2020)

 Photo Credit: Robert Inglis/The Daily Item 


School Librarians at the Center of School Renewal and Transformation

The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association’s Board of Directors has approved a one page document titled “School Librarians at the Center of School Renewal and Transformation” to be used by the association and school librarians in their advocacy efforts. Created by Allison Mackley (@amackley), PSLA Immediate Past-President and endorsed by the PSLA Board, this can be shared widely with stakeholders as we educate them about the value and expertise of school librarians.

Librarian Influencer - Karey Killian

Have Fun Learning: with Karey Killian

The Librarian Influencer of the Week is Karey Killiana library media specialist in rural Pennsylvania. She supports 900 students at two elementary schools. She loves seeing the joy on their faces when they make new discoveries!

Click here to read the overview and listen to the interview.

2020 Annual Business Meeting

2020 PSLA Business Meeting - Virtual


Meeting Documents 

Click to view the documents: 2020 Google Folder

Advisory Council Meeting

Advisory Council Agenda

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Membership Renewal Update: Grace Period Extended

To help our members through this challenging time, there is an accommodation for membership renewal that the PSLA Board of Directors would like to share with you.

All members have an extended 5-month grace period on their dues to give you additional time to renew.

This does not include members who were within the 2-month "Grace" or 'Lapsed" period as of May 31, 2020. 

We wish you continued health and safety during this extraordinary time.

Board of Directors
Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

Behind the Scenes: Town Hall Followup

Behind the Scenes – Just Info – Just Links – Just Awesome

This Behind the Scenes is a no frills – no graphics – no quotes from me - update.

I know many of you are anxious for the links for the Town Hall Meeting from last week – but please keep reading – Save the date for the Business Meeting, the Model Curriculum on SAS, an exciting video contest to win Amazon gift cards and AASL Town Hall meetings all follow.

PSLA Town Hall Meeting - April 21, 2020

Thanks to all who attended the Town Hall Meeting. We are so excited that we had over 150 attendees. The Chat Transcript is filled with ideas and links that you don’t want to miss. PLEASE fill out the evaluation form so that we can determine if there is enough interest to continue to hold virtual town halls. We are considering another meeting in May – but we need to hear from you.

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SLJ Day of Dialog

Join us for the most anticipated day-long gathering of librarians and educators—now fully virtual and free to attend!

Come hear from more than 40 authors and publishers about the latest and most exciting forthcoming titles for children, tweens, and teens, ranging from picture books and nonfiction to graphic novels and YA, and engage in Q&A sessions with authors and illustrators.

Visit the virtual exhibit hall to network with leading publishers, enjoy additional author chats, and download digital galleys as well as other free resources and giveaways. Certificates of completion will be provided to submit for CE credits.

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Librarian Influencer - Allison Mackley

Present Your Authentic, Imperfect Self: with Allison Mackley

The Librarian Influencer of the Week is Allison Mackley, a school librarian in Pennsylvania who is currently the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association's immediate past president and an American Association of School Librarians (AASL) board director. She serves in numerous positions in her state and national library associations. Allison was named the 2019 AASL Social Media Superstar Leadership Luminary.

Click here to read the overview and listen to the interview.


Limitless Learning with the AASL Standards - Earn 6 PD Hours!

How do you tell the story of your school library?  Whether it’s through your instruction, professional interactions, or community engagement, the AASL National School Library Standards Framework offers the indispensable resources to unlock limitless learning opportunities for all.

Join this self-paced, asynchronous, 3-module course, Limitless Learning with the AASL Standards, to earn a certificate for six (6) professional development hours.  

Self-enroll in the course with this link:

This course provides training in the implementation of AASL National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. 

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Join In! PSLA Community Forums

During uncertain times, it is more important than ever for school library professionals to share resources and information as a community. The PSLA Member Community Forums on the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association website is your opportunity to join your peers and collaborate through discussions and document sharing.

The PSLA Community Forum is a centralized space for members to communicate online, share questions and ideas with other library professionals, and seek or offer support

As a member of PSLA, you are automatically part of PSLA Member Forums and have full access. Your login credentials are the same username and password that you use to log in to the PSLA website.

Once you log in, your Member Landing Page is your place to manage your personal details and email notifications:

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Behind the Scenes: Braver, Stronger, Smarter

As I write this Behind the Scenes in the times we’re living in, it’s easy to think about what could have been. We all are mourning tasks or events we thought we’d be doing at this time in the school year –  
Braver Quote

  • Preparing for the PSLA Annual Conference
  • Advertising a spring book fair
  • Writing an award speech or award acceptance speech for annual conference
  • Volunteering for spring musicals and school concerts
  • Preparing for an author visit in your school
  • Developing lessons for that awesome project you planned with a teacher
  • Reading reviews and selecting titles for one last book order this year
  • Developing your first or your tenth annual conference presentation
  • Finishing or planning inventory in your library
  • Working with students face to face and helping them choose the best books or find the most important information
  • Trying out new Makerspace ideas or sharing a new app with students
  • Promoting summer reading programs or your own summer library program
  • Getting ready to collect books and overdue materials (maybe you’re not missing this)

Or more personal events – a special birthday, a wedding, a celebration, visits with family – maybe even retirement parties for yourself or your colleagues.

We never could have imagined we’d be here. Myself, I was not prepared to walk my presidential journey in this format. However, I went back to my first Behind the Scenes from July 24 and I found that I wrote this:

“We are a profession of doers – educators who work hard to BE the answer.

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Beyond the Standards Webinar - Earn a Certificate

Did you get a chance to view the Beyond the Standards: Creating Partnerships Guided by the AASL National School Library Standards webinar presented by the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association?

Whether you watched it live or watch the recording, you can receive a certificate for one (1) professional development hour (if accepted by your employer).

This webinar is designed to support you as you put the AASL National School Library Standards into action in your local school community. Through community engagement, school librarians can gain administrator, faculty, parent, community and student support as they embed the AASL National School Library Standards into instruction and infuse the school community with opportunities to think, create, share and grow.

The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) Board of Directors and Teaching and Learning Committee are proud to offer this free webinar made possible through the AASL Past-Presidents Planning Grant for National School Library Standards sponsored by Roger and Susan D. Ballard in honor of E. Blanche Woolls who is not only a past president of the American Association of School Librarians but also a Distinguished Service member of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association.

Beyond the Standards


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Article: Linking Librarians, Inquiry Learning, and Information Literacy

"To thrive, schoolwide inquiry learning programs need support from librarians". Check out this article on Phi Delta Kappan about the role of librarians in inquiry learning programs.