Announcing the 2019 PSLA Presidential Award Winners!

The PSLA Board of Directors is happy to announce the winners of our 2019 Pennsylvania School Librarians Presidential Award! We hope you will join us in celebrating their contributions to the school library profession at the Awards Breakfast on Friday, March 29that PSLA’s Annual Conference.

Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Presidential Award – Senator John P. Blake

Senator John Blake has provided ongoing support and leadership in his commitment to public education. Senator Blake introduced Senate Bill 1269 in an effort to maintain strong school library programs across the state of Pennsylvania staffed by certified school librarians.  According to his website, “Senator John Blake’s aspiration for a seat in the Senate of Pennsylvania was motivated by his determination to help and serve others – in his hometown, his region and across the state – in achieving a better quality of life. Senator Blake works very hard every day reflecting the sensibilities, the wishes and the opinions of the people he represents. He is very deliberative and careful in rendering judgment on public policy issues affecting the people of Pennsylvania and the constituents of the 22nd District. Senator Blake’s education, experience and local roots inform and guide his beliefs about the value of public service and the significant, profound duties and responsibilities of holding public office

 

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Announcing PSLA’s 2019 Award Winners!

Announcing PSLA’s 2019 Award Winners!

 The PSLA Awards Committee is thrilled to announce the winners of our 2019 slate of awards! We hope you will join us in celebrating their contributions at the Awards Breakfast on Friday, March 29that PSLA’s Annual Conference. Deepest congratulations to all of this year’s honorees!

 Outstanding Pennsylvania Author – Jewell Parker Rhodes

 Born in the Pittsburgh area and an alum of Carnegie-Mellon University, Jewell Parker Rhodes has strong ties to Pennsylvania and has authored a compelling body of work for young readers. Her books, including Ninth WardSugarBayou MagicTowers Falling, and Ghost Boys, have received numerous awards and recognitions, and challenge readers to contemplate and grapple with issues related to current and historical events, identity and adolescence, social justice, resilience, family, and more. She is a powerful storyteller and an important voice in literature for children and young adults, and we are thrilled to recognize her as our 2019 Outstanding Pennsylvania Author!

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Behind the Scenes: It’s Not the Critic Who Counts

“Behind the Scenes” it’s not the critic who counts. This is the vital lesson I have learned from Theodore Roosevelt’s “Daring Greatly” speech through the work of Brené Brown. (This is a mashup of my words with theirs.)

As the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association is in the midst of our annual elections, I have been thinking about this lesson and the way it comes through in my life.  The PSLA leaders before me and with me have stepped into the arena.  This did not happen by accident. This happened because we chose to be committed to the school library profession. We chose to be leaders (with or without a title).  We chose integrity by practicing our values rather than professing them. We chose to come together whether in agreement or not. We chose to lift each other up. We chose to leave our association and profession a little better off than the way we found it. 

This happened because we all chose courage over comfort.

…when you choose courage. When you choose to dare greatly, you will have your critics.  You will stumble. Your face will be marred by dust and sweat and blood.  You will make errors. You will be the ones who strive valiantly and come up short. You will fail.

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#PALIBCHAT: 2/13/19

Twitter Chat

PSLA Membership Profile Picture Contest

Let’s Connect!  

Sometimes we know faces from the conference, sometimes we know names from the listserv.  Let’s connect names and faces!  

From now until March 1, anyone that has a picture (actual picture of oneself or a Bitmoji in the likeness of oneself) in their PSLA website profile will be entered into a contest for a $25 Amazon gift card.  

Take time now to update your picture and your contact information!  We will announce the winners via the PSLA Facebook page.

2-Year Membership Benefit Announced

As an added benefit to our members in the Active and Active Retired categories, PSLA has created a membership option that will allow you to join or renew your membership for 2 years at one time for $110, a savings of $10. The option is available upon initial registration or renewal. If a member requests or is required to change their member classification during that 2 year period, no refund of the price difference will be made. Follow this link to join or renew: https://www.psla.org/join-or-renew.

Behind the Scenes: Local and State Advocacy Committee

“Behind the Scenes” the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Board approved a special committee: Local and State Advocacy Committee for a duration of two years (January 2019 – December 2020). The co-chairs, Deb Kachel, Legislative Liaison, and Cathi Fuhrman, President-Elect, will be seeking members for this committee.

Proposed by Cathi Fuhrman, President-Elect and Allison Mackley, President

Background: According to the PSLA Bylaws, special committees can be established by the president and approved by the board. The president acts as an ex-officio member, and the chair(s) are appointed by the president with board approval. The chair(s) are voting members of the PSLA Advisory Council.

Rationale: Although PSLA has approved the role of Legislative Liaison to work as a member of the Communications Committee, legislative efforts must extend beyond the work of one person.

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Welcome Laura Ward as PSLA Executive Secretary

Please welcome Laura Ward as the PSLA Executive Secretary.  She has been appointed to serve as Executive Secretary for a term ending June 30, 2019.

Laura, a librarian in Fox Chapel Area School District, most recently served as the Communications Committee Co-chair.  Laura was a participant and graduate of the 2015 - 2016 Emerging Leaders Academy. She has served PSLA in a variety of way including being a member of various committees and presenting at the annual conference.

What is a PSLA Executive Secretary? The PSLA Constitution and Bylaws allow the president to appoint an executive secretary with the approval of the board for the duration of the president's term of office. The person in this position attends Board meetings and takes part in association business, including being an ex-officio member of all committees.

Please find the relevant portions of the PSLA Constitution and Bylaws below:

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PSLA Conference: Poster and Makerspace Applications Open

Are you a librarian who has an idea to share?  If so, the PSLA Annual Conference Diversity by Design has two perfect opportunities for you.

Poster Session
We are happy to announce that you can participate in the Poster Session at the 2019 Annual Conference. Please submit your application by February 15, 2019. The application is attached as well as can be found on the Conference website. The Poster Session occurs during a one-hour informal setting on Friday, March 29th, from 1:00 - 2:00 pm and supports the theme of our conference Diversity by Design. The Poster Session takes place in the Exhibit Hall and does not conflict with workshop sessions.
Posters topics can include but are not limited to the following:

  • a description of innovative library lessons or programs

  • an analysis of a solution to a problem

  • a report of a research study





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Legislative Update Jan 4, 2019

Now that the mid-term elections are over, both the US Congress and the PA General Assembly are reorganizing. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Dem) has just been named Speaker of the US House and now committee assignments will begin. In our state legislature, leadership positions have been decided but committees not yet finalized. The PA House and Senate Education and Appropriations Committees will be most important for PSLA members as we push to have companion bills in both the House and Senate to ensure certified school librarians in every public school during.

Although the PA House and Senate remain in Republican control as the majority party, there have been many changes (see below) due to elections and recent redistricting.  

Go to the PA General Assembly site to lookup who represents both your home address and that of your school (https://www.legis.state.pa.us/). Scroll down to “Find My Legislator” and enter your addresses.

In coming months PSLA will engage in a vigorous campaign to support school library legislation. Know who represents you!

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Meet the Candidates

The PSLA Operations Committee would like to introduce you to the candidates who have agreed to serve on the PSLA Board of Directors.  The secretary and directors will serve for a two-year term while the vice president will serve a four-year term.   Serving on the Board of Directors means these individuals will be responsible for assisting the president in developing policies and procedures for the organization in all matters of state and national issues dealing with the school library profession.

Your vote is crucial for maintaining a strong, viable organization. Elections will be held from January 31, 2019 to February 21, 2019.  An email will be sent to all active PSLA members indicating when the election begins as well as directions for voting on the new PSLA website.  Complete biographical information will be included in the online ballot as well as the PSLA website.  As an active member of PSLA, you will be asked to vote for a vice president, treasurer and two directors.  The following information will give you the opportunity to learn more about the candidates including their backgrounds and their vision for PSLA. 

Each candidate addressed the following questions:

  1. PRIORITY GOALS FOR PSLA:   What goals do you think should have top priority for PSLA in 2019-2021?  Please provide your rationale.
  2. LEADERSHIP:  Briefly describe your leadership strengths and include examples if possible.
  3. 2025:  What do you see as the role of the school librarian in 2025?

 

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New PSLA Local Affiliate: ECPSLA

The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association has local affiliates that advocate for strong library programs, advance information literacy, and provide professional learning.  Regional local affiliates serve in the following ways:

  • Provide a network for continuous communication
  • Serve as a conduit for the flow of information
  • Broaden the base of the profession through the increase of personal and professional memberships

We would like to congratulate our newest PSLA local affiliate!

The East Central Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (ECPSLA), led by Robin Burns of Salisbury School District, grew out of a PSLA Mini Regional Leaders Academy project.

The East Central Pennsylvania School Librarians Association is a regional group of the East Central area including Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Monroe counties. The purpose of the group is to strengthen the relationships of local active, student, retired/non-employed school librarians, and library advocates. ECPSLA strives to provide an extension of PSLA membership by offering local networking, professional development, and social activities.

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Seeking Feedback: Copyright: An Interpretation of the ALA Code of Ethics

This is a request for feedback from the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE). In anticipation of a new edition of The Intellectual Freedom Manual, COPE is in the process of updating professional ethics documents.

COPE would appreciate feedback on "Copyright: An Interpretation of the ALA Code of Ethics" by Wednesday, January 9. The current interpretation was adopted by ALA Council in 2014. Please feel free to share this message widely.

Feedback can be posted in the following two ways:

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Behind the Scenes: Our History, Our Future & Embracing the Bumpy Road

“Behind the Scenes” the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Board of Directors and Committee Co-chairs embrace the bumpy road to make a meaningful and (hopefully) visionary difference for the members of our association. The bumpy road is not easy, but we believe in the future of PSLA and realize we can only be successful if we all work together.

Looking Back 

The PSLA officers and directors value our history, so the Board initiated a small history project. Cathi Fuhrman, President-Elect, worked with Marge Tassia Outstanding Contributor (1995)/Past President; Sharon Nardelli, Past President; and Celeste Nalwasky, Outstanding Contributor (1991)/Past Board Director, to put together a PSLA History Timeline and Narrative to share how the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association began.  Thanks for revealing our roots!

You can also find a few other historical documents on this page:

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"Best of" Lists and Reading Lists from 2018

Happy New Year!! 

It was an amazing year for literature in 2018. As usual, the end of the year brings the annual "best of" lists. Below are a few that may help kick start your 2019 reading list and get you ready for awards season coming in January!

SLJ's The Yarn - Colby Sharp and Travis Yonker share their top reads
Mr. Shu Reads Top List for 2018 - **Coming to PSLA Conference in 2019!!
NPR's Book Concierge - great interactive list for all ages
AND... Don't forget to stay up to date with our own PSLA Lit Review Blog!

 

Happy reading and see you in 2019!

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Seeking Feedback: Challenged Resources Interpretation

The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) is looking for feedback in anticipation of a new edition of The Intellectual Freedom Manual, the IFC is in the process of updating intellectual freedom-related documents.

The IFC would appreciate feedback on "Challenged Resources: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights" by Monday, January 7. The interpretation was adopted by ALA Council in 1971, and amended in 1981, 1990, 2009, and 2014. Please feel free to share this message widely.

Feedback can be posted in the following two ways:

  • Post feedback on this Google Doc draft. The IFC requests that you post comments on the document, rather than edit the document directly. To post a comment, select "Insert" in the top menu, and then click "Comment." Comments may be posted anonymously (if you're not signed into a Google account) or publicly (if you're signed into your Google account).
  • Using "track changes," add comments and edits to the attached Word doc draft. You can email it to me ([email protected]) or post it as a comment to this ALA Connect post, and I'll forward it to working group members.

A note about paragraph four of the draft: This quote is from the current "Diversity in Collection Development" interpretation, last amended in 2014. It does not reflect the revisions proposed in the interpretation draft that was sent to the library community. The quoted material in "Challenged Resources" may be altered if the revisions for "Diversity in Collection Development" are adopted.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee will make revisions to the draft in light of your suggestions and plans to distribute the document to ALA Council prior to the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The committee also plans to present it at ALA Council Forum for further feedback.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions, and please let me know if you have any questions,


Julia Warga, Chair
Intellectual Freedom Committee
[email protected]

Behind the Scenes: PSLA Annual Conference

"Behind the Scenes" the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Conference Committee has been working over the past year to bring a quality professional learning and networking experience to you at the 46th PSLA Annual Conference.

This post will not come close to doing justice to the work the entire conference committee completes over the course of the year, so I will share some highlights. Please visit the conference website for more information.

The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association annual conference is entirely planned, organized and implemented by volunteers. The president appoints an Executive Director of the Conference for a term of two years with the approval by the board. (Conference Policy) For the past four years, Caitlin Linsenmann has filled this role and worked with Jennifer Bates (2016), Allison Mackley (2017), Cathi Fuhrman (2018) and Robin Burns (2019) as conference co-chairs. Before Caitlin took on the enormous task of planning the conference, Connie Burlingame served as the previous Executive Director of the Conference.

Requests for Proposals and Contracts

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Feedback Wanted for New Library Bill of Rights

 Feedback Wanted for New Library Bill of Rights

The Intellectual Freedom Manual Review Working Group has recommended updating the Library Bill of Rights in a narrow manner to add an Article VII focused on the concept of ensuring privacy and confidentiality for library users. As a result, The Intellectual Freedom Committee would appreciate feedback on this article draft by Dec. 21. Post feedback by using this Google Doc link. The IFC requests that you post comments on the document, rather than edit the document directly. To post a comment, select “Insert” in the top menu, and then click “Comment.” Comments may be posted anonymously or publicly.

Behind the Scenes: Connect & Collaborate

 

“Behind the Scenes” the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Board of Directors, committees and partners want you to be informed. There has been a concerted effort over the past few years to provide varied communication methods to ensure that school librarians across the Commonwealth receive timely and meaningful information.

PSLA Pulse
The PSLA Pulse is the blog of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association.  It highlights the accomplishments of PSLA members, teaching and learning resources, legislative news and a “Behind the Scenes” feature. 

Pennsylvania Key Communicators Network: Network News
The Network News, which is funded by the PSLA LSTA grant, is a collaborative project between the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association and the University of Pittsburgh’s School Library Certification Program. Find archived newsletters dating back to the first publication in October 2017. Every school librarian in Pennsylvania should receive the newsletters as they are passed through a regional and district structure. 

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AASL Best Websites & Apps: Google Spotlight

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! 

Want some holiday season entertainment? Try getting a VR headset (Google Cardboard is a cheap option) and play Google Spotlight! I have used this as an extension during makerspace time and it is fascinating to watch. Many of the stories are available on YouTube as well.

Description from AASL:

This app puts the reader in the middle of a growing number of virtual reality stories and demonstrates new possibilities for interactive storytelling. Each of the stories is a 360 video experience to be viewed within a VR viewer or on a device or screen. Users are prompted to download a story before reading for easy repeat access. Among the elementary stories are The Windy Day, Buggy Night and Duet. The reader focuses attention on the scene, with the story adjusting and presenting a personalized experience.

Platform: iOS, Android   Grades:Upper Elementary – High School

Submitted by:
Dustin Brackbill
PSLA Teaching & Learning Committee