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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 - 3/10/19

Each week the Teaching and Learning Committee plans to highlight one app or website from the AASL Standards Site. Share 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.

PSLA Members - WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Hello PSLA Members!

On February 20, Rep. Mark Longietti (D, serving part of Mercer County) and Rep. Thomas Murt (R, serving parts of serving Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties) proposed a new House bill that would ensure a certified school librarian in every public school. On February 25, Sen. John Blake (D- serving Lackawanna, and parts of Luzerne and Monroe Counties) proposed a complementary bill in the Senate. At this time, the bills have not yet been numbered. However, this period is a critical time when co-sponsors are being sought to sign the bills in both chambers.

Now is the time to contact your legislators!

Go to http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/#addresst and type in your home address to find your PA House and Senate legislators. Click on his/her name, locate their email form, and copy the following text to them.

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STEM/Makerspace at the PSLA Conference

Diversity by Design

Are you registered for the PSLA Conference? Starting to plan your agenda for the 2019 PSLA Conference? Check out these awesome workshop sessions related to Makerspaces/STEM! Coming soon information about Makerspace activities in the Exhibit Hall!

  • STEAM Success in the K-6 Library Media Center ~ Have you jumped on the STEAM engine in your library? Two units will be presented for K-3 and 4-6, as well as other STEAM activities, storytime STEM, and this session allows for hands-on participation.  Presented by Cindy Rizzolino, Nazareth Area School District  

  • Pairing Diverse Books with Hands-on STEM Activities ~An elementary teacher librarian and museum educator from the Franklin Institute will help you uncover how integrating STEM activities with favorite multiculturally diverse children’s books can broaden access to STEM/Literacy for students. This session provides attendees with ideas and strategies for classrooms and libraries.  Presented by Eva Thomas, Pocopson Elementary School

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AASL Best Websites & Apps: Engaging Congress

Presidents Day is here, but as we have re-learned lately, Congress holds plenty of power and important decisions as well! Watch videos, explore primary documents, and practice with real-world challenges in this free and invaluable app!
Description from AASL:

Engaging Congress is a fun, interactive game that uses primary source documents to explore the basic tenets of representative government and the challenges they face in contemporary society.

Platform: iOS, Android   Grades: Middle School

 

Save Librarians/Libraries in Philly: Sign the Petition

Please sign the following petition to encourage Philadelphia leaders to reinstate school libraries and librarians for the School District of Philadelphia. And then please share the email with your friends and colleagues plus push it out on social media. EveryLibrary (also the creator of SaveSchoolLibrarians.org) is working with PSLA and others to help us get legislation in PA to require public schools to employ certified school librarians. Let’s show them that we can rally local support! Come on! You probably are having a snow day anyway!  More importantly, we need to stand together so that ALL K-12 students have school libraries and certified librarians!

P.S. This is a legitimate site. There will be an opportunity to donate to EveryLibrary after you sign the petition, but you do not have to donate. EveryLibrary is a non-profit but your donations are not tax-deductible as they are used for legislative advocacy work.

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Our students aren't getting the quality education that they deserve! Please sign this petition to help us fight back!

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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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