On Friday, April 22, 2016, at the State Library of Ohio, 274 East First Avenue, OELMA holds Cbus LitCamp: Ignite Your Story Power. From 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., converse with authors and network with librarians from across the state. The Cbus LitCamp website contains more information about the day’s events as well as registration information. Go to http://cbuslitcamp.weebly.com. Registration begins at 8:45 a.m. followed by YA teen author, Patrick Jones at 9:30 a.m. who will discuss how to reach non-reading teens. From 10:30 to 11:25 a.m. spark your interest with presenters Annie Ruefle, Jody Casella and Natalie Richards, and Christina Dorr. From 11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. ignite your story power with author Jessica Fry-Gaither, Karen Hildebrand, and Sarah Ressler. At 1:00 p.m. join Ohio author Shelley Pearsall who will discuss her new book The Seventh Most Important Thing. From 2:00 to 2:55 p.m. fan the reading flame with Nancy Boone and Belinda Boon, Betsy Carpenter, and an exciting author panel with Carmella VanVleet, Julie DeVillers, and Linda Stanek. At 3:00 p.m. attendees will heat up the conversation with an opportunity to discuss burning issues in reading, literacy, and librarianship. Spend the night at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capital Square so you can attend the Ohioana Book Festival. OELMA is sponsoring the YA Lounge with lots of exciting things for teens and youth such as a makerspace, Pop-Up Battle Over Books, Poetry Slam, Speed Dating with Authors and much more. Go here for more information on the Ohioana Book Festival – http://www.ohioana.org/programs/ohioana-book-festival/.
As I wrap up my Presidential year (which is so hard to believe), I began to reflect about the conversations I have had with many of our members regarding many topics which are affecting our profession. One school librarian brought up something that I still think about: other teachers can teach essentially the same content year after year and their content and expectations really never changes completely (even with testing and standards). School librarians do not have this “luxury.” Our content is always changing and we must change with it. We will never “master” our content, rather, we are learning new resources, technology, content, and we continue to just keep growing in order to give our students the best possible success we can give them for their futures. Sometimes it feels like we are drowning in new things required of us, sometimes it is less overwhelming, but we keep swimming nonetheless. Why? Because it is the profession we chose.
We chose and continue to say YES to this profession because we strive to always learn something new and then share it with others. Did we hear about a new tech tool and then try it? YES-maybe even a few times. Did we learn about a new app and then share it with our teachers after we tried it too? YES. Did we attend a conference or webinar and then share the notes with others? YES. Did we pay out of our own pocket and attend a workshop so that we could be better librarians? YES and YES. Do we consistently renew our OELMA membership annually? YES. My point in all this is that there is a cost to our profession-it may be monetary for many of you and it may push you to sometimes re-think why you said yes to going to library school. But if we aren’t the faces of the School Librarians 2.0, then who will be? Will there be a School Librarian 3.0 if the 2.0s say NO? If we wanted to be in a profession where we did not have to try new things and grow with the changing educational culture then maybe some serious reflection is needed.
This past year I have met many school librarians that are deeply concerned about our profession but I can tell you from where I am standing and especially after AASL in Columbus, our future is as bright as we are willing to make it. No one else is going to stand up for us and guarantee us anything without our sweat and determination. Many of our administrators and colleagues do not really get what we do-but one thing is certain: we are the face of school librarianship for today and we need to always remember this and break the sterotypes. And if we want a future where we can make an impact, we need to keep saying yes to whatever comes our way. Otherwise who will really need us?
With the conclusion of the February 2015 Board meeting, regional directors and members of the Executive Committee broke into groups based on the 2015 OELMA Strategic Plan. President Angela Wojtecki asked me to lead the Education/Professional Development team. The team includes dedicated regional directors: Lori Guerrini, Lisa Garrison, Kris Baker, Connie Carnicom, Michelle Smart, Brandi Young, and Karen Gedeon. In February, we discussed developing an OELMA Education/PD Framework that would help guide the association in the creation and delivery of professional development to meet the changing landscape of school librarianship. At May’s Board meeting we discussed the idea of developing core competencies using the SLMS/Teacher Librarian Evaluation Rubric as a guide. Our conference call in late May helped us to solidify the core competencies and by our August Board meeting we will have defined the core competencies we identified. Now here is what is intriguing about the world of “professional development.” Is this what we as professionals want? Recently I had occasion to read a blog entitled “Moving from professional development to personal learning” by Fred Ende on the SmartBlog for Education (http://smartblogs.com/education/2015/03/19/moving-from-professional-development-to-personalized-learning/?utm_source=brief). “Development is something that happens to you; learning is something that you make happen. “Learning” puts the work in the hands of those directly involved (as opposed to “development,” which often happens whether we want it to or not), and we can only truly learn when we have a personal stake in what is being explored” says Ende. So what does this mean for OELMA? What does it mean for you, as the school librarian in your building or in your district who is often times tapped to lead professional development? As an association we will continue to press on with this intriguing question and invite you to join the conversation through our OELMA1 Twitter #OELMAplj (OELMA Personal Learning Journey).
Dear Fellow OELMA Knights and Princesses,
The Central and South Region would like to welcome you to their first Professional Development session of the 2014-2015 Academic Year.
Our first Professional Development will be:
What OELMA means to me!
Thursday Sept. 25 at 4:30 at Weaver MS
4600 Avery Road Hilliard, OH 43026
This session will consist of any OELMA members present having the opportunity to articulate to fellow attendees “What OELMA means to me” and how the organization helps them prepare for the rigors of being an Ohio School Librarian. We also plan to offer time to “Meet & Greet” with other attendees to gather ideas on how to better serve our clientele and to simply socialize. At this time tours of the facility will be available if anyone is interested. Finally, for all you late night squires who would like to continue to network with your fellow colleagues, dinner reservations have been made at Old Bag of Nails in downtown Hilliard following the PD session.
Whether you are a current OELMA member or not, we want you to come enjoy some snacks and fellowship while gaining an understanding of what OELMA is and what being a member can mean for you. Please plan on attending, we would love to see you!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the Central or South Region Directors!
I was asked to post a professional development activity that I recently did with the staff from the Kenston Local Schools. I titled the session, “SPA INFOhio – For All Your Curricular Needs”! It was really a fun session to conduct and the teachers enjoyed the SPA atmosphere, comraderie and useful information. I have included a link to all of the details (pictures included) and I am providing the description of the session here:
Relax, sit back and find out about all of the FREE resources to help you luxuriate in your classroom! This is better than a bubble bath. In fact, you can be in a bubble bath and get CEU’s for your IPDP with INFOhio! Need to massage your curriculum with new ideas and resources? SPA-INFOhio to the rescue. CCSS got you down? Look for the INFOhio curriculum toolboxes. This and so much more awaits at SPA-INFOhio! Join us! You’ll be glad you did!
Have you had a chance to look at the recently released PARCC online sample questions? I looked around at my colleagues after a recent staff meeting where these online questions had been shared. To be honest a lot of people looked overwhelmed and stressed. Sure, you already have to teach your content and a host of other things that aren’t directly written in your curriculum. Now, let’s add another piece to the already teetering pile.
This is an area that I feel I can work with my teachers to help lighten their load and lift the anxieties of the less-tech savvy. One of the most important things to remember is that all of these skills shouldn’t be in addition to your lesson, but incorporated into it. I have started collecting resources to share with the staff. I have been using a Google Doc to keep a running list of web sites and activities that will help expose students to the skills and experiences that will make them successful when navigating the PARCC assessments. The list includes simulations, types of online calculators, activities that allow students to drag/drop answers and manipulate data within graphs.
In addition to keeping the updated list of resources, I have been working with my curriculum director on some after school professional development sessions for our teachers. At the start of the session I share this list with them (Tech Skills List.) This tool from the University of Kentucky helps teachers determine the preparation level of their students prior to taking the assessment. It covers five areas—but one area is specific to a text-reader which may or may not be available to your students. These areas include: Basic Computer Skills, Keyboarding, Word Processing, Text-Reader/Screen Reader and Interaction with Online Assessment Skills. I found that this list was a great discussion starter for our professional development session. Can your students open multiple windows, choose multiple answers or highlight multiple items? Do they know how to scroll within a text box or click/drag items?
The East Region will be offering a PD session where I will be sharing more resources and Jeanne Steele will be discussing Infohio resources and The Third Grade Reading Guarantee. There is still time to sign up for PARCC and 3rd Grade Guarantee resource training being held: Feb 19th at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson Ohio from 4:30 to 6:30. Stop by to see how you can support your school.
Midwinter will also address these topics–don’t forget to register!
Ahhh…a summer of relaxation…in my dreams I suppose. These past couple months, I spent a couple hours once a week, discussing the Common Core State Standards with my colleagues. ICK, YUCK, NO WAY, you might say. But, thankfully I’m a librarian, and we love to learn. We make geek chic, no? Our elementary teachers were all invited to participate in a book discussion for Pathways to the Common Core by Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth, and Christopher Lehman. At each meeting, we signed up to teach a chapter to the group. I learned a three important things.
First, we can sell the library anywhere! I signed up to teach the chapter on informational writing to highlight the resources the library offers such as our INFOhio databases, nonfiction print sources, periodicals, computer lab, and me! Selling the library isn’t just about showing your worth as a staff member, but truly enriching and adding to the knowledge of students and teachers. Libraries really do offer a world beyond the school walls. A few of my colleagues walked away saying, ” I was so wrapped up in this resource that I missed the rest of the discussion.” Second, (many of you know this) Lucy Calkins has a wealth of free online resources. Her website for the Reading and Writing Project is full of tools we can all use, but her video clips on Vimeo are fantastic for professional development, similar to OELMA’s new YouTube channel. Third, we can’t stay static and survive in education (guess I knew that one already). Society evolves, and the legislators would never let us, even if we found something that “worked” for every student. What I admired the most was the veteran teachers digesting the new content, explaining what they already do that works well, and then reworking something to make it even better, even deeper, even more effective.
Thank goodness for those summer learning opportunities that inspire! Now, off to Destination: Spa, the INFOhio Bootcamp next week.
Librarians know that picture books contain some amazing art and The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is no exception. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quote “Great art is the contempt of a great man for small art” (www.brainyquote.com) could be talking about Keat’s The Snowy Day, the book which featured the first African American protagonist in a full color picture book.
Librarians who attended the OELMA East/NE professional development offering at the Akron Art Museum last week were treated to a tour of over 80 original works by Keats, including Peter’s Chair and Whistle for Willie. Courtesy of the de Grummond Children’s Literary Collection of The University of Southern Mississippi, museum rooms were filled with Keats art work, personal letters and a glassed display of contrasting picture books prior to 1962. Keats advocacy of civil rights, depiction of gritty city street scenes and his extraordinary art all had a major influence on American culture. After the tour, the museum offered an extension activity students would enjoy – how to create simple collage paper using the following: shaving cream, water color spatters, and paper. The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats at the Akron Art Museum is the first to pay tribute to this author/illustrator and will be available through June 30, 2013.
More information is available at http://akronartmuseum.org/exhibitions/
Embrace the rapid changes in eReaders and the eBooks landscape – mark your calendars for July 17 at the Holiday Inn Worthington. Registration opens May 1 for this daylong conference designed to give a well-rounded picture of the current state of Ebooks and eReaders in libraries. Program will include opportunities to listen to other professionals share best practices and network with colleagues about their successes and challenges; discuss “big picture” topics in the eBook world such as legal issues, digital rights management, and publisher relations; improve skills to better assist patrons through the hands-on eReader lab.
Brought to you by the partnership of SLO, OLC, and OHIONET. This event is funded through an Institute of Museum and Library Services LSTA grant awarded by SLO.