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  • 27 Feb 2024 8:57 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Congratulations Kelly Silwani, February Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month!


    Congratulations, Kelly Silwani, school library media specialist at Olentangy Orange Middle School, Olentangy Local School District. Kelly is the Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month - February.

    Kelly’s lesson entitled “Truth or Faux.” As she explains it, 7th and 8th grade students, using “close reading” had to evaluate photos and determine if they were real or fake or AI. The goal of the lesson is for students to evaluate and corroborate media sources for credibility and accuracy using close reading.  Students evaluated fifteen (15) images and used close reading (evaluating critically) to determine if an image was fake (fauxtography) or real.  They also evaluated real vs AI images.  By the end of the lesson, students were able to apply new evaluation techniques to images.  You can follow Kelly on X at Kelly Silwani, MLIS.

    The Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month recognizes one school librarian a month who designs, develops, and implements a collaborative lesson plan and/or programming that empowers student learning. This award spotlights the importance of both the school library community and librarian and the pivotal role each plays in transforming learning throughout students’ K-12 education.



    Consider nominating yourself or another OELMA Library Media Specialist to be considered for Rosen Ohio School Librarian of the month!  The Rosen award nomination form can be accessedunder the Professional Recognition tab. Contact Susan Yutzey (oelma.awards@gmail.com) with any questions.


    Congratulations Kelly!

  • 26 Feb 2024 12:24 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    This week, the Awards Committee brings you our scholarship and grant awards with the Founders Scholarship, J. Allen Oakum Scholarship, and OELMA/JLG Floyd Dickman Programming Grant.

    Here’s the scoop on the OELMA/JLG Floyd Dickman Programming Grant. In 2018, Junior Library Guild (JLG) and OELMA partnered to bring the grant into being. The grant honors the life and contributions of Floyd Dickman, a Library Consultant at the State Library of Ohio who retired in 1999 and was recognized, up until his death in 2015, for his leadership, commitment, and passion for children’s literature and family literacy. The purpose of the programming grant is to fund programs that inspire children and youth to embrace the joy of reading.  The grant continues the work that Floyd was passionate about during his lifetime.


    In 2023, Erica Mackley, Experiential Learning Specialist at Granville Intermediate School, received the OELMA/JLG Floyd Dickman Programming Grant to seed a collection of Spanish books for the school library.  Here is what Erica had to say about the importance of receiving the grant for GIS: “I loved the opportunity to partner with one of our related arts teachers (Spanish) for the JLG programming grant.  Teaming with ELA is obviously an easy fit when it comes to our jobs, but this was a perfect opportunity to remind our whole staff that there are so many ways we can work together across the curriculum.


    OELMA offers two scholarships for post graduates to pursue careers as school librarians - the J. Allen Oakum Scholarship and the Founders Scholarship.  Here is what to know about these two scholarship opportunities.  The Oakum Scholarship is awarded to an Ohio resident enrolled in an accredited library school program, who is pursuing licensure in school/library media. This scholarship is intended to help defray educational costs for future library media specialists as they complete their studies.  The scholarship was established in 1985 through the philanthropy of the late J. Allen Oakum, an OELMA Past President.  The Founders Scholarship honors OELMA founders and co-presidents (1977) Maxie J. Lambright and Isabelle Pratt for their commitment to the field of school librarianship.  It is awarded to an Ohio resident enrolled in an accredited library school program, who is pursuing licensure in school library/media.  This scholarship is intended to help defray educational costs for future library media specialists as they complete their studies.


    In 2023, June Lucal was one of two recipients of the Founders Scholarship. Here is what June said about receiving the Founders Scholarship at this pivotal time. “I just wanted to thank you again for the OELMA Founders Scholarship I received last year!  It was the first scholarship I had received since my undergrad years, and for many reasons, I was incredibly happy to be chosen.  The process of applying, receiving, and accepting this award taught me a great deal about OELMA and school librarianship in Ohio, too. I attended the luncheon and awards ceremony in October 2023 in Dublin, OH, and found it quite enlightening to hear what other people are doing in this field.  I truly appreciate that the OELMA scholarship committee saw the potential in me, and I hope to get more involved with this group in the future.


    Receiving an OELMA award gives you a voice to lead regardless of where you are in your career! Lift your voice and nominate yourself or a colleague by April 1, 2024.  If you have any questions, please reach out to the OELMA Awards Committee. The email is oelma.awards@gmail.com.


    Warmest regards,

    The OELMA Awards Committee



  • 19 Feb 2024 9:41 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)
    Lift Your Leader Voice - Nominate an OELMA Member for an Award


    Carol A. Brey-Casiano, Director of Libraries, El Paso Public Library, outlined ten steps to being a great library leader in her article entitled “Leadership Qualities for Future Library Leaders.” 


      Step #1: Find a Good Mentor/BE a Good Mentor

      “We all want someone who will inspire us to be what   we know we could be” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).  My   mentor, almost 30 years ago, was Kari Inglis, school librarian at Bishop Watterson High School (Columbus).  For 2023 award recipient, Amy Keister, she looks to OELMA members as her role models.  Amanda Brasfield, 2021 recipient of the OELMA Emerging Leader Award, says receiving the award was a jolt of inspiration. OELMA has connected me with many fantastic school librarians around Ohio and I am made better each day through their willingness to share and participate in our community.” Do you have a mentor?  Are you a good mentor to other school librarians?


    Step #2: Learn How to Follow First

    Sometimes you have to know how to follow the lead of others if you are to succeed. In the midst of renovating the school library, I often followed the lead of the students.  Yes, I’d taken any number of library management classes and had my own thoughts about redesigning the learning center, but it was in listening to the students’ voices - that’s where I got the best ideas.


    Step #3: Be Visionary

    Can you articulate a vision for your school library and then motivate others to share and accomplish that vision?  The most valuable lesson I learned during my twelve years at the suburban high school from which I retired, was collaborating on a strategic plan for the district’s school libraries.  Deb Logan provided the professional development and our district’s school librarians engaged parents, community members, academic librarians, and administrators in a year-long strategic planning process.  All voices were heard and we, as a team, “built bridges to what matters (theme)”


    Step #4: Be a Good Servant

    Being a leader is a humbling experience.  As Brey-Castano states: “You learn that while the buck may stop with you, it takes the work of every team member to be successful.”  Always say “Thank you.” Who do you thank in your building, in your district?


    Step #5: Take Risks

    Sound scary? It can be, but if you have a rationale for the decision, then others will listen.  School librarians are great at providing substantive rationales - think… what do we do when we purchase books for our collection?


    Step #6: Take Care of Yourself

    Being a leader takes stamina. Even if you don’t think you have time, exercise, rest, hydrate, etc. What do you do to take care of yourself?


    Step #7: Maintain a Positive Attitude

    Of the ten steps, this is the most difficult.  As a school librarian, who can we deliver hope to on any given day?  A student who needs a particular book?  A teacher who needs help creating a research project? An administrator who just needs a sounding board?


    Step #8: Never Turn Down a Leadership Position

    Yes, even if it’s to coordinate a building or district activity/event.  You have an opportunity to network AND learn about the inner workings of the building, the district, the association.  These experiences will be helpful as you consider taking on more leadership positions/roles.


    Step #9: Learn How to Motivate People Effectively

    It’s easy for us to just say, “Oh never mind, I’ll just do it myself.”  As Brey-Casiano says, “A truly great leader has to trust the people they are leading to do their best.”  How do you motivate your staff, your volunteers, your students to be the best they can be?


    Step #10: Keep Your Sense of Humor

    Brey-Casiano suggests keeping things in your office that make you laugh.  I had a desk drawer filled with stress balls and I had a colleague, Laura, whose quick wit made me laugh until my sides ached.


    Leadership is ultimately about caring about the people around you - your students, your school community, your teachers, your administrators - and demonstrating that care.


    To nominate yourself or a colleague, visit the OELMA website.  Read the criteria for the award in which you have an interest, complete the nomination form, and submit it by April 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m.  The award checklist will assist you in crafting the rationale for nomination.


    The Awards Committee looks forward to receiving your nomination.  If you have questions, please reach out to oelma.awards@gmail.com

    Sincerely the Awards Committee,

    Lisa Gallagher

    Heidi Fletcher

    Casaundra Bronner

    Kris Konik

    Cheryl Lorson

    Susan Yutzey




  • 12 Feb 2024 8:21 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Nominating yourself for an award or asking a colleague to nominate you can feel like a “bit of an odd social conundrum where we are faced with the awkward thought of whether it’s ok for us to promote ourselves, when we (or at least I) try and maintain a balance between humility and confidence in what we do (Cynthia Leung)."


    The theme of the 2024 annual conference is Lift Your Voice in the Library.  Nominating yourself or a colleague for an OELMA award is lifting your voice, lifting your voice to lead your library.


    Leung cites four reasons why you should nominate yourself:

    1. You know yourself and your accomplishments better than anyone else.

    2. Leaving it to others to make the connection on how much you fit an award leaves the outcome of opportunity outside of your control.

    3. Nominating yourself doesn’t mean you will win, but it does give you the fighting chance.

    4. Nominating yourself puts you on other people’s radars and is great for networking.


    Here is what Angie Jameson, recipient of the 2023 OELMA Tech Innovation Award, says about receiving her award:


    The Technology Innovation Award brought attention to the behind-the-scenes work I do. When the press release went out, I received warm notes of celebration from board members and some community members. As our district started down the path of how generative AI will impact our school, the recent award gave me the confidence to lead conversations about technology and innovation with stakeholders and decision-makers regarding this critical pivot in the information landscape.


    Amy Keister shares what receiving the OELMA Emerging Leader Award has meant to her as a professional:


    It was such an honor to be nominated for the Emerging Leader Award because it came from a colleague. I have always looked to OELMA members as my role models to learn and grow as a school librarian, and to know that an OELMA member saw me in that role meant the world to me. It also made my role in our district more visible to the community and the positive reaction from our community was heartwarming. So, please nominate someone you know or yourself! It's an amazing opportunity to be recognized and shine!


    To nominate yourself or a colleague, visit the OELMA website.  Read the criteria for the award in which you have an interest, complete the nomination form, and submit it by April 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m.  The award checklist will assist you in crafting the rationale for nomination.


    The Awards Committee looks forward to receiving your nomination.  If you have questions, please reach out to oelma.awards@gmail.com


    Sincerely the Awards Committee,

    Lisa Gallagher

    Heidi Fletcher

    Casaundra Bronner

    Kris Konik

    Cheryl Lorson

    Susan Yutzey



  • 8 Feb 2024 8:11 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)



    The Ohio Educational Library Media Association (OELMA) is pleased to announce its READ On! Ohio Award for Children & Teens is open to nominations from Ohio school library media specialists and public library staff beginning February 5, 2024.

    Created in 2015, The READ On! Ohio Award recognizes Ohio K-12 students who are enthusiastic readers and enjoy being in the school and/or public library using the many services available. The student must be enrolled in an Ohio K-12 school at the time of nomination.

    The READ On! Ohio Award recipient will be selected from applicants and nominees who meet at least two of the following criteria:

    • Demonstrates an enthusiasm for reading

    • Exhibits an enthusiasm for sharing books with others

    • Uses books for a variety of purposes

    • Reads independently on a voluntary basis

    • Uses the school and/or public library frequently

    Recipients are selected by the OELMA Awards Committee.  Up to sixteen recipients are selected according to grade band (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) and region (Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest).  See the list of READ On! Counties by region.

    The recipients each receive a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card and commemorative certificate during the OELMA Annual Conference. Each recipient’s name will be announced through the OELMA listserv, website and social media. In addition, each recipient’s school's public information officer will be notified through a press release.

    To nominate a student, complete and upload the OELMA READ On! Ohio Award for Children & Teens application form which requires a 250-word rationale that speaks to how the student meets at least two of the following criteria: 1) demonstrates an enthusiasm for reading; 2) exhibits an enthusiasm for sharing books with others; 3) uses books for a variety of purposes; 4) reads independently on a voluntary basis; 5) uses the school and/or public library frequently. Nominations are due by 11:59 p.m. April 1, 2024.

    The nominator of each winning nominee will be notified by email about their nominee’s selection for the award. The nominator is expected to contact the winning nominee with the award selection results.

  • 31 Jan 2024 4:30 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Congratulations Terry Clutter, January Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month!



    Congratulations, Terry Clutter, school library media specialist at Stanton Middle School, Kent City School District. Terry is the Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month - January.

    Terry’s project, All School Reads Day at Stanton Middle School, during which students trade in their normal curriculum for fun and interactive reading activities is part of a district-wide reading program entitled Rough Riders Read. One School, One Book, One Day!  This year they read Wildfire by Rodman Philbrick.  Terry leads a schoolwide committee on selecting a book and preparing fun and enriching activities to accompany the test throughout the day.  The Kent Fire Department attended and gave two presentations to the students about fire, fire safety, and firefighters.

    The purpose of the One School, One Book, One Day activity is to have a shared literacy experience among the entire school community, to encourage discussion and critical thinking, build empathy and perspective, build community, and foster a love of reading.


    The program was a success. This was determined by the responses from the staff and student survey.  Students like to be involved in determining the novel and planning activities.  This has led Terry to include students on the advisory panel.


    Information about the Award: 

    The Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month recognizes one school librarian a month who designs, develops, and implements a collaborative lesson plan and/or programming that empowers student learning. This award spotlights the importance of both the school library community and librarian and the pivotal role each plays in transforming learning throughout students’ K-12 education.

    Consider nominating yourself or another OELMA Library Media Specialist to be considered for Rosen Ohio School Librarian of the month!  The Rosen award nomination form can be accessedunder the Professional Recognition tab. Contact Susan Yutzey (oelma.awards@gmail.com) with any questions.

    Congratulations Terry!

  • 10 Jan 2024 1:20 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Congratulations Rachael Fryman, December Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month!


    Congratulations, Rachael Fryman, school library media specialist at Edgewood Middle School, Edgewood City Schools (Trenton). Rachael is the Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month - December.


    Rachael’s project is a student and staff “Readerboard.”  Students and staff can earn points by reviewing books, completing reading logs (20 minutes a day), completing reading Quests (40 Book Quest, Alan Gratz Quest, Amulet Quest, etc.), and participating in other activities held in the library (NaNoWrimo for November).  The top 10 students and top teachers get various privileges and prizes throughout the quarter such as first pick of new books, special, invitations to events (upcoming: Library Bingo in December), free books, and student’s favorite: candy.


    The goal with the Readerboard was to increase library usage and engagement among students and staff members. Rachael hoped to see increased checkout numbers, more conversations about books between students and also between students and staff members, and she wanted to share student successes in reading and writing.


    By the end of November, circulation numbers doubled from the previous year.  Edgewood Middle School’s library walls are covered with book reviews from staff and students which has also helped readers find new books to try out themselves.  The literacy committee at EMS has added the Readerboard program to the list of official activities that our school would like to continue to do to support literacy building with students.


    Assistant Principal Josh Stapleton enjoys the reviews hanging up around the space and the growth of activity in the library from individual student and classroom visits.  “Anecdotally,” says Rachael, “I’ve seen a huge growth with students wanting to discuss books with me and other staff members, wanting to recommend books to their classmates and teachers, and students sharing their creativity with me to display in the library.”

    The Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month recognizes one school librarian a month who designs, develops, and implements a collaborative lesson plan and/or programming that empowers student learning. This award spotlights the importance of both the school library community and librarian and the pivotal role each plays in transforming learning throughout students’ K-12 education.

    Consider nominating yourself or another OELMA Library Media Specialist to be considered for Rosen Ohio School Librarian of the month!  The Rosen award nomination form can be accessedunder the Professional Recognition tab. Contact Susan Yutzey (oelma.awards@gmail.com) with any questions.


    Congratulations Rachael!



  • 29 Nov 2023 1:06 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    What is it? Why should you apply?

    The Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month recognizes one school librarian a month who designs, develops, and implements a collaborative lesson plan and/or programming that empowers student learning. This award spotlights the importance of both the school library community and librarian and the pivotal role each plays in transforming learning throughout students’ K-12 education.

    Consider nominating yourself or another OELMA library media specialist to be considered for Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the month!  You can nominate yourself or a colleague anytime. 

    One recipient is selected by the 15th of each month (except June, July, August).  Recipients receive a free box of books published by Rosen. The Rosen award nomination form can be accessed under the Professional Recognition tab.

    Contact Susan Yutzey (oelma.awards@gmail.com) with any questions. 

    OELMA is pleased to partner with Rosen Publishing for this award.  Since its establishment in 1950, Rosen has offered engaging print and digital books on a wide range of topics that are aligned with the curriculum.  Rosen is also known for its databases and interactive e-books.


  • 26 Sep 2023 7:31 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)


    Congratulations, Kate Darnell upon receiving the Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month Award for September 2023.  Kate is the library media specialist at Madison Comprehensive High School, Mansfield.

    Kate received the award for her project to diversify and modernize the school library at Madison. “For over a year,” Kate explained in her application, we have been working on modernizing and diversifying the MCHS Library. When I started at this school last year, I submitted our collection for an analysis on Titlewave. Our collection had an average age of 1998 and 68% of the items were considered "aged" and only 23% of our items were considered to be diverse. I applied for and received a grant from the Snapdragon Foundation for $5990.75 for new, diverse books.”  

    “In addition,” Kate described, “We have been working on genre-fying the library. We spent all of last year labeling books with a sticker to identify their main genre. Since school started in August, we have been scanning books into the computer to update their records, as well as rearranging the items on the shelves. As classes have filtered through for library orientation, they have been so excited with the change! They are able to find books much easier, and they are excited to see current, relevant books with characters that they can relate to. We are in the final stages of genre-fying the library. The library is collaborating with some of the art classes to create signs to hang in the new genre sections.”

    In her response to hearing about the award, Kate responded “WOW! Thanks!!!! I reached out to Miriam, too :) I am SUPER excited for the box of books. We didn't pass our levy in May, and money is very very tight. The box of books is amazing as a prize :)”

    The Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month recognizes one school librarian a month who designs, develops, and implements a collaborative lesson plan and/or programming that empowers student learning. This award spotlights the importance of both the school library community and librarian and the pivotal role each plays in transforming learning throughout students’ K-12 education.
    OELMA is pleased to partner with Rosen Publishing for this award.  Since its establishment in 1950, Rosen has offered engaging print and digital books on a wide range of topics that are aligned with the curriculum.  Rosen is also known for its databases and interactive e-books.
    Kate  will have the opportunity to select a free set of books for the school library from Rosen Publishing Company.   Shewill also be recognized at the 2023 OELMA Conference.

    Consider nominating yourself or another OELMA Library Media Specialist to be considered for Rosen Ohio School Librarian of the month!  The Rosen award nomination form can be accessedunder the Professional Recognition tab. Contact Susan Yutzey (oelma.awards@gmail.com) with any questions.

  • 27 Jun 2023 12:00 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)



    We are just 4 months away from the 2023 OELMA Conference: Diverse Libraries Paint Bright Futures. We are thrilled to announce one of our keynote speakers, Jasmine Warga. Jasmine will be the keynote speaker on Thursday October 5. In addition, Jasmine will have a regular session where she will be on a panel with an Ohio author.

    -Conference Committee Chair, Kate Darnell


    Well-known for her middle-grade novels Other Words for Home, The Shape of Thunder, and A Rover’s Story, Jasmine also authored a YA gem, My Heart and Other Black Holes.My Heart and Other Black Holes takes a heartbreaking look at suicide and the hope that can come with just one other human connection. Teens in my library who read books like Girl in Pieces  by Kathleen Glasgow and The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith were drawn to Warga’s book. 

    -Director of Communications, Amanda Brasfield 


    OELMA welcomes Jasmine Warga as a keynote presenter to our 2023 OELMA Conference! 


    Jasmine Warga’s provided bio:

    Jasmine Warga is the New York Times-bestselling author of middle grade novels Other Words For Home, The Shape of Thunder, and A Rover’s Story. Other Words For Home earned multiple awards, including a John Newbery Honor, a Walter Honor for Young Readers, and a Charlotte Huck Honor. The Shape of Thunder was a School Library Journal and Bank Street best book of the year, a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Children's and YA Book Award, and has been named to several state award reading lists. A Rover’s Story, her latest novel, was an instant New York Times bestseller, a Indie Next List and a Junior Library Guild selection, and was named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly  and The Washington Post. She is also the author of young adult novel, My Heart and Other Black Holes, which has been translated into over twenty different languages. Jasmine currently teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Originally from Cincinnati, she now lives in the Chicago-area with her family in a house filled with books.


    More information about Jasmine can be found at her website: http://jasminewarga.com/


    Click below to watch a special video from Jasmine Warga to OELMA! 

    Warga.MOV




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