Log in

  • 19 Mar 2023 5:04 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Written by Karen Gedeon, Media Specialist, and Amanda Gedeon MLIS student Kent State University

    *Image from:

    Dictionaries and encyclopedias and the hot new checkout items in my libraries. Really, I’m not kidding.

    Several years ago I dismantled my reference collections (I serve two middle schools). The survivors – an encyclopedia set and some dictionaries – were moved to nonfiction instead. My thought was they would probably never actually be checked out, but students still need to learn the skills that come with using physical reference books so I hung on to them.

    Fast forward to now, March of 2023. So far this year, I have had multiple encyclopedia volumes checked out. Their circulation has been steadily increasing each year. One volume was (unfortunately) so loved that it came back covered in gum. I’m currently debating its future – the set is from 2009!

    But more surprising still are the dictionary checkouts. Sometimes two go out at a time, to different kids from different classes, and the Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary– yes, the 5-inch thick one – is by far the most popular. The English Language Arts teachers just shake their heads in disbelief.

    At first we thought it was the novelty of checking out the biggest book in the collection, but that’s not quite it. It’s a print book – a physical, tangible object instead of a search box. Kids are starting to appreciate the ability to flip between pages, easily go to exactly where they want to be and see how small pieces of information compile into a larger unit.

    What we used on a daily basis back in the day had fallen out of fashion, but now it’s making a real comeback. To tell the truth – I’m just happy that the kids are always so excited to check them out.

  • 13 Mar 2023 12:12 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Daylight Saving Time has begun which can only mean one thing. Not only is Spring Break almost here but the end of the Awards Season is coming to an end soon. So, OELMA members, before you enjoy those extra hours of sunshine and a well-deserved vacation, let’s check the professional recognition awards criteria and get all the application materials packed and submitted by March 22nd. Remember the nominee must also pack their accomplishments in order to give their nomination one last zip. Let’s Go! Our destination is a full professional recognition itinerary.

    Consider these opportunities for professional recognition: the OELMA/Follett School Solutions Outstanding School Librarian Award and the OELMA Service Award for School Administrators.  

    The OELMA/Follett School Solutions Outstanding School Librarian Award recognizes a licensed Ohio school library media specialist who has developed an exemplary school library program. An outstanding school librarian incorporates all four strands of the Ohio Library Guidelines for Librarians (2021) throughout their daily practice. Follett School Solutions, Inc. sponsors this award by providing $150 in Follett resources and OELMA provides a commemorative plaque to the recipient during the OELMA annual conference.

    The OELMA Service Award for School Administrators honors school administrators whose leadership has made a significant impact to the school library media program and services within their learning community. This award can have multiple recipients and is an excellent opportunity to acknowledge a supportive administrator.

    If you would like to know more about these and other professional recognitions, then visit the Professional Recognition tab on the OELMA website or reach out to any of the OELMA Awards Committee members. Pick an award that reflects your or a colleague’s accomplishments. Then get that nomination packed up, zipped up, and let’s go! The deadline to nominate is March 22, 2023.

    Lisa Gallagher

    Awards Committee

  • 6 Mar 2023 8:07 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Calling All First-Class Librarians:

    Are you a first-class librarian? Or do you know a librarian that delivers first-class service? OELMA has awards, scholarships, and grants to recognize and celebrate librarians that provide high-quality service to our school communities. 

    Consider nominating yourself or a colleague for the OELMA Intellectual Freedom Award that promotes the Freedom to Read. Or the OELMA Outstanding Contributor Award that recognizes the long-term contributions of librarians serving schools. 

    First-Class service librarians, what are you waiting for? Visit the OELMA website today. Click the Professional Recognition tab to discover more about OELMA awards and scholarships.

    Keep an eye out… next week the Awards Committee will focus on another OELMA award, scholarship, or grant

    Casaundra Bronner

    Awards Committee

  • 25 Feb 2023 9:51 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    The OELMA/JLG Floyd Dickman Programming Grant,  The OELMA J. Allen Oakum Scholarship, and The OELMA Founders Scholarship

    Post by: Cheryl Lorson 

    Sharing the joy of reading with our students is one of the many great highlights of being a school media specialist/librarian!  The OELMA/JLG Floyd Dickman Programming Grant honors an OELMA member who is a licensed Ohio school library media specialist who exhibits evidence of a school library program or activity that supports reading among children and/or youth and has provided a letter of support from a school administrator.  JLG will collaborate with the recipient to select $250 in award-winning books that meet the goal of the grant. 

    Additionally, OELMA offers two distinct scholarships - The OELMA J. Allen Oakum Scholarship and the OELMA Founders Scholarship.  Those who have the opportunity to apply for the scholarships would be an Ohio resident enrolled in an accredited library school program who is pursuing licensure in school library/media.  These scholarships are intended to help defray educational costs for future library media specialists as they complete their studies. The OELMA J. Allen Oakum Scholarship recipient receives a $500 stipend and the OELMA Founders Scholarship recipient receives up to a $1000 stipend.

    Would you like to know more about these and other professional recognitions?  Further information including the applications may be found at the awards pages. All application materials are to be submitted to OELMA using the online application form by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.  If you have any questions, please reach out to any of the OELMA Awards Committee members. 

  • 21 Feb 2023 1:50 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Don’t miss the boat! Nominate a school librarian for an OELMA award.  Today’s announcement focuses on three awards - the OELMA Emerging Leader Award, the OELMA Tech Innovation Award, and the OELMA Leadership-in-Action Award.  Professional recognition in your field is more important than ever because it gives you credibility which helps build trust with the people that you work with in your building, your district, your community.

    Lori Pringle received the 2022 Emerging Leader Award.  Here is what she shared:

    It was an honor to be a 2022 recipient of the Emerging Leadership Award. “I am grateful to be recognized for leading beyond the library to positively impact student achievement through classroom collaboration, professional development, and media literacy awareness. It is exciting to see Ohio educators and library media specialists striving to achieve PBS Media Literacy Educator Certification as a result of my leadership.” 

    You can find out more about OELMA awards by clicking on the Professional Recognition tab on the website.  But in a nutshell, here is what you need to know about the Emerging Leader, Leadership-in-Action, and Tech Innovation awards.

    The OELMA Emerging Leader Award recognizes members who have recently assumed an OELMA leadership role for the first time.  The Emerging Leader Award honors members who demonstrate leadership potential and encourages members to actively participate in the Association.

    Multiple recipients may receive the OELMA Emerging Leader Award. The applicant must be a current OELMA member and effectively fulfill an OELMA leadership role for the first time within the last five years.  Have you served as a member or chairperson of an OELMA committee or know an OELMA member who has?  Then nominate yourself or a colleague between now and March 22, 2023.

    The OELMA Tech Innovation Award honors a licensed school library media specialist who uses technology as a tool for learning and collaborates to promote the integration of technology throughout the curriculum. The applicant must be a current OELMA member who practices a commitment to the implementation of innovative uses for technology in the classroom or professional development.  Have you designed an innovative lesson or PD that integrates technology or know an OELMA member who has?  Then don’t miss the boat, nominate yourself or a colleague between now and March 22, 2023.

    The OELMA Leadership-in-Action Award recognizes an Ohio school library media specialist who pursues active leadership roles in their school district, in OELMA, in a national professional organization such as ALA, AASL. The applicant must be an OELMA member for the previous three years and have successfully completed at least one Association leadership role and be currently serving in a leadership role in their school district, on an OELMA committee, and/or in a national professional organization. Are you committed to leadership in the school library profession or know an OELMA member who is? Then hop on board and nominate yourself or a colleague now!

    Please check out the awards pages and stay tuned for awards and scholarship updates throughout February and March!

  • 11 Feb 2023 11:56 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Dear Ohio School Librarians:

    OELMA is pleased to announce that the READ On! Ohio Award for Children & Teens is now open for nominations.  The READ On! Is a special award because it honors K-12 students who are enthusiastic readers and enjoy being in the school library and/or the public library using its many services.

    Do you know of a student who visits the school library and exhibits two of the following?

    ·         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

    Then nominate them using theREAD On! Ohio application form found on the OELMA website by March 22, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.  Each nominator is asked to write a 250-word rationale that speaks to at least two of the following criteria: 1) demonstrates an enthusiasm for reading; 2) exhibits an enthusiasm of sharing books with others; 3) uses books for a variety of purposes; 4) reads independently on a voluntary basis; 5) uses the school library and/or public library frequently.

    The OELMA Awards Committee will select up to sixteen recipients, according to grade band (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) and region (Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, and Southeast).  A break down of counties may be found in theOELMA READ On! Ohio Award description. Recipients of the award each receive a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble, a commemorative certificate, and is invited to the OELMA Annual Conference Award celebration in early October. 

    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.

    We have included a flyer, press release, and graphics that you can post OR feel free to make your own to promote the award to your school community.  Since the READ On! Ohio Award is now open for nomination by public library staff, please reach out to your public library to promote the award.  The OELMA Awards Committee has made a resource folder for public library staff, too.

     If you have any questions, please reach out to the Director of OELMA Communications, Amanda Brasfield.  Her email is or to the OELMA Awards Committee.

  • 10 Feb 2023 11:12 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Emails. File sharing. The inbox entries never seem to end.  

    How can you control the inbox better and feel a little more organized! 

    Join me for a free one hour virtual session sponsored by OELMA where I will share some of my favorite tips to help you feel more in control of what is coming into your inbox and Drive, leaving you with a feeling of relief and not dreading when you open your inbox or look at notifications. 

    Organizing your digital content is just as important as organizing your physical spaces. 

    Some of the items we will discuss are: 

    -ways to organize your inbox

    -scheduling emails and snoozing them!

    -Filtering emails

    -The importance of unsubscribing from emails

    -Organizing your Google Drive/Dropbox

    -Mobile organizing tips too!

    When: Wednesday, March 1, 2023

    7pm-8pm EST

    Via Zoom (registration is required) 

    Free event for all! 

    Please register by visiting this link and a Zoom link will be emailed out prior to the session for all registrants.  This event is open to everyone, not just OELMA members! 

    A recording of the session will be available for all OELMA members in the members-only portal of the 

    Let’s clear the clutter and get organized! 

    ~Angela Wojtecki, OELMA Webmaster

  • 1 Feb 2023 7:32 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Greetings OELMA members and friends. 

    February 1, 2023 is the OELMA awards season opener and the OELMA Awards Committee is pleased to announce the following awards and scholarships:

    OELMA Emerging Leader Award

    Tech Innovation Award

    Intellectual Freedom Award

    Leadership-in-Action Award

    Literacy Leader Award

    OELMA/Follett School Solutions Outstanding School Librarian Award

    OELMA/JLG Floyd Dickman Programming Grant

    OELMA Service Award for School Administrators

    Outstanding Contributor Award

    J. Allen Oakum Scholarship

    OELMA Founders Scholarship

    OELMA READ On! Ohio Award for Children & Teens

    If you scan the list and don’t see the OELMA Collaborative School Library Award, it’s because the award has been renamed - Ross J. Todd Collaborative School Library Award.  The award honors the life and work of Dr. Todd, a professor of library and information science at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, who was recognized, up until his death in 2022, as an award-winning expert on the transformative role of school libraries.  Todd and his co-author, Professor Carol Kulthau, conducted a leading-edge study, “Student Learning through Ohio School Libraries,” in the early 2000s and received a Certificate of Appreciation for Notable Service and Significant Service to Ohio’s School Libraries from OELMA.  The award recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school library media specialists and the school community through joint planning of a program, project, or event in support of the curriculum, using school library resources, and incorporating Ohio’s Library Guidelines for Librarians (2021).

    The Awards Committee now reports to Amanda Brasfield, Director of Communications. We are pleased to announce this year’s Awards Committee members: Casaundra Bronner, Gayle Brusk, Heidi Fletcher, Lisa Gallagher, Cheryl Lorson, and Susan Yutzey.

    Awards season is open until March 22, 2023.  Please check out the awards pages and nominate yourself or a colleague. As Angela Wojtecki, 2022 OELMA Outstanding Contributor Award recipient, remarked recently “An OELMA Award is truly special because it is a testament that the work you do on a daily basis is being seen by others in the field. It is empowering and a very special honor to receive an OELMA award as a school librarian and educator." 

    Stay tuned for awards and scholarship updates throughout February and March!

  • 30 Sep 2022 1:30 PM | Anonymous

    Less than a week until conference begins! Are you ready?

    Whether you're a first timer or well-seasoned attendee, here are some conference-specific packing ideas as you prepare next week:

    • Layers

    Moving from session to session can mean moving between fluctuating thermostats, plus you know, October in Ohio. If you'd like to cover bases no matter what temperature the environment might be, plan to bring and wear layers. Jean jackets and comfortable cardigans--*with pockets*--are almost always my layers of choice.

    • Comfortable shoes

    Whatever shoes you find most comfortable for walking and being on your feet, pack 'em. Leave any brand-new shoes at home for breaking in another time. I'd bring two pairs and give yourself flexibility if you need to switch for whatever reason--I'm bringing my fave Chelsea boots and slip-on Toms since I live in them already.

    • Laptop / Macbook / Chromebook

    Phones are obviously convenient, but nothing beats the larger screen for viewing session presentations and shared docs, checking email in between sessions, and maybe even already incorporating fresh new ideas and resources into upcoming plans and activities back home, if you're a multitasker.

    • Chargers (Phone & Laptop / Macbook / Chromebook)

    Don't forget to pack your phone and laptop chargers (and freshly charge the computer before you go!). You also might want to bring a fully charged power bank, too, if your phone battery tends to drain more quickly away from home. Remember to put your laptop charger into your daily conference bag, in case you need to charge on the fly when you're mid-sessions.

    • Notebook and pens

    If you're still a bit old school like me, notebook and pens are a must--somewhere to quickly jot down names and contact info for the people you meet, new tools from sessions and keynotes, reading recommendations from us library folk, and general reminders to self as you pick up useful tips and tricks in quick conversations here and there. If you don't have anything you love yet, I'll share that Moleskin journals, Happy Planner notebooks (for when I want to move pages around easily), and colorful Papermate Flair pens are my go-tos for professional meetings. Bring extra pens!

    • Snacks, mints, and hand sanitizer

    Bring some quick and easy snacks to put in your conference bag--granola or protein bars, dried fruit, a little dark chocolate--anything that will tide you over until the next meal and give you the energy boost you need between sessions. Mints (or gum) and hand sanitizer can probably sell themselves, right?

    • Reusable water bottle

    You're going to be busy--stay hydrated! Bring that water bottle and keep up the H2O intake as you network and take in all the good info from our session presenters.

    • Roomy satchel or tote bag

    Tuck in a bag just for conference stuff: something to hold that laptop, notebook, pens, snacks, and any other small items you might be picking up from vendors and networking. Comfortable to carry and dedicated solely to conference life would be my advice.

    • Business card / QR codes with contact information

    As you network and meet people, a quick card with your contact information is easy to pass along after a great conversation. We're so often islands in our roles, but connecting to other islands is part of what makes this conference so valuable. Plan to keep up those connections after conference!

    • Printed copy of the conference schedule

    Absolutely your preference on this one, but I always print and mark up a copy the day before arriving to plan ahead. Use it as a guide and tweak as needed using the electronic version, and it's a nice fail-safe if your internet connection struggles right when you need to remember where you're heading next.

    May your packing go well and I cannot wait to see you all at conference!

    Four more days!

  • 29 Sep 2022 8:00 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    So you are attending the 2022 OELMA Conference…THEN WHAT? 

    Your administrators and fellow educators and librarian PLN can also benefit from your time at conference:

    One important aspect of attending professional development is to bring back to your school and share, apply, and reflect upon what you learned with others. As we prepare for our upcoming OELMA conference, I wanted to share some tips that I have learned over the years after every OELMA conference that may be beneficial for you and also help “make your case” with administrators in future years to attend. 

    1. Take notes on every session you attend at conference in a running Google Doc. They can be as simple or detailed as you wish. You can include links, “aha” moments or phrases, book titles, and more. This also comes in handy in the future when you recall something that was shared at conference and want to re-share it, but may not be exactly sure what it was. All of the links and information are stored in one doc for future access. 

    2. As you attend the sessions at conference, if you think of a fellow educator or librarian that should know about what you are learning about, email them and share with them the content! We are always better together when we learn together! Tweet out your takeaways, share pictures, and tag your PLN that would benefit from what you are learning. Use the #OELMA22 for tagging within your social media posts! 

    3. Email your administrators right after conference about what you learned. When you get back home from conference, send a quick email to my administrators with a short recap of conference and to share what you really enjoyed about the sessions, authors, and networking. Try to focus it on things we are doing within the school as well so it ties in neatly. Thank them for allowing me to attend too. 

    4. Share with your fellow staff everything you can all year long! Whether it is in email, face-to-face, newsletters, or bits and pieces as the year goes on, I share those topics, books, websites, etc. that I learned about at conference. 

    5. Tech Tip: The free Google Keep app on your cell phone is a great app to store pictures, screenshots, lists, links, and more if you are looking for an easy conference app for your phones. You can even share items with others within Google Keep. 

    Image from: 

    See you soon at conference and if you have any other tips, please email me at and I will add them to this blog post! 

Ohio Educational Library Media Association                                                                                     Contact Us | Website:

675 Alpha Drive, Suite E and K
Highland Heights, OH 44143 

Phone: 614.647.3487 

© 2022 Ohio Educational Library Media Association

2022 Ohio Educational Library Media Association

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software