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  • 14 Feb 2022 12:01 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Blog Post Written By: OELMA President Karen Gedeon

    Last year a dear friend of mine asked if OELMA could designate 2021 as The Year of Grace: to grant others grace and forgiveness without question or judgment. I thought that was a wonderful idea and so the board viewed things all year with grace and forgiveness. 

    I would like to propose that in 2022 we continue to grant grace and forgiveness, but also add optimism and thankfulness. It’s so easy to get caught up in negativity, bombarding us from every angle at every opportunity. But there is much goodness in the world if we only change how we view our opportunities. Take for example the snow and ice storm we had earlier this month. Instead of thinking of all the work which could be done, I chose to watch the snow fall and appreciate the beauty in it’s reflective nature and the power it possesses depending upon when and where it occurs. I chose to be thankful that my family was home and we had enough food and supplies to last us through.

    It doesn’t take much to be optimistic, just a small shift in how you view things and soon you will be counting your blessings and ignoring negativity. I think it has always been in my nature, but the first time I remember teaching optimism was when my kids were young. Sometimes they couldn’t understand why a fellow student acted a certain way or disliked someone all together. I taught them that everyone was put on this earth for a reason. You may never know the other person’s purpose, they may never really know their purpose, but everyone has something good in them. So just find it and compliment them on it, even if it’s as small as a cool pair of sneakers or a new hair color. Noticing little things makes a difference.

    Looking for the positive has been rather difficult over the last few years. We have all had a lot of issues thrown at us at once, but going back to compliment my students on their sneakers or their awesome hair color is helping me return to a level of optimism which provides thankfulness and happiness. I am thankful I get to go to school everyday and see such awesome kids. I am thankful I have a profession I love and a family I can come home to every evening. I encourage you to start noticing the great little things in life. As they add up, they will become your buffer to negativity. 

  • 7 Feb 2022 8:24 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 15 years since the Librarians who Read book group began! The seed for the idea came after a district librarian meeting. There wasn't time for us to discuss books at the monthly meetings, but that was why we all became school librarians. So we talked, emailed, and met monthly among ourselves, sharing book titles that we discovered. We didn’t want the pressure of someone needing to clean their library (or their house) for these meetings, so we met at public places such as bookstores, libraries, and coffee shops. After a few months, we began telling other librarians from other school districts about it and it grew from a Hilliard thing to a central Ohio thing - Central Ohio Librarians Who Read. The selling point for this book group - no required book. That was too much pressure! Instead, we designed (I say that loosely because we did little designing or preparing!) it so that you could bring whatever book(s) you wanted to share, new or old, and if you were having a bad day, you just could come to learn about book titles and share the camaraderie of those who understood what you do! Over the years, more librarians would drop in; others would drop out, but we continued to meet monthly, at Panera’s community room, on a Friday afternoon. One member’s husband said, “you go to that book club and you come home stinking of hot chocolate and new ideas!” For several years, we sponsored a gift wrapping fundraiser at a local Barnes & Noble and raised money for OELMA scholarships.

    Never an official OELMA book club; however, it’s been largely OELMA members who participated. Sometimes we would gain new OELMA members because of this connection. Did we only talk books? Well, you know when we gathered, “school” sometimes seeped into the conversation. We celebrated together or commiserated together when one of us shared some news. We always returned to the books.

    Fast forward to 2016, when OELMA invited Susan and me to offer a “model” session of the book group at our annual conference. It was after hours and about 10 people attended eager to share book titles.  Soon, other school librarians from around the state decided to start their own book groups.  Karen Reiber, now retired, started a book group in southwest Ohio in the Cincinnati area.

    Then came the pandemic… and we weren’t able to meet at our usual haunt, a Barnes & Noble, in Upper Arlington. It was disheartening not to chat and share stories. BUT… with the advent of Zoom we could use the power of the internet for good - a virtual book club. While virtual meet-ups are not ideal, the upside- people from around the state can join in, and they do!  Initially there was some haphazard scheduling, but now we have it under control. Check out the Virtual Ohio Librarians Who Read Facebook page for  dates and times ( and a link to a Google spreadsheet that lists all the book titles we’ve discussed so far. Each month we will add to the list - a book list curated by school librarians, how perfect! Follow us on Facebook.

    Must you know the secret handshake and sign a contract to join in? We formed this group with the idea that you can come and go as you please.

    So join when you want. We meet on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.; 6:30 social time.  The dates are listed below. We would love to have you join us. The Zoom information comes through the OELMA listserv from me, Liz Deskins.

    February, 22

    March, 22

    April 26

    May 24

    June 28

    Thanks to the fabulous OELMA duo of Liz Deskins and Susan Yutzey for this blog post! 

  • 27 Jan 2022 10:00 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    By: Dr. Jessica Dennison

    OELMA Director of Regional Representation

    I am always looking for creative ways to display books. I always find that when I put forth effort into the themes of my book displays students gravitate towards them and select titles they would not normally select from the shelves. Book displays allow me to market the great titles I have available for students and make sure that everyone sees themselves in the characters in the books that are offered to them. 

    Valentine’s day is around the corner and love is in the year. Each year at this time I lean on my love of books and getting books into the hands of students through a creative book display. Students look forward to my “Blind Date with a Book” book display. This is a display that takes a bit longer to set up but totally worth the time because these books get swooped up. Students usually comment on how cute this display is and grab a title or two because they are curious about which books are included. I have two rules with this display. The first rule is they can’t open it until they leave the library. The second rule is they have to at least give the book a try and if they don’t like it they certainly can return it but they still have to tell me why they didn’t like it. 

    This year our GSA club asked for a LGBTQ display and I’m combining the two. I did a simple search in the catalog for titles that have characters who identify with the LGBTQ community and love stories. In years past I have grabbed titles that feature characters going through a struggle and pulled out details about the characters to help pull students into checking these books out.  I grab the barcode numbers off of each of them and then wrap the books in a Valentine themed paper (Usually red with some hearts drawn on it). On the front I write a few details about the main character but do not give away the title of the book. Students will then have to pick the title based off of the details I give them, similar to a blind date. I write the barcode number on the back of the book so I can check it out to the student. Usually curiosity gets the best of them and these get swooped up quickly! 

    Last year when we still had so many precautions we were following for Covid I had to be creative about how I did book displays. I relied heavily on our digital tools to ensure students still had access to great content. Linked is a sample of my digital blind date with a book. For this one I kept a list in the library of which title matched up with each slide. Students were able to access this presentation through my google classroom and through a collection on Destiny. 

    What are some great ideas you have for book displays?

    Share your book display ideas on our OELMA list-serv! 

  • 16 Jan 2022 1:48 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    See the source image

    One of my favorite things to do (personally and professionally) is to listen to podcasts while driving, cleaning, walking, or just about anything that does not require too much multi-tasking. As we unveil our new website, oelma,org, I decided it was a good time to showcase and profile a few podcasts that I listen to that have made a difference in my life. This is the first blog part of The OELMA Blog: Power of Podcast series. 

    The first one I wanted to profile is School Librarians United with Amy Hermon. Amy is a fellow school librarian from our next door neighbor state of Michigan and she is just a JOY to listen to and learn with. She has been regularly creating this podcast for four years now and I am quite obsessed about all things School Librarians United! This podcast is one for librarians. She features topics we NEED to learn more about no matter where you are and what you do. Her guests are from all over the world and each one offers fresh perspectives, great ideas, and truth we need to hear about the work we do. I have listened to her for a few years, through the pandemic, and I cannot say enough positive things about the energy, passion, and real-life tools she shares through this podcast. Some of her recent topics include, finding joy, author visits, culturally responsive libraries, role as edtech specialist, and so many more. She also started a series recently called "Can I Just Vent?" which includes school librarians venting about things we can all relate to in some form or another. This episode was one that I NEEDED to have in my life and I cannot wait to hear more! 

    Treat yourself by listening to a podcast that re-energizes you, empowers you, and helps you feel a little less alone in the work you do in your school libraries.  There is power in podcasts...especially in the podcast School Librarians United with Amy Hermon. 

    Image result for amy hermon                                See the source image

    You can subscribe to School Librarians United on any of your podcast apps, or by visiting and bookmarking the official website:

    Also: Amy encourages listeners to ask their administration if PD time can be attained through listening to podcasts.  Here is the editable PD form.  She includes it in the show notes of every episode.  

  • 7 Dec 2021 11:05 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    See the source image

    Happy New Year!

    To kick off 2022, we thought it would be a great time to unveil our new OELMA website! We are excited to share our new platform, Wild Apricot, with you. Please take some time and look around and if you have any suggestions, topic ideas, or more please share them with us by contacting us here. Also, we would love to have blog postings from our members about ways you are advocating for your students and libraries. If you are willing to send us a blog posting, we would love to share ideas, projects, and more with the world! 

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