Connecticut Association of School Librarians

Along with Jackie Galante, I am representing CASL at the ALA Mid-winter Conference and the AASL Affiliate Assembly.  Weather has been balmy compared to New England!  It's been 48 and cloudy with some rain and some sun!

Yesterday, we went to a workshop on Dewey or don't we?  This is a hot topic as to whether or not school libraries should shelve their books according to Dewey or according to genres.  AASL put together an interesting panel of six with all points of view  presented.  Some of the concerns about going to genre shelving is consistency in all libraries, the problems with some fiction falling into more than one category, and the problem with turnover of librarians in schools(what if your genres don't match the new librarian's idea of genres?  

Another discussion group talked about ways that school libraries should become more visible.  One idea was to participate in Digital Learning Day in February.  Librarians throughout the country are planning events that can publicize some of the many facets of digital learning that they do in their libraries.  Arnie Duncan will be visiting the Newseum on Digital Learning Day, when local school librarians will be broadcasting their digital lessons live from there.   We all should be thinking of ways that we can make our school libraries more visible.  

Another idea was to become more involved in the National Center for Literacy and the ASCD Whole Child initiative.  Both organizations are good ones for us to collaborate with, since their ideas align with ours.  The more we are utilizing national organizations in our work, the more we show the public that we are significant in the national movement to improve education of all children.  

This morning, we participated in the AASL Affiliate Assembly, where state organizations in different regions of the country reported on their conferences, their concerns, and their successes.

Sitting with delegates from Massachusetts, Maine,  and New Hampshire, we discussed our concerns about state teacher evaluations and the generic frameworks that most state board of educations are adapting.  We shared some ideas and strategies and will be interested in seeing what Massachusetts eventually comes up with for a librarian's evaluation tool.  Other national concerns involved fund-raising, promoting our profession, advocating for more professional positions throughout the country, and ways to encourage administrators to advocate for us. In addition to state evaluation, the Connecticut delegates brought up the concern about how the certification for library media specialists is going to change dramatically with additional courses being mandated in special education and reading.  

There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm about the national AASL Conference being in Hartford next November!  The website looks terrific!  CASL will be looking for a lot of volunteers from our community to meet and greet visitors, man the information booths, etc.  Make sure that you are planning on attending and that your district is planning on sending all of  their librarians!

Back to Hartford early tomorrow morning-not looking forward to ice and rain, but I am anxious to get back to school and sharing all the ideas from this conference!


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