In this issue:
- President Liz Dodds reflects on the year
- Send us your pictures and reflections from ALA
- New CSLA State Board Members
- CDE - TLs in CALPADS
- Doorways to Diversity
- What are you doing for families?
- Membership report
Report from the President
by Liz Dodds
Wish list: electronic textbooks. Not only because they’d be filled with hyperlinks for more and more information, but because textbooks are so heavy! Still, textbook check-out and check-in times at the beginning and end of the school year do have a silver lining, because students we never see otherwise are in the library. My library technician, Denise Murray, and I try to make those very brief interactions pleasant and positive, the better to persuade the students about what a pleasant and positive place the library is! We accomplish this one smile at a time.
The end of the year is a time of reflection. Jessica Gillis, our area representative for AASL, recently asked me to review, for her annual report, what had been going on at CSLA in the past year. Let me count the ways we’ve been busy:
● Successful annual state "Centennial" conference in Burlingame
● Working on a book about the 100-year history of CSLA (History and Archives Committee), to be published at the end of 2015
● Changed our bylaws to allow for a paraprofessional voting representative on our state board, Spring 2015- welcome Erica Leggett!
● Hired an administrative assistant, so now we are no longer a completely volunteer organization - welcome Kathie Maier!
● Worked with CUE on developing and presenting an all-day Information Literacy strand at the CUE annual conference in Palm Springs
● Hosted webinar series on Digital Citizenship and Information Literacy: TMI (Too Much Information)
● Successful PTA conference exhibit, making parents more aware of CSLA
● Increased communications to our membership
● Increased communication with parents and community members with new online newsletter, California School Library News (Sue Heraper)
● Increased membership, by 100 members to date from last year
● Website overhaul with new look and platform
● The re-established History and Archives Committee created an Online Digital Timeline of our organization’s history at http://archives.csla.net
● History and Archives Committee created an Online Leadership Archive for present and future use
● A Digital Motions Archive was created for CSLA State Board use and members’ information
● We will be inviting several other educational organizations (e.g., CLA, CRA, CUE, ACSA) to attend and present at our annual state conference next year
● Developing a partnership with KQED public radio and TV in San Francisco
● New CSLA/CSLF student scholarship awarded to state forensics participant - based on essay touting school libraries
● Position statements sent to U.S. Department of Education about their strategic plan and to ALA about SKILLS Act
● Discussion with state credentialing group about including information literacy in general teacher credentials
● Analyzing state education code on requirements about employing teacher librarians
● Presented Technology Award and Good Ideas Awards to our members
Our board members, liaisons, committee members, and members are enthusiastic, giving, generous people, and none of this would have been possible without them!
Thank you for a terrific year!
Reports from San Francisco, June 25 - 30, 2015
New CSLA State Board Members
The CSLA State Board would like to thank Christine Miller for her service as Treasurer. Christine did a fine job, but unfortunately had to resign due to family obligations. We wish her the best!
We have appointed Yvonne Weinstein to complete Christine's term as Treasurer. Yvonne has served CSLA in a number of capacities, most recently as Past President of Southern Region.
CSLA welcomes Erica Leggette, the new Paraprofessional Representative to the CSLA State Board.
Thank you all for serving CSLA.
CA Department of Education
Changes coming to Accounting of Teacher Librarians in CALPADS
Currently when districts submit their staff and course data in the Fall 2 data submission to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), certificated librarians are counted under the “Pupil Services” job classification. This classification also includes counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and speech/language/hearing specialists. Effective June 30, 2015, certificated librarians will be reported as teachers, and therefore, must have a course assignment reported in CALPADS. This change recognizes that teacher librarians are first and foremost teachers, and that they offer both pull-out instruction and departmentalized instruction in Information Literacy, Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship.
Training the library and CALPADS staff at school districts is imperative to ensure they make the appropriate adjustments in their student information systems. Glen Warren has offered to have CSLA partner with the CDE in creating webinars to train the appropriate staff. We are working to make this happen.
Ad Hoc Group Being Formed to Update School Library Survey
The annual school library survey has been in its current iteration, with only minor changes, since 2000. It is time to revisit the survey to see if it provides all the data we should collect. While this survey has served us well, we may be able to improve it to better collect this data.
We are in the process of forming an ad hoc committee tasked charged with updating the school library questions. Once the project and the committee participants are approved, the work of updating the survey can begin. We have collected survey examples from other states for comparison, and to see if they are collecting data we should consider.
We don’t expect this committee’s work to be completed before the 2014-15 library survey should launch. The survey will continue in its current iteration (with a few slight changes) this year, beginning in August. We plan to launch the new survey next year.
Stay tuned for updates.
Statistics about California School Libraries
Here are a few statistics from the 2013-2014 library survey that stand out:
· 43% of schools responded
· 84% of schools report having a place designated as the library – this is a drop compared to recent years, and there are many factors that could contribute to this
· In 2013-14:
· There were 820 teacher librarians reported in CALPADS
· There were 6,167,906 students enrolled in public schools, a ratio of 7522 students per teacher librarian. (As sad as this seems, it is actually a slight improvement from 2012-13 when there were only 804 teacher librarians, and a ratio 7657 students per teacher librarian.)
· There is a slight rise from 8% to 9% of schools that have a credentialed teacher librarian on campus part time or longer
· The average copyright date rose from 1993 to 1995 – still far too dated at twenty years old
· Fund-raising activities continue to be the primary source of library funding at 51 percent
We are in the process of evaluating data gathered from 2013-14 library survey, and we are updating the CDE library statistics webpage.
Curriculum Frameworks Updates
· After a week-long training in April on reviewing instructional material, individuals are now hard at work reviewing the English Language Arts/English Language Development instructional material being considered for adoption. Reviewers will come back together in July to share their findings and come to a group consensus on what materials to recommend to the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC). Here is a link to the Schedule of Significant Events for ELA/ELD Instructional Materials Adoption
· The Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (CFCC) held its last meeting adopting the draft Science Framework on May 20 & 21 in Sacramento. The IQC will consider and approve the draft Science Framework in September before putting it out for the 60-day public review. Here is a link to the Schedule of Significant Events for the Science Framework
· Legislation - AB1258 (Chau) Elementary and secondary education: Computer Science Education Grant Pilot Program made it out of the assembly and has been sent to the Senate. This bill would establish a public-private computer science education grant program. If enacted, eligible districts could receive funding to establish and maintain computer science courses. Professional development funding for teaching computer science, either as stand-alone courses, or integrated into other courses would be available.
Legislature Finalizes Budget Agreement – Passes Key Trailer Bills
On June 19 the California legislature passed a revised budget bill and a series of budget trailer bills to implement the budget agreement finalized June 15 between the Governor and Legislative leaders. The foundation of that agreement is the use of the Department of Finance’s general fund (GF) revenue estimates for 2015-16: $115.4 billion—approximately $3 billion less than the GF estimate of the Legislative Analyst. Both houses passed the revised budget bill (also known as the budget Bill Jr.) which is SB 97 and the omnibus trailer bill, including the key education policy changes, which is AB 104.
For K-14 spending, the agreement tracks closely with the Governor’s May Revision proposals. Significantly, the final K-14 (Proposition 98) spending level is the same as May Revision: $68.4 billion. The final budget includes:
· Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) – The final budget provides $5.994 billion in LCFF gap funding.
· K-12 Mandate Funding – The compromise agreement provides $3.058 billion in one-time, fully discretionary payments to districts, county offices and charters for mandates. The funds, which will be allocated on a per student basis, are suggested to be used for Common Core related purposes.
· Professional Development - Provides $500 million in one-time funding for Educator Effectiveness, pursuant to trailer bill language contained in AB 104.
· Adult Education – Approval of the Governor’s $500 million adult education proposal with trailer bill amendments.
· Career Technical Education – Adopts the Governor’s $400 million Career Technical Education competitive grant proposal in 2015-16.
· Preschool and Child Care - An increase of $100 million in preschool (Proposition 98) and $165 million in non-Proposition 98 child care funding above the Governor’s May Revision.
· Foster Youth Alignment Services - $25.379 million pursuant to legislation to be enacted in 2015 that aligns existing foster youth service requirements to LCFF.
Doorways to Diversity: The “We Need Diverse Books” Campaign
CSLA President Elect
We’re looking forward to celebrating our school libraries as “Doorways to Diversity” in San Diego at our annual conference. Please mark your calendars for February 5-7, 2016, and join us at the Bahia Conference Center.
Meanwhile, we encourage you to consider how your school library serves as a doorway to diversity. One way is by providing access to and promoting diverse books with diverse characters. Consider becoming part of the We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) campaign, a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. The organization recognizes all diverse experiences, including LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
Every book gives the reader an opportunity to have a window into another’s experience and to develop greater understanding and empathy for others and the conditions that impact their lives. If that book also provides a mirror, with a character that shares characteristics with the reader (ethnicity, sexual preference, ability, culture, socioeconomic status, etc.), it both validates their commonalities as being part of “the norm” and opens doors to future possibilities - “People like me can… I could, too.” We need to conscientiously build book collections that allow all of our students to see mirrors for each special facet of their shining selves. We don’t want to accidentally marginalize anyone by having only characters who are white, or straight, or without a disability, or only speak English, or live with their biological parents, or have a home, etc. on our shelves. That communicates that only a narrow spectrum of experiences are the standard as well as a wrongness if you are other. We owe it to our students to celebrate each and every one of them, and to open doorways of understanding for others.
Sites like Disability in Kidlit and American Indian’s in Children’s Literature can help you find and evaluate materials. In addition, the excellent books included on the WNDB site, in their book talking kits, and their resource lists, the various lists and Youth Media Awards from the American Library Association are a great place to look to diversify your collections: Pura Belpre, Coretta Scott King, Schneider, Stonewall (Youth), APALA (Youth), AIYLA, Amelia Bloomer list, Rainbow list, to name just a few. WNDB has created a new award along with the Walter Dean Myers estate. “The Walter Dean Myers Award, also known as ‘The Walter,’ will recognize books that best exemplify Myers’s commitment to providing children with powerful mirrors and windows.”
To support recent immigrants, you can find lists of newcomer books by country at http://www.imyourneighborbooks.org/ . You may also want to consider purchasing books from other countries. The International Board of Books for Young (IBBY) People creates lists of outstanding books from other countries that, like ALA’s Batchelder Award, bring to light cultural experiences in other countries that sometimes differ greatly from those displayed in American children’s books. In addition, IBBY also supports diversification of your collection with a Selection of Books for Young People with Disabilities.
With the many awards and lists, more publishers are attracted to publishing diverse books and representation has increased for all groups. Some publishers, like Lee and Low, have a longstanding commitment toward publishing diverse books, and more are joining them. Still more diverse books are needed. The Cooperative Children’s Books Center reported in their 2014 statistics that of approximately 5000 books published in the US, only 180 included African or African American characters, 38 included American Indians, 112 Asian Pacific Americans, and 66 Latinos. We need to talk to booksellers and publishers- our words do hold power. Even more, we need to buy and recommend diverse books. Popularity, especially when it results in sales, will convince publishers to bring forward more of these titles.
What Are You Doing for Families?
Dr. Lesley Farmer, Chair, CSI (Committee for Standards Integration)
As I write this article, I know that some school libraries have already shut the doors for the year. Others are busy collecting books and doing inventory. But have you been thinking about your students’ summer plans?
Many schools have summer reading lists, and I hope that the school libraries have been involved in creating those bibliographies. At the least, the school library should have a copy in order to share with the local public library and bookstores. Summer is a great time to visit those other reading havens, and build professional relationships with these like-minded folks. Perhaps you can help with a story hour, or suggest some good resources for those folks to purchase. And summer is a good time to haunt those places for good books to add to the school collection – and read for yourself.
Remember that your library web portal is open all summer, so you might add your own list of good reads and link to top-quality book suggestions such as ALA’s ALSC and YALSA lists. You might even have a few students who would like to write reviews for the library web portal, or participate in an online literature circle. You can also suggest family-friendly websites that can serve as fun activities for everyone. Again, ALA’s best website for kids is a good start: http://gws.ala.org/. Also consider http://cyberfamilies.blogspot.com/, which I maintain.
Especially as families take over the teaching role during the summer, school library staff should leverage that opportunity to partner with those families – either online or at the local library or bookstore. Reading and its promotion is year-round.
Terry Lai, VP Membership
The CUE membership incentive during the month of May was very successful. CSLA membership increased by 20 new members who joined and 46 members who renewed.
Members should check the CSLA webpage (csla.net) for important information, events, services and updates.
CUE members can explore their page at cue.org.
If a member has a suggestion or question concerning membership, email the VP for Membership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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