December 2017

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President's Message


I hope that this letter finds everyone well and that you are back at school excited and inspired by things that you learned at our Annual NJASL Conference. I always leave the conference overwhelmed! What new thing will I try to conquer first?

  • Google Certification - Arlen Kimmelman gave me the tips and confidence to do it!

  • New Book orders to create - Sharon Rawlins’s list of best YA books and all the awesome authors I met and all books Judy Freeman recommended!

  • Coding projects, curriculum, Future Ready schools, new AASL standards - plus all the session handouts I still need to review

Now that I am completely panicked, I need to remind myself that everyday is an opportunity to learn new things and improve my practice.

Another takeaway from the conference for me is how amazing NJASL members are as professional developers. Thank you to everyone who took the time to not only attend the conference, but to present also (many of you more than once). I know it can be nerve wracking up in front of peers when we are used to spending our days in front of kids, but your efforts are what make our conference so valuable. I hope that you go back to your schools and tell your supervisors and superintendents about your presentations. We need to advocate for ourselves and let our districts know that are instructional leaders and ready and able to provide professional development.

Finally, I can’t thank the conference committee and our conference chair Christina Cucci enough for all the hard work and effort that went into this year’s conference. Christina is an organizational genius, and I think she has put some new practices into place that will make next year’s conference great too. I challenge you to finish out 2017 by implementing something new that you learned at the conference and get ready to make 2018 a great year for the students we serve.

Wishing all NJASL members a happy, healthy holiday and happy New Year!

Lisa Bakanas

NJASL President

Professional Practice & Development

NJASL Fall Conference

The NJASL Fall Conference, Promoting Powerful Partnerships, was a grand success. There were over 700 guests in attendance, the majority being NJASL members. Keynotes from Judy Freeman and Jordan Sonnenblick kicked off each day. Other highlights were the unveiling of the refreshed AASL Standards, Author/Illustrator Alley, the Vendor Exhibition Hall, and over 50 PD presentations. Next year's fall conference is scheduled for Dec. 2-4, 2018, so mark your calendars!!

Check out some of the awesome pictures from this event here!

~Christina Cucci

NJASL Legislative Consultant

- Mary Moyer Stubbs

#1. 2017-2018 NJASL Advocacy Challenge

To generate advocacy for YOUR school library, NJASL is challenging school librarians to post information about their accomplishments in their school library on the 1st Friday of every month.

Use whatever tool works best for you and your school library (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Newsletter, Webpage). Please remember to tag @NJASL and use hashtags #njasladvocacy and #njasl.

See here for details!!

#2 Library Legislation Link on Advocacy Section of NJASL Webpage

A new link has been added to the Advocacy section of the NJASL webpage for Library Legislation, This area will spotlight legislative issues that impact school libraries on the state and federal level. Currently, information on the two legislative bills, A4500 / S3258 and A4858 can be found on the page.

  • Bill A4500 / S3258: Would require a certain ratio of school library media specialist to students.
  • Bill A4858: Would require instruction in information literacy in curriculum in grades K-12

Complete details on both bills as well as ways that school libraries can support those bills is found here.

Additional supporting materials can also be found on the Unlock Student Potential website created by NJLA,

#3 Net Neutrality

What is Net Neutrality and why does it matter to libraries?

  • Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked (

Net neutrality will affect both public libraries and schools. Listed below is some background on the issue:

  • The existing regulations the FCC passed in 2015 established clear, bright-line rules prohibiting harmful behavior by commercial internet service providers (ISPs)—for both mobile and fixed broadband. Chairman Pai’s draft order eliminates all those rules and only requires bare bones transparency disclosures—that is, ISPs could degrade service or block access to certain sites for libraries and their patrons but would need to tell them first.
  • The FCC’s draft order undermines the court-affirmed legal foundation for protecting the open internet by reversing the 2015 reclassification of broadband as a Title II service under the Communications Act.
  • The FCC draft order also makes provisions for charging for internet providers for content (in order to promote innovation and to promote elimination of the digital divide).
  • Finally, this new FCC order would create a world where ISPs are allowed to block, slow down and limit quality access to any websites or applications they want. Additional information from ALA,

The issue of Net Neutrality will be voted on during the FCC meeting on December 14.

What You Can Do:

Right now, the FCC is not accepting public comments (that may come later), but strong disapproval from members of Congress (especially from Republicans and those that serve on committees with oversight for the FCC) could force a pause in the December 14 vote to derail net neutrality. Make your voice heard now by emailing your member of Congress to support net neutrality protections. Click on link to send an email.


Girls Who Code, a national non-profit dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology, is expanding its network of free Clubs for girls in grades 6-12 in New Jersey. My name is Eve Balick and I am a Regional Partnership Coordinator working on this effort in New Jersey. I also run a Club in Kinnelon. There is no cost to run a Club and no computer science experience is required to supervise the online curriculum.

Currently, less than a quarter of computing jobs are held by women. That number is declining and our organization is working to reverse the decline. Last year we reached 40,000 girls in all 50 states and we hope to reach 100,000 girls by the end of 2018 through our Clubs Program. Currently we have over 120 Clubs in New Jersey. We would love to work with many more New Jersey schools and libraries to increase the number of Clubs in New Jersey and position our state as a leader in growing computer science education and reaching girls who are historically underrepresented in computer science.

Our Clubs are free after-school programs for girls to use computer science to impact their communities and join a growing sisterhood of supportive peers and role models. They can be hosted at schools, universities, libraries, community centers, faith-based organizations, or non-profits. There is ZERO fee to start a Club.

Please let me know if I should send more information or please put me in touch with a contact with whom I can coordinate. Please feel free to forward my email to your colleagues in the community who might be interested. Please email me at for more information. I look forward to hearing from you!




Battle of the Books 2017-18

Battle of the Books questions and lists are now LIVE! You can locate them here or find them under the Members Only section of the NJASL website. Special thanks to the committee members for all of their hard work retyping and creating new questions.

-Elizabeth Ullrich

Urban Libraries Committee Forum

The Urban Libraries Committee Forum at the NJASL conference provided a great opportunity for sharing issues and solutions. The attendees suggested a monthly Zoom Meeting in order to continue the conversation and provide support.

The first meeting will be:

Tuesday, January 16 at 7:30.

These virtual discussion and support sessions will also include issues concerning diverse populations. If you would like to sign up to receive an email with the link that will allow you to join the discussion, please fill out the following google form: A link will be sent out a few days before each month’s session.

If you have any questions about the Zoom discussions, please contact Ellen Pozzi at

NJASL Affiliate News

AASL Update

ICE ICE Baby ICE….The new standards and guidelines launched at AASL National Conference on Nov. 9th, 2017. I attended the pre-conference for affiliates and got steeped in the standards. Need a way to remember what the shared foundations are? The song, Ice, Ice, baby, that Vanilla Ice made popular in the 1990’s. IICCEE:

  • Inquiry

  • Include

  • Collaborate

  • Curate

  • Explore

  • Engage

Each of these are shared foundations for the Learner, the Librarian and the Library, and each have key commitments. The Domains and Competencies are:

  • Think

  • Create

  • Share

  • Grow

I encourage you to begin familiarizing yourself with the new standards by going to the standards portal, . This site will continue to grow and is not altogether intuitive. There are many links to check out so please stop by often and snoop around.

If you were at the NJASL fall conference in Long Branch, you might have attended the roll out of our new standards. This dip into the standards is only the beginning as I am looking to form a task force that will help me turnkey these standards to the membership at large, beginning with county groups. I currently have 3 county groups that have contacted me and I will start rolling these training sessions out. Contact me at:, subject line: standards workshop.

You might also want to take advantage of the app that is available from the Google Play store (12.99 until Feb. 15):

The Standards book is available for purchase at the ALA store:

I wish I could tell you they are for free, I can’t. What I can say is that our last standards came out in 3 separate books for approximately $35.00 each. This one is $99 (for AASL members) and is all in one. If you are not a member of AASL you can join as a first time member for $119 and by adding $20 you would have membership and the book for the member price of $99 (non-members pay $199).

LaDawna Harrington

November 2017 BookMark

AASL Liaison, AA Delegate

Villy Gandhi Leadership Training Scholarship

All NJASL members are invited to apply for the Villy Gandhi Leadership Training Scholarship. Villy Gandhi scholars participate in the AECT Annual Convention in Kansas City, Missouri on October 23 -27, 2018.

AECT- Association for Educational Communications and Technology- promotes scholarship and best practices in the creation, use, and management of technologies for effective teaching and learning. AECT is an International affiliate of NJASL. Learn more about AECT at

To become a Villy Gandhi Scholar, you must be a certified library media specialist currently employed in a New Jersey school library media center. The scholarship will be based on these criteria: the applicant agrees to attend an AECT Fall Conference, attend NJASL Board of Trustees meetings and implement for NJASL at least one idea obtained at the AECT Conference attended. The scholarship provides up to $1,000 to help cover transportation, lodging and registration fee for attending this AECT event. After attending the event, the person will write an article for Bookmark describing their experience, assist at the AECT Booth at the NJASL Fall Conference, participate on some of the School Media Technology Division Board calls and prepare a webinar or similar form describing your experience at AECT.

To apply, provide the following information: name, home and school address, home and school telephone number, grade level responsibility, number of years as a SLMS, resume, and a short biography. To this cover sheet, attach supporting evidence of qualifications for the award. These should include statements on experiences in educational media, statements regarding volunteer experiences with NJASL and its affiliates and information on pertinent materials the applicant may have published or produced. There are 3 questions to answer and applicants should provide 2 letters of reference. It can be from administrators, and/or supervisor and one from a colleague will also be accepted.

The deadline for this application is March 15, 2018. The recipient will be notified by May 1 and a Plaque will be given at the NJASL Fall Annual Conference in December, 2018.

Please send the completed application by EMAIL to Leslie Blatt at

BELS Spotlight

Check out some of these awesome things that the BELS consortium has been up to!

Database Vendor Day

Tuesday, March 13th 2018 at 8:30am

Bergen Community College, Room C-211 400 Paramus Rd, Paramus, NJ 07652

BELS Event: Check out here for more information!

HCLA Winter Workshop

Thursday, Feb. 22nd 2018 at 8:30am-3pm

314 State Route 12, Building #3 Flemington, NJ 0882

The Winter Workshop includes a workshop with Barbara DeSantis on creating a digital escape room, lunch, a presentation by World Book, and articulation across K-12 grade levels on best practices. Workshop fee is $45. See our website for details or to RSVP.

Nerd Camp NJ

Saturday, April 21st 2018 at 8am-3:30pm

255 Lafayette Avenue

Chatham Township, NJ

THANK YOU! Looking for submissions...

Don't forget that we are always looking for entries from ALL membership. I will also be adding a Future Ready Librarian section moving forward to show off how we all already are "Future Ready". Please share articles with me at the email address. You can check out the Future Ready Indicators to inspire you!