CSLA Newsletter

May 2015

In this issue:

  • Year of the Learning Commons
  • Special online membership meeting May 18th
  • Digital Citizenship & Information Literacy for K12
  • Election Results, 2015-2016
  • CSLA membership and CUE
  • CSLA at CA State PTA
  • SR Event with Kapco May 19th
  • Reports on Yallwest Book Fest
  • CYRM and CSLA
  • Awarding the first CSLA/CSLF-CHSSA Scholarship

Report from the President

by Liz Dodds

What is new with school libraries in California and across the country? Many of them are changing into “Learning Commons.” While this nomenclature hasn’t completely replaced the words “school library,” it is gaining in acceptance and popularity.

Although I am partial to the classic “school library” for its simplicity, “Learning Commons” describes, with new words, a potentially more vibrant and exciting place. David Loertscher has declared this the “Year of the Learning Commons.” Here’s a participatory website to get you started on joining the celebration.

One part of the Learning Commons model is creating a “Virtual Learning Commons.” What kinds of sharing features can you include for students, staff, families, and community members? The February 2015 issue of “Teacher Librarian” featured interesting content about Learning Commons. Editors and writers David Loertscher and Elizabeth Marcoux recommended taking a look at these videos created by some of their students for the school libraries at Willard Elementary School , Los Altos High School , and Athenian Middle School to see good examples of Virtual Learning Commons. Features include student photos, events, slide shows, videos, contests, virtual yearbooks, teacher spotlight slideshows, and eBooks. They also include a digital version of the school newspaper and blogs for clubs, along with opportunities for students to share their book opinions. Video tutorials show how to post to the site. They have surveys, club information, and a place to post written work, images, slideshows, and video projects done by students. On the crowd-sourced literacy page, people can respond to questions and post their own content. Knowledge Building Centers are showcased, and instructions are there for building one of them. There is information about how to create Personal Learning Environments, and a space for teachers to collaborate and share information, and much more.

Why don’t you and I join the transformation of our static webpages into Virtual Learning Commons?

Loertscher, David L., and Elizabeth Marcoux. "Learning Commons Progress Report."

Teacher Librarian 42.3 (2015): 8-11. Print.

May 18 Special Membership Meeting - Please Attend Online!

We hope you will be able to attend a special membership meeting to be held online on May 18, 7:00-8:00 pm. The link for the meeting has been sent via email blast to all current members. If you or someone you know who is a member did not receive this information directly, please have them contact assist@csla.net as soon as possible, so that their membership and contact information can be verified and they can receive a direct invitation to the meeting. The email includes the complete text of the motion.

***Please see the latest CSLA email blast for information on logging on to Blackboard where the meeting will be held on May 18th***

At our Centennial Conference in Burlingame, during the membership meeting, a concern was raised regarding inclusivity, particularly responsiveness to the concerns and development of CSLA paraprofessional members. CSLA values all of our members and is committed to school library professionals and paraprofessionals working together for students throughout our state. Actions in the past have fallen short of this intended collaboration. We want our state association to reflect this collaborative potential that we want to see reflected in our schools and districts throughout the state.

The upcoming membership meeting will allow for the reconsideration of a current CSLA by-law. If the change to this by-law is approved, an office would be created for a paraprofessional representative to the state association board. This individual would serve a 2-year term aligned to other elected state offices. The office would:

  • Act as chair of the Paraprofessional Special Interest Group (SIG)
  • Bring paraprofessional concerns and perspectives to state board discussions and actions as a voting member
  • Regularly contribute articles of particular interest to paraprofessionals to the CSLA newsletter

We think this could provide a much needed step toward greater representation and further equity for paraprofessional members as we work to build collaborative action across the state.

We must have at least 10% of our membership present at the meeting for the decision to move forward. Please attend and be part of this discussion.

Liz Dodds, CSLA President

Beth Olshewsky, CSLA President-Elect

Janice Gilmore-See, Past President

Digital Citizenship & Information Literacy for K12 Professional Development Mini Series Online

Sponsored by CSLA/CSI and CUE

Please check your CSLA email for details of each session with the names of the presenters, and pass this announcement along to your school site.

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Results of the election for 2015-2016 CSLA Officers

Your CSLA Board is pleased to announce the results of the election for 2015-2016 CSLA Officers. The newly-elected officers are as follows:

State Board

· President-Elect: Sue Heraper

· Treasurer: Christine Miller

· VP Communications: Rosan Cable

· VP Membership: Terry Lai

Northern Region

· President-Elect: Terri Brown

· Secretary: Roberta Wahlberg

· Section 1 Representative: Adoria Williams

· Section 2 Representative: Andrea J. Catania

· Section 3 Representative: Lindy Santellan

· Section 4 Representative: Callen Taylor (1 year term)

· Section 4 Representative: Nancy Lucero (2 year term)

Southern Region

· President-Elect: Kathleen Sheppard

· Secretary: Regina Powers

· Section 1 Representative: Mindy Wilmot

· Section 6 Representative: Victoria Waddle

Congratulations to these officers who will begin their terms at the State or Region Retreats in August. We thank all of you for your willingness to serve!

CSLA Membership - Join/Renew CSLA Membership During MAY and Receive a FREE CUE MEMBERSHIP

Terry Lai, VP Membership

During the month of May 2015, we are offering you a very special bonus membership benefit:

  • Join or renew by May 30, 2015, and you will receive a code for a FREE CUE membership.

To be eligible for this offer, you must join CSLA or renew your CSLA membership by May 30, 2015. This offer applies to CSLA Professional and Paraprofessional memberships only. You will receive a coupon code for your CUE registration code within one week of submitting your membership/renewal.

CSLA Membership serves two very important goals:

  • It supports YOU as a professional, library support staff or school library supporter by;

    • providing the best of the best professional development opportunities,

    • networking,

    • and resources to support California school library professionals, paraprofessionals, and advocates.

  • It supports strong school library programs for California students. Your membership gives us strength in numbers!

In other words, you need us and we need you!

CSLA at CA State PTA - What a Great Experience!

Beth Olshewsky

CSLA President Elect

The CSLA booth volunteer corps at the California state PTA conference (CAPTA) in Sacramento had a wonderful experience connecting with our parent supporters from across the state. Many schools in California rely on their local PTA to champion their needs and fund their library. California schools are last in the nation in funding school library resources as well as in staffing school libraries. PTAs throughout the state contribute in a variety of ways to help our school libraries function, and many of them want to know how they can do more. We made sure first and foremost to thank these PTA visitors, representing schools, districts, and regions throughout California for their help and support and then connected them with advocacy ideas to support their school library.

Our parents are some of our most important allies in creating change. They care deeply for the students who use our libraries and believe in the value represented by the school library.

We had powerful conversations with parents connected to school libraries in a wide variety of situations. Some were distraught that their school library had been closed completely or at the loss of staffing or the state of their library resources. Some were excited to hear that there were Model School Library Standards for research and literacy instruction. Other parents were swept away by the California Young Reader Nominees and took away ideas to take back to their schools about participating or celebrated with us about the excitement that they already see created by CYRM at their school.

Parents were grateful to receive advocacy ideas, flyers and brochures about how school libraries support learning and how parents can support school libraries. Some parents shared with us and with other parents visiting the booth work that they have done to create change. We met a parent who was instrumental in getting the language that included funding for Teacher Librarians at every San Francisco School (as well as funding PE) written into the local measure that has made so much difference in San Francisco Unified School District.

We met each parent where they were in their journey of understanding and supporting their school libraries and moved them one (or more) steps further down that road. We are following up with those who visited our booth with further information now and looking forward to further collaboration with our state as well as local PTAs in the future.

Thank you to all of those who participated, and I encourage others to volunteer if at all possible next year, May 4-7, 2016, when CAPTA is in San Diego.

Southern Region Sect. 2 Upcoming Event May 19th

Pacifica High School 6851 Lampson Ave., Garden Grove, CA 92845 (714) 663-6579

Contact Rosan Cable (CSLA SR4 Rep., cablesclasses@hotmail.com with questions

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CSLA Members Attend Yallwest Young Adult Book Fest on Saturday, April 11th

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Kathleen Shepherd, Southern Region Section 2 Rep

CSLA members met at M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica for an early morning breakfast and opportunity to share their excitement over the day's Yallwest Young Adult Book Fest held at Santa Monica High School on Saturday, April 11.

The day's events started with a complimentary ticket to the keynote given by author Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Members attended panel discussions such as Strong Female Characters, Ugh! moderated by authors such as Veronica Roth and including Victoria Aveyard, Kimberly Derting, Shannon Hale, Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Rhodes.

The day’s events included over 65 authors, food trucks (voucher included!), book signings, and of course, sharing with CSLA members --priceless!

Reflection by Marsha Barr, Southern Region Section 1 Rep

What a YallWest Festival!!

I went to the first YallWest Book Fest on Saturday, April 11, and I had a blast! This two-day event was held on the Santa Monica High School campus and was open to tweens, YA’s, parents, teacher librarians, and even field-trip youngsters.

Everyone felt the buzz of activity as participants attended panels, stood in long lines to purchase books and then additional long lines for favorite authors’ book signings. What a bargain: for $15, I obtained a VIP Pass that entitled me to attend three ticketed events—the morning keynote by Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and its sequel Hollow City; the afternoon tea with Marie and V (Marie Lu and Veronica Roth), and the Smackdown and Tiger Beat, in addition to over 15 free author panels.

I attended six of the panels on Saturday, where I heard from many YA authors including: Lisi Harrison, Victoria Aveyard, Danielle Paige, and dozens more. What a fun-packed day. Hope the festival will be back for many more years.

Photos by Rosan Cable and Kathleen Sheppard


Sally James

The California Young Reader Medal (CYRM) program encourages recreational reading of popular literature among the young people of our state. Since its inception in 1974, millions of California children have nominated, read, and voted for the winners of the California Young Reader Medal. The CYRM program is sponsored by four California statewide organizations that support literacy: The California School Library Association (CSLA), the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE), the California Reading Association (CRA), and the California Library Association (CLA). Each of the sponsoring organizations holds a yearly luncheon or evening banquet at which a CYRM winning author and book is recognized.

May 1st is probably the most special day in the CYRM calendar—it is the day that thousands of participating students learn the winners in each of the five CYRM categories. In order to participate, students must read, or have read to them, each of the nominated books in a category. After enjoying all of the nominated stories, students then have the opportunity to vote for their favorite book. Nearly 500,000 students voted in the CYRM program this year, and thousands of students felt very passionate about their book choice! Without further ado, here are the amazing 2014-15 winners in each of the CYRM categories:

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Primary: Exclamation Mark! Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, and published by Scholastic Press, 2013, an Exclamation Mark discovers his amazing powers.

Intermediate: Wonder. Written by R.J. Palacio and published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. This celebrates the power of kindness and the resilience of a boy with one unusual face.

Middle School/Junior High: The False Prince. Written by Jennifer A. Nielsen and published by Scholastic Press, 2012. A thrilling adventure where three orphans battle to impersonate a long lost prince and thereby rule the medieval kingdom.

Young Adult: The Fault in Our Stars. Written by John Green and published by Dutton Books, 2012. Incredibly moving, as well as fresh and funny, this is the story of first love set against the background of terminal cancer.

Picture Books for Older Readers: Brothers at Bat: The Incredible True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Team, written by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Steven Salerno, and published by Clarion, 2012. This is the true story of the twelve brothers who were an incredibly successful baseball team in New Jersey in the 20th century.

CSLA will honor two of the winning CYRM books at our February, 2016 conference in San Diego at the Bahia Resort—The False Prince and Brothers at Bat.

Visit the CYRM website, www.californiayoungreadermedal.org, to learn more about the program and to see the nominated books for 2015-16!

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Awarding the first CSLA/CSLF-CHSSA Scholarship

Jeanne Nelson

CSLA and the California School Library Foundation (CSLF) made the decision this year to partner with the California High School Speech Association (CHSSA) and award a scholarship to one of the students at their state conference in Murrieta. CHSSA students are required to use and cite sources for their speeches, using MLA format. What a perfect pairing, student information users and school librarians!

As a CSLF Board member who lived nearby, I volunteered to present the scholarship. Sharon Prefontaine, the CHSSA president, and Nermin Kamel, who chaired the conference, were both welcoming and provided me with needed information. They also put me on the agenda first, before they awarded what looked like several hundred large trophies!

The CSLF selection committee, composed of Tom Kaun, Jane Lofton, and Lesley Farmer, chose Sahiti Bondelepati, a tenth grader from Northwood High School in Irvine, as this year’s recipient. Sahiti is definitely a superstar-- the applause when she came to the podium to accept the award was thunderous, eight hundred students clapping their hands wildly.

For my speech, I wanted to leave these 800 students, their families, and the speech coaches with bullet points to remember. First, the similar missions of CHSSA and CSLA—we both focus on helping students use information, in this case to create speeches and cite sources. Secondly, I emphasized the support student speech contestants can get from their school librarian, who can take them beyond Google to find additional resources and provide help in using information.

Finally, I used parts of Sahiti’s excellent essay (part of the application) to underscore how this can work. She began the essay by saying, “Coffee is an eternal fixation….” and I noted that she had me hooked with that introduction (and I gave her a coffee shop gift card, though not necessarily promoting coffee. The audience approved.). She described spending time in her school library preparing and rehearsing her speech, and the support and encouragement she received from Mr. Simsovic, the teacher librarian. She concluded her essay saying, ”…amazing writers and authors aren’t created in special offices or agencies, they are often created in places a little closer to the home and to the heart, in our school libraries.”

We are delighted to present CSLA and school librarians in a positive light to students who will clearly be tomorrow’s leaders. We want them to also be school library supporters!

Sahiti will receive a check from CSLA/CSLF in two years when she graduates, because the terms of the scholarship are that it be funded upon graduation.

In the picture below, Sahiti Bondelepati is awarded a CSLA/CSLF scholarship by Jeanne Nelson at the CHSSA State Conference in Murrieta on April 19, 2015.

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CSLA’s mission is to advocate for excellence in school library programs, develop leaders in the school library field, and collaborate with other educational leaders to ensure that all California students are effective, responsible users and creators of ideas and information.