MAME October Newsletter 2020

Mentor All! Maximize Each!

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Welcome back to School? A word from our President--Cat Kerns

The main concern after the craziest first month of school ever…..How are you?

Please remember to take care of you and your family first. I’m trying very hard to follow my own advice. It isn’t easy right now, as we are asked to manage numerous other tasks along with teaching and managing a library or two. I feel that my new job description is Library, Tech Department & OTHER.

We are in this profession because we like to help others & many of us are trying to “do it all” in multiple buildings. My first step in taking care of me was to evaluate the time I was spending at work and set a limit on the amount of hours of my life I was willing to “donate” to school. Our last townhall talk addressed this concern “ Surviving Return to Learn: What are you doing for self care?”

Please take care of you!


Upcoming MAME events:

October: Town Hall Talk

November 19, 2020: MAME Virtual President's Award Gala

January-Winter Getaway

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Don't Forget to Vote!

Don't forget to VOTE for your MAME Executive Board Members. Please take some time to look over the executive board ballot and vote by 10/9/2020.

I hope you are all having a safe, healthy, and happy school year.

Cynthia J. Zervos

Michigan Association for Media in Education - Immediate Past President

American Association of School Librarians, 2020-2022 Legacy Committee

Association for Library Service to Children, 2020 School-Age Programs and Service Committee

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Congratulations to our 2020 MAME Honorees!

Congratulations to our 2020 MAME Honorees! Please join us virtually, Thursday November 19, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. as we celebrate with them. Registration will be required and is free. Watch the MAME avenues of communication for further details.

2020 MAME Honorees

Mary Ann Paulin Award for Reading Advocacy

Kelly Hincks

Lower School Librarian

Detroit Country Day Lower School

Community Collaboration

Barb Dinan

Teen Librarian

Plymouth District Library

Pat Slocum Award for Outstanding Meritorious Service To MAME

Carol Pittard

Retired School Librarian and active MAME 4Ever SIG Member

Service Award for Adult Volunteers

Melissa Baril

Library Volunteer at West Maple Elementary

Birmingham Public Schools

Promotion of School Library Media Programs

Amy Hermon

School Librarian

Grosse Pointe Public Schools

Founder of School Librarians United Podcast

Margaret Grazier Award for Contribution to the Profession

Kathy Lester

School Library Media Specialist / Technology Coach,

East Middle School Plymouth County Public Schools

District Library Director of the Year

Jennifer Colby

Huron High School Librarian

District Library Director Ann Arbor Public Schools

MAME Mentor Award

Lisa Brakel

District School Librarian

Airport Community Schools

MAME President’s Award

Teri Belcher

Retired School Librarian

Past MAME President

Co-Founder of MAME 4Ever SIG

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Membership Renewal

Hello MAME,

This is a reminder that your MAME membership expires December 31, 2020.

Because of the postponement of MAME47, All in for ALL Students!, we will be holding our membership drive independently of any MAME events this year.

Our membership fees remain the same: $50.00 for regular or corporate membership, and $30.00 for students engaged in a certified library program. All memberships must be completed by JANUARY 8, 2021. The most efficient way to complete your membership renewal is to do it online at the MAME website.

In this time of COVID19 and unpredictable events and responses, MAME is the organization which will keep you connected to other school librarians who are dealing with the same problems as you. Your Advocacy Committee is working hard to support you and keep you informed. Plans are underway for a virtual reading Winter Getaway, by the MiSelf Committee. And you sure won't want to miss getting updates about the annual conference and the Town Hall meetings.

So what are you waiting for? Renew your membership today and stay on top of all things School Library!

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The Age of Cyberbullying – How Prepared is Your School Community?

By Christine Schneider, K12 eResources Curriculum Specialist (Gale, a Cengage Company)

September 29, 2020

As one of the unfortunate side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, children are experiencing more stress. According to VeryWell Family, cyberbullying has increased by 70% in recent months, likely due to social distancing measures making virtual interactions with peers much more common (Gordon, Beware Parents and Educators). With that, it’s quite timely that October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness month. Now more than ever, students need help.

But what can schools and parents do to address cyberbullying issues? Are you prepared to bring bullying awareness to your community? As a content specialist at Gale, a Cengage Company, I spend my days curating trusted content to help educators and families answer questions like these. I hope the following actionable tips and resources support you in your efforts to minimize—and ultimately eliminate—bullying.

About Bullying and Cyberbullying

Bullying, as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or had the potential to be repeated, over time” (Assistant, What is Bullying). Cyberbullying is when bullying happens digitally and can include “negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone” (Assistant, What is Cyberbullying). Some cyberbullying goes beyond hurtful and crosses over to breaking the law. In these cases, it can be criminal.

In September 2020, Ditch the Label released ”21 Facts About Bullying That You Probably Never Knew. Alarmingly, of the people who have been bullied, 37% later developed social anxiety, 36% developed depression, and about a quarter had suicidal thoughts. The top reasons for being bullied include appearance/looks (59%), interests/hobbies (46%), clothing choices (25%), and being called gay/lesbian when they are not (24%). People are more likely to be bullied if they identify as LGBTQIA+, are obese, or have a physical disability. Before the pandemic in 2019, 26% of people reported experiencing cyberbullying within the past year (21 Facts). And in another article, VeryWell Family states that in June 2020, "59% of U.S. teens state they have been cyberbullied, and sadly, 58% of students state that “teachers fail to adequately address cyberbullying” (Gordon, More Kids Are Cyberbullied). All of these alarming statistics definitely indicate that schools and families need to address bullying and support students.

Warning Signs lists the following warning signs of cyberbullying:

  • Noticeable increases or decreases in device use, including texting.

  • A child exhibits emotional responses (laughter, anger, upset) to what is happening on their device.

  • A child hides their screen or device when others are near and avoids discussion about what they are doing on their device.

  • Social media accounts are shut down or new ones appear.

  • A child starts to avoid social situations, even those that were enjoyed in the past.

  • A child becomes withdrawn or depressed, or loses interest in people and activities (Assistant, Prevent Cyberbullying).


Why do you want to incorporate a bullying prevention program at your school? reports that “School-based bullying prevention programs decreased bullying by up to 25%” (“Bullying Statistics”). But, where do schools begin? It is truly overwhelming the amount of online resources available that address bullying and cyberbullying. I’ve done some research for you and pulled together the following condensed list of resources to get you started in your district:

Stomp Out Bullying

Their motto: “Standing up against hate, racism, and discrimination. Changing the culture with inclusion, equality, civility and unity becomes our destiny.” There is a slew of great resources here for schools, including anti-bullying activities throughout the month of October (“National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month”). Don’t miss these resources also:

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center

PACER offers many excellent resources to combat bullying. The following information is taken directly from their page

  • Parents and educators can access bullying prevention resources, which include educational toolkits, awareness toolkits, contest ideas, promotional products and more.

  • PACERTeensAgainstBullying: Created by and for teens, this is the place where middle and high school students can find ways to address bullying, take action, be heard, and own an important social cause.

  • PACERKidsAgainstBullying: This creative, innovative and educational website designed for elementary school students to learn about bullying prevention, engage in activities and be inspired to take action (“About Us”).

VeryWell Family

The VeryWell “family” of websites hosts a library of more than 5,000 pieces of content, created and refined over the past 20+ years, written by more than 100 healthcare professionals and industry experts including experienced pediatricians and parenting coaches, and vetted by board-certified physicians. The site has an entire page dedicated to bullying (“Bullying”).

The following Gale databases include portals dedicated specifically to bullying, and they even suggest additional websites for research:

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Social Justice and Anti-Racist Websites by Dr. Margaret Lincoln

Dr. Margaret Lincoln, with Lakeview School District in Battle Creek and a member of the Governor’s Educator Advisory Council (GEAC), has provided an update on Social Justice work which the GEAC undertook this summer.

The GEAC, supported by Michigan Department of Education (MDE) staff, developed the following two resources:

The Proclamation for Social Justice is a document that serves as a timely reminder of our moral imperative. There should be no inequities among groups of children, least of all based on race. We see these as fault lines that will only exacerbate the problems of our society. We see these discrepancies in education as a call to conscience for us all. Classrooms are some of the most powerful places in the world, and this proclamation is a commitment to the children of our state that we will use our power for good.

The Social Justice & Anti-Racist Educator Resources document is intended to fulfill the commitment to make anti-racism more accessible. Understanding that educators are busy, particularly in this time of overwhelming uncertainty and change, the Governor’s Educator Advisory Council (GEAC) compiled these resources for all educators. Most importantly, this is a living document—one that the GEAC plans to update with educator input. While this moment is especially ripe for anti-racism education, we hope that these resources become a permanent part of every educator’s pedagogy until the need for them becomes history.

The Social Justice & Anti-Racist Educator Resources document specifically mentions the following item under Lesson Resources:

The above information has been communicated to Local and Intermediate School District Superintendents Public School Academy Directors through an MDE Memorandum dated August 20, 2020.

The Memorandum states: “MDE strongly encourages all educators to review these and other resources for opportunities to improve their practice as we work together as educators to fight racism and to create a society that is more equitable for all members.”

The content of the August 20 MDE Memorandum was also sent out on September 15, 2020 in Educationally Speaking - Issue 7 | September 2020, an eNewsletter from the Office of Educator Excellence of MDE.

If you have questions about the Social Justice initiative or the work of the Governor’s Educator Advisory Council, please contact Margaret Lincoln at

Thank you for your interest and support!

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A Virtual Banned Books Week: 40 Program Ideas

2020 Banned Books Week is September 27 – October 3.

Traditionally, this is a time when we raise awareness about censorship in our schools and school libraries. This year might be a chance to highlight activism, embrace creativity, explore technology, and recognize voices that have been suppressed.

The American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom (ALA OIF) offers 40 ideas to commemorate the week… all digital and all low-cost.

Ideas include:

  • Host a virtual read-through of the play The Sledding Hill --Crutcher Free download available at ALA.

  • Create an online scavenger hunt about banned literature. Sample from the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library.

  • Stream the video Scary Stories, the history of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Trailer.

For more ideas, check out ALA OIF’s Pinterest page and Celebrating Banned Books Week Facebook Group.

Here’s to a lively, thought-provoking week in September!

Martha Spear

MAME Intellectual Freedom chair


ALA OIF Banned Books Week 2020 Blog

ALA Banned Books Pinterest Page

ALA Celebrating Banned Books Week FB Page

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Book Review by Bethany Bratney:

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender:

Felix wants to be in a real, loving relationship so badly. Though he feels mostly accepted after coming out as queer and trans-male, he still feels that people do not really see him. He fits into so many groups (black, queer, trans, lower class), he feels frequently judged as an “other”, even within communities to which he belongs by definition. When someone at Felix’s prestigious summer arts academy posts pictures and art done by Felix pre-transition (including his well-hidden deadname) in a large showcase display, Felix cannot understand who within his small, accepting school group would want to cause him so much pain. When the real-life bully becomes an online troll, Felix vows to find out which of his classmates is striving to be so cruel. Doing so will involve Felix becoming a catfish himself, lurking, connecting, and dismantling classmates secrets online to discover their hidden motivations. But in doing so, Felix begins a parallel journey of self-discovery and questioning that will help him learn to understand, love and accept himself.

Straight Talk for Librarians - Three cheers for a book with such wide representation! Between Felix and his core group of friends, the mirrors and windows opportunities abound in this novel. Felix is a delightfully lovable character, though realistically flawed. I was rooting for him as I watched him make bad teenage decisions and put himself in positions that could only lead to heartbreak. This book has the range to reach so many students. A wealth of teen readers will relate to youthful wonderings and worries about love and relationships, or will have their own connections to bullying or Internet trolls. Our multiply-marginalized readers will find Felix speaking truths that they have found difficult to voice or even to understand. This book also provides some incredibly nuanced insights about the hierarchical dynamics and power structures in play amongst different groups within the LGBTQIA+ community, a concept that many outside that community may not understand. Felix’s struggle with self-labeling, whether or not to label at all, and why that choice might be different from one person to the next is accessible and eye-opening. Felix Ever After is a necessary addition to a modern high school library and an illuminating and compelling read for its patrons.

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Cheers and Tears: A Return to the Library in a COVID-19 World by Jonathan Richards

Regardless of whether or not we have been ill or known of someone close to us who has become ill due to COVID-19, our lives have been changed forever and have been affected in some way. This includes the beginning of the school year with either library cancellations, new job assignments, or teaching entirely in-person, entirely online, or both. Due to all the changes, I began my first day of school with a morning sick day. I could not get my medical appointment changed. So in my attempts to be a good planner, I notified the teachers who had online classes to prepare something else for their students to do in my absence. In my eyes, everything was set and I was

As I was buckling up and driving away from the medical office, my phone begins to beep. At first, I thought it was a personal call from my spouse, but instead, it was several chat posts from my Google Classroom. "Where are you at Mr. Richards?" "Am I in the wrong classroom?" "Where is the library?" Then I had not one but 10 similar posts pop up while driving. Again, one should never text and drive, as I almost swerved into a car on my way back to the school. Another five posts appeared: "Where are you at?" As I re-entered my school media center and logged in, an entirely different class appeared in my Google Meet. Apparently, both the class and myself were surprised for different reasons. Strangely, my schedule combined two different classes; our special education and our gifted and talented students simultaneously. So I quickly read a story to the latter group and dismissed the class. Later on that day, I called the teacher that I had planned with to do something else...and avoid a great deal of confusion which happened anyway. "My car was broken into earlier that morning. I had no time to tell you as I had less than 20 minutes to begin teaching my online classes" was her reply. Although my first day of school was delayed by COVID-19 this year, even with the best of plans sometimes we still face challenges and trials. No matter sometimes how we reduce risk and plan even the best laid plans sometimes do not work out. As librarians and library media specialists, the key is being persistent as well as quickly creating a Plan B to solve problems. While this year may bring about many problems, it is our flexibility and our ability to find solutions that will help us transition into the future.

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Michigan E-Library Update

Michigan eLibrary: eBook Collections

The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) has a wide range of free eResources to support teaching and learning at all levels. The eBook K-8 and High School collections are ideal resources for both virtual and face-to-face learning. For simple retrieval, permalinks can be copied and pasted directly into learning management systems or added to Google Classroom with a single click. Although most of the content is nonfiction, many fiction titles such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid , The Boxcar Children and Saddlback’s Illustrated Classics are also available. Additionally, virtual book bags are simple to create by organizing permalinks: Virtual Book Bag K-3 Science, Virtual Book Bag K-3 Social Studies. Use the free eBooks in MeL to curate collections for your students and teachers today!

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October is Michigan Library Appreciation Month!

October is Michigan Library Appreciation month and it’s time to celebrate all libraries including school, public, academic, and special. The Michigan Library Association (MLA) has the proclamation and a sample press release for download here.

This would be a great opportunity for all school librarians to reach out to their School Boards, Superintendents, and other administrators to let them know about all of the great things you are doing to support students, families, teachers, administrators, and other members of the school community.

Michigan 2021 Budget Approved: September 23, 2020

Some of the items in the budget include:

  • The school aid foundation allowance for districts will remain the same as it was at the start of the 2019-20 school year. The minimum foundation allowance for 2020-21 will be $8,111 per pupil.

  • Districts will receive a one-time additional $65 per-pupil allocation this year.

    • The above two items are GOOD NEWS for schools. Many districts approved their budgets last June when the budget forecast was not very good. Districts were planning for as much as $500 per pupil cuts. This means there should now be 'extra' money in the districts' budgets.

  • Literacy Essentials (for Literacy Coaches and training) was increased from $1.0 million last year to $4.0 million this year

  • State Aid to Libraries received an increase of $1.0 million dollars (this aid goes to support public libraries)

MAME members can use this news to help advocate for the reinstatement of cut positions as well as the reinstatement of library budgets and even for the addition of library positions!

MLA Letter to Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators (MASA)

In August, the Michigan Library Association (MLA) sent a letter supporting maintaining or increasing certified school librarians at all of Michigan’s Schools. This letter was followed up by a letter to each Superintendent of Public School Districts in Michigan. You can read a copy of the letter here:

MAME is very grateful for the continued advocacy support from the Michigan Library Association!

State Board of Education August Meeting - Public Comment

Superintendent Rice has been working on an updated Top 10 in 10 strategic plan for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The State School Board was voting on this plan at the August 11th meeting. Kathy Lester this meeting and spoke during public comment about the need to include certified school librarians in the new strategic plan. The new updated plan can be found here.

Advocacy Committee

If you are interested in joining the Advocacy Committee or need advocacy support in your district, please contact MAME Advocacy Chairperson, Kathy Lester at