KASL November Newsletter


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Building a strong network has always been important to me- that’s why I joined KASL.

Highlight what you do in your KASL position.

As the GRASL President, I work with other GRASL officers to recruit members, provide professional development, and offer awards and grants to school librarians in the GRASL district. Last school year, GRASL awarded two grants to its members to help support their continued professional learning, and we awarded four KBA book grants to members! GRASL covers public and private schools in Christian, Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Union, and Webster counties. Check out our website at https://sites.google.com/view/grasl/. To join, visit our website or email Kelli McDaniel at kfralston@gmail.com.

GRASL wants to highlight the library media center of one of the schools in our district. Jefferson Elementary School, in Henderson County, has a new librarian this year, Lori Rath. Lori has been collaborating with K-3 classroom teachers to design weekly science lessons that incorporate a read aloud and experiment to hit all their science standards. She’s also incorporating all the engineering standards in her instruction. Our GRASL librarians are doing great things for their students and teachers!

From Lori Rath --

At Jefferson Elementary, our goal this year is to focus on helping our students grow as readers. We also know and value the importance of science, which can sometimes get pushed to the side unfortunately. For this reason, I wanted to collaborate with our classroom teachers to help them teach all their grade level science standards and incorporate literacy. I am creating weekly science lessons for kindergarten through third grade that include a read aloud, an activity and all needed materials, as well as supplemental resources. In the library, when students come for their special, I am then able to provide activities and projects that focus on the engineering design standards. We've studied the design process across all grade levels and are about to begin a robot & coding bootcamp, where students will learn how to use various robots. These lessons, of course, all begin with a read aloud as well. Students see how literacy is found in all subject areas, are exposed to a variety of texts, develop twenty-first century skills, and have FUN!

This picture is of one of our second graders and the chair they designed! We read I am NOT a Chair. After students were presented with the problem - they were contacted by a furniture company that was looking for a child's input on a new chair design. They brainstormed, looking at several chairs online, and discussed the different structures and functions of the chairs. Then they drew a model of what they wanted to create and made a list of the materials they would need. They were then able to build their chairs, all the while having conversations involving what was going well, what was difficult, and what they would do differently next time. They got to use the design process to create something they were proud of and had a blast while doing it.

Handbook and Constitution Chair, Melissa Gardner

Over 27 years ago, when I was a student at the University of Kentucky, Jackie White encouraged me and my classmates to become active in our professional organizations. She stressed the importance of joining the KYLMS listserv and joining our state organization. At that time, it was still named the Kentucky School Media Association. During my first year as a school librarian, a fellow librarian from the Kenton County School District, Emmalee Hoover (then Emmalee Hill) invited me to my first Northern District meeting. It didn’t seem long after that I became the President of the Northern District and joined the KSMA/KASL Board for the first time. Dr. Christine McIntosh was the President then. During my 27 years as a certified school librarian, I have held many positions on the board including Webmaster, Technology Chair, Parent Listserv Chair, Summer Refresher Chair, Fall Conference Chair, Higher Education Representative, Standards Implementation Chair, President-elect, President, Past-President, and my current position as Constitution/Handbook Chair. My involvement on the KASL Board has been invaluable to me in my career as a school librarian. The friendships I have made and the learning shared by the board are experiences I will always treasure.

My current role is Handbook and Constitution Chair. Both of these documents are important as they guide the business and procedures of the organization. The Constitution, the more formal document of the two, is the foundation. It establishes the guidelines for the association. The handbook sets forth the procedures for carrying out the business of the association. Any changes to the Constitution and by-laws require board approval and a vote by the membership at the yearly meeting. Changes to the handbook may be initiated by members of the board and are then approved by the board at one of the board meetings throughout the year. I give a report at each board meeting on any suggested revisions or any revisions that have been made. Both the Constitution and Handbook may be viewed on the KASL website.

Five years ago, when I first came to the Campbell County School District, we had a district-wide professional development training on Trauma Sensitivity. As I participated in the training, I kept waiting for the presentation to talk about how the library could help students as they faced ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences). The training never mentioned libraries. I did some research on how bibliotherapy could help students become more resilient. Bibliotherapy can be used to

  1. show students they are not the first to encounter the problem

  2. show that there is more than one solution to a problem

  3. show they are not the first to encounter the problem

  4. show that there is more than one solution to a problem

  5. help discuss a problem more freely

  6. help plan a course of action to solve a problem

I began creating a spreadsheet of books in which the main character or characters in the story faced an Adverse Childhood Experience. I have shared this list with my Family Resource Center, with our school counselors, and I presented a session at one of the Summer Refreshers. After my presentation at the Summer Refresher, several other school librarians joined me in the project and the list has grown. I have used the list in my own library to create resource lists in Destiny for students and as a reference for me when students express a need for one of the books.

You are welcome to view the list at Trauma Sensitive Books Project. If you would like to be a part of the team working on the list, please contact me at melissa.gardner@campbell.kyschools.us and I will give you access.

New Librarian Mentoring Program written by Amanda Hurley, KASL Mentor Program Chair

The KASL Mentor Program is designed to provide support, encouragement and guidance to librarians with 0-3 years of school library experience by pairing them with a more experienced veteran librarian. Each year, the program runs from August through July and is open to any school librarian in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

For the 2021-22 program, there are 64 people currently participating in the program.

Vicki Stoltz, the teacher librarian at Clear Creek Elementary joined because, “I always struggle to come up with engaging lessons from year to year at the elementary level on a fixed schedule. If I am feeling this way after 20+ years, I am sure new librarians, especially at the elementary level may feel a bit overwhelmed...especially if they are in the Related Arts/Specials rotation. I just want to offer my support because it can be frustrating when you sometimes feel you work on an island and collaboration seems just a dream. I think just reaching out to someone new to the profession just to offer encouragement and support was important for me in joining the KASL Mentor Program.”

In short, mentors are encouraged to reach out to their mentor to ask questions, seek advice and perhaps to find a little inspiration. In turn, the mentors check in with their mentee at least once a month to offer encouragement and support. Sharing information and details about what’s happening in the mentor’s school library is a great way to build connections and share ideas, too. Because school librarians typically are the only librarian in their building, it’s difficult to know what displays others are putting together, what collaboration or programming looks like in other schools, or even how others advocate for the library program.Having a mentor who is readily available to answer questions and share real-life school library experiences via email or text throughout the month can be so helpful.

“The program benefits mentors and mentees. Sometimes it is really nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and get suggestions. Often we're the only librarians in our building, so having someone who understands our concerns and challenges is essential,” said Laura Younkin, a KASL mentor and school librarian at Ballard High School.

Neither mentors and mentees are required to be KASL members, however, it is strongly encouraged as the KASL members have access to a private group within the Kentucky Librarians Mighty Network and are invited to participate in monthly webinars earning PD credit.

If you want to be involved as either a mentor or mentee for the 2022-23 school year, be sure to sign up at the KASL Summer Refresher in Ashland, Kentucky!

KY Academic Standards for Library Media!

Google Site with some resources! Included on that page is a set of standards that show the grade level progression along with some implementation ideas that have been crowd-sourced from your fellow KY school librarians. Check it out and feel free to add to it. There is also a blank version of the slides that you can use for your own planning and reflection.

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KYVL for All!

KDE will be reimbursing DISTRICTS who continue or begin KYVL membership. Districts can get an estimate of membership costs using this tool. Requests for an invoice should be sent to kyvl@ky.gov.

Once your district has paid for the 2021-2022 KYVL invoice, you will submit an invoice through this Google Form and funds will be reimbursed in a timely manner.

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AASL 2021 Conference Resources!

Jane Lofton, school librarian from California, put together a great #NotAtAASL LiveBinder. Ashley Cooksey, a school librarian from Arkansas, put together her own Google Doc full of notes. Nancy Jo Lambert, school librarian from Texas, created a collaborative notes document with TONS of great information from the conference. These were compiled by many school librarians attending the conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

School Library Connection

KET, an awesome advocate for all KY school librarians, is again partnering with School Library Connection to make their articles, webinars, and self-paced workshops available for this ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR!

To access this awesome professional learning resource, visit School Library Connection, username “Kentucky” and password “libraries.” You will then need to select your school district from the list. If you have any questions, or just want to thank someone for this fantastic resource, please reach out to your regional KET consultant.

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The next #KyLChat of the school year will be Tuesday, November 9, at 7 PM Central/8 PM Eastern!!! If you would like to volunteer to moderate this year please fill out this form and I’ll add you to the list. It is easy to join. Just search for #KyLChat Tuesday evening and make sure your Tweet replies include #KyLChat.

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About us

KASL is the professional organization of all Kentucky School Librarians, a state affiliate of the Kentucky Library Association, and a national affiliate of the American Association of School Librarians and the American Library Association.