News & Views

Morris County School Media Association

From the President

Welcome 2022,

I am hoping for brighter days ahead and if the current cold says anything; it is that a renewal is coming this Spring.

This year has been full of expected challenges– getting students back into school and helping them get acclimated to in person learning. As well as unexpected challenges–the growing number of challenges against books and curriculum that will help not only our children grow up to become better human beings, but to also address issues that will make us better as a Nation. The latter of these challenges is the most concerning to us as librarians. There is a good article in this week’s Edutopia newsletter regarding Culturally Responsive teaching and the need for open, honest classroom discussions about the country’s history.

You may have noticed if you have been watching/reading the news or if you attended NJASL there are a growing number of attacks on literature and curriculum nationwide. Check out the Publishers Weekly roundup of The Top 10 Library Stories of 2021. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if we could build a dialogue around the concerns of parents & educators. However, it seems we are destined to repeat the mistakes of the past and travel down a dark road in search of enlightenment. No matter which side of these issues you stand on, preparation is the key. It is a good idea to make sure you and your district have a Book Challenge Policy in place in case a parent or a board member decides to jump on this bandwagon. NJASL & ALA have several resources to help you write a policy that can be presented for approval to your board. Here is a link to the NJASL Position Statement on Censorship in our School Libraries. Additionally, you may want to look at the NJASL Book Challenges Handbook and several other helpful documents discussed at the Book Challenges, Censorship, and Your Library round table & the Help with Challenges & Banned Books presentation during NJASL Fall conference 2021.

Some other delightful presentations were made as well during the conference. For anyone interested in Author visits or MS/HS Digital Citizenship check out Making A School Wide Virtual Author Visit Work by Stephanie Singer LMS at Readington Middle School and Implementing Digital Citizenship Standards through your Library Media Program by Peter Richter. Both of these presentations were excellent and provided actionable plans and resources for attendees.

It was a pleasure seeing so many of you all at the NJASL fall conference. I hope more of you can join us for our upcoming Best Books for Elementary and Best Books for Middle/High School presentations via zoom with the Parsippany Public Librarians on January 19, 2022. Looking forward to seeing you all soon,

Tara Collins

President, MCSMA

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Best Books!

Tuesday, Jan. 19th 2021 at 4:30-6:30pm

This is an online event.

In just ONE WEEK, our annual Best Books event will take place virtually. This is our most popular event of the year and we hope you will join us! Come hear book reviews by Parsippany-Troy Hills librarians and prep your summer book order now (or use those last remaining funds before they are gone for the year)!

Click here to register

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Common Sense Education by Sue Ploch

This fall, I participated in the Common Sense Education Cohort. I really was impressed with the vast variety of FREE materials provided on digital citizenship, social emotional learning & ed tech tools. They offer free on demand Professional Development as well as live events. They have a great staff who will help you navigate their site and all of their materials.

All of the materials are great for K-12 and lesson plans, online videos, worksheets are included. My superintendent included in our weekly e-blast, their EdTech review of TikTok following the Friday that everyone was concerned about the latest TikTok challenge. I subscribe to their Tech Balance text program for families (ages 3-8). I receive a few texts per week with practical tips on healthy media habits for families. Our Middle School PE/Health teachers will soon be exploring their Digital Dilemmas to spark discussion on a variety of topics.

A great place to start or expand your digital citizenship curriculum.

Common Sense Education

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We want to hear from you!!

This newsletter is an opportunity to celebrate the best of our county, and that includes YOU! Please consider contributing a story, book review, tech tip, or something that made you proud. We want to share it! Send any newsletter contributions to

We look forward to hearing from you!

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MCSMA Membership Info

The MCSMA is New Jersey's largest active county association. Join today for $15 and access our professional development opportunities, meet your colleagues, and have real discussions about what is important to us and changes in our profession. You will walk away with plenty of ideas and motivation to make your Library the best it can be.

Fill out this form and mail a check for $15 payable to MCSMA or visit our website to pay via PayPal

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