CSLA Newsletter

September 2015

In this issue:

  • Report from President Beth Olshewsky and introduction of the new State Board
  • Past President Liz Dodds
  • President Elect Sue Heraper - Annual Conference 2016
  • CDE Report - the Annual Survey is out
  • Secretary Nina Jackson
  • Treasurer Yvonne Weinstein
  • VP Membership Terry Lai
  • VP Communications Rosan Cable
  • Paraprofessional Rep Erica Leggette
  • NR President Lisa Bishop
  • Report from the Pre-ALA Summit
  • SR President Sharlene Paxton
  • SR Scholarships
  • International Association of School Librarianship coming to CA

Report from the CSLA President

Beth Olshewsky, CSLA President, 2015-16


Welcome to a wonderful new school year filled with the diversity of all we do to support students and our larger community through school libraries! I just had the heartening experience of spending last weekend with the CSLA State Board, who is ready and eager to support you in all of your work. I hope you will also enjoy getting to know them better through the pages of this newsletter.


During our retreat, board members brainstormed many ways to support you in fulfilling your dreams for your work in school libraries. One of the most important ideas that surfaced was to ask you to share with us the ideas you have for our state organization to support your personal growth as a teacher librarian or school library paraprofessional. If you would like to contribute your thoughts, please respond to this form .


I enjoyed seeing many of you at the Pre-ALA Summit in San Francisco. We are looking forward to many more exciting professional development opportunities from the imminent Southern Region workshop on October 3 in Pasadena, to our Doorways to Diversity 2016 Annual Conference in sunny San Diego, February 4-7, 2016. Hotel rooms are available now, please book yours early. Please consider what you might want to offer as a session at this conference, focusing on the many perspectives on diversity in school libraries: diverse thinking, media, community, collaboration, etc. The sky is the limit, and it’s a great way to grow your capacities as you help and support your colleagues. Please read Sue Heraper’s article and consider proposing a session.


This year we are doing something a little different as part of diversifying our collaboration, outreach, and support. We are inviting partners from other education and library organizations around the state to join us at our conference. We hope to see many of our classroom teacher, public library, administration, and other colleagues join us to learn more about how school libraries work with them to support our students and communities. You may want to keep those partners in mind as you consider potential sessions.


I am pleased to be serving as President with our fine CSLA State Board, including our new Paraprofessional Representative. I usually work with a smaller group of school library paraprofessionals and professionals in Santa Clara County, where I am the County Office of Education Supervisor of Media Services and in that capacity provide support to school library staff and communities in the 413 public schools we serve. I look forward to working with all of you through the coming year to move California school libraries forward as essential educational innovators supporting the learning of students, teachers, and their broader school communities. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and to any of our board members through our CSLA website contact links.


As always, CSLA will continue 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 in the coming year. I look forward to leading our work as your CSLA State Board President.

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CSLA Past-President

Liz Dodds


Past-Presidentship, here I come! On August 15, I became CSLA’s official Past President when Beth Olshewsky became our President. Duties of the office include getting the awards advertised, organized, awarded, and recognized, and running the elections for the state board. The awards include the Administrator Award, the Demco Betty Barkema Award, Good Ideas, the Honorary Member Award, the Leadership for Diversity Award, the President’s Award, and the Mackin Technology Award. Please stay tuned to CALIBK12 and CSLA’s social media, as applications for these awards will be coming out soon.


Regarding our elections: We’re looking for members to run for our state board for Vice President of Government Relations, Vice President of Professional Development, and Secretary. We have many fine potential candidates within our CSLA membership, so please consider stepping up and running for office. Your willingness to serve our organization and its members is needed and appreciated. Please watch our social media and email for information about how to throw your hat in the ring.

CSLA President Elect

Sue Heraper


I am now the President Elect of CSLA. Due to the change of our annual conference from November to February, our terms of office have had a one-time adjustment. As a result, I will be the President Elect until February, when I will assume the presidency for one year beginning at the conference in San Diego. President Beth Olshewsky, and past presidents Liz Dodds, Janice Gilmore-See, and Jane Lofton are my role models, and we could not do all we do without the support of our fantastic administrative assistant, Kathie Maier.


The 2016 conference committee has been busy planning an exciting event at which library professionals from throughout the state will come together to learn, network, and interact. Please plan to attend February 4-7, 2016, so that you can be inspired with new ideas and infused with the energy to apply them.


The conference offers you opportunities to be an active participant. Whether or not you have ever presented at an event in the past, please consider submitting a proposal for a concurrent session. The first time I presented a session I was extremely nervous and stressed beforehand, but afterwards I felt the satisfaction of a job well done. One of the benefits of presenting is that you will learn so much more about your topic and gain expertise as you prepare. You will also learn during the presentation about what works and what you might change for next time. You will meet new people and your professional learning network will grow.


Our strands this year are:

  • Literature, Writing, and Reading (our focus on Saturday)
  • STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts & math (our focus on Sunday)
  • Leadership & Advocacy
  • Library Program Management & Assessment
  • Educational Trends & Standards
  • Going Digital - eBooks, BYOD, Social Media
  • Diverse Thinking: Creativity & Innovation
  • Serving Diverse Communities
  • Potpourri


Within each strand there are many diverse topics. For example, “Literature, Writing, and Reading” topics include:

  • Book challenges
  • Book talks
  • CYRM
  • Graphic novels
  • Nonfiction: Informational support for Common Core
  • Reading promotion programming
  • Reluctant reader projects
  • Storytelling
  • and more.


Please share your knowledge with others at the conference. It may be hard work, but it will be a growing and rewarding experience. Submissions are due September 18, 2015, and presenters receive a $100 discount off conference registration.

CA Department of Education

Renée Ousley-Swank


School Library Survey Launch

It’s back-to-school time, and time for the launch of the Annual School Library Survey. Please take this opportunity to complete the survey and assist us compiling information about individual school libraries as they were at the end of 2014-15.


To review, here are the basics:


  • The survey home page is at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/lb
  • The password to access the survey (typed just as it appears here) @YourLibrary
  • After entering the password, use the Begin Survey link (rather than the ENTER key)
  • The survey will be open until April 30, 2016, but why not complete it now?
  • To print a copy of what you submit, the link to “Survey Results from Current and Prior Years” on the survey home page. Select your school’s record for 2014-15. What you will have before you is a concise, printable version of the information you just submitted.


We listened to your feedback and you will notice we are collecting data on a different Dewey range ( biographies), and we have added an additional question related to biographies.

New Question #10

How do you classify your biographies?


  • B
  • 92
  • 920 collected/921 individual
  • Within Subject Area - when, e.g., basketball players’ biographies are classified in the 796s under basketball instead of under B, 92, or 920/921.
  • Other


We recognize some school libraries classify their biography collections multiple ways (e.g., sports figures within their subject area and all other biographies grouped together). So, when you answer question 10 if you categorize your biography collection in multiple ways you can either select the category most of your biographies are cataloged in or select “other.”


Because there are a myriad of methods to categorize biographies we recognize it may not be as straight forward to obtain an average copyright date as it was for 973. So, if you do not have your biographies together and you have an automated system, then run a subject search for “biographies.” You should be able to easily use the results from that search to identify the number of books and average copyright date. If you are unable to get copyright years from the electronic catalog, pull a systematic random selection of 25 biographies (e.g., every third item, an item from every fifth shelf, or several selections within each subject area) and average their copyright years. In the Worst case scenario, if you are unable to establish an average copyright date, just type “none.”


Why should you bother to take the survey? Completing the survey provides you an annual snapshot of your school’s library (whether you were working there or not.) Perhaps most importantly, the information from previous years is always accessible, providing a longitudinal record to assist you in planning, advocating for the allocation of resource dollars, and justifying requests. Having this data at the beginning of the year is ideal for building and advocating for your library program.


Thank you in advance for your participation! Please reach out to your colleagues and other schools in the area and encourage them to complete the survey. I’d like to give a shout out to Laurie Seeno of Laurel Elementary in Oakley, she completed the survey shortly after it opened and before I started promoting it. Thank you Laurie!


In next month’s article I will explain how we came to choose biographies.


If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Renée Ousley-Swank, School Library Technology Consultant, Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division, at 916-319-0449 or by e-mail atrousleyswank@cde.ca.gov.

CSLA Secretary

Nina Jackson


I am the Teacher Librarian at Franklin Classical Middle School in Long Beach USD. I have been the CSLA Secretary since 2007. As secretary I write the minutes for all the board and membership meetings, post the final minutes on the website, and type the motions into the motions database.

CSLA Treasurer

Yvonne Weinstein


It is my pleasure to serve as treasurer for CSLA, and I would like to introduce myself. I am a Teacher Librarian 60% of the time at Frank Augustus Miller Middle School in the Riverside Unified School District. The other 40% I teach Tech Ed to 7th graders at the same school. While I would rather be a full time TL, I am thankful that my teaching assignment allows me to introduce students to a wide variety of tech tools. I am also able to teach Digital Citizenship lessons and assist students with research strategies. It is right up my alley! I am fortunate to live only 7 miles from my work and enjoy my daily drive down beautiful Victoria Avenue, which is on the National Register of
Historic Places.

I have been married for almost 30 years and have 3 adult children. My hobbies include reading (what’s new?) and quilting. I have traveled to Uganda five times on mission trips with my church, most recently to work on a sewing skills project with some ladies in the town of Gulu. Other places I have visited include Costa Rica (on an Earthwatch fellowship), England, Mexico, and Cambodia.

My responsibilities as CSLA Treasurer include auditing all payments and income as it relates to the budget. It is my goal to keep current with this major responsibility. Thank you for entrusting me with the office of Treasurer. My e-mail address is mrsweinstein@fastmail.fm. You may contact me if you ever have a question related to anything financial about CSLA.

CSLA VP Membership

Teresa Heieck Lai


Welcome to a new school year. I hope that everyone has a successful and fulfilling start and year.


As the VP for Membership my two primary goals are to increase membership and to provide experiences, tools, and resources that add value to your membership in CSLA.


This year I hope to start a video contest incentive, push out Google guru videos, help our new paraprofessional board member, Erica Leggette, to create a paraprofessional web page and brochure, build up Leadership for Diversity committee activities with Chairperson Gina Cardenas, and provide monthly membership and History and Archive Committee updates in the newsletter. In the monthly newsletter I will also be listing and welcoming new and renewed members with their permission.


CSLA is committed to providing quality professional leadership opportunities. The CSLA board has brainstormed some ideas. To get input from the membership about professional leadership needs, these ideas will be sent out in a survey. The survey will ask the membership to add other topics.


The CSLA website should be viewed frequently for events and resources available to members.

CSLA VP Communications

Rosan Cable


I am hoping you had a wonderful and restful summer break. As of August 15th, I am the Vice President of Communications for CSLA, and I am very excited to serve in this capacity. We have very committed board members who are supportive of strong school libraries, and I am honored to be a part of this team.


CSLA uses many social media tools to keep you up-to-date. I challenge you to pick one or two social media tools or this newsletter or our website that you like and SHARE them with your friends---teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, teacher librarians, or parents--anyone that you can think of that would benefit from knowing about our organization and our commitment to enriching student learning through school libraries. And, if you would like to submit ideas about articles or to help out with social media this year, fill out this Google form so I can contact you later this month.


I am returning to work on September 1st with high hopes of a fabulous school year. I extend that hope to you! I look forward to meeting you at section events and at our annual conference in February.

CSLA Paraprofessional Representative

Erica Leggette


It is such an honor to welcome everyone to the 2015-2016 school year. I’m truly elated for the opportunity I have been given to represent the voice of the Library Paraprofessional on CSLA’s State Board. Although this organization has come a long way, there is still more that needs to be done to support those that serve in the paraprofessional role at many of the school sites in our state of California. I’m grateful that you have given me the responsibility to bring the concerns and needs of the paraprofessional to the table, and it is my due diligence to serve you to the best of my capacity.


I feel the paraprofessional plays a vital role in the success of any library program. So understand that your concerns will not be disregarded. My objective is to work collaboratively with the other board members to support and advocate not only for the paraprofessionals but for all who work for school libraries. Please feel free to contact me with your concerns or questions. I’m excited for all of the great things that lie ahead for California school libraries. Below is the link to the Google survey that I created to obtain your immediate concerns. Please take the time to fill out this survey, as it will help me to know how I can better serve you. Let us work together to make California school libraries strong.


http://goo.gl/forms/W0ySyBC6tq

CSLA NR President

Lisa Bishop


This is my ninth year as a Teacher Librarian. I joined CSLA during the first semester of my MLIS degree program at SJSU. I attended my first CSLA conference that same semester and got my bearings in this profound work. A year later, I applied and received the Jewel Gardiner Scholarship. A couple of years later, I ran for CSLA Sec. 4 Representative Northern Region and began giving back to CSLA in a deeper way. This fall I will excitedly take on the honor of NR President for a year. I look forward to continuing on this amazing journey of learning, teaching, experimenting, and building stronger relationships to strengthen our creative outlets.

2015 Pre-ALA Teacher Librarian Summit

LIsa Bishop, NR President



This past summer, prior to the 2015 ALA conference here in San Francisco, I co-organized with Dr. David Loertscher, a Pre-ALA Teacher Librarian Summit at my middle school, Aptos. I had attended the TL summit the previous summer in Las Vegas and was so amazed how three hours could bring so much to the brain. The idea was to bring TL’s with special passions for blended learning to show other TL’s how to engage both students and classroom teachers with a variety of digital platforms, research and collaborations.


At this summer’s summit, we organized five rounds of table talks with four or five presenters in each 25 minute session and a 5 -minute pass-through. Topics included: the State of Washington Study, Google Classroom, Black Lives Matter LibGuide and VLC template, Grant Writing, Blogging, Using Twitter, Wikiscribi, NoodleTools, making book trailers, learning about Sir Ken Robinsion’s new book, Nanowrimo, gamification, fixed vs. flexi schedules and International Association of School Librarians.


Our keynote speaker was Dr. Doug Achterman who presented about how we in K-12 need to prepare our students to go to college and to mentor them all the way through, especially our most vulnerable students.


Some of the big hitters in School Library Science attended and/or presented: Dr. David Loertscher, Dr. Mary Ann Harlan, and Dr. Blanche Woolls. Former CSLA president Jane Lofton and all current and upcoming CSLA Presidents attended - Liz Dodds, Beth Olshewsky, and Sue Heraper. Seven TL’s from SFUSD presented as well. Overall, it was a successful evening of three hours of sharing, learning and committing to another great year in the world of Teacher Librarian.

CSLA SR President

Sharlene Paxton


CSLA's Southern Region met at the Pasadena Hilton on Saturday, August 22, for the annual board retreat. Five new board members joined the Southern Region board as Sondra Keckley passed the gavel to the new Southern Region President, Sharlene Paxton. We had a great day planning for the Southern Region workshop, which will be held at the Pasadena Hilton on Saturday, October 3, from 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM. In addition to our fall workshop, Southern Region has some exciting section events planned for our members this year, so stay tuned for more information on these upcoming events.


If you haven't registered for the SR fall workshop, don't delay! Early-bird registration ends September 5th, and the early-bird hotel discount ends September 4th. Deb Ford will be our keynote speaker, and we will be holding a raffle for one lucky attendee to win Deb for a Day and have Deb spend the day in the winner's library on Monday, October 5th.


Additionally, we will have 16 breakout sessions, so you don't want to miss this great day of fun, networking, and learning with others in the school library world. Arrive early to decorate your name badge at our Bling Your Badge Makerspace! We'll also be giving away up to $2,500 in scholarships for teacher librarians and library paraprofessionals attending certification programs.


Visit csla.net or http://cslasr.weebly.com/ for more information on the SR Fall Workshop and to register. We're also accepting speaker proposals until September 5th, so put in a proposal to share something at a breakout session--speakers receive free registration!


The Southern Region board is energized and looking forward to connecting with our members and offering a variety of great member benefits this year.

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CSLA Southern Region Scholarships 2015


Still time to apply for these scholarships! Due date is Friday, September 18, 2015


Are you a CSLA member or future CSLA member enrolled in courses to become a certificated Teacher Librarian or earn a Paraprofessional School Library Technician certificate? Do you know someone who is? Could you use a scholarship to help pay for your coursework?


The California School Library Association makes every effort to support all persons working in a school library or working toward earning a position in a school library. We understand the importance of making sure that every school in California has a Teacher Librarian and a Paraprofessional, or at least one of those if not both. Therefore, CSLA wants to make it easier for people to gain the education needed to fill those positions.

The Southern Region of CSLA is offering three (3) scholarships at this time. We are offering two (2) $1,000 scholarships to assist those persons working toward a degree or credential which will qualify them to work as a professional Teacher Librarian. We are also offering one (1) $500 scholarship to assist a school library paraprofessional in completing a school library technician or paraprofessional certificate program, or obtaining a teaching credential with the ultimate goal of pursuing a Teacher Librarian credential.


There is an application process for these scholarships, and applicants must live in the Southern Region of California. The applications and information are available at the CSLA website.


The applications and letters of recommendation are due by September 18, 2015.


Questions? Email Kathleen Sheppard, CSLA Southern Region President-Elect, at krsheppard814@gmail.com

International Association of School Librarianship

Lesley Farmer, CSLF


California State University Long Beach has been chosen to host the 2017 International Association of School Librarianship conference. Tentative dates are 3-7 August 2017. The theme is “Learning Without Borders.” Stay tuned for details, and get ready for a future that’s so bright you need (sun)shades — and sunscreen.


If you're interested in getting involved in the conference, please contact Lesley.Farmer@csulb.edu

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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.