September 2018

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Your NJASL Executive Board

(Left to right)

Past-President Lisa Bakanas, Member at Large Kim Zito, Treasurer Jean Stock, President Christina Cucci, President- Elect Jill MIlls, Secretary Christine Halstater

Not pictured: Member at Large Amy Gazaleh, Vice President Beth Thomas

President's Message

Dear NJASL Members-

The NJASL board met on a steamy August morning to kick off the 2018-2019 term. New officers took their oaths and our business meeting began. This year we are working to be a more transparent group and I will use this column each month to give you a peek inside the inner workings of NJASL.

Most members don’t realize that this organization is powered by its members, who are all volunteers. Just as the cogs fit together to turn the wheel and provide forward momentum for your car, NJASL members must play an active role in supporting the larger organization. This year we are inviting those sitting on the sidelines to become more active members. Think about your special talents (technology skills, publicity, finance, etc), and how you can share those abilities with NJASL to help other SLMS in NJ. Please take a moment to complete the volunteer survey, and someone from NJASL will reach out to you to bring you on board.

The updated strategic plan can be reviewed on the NJASL website. The main tenets that we will focus on this year are:

  1. Job retention and growth

  2. Streamlined communication

  3. Ongoing professional development

  4. Maintaining fiscal stability

I look forward to meeting you at the NJASL Fall Conference in December, and working together to drive NJASL into a bright future.

Christina Cucci

President of NJASL 2018-2019

Important News and Information



NJASL's mailing address has changed. Please send our new address to your business office so that your purchase orders for membership and conference are sent to the correct location.

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NJASL Discussion Group is Moving!!!

~Kay Baggs

Attention All Members!

Our NJASL Discussion Group will be transitioning from our current host Yahoo, to Google Groups. Our focus will remain the same, to engage, share and learn from each other, and to advocate for School Library Media Specialists especially in the state of New Jersey. The group is all set up and ready to go. You can email to request membership, or you can email me at to add you to our new list.

Our Yahoo group will remain until all of our members are moved over to Google groups, so do not fear missing out on any discussions. We encourage you however to join now, or as soon as possible! See you on Google!

Public Relations, Communication, and Publications Committee Update

~Pat Massey

Please check the NJASL Advocacy Page for two resources that were recently updated and can be used to promote your school library media program. School Libraries: A Lesson in Student Success is a two-page printable version updated in 2018 with the cooperation of Springboard, the public relations firm that helped NJASL create the original infographic in 2013. It includes data and quotes from recent studies of school library media programs.

The second updated document is School Librarians are Uniquely Positioned to Enhance Student Learning, a complete revision and replacement of the original “Reading, Research, the Common Core & Your School Librarian” document. It describes the role of the school librarian and their impact on student learning and references numerous nation-wide research studies.

NJASL continues to work on your behalf. If you have any comments or would like to help NJASL with public relations, communication or publications, please contact Pat Massey at

Awards! Awards! Awards!

Our organization is filled with outstanding members who are effective educators, leaders, volunteers and advocates. There are many who initiate and facilitate phenomenal progressive programs. They serve as models for what we hold exemplary in New Jersey school libraries. NJASL would like to acknowledge and honor those deserving individuals who have made such outstanding contributions in the field of school librarianship and education. Consider nominating a colleague or applying yourself for one of these prestigious awards. The following awards will be presented at our annual fall conference December 2-4, 2018.

Outstanding School Library Media Specialist of the Year honoring a certified New Jersey school library media specialist who has made outstanding contributions to the operation of effective school library media services and to advancing the role of the school library media center in the total educational program.

Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award will be presented to a New Jersey school, library or district administrator or supervisor who is currently working full time in an administrative position. They have developed an exemplary school library media program and made an outstanding and sustained contribution toward advancing the role of the school library media center as an agency for the improvement of education.

The Jean E. Harris Progressive School Library Media Program Award will be presented to a New Jersey school library media specialist currently working in a public, private or parochial school who has demonstrated innovative ideas to enhance the life-long learning skills of students

NJASL Outstanding Author or Illustrator Award recognizes an author or illustrator who is or was a resident of New Jersey or whose work represents/reflects New Jersey and who has made a notable contribution to the field of literature for children and young adults.

NJASL/ISTE Making IT Happen Award recognizes a leader in the field of educational technology integration in K-12 schools in New Jersey.

The criteria and applications for these awards can be located on the ‘Scholarship and Awards’ section of the NJASL website. The deadline for submitting all applications is October 15, 2018.

For further information contact: Karen Brill, Awards Chair,

NJASL Legislative Consultant

- Mary Moyer Stubbs

Legislative Highlights -

September 2018

State Board of Education

August Public Testimony: President-Elect Christina Cucci testified before the NJ State Board of Education on August 1 on the proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 6A:8, Standards and Assessment and how those changes will benefit school libraries.

Read her Public Testimony to the NJ State Board of Education (NJASL's testimony is found on page 25).

September Public Testimony: President Christina Cucci and NJASL / NLA member, Darby Malvey testified before the NJ State Board of Education on the need for school library media specialists, their role in information literacy and the need for a standard related to Information Literacy. Additionally, ALA/AASL provided a letter of support for an Information Literacy Standard. Click on link for President Christina’s testimony as well as letter from ALA/AASL. Click on link for NJASL/NJLA Member, Darby Malvey’s testimony.

NOTE: This testimony will be published on the NJ State Board of Education public testimony webpage.

September 12 State Board of Education and N.J.A.C. 6A:8, Standards and Assessment

There was no vote on the proposed amendments at this meeting. Senator Theresa Ruiz (LD 29) spoke at this meeting and is very concerned about the equity issues that she feels will impact some students. I believe that she shares the same concerns as SBOE President Aponte who believes that the elimination of Geometry and Algebra II tests will cause equity issues for some students and they will not be prepared for STEM careers.

The rationale from DOE on proposed changes:

  • Dr. Linda Eno spoke quite eloquently about how the current cycle of testing along with the current HS graduation requirements are preventing many students from post-secondary success.

  • Great quote by Dr. Eno, "Equity of egress is as important as equity of access.”

Comment by Joe Ricca, SBOE Member

  • Education is difficult to standardize because each community has different needs.

  • My interpretation and paraphrasing- Creating statewide assessments in order to standardize education for students will never happen. Additionally, students are individuals and have different needs.

N.J.A.C. 6A:8, Standards and Assessment

Proposed Amendments to Standards and Assessments:

Summary of changes for 2018-2019:

1. Plans to scale back the current Grade 3-11 testing for the next school year

2. Removing two of the high school years altogether from testing

3.HS Tests: a test for Algebra I and Grade 10 language arts.

4. Streamline graduation requirements by reducing number of required tests in HS from six tests to two tests

5. 25% reduction in testing time for all grades - only 360 minutes vs current

PARCC: Total Testing Time at Each Grade Level, 2017-18

  • Grade 3: 465 minutes
  • Grades 4-8: 510 minutes
  • Grades 9-11: 540 minutes

6. Alternative assessments permitted for HS students

7. No longer called PARCC - although no new name - New Meridan is the new testing company (appears to be the new company that has replaced PARCC in several states)

8. Provide flexibility for first-year English Language Learners on the ELA proficiency test

9. Reducing the weight of the assessment on teacher evaluations

There is still time to provide public comment. This is an opportunity for school library media specialists to share their comments about how the proposed changes will be a benefit to school libraries. Comment at:

Some Suggestions for Comments on Benefits to Students and Staff (from a school library perspective)

  • School libraries will be open and available

  • Time for teaching critical thinking skills and to work collaboratively with teachers on information literacy projects

  • Time to work collaboratively with teachers to help develop authentic learning experiences to enhance students' 21st Century Career and College Readiness skills

  • Opportunities for independent reading and research

Department of Education

Teacher’s Evaluation Rubric Weights have been reduced from 30% to 5% .

Read the NJ DOE Notice as well as the Response from NJEA.


The New Jersey Department of Education gave a lengthy presentation at the September 12 SBOE meeting on the changes at the Department. They are calling those changes, NJ DOE.2

These are my notes along with the notes regarding the department's rationale for the proposed amendments to Standards and Assessments.

Continue reading Mary Moyer's notes here...

Professional Practice & Development

Accessibility Features & Tools for Google Products

The Library Instruction Palooza for NJLA Conference on May 30, 2018, was for participants to learn about a variety of tools and procedures used for instructional assessments from a panel of librarians who use them, including an academic librarian, a school librarian (me), a librarian with years of experience teaching classes in public libraries, and a vendor trainer from a major database. I made the following presentation about Accessibility Features & Tools for Google Products.

I share it here for you to use and share with your students!

Arlen Kimmelman, School Librarian, Clearview Regional HS, Mullica Hill

Ed.M., M.A., NBCT, Google for Education Certified Trainer, Past NJASL President

Conference registration is now open!

Spread the word and share our news!!

We are looking forward to an exciting and engaging conference. Plenty of professional development, but lots of fun, too! Consider joining us for Sunday night Murder Mystery Dinner and then on Monday, lunch will feature an author panel, including our keynote speakers. Be sure to stay for our Engagement Session on Monday night to meet our State Board, your county group, and mingle with authors, illustrators, vendors and try out some maker activities, too!

Be your own advocate and invite an administrator to attend the conference at no cost! Check the website for more info and updates! #njasl18

We’re pleased to announce that we are bringing back the Enthusiastic Reader Award and the recipients will be awarded during the conference. See below for more information.

Enthusiastic Reader Time!

It is now time for each school district and each public library in New Jersey to submit the names of any students the district or public library wishes to recognize as Enthusiastic Readers. An Enthusiastic Reader:

  • Exhibits an enthusiasm for reading

  • Exhibits an enthusiasm for sharing books

  • Uses books for a variety of purposes

  • Reads independently on a voluntary basis

  • Uses school and/or public libraries

Complete the application and Parent Permission slips located on the Enthusiastic Reader page on the NJASL website under Awards. Include supporting evidence based on the criteria why you believe your candidate should be a 2018 Enthusiastic Reader.

Mail all documents to the ENTHUSIASTIC READER AWARD address listed on the Enthusiastic Reader page. Packets must be postmarked by October 15, 2018.

Winners will be honored on Sunday, December 2nd at the NJASL Fall Conference in Long Branch.

Questions? -

Check out the below materials newly added to the AASL Standards portal!

NJASL Affiliate News

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AASL Affiliate

~Hilda Weisburg

You and the National School Library Standards

The National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries has been out since November 2017, but I suspect many of you have not yet purchased your copy. Those of you have done so may not have not integrated them into their lesson plans. The AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner was published in 2007. A lot has happened in those 11 years, and it is time to move on.

Let me tackle the elephant in the room. There has been a lot of complaints about the price. I agree $199 is a lot of money. Of course, if you are an AASL member, it is $99 which makes this the opportune time to join. The price of membership plus the standards is only $19 more than the non-member cost for the book – and now you would have your membership in ALA/AASL.

Why is the cost so high? I don’t have all the details, but the difference between the old and new standards explains much. The old standards was 64 p. and I believe it cost around $39. You also needed to eventually buy Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action (129 p.) for $39. There was also A 21st-Century Approach to School Library Evaluation (146 p.) for $36. The total for the three came to $114 for non-ALA members. The National School Library Standards contains all three volumes in one. The price differential in my opinion is related to costs going up over eleven years as well as the new volume being visually more appealing and requiring considerably more artwork.

You will have to use the new standards eventually, so you may as well get started. AASL and the many volunteers involved in the project have really helped here. The standards portal has a wealth of free material and it’s being added too regularly.

If you haven’t done so as yet, download the AASL Standards Framework for Learners, preferably in color. I really recommend you buy it as a packet of 10 for $16.95 so that you can give copies to your administrator, board members, etc. It’s a good way to get started.

Begin by reviewing the Common Beliefs and the read “How Does It Work” on the last page so you understand what is meant by Shared Foundations (there are 6 of them) and their Key Commitments as well as the Competencies that are learned where the Shared Foundation and each of the four Domains intersect. Sounds very complicated when it’s put in writing like this, but it becomes easy to grasp when you look at the centerfold with the entire Framework shown in a colorful table format.

Look over the other Resources. You might want to download the Crosswalks with ISTE Standards and the Future Ready Librarians Framework. I expect we will soon have a crosswalk with Common Core and I will alert you when it happens.

There is no rule as to how to get started. Take one of your successful lesson plans and match it with the Framework for Learners. You will see where you have been doing much of what is in the standards, and you will also see how to reframe it to get better results.

Once you have the complete standards, check your unit against the Framework for School Librarians and the one for School Libraries. Take your time. The National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries will be around for the next ten years.

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AECT Affiliate

~Leslie Blatt

Let me first introduce our Affiliate AECT to those who don’t know AECT. AECT (Association for Educational Communications and Technology) is an international professional organization made up of educators and professionals who provide leadership and give advice to sustain a continuous effort to enrich teaching and learning. AECT is for those actively involved in the design of instruction and provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of ideas for members and for audiences which include colleges, Armed Forces, Schools, Libraries, industries and any place where educational change is underway. There are 10 Divisions that provide a member a choice of various types of areas they may have an interest (NJASL is mostly affiliated with the School Media Technology Division). AECT is for improvement of instruction and is the most recognized association of information concerning a wide range of instructional and educational technology. We, NJASL, is one of the most active state affiliates of AECT and share their passion about finding better ways to help people learn.

Now for an update of what AECT did this summer and is about to do this Fall!

AECT held its Summer Leadership in Kansas City this past July. NJASL was represented, as an Affiliate, by Jill Mills and myself. Bruce DuBoff was also present as an AECT Intern and unofficially for NJASL. This year’s Summer Leadership was a bit different than in the past as it was a two day team building session. On day one, July 26th, we had the usual Board Meeting. Reports were given, votes were taken, and a lot of business was completed. Instead of having lunch at the Marriott Hotel we were at, President Eugene Kowch decided we needed to get out and see some other parts of Kansas City. So we headed to a restaurant to experience some authentic food that Kansas City is known for - Ribs and Bar-B-Q. While there we were to get to know each other – it was a bonding time for us to talk with colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere and find out more about each other besides where they work. That evening was the Annual AECT Foundation Dinner and Auction. The Auction brought in a generous amount of which Jill and Bruce made a healthy contribution to the AECT Foundation with their purchases! I did my part also! The next day was a Team Building Professional Development morning led by Eugene Kowch. It was an interactive activity that covered ways for the organization to look at itself and for Divisions to begin to ponder who they are and maybe need to change. There was good discussion and again people were working with people that they usually don’t work with – again Team Building! Lunch was again at an off-site restaurant where the Divisions were to do some planning. All in all it was a different type of Summer Leadership but mission accomplished and some good ideas did come out of discussions!

Now AECT is gearing up for the annual Convention, October 23- 27 in Kansas City. NJASL will have one session presented by myself and Bruce DuBoff. There will be many sessions about technology, research, roundtables that cover various topics and an Emerging Technology Showcase. Attending the Convention besides myself and Bruce will be Beth Thomas and our Villy winner Tara Collins. Tara will be presenting at the Emerging Technology Showcase. A full report of the Convention will be reported in Bookmark.

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ISTE Affiliate News

by Renee Rogers

ISTE's Making IT Happen Award honors leaders in educational technology from around the world who "demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students." Does this sound like you? Have you advocated for ed tech opportunities and capacity for your students? Each year, as an ISTE Affiliate member, NJASL can present one member with the ISTE Making IT Happen Award. It isn't too late to apply for this year's award, to be presented at our annual Fall Conference. Visit to apply today!

Did you see the new Standards Crosswalks from AASL? Be sure to use the crosswalk for the ISTE Standards for Learners and Educators to advocate for your program, and demonstrate to administrators and stakeholders how our AASL standards tie in with your district's ed tech curricula and initiatives!

Have questions about ISTE or NJASL's affiliate membership? You can reach me at!

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Future Ready Schools NJ

by Susan Akers

Future Ready Librarians-New Jersey Website

The Future Ready Schools-New Jersey website now includes a Future Ready Librarians-New Jersey webpage with information on task force activities and other related events for school library media specialists. Elissa Malespina has recently agreed to be Chair of the Future Ready Librarians-NJ Task Force and plans have already begun to launch task force work in mid September, with a goal of launching FRS-NJ's #FutureReadyLib's resource indicators at the December NJASL conference. Each of the national framework's gear-based statements will be "New Jersey-ized" by the task force to create indicators and provide resources to SLMSs and other educators as well as leaders on what they can look for and rely upon in a future ready NJ school. These resource indicators will be available on the /librarians page of FRS-NJ website.

Digital Learning Day is February 28, 2019

While February 2019 seems a long time in the future, it’s not too early to begin planning and sharing what you will do at your school library to celebrate Digital Learning Day. This global annual event inspires thousands of events across states, districts, schools, libraries, and classrooms in the United States and around the world to the day. Save the date and visit the graphics page to spread the word. Then Register your activities at this website and see what others around the country are doing on that day.

Subscribe to The POST, NJ Department of Education’s monthly newsletter

Sign up to receive issues of The POST (Professional Online Supports for Teaching) at the NJDOE website and review the latest edition. There is always a Library Media section and we welcome ideas for this section through the year at

Union/Middlesex Association of School Librarians (UMASL) Mtg

Thursday, Oct. 18th, 4pm

401 Monroe Avenue

Kenilworth, NJ

Check out the event flyer here!!

THANK YOU! Looking for submissions...

Don't forget that we are always looking for entries from ALL membership. Deadlines for the year are on the 15th of every month. Check out more information about our deadlines here. Please share articles with me at the email address by sharing a Google Document or PDF.

Check out more information about deadlines and submissions on the Smore linked below!!