MSLA 2015-2016

Massachusetts School Library Association - Annual Report

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P.O. BOX 658

Lunenburg MA 01462

The MSLA website is revamped.

Links are provided throughout the report to various parts of the website. We hope you will explore the resources that have been provided.

School Library Commission

Legislative Commission on the Status of School Libraries in Massachusetts:

  • As Phase I of our work to collected quantitative data from school districts, the Commission developed a survey with Dr. Carol Gordon and Dr. Robin Cicchetti that was distributed by Mass. DESE to every school district in Massachusetts

  • Commission accepted Dr. Gordon’s request that we work with Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers University to analyze data collected in our survey; CISSL, working with Drs. Gordon and Cicchetti provided Commission with preliminary data from the Phase I survey in late October; the Commission is clear that this data is strong and provides evidence of a lack of equity in the Commonwealth’s school library programs.

  • Final data from Phase I of the study should be available for release in Spring of 2017.

  • Commission is now working on plans to make recommendations based on the Phase I data and to disseminate findings

  • Phase II is planned for 2017-2018 and will be a qualitative study that will use focus groups to provide a fuller picture of the school library services and materials available to students in Massachusetts.

  • We are also working with DESE to see where Commission findings can be used to support federal support for school libraries through ESSA.

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2 in person meetings in NH and 2 virtual meetings

Attended by President Anita Cellucci; Past President Judi Paradis

Affiliate Assembly Representative: Amy Short

ALA Annual in June, AASL in November, ALA /ALA midwinter

MSLA eBoard representatives attended Affiliate Assembly and committee meetings

ALA Annual in San Francisco and ALA Midwinter in Boston

Kathy Lowe was the co-chair for the AASL Conference in November

Board members: Executive Director, Kathy Lowe; Past President, Judi Paradis; President: Anita Cellucci and Affiliate Assembly Representative: Amy Short

* AASL is currently in the process of revising and updating its learning standards and program guidelines. Look for a release of these in Fall 2017.

* The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the replacement for ESEA, contains funding language that includes "effective school library programs." AASL has been working to unpack ESSA provisions for school libraries, to define "effective school library programs", and to provide state-level informational workshops about ESSA including one that was held in Massachusetts in September 2016.

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Professional Learning

  • Objective 1: Recruit non-Board members into event committees

  • Objective 2: Plan and implement various one-day events throughout the year

  • Objective 3: Offer nontraditional learning opportunities that meet the needs of different learners

  • Identified by email or by Board member recommendations

  • MSLA’s future recruitment strategies will rely heavily on member recommendations and direct invitations.

  • MSLA members enjoyed four very different events that we offered this year: Better Together with MassCUE, Digital Learning Day @ WGBH, Edcamp MSLA, and the Spring BookFest. Each event had a different focus and all were well attended. The feedback surveys revealed that members enjoyed the different events and also responded positively to the offering of affordable, one-day events.

  • MSLA was pleased to offer the school library community an opportunity to take control of their own professional learning by holding Edcamp MSLA. Attendees were able to have the conversations that were meaningful to them and to choose what they were going to learn about that day. MSLA also offered a “sandbox” or “playground” at the DLD@WGBH where participants could choose to sit in the playground, ask questions and learn with other, and try things that they learned in an unstructured way. Most members really enjoyed the theme focused events which helped members delve deeper into specifics topics.

  • The future plan is to hold the annual conference every year but provide smaller workshops and webinars that don’t take immense amounts of planning and more accessible by more members.


  • MassCUE Maker Space Special Interest Group co-facilitated with Laura Gardner

  • MSLA Twitter Chat

  • Photos and quotes collected from MSLA members and posted to new MSLA web site;

  • Advocacy page created with Advocacy resources and research

  • Development of a Crisis Toolkit/Official MSLA Response to advocacy related issues


  • Objective 1: Publish Fall edition of Forum on existing WordPress platform in October of 2015 with a spotlight on Advocacy

  • Objective 2: Publish Winter edition of Forum in February 2016; possibly on new Weebly platform

  • Objective 3: Publish Spring edition of Forum in May 2016 on new Weebly platform

  • We have used multiple channels to obtain articles: brainstorming with eBoard, developing new columns, soliciting ideas from membership, working with award winners.

  • All issues were published on the new Weebly platform. We have continued to fine tune the layout of the MSLA Forum and explore the Weebly features.

  • All issues were published as planned. Once the Forum goes live, we have been promoting the articles on the MSLA Listserv, via the MSLA Facebook page and on Twitter. A second round of publicity is done two weeks after initial publication.

From our Areas:


The following programs were held throughout the state:

  • Collaborative event with MassCUE Makerspace SIG to visit the Creativity Lab at the Peabody Institute Library
  • Tower Hill Botanical Garden gathering

  • Casual meetup held at a pizza restaurant
  • Legislative breakfast held
  • Evaluation system/DDM session held
  • MakerSpace field trip with MassCUE MakerSpace SIG with student tours
  • Creative and Enticing Booktalks and Displays session with MLS
  • "Collection and Resources" featuring an on-site demo of rethinking/ditching Dewey along with plenty of time to share ideas about collection management and decisions that affect us in school libraries

AWARDS Committee

AWARDS : Amy Short and Ann Perham, Awards co-chairs

The 2016 awards ceremony was held at the spring literary event at UMass Amherst on April 30th. With a focus on giving award recipients their due in the sun, but balancing the issue of limited time and a tight schedule, we were very pleased with how it went.

Positive notes:

  • Awards Expo was very well-received, allowing for award winners to showcase their programs and initiatives. Terrific conversations! Pictures taken - ideal for display on the region websites. Winners displaying: President’s Award, Super Librarians, Berne Pathfinder. Web Seal of Excellence was displayed on a slideshow.

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Respectfully submitted,

Anita Cellucci, MSLA President

November 17, 2016