June 2018

President's Message

Dear NJASL Members-

The end of the school year is fast approaching and while I am looking forward to summer break, I am also daunted by the number of end of the year tasks to do. Will all those overdue books ever come back? Will I even have time to do inventory? What about all those things on my to-do list that just didn’t happen this year?

If like me, you are feeling a bit frazzled, I challenge you to focus on what you accomplished this year and not on what you didn’t get done. It can be hard to find the moments to reflect, but it is time well spent. Focus on the great collaborations, the new projects, the awesome new tech tool you discovered, the connections and friendships with students and all the great new books you purchased. I can’t wait to make my stack of summer reading books - one of the best perks of being a librarian and am so grateful for the summer reading time.

My time as NJASL President is quickly coming to an end. The last three years of being on the NJASL Executive Board went by in a flash. While there were many days that I doubted my sanity for taking on such a huge volunteer commitment, the rewards far outweighed the time and effort. It was so great to bring my conference ideas to fruition and I am so grateful that I could have Kwame Alexander and Leslie Maniotes as my conference keynotes. It has been great to work with our friends from NJLA and we are so fortunate to have the support of their leadership and their School Library Task force. Every time we needed their help, whether it was for a meeting at the NJ DOE, to testify at the State Board of Ed or on behalf of school library positions being eliminated, they were always willing to come to our assistance. NJASL is so much stronger because of the support of NJLA and I know that together we are making all the libraries of New Jersey better. I am also grateful for the support from Susan Akers, our liason with the NJ DOE, Jeremy Reich from Future Ready Schools NJ and LibrarylinkNJ. NJASL is continuing to make powerful partnerships across the state as we work toward our goal of making sure that all NJ students have access to resource rich school library programs taught by certified school library media specialists.

While my term as President does not end until our board meeting in August, I have already begun to pass the reigns to President Elect, Christina Cucci. I have been dealing with some family issues this past month and Christina graciously stepped in to help manage in my absence. I am forever grateful for her help and for the support from everyone on the board. While I wish Christina good luck as she gets ready to begin her term as NJASL President, I know that she won’t need it. She is smart, organized, creative and very ready to take on her new NJASL role. I am looking forward to seeing the great new initiatives and plans she has for NJASL. I hope that I can support her as much as she has supported me.

Good luck with the close of the school year and I hope the summer finds you reading and relaxing.

Lisa Bakanas

NJASL President

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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New NJASL Board of Trustees Members

Congratulations! Thank you to the membership who voted!

Announcing the newest members to the NJASL Board of Trustees!

Vice President Beth Thomas

Secretary Christine Halstater

Treasurer Jean Stock

Member-at- Large Amy Gazaleh

AASL Representative Hilda Weisburg

ISTE Liaison Renee Rogers

These Ladies will officially join the NJASL Board at the August Board Meeting!

NJASL Legislative Consultant

- Mary Moyer Stubbs

Legislative Highlights - May Updates

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Facts

Federal Requirements for Assessments for Schools: States must administer assessments aligned to state standards

  • To all students in ELA and Math in grades 3-8 and once in HS
  • Assessments must be approved by the Department of Education through a peer-reviewed process (such as PARCC)
  • In science at least once in elementary, middle and high school (NJ Student Learning Assessment - Science or NJSLA-S)
  • To English language learners to demonstrate progress toward English language development (ACCESS for ELLs)
  • To students with the most significant cognitive disabilities (Dynamic Learning Maps or DLM)

NJASL / NJ DOE PARCC Listening Tour

NJASL participated in one of the roundtable discussions with the NJ Department of Education at Metuchen HS roundtable on May 14. A great discussion was had with DOE staff including Dr. Linda Eno, Assistant Commissioner for Division of Teaching and Learning. Click on link to view responses from those not able to attend. Next steps, DOE will create an advisory council to develop next generation of assessments (Aug/Sept).

Recap of Discussion and Wordle with key terms used in the discussion.

Updated High School Graduation Requirements

The NJ Department of Education has updated their webpage with high school graduation requirements:

NJ DOE Online Supports

The following teaching resource was listed in the May issue of NJ DOE's monthly online supports. Looks like a valuable tool as you assist students in how to evaluate sources.

Video News DebunkerInVID’s Video News Debunker is a Chrome and Firefox extension that can be used to analyze the validity of Facebook and YouTube videos.

This service is intended to assist journalists in fact-checking and verifying the source of photos and videos. Looks like a resource for upper middle school and high school students. It does need some tutorial to use.

Good news on Net Neutrality:

On May 16, the Senate voted 52-47 to pass legislation under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the FCC’s troubling December 2017 rollback of its 2015 net neutrality rules.

Now - it moves to House - please take a few minutes to contact your House representative to ask them to support this rollback.

Action alert:


Summary of ALA National Library Legislative Day

ALA National Library Legislative Day was held on May 7,8. The following are a few notes from the event. Thank you for allowing me to represent NJASL. We had a great group representing NJ.

The 3 asks for the legislative visits:

Issues - Asked Members of Congress to:

  1. Full fund federal library programs - $189.3 million in LSTA Funds

  2. Reauthorize the Museum and Library Services Act

  3. Visit a library to see broadband access in action

Included with the training were advocacy tips. These are great things for school librarians to consider when speaking or interacting with lawmakers as well as stakeholders such as school board members.

Top 3 answers from lawmakers on best ways to interact

  1. Personal story

  2. Why constituent either supports or opposes the bill? What are their reasons for either support or opposition?

  3. How many are impacted from the proposed legislation???

Best Photo Opportunities for Lawmakers

  1. Kids

  2. Animals

  3. Old People

My full summary of the issues as well as more on advocacy for those that wish to read my notes can be found here.

Professional Practice & Development

NJASL Fall Conference 2018

We are now accepting Conference Proposals for the Fall Conference (12/2 - 12/4/2018). We want to hear from you! Share with us your best practices, how you find balance in your professional and personal life, how you've incorporated the new AASL Standards into your program, how you implement digital citizenship, how you have transformed your space, your practice, yourself!

You may submit your Conference Session presentation idea via EMAIL or Google Form.

Not sure about a full hour presentation? Consider our Monday night Poster Session.

You can find the Conference Session form below.

CISSL Summer Institute!

Wednesday, July 25th, 8am to Saturday, July 28th, 11pm

Rutgers University University Inn and Conference Center 178 Ryders Lane New Brunswick, NJ 08901

The Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers University

Summer Institute (July 25-27, 2018)

Guided Inquiry for Student Learning

Fifth Residential
CiSSL Summer Institute

Preparing teams of teachers, school librarians and administrators
to implement Guided Inquiry in their school districts

This is a rare opportunity for a team from your school to learn how to design and implement Guided Inquiry, a method that transforms the way students engage information to build critical thinking, creativity, and deep understanding for college and career readiness.

Based on the extensive research of Dr. Carol Kuhlthau, Guided Inquiry provides a visionary, constructivist approach to addressing Common Core State Standards and developing students as reflective learners in the process of seeking, evaluating and using a variety of sources of information.

Click here for more information!

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

NJASL Affiliate News

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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. After the June edition, The POST takes a two month hiatus during the summer, but will continue in the new school year, 2018-2019. There is always a Library Media section and we welcome ideas for this section through the year at

THANK YOU! Looking for submissions...

Don't forget that we are always looking for entries from ALL membership. The next issue will come out at the beginning of the next school year. Feel free to send in entries of all kinds: pictures, videos, or traditional articles. Please share articles with me at the email address by Google Document or PDF.