March 2016

Our Vision: Support and grow the Prince William County school library community.

President's Message from Beth Bowen

Ready? March!

In like a lion
Women’s History Month
Basketball madness
Primary voting Day
Read Across America Day
NoVa Teen Book Festival
National Johnny Appleseed Day
National Girl Scout Day
Potomac Regional
Mini-Maker Faire
Science Fair
Return of Daylight Savings
National Pi Day
The ides of March
Teen Tech Week
St. Patrick’s Day
Spring begins
Spring Break
Out like a lamb

Retiring This Year?

PWSLA would love to celebrate your retirement at our May 19th Banquet. Please let Wanda Higgins or Beth Bowen Bowen know asap. Thank you!

PWSLA Needs You, Yes Y-O-U!

PWSLA needs the help of member Librarians in these areas:

1. Executive Board Positions. Experienced and new Librarians are both encouraged to seek seats on the Board. It's a great way of staying connected with what's current in our corner of the world.

Contact Beth Bowen:

2. As an advocacy tool, PWSLA would like to host several librarian-presented sessions at all of the PWC staff development opportunities in August 2016 (EEC, EEE and the MS/HS content days). We will meet on March 6th at 4 p.m. at Angie Hunt's house in Stafford (RSVP to get the address). We will plan the general idea of the session, write the description for the session proposal, and create work teams.

Currently the ideas being tossed around include resource sharing leveraging the catalog, book lists for today's learners, research projects (that are NOT animals), collaboration opportunities, and more!
RSVP Angie Hunt:


3rd annual NOVA Teen Book Festival
Saturday March 5th
9 am - 5:30 pm
FREE @ Washington-Lee High School

PWSLA Professional Development Planning Committee Meeting
Sunday March 6th 5 pm
Plans for Professional Developments in August
and for New Teachers to PWCS for 2016-2017
are being made now.
RSVP and get directions to meeting from Angie Hunt

Middle School Resources for ELL Students

Each session is a stand alone PD. One point is awarded professional development for attending the session. Two points can be earned for an ELL lesson that includes a pre-observation, lesson and post-lesson reflection. Presentations run from 3:30-4:30 at Stonewall Middle School. RSVP or to ask questions.

*ESOL Summer Reading March 9, 2015

March 6-12 Teen Tech Week

Saturday March 12, 2016 VAASL Potomac Regional
Battlefield HS 8 am - 3 pm
Onsite registration is available. $40.

March 16th Freedom of Information Day

April - School Library/Poetry/D.E.A.R. Month

Marine Corp Museum Tour (can also count as professional development)
April 6th

* Limit 30 people – RSVP

* PWCS librarians February 1st (e-mail Wanda Higgins @ )
*Additional PWCS Educators after March 1st

* Box lunch will be provided for $12
* Deadline for all is April 1st

NoVa Mini Maker Faire
May 13th
11 am - 5 pm

Interview with VAASL Potomac Regional Director, Laura Potocki

PWSLA recently had a chance to catch up with Laura Potocki, Librarian at Falls High School in Fairfax Co. and our Potomac Regional Director. She has lots of good things to say about our upcoming Regional Conference on Saturday March 12th.

PWSLA: Describe the “edge” you stand on

Potocki: I’ve been on the edge of insanity ever since I entered the education field. There are opportunities for improving my lessons or making my time with students more engaging all over the place and it’s hard to fit it all in. Some days you just have to smile and survive.

PWSLA: What about our Potomac Regional Conference will entice them to make March 12th at Battlefield HS a priority?

Potocki: Conferences are idea generators. There are masses of information happily shared by colleagues whose goal is to help you be a better teacher. Our Potomac Regional Conference offers the opportunity to learn from local teachers. They’re approachable, innovative, and right here in our own back yard for about the cost of dinner. We have so many interesting proposals submitted on everything from digital non-fiction to National Board certification. We’re working on an un-conference piece to tie in, as well. Sam Wightman, our keynote speaker, will be doing a session on how to make Twitter work for your library. Participants will leave with lesson ideas to work on, ideas to think about, and initiatives ready to use on Monday. It’s a jam packed day meant to refocus, recharge, and revive librarians at the start of spring.

PWLSA: Are there any special things for first timers to know before attending the Potomac Regional Conference?


1. Make friends! Since everyone is relatively local it’s the perfect time to network with librarians in neighboring districts and VAASL board members.

2. Don’t be afraid to participate. Ask questions, take pictures, volunteer.

3. Follow #VAASLPSR on Twitter- attendees will be tweeting all day.

4. Think about presenting at next year’s Potomac Spring Regional Conference. It’s the “just right” size stepping stone to presenting at larger conferences.

PWSLA: What is your favorite thing to do at a conference?

Potocki: I always make time for a session on new or best books. I love hearing firsthand why a colleague couldn’t put a book down, or that they have a new book boyfriend. It always makes me want to go out and buy fifty books! The titles shared in these sessions stick with me longer than the books I read about in journal reviews.

PWSLA: We are looking forward to Spring Break and some time to refresh…..what reading (audio book) would you pair with Spring Break refresh time?

Potocki: When I think of spring I think of blossoms, blooms, and renewed life. The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Deffenbaugh weaves a memorable story of change and second chances. The meanings of flowers isn’t something we often think about, but it just might change what you plant in your garden.

Free Webinars from AASL

Each month AASL hosts several webinars that are FREE to all librarians! AASL members have the advantage of access the webinar after the live event. Topics this month include Bookopolis, Minecraft, and MyStoryBook.

National Poetry Month

Next month is National Poetry Month. You can get an official poster, either a download or a free hard copy sent to your school. Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 21st. There are many free resources available.

PWSLA's March Book Giveaway

PWSLA's Book Giveaway for March is: To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To enter click on this link:

Congratulations to Tracy Stoyer of Forest Park HS for winning the February Book Giveaway: Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

PWSLA at your Fingertips