KASL October Newsletter
YOUR STATE-LEVEL SCHOOL LIBRARY ORGANIZATION
Wow! What a start to the 2021-2022 school year. Hopefully you’re settled in and able to promote our AMAZING 2021-2022 Master Lists!
KBA can be found online at http://www.kasl.us/kentucky-bluegrass-award.html
KBA resources found a new home over the summer thanks to Erin Weaver & Beth Atkins. The resources are linked on the KASL website, but here’s a handy link if you’d like to bookmark it! https://sites.google.com/view/kbasource
Did You Know . . .
The 2022-2023 KBA readers have read a combined total of 523 books so far!
District Spotlight - NKASL
NKASL covers the northern part of the KASL area from Grant and Pendleton counties to Boone, Kenton, and Campbell, the northernmost counties on the Ohio River. I have been part of NKASL and KASL since becoming a school librarian at Newport Independent Schools about thirteen years ago. Before working in education, I was part of the corporate world and found professional organizations very supportive in my career. So when I became an educator and librarian, I immediately sought out that same type of interaction--and found it in the local and state library associations.
As president, I try to stay in contact with all of the librarians in our area and make sure they are aware that caring librarians are available in person and online and keep everyone informed when there are meetings, events, and opportunities for advice and professional development. Along with Melissa Gardner, Erin Pifer, Erin Weaver, Tracey Elrod, and Jill McGlone, our district officers, I try to ensure our meetings serve as a forum for socializing, sharing, support, and learning, as well as promoting KASL events. This year, our focus is going to be membership. With Tracey Elrod as our Membership Chairperson, we are hoping to reach out to all librarians in our district and convince them to join us.
One development we would like to celebrate this year is the recognition of the Campbell County School District of the importance of having full-time dedicated librarians in each school. Previously, the librarians were covering multiple schools, most covering two, and one covering three. Over the last several years, the middle school and high school acquired full-time librarians and this year each elementary school has a full-time dedicated librarian. Much of the credit for the change can be attributed to Dr. Rust, the superintendent of Campbell County Schools, and his high regard for the value added to learning by certified school librarians.
What difference does having a dedicated librarian make? Here is one librarian’s experience:
Jill McGlone is the library media specialist at Cline Elementary. That has been true for her entire library career. However, that is one of the only constants for her role over the last 6 years. Initially, the district had only two elementary library positions to cover five elementary schools. Campbell Ridge and Crossroads, the two larger elementary schools, shared one librarian, 50/50. Jill was hired to be the sole librarian of Cline, Reiley, and Grant's Lick schools. "That year was really hard. It was my first year as a librarian. My first year in any of those buildings. My first year in an elementary school since my practicum." She describes how challenging it was to learn the school culture, the students' names, and even the teachers' names. "It was very frustrating because anyone in education knows it's all about the relationships and I struggled to have them." After a year in that role, Dr. Rust and CCS added two library positions. Reiley and Grant's Lick would be sharing a librarian and Crossroads and Campbell Ridge would receive 50% of the time of the librarian assigned to Cline. McGlone stuck with Cline and went on to learn two more (even bigger) campuses. However, she says it was better because, "It wasn't 100% my responsibility to manage those big campuses. I could email or call and collaborate with the other librarian." Having more certified staffing improved teaching and learning for students. "This was when our computer science unit and student-driven research really became possible." Early in 2021, Dr. Rust and CCS announced every school in Campbell County School District would have a dedicated, certified librarian. Even though it's only a month or so into the school year, Jill says "there is such a huge difference in the relationships with teachers. They know I'm here - every day - and I can help them with resources! I am able to build a stronger culture of reading because the library is more accessible. I am so excited to see the impact on students and teachers that will come from this change."
Melissa Gardner, CCMS Librarian, Dr. Rust, CCS Superintendent, Jennifer Benzoit, CCHS Librarian, Adam Ritter, Principal of CCHS, Jill McGlone, CCS Elementary Librarian, NKASL Spring Meeting 2018.
Member Spotlight - Adele Koch (KLA Representative)
I joined KASL in the fall of 2007 after accepting a school librarian position in Louisville, KY. I had been a part of the professional organizations for public librarians in Indiana prior to moving back to Louisville, so it seemed logical that I should join up here. I enjoyed attending the conferences and meeting other librarians. I also liked finding great PD sessions for librarians, not the general ones for teachers offered at my school. I joined the KASL board in 2010 as the representative of JCASL and then took other board positions including serving as President of KASL.
My current role on the KASL board is as the KLA Representative. I am serving a 3-4 year term (depending on when the next KASL representative is brought on to the KLA executive board). My job is to report to the board about what is happening on the KLA board. I have been able to keep KASL up-to-date as KLA moves to self-management and pivots to a virtual conference this month.
One activity we are currently engaged in at my library is Virtual Book Buddies. My 3rd-5th graders used to be able to go to the preschool on campus to read to students. They would check out a library book to practice and then take it to the preschool to read to a student. Since COVID has changed the ECE guidelines, we have had to pivot to do a virtual book buddies program. We use Screen-cast-o-matic to record the students reading their books. The students record their faces (we record in rooms alone so they can take their masks off) as they read on a small area of the screen; the rest of the screen is the pictures of the book they are reading. We load the videos into a bitmoji page the kids can access with SHMS provided iPads. These videos are restricted to our preschool students, and not posted publicly online to protect author copyright. While it is not as wonderful as reading in person, we thought it safely allowed the preschoolers to still hear stories and see the faces of the kids reading them.
Kentucky Book Festival - November 6
The Kentucky Book Festival returns to Lexington this November, with events occurring November 1-5, culminating in a daylong celebration at Joseph-Beth Booksellers on Saturday, November 6, starting at 10:00 a.m. Most events are free, but some require a ticket. Visit kybookfestival.org to get tickets and learn more about this year's KBF!