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SKJ4ALA

I am running for American Library Association President and would welcome your ideas, suggestions and concerns.

To contact me off-blog, feel free to e-mail me at  either my personal e-mail <skjohns@gmail.com> or my campaign e-mail <skj4ala@gmail.com> 

I'd love to hear from you--Sara

 

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Thursday
Feb232006

Tagged in the edubiblioblogosphere!

Alice Yucht started this up in the school library blog world after it made its rounds through the library blog world. Her post is at <http://www.aliceinfo.org/blog/meme-of-four.html> where she answers some questions with four answers.
Chris Harris of Infomancy <http://schoolof.info/infomancy/?p=162> tagged me. Let's see if I can answer these questions on a day when my teaching assistant is out, not returning till next Wednesday. We're a two person staff so it's different when one of us is out, but since it is usually I who's out, I'm not complaining.

 Meme of Four

I'm to choose  any (multiple of four categories):

Four non-library jobs I've had:
gift wrapper
sales clerk in a clothing store 

playground attendant
babysitter 

Four authors, books or series I read over and over:
Gone with the Wind
Gabeldon's Outlander series
Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series
Robert Crais' Elvis Cole series 

Four places I've lived:
Dannemora, NY
Plattsburgh, NY (including Plattsburgh Air Force Base)
Albany,NY
Saranac Lake, NY

Four sites I visit/use daily:
Live Journal (to find out what my son is up to)
Flickr (same, plus my own and friends' photos) 

AASL.org
Amazon 

 More soon...

Monday
Feb202006

Sensitive Topics?

"Oklahoma City’s Metropolitan Library Commission has identified 12 social issues that it deems sensitive enough when treated in a children’s book to warrant the title being restricted to the parenting collection established by commissioners last fall. The 12 restricted categories are: alcoholism, child abuse, child abuse prevention, child sexual abuse, child sexual abuse prevention, domestic/family violence, drug abuse, extramarital sex, homosexuality, medication abuse, premarital sex, and substance abuse...

The titles in the collection will be off-limits to children age 12 and younger unless they have their parents’ permission to borrow the books...“People on either side of the issue may be unhappy with [the] outcome,” library Executive Director Donna Morris said in the February 17 Oklahoma City Daily Oklahoman, “but it does preserve some of our existing policies that call for free access.”

Posted February 17, 2006 on American Libraries Online:

<http://www.ala.org/al_onlineTemplate.cfm?Section=alonlin&template=/
ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=116851>

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

The story excerpted above makes me sad--and angry. I'm a middle/high school librarian and have taught kids aged 11-18 for my whole career. The LAST thing sixth and seventh graders need is to have the issues in their lives labelled as too sensitive to be on the shelves of their school library. They NEED to know that others feel the same way they do, have experienced what they do--and have survived. And they need to trust me, "their" librarian to choose the best titles, fiction and non-fiction, for them to take out freely and either share with their parents--or not. If students are lucky enough to not be dealing with such issues, they need to know that some of their classmates might be--and they need to be compassionate.

Elementary school librarians know their students and their communities and would select the best titles, too, on purpose, that center on some of the themes above. There are excellent picture and chapter books that should be available for students to sign out. 

In Oklahoma City, the children and YA librarians just lost a vote of confidence that they know how to serve their patrons. The community is conservative, but this is beyond conservatism to restrictive...I'm sad. 


Tuesday
Feb142006

What does it take to get that ALA ballot in the mail on time?

When I asked my friend Doug Johnson that question and shared with him a work-in-progress set of bullets on why, as an AASL member, one should take the time and trouble to actually vote and mail or e-mail that ballot back on time (received by 11:59pm on April 24th this year). Friends Alice Yucht and Sandy Schuckett contributed to these.

Here's Doug's response (with a bit of editing): 

Hmm, seems like this could be worked up to a Letterman-type Top Ten reasons to vote in an ALA election...

10. Students benefit when ALA gives stronger support to school library programs; this can only happen with a large number of AASL people in ALA decision-making offices such as Council.
9. ALA should represent all of its members, but it can only do that if all members make their wishes known via voting for candidates who espouse their ideas/positions.
8. It takes 2000 votes for election to Council, 1517 AASL members voted in the last election, out of almost 10,000  possible voters.
7. People who vote have influence over policies and outcomes.
6. “The stakes...are too high for government to be a spectator sport.” --Barbara Jordan
5. Good practice for other elections.
4. May as well use your computer for something constructive and not just playing solitaire.
3. Your chance to vote for the best-dressed candidate.
2. You get the right to bitch about the person who DOES get elected.

And the number one reason for everyone to vote...

1. Barbara Stripling would be president now!

Thanks, Doug, for your input. Some of it I might actually be able to use! 

 Anyone else have ideas about how to encourage AASL members to vote? I'd LOVE to hear them!