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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 <> or my campaign e-mail <> 

I'd love to hear from you--Sara


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The new Standards for the 21st Century Learner are out!

Hello from Reno,

The AASL Conference is filled with energy and excitement; we can really feel it. The sessions are great, Dan Pink was an incredible keynote speaker and now the new standards are launched. Here's the press release:

And, they are available for download from the AASL home page. They really define how your library media program makes a difference for students. Incredibly huge kudos and much gratitude go to the task force which included co-chairs Cassandra Barnett and Gail Dickinson, Gene Hainer, Melissa Johnston, Marcia Mardis and Barbara Stripling for their vision and responsiveness to the field and to the AASL staff for all the work it took to get them ready to had out here at the conference.

During the process, input came from a draft on the AASL homepage, an open forum at LA Midwinter and from a wiki. Every comment was examined and considered. Thank you to everyone who sent in that input.  I remember so very clearly the AASL  Board meeting in New Orleans when we realized that we had just voted to revise the guidelines AND standards, not just the guidelines as was the item on the agenda. Whew!

There's more to come. The program guidelines are being revised, the Learning Standards and Assessment Task Force is developing a document that will aid us in applying the standards, the Guidelines and Standards Implementation Task Force is looking for the best ways to get the word out about the standards to school library media specialists, teachers, administrators, parents and all involved in education. The Chair of that task force, Susan Ballard, told the people in the Celebrtae Conference that they (and all of us) are members of that task force.

AASL is working hard for us all.



LOL@your library┬« is the theme for Teen Read Week

I had  a wonderful time last weekend at the Minnesota Educational Media Organization (MEMO) Conference at Cragun's Resort in Brainerd, MN after visiting my friend Gordy Hagart's school library, Apple Valley HS in a Minneapolis suburb. I got to meet some of the other great school librarians from the district, too. I now knew that Minnesota Nice is really true and learned about Minnesota Fun! Many thanks go to my personal hosts and taxi drivers, Doug Johnson and Anne Hanson. I am really impressed with the newly created Research Project Calculator, a project funded jointly by MINITEX and MnLINK to develop tools for Minnesota secondary school students and their teachers to do research projects, stressing work with their library media specialists. It is based on the original Assignment Calculator from the University of Minnesota Libraries. Leslie Yoder explained it and demo'ed it for me; it's only available for Minnesota students but we all could do something like it...Hmmmm.

As soon as I got back to school, it was time to get plans rolling for Teen Read Week next week. I was inspired by hearing reading promotion expert Peggy Sharp at MEMO at the same time that my Teaching Assistant Peggy Plank was learning from reading promotion expert Kathy Baxter right in Lake Placid, a meeting I missed by going to MN. I hope to catch Kathy's presentation in Reno at the AASL conference. Watch out, Lake Placid, Sara and Peggy are psyched to do even more to promote reading!

In the vein of laughing out loud at your library, I checked out "Library Man's" latest column, "Ask Mr. Library Man: Call Number for Breakfast is 641.52," a series of "Q & A's" about being a librarian that will make you laugh--and think, I was drawn by his reply to whether NCLB had harmed school libraries. He points out that the library can become a refuge from the NCLB craziness. I disagree, though, NCLB HAS harmed school libraries in many places across the country as library budgets are hit to create "classroom libraries" (library COLLECTIONS!) and school librarians are replaced by literacy coaches...GRRR. These are some of the push for the SKILLS Act...make that call today.

But lots of his humor is really, really funny in a cynical way...which suits me just fine! From his column:

Q: You know that phrase "information is power"? If that were true, wouldn't librarians be the most powerful people on earth?

A: Shhh! You've figured it out. Librarians are the mighty overlords of the planet. Our low pay (relative to education and expertise) and our lack of public esteem are part of a massive cover-up.

LOL@your library®...a lot! 



Still important to get co-sponsors for the SKILLs Act

Equal access for all? There is a difference in student learning between schools with librarians who care about kids and their learning. We know that, our studies show that, but we need to make the connections for our representatives in Washington as they reauthorize NCLB.

Here’s a way to make sure that all students have equal access to the opportunities they need for literacy and learning. The chance to get the Strengthening Kids' Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act) language included in the reauthorization of NCLB is THIS WEEK. Today is the best time to act, but this week is crucial. Calls to representatives from us, our students, their parents, community members, your relatives, union representatives…ALL are important for students’ futures. Make sure your voice is heard.

We are working to make certain that our students have opportunities to learn the skills they need to be successful as they live, work and learn in the 21st Century.

To read more about the SKILLS Act go to: There you can find out who to contact. Once you have your congress person's name, call the Capitol switchboard at (202)225-3121 and ask for your representative's office. Or go to their website for the phone number. The talking points on the Washington office SKILLs Act page work well with the script AASL Advocacy Committee chair Deb Logan posted below from an OELMA advocacy workshop.

Check out the NPR story for ammunition about the need to increase students’ reading scores; they are flat under NCLB as it is now written. The inclusion of SKILLs Act language would make a difference; our studies show the connection:

YOUR voice can make a difference for kids!

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