October 26, 2011
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June 26, 2011
On Sunday, May 22nd, the community of Joplin was hit by a devastating EF-5 tornado. Several area schools were significantly damaged or destroyed by this storm. Almost half of the Joplin School District’s 8,000 students live in the area damaged by the tornado.
June 26, 2011
The American Association of School Librarians’ Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database is a tool to support school librarians and other educators in teaching the essential learning skills defined in the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Visitors can search the database using learning standards, topics, grade-levels, schedule types, resources and keywords. But this tool is much more than a search engine; it’s a community for collaboration, professional standards and personal growth.
To ensure a lesson plan database of the highest quality, prior to submitting content AASL asks users to review the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century LEarner Lesson Plan Rubric and Checklist at www.ala.org/lessonplandatabase.
To register and begin contributing to the Lesson Plan Database, visit http://aasl.jesandco.org
Don’t forget to check out ISLMA’s I-SAIL document, which will soon be updated to include alignment with the new Common Core standards. Also, the 3rd edition of Linking for Learning is an accessible, current, working tool that connects school library media programs to information literacy and the Illinois Learning Standards. Linking for Learning focuses on the integration of information and technology into learning. Linking for Learning provides an implementation framework which emphasizes planning and assessment.
April 15, 2011
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The Illinois School Library Media Association/Library Book Selection Service will issue its third annual book grants this year. Public and private school libraries as well as public libraries registered in any of the Illinois Readers’ Choice awards programs—the Monarch Award, the Bluestem Award, the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award, and the Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award—are eligible to apply.
Grant recipients will be awarded one set of the 2012 reading campaign books for the award program indicated on their application. The titles in each book award set are determined by the individual committees in charge of the reading award programs. Sets include one copy each of the 20 or 22 books depending on the award program selected.
Information about the grant is available at the ISLMA/LBSS Endowment Fund website (www.lbssfund.org). The online application form will be available at the website beginning March 15, 2011. All grant applications must be submitted by May 15, 2011. Applicants must also be registered for the appropriate 2012 Reader’s Choice program by May 15, 2011 (a separate process). Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, by fax to 309/649-0916 or by phone to 309/649-0911.
Funds for the endowment fund were received by the Illinois School Library Media Association when the nonprofit Library Book Selection Service was dissolved in June of 2005. A stipulation of the agreement between LBSS and ISLMA was that the assets be invested in order to fund grants to encourage student reading of quality literature in Illinois.
Book vendors interested in bidding for the contact to provide books for this grant will find information at the same website. This is a competitive bid.
The ISLMA/LBSS Endowment Fund’s mission is to “Promote reading in Illinois.” The fund awarded over 400 sets of books to school and public libraries since 2008.
January 25, 2011
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Linking for Learning 3rd Edition:
Your Resource for a Stellar Library Program
February 21, 2011
We invite you to delve into Linking for Learning which presents the newly revised school library guidelines for Illinois and references such recent documents as AASL’s Standards for the 21st Century Learner and ISLMA’s own I-SAIL. The updated edition on Linking for Learning was a whole year in the making, with input from a diverse group of librarians from all over the state. It includes many changes and incorporates a whole new look! Learn how to use Linking for Learning 3 to apply the guidelines to your own program and advocate for your program to your administrators and board.
Presented at 2 Locations
Choose the best location for you when you
register at the ISLMA Website
Connie Ammon & Daniel Russo
Location: National Louis University,
North Shore Campus Library
Becky Robinson & John Moranski
Location: Decatur Public Library
Participants need to have a copy of Linking for Learning, 3rd ed. on the day of the presentation. You may bring a copy, or purchase one when you register.
Linking for Learning: $15 (received at workshop)
Recertification credit (3 CPDUs) is available for those attending the workshop and ISLMA will issue forms when evaluations are completed.
Registration closes February 15. If the minimum number of 10 registrants is not reached, the workshop will be cancelled. Once registration is processed, participants will receive directions and/or further instructions.
Have ?s Contact:
Mary Jo Matousek
January 25, 2011
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Why WebJunction Illinois?
School library staff has need for resources to improve service to students, share best practices and challenges, and compensate for the loss of consultants at the Illinois Library Systems. Join us for a one hour introduction to show how WebJunction Illinois can provide these services to you electronically and at a time that is convenient for your schedule. On Tuesday, February 15 from 3:30-4:30 CST Judy Rake will electronically walk you through just how WebJunction Illinois is a tool that speaks specifically to school library needs and concerns. Judy was the youth services consultant at the Lewis & Clark Library System who provided resources and support for the LCLS school media specialists.
When you register for free on the ISLMA website, include your email address and you will subsequently receive the URL to join the presentation. If for some reason you can’t join us that date and time, the presentation will be archived and a link to the archive will be forwarded to ISLMA to distribute so the information can be available to all.
If you have specific topics you definitely want included, please email Judy email@example.com by February 1 so that she can be sure that topic is included in her presentation.
Recertification credit (1 CPDU) is available for those attending the scheduled presentation and ISLMA will issue forms when evaluations are completed and have been received within 10 business days of workshop.
Have ?s Contact:
Christy Semande or Mary Jo Matousek
(309)221-5609 630-254-7770 evenings
December 10, 2010
2010 Conference Highlights
Stephanie Stieglitz, Conference Chair, MRC Director, The Lane, Hinsdale
David Little, Astoria CUSD #1
This year’s Conference Steering Committee kept the heart of the ISLMA conference, the great professional development, but tried several new things. For example the annual business meeting was held at a Friday morning continental breakfast instead of a Thursday night dinner. Seminars were offered on Saturday afternoon for the first time. The Pheasant Run location was new for ISLMA. Sponsorships by Gale Cengage Learning, Capstone, Rosen, and CIM Audio Visual helped to keep conference costs down for attendees.
At the Friday awards banquet, Sandy Walles from Washington Community High School accepted the 2010 Highsmith Award for its Readapalooza program. The featured speaker was Michael Sullivan, who started working as a computer operator and then became a special needs teacher at a boarding school. He eventually left to work in public libraries and received the reputation as a director who could turn around libraries in crisis, for which he was named the New Hampshire Librarian of the Year. After he wrote his first book gear about Escapade Johnson, he received a letter from a grandmother named Fran who previewed the book before letting her nine-year-old grandson read it. She found it enjoyable but listed eight pages that she found objectionable, concluding that the book would have been just as good without those elements, especially the incidence with the poop. Sullivan disagrees with her, saying those eight pages were what made the book appeal to boys like her grandson. In a nation where one out of three boys is in remedial reading, we librarians need to find books that appeal to boys. Boys are externalists. If they can’t touch it or feel it, they don’t think it pertains to them. Girls are internalists, often seeing the good and even the evil of characters in themselves. To get into the mind of a teenage boy, he told the story of his nephew who while driving a tractor in the field behind his house discovered that the rear brakes could be engaged separately and immediately began to do wheelies until he overturned the tractor on himself. Luckily he was not hurt. When he extricated himself, he called his father, who came and got the tractor upright and then proceeded to try to do wheelies himself.
Sullivan says that all kids read to become better people, but that boys see the world operating differently from girls. Girls like books where the characters get together to solve the problem whereas boys see that as working in committee and that nothing valuable ever came from committee. They prefer the home depot approach—rules and tools. Boys read to understand the world around them. Girls look for characters and boys look for plot, for action. They also need the visual stimuli that graphic novels give. So many men will tell you that they began reading comic books.
Sullivan credits his high school librarian with tricking him into reading his first book. During his sophomore year in high school, the librarian snuck a brown paper envelope across her desk and told him not to tell anyone she was letting him read the book inside. He immediately went to his dorm room at boarding school and began to read for all the dirty parts—and there were none. She had given him The Hobbit by Tolkein. It took him two days to finish, and he spent the next four weeks reading the other three. Fantasy appeals to boys because it is about an outward journey. Unfortunately, many of us see fantasy as a stepping stone to “better reading,” reinforcing the message that as poorer readers, boys should be striving to read literature, which we equate with fiction or novels. It is the same message we give when we tell boys that nonfiction is not “real” reading. However, boys when given a choice prefer non-fiction half the time, and yet over three-fourths of our collections are usually fiction. Gothic horror like books by Darren Shan and Stephen King also appeals to boys, even though it freaks adults out that boys choose to read these books. They believe boys will become obsessed with violence, but Sullivan believes it is an attempt to explore an aspect of life they don’t understand. Instead of turning to the media, which often does not follow through with the consequences of the violence, or actually acting out the violence, reading about it offers a safe way to explore it. Humor is also important in books that appeal to boys as a stress reliever. The humor is a little edgy because boys are exploring their limits, and no one want to explore the middle of the map.
Sullivan says we are so focused on reading levels and achievement tests and teaching skills and filling in the correct bubbles that no one looks at reading as fun anymore. He says that research shows that the only factor that improves reading is the amount of time spent on it—practice, practice, practice. He says that the type of literature that appeals to boys has value because boys find value in it, and that indeed poop is often necessary.
At the author breakfast Saturday morning, more than thirty different authors were in attendance at the Saturday breakfast, scattered among the tables. Following the presentation of the three book awards, these authors were available to autograph their books, most of which were available to buy at the showcase.
The first speaker was Mary Downing Hahn, who has been nominated six times for the Rebecca Caudill award and is a winner for Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story in 1990 and now twenty years later for All the Lovely Bad Ones in 2010. Hahn got the idea for her latest winner from the William Blake poem about chimney sweeps in Songs of Experience. Orphaned children were fed little so they could go down chimneys, which branched out to many rooms in the house. These children could be lost, and some even died. When they got too old, too crippled and too large to do the work, they were put out on the street to beg. This outraged Hahn, but there were no more chimney sweeps to save. At one point she also stayed in a former poor house in New York state. The owner had fixed the middle of three buildings as an inn but intended to use the other two as a museum and took Hahn on a tour. She especially found the basement for the “crazy” people frightening. A local farmer could leave his wife there if he no longer wished to be married to her, and the only way she could be released would be if he returned for her. The longer the woman protested her sanity, the more she appeared to be crazy. Many died on the poor farm. In the nearby cemetery were graves with no names on them—only numbers, because families did not want others to know that relatives had had the misfortune of spending time at the poor farm. In All the Lovely Bad Ones, the children decide to help out their grandmother with her failing inn by pretending to be ghosts but actually stir up the spirits of the dead in the nearby cemetery. Hahn says she doesn’t know “the depths of my darkness” when things start happening that she doesn’t expect to happen. She is amazed that people don’t say to themselves “You look like such a nice woman…do we dare turn our children over to this woman’s mind?”
Melanie Watt made a short acceptance video for her Scaredy Squirrel, which was the Monarch winner. She wanted to have a character that has a special talent and who discovers it when he takes risks—“just like me as a children’s author.” Although Scaredy Squirrel couldn’t be with her, she read a note from him: “I am afraid of insects. Thankfully monarch butterflies don’t bite.”
Simone Elkeles, author of Rules of Attraction, the sequel to Perfect Chemistry (a current Abraham Lincoln High School Book Award nominee), is also the author of Leaving Paradise (a current Abe book award nominee). Ms. Elkeles was a reader as a small child but stopped reading in sixth grade and began hating it. She certainly never saw herself as a writer. In fact, she went to Purdue because they did not require an essay unlike the state universities in Illinois and then transferred back to Illinois. She began writing teen romance novels because she likes romances. Ms. Elkeles enjoys talking to teens about her books. She finds that girls enjoy reading romance because it gives them “a confidence boost.” They like to think that a boy can be changed through love but as one girl laughingly said, “ in reality that doesn’t [happen].” Reluctant readers are drawn to the edginess in her books, which are filled with language that teens use today. She took her books to a skateboarding park and got boys who said they never read to agree to read her books. As one teen fan wrote: “Please keep it coming with the romance, cursing, and sex.”