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What to Read Wednesday – Getting Ready for the Youth Media Awards December 10, 2014

Posted by Karin Perry in Check this out!.
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The excitement is in the air. Finalists for the YALSA Morris Award and Nonfiction Award have been announced.

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009, honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.  The award’s namesake is William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. Bill Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.

The finalists are:

the strange and beautiful sorrows The Scar Boys gabi the story of owen The carnival at bray


The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 – Oct. 31 publishing year.

popular Port Chicago 50_0 ida tarbell family romanov laughing at my nightmare


The awards will be presented at ALA Midwinter in Chicago on Feb. 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the McCormick Place Convention Center, room W375a.

AASL Awards Update! June 29, 2014

Posted by Susi Grissom in Check this out!.
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Guest blogger Val Edwards, AASL Division Councilor, sends this report on the AASL 2013-2014 Awards program, held this past Saturday at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Yesterday I had a wonderful, inspiring experience.  I was in attendance at AASL’s  2013-2014 Awards program.  This year’s crop of winners are a particularly impressive bunch.

Winners include:

Dollar General Catastrophic Grant recipients Dr. Robinson and Dr. Knittle. Both winners are Superintendents in schools which were decimated by fire. They were models of reliance and champions of libraries.

Frances Henne award winner, Carolyn Stensel transformed her library from tired to dynamic during her two year tenure.  This award is sponsored by ABC-CLIO.

Janet Wells, representing the Kentucky Assn of School Librarians, accepted the ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant to support a training program for the next generation of leader librarians.

This year’s Distinguished School Administrator, sponsored by Proquest, is Arturo Cavazos, Superintendent of Schools in Harlingen, TX.  It was inspiring to hear of the impact that libraries have had on him and his siblings.  Superintendent Cavazos is a strong champion for school libraries.

Brenda Boyer and her teacher colleagues, Allison Kocis-Westgate and Josh Chambers, were awarded the Collaborative School Library Award, sponsored by Upstart.

The Innovative Reading Grant sponsored by Capstone was awarded to Christina Genay who developed a bike bookmobile which she uses to deliver books to her students in poverty.  Her energy and dedication set a high benchmark for us all.

Two Information Technology Pathfinder Awards were awarded this year by Follett.  Recipients were Louise Lankau of Houston, TX and Susan Nottoli form Elk Grove Village, IL.

Cathy Collins received the Intellectual Freedom Award sponsored by Proquest and Debra Kachel of Mansfield University received the Distinguished Service Award sponsored by Baker & Taylor.

Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award went to Elizabeth Lobmeyer of Garden City, KS.  Elizabeth was an inspiration as she lead students in a high poverty school to process social justice themes in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and determine that they had a role in making the world a better place.  They successfully completed a service project which had them making fleece blankets to be sent to the babies of women in jail in Ecquador.  I was awed by the vision, caring and kindness this project brought out.  If this is representative of the caliber of the work we will learn of through this new award, we must all sit up and take notice and contemplate how we will do our part.

Finally, the National School Library Program of the Year sponsored by Follett was announced.  This year’s recipient, Eaglecrest High School of Centennial, CO has upheld the expectation that we will be made aware of exemplary programs in our field.  Having these programs in front of us as models is a great service to our membership.

All in all attending the award program was time well spent.  I left with many ideas for strengthening my own work to support student learning.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Another Opening, Another Show and Another Opportunity to Apply for an AASL Award September 17, 2013

Posted by Susan Ballard in Awards, Check this out!.
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As everyone gears up for another fantastic school year, AASL hopes that members will consider applying for an AASL award to help demonstrate to your community that school librarians and effective school library programs have a positive impact on teaching and learning.

In particular, members will have recently received an email from AASL regarding the National School Library Program of the Year award (NSLPY) sponsored by Follett which indicates that the award criteria and application have been reviewed and updated.  AASL has just posted working documents that can be accessed and reviewed in advance of the official revamped application which will launch in several weeks http://www.ala.org/aasl/awards/nslpy.

Now is the perfect time to begin exploring the process and to further encourage you, over the next three weeks, we are going to share observations from the 2013 award-recipients – Kay Wejrowski from Swan Valley High School, Saginaw MI; Jennifer Jamison, Pennsylvania Avenue School, Atlantic City, NJ; and Lauren Kniola, New Augusta South Elementary School, Indianapolis, IN.

First up is Kay with remarks made at the AASL Awards Luncheon held July 1, at ALA Annual in Chicago, IL.  Kay’s program is an inspiration for those who think you must have a perfect Architectural Digest-type environment – remember it’s the people and the content that counts as Swan Valley’s original application noted – “Our bookends don’t match. Most of the furniture in our library is from the seventies. And yes, we still have some giant box computer monitors. But the patrons in our library don’t even notice. What they do see, however, is a safe place where their questions are answered, their thirst for knowledge is quenched, and their educational, and often social and personal needs, are met.”

The NSLPY Award recognizes school library programs that meet the needs of the changing school and library environment. Exemplary school library programs ensure that the students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. These programs empower learners to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers and ethical users of information. We know there are more of you out there – step up and start the process now!

AASL School Library Program of the Year - Kay Wejrowski

Thank you, American Association of School Librarians and Follett for the great honor today.  Just before the school year ended this spring, Sarah, one of our seniors, said to me, “I can’t believe that I’m graduating . . . I can remember when I was an 8th grader and how I was so afraid of coming to the high school. I remember coming to orientation and telling my mentor how scared I was.”

Sarah told me that the senior who was head of her visitation group reassured her, “You will do just fine in high school. If you get lost, or don’t know what you’re supposed to do, or can’t find your way, just go to the library. They’ll tell you what to do and help you with whatever you need.”

And Sarah said that advice got her to where she is now. What a great testimonial . . . That as long as you can find the library, you’ll be OK.  I can’t take credit for that. The credit for that to happen goes to many people, from our administration, represented here today by Principal Mat McRae, Assistant Principal Kevin Moore, Superintendent Dave Moore, and Board President Jim Stevenson, who worked together to keep our library open in difficult economic times, to our staff, who, on a daily basis, collaborate with our library to create top-notch literacy and technology programs, and who don’t run the other way when they see me coming with yet another hair brained idea. The credit also goes to our parents and community members, including my husband, Gary, and family, who provide generous support, both financially and with their time and talents. And most importantly, to our students, who empower us, and one another, to continually improve.

As we all know, if you want great programs, you surround yourself with great people. Included in our great list of supporters is MAME, our state library organization, the Library of Michigan and Michigan eLibrary, the Michigan Humanities Council and National Endowment for the Humanities, the Saginaw Arts & Enrichment Commission, Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, United Way, and our local businesses and foundations. Our success is reliant upon their leadership and support.

The American Association of School Librarians, along with ALA and Follett, have challenged us to create a culture of readers who are responsible and embrace a love of learning, and then developed a model for us to achieve that goal. AASL’s formula for combining dispositions with the skills that we teach, identifying responsibilities, and providing self-assessments only makes us work harder to improve.

Perhaps AASL’s greatest asset, however, is the people who comprise this remarkable group. The collaboration and mentoring that AASL leaders provide at conferences such as this, and through online communications and publications, is invaluable. The guidance, from the front office, to influential innovators in the field, is instrumental in creating libraries that transition with emerging technologies and curriculum.  Two years ago, at AASL in Minneapolis, Susan Ballard gave me some advice, and I followed it. Last year, on a shuttle bus back to the airport in Anaheim, Judi Repman handed me her business card and said, “Gail Dickinson and I expect to hear from you.” Correspondence since that time has expanded opportunities for our library, and our entire community.

Our principal’s mantra has always been, “It is people, not programs.” If you take nothing else from this conference, take advantage of the fact that the people who are here, from the ALA and AASL staff, to the sponsors, vendors, presenters, and librarians from across the country, are all here to promote literacy and help our libraries transform to meet the ever-changing needs of the communities we serve.

I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the partnership role that Follett has taken to provide us a state of the art library automation system, the latest and greatest resources, and opportunities for growth, with the Follett Challenge.

On behalf of Swan Valley High School, and our entire Swan Valley community, I want to extend our sincerest gratitude to all the sponsors here today, to the Awards Committee, and to AASL and Follett for your continued leadership and support, and for this award.

Thank you.

Next week, we’ll share thoughts from Jennifer Jamison.  Stay tuned!

2012 AASL Award Winners May 5, 2012

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South Texas Independent School District (STISD) and the Hinsdale Township (Ill.) High School District 86 are the recipients of the 2012 National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) Award. The NSLPY recognizes school library programs that meet the needs of the changing school and library environment and are fully integrated into the school’s curriculum. Sponsored by Follett Library Resources, each recipient is recognized with a crystal obelisk and $10,000 for their school library program.

Sharon Coatney is the 2012 recipient of the AASL Distinguished Service Award. Established in 1978 and sponsored by Baker and Taylor, the award recognizes an individual member of the library profession who has, over a significant period of time, made an outstanding national contribution to school librarianship and school library development. Coatney was nominated by Linda Corey.

AASL President Carl Harvey has selected Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island as the recipient of the 2012 Crystal Apple. The honor is given at the discretion of the AASL president to an individual or group that has had a significant impact on school library programs and students.

Kristine Klopp’s project, “Square Off for Reading!,” is the 2012 recipient of the AASL Innovative Reading Grant. Sponsored by Capstone, this grant of $2,500 supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children that motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers.

The “EDSET Research Poster Session and Podcast Project” team from Albany High School in Albany, Calif., is the 2012 recipient of the AASL Collaborative School Library Award. The team – consisting of Sara Oremland, school librarian, Darren McNally, environmental science teacher, Corinne Berletti, history teacher, and Jessica Park, English teacher – works with junior and senior high school students participating in the school’s Environmental Design, Sciences, Engineering, and Technology (EDSET) academy.

Soliciting videos illustrating why the school library is (either physically or virtually) the place to be, the AASL “You Belong @ Your School Library” Student Video Contest Student winners will receive a $100 Amazon.com gift card and Mackin will provide their school library a prize of $500 in books. Winners of are:
Elementary School
Why We Love the Library!
Town School For Boys
San Francisco, Calif.
Middle School
Top Ten Tips for Library Fun
Harry F. Byrd Middle School
Richmond, Va.
High School
You Belong @ Your School Library
White Plains High School
Anniston, Ala.

The Iowa Association of School Librarians (IASL) and its program “Growing the Next Generation of Leaders: A Leadership Academy,” were named the winner of the 2012 AASL ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant. Established in 1986 and sponsored by ABC-CLIO, the grant of $1,750 is given to school library associations that are AASL affiliates for planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional or local levels.

Researchers Ann Dutton Ewbank from Arizona and Daniella Smith from Texas are the 2012 recipients of AASL Research Grant sponsored by Capstone. Established in 1993, AASL Research Grants are given to up to two school librarians, library educators or library information science or education professors to conduct innovative research aimed at measuring and evaluating the impact of school library programs on learning and education.

School librarians Sally Mays and Elizabeth Kahn are the recipients of the 2012 AASL Information Technology Pathfinder Award. Sponsored by Follett Software Company, the $1,500 award recognizes and honors two school librarians – one elementary and one secondary – for demonstrating vision and leadership through the use of information technology to build lifelong learners.

Alisa Auchmoedy-Finck, school librarian at the Marbletown Elementary School in Stone Ridge, N.Y., is the 2012 recipient of the AASL Frances Henne Award. Established in 1986, the $1,250 award, sponsored by ABC-CLIO, recognizes a school librarian with five years or less experience who demonstrates leadership qualities with students, teachers and administrators. As the award recipient, Auchmoedy-Finck has the opportunity to attend her first ALA Annual Conference.

Mat McRae, principal of Swan Valley high school in Saginaw, Mich., is the 2012 recipient of the AASL Distinguished School Administrators Award. McRae was nominated by school librarian Kay Wejrowski.

Showcase your school library media program November 19, 2008

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Showcase your educational leadership. Be a NSLMPY winner.

Each year, AASL honors the best in the school library media world as National School Library Media Programs of the Year. Through this award, sponsored by Follett Library Resources, each winner in the category of school or district will receive $10,000 and the high distinction of being a NSLMPY Award winner. Each year, an award is given to two single schools and one district. The deadline to apply is January 2, 2009.

Less than two weeks left to submit proposals for concurrent sessions at AASL National Conference

Don’t miss the deadline to submit a proposal for concurrent sessions at the AASL 14th National Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 5-8, 2009. The theme of the conference is “Rev Up Learning @ your library.” The conference will offer a number of 75-minute peer-reviewed concurrent sessions. As in previous conferences, program content must address any or all of the three areas of responsibility as identified in Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning:

  • Learning and Teaching
  • Information Access
  • Program Administration

The National Conference 2009 committee encourages proposals that aim to inform conference attendees of the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.

Proposals can be submitted and edited using an online submission process. The deadline for proposals is Monday, December 1.

ISTE’s SIGMS announces a new award March 4, 2008

Posted by Debbie Stafford in Awards, Opportunities.
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Great News!
SIGMS (Special Interest Group Media Specialists) a SIG within the ISTE community. Each June at the NECC conference we have a business meeting. At our SIGMS business meeting during NECC 2007 we began planning for an award focused on School Library Media Specialists collaborating with classroom teachers. This new award has become a reality through the sponsorship of Follett Software Company, Linworth Publishing Inc and ISTE.

There are actually two awards, one for elementary and one for secondary and each award is for a team of two, classroom teacher and SLMS. All school library media specialists are eligible. Submission process opens officially on January 15, 2008. Deadline to submit is March 15, 2008.

From the website;
“The purpose of this award is to identify, promote, and sustain excellence in collaborative and innovative technology-based projects driven by the school library media center in support of curricular and instructional needs in elementary and secondary schools.”

Further information and forms are available on the ISTE website www.iste.org/sigms-award

We will post similar information on the SIGMS wiki