ALA Midwinter Meeting

Denver, CO
January 25, 2009

Meeting Summary

Notes filtered through the mind of Sheri. Please make revisions where necessary.

1. Update from Paul on CGCS Meeting in Houston:
  • Jim Hundemer and Paul Whitsitt attended the CGCS Meeting in October 2008.
  • Attendance was not as high as they had wished. End of the day placement in the program schedule was not the best.
  • They felt that the goals of the two groups presenting in their session did not match (other group: Chess Program with Primary Children). They were both programs on critical thinking.
  • Not sure if they were reaching the right audience.
  • Jim created great packets of information that included documents such as School Libraries Work, the new standards , and a top 10 list for administrators . Jim also brought tons of fun giveaways for the attendees.
  • Discussion was limited, but they did get questions. They talked about the SLM research. There was 10 minutes of talking and the rest of the time was for discussion. The discussion, however, was not really library motivated.
  • Paul showed clips of Chicago’s reading motivation program. They talked about after school programs. Jim talked about the standards.
  • At least literacy questions were directed to the library folks.
  • Barbara presented at to the NY School Board Association and had a similar experience to Paul and Jim’s. The audience was not engaged.
  • The goal for the next conference should be to have more Network members attend and be in the rooms to ask questions and bring libraries into the discussion.
  • The next CGCS meeting is in Portland, OR in October. There is a new SLMP director in Oregon, but he or she is not a school library person. She is a project manager and not a librarian, which may or may not be problematic. We might need to bring her into the fold.
  • Lessons learned from this visit: (1) The format of the conference and presentations, (2) the conference is heavy on research, (3) we need a better time slot, and (4) the sessions were in long blocks of time. We can now make the most of the format.
  • Next steps: We should find out if there are exhibits or booths. We could do something out in the open like a poster session to meet people during breaks. We need more glitz- marketing materials. This format could work better for our needs.

2. Meetings and conferences Network members will be attending
  • SLJ Meeting in DC: Librarians as leaders in 21st c. education
  • AERA conference in San Diego: M. Mardis at FSU and Irene Harworth put together a panel on urban SLMPs. Sheri and Paul will both be presenting at this conference . Sheri will specifically be presenting a conceptual and research framework for the Network.
  • ALA Annual in Chicago: The Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries will host a half day meeting in the Professional Library. Meet the team that worked with Ann to reopen the department and the members of the current department. There will be roundtable discussions and some time for socializing. Possible roundtable topics: AASL standards implementation, library automation, reading motivation programs, Improving Literacy through School Libraries grants, Professional Library services, and IMLS Librarians for the 21st Century grants.

3. AASL Board/Strategic Planning meeting in Denver
  • 5 strategic planning goals were discussed
  • One goal was fostering strong communities among school librarians.
  • Urban SLMPs came up for discussion and it was suggested that AASL target and emphasize the needs of urban SLMSs and SLMPs. AASL decided to consider urban SLMPs a high priority. This can address the problem that many urban SLMSs do not see AASL as relevant to their situations and, consequently, are not AASL members. Ann Martin envisioned the Network as part of AASL. We should think about having a presence there, but not being officially integrated into AASL. Both groups should be working on the topic.

4. Building community among Network members
  • There is more communication going on among Network members than we might think – outside of official gatherings.
  • Face-to-Face communication is effective and the small group that is able to meet regularly is definitely building community. There is a nucleus forming.
  • Consider meeting every 2 years.
  • Add offline or web meetings—Monthly Skype or phone conference calls centered on specific topics. Start with Skype or traditional phone conference and move to video conferencing. Held on the second Monday of every month. People can take turns leading the calls. SLMP supervisors do not always have to participate—someone can participate for you based on the topic. Use the wiki to suggest and schedule the conference calls. Topic examples: Implementing the standards, library automation, and open source technologies. Sheri will identify the topics and the dates. People can sign up to take ownership of that call. Keep it simple for now. Later-post recorded conversations to NING or create a podcast.
  • What about districts without Supervisors/Directors? Ask them to appoint a liaison and bring that person into the fold.

5. Other topics
Jody shared a document called the Learner's Bill of Rights for use in addition to the new AASL standards. This document can be coupled with the top 10 list for administrators document. Combined, the documents present what administrators should know and what students deserve. “Learner” could mean students, staff, etc. Both documents will be posted to the wiki.

6. Next steps- ALA Annual in Chicago
A Network event is being planned for Friday morning, July 10, 2009. Hosted by Paul Whitsitt and the CPS Dept. of Libraries. Details to follow.

Related documents

AERA panel on urban school libraries