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The week before I started my brand new job as a school librarian, at my brand new school, I headed off to Library Camp! On my drive to the conference, my stomach was full of jitters fueled by both excitement and nervousness. As I approached the entrance to the building where camp was being hosted, I battled against fears that I would feel inadequate and overwhelmed by the knowledge of the other attendees. However, upon walking up to registration, all of that dissolved.
I was greeted warmly, handed a LEGO pal, and found a seat at a table of happy faces. Despite there being an obvious established camaraderie among many of the Library Media professionals surrounding me, everyone was eager to meet me. As soon as I mentioned that I was a first year Library Media Specialist, phone numbers and emails were being jotted down and passed my way. It turns out I did end up feeling overwhelmed, but in the best of ways...I was overwhelmed by the kindness and willingness to help that exists in the school library community.
After the key note pumped me up with enthusiasm to learn as much as possible throughout the day, I headed off to my selected workshops on databases and google sites, which were both extremely helpful in getting me started in my new position. Since the school year began, I have been able to build a new library website for our school and am already considering new database options for next year! I also attended the 7-12 grade round table and young adult literature discussion. These provided me with lengthy lists of ideas to try out with my teachers and students, which have proved to be enriching successes so far.
Overall, Library Camp was exactly what I needed to jump start my first year as a school librarian. I can't wait to return next year with my own stories and tips and a readiness to learn more from my professional peers!
The week before I started my brand new job as a school librarian, at my brand new school, I headed off to Library Camp! On my drive to the conference, my stomach was full of jitters fueled by both excitement and nervousness. As I approached the entrance to the building where camp was being hosted, I battled against fears that I would feel inadequate and overwhelmed by the knowledge of other attendees. However, upon walking up to registration, all of that dissolved.
After the key note pumped me up with enthusiasm to learn as much as possible throughout the day, I headed off to my selected workshops on databases and google sites, which were both extremely helpful in getting me started in my new position. I was able to build a new Library website for our school and am already considering new database options for next year! I also attended the 7-12 grade round table and young adult literature discussion. These provided me with lists of ideas to try out with my teachers and students.
Library Camp 2019 was full of useful and relevant resources that I wanted to explore before writing a blog entry. The opening session with Ali Schlepp helped ground my focus and energize me, giving me a feeling of optimism and solidarity in the school library field at a national level.
The first session with Stephanie Charlefour had great database resources, and was incredibly well-researched and thorough in its reviews and utility. She introduced me to many as we work together, but I hadn’t explored many in depth and it really helped that she took the time to speak with the representatives to talk about costs and practical uses!
The collaborative session was huge, and t was lovely networking with such an engaged and passionate group of local librarians!
After lunch where I got to meet more amazing people and learn about their libraries, I explored Google Sites with Justine Thain. She helped me see places I could tweak in my own site and add interesting elements to polish it. Especially useful was the emphasis on universal accessibility. She gave us step-by-step tutorials so everyone could learn together at their own pace.
The end of the day is always my favorite, when Chris Rose brings his arsenal of new books and reads to us. This is a memorable experience! He has such a gift for humor and a passion for communicating his love of literature. Here’s his list of book from this season, https://sau57.org/ld.php?content_id=49595942
Leaving this final session I felt impassioned, empowered and ready to start the school year with new ideas and resources. As the classes are starting, I am continually reminded of conversations and ideas shared from this summer day. Thanks NHSLMA!
Lisa Wiley - Cutler School Library
Summer makes me think of relaxed schedules, swimming, playing outside and . . . camp. Last week, I attended my very first Library Camp. It was awesome! I got to connect with librarians and learn about the latest trends before the start of a new school year. Library Camp began with a fantastic presentation by Ali Schilpp, the 2018 School Library Journal and Scholastic’s School Librarian of the Year. We each received a LEGO Travel Buddy and Ali encouraged us to post our LEGO buddies’ exciting adventures at #LEGOTravelBuddy. Those travel buddies have already covered a lot of territory! She also challenged us to provide our own definition of a “librariCAN” at #librariCAN. Her definition included “Companion, Advocate and Nerd.”
Stephanie Charlefour led a great discussion about the pros and cons of the multitude of databases out there. We discussed how helpful it would be if there was a statewide database consortium. Caitlin Bennett shared her experience with genrefication, which is clearly a Herculean task, but with great results. Then, we had a fun time with Chris Rose learning about all the new books coming out soon.
My summer is now complete since I got to go to camp . . . Library Camp! I can’t wait to go again next summer!
Hopefully everyone has had a chance, by now, to take a breath after this past school year and enjoy some well-earned time to rest, relax and of course, READ! While you are enjoying your summertime pursuits, I want to remind you about NHSLMA's Library Camp!
For those of you who may not know, Library Camp is NHSLMA's summer event. This one day event will be held this year on August 14 at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, centrally located in Manchester. This camp is a great opportunity to think about the upcoming school year and begin to plan how to start 2019 -20.
Our theme for 2019 is Adventures Begin @ Library Camp. This summer's keynote speaker is Ali Schilpp, School Library Journals 2018 Librarian of the Year. Ms. Schilpp's keynote is entitled Adventures Begin ... with the School Librari-CAN (Companion, Advocate, Nerd) about the critical role of librarians in the school, as the ONEs who CAN share the world of words, speak up for kids and build learning confidence. During her breakout session, House of Robots, she and her family (husband, Brian, and son, Abe) will share strategies for developing robotics programs, hosting hands-on STEAM projects and building LEGO confidence in your school library.
Further concurrent sessions throughout the day will focus on three of our AASL shared foundations: Inquire, Curate & Engage. Session topics include favorite databases, genrefication, library website design, the experiences of a first-year librarian, and many more. The wonderful Chris Rose will share his latest book recommendations for elementary and intermediate readers and for our older readers, there will be a YA Book Slam! We have also built in some time for collaboration with grade-level peers, as well because we know how valuable it can be to share and exchange information with each other! AND breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Go to NHSLMA.org to see more and register now!
Join us for a Twitter chat on Monday, April 1st at 7:00pm! Let's talk about "What Powers Your Library?" and show how we are truly Agents of Change for our students, schools and communities!
Although I have worked as the librarian for Newfields Elementary School for 5 years, I had not attended a NHSLMA event prior to the 2019 Agents of Change conference. For someone who works alone at her school and rarely gets to see her colleague librarians in SAU16, being with 200+ school media specialists from around New Hampshire was wonderful. I didn't feel so isolated! I was thrilled to meet new people who have similar questions, challenges, and joys from our jobs working with children.
The two librarian keynote speakers spoke as our colleagues. Shannon Miller offered inspirational stories of making digital connections for her students with people in her community and around the world, including famous authors like Mercer Mayer. She stressed the importance of listening to each child and encouraging them to express their passions, especially students who may have trouble socializing with peers. Simple acts like making Facebook pages to publicize a child's art work or allowing a high schooler to instruct others in 3D printing made a major impact on these students' lives. She emphasized how big things (international charitable projects!) can come from small gestures, ideas, and plans. Diana Rendina gave many practical ways to enrich student experiences using STEM resources and makerspaces. These opportunities can begin in small spaces with small budgets. Students gain from being part of a community, working with partners, and being encouraged to explore, and allowing themselves to fail.
The two author keynote speakers offered personal insight into the works that many of us have read. Rob Buyea described himself as an active child who pursued wrestling but left it to begin a teaching career. He incorporated many of his lessons as a male teacher into his first novel, Because of Mr. Terupt. He was a child who did not really read, but he blossomed into an adult who appreciates the richness of learning. His work shows his empathy with children who are more than two-dimensional bullies or jokesters or "mean girls". Everyone has a story, and knowing their story helps others understand difficult behavior. He emphasized how unknown readers' lives may be changed and improved by reading an author's work, showing his audience how parallels to Mr. Terupt's story inspired a critically ill male teacher to fight a cancer diagnosis. Books can make a difference and change peoples' lives.
Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady series and Hey Kiddo, his autobiographical graphic novel, spoke about his childhood. His favorite reading matter were comic books about super heroes. He, too, was less interested in reading "real books". His love of drawing lead him into creating picture books before publishers took a chance on Lunch Lady, inspired by his visit to his former elementary school in Worcester, MA, where he visited a "lunch lady" he remembered as a child. Marrying text boxes and illustrations into a long-form story was a novel way to make a book for children in the early 2000s. Lunch Lady was printed in black and white tones with yellow (representing iconic cleaning gloves) to save the publisher money in this gamble. His series was one of the first to start the graphic novel craze for children. He only lately has discussed his childhood as the son of a heroin-addicted mother and absent father; his reluctance to share this story has evolved. He now shares his experiences so that others may feel connections and know they are not alone; everywhere he goes he meets people who may never read Lunch Lady or Punk Farm but who feel deeply the humanity and suffering and ultimate hope of his family's story.
I attended break-out sessions on "Unpacking the Standards" of AASL that are guidelines for 21st century librarianship. Though daunting in their breadth and scope, we can all use them as guidelines to improve our practice and make changes that benefit our students. "Innovation on a Tight Budget with Limited Time" showed us some easy and cheap ways to engage students with hands-on learning in ways that go beyond regular library activity. Chris Rose introduced his audience to some new spring titles in middle grade reader and picture book format. Pam Harland encouraged librarians to be leaders in their schools by working on enhancing our relationships with teachers, making ourselves more prominent in school communities, and taking pride in what we do. Sam Dixon gave a compelling and well-illustrated history of graphic novels, from "comics" to today's range of titles and how they can be used with students who are reluctant or resistant readers in place of more traditional novels or non-fiction.
Each session I attended offered opportunities to learn from colleagues and hear others' approaches to problems. This was invaluable. I appreciated the thoughtful planning that went into the conference, the availability of vendors, the excellent meals, the perfectly suited venue, and the collegiality of fellow librarians. Thank you so much for the opportunity to attend, for the scholarship, and for the planning committee's dedication.
Beth B. Lieberman
Newfields Elementary School Librarian, March 2019
I have been a School Library Media Specialist for ten years but this is my first year working in New Hampshire. I was fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend the Agents of Change NHSLMA conference last weekend. This was my first conference in New Hampshire though I have attended many conferences elsewhere. It was a powerful event. I listened to Shannon McClintock Miller discuss how important student voice is. I have many ideas just from her presentation alone. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations by Rob Buyea and Jarret Krosoczka. Listening to them talk about their journey to becoming authors was a treat. The final keynote speaker, Diana Rendina, was also informative.
There were many great workshops to choose from and I had the difficult job of deciding which ones to attend. I am fortunate that my colleagues in my SAU were also at the conference with me. We discussed who would go to which and report back. I visited workshops on librarian leadership by Pam Harland and Future Ready Librarians by Shannon Miller. I also learned new ways to promote reading from Nancy Keane in Tech Savvy Reading Promotion. One workshop that was particularly helpful for me was by Angie Miller. Her workshop, Teaching Research Will Save the World, provided new resources to teach about fake news in research.
I talked to vendors from PermaBound and Gum Drop books about an upcoming project for my library (students ordering books for the library) and both vendors agreed to come talk to my students next year. I have four new professional books to read- all written by presenters at this conference!
This conference was very informative. The time spent with colleagues was amazing. I met many new librarians and have been invited to visit their libraries as well. I am looking forward to next year’s conference!
Seattle was an amazing city to visit and join in the fun at ALA Midwinter! So many highlights at this conference beginning with Melinda Gates as the opening speaker; did you know that The Gates Library Foundation has provided more than $1 billion to libraries around the world? Rick Steves debuted his new book Travel as a Political Act in which he talks about people being fearful of the world and explains how traveling allows us to gain understanding, alleviate fears and broaden our perspectives. An awesome moment for us was meeting Kwame Alexander (Justine got to ride the elevator with him in our hotel) as well as the many other authors speaking about their upcoming books.
Throughout the conference, ALA promoted the importance of libraries with respect to equity, inclusivity and eradicating bias. There were several sessions focused on opportunities to push our communities forward, showcasing our libraries as examples of closing gaps on racial equity and disability access. The Libraries Transform: Social Innovation session discussed ways libraries have become safe havens for people experiencing homelessness. Emilio Estevez hosted two showings of his upcoming movie The Public which puts a spotlight on the role of compassionate public libraries serving marginalized populations. We highly recommend seeing this film if you have the opportunity and sharing it with others!
At the AASL Affiliate Assembly, there was discussion about the AASL Standards share site, which is a new portal in the works for affiliates to submit their Professional Development activities and resources that will become available for the community to use. The AASL Standards portal has new videos and an evaluation checklist. There is also a Twitter slow-chat regarding Standards in the planning stages. It was great to meet with our other Region 1 Affiliates from New England:
Registration is now open for the 2019 AASL National Conference in Louisville, KY, November 14th- 16th. There is currently a $90 discount with the code AASL90, good through March 17th. You can register now, pay later and even bring an administrator for FREE! Keynote speakers include Ellen Oh and Jarret Kroscozka.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at our NHSLMA Conference March 7th & 8th!!
Karen Abraham & Justine thain
The NHSLMA Annual Conference returns in March! Why should we attend conferences? Sometimes it is hard to justify taking one or two days away from our schools to take time for ourselves. Networking with peers is always a wonderful benefit of a conference, it is nice to hear positive stories from colleagues, as well as being able to talk to colleagues who may be having similar problems in their respective positions.
Learning about best practice in our field can be found at the NHSLMA conference through our excellent exhibitors. We will have more than twenty exhibitors ranging from book publishing companies to library automation systems. One on one discussions with exhibitors are great opportunities to discover new products or services that may be just what you need in your library.
Join is on March 7 & 8 in Concord and become an Agent of Change!
As part of our mission to provide professional development opportunities to our membership, we also have scholarships available for members who need financial support in order to attend our conference in March. Please consider applying for a scholarship if you:
Have a plan for professional growth that aligns with an effective school library program.
Do not have other means of reimbursement.
Are working toward a toward a school library degree or certification.
Have a history of involvement in the education or library community.
Are willing to share what you have learned through a workshop, blog post, listserv discussion, or volunteering at a NHSLMA event.
It is easy to apply; just fill out our application and provide one reference. All conference scholarships will be decided by January 25, 2019. We want to see YOU at our conference, so apply today!