and the 2017 recipient of the MSLA School Library Advocate Award.
Roger Rosen is the President and CEO of Rosen Publishing
and the 2017 recipient of the MSLA School Library Advocate Award.
Following is a copy of Mr. Rosen's speech to MSLA at the awards dinner for our annual conference on May 7, 2017 for which he received a standing ovation. We want to share this with all who missed it, or for those who want to ponder his passionate defense of school librarians. Thank you, Mr. Rosen, for all that you do for school libraries nationwide. We are very fortunate to have you as our advocate.
Thank you so much for this prestigious honor. It is a privilege to work with all of you as we advocate for school libraries. There has never been a more important time to do so. I believe your profession, and the certified skills with which you practice it so successfully, are bulwarks in the defense of our democracy. Is this perhaps the reason your jobs and your funding have been under constant pressure? If one were given to conspiracy theory—as I, in darker moments, find myself to be—I would say it is distinctly possible. Are there not forces in our country that would like to see citizens incapable of critical thinking, unable to discern distortions and outright lies in reporting, speeches, and data? Would these dark forces not like to see citizens become vulnerable to the reduction of complex issues to simple binaries because as students they did not go to schools with rich resources in their school libraries led by top professionals who could help them become media literate, adept at knowing “fake news” when they see it and not when someone tells them.
Laura Luker is a library teacher at the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School
In these times of fake news and uncertain facts, it is more important than ever for young people to have access to quality, trustworthy sources of information. As school librarians, we are charged with teaching students the vitally important skills of critical reading, questioning, and seeking the information necessary to participate as informed members of society. However, for school librarians striving to teach information literacy, next school year’s lesson plans may contain far fewer resources.
2017 brought the return of MSLA Twitter chats. The first was held on Tuesday, January 10th, on the topic of advocacy. Twitter chats are a great way for members to share ideas without having to go to an actual meeting. It is a virtual meet-up, or collaboration from the couch! The Twitter platform also makes it easy to share online resources and links. If you weren't able to join the chat last month, or want to revisit the resources shared, follow the link below to the archive of the January chat:
The month's Twitter chat was held on Wednesday, February 8th, on the topic of information literacy and fake news. To view the chat and the resources shared, follow the link below:
Mark your calendars -- the next Twitter chats will be held on Tuesday, March 14th and Wednesday, April 12th, both at 7:30 PM
If the September issue of School Library Journal has not made it to the top of your reading pile, you may not be aware that Anita Cellucci, MSLA President, and Laura Gardner, Southeast Area Co-Director, were two finalists for the School Library Journal Librarian of the Year 2016. Check out the articles profiling them at the School Library Journal website:
Dr. Carol A. Gordon is a 2016 winner of the MSLA Service Award
What does equity mean?
Mary Gaver’s early school library impact studies inspired an avalanche of research that established the belief, “Every child needs a school library.” (1958). An awareness of the “equity issue’ has steadily grown as literacy research demonstrates proximity to reading materials results in children reading more, and children who read more, read better (Krashen, 2004; 1995). Information science research shows information is the raw material for knowledge building, and that intervention at the point of need is critical for young information users to become information literate. School librarians have also embraced digital literacy to provide digital access in an environment of instruction, application, practice, help, and revision. While access to digital content depends on bandwidth capacity and speed or the number of devices students can access, acquiring digital technology does not automatically result in digital equity. School librarians know that students do not have full access to digital content without developing multiple literacies. There is no equity without an education that provides access and opportunity.
Samantha Whitney is a librarian at Gloucester High School
and a winner of a 2016 MSLA President's Award
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, and find your eternity in each moment.”
― Henry David Thoreau
While completing course work in my school library teacher program, one of my professors advised us to lay low, observe behaviors in leadership, identify those with influence and to not make waves in the first couple of years on the job. I often reflect on this advice as I pass the ocean every day on my way to school and how happy I am that I did not completely follow that advice. Getting involved in my community and making waves helped to advance my school library program initiatives and position the library as an integral learning resource. Most importantly, the decision to jump in quickly has made me a confident, knowledgeable, and effective teacher.
Judi Paradis is a Librarian at the Plympton Elementary School in Waltham, MA
and a 2016 winner of the MSLA Service Award
I didn’t intend to spend 10 years giving most of my spare time to MSLA, but things lead to things, especially when they begin with an outrage. It was 2003 and I had just switched careers to become a school librarian in my home town. I loved my job to the point of obsession. The principal praised the program I was building; parent volunteers were showing up in droves; and kids were coming before and after school to get books and do odd bits of independent research. And then…..the budget crashed. Suddenly the library program disappeared and I was not only unemployed but outraged. While I quickly found another post, my outrage did not subside. MY VERY OWN CHILDREN were still in a town without a library program. As I drove 7 miles to work each day, all I could think about was that they didn’t have what the kids two towns over had—and all because we didn’t have an office park or a strip mall.