October 20, 2021 5:00-7:00pm; Virtual on Zoom
Presentation from Feed Kids Massachusetts - guest Victoria Martins,
Project Bread: For detailed information refer to flyer one and two or reach out to Victoria_martins@projectbread.org. The goal is legislation for universal free school breakfast and lunch in MA.
Approval of minutes: motion by Georgina, seconded by Ella, all in favor, motion carried, minutes approved.
2. Housekeeping: Please keep your webpage up to date, and any general webpage updates can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org; meeting dates are in the dashboard.
(i) Treasurer - Michelle Fontaine: Ongoing discussions with CVENT. MSLA engaged CVENT for membership payments, database maintenance and to manage conference registration. Suggestions for future vendors include Stripe or Wild Apricot. We currently have PayPal. Whova handles all conference payments.
(ii) MLS Liaison - Christi: April is on leave; teen summit videos are posted in a showcase, virtual totebags available, 300+ in attendance, virtual format allowed for increased access. MLS Annual Meeting on 11/1/2021 at 1pm, schools can vote. Keynote speaker is Elsa Sjunneson. Note: MLS offers site visits and are available to support.
(iii) Professional Learning and Conference - Alix: MSLA Conference March 26-28, all virtual on Whova, the theme is “Reset, Recharge, Reimagine: School Libraries in the Age of COVID”. Next steps are to post it on the website, finalize the logo and send out save the date notices. Next meeting 11/2/2021.
(iv) Advocacy - Georgina: response from letter to Eric Lesser. MSLA Board to review it and re-send to Senator Lesser and 35 additional legislators that signed on to support the letter. Georgina is developing a package giving members the tools and language to deliver a universal message. Alix: invite legislators to the conference.
(v) Outreach - Deb: presentation at School Board to have 80 school librarians by 2024, approved, positions will be centrally funded so Principals cannot cut or reallocate to other faculty. Initial focus will be dual language schools and schools with pre and post school care. Additionally, all books lost during COVID will be funded and replaced, and
a budget of $10 per student for books has been approved.
(vi) Awards - Ingrid & Pat: weekly meetings to get the awards process up & running; open through Nov 22nd; note the nomination window has been shifted ahead of the holiday season; looking at ways to highlight the work of librarians
(vii) Forum - Luke & Reba: new feature Q&A with new librarians; looking for middle school and technology columnists; podcast episode on Dewey an extension of the listserv conversation.
4. ALA Legislative Summit Report: Jen Directive from ALA for all State representatives to join a Saturday Zoom meeting; 46 states and DC present. The purpose was to learn about cases of books deemed inappropriate, and challenges to libraries and staff. Information was shared about the 2019 summit from the Heritage Foundation to bring together local groups in a coordinated, funded effort. Their goal is to file legislation to remove public libraries and schools ability to make their own decisions re: purchasing literature. Eg School boards will oversee and approve all book
purchases for school libraries. This would take away teacher and librarian first amendment protection. Sept 2020-21 saw a 60% increase in book challenges.
Ella noted this is a larger advocacy opportunity also to let legislators know that libraries are under attack, and librarians have a professional responsibility to protect a students right to read. This could be viewed as a positive opportunity.
Jen noted this is a national issue.
5. Positions/Initiatives: Jen
(i) Social Media: We currently have three Twitter accounts, need to coordinate with Facebook and create an Instagram account, looking for a volunteer to coordinate this effort, Jen may also reach out to general membership
(ii) Bookmark contest: Looking for an interested volunteer for this role, may also open to general membership
6. Brainstorm / Priorities / Annual Meeting follow-up: Jen
The long term / 5 year strategic plan is coming up. We looked at three topics in the July annual meeting: listening tour, advocacy and DEI. The advocacy group noted the importance of librarians job descriptions eg not being used as a sub.
Importance of educating admin and school committee on what our roles are, Ella noted there is an information gap between educators and admin about our roles. Same for para’s job description and why there is a need in the library. Share from breakout groups:
(i) Listening tour: set up a mentor system for new librarians; develop and send postcards about the services we offer and how we can support teachers and students
(ii) Advocacy: Information gap; strategies to bridge the gap eg template job description for members (certified vs para), paras who work alongside vs paras working independently; how much you can achieve through funding a certified
librarian with a para working alongside
(iii) DEI: dismantling white supremacy workshop; diversify the workforce; pathways to certification; incorporate into conference proposal forms to indicate how DEI will be implemented during the program as a way of reflecting how the
conference as a whole is committed to DEI.
7. November meeting: Jen
Plan for the next two years, then look ahead to strategic plan through 2028. Morgan asked about a way to identify members who retire or move out of state for the mailing list to stay current.
Meeting Adjourned: motion to adjourn, all in favor, meeting adjourned 6:58pm.