Thursday, December 24, 2009

News from North Vancouver

North Vancouver teacher-librarian Hazel Clark has posed some interesting questions about secondary school teacher-librarianship on her blog "Library Links...Livin' the Dream".

Her first post discusses the importance of teacher-librarians and library support staff and the critical role that both play in a secondary school. Hazel's second post goes into more detail about current proposals being made with regards to school library staffing and funding in North Vancouver.

Teacher-librarians in North Vancouver have also recently created a district library blog at Please consider dropping by to show your support!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter AASL Online School Library Courses

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will be presenting their online continuing education program, "Boot Camp for Your School Media Program", in January and February 2010. In addition to four available online courses, AASL is offering access to an archived webinar for every course enlistment.

January courses include:
  • Design for Understanding Meets the 21st Century Library Media Specialist (with webinar Skills and Content Standards: Let's Mash 'Em Up)
  • Making a Place, Making a Case for Read-Alouds: A Powerful Teaching Tool for Literacy K-6 (with webinar Information Literacy Self-Assessment Strategies)
February courses include:
  • The Path to Collaboration: Making it Happen (with webinar Skills and Content Standards: Let's Mash 'Em Up!)
  • Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Infusing Literacy Skills into the Inquiry Process (with webinar Information Literacy Self-Assessment Strategies)
Pricing for each course (note: in US funds):
  • AASL member $99
  • Retired AASL member $99
  • Student AASL member $75
  • ALA member $149
  • Non-member $225

For more information, including course descriptions and registration information, visit the AASL e-Academy site here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

28th Annual Working & Learning Conditions Survey Results

The BCTLA's 28th Annual Working and Learning Conditions Survey results have been published online. The report includes statistics on the staffing and budget situation in B.C. school libraries. It also includes illustrative comments under three areas.

Most Significant Change Over Five Years

  • Technological change in the school library
  • Changes (mostly decreases) in teacher-librarian FTE assignments
  • Changes in library support staff [time]
  • Increased workload
  • Changes in the role of teacher-librarian
  • Collaboration with classroom teachers
  • Changing student needs and learning conditions
  • On-going underfunding of school libraries
Greatest unmet need in school libraries

  • Not enough collaboration time with teachers and students
  • Lack of access to the school library
  • Need for more physical space and upgrades to the library
  • Lack of technology resources, technical support, and professional development
  • Unmet student needs due to shortage of teacher-librarian time
  • Lack of library resources
  • Lack of library support staff
  • Need for advocacy about the role of the teacher-librarian and school libraries
Recommendations for improving learning and working conditions in school libraries

  • Support the role of school libraries in promoting literacy
  • Increase advocacy and awareness of the value of school libraries
  • Increase and target funding for school libraries
  • Increase (restore) teacher-librarian FTE staffing levels
  • Increase flexibly scheduled library time for teacher-librarians
  • Implement library standards and staff libraries with teacher-librarians
  • Improve access to and conditions in school libraries
  • Provide adequate funding for library resources
  • Improve support for library technology

The 29th Annual Working and Learning Conditions Survey is scheduled to be available for response in January 2010.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Call for Teacher-Librarian Award Nominations

"CASL, a division of the Canadian Library Association, honors professionals in educational institutions at the K-12 level who have made notable contributions to topics relevant to teacher-librarian and teacher collaboration, enriched information literacy across curricular areas, and innovation in teaching, learning and technology that supports 21st-Century learning and school libraries. To all educators, administrators and are invited to nominate a teacher-librarian professional who has made outstanding contributions in a K-12 school community.

Deadline for Nominations: February 28, 2010.

Award Descriptions: Click on each award link below to view the awards details and the nomination form. The awards will be presented during an awards night at the upcoming CLA/ACB 2010 National Conference and Trade Show in Edmonton, Alberta (Shaw Conference Centre: June 2-5, 2010).

Angela Thacker Memorial Award -- This award honours teacher-librarians who have made contributions to the profession through publications, productions or professional development activities that deal with topics relevant to teacher-librarianship and/or information literacy.

Chancellor Group Conference Grant -- The Chancellor Group Conference Grant provides a $500.00 travel grant to support attendance of newly qualified teacher-librarians at the next conference of the Canadian Association for School Libraries (CASL).

Margaret B. Scott Award of Merit -- The Margaret B. Scott Award of Merit honours an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Canadian teacher-librarianship at the national level. Nominees do not need to be members of CASL

The Follett International Teacher Librarian of the Year Award -- The Canadian Association for School Libraries honours, through this award, a school-based teacher-librarian who has made an outstanding contribution to teacher-librarianship within Canada through planning and implementing school library programs, based on a collaborative model which integrates library and classroom programs. Nominees do not need to be members of CASL".

With thanks to Dianne Leong-Fortier, CASL Awards Councillor

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Legislature Visit Featured

On October 26, 2009, in celebration of National School Library Day and Drop Everything and Read, BCTLA visited the BC legislature.

BCTLA's visit to the legislature is featured in the November/December issue (vol. 22, no. 3) of Teacher Newsmagazine. The article, "Teacher-Librarians On The Loose At The Legislature" can be found online here. A pdf copy of the entire November/December issue of Teacher Newsmagazine is available online here.

Thanks again to the BCTF for all of their support in making the legislature visit a reality!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Discontinuation of WebJunction BC

There is sad news about WebJunction BC, the online portal where BCTLA and BCLA members, BC public library staff, library trustees and volunteers can meet to "explore, connect and learn".

WebJunction BC was developed collaboratively over the past two years by the BC Teacher-Librarians' Association, BC Library Association, BC Library Trustees' Association, and the Public Library Services Branch with support from OCLC and WebJunction "Central" staff in the U.S.

Unfortunately, the recent provincial funding cuts to libraries and reduced staffing levels at some of the partner agencies mean that the agreement with OCLC will end on March 31, 2010. At that time all affiliates/members of WebJunction BC will be redirected to the central WebJunction site
. Here you will still be able to access and contribute to great library-related content, take very reasonably priced courses or free webinars, and create online interest groups.

Until March 31, 2010, BCTLA members can still register for free online courses (while they last) and you will have access to any courses you register in for one year from the registration date. Note that to register for the free (or reduced rate) courses you must join WebJunction BC before registering for a course (see the "courses" tab at WebJunction BC for course offerings).

-- with thanks to Ene Haabniit