Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library - School Library Month

by Brooke King, Librarian at Atascocita Middle School in Humble ISD, TxASL Talks Editorial Board Chair

Get ready! April is school library month. It’s the time of year to celebrate your library and share your programs with your school community and beyond. The American Association of School Librarians encourages school librarians to host activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning. Learn more about the history of School Library Month.

The 2019 theme is Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library. The 2019 spokesperson, author Dav Pilkey, knows this to be true from his experiences growing up. “Reading without judgment was a turning point in my life and that is what made me a lifelong reader. Over the years I’ve had the privilege to have met many committed librarians whose passion and dedication to literacy is life changing,” he states on the AASL’s website.

How can you show your community how central the library is to school learning? Here are some ideas.

Have students or staff display their favorite books they recommend. I like using these chalkboard hearts for students to write the reason they recommend the book.

Book Tastings are always a fun way to promote reading in the library. I have had book tastings by topics in specific genres or by multiple genres.

One of my favorite interactive displays is a selfie station where students write reasons they love their school library and then snap a selfie using the library’s iPad.

Makerspaces or book clubs are other programs you can highlight during School Library Month.

Find other ideas on the AASL’s School Library Month website

What do you do to celebrate School Library Month? Let us know in the comments!

TLA Conference 2019: Connecting to Innovate, Inspire, and Impact

by Nancy Jo Lambert, TASL Chair, Librarian at Reedy High School, Frisco ISD

The Texas Association of School Librarians has some outstanding programming in place for the 2019 Texas Library Association Annual Conference in Austin!

We hope that you will make plans to purchase a ticket and join us for Tech Camp this year! The time to register for Tech Camp is NOW! Check out this pre-conference experience for the forward-looking, technologically curious librarian: http://bit.ly/txla19tc and be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates http://bit.ly/techglamp2019

One of the new featured programs this year is the TASL Maker Playground! The Maker Playground, sponsored by MackinMaker, will feature 8 nationally recognized presenters who are expert makers! The Maker Playground will be open on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10-4. You can see the full playground schedule, presenter information, and videos here http://bit.ly/taslmaker

TASL is offering some amazing programs Monday-Thursday of conference. Mark your schedule now for the programs and presenters you most want to see! You can see program information by day here: http://bit.ly/tasl19programs and you can see the Flipgrid videos for all the TASL programs here https://flipgrid.com/tasl2019.

TASL is also hosting 2 Hands On Labs on Monday. You must purchase a ticket for these by March 31st. These nationally known presenters will guide you through the 3D design process using TickerCad and show you how to inspire creativity through digital storytelling using Book Creator and CoSpacesEDU.

And finally, our 39th Annual Texas Bluebonnet Award Luncheon, sponsored by Bound To Stay Bound, will be Wednesday at 12:00 and will feature the award winning book Sergeant Reckless by Patricia McCormick, Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno! You are cordially invited to purchase your ticket and come celebrate with us!

I am beyond excited about this year’s TASL Programming and I can’t wait to see you at #TXLA19! This year’s conference promises to be rich with learning and will provide many opportunities to innovate, inspire, and impact your school library!

Nancy Jo Lambert
Texas Association of School Librarians Chair 2018-2019
You can find me on Twitter @NancyJoLambert

10 Reasons to Know and Use Your Child’s Texas School Library

By Dorcas Hand, School Library Advocate, Students need Libraries in HISD

As the TLA and TASL Awards season gets active, I’d like to talk about a project that developed from my service for the TASL Legislative and Advocacy Committee a few years ago. Some things just take awhile to come together. The Shirley Igo Award goes to a PTA in a Texas school that collaborates with it’s school library. There are two key words in that sentence: collaborate and school library. And PTA: the award is intended to raise awareness in PTAs the benefits of school libraries, and to inspire collaboration to build stronger libraries in as many schools as possible. While Susi Grissom and I worked with TASL and TLA leadership to rebuild the relationship with the Texas PTA, we also realized that the TASL website and the TPTA website could benefit from access to information that can be handed directly to parents about school libraries.

With that in mind, Susi and I have pushed forward - and can share today one result which you can find posted to the TASL Advocacy page and linked here. In two forms.

First, a generic flyer that can be used by any school library advocate to remind parents anywhere in Texas why they should “Know and Use Your Child’s Texas School Library.” This will be posted to the TASL Advocacy page for easy access.

Also posted there will be an CUSTOMIZABLE version. Texas school librarians will be able to add their school logo at the top, their contact information at the bottom. There will also be a spot to add the TexQuest login details.

Both flyers are one page only, easy to print, even in only black and white if that’s what is needed.

Please download these flyers to put them to use in your school as soon as possible. You might even share with your local public library for display in the children's and YA areas.