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Pandemic Musings from a School Librarian

2020-2021 Is Like No Other

This school year has been incredibly difficult, definitely the most difficult of my 14 years of teaching. I feel very discombobulated, constantly creating and restructuring lessons to fit online limitations, a shorter time block, and a different class rotation schedule. Then there’s the obvious; I’m not in the library. My students aren’t in the library. How can we teach library lessons with no library, or if you’re in school, without book browsing and check out? I’m also very aware of how strange this is for my students, their new needs, all of the new technology they’re using, and the stress that many of our families are feeling. I can relate! I have my own elementary age children, so I’m also juggling work and parenting responsibilities. When I stopped and thought about what would be possible this year, at first, I was at a loss. I had to take a step back and think about what we can do. What is my why? What are my strengths? What I can do to make all of my students’ experiences better in this moment?

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Before Diversifying Your Library Collection- Read This!

Before Diversifying Your Library Collection- Read This!

By: Lauren Lynn 

Caution: The next few sentences will be a pearl-clutching moment for many librarians!  Is Mary Hoffman’s Amazing Grace one of your favorite books?  Well, it is not one of mine! Don’t get me wrong- the story and the illustrations are great and the book has an important message that needs to be told. As for me, it falls into the category of a “struggle book.”  A struggle book is a book that has African American/Asian/Latinx character(s) who must “struggle” to overcome segregation, racism, and/or civil rights.  Struggle books often have characters who have to prove themselves-like our friend Grace who proves to her classmates that a black girl can play the role of Peter Pan. 

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Karen Blumenthal: Award-Winning Author, Journalist, Library Advocate and More

Karen Blumenthal: Award-Winning Author and Journalist

by Charity Harbeck, former Maryland School Librarian and MASL member now residing in North Carolina

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COVID-19 and the NEED for School Librarians

The Beginning

Recently, I started to notice something happening on my social media, something I’d hoped we’d moved away from. I saw a Covid-19 conspiracy video being shared. Not once, not twice, probably dozens of times over a few days. The people sharing the video were not the usual conspiracy theorists or on the political fringe. Some were relatives, some were childhood friends, some were teachers. A few worked in healthcare. They often made comments along the lines of “I’m not sure if this is real, but wow!”,  or “We really need to look into this!”, but the most common was something like, “It’s important to look at both sides of these things.” The video featured a scientist and various medical professionals making a variety of shocking claims, from the idea that wearing masks would make people more sick, to the story about how the scientist was fired and thrown in jail for no cause, to the hospital doctors that are being pressured into coding every death as a Covid-19 death.  It stated, as if fact, that we were weakening our immune systems through quarantine, that if we just lived our lives like normal we could develop our herd immunity. It talked about the money involved, about the researchers, doctors, and foundations holding back a real treatment in favor of making money off of an upcoming vaccine. I thought about it. I researched the video, the people in it, and the claims being made. Frankly, it was a whole bunch of nothing. Almost every part could be thoroughly debunked with just a small amount of research. I stewed. Finally, I realized what all of these people needed…a librarian!

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Meet the Maryland School Librarian of the Year Finalists

Meet the Maryland School Librarian of the Year Finalists

MASL MD is pleased to introduce the top 10 SLOY finalists for 2020.  The winner will be announced May 1, 2020 with a celebration to honor her or him at a later date when social gatherings and celebrations are permitted.  Each of these finalists is a testament and a tribute to her or his profession.  We are amazed and in awe of all the incredible things that are happening in each of these 10 librarian's libraries across the state.  

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Bloggers Needed

Bloggers Needed

Attention MASL members:

Do you enjoy writing?
Do you enjoy sharing your thoughts with others?
Do you have opinions or ideas you want to share?

If you answered yes to these questions, MASL wants to hear from you. We are launching the blog feature of our website and are looking for some enthusiastic monthly or bi-monthly (every other month) bloggers.



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MASL Endorses Steven Yates for ALA President

As an affiliate of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), it is important that we keep you up to date with what is happening in the American Library Association (ALA) and in AASL. In case you have not been following the Twitter posts and the Knowledge Quest blog in recent weeks, voting begins tomorrow for a new host of leaders in the ALA and AASL community. MASL urges you to take the time to exercise ability to vote as a member of AASL and ALA.  Being involved in civic life, whether voting for local officials, our next president, or the executive board of ALA demonstrates that as a member of the library profession you understand the importance of voter and civic literacy.

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