BLOG

Pre-Service School Librarians and the Way They See It

Introduction

For the past several years, I have been teaching the course LBSC 741 on school librarianship for the University of Maryland iSchool.  Each term, I have the great pleasure of meeting and working with future school librarians and educators who are working on their MLIS.  This spring, while a spring like no other, did not disappoint. The students in my class were incredible.  I enjoyed working with them so much that I asked them if it would be okay to put together a blog post for the MASL site using some of their work.  What follows is an amazing set of highlights from one of the final projects in the course: The Five Roles of the School Librarian. 

Read More

Keeping it REAL (Respectable, Exceptional, Accountable, Limitless) with Tween girls!

I sponsor a girl’s club at my school, Keeping It REAL (Respectable, Exceptional, Accountable, Limitless).  The club covers topics like peer pressure, body image, role models, self-defense, and nutrition.  In past years, our club has met in person with speakers, yoga, and self-defense instruction. There has always been lots of social interaction.  Of course, with COVID, we had to make it virtual.  We had to get creative. 

Read More

The First Bite: Beginning the National Board Certification Process

A friend of mine uses the adage that states, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Though I giggled when first hearing this advice, I’ve come to realize that when faced with daunting tasks, it is helpful advice. By starting with small, necessary tasks, I can move forward to conquer the seemingly impossible.

Read More

School Librarians are Superheroes

In March of 2020 we faced an unbelievable challenge in our country and school systems. At the core of the job of every school librarian is their personal space. They have curated reading nooks, group collaborative spaces and shared tech labs. In addition, their lessons embody a love for reading. To many children, the school library is their safe space. And, in an instant, many school librarians were looking for their own place in this all virtual world. A question I had filling my inbox for many months was “how is my job still important?”. And we quickly found out just how critical the role of a school librarian is no matter where they are doing their job from.

Read More

Cultivating A Community of Readers During Virtual Learning

Over the course of the past year, I have been challenged with how to keep my students engaged in reading when there has been little to no access to the school library. I learned really quickly I had to get creative with my strategies with a little mix of insanity thrown in. Below are a few of the strategies that have helped cultivate a community of readers within my school.

Read More

Library: A Safe Place for Our Students

My library is an awesome place! It is a place where I check out books and teach classes. I offer computer usage, 3-D printing and lunchtime programs. During the pandemic I am offering digital breakouts, curbside pick-ups, and virtual book tastings. This is my library, and it is awesome!

Read More

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?

Read More

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. 

Read More

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

Read More

Attend ALA Virtual Conference this summer!

As with so many other events, ALA Annual Conference has been moved to a virtual format this June. The good news is that it allows even more of us to attend! The theme of this year's conference is "Community Through Connection" and it will be held virtually from June 24-26.

Read More

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!

Read More

Maryland School Librarian of the Year Announcement!

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.  

Read More

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.



Read More
3 Comments

Building a Reading Community in a Time of Social Distancing

During a time of social distancing and to promote National School Library Month, members of MASL wanted to think of ways to connect people and share resources that would help others foster a love of reading. Using a forum called #TalkaboutIt Tuesdays, MASL offers a webinar where various topics related to school libraries and reading are discussed. On March 31, 2020, our first #TalkaboutIt Tuesday, librarians were encouraged to check-in, discuss #MASLreads and provide more suggestions for reading and literacy. 

Read More

Black Eyed Susan voting link open to all

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we are trying to make voting for the Black Eyed Susan award easier for all. Therefore, we have made the online voting link open to EVERYONE, and you can access it here. For more information on how to vote, go to our Voting Process information page.

Read More

How Free is FREE?

Since Maryland schools shut down on March 16, my email inbox has exploded with offers of FREE resources for me, my teachers, and my students.  While I appreciate the support that so many of them have shown, I am hesitant to throw caution to the wind and sign up for everything just because… well… it’s FREE!

Read More
1 Comments

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.

Read More

Elections are coming!

MASL is currently seeking nominations for Executive Board positions including Elected positions, Appointed Committee Chairs, and Recommended Committee Members.  We are in search of school librarians, school library supervisors, and school library assistants who are looking for leadership opportunities that have an impact on school libraries throughout the state.  Positions are all one-year unless otherwise stated.  Board meetings are held monthly and most meetings are virtual.

Read More

Announcing the Maryland School Librarian of the Year Nominees

Ocean City, MD (March 8, 2020) - Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL) is pleased to announce the 21 nominees for the 2020 Maryland School Librarian of the Year award which honors a school librarian for exemplary service and outstanding achievements in the field of school library media. Of these nominees, 11 have been chosen to submit artifacts for round 2 scoring. The recipient of the award will be announced at the Maryland School Librarian of the Year Award Breakfast which is held in conjunction with Common Ground Conference in Ocean City, Maryland (May 1, 2020).

Read More