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AASL ISS (Independent Schools Section) Section

In: AASL ISS (Independent Schools Section), American Association of School Librarians (AASL) -- Sections, School Libraries & Media Centers
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Discussion Where should we tour at Annual 2017 (Chicago, IL)?

by Courtney Lewis on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 09:24 am

The ISS section always organizes a tour of independent schools for ALA Annual and it's usually well-attended with great librarians both presenting and asking questions alongside you on the tour.

Are there specific schools that you know about with great programs (maybe yours?) that we should visit? It helps if there are two or three locations within reasonable distance from one another to make transportation easier amid city traffic. 

The ISS section always organizes a tour of independent schools for ALA Annual and it's usually well-attended with great librarians both presenting and asking questions alongside you on the tour.

Are there specific schools that you know about with great programs (maybe yours?) that we should visit? It helps if there are two or three locations within reasonable distance from one another to make transportation easier amid city traffic. 

Consider also if there's a less traditional location - a museum space for children or teens, a makerspace, etc. that should also be considered. Since being an independent school librarian means thinking outside the box, let's think about where we can all get real inspiration!

Please add your thoughts in the comments below or feel free to email me directly at cllewis@st.catherines.org to share any thoughts. Your ideas are much appreciated!

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Discussion Changing the ISS Mission

by Courtney Lewis on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 03:22 pm

The current mission of the ISS Section is:

The general purpose of this section shall be in accordance with that of the American Association of School Librarians. The specific purpose of this section shall be to provide a means of discussion of and action on the problems relating to all phases of non-public school librarianship.

The current mission of the ISS Section is:

The general purpose of this section shall be in accordance with that of the American Association of School Librarians. The specific purpose of this section shall be to provide a means of discussion of and action on the problems relating to all phases of non-public school librarianship.

At the ISS Meeting at ALA Annual in June, several attendees expressed the concern that the above mission no longer fits the needs and work of the section.

So, what is our purpose? How can we frame a mission that would serve the needs of independent school librarians? How can that mission complement the work of other organizations like AISL and articulate what is unique about the ISS Section?

All comments and thoughts are welcome!

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Discussion What Topics Would Independent School Librarians Like to See As Webinars?

by Courtney Lewis on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 07:42 am

One of the strengths of the ISS Section is having the resources of AASL and ALA at our disposal to help our audience. In the last ISS meeting at Annual, the topic of offering webinars (some free to everyone, others only visible by members) emerged as a wonderful way of sharing with Independent School Librarians. Some ideas for webinar topics included: 

  • differences between public/private schools to help orient new-to-independent school librarians

  • Budgeting

One of the strengths of the ISS Section is having the resources of AASL and ALA at our disposal to help our audience. In the last ISS meeting at Annual, the topic of offering webinars (some free to everyone, others only visible by members) emerged as a wonderful way of sharing with Independent School Librarians. Some ideas for webinar topics included: 

  • differences between public/private schools to help orient new-to-independent school librarians

  • Budgeting

  • Approach to Curriculum when State Standards or the Common Core is not an Issue

  • Grant writing

  • How to write and publish articles

  • How to submit conference proposals and find collaborators

  • Cataloging basics

  • 24-hour responsive library staffing

  • Managing archives when you aren’t an archivist

  • The solo librarian

  • Volunteer management

The librarians present liked that while many of these ideas were independent school-specific, we felt that a few of them would have broad appeal to the spectrum of school librarians. 

What are the hot topics you'd like to see offered? Which of these topics listed as the most appeal? The committee feels that hearing what topics are most desired as webinars will be a strong clue as to what direction we should take regarding our programming slot at Annual in Chicago, so please know that your thoughts have double the impact. Thanks in advance!

As always, if you have any questions or want to share your thoughts directly, please feel free to contact me at cllewis@st.catherines.org.

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Discussion ISS Committee Meeting Minutes, ALA Annual, Orlando FL, June 27, 2016

by Courtney Lewis on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 08:54 am

ISS Committee Meeting, ALA Annual, Orlando, FL

Monday, June 27, 2016

Present:

Anna Brannin, St. Stanislaus, Bay St. Louis, MS

Maegen Rose, Collegiate School, NY, NY

Dorcas Hand, retired, Houston, TX

Patty Saidenberg, Collegiate School, NY, NY

Tali Balas, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Ny, NY

ISS Committee Meeting, ALA Annual, Orlando, FL

Monday, June 27, 2016

Present:

Anna Brannin, St. Stanislaus, Bay St. Louis, MS

Maegen Rose, Collegiate School, NY, NY

Dorcas Hand, retired, Houston, TX

Patty Saidenberg, Collegiate School, NY, NY

Tali Balas, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Ny, NY

Cara Kinsey, Chatham Hall, Chatham, VA

Anna Faktorovich, Anaphora Literary Press, Augusta, GA

Hannah Byrd Little, Bell Buckle, TN

Melissa Williams, Nashville, TN

Laura Pearle, Milton Academy, Milton, MA

Laura Hooper, St. George’s School, Newport, RI

Robert Hilliker, Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT *ISS Representative to the AASL Board

Sheryl Hoffman, Albany, NY

Courtney Lewis, St. Catherine’s School, Richmond, VA *Chair-elect

 

Allison Cline, AASL Deputy Executive Director

Audrey Church, Longwood University, VA, AASL President

Leslie Preddy, Perry Meridian Middle School, IN, AASL Past-President

Steven Yates, University of Alabama, AL, AASL President-Elect

 


We began the meeting by reading over the meeting notes from ALA Midwinter in Boston, thoughtfully taken down by Dorcas Hand. Some of the attendees of this meeting were also at Midwinter’s meeting and expressed concern regarding the future of the section due to the absence of the elected leadership. While everyone knows that people sometimes miss meetings, the hunger present in the attendees for a clear value to the ISS section membership was expressed as a priority, particularly in an effort to define what it can offer someone who might also belong to AISL. Emphasis on the use of ALA Connect to preserve documentation and discussions for future leadership and members was mentioned as a key point to consider for follow-up work and virtual conversations.

About midway through our meeting we were joined by Leslie Preddy, Audrey Church, and Steven Yates - the AASL leadership past, present and future - who expressed excitement over the themes we discussed (detailed below with action steps following minutes of each topic). Because our broad-ranging discussion had focused on defining our mission, increasing our visibility to attract new members, and offering greater value to our current members, Audrey made a point of saying that all these points intersect well with the AASL strategic plan, which has the three prongs of association relevance, increasing membership, and leadership/governance.

1st THEME: IMPROVING OUR BIG PICTURE VIEW

 Changing our Mission

 
The current mission of the ISS Section is: The general purpose of this section shall be in accordance with that of the American Association of School Librarians. The specific purpose of this section shall be to provide a means of discussion of and action on the problems relating to all phases of non-public school librarianship.
 
Several librarians present expressed concern with a mission predicated on serving individuals for the sole purpose of helping them with “problems” related to independent school librarianship. The idea of reworking our mission - and in the process defining our actual purpose in a way that facilitates communication to our current and potential membership - held tremendous appeal for everyone present. The suggestion was made that an online discussion might be a useful beginning, particularly using ALA Connect on a setting that makes it accessible to everyone - even non AASL or ISS members - in order to get independent school librarians who might belong to AISL and not ISS to contribute to the discussion.
 

Action items:

  • Post current mission on ALA Connect (setting visible to all, including non-ALA members) with invitation for people to discuss what they think needs to change

  • Facilitate an ongoing conversation, picking out themes and prompting with questions to flesh out ideas

  • Have summary of themes and suggestions for discussion at Midwinter 2017

  • Midwinter 2017: have draft of revised mission for further discussion in spring

  • Annual 2017: approve new mission statement for section and send to AASL

 Strategic Plan

 
Once we have a revised mission that better focuses our purpose, it was thought by several members of the group that having a modest, strategic plan for ISS that intersects with the AASL strategic plan, would give the current leadership and future leadership a clear direction for their work with the section. The tentative goal of having a revised mission by Annual so we can approve it, then begin the discussion of strategic planning for our section and project out our goals for the next five years.
 

Action Items:

  • The issue of a strategic plan will be discussed again at ALA Annual 2017

 

Data Collection

 
Since good decisions always have the underpinning of solid data, the discussion of acquiring an up-to-date membership list ensued. Several people said that former ISS leadership was told that we had to pay to have a membership list, but Allison Cline said that was not true and we could request one.

The suggestion of doing a survey was brought up, but the conversation migrated to some of other issues listed in these minutes.

 Action Items:

  • A membership list will be requested from AASL

  • ALA Midwinter: The Chair-Elect will bring up the idea of a survey in case participants and committee members feel there is a need for the gathering of specific data that relates to our work.

2nd THEME: GREATER VISIBILITY WITHIN AASL AND ALA

 Regional Independent School Affiliate Groups
 
The question of having a stronger ISS voice in AASL was also brought up, and it was proposed that we find out the criteria for the regional Independent school librarian groups, like NEAISL, to become an AASL Affiliate group. Allison shared that she believes that the organization being considered has to have a certain percentage of its members belonging to AASL. These organizations would also need to be able to supply individuals willing to be the board representative for their affiliate group.
 

Action items:

  • Robert Hilliker is investigating contacting NEAISL and looking at other regional AISL groups that might fit this definition and have enough willing members to pursue this idea

ESSA

Dorcas Hand and a few others brought up the issue of ESSA, and discussed how it does impact independent school librarians. Dorcas and others shared their experiences regarding advocacy conversations and discussions that have occurred at the AASL Board-level. Several people expressed a desire to know more but expressed dismay at much of the written conversations clearly written for a public school audience, and therefore difficult to translate for an independent school constituency.
 
The request was made to ask that one of our resident ISS experts develop a list of talking points specifically developed for independent school librarians.

Action Items:

  • Ask for a volunteer to develop a list of talking points for independent school librarians regarding ESSA

Offering Webinars

Because of the frenetic pace of being a librarian, as well as the specific elements perhaps unique to the independent school environment, several people were enthusiastic about having free archived webinars, some available to the public, others exclusively to ISS members, on the following workshop topics. A brainstorm around each possible topic revealed people or experts who would be willing to host or coordinate the following workshops:

  • differences between public/private schools to help orient new to independent school librarians

  • Budgeting

  • Approach to Curriculum when State Standards or the Common Core is not an Issue

  • Grant writing

  • How to write and publish articles

  • How to submit conference proposals and find collaborators

  • Cataloging basics

  • 24-hour responsive library staffing

  • Managing archives when you aren’t an archivist

  • The solo librarian

  • Volunteer management

Action Items:

  • Facilitate online discussion regarding webinar topics on ALA Connect to determine a comprehensive list of topics

  • Have a follow-up vote of interest in named topics to determine the priorities of the ISS leadership in recruiting leaders for webinars

  • Contact AASL for information regarding how to plan, conduct and archive webinars

 

Kick-Butt Programming 

 It was brought up that as an official ISS section, we have a guaranteed programming slot for Annual each year, although this was not something utilized last year (and possibly the year before?). Gasps all around. A discussion of how tough it is to get a programming slot if you’re applying independently with a great idea made us appreciate this boon and want to use it to increase our visibility.
 
A great discussion ensued regarding who would be our audience, and several excellent suggestions were given about collaborating with other sections or interest group to garner some good numbers. The issue of asking facilitators of other programs that might have crossover appeal to announce our session as advertising was also a savvy suggestion. Allison shared that usually the call for Annual programming is put out around Midwinter with a due date in late winter, so having this timetable in mind is useful.

In the course of discussing programming and reasons to attend Annual (in the context of many independent school librarians having to choose between ALA and AISL for their conference going), the idea of finding out if AISL would ever be able to plan to have their summer institute (which usually occurs before ALA Annual) in the same city. It was felt that this decision could positively affect participation in both events, but may not be feasible when relying on school’s volunteering to host the event.

Action Items:

  • Discuss what themes would be popular (maybe using webinar brainstorm) to pursue as programs

  • ALA Midwinter: settle on a specific theme that would have enough appeal and determine presenters

  • After ALA Annual programs are published, identify complementary programs that would appeal to our audience and contact those presenters to ask if they’d be willing to do a PSA for our program at the start or end of theirs (get contact info at this time)

  • At ALA Annual: follow up text or email to PSA volunteers with big thank you for their help!

  • Reach out to AISL leadership asking if it would ever be possible to have the AISL Summer Institute in the same city as ALA Annual to encourage participation in both events

A Social with Oomph

Another area of potential collaboration is to upgrade our staid little socials (which are great schmoozing time for the people who go, but don’t offer much ambiance in a sad little ballroom with water and crudite platters) by 1) combining them with a section with crossover appeal and 2) having a theme involving a speaker or current issue that appeals to both sections. Laura Pearle suggested the LIRT Transitions to College Committee which has a complementary focus with the needs of our membership. A gaming focus was offered as an idea, particularly since the actual social could involve various games and introduce a fun interactive component.

Action Items:

  • Reach out to LIRT leadership to determine interest in sharing social

  • Pick potential theme or speaker

  • Follow up with ALA to let them know of combined social and discussion of options for venue

 

Drool-worthy ISS Tour

It was suggested that we host an ALA Connect discussion brainstorming potential schools for the ISS tour and ask for contact names as a great way to get really terrific schools that independent school librarians (and non-ISS librarians) will want to visit on the ISS Tour in Chicago.
 

Allison Cline from AASL indicated that she needs the schools for the tour finalized with all contact information, etc. about 60 days prior to the tour in order to take care of all the details on her end.

Action Items:

  • Do group brainstorm on ALA Connect about locations and contacts

  • Reach out to identified schools to determine interest; answer their questions

  • Get finalized list to Allison Cline no later than April 14, 2017

 

Content Throughout the Year

Having a consistent, visible presence throughout the year, using the above webinars, listservs, and social media was suggested as a way of keeping ISS in the minds of potential users. Hannah Byrd Little mentioned that she is a Knowledge Quest contact for blogging and would be happy to help schedule people to periodically post ISS-themed KQ posts throughout the year.
 

In addition to above webinar ideas, some of the great ideas that fit into this category of ISS relevancy (previously discussed at the Midwinter 2016 meeting) are:

  • A mentor/mentee program for new-to-independent schools or simply newly graduated librarians with regular contact and ongoing support

  • “Monday moment” - a brief email to members each (or every other) Monday with useful links, different in focus from Hot Links/KQ Blog

  • Monthly Google Hangout - a discussion topic would be announced in advance, open to interested members and advertised on ISS Forum (and maybe AISL listserv?) and recorded for archiving

  • Distributing existing resources from Essential Links and eCollab that ISS members may not be aware of

  • Virtual school tours, archived for members

Action Items:

  • Using generated list of webinar topics, solicit membership for potential KQ blog posts regarding items identified of interest.

  • Schedule volunteers throughout year with follow-up emails.

  • Ask for individuals who would be interested in tweeting independent school library-related items on the ISS Twitter account.

  • ALA Midwinter: report on results of outreach for volunteers, and discuss further how other types of outreach would look in terms of administration

 

These minutes respectfully submitted by Courtney L. Lewis, Chair-Elect.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Discussion ISS Tour ALA Annual 2015

by Alpha S. DeLap on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 08:48 am

A placeholder for information about this year's ISS Tour at ALA Annual.

Event Tour (AASL ISS)

by ALAConnect Helpdesk (staff) on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 01:07 am

Timezone:
US/Pacific (-7)

Something for everyone – including the nature lover! Join the AASL Independent Schools Section as they visit Flintridge Prep, an Upper Level Independent School near Pasadena and Los Angeles. Then, tour Polytechnic, a co-ed K-12 independent school, which is also the setting for the television show, “Big Bang Theory.” Finally we will head to the Huntington Library to view their superb collection of books, art and tour their famous gardens.

Timezone:
US/Pacific (-7)

Something for everyone – including the nature lover! Join the AASL Independent Schools Section as they visit Flintridge Prep, an Upper Level Independent School near Pasadena and Los Angeles. Then, tour Polytechnic, a co-ed K-12 independent school, which is also the setting for the television show, “Big Bang Theory.” Finally we will head to the Huntington Library to view their superb collection of books, art and tour their famous gardens.

More information about this conference session

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Event ISS Meeting (AASL_ISS)

by ALAConnect Helpdesk (staff) on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 07:37 pm

Meeting for members of AASL Independent Schools Section (ISS).

More information about this conference session

Discussion ALA 2013 Nominating committee extends deadline for Council candidates

by Joshua Capp on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

CHICAGO —The American Library Association (ALA) 2013 Nominating Committee has extended the deadline for applications for anyone interested in being considered for Council candidacy.  Any interested ALA members now have until 4:30 p.m. CDT on Sept. 17, 2012 to complete the online biographical information form.

CHICAGO —The American Library Association (ALA) 2013 Nominating Committee has extended the deadline for applications for anyone interested in being considered for Council candidacy.  Any interested ALA members now have until 4:30 p.m. CDT on Sept. 17, 2012 to complete the online biographical information form.

The Nominating Committee must slate no fewer than one-and-one-half times the number of vacancies that will occur on Council.  In 2013 there will be 33 vacancies; therefore, the Nominating Committee must slate at least 50 candidates.  Individuals elected to the position of Councilor-at-large will serve three-year terms, beginning after the 2013 ALA Annual Conference and ending at the adjournment of the 2016 Annual Conference.

Councilors also serve in corresponding roles in the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA).  Individuals considering ALA-APA office are encouraged to consult with their employer regarding any restrictions regarding lobbying activities or service on the governing body of a 501(c)6 organization.

Nominations may be sent to any member of the 2013 Nominating Committee.  Committee members are: 

To encourage diversity and leadership development, the Committee may refrain from nominating any current Councilors for election to another term.  However, the Committee encourages all current Councilors who wish to continue their service to the Association to file as petition candidates.  Petitions are available from Lois Ann Gregory-Wood, Council Secretariat, ALA, 50 E. Huron, Chicago, IL 60611, email: lgregory@ala.org, or during the  2013 Midwinter Meeting.  Petitions require 25 signatures for names to be included on the 2013 ballot.  Petitions may also be created online (ALA log-in required) .  Once logged in you can create your petition.

Contact: JoAnne Kempf

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Event Social (AASL ISS)

by ALAConnect Helpdesk (staff) on Sat, Jun 9, 2012 at 01:09 am

Timezone:
US/Pacific (-7)

Enjoy light refreshments and the company of members of the AASL Independent Schools Section (ISS). Advance tickets are required. Exact location will be noted on your event ticket.

More information about this conference session

Discussion LibGuies Testimonials

by Carla Bosco on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Hello all:

I would love to add libguides but need some rave reviews to pass on to my administration.

How does it help:

1. Performance

2. Alleviate Stress

3. Better research

4. More collaboration

5. Increased use of library

Thanks!

Carla

Pages

Provides a means for discussion of and action on the problems relating to all phases of non-public school librarianship.

Learn more about AASL ISS on the ALA website.

Subscribe to AASL ISS (Independent Schools Section)