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Twitter Bomb Today at 5pm

A reminder that a Twitter Blast is scheduled today at 3pm EST. Please support school libraries by tweeting both our senators and your representative.


Twitter Bomb our Representatives

Please share widely…

As Congress continues to work on appropriation bills for FY 2012, we want to make sure they keep school libraries in mind. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted out of committee a bill that included $30 million for literacy, at least half of which must go to school libraries. But the fight for this money is not over.

In order to keep support for school libraries going, we are scheduling another Twitter Bomb for Thursday, Dec. 8, at 3pm EST.

Please tweet the following message at both of your senators and your representative. Below is an example of the tweet directed at Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana:

@DennyRehberg Keep $30 mil for #literacy and school #libraries in this year’s federal funding!

To find out if your Congressional representatives are on Twitter and what their handles are, visit this website:http://classic.tweetcongress.org/officials/states.

If you find that your representative is on twitter, click their image on the left and that link will take you to his/her acct.


Once on your representative’s page, click the silhouette icon,  and enter the message in the field below the ‘Follow’ button.

If your representatives aren’t on Twitter yet, please tweet the message out anyway, to keep the echo chamber going.

Our last Twitter Bomb resulted in over 1000 tweets and elicited a response tweet from Sen. Barbara Mikulski indicating her support for school libraries in ESEA. Let’s make this one even bigger.

Please let me know if you have any questions and happy tweeting.

Ted Wegner

Grassroots Coordinator

American Library Association

Washington Office-Office of Government Relations

1615 New Hampshire Avenue N.W., 1st Floor

Washington, DC 20009-2520

Phone: 202-628-8410

Fax: 202-628-8419



Start Tracking your Impact

As I watched a 3-minute video yesterday that is making the rounds on Facebook (“Two Lesbians Raised a Baby and this is What They Got“), I was struck by two things in this video that are a direct correlation to EFFECTIVE advocacy. In this video, notice how this young adult integrated his personal story into his advocacy message. Another important thing to notice . . . the mothers aren’t doing the advocating…their son is.

For advocacy to truly be effective, it is the most meaningful when it comes from the people who are affected by this person (rather than the person themselves).

So, if you haven’t yet started documenting how you make a difference, I strongly urge you to start TODAY (yes, December 2nd)…it’s not too early.   Here are a couple of simplistic tips that you can start doing today to help you help yourself (especially with upcoming budget talks):

  • Start an e-mail file folder of all compliments or any positive feedback from teachers, principals, parents and/or students. Here are two that I recently received that I have saved: “I am a librarian in Troy, Michigan and am working with a committee of teachers and librarians to improve our teacher evaluation procedures for our district. I have been charged with creating the rubric for evaluation of the school library staff and program. I came across your rubric entitled Power Libraries: Colorado’s Highly Effective School Library Programs and I think it is a very good model for how I would like our rubric to look . . . “
    Another: “Your videos are a huge hit and a tremendous resource. Thanks for sharing!”
  • When you have a successful program or lesson, ask your students, teachers, or parents to email, tweet or somehow share with you their feedback about that lesson or program. In other words, learn to ask for feedback to put in your documentation. And, if you forget to ask, don’t give up . . . keep reminding yourself…it will eventually become a habit.
  • Whip out your cell phone, flip cam or some kind of simple recording device and ask your students on-the-spot to describe what it is they are learning about. You have instant documentation of how you are impacting your students and/or student achievement at your school.

What else? What other quick strategies can you start doing NOW that show how you are helping your students become college and/or career ready in the 21st century?

Seeking Your Feedback

Some of you may have read the well-written editorial recently published by Washington State Teacher of the Year, who is a school librarian.  If not, I urge you to take a moment to ready it.

If things shake out like they normally do, this will get shared amongst school librarians and we will echo his sentiments, but more than likely, we end up sharing these sentiments with our peers. My question to you all is this. How can we share what’s in this article with NON-librarians? Any thoughts? If so, post your comments and/or share with me.  I’d love to hear from you. 
Becky Russell

For those of you who are procrastinators . . .

The deadline for the 2011-12 Colorado School Library Survey Has Been Extended to November 30, 2011. How cool is that?? If you could pass on the word to any school librarians you know who aren’t in CASL, I’d be eternally grateful.
If you have not yet responded to the survey, it can be accessed at http://http://www.lrs.org/slsurvey/.
You may not think it’s as urgent as an actual fire, but this year, as we continue to face yet another budget shortfall, it is more important than ever for us to provide critical data to our non-librarians/administrators who are the decision-makers of continued funding. You will notice in the newly revised survey that we will be able to provide a more accurate snapshot to administrators of what a school librarian SHOULD look like. Statistics from this survey will also help to show them what their students are missing when there is not a teacher-leader in the library.

We appreciate you investing the anticipated 15 extra minutes to help us with this bigger-picture goal that will ultimately impact all of us. For questions regarding the survey, or to obtain your username and password, feel free to call Library Research Service at 303-866-6900 or email http://lrs@lrs.org to get your information.

Becky Russell | 21st Century School Library Specialist | Colorado Department of Education |303.866.6772 | russell_b@cde.state.co.us

“A highly effective school librarian Is viewed universally by the school as an instructional leader and serves as chair of committees that support instructional school goals.” View more “Highly Effective School LIbrary Program Competencies” at http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/powerlib/index.htm

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

The Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is scheduled to mark-up (vote on) the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) beginning on Wednesday, October 19.  As of now, Senator Murray (D-WA) has done a good job including libraries into the legislation; however there are still areas where there needs to be more.  There is an amendment that will be introduced during the mark-up by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) that will further address school libraries’ role in education.
Senator Michael Bennet sits on the Senate HELP committee and will be voting on this amendment when it is introduced.  Please call Senator Bennet today at 202-224-3121 and ask him to support the Whitehouse/Murray amendment on school libraries.
This legislation, if passed, will impact education policy in this country for years to come, so it is critically important that we make sure libraries are included in this bill.

Congratulations Becky Johnson!

East Middle School Librarian Becky Johnson was honored Friday Night by the Colorado Association of Libraries as the Colorado State School Librarian of the Year!  She is also the new CASL Board President!

Way to go Becky, you deserve it!