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CASL Launches New Advocacy Site!

CASL Survive and Thrive Advocacy Website

CASL is helping School Librarians Speak Out

We’ve launched a great new website to help school librarians advocate in a positive manner to save and support school libraries.  The CASL Survive and Thrive website provides tools to educate and inform stakeholders about the vital and irreplaceable role that school librarians play in teaching and learning.  In order to better communicate to our community members what “21st century skills” are all about, CASL developed “taglines” for the 21st century skills of the Colorado Academic Standards (seen at right).  On the site, you will find message templates (sample e-mails, letters, newsletter blurbs, brochures, and even videos) containing  the taglines and targeting specific stakeholder audiences in order to promote school librarians as 21st century skills experts. Check out the site and start advocating!


Common Core

Today the State Board of Education adopted the national Common Core Standards.  Where will library programs and librarians find their place in these standards?  I see two obvious connections for us to make.  First the standards  for reading state “Through reading a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students are expected to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective.”  Providing this type of literature for students and teachers has always been a part of our core mission.  The second place is in the infusion of media and technology.  The standards state, “Just as media and technology are integrated in school and life in the twenty-first century, skills related to media use (both critical analysis and production of media) are integrated throughout the standards.”  What do you think?

More information on the Common Core is available at: http://corestandards.org/about-the-standards

Parent Support

The National PTA just received Gates funding to help parents be engaged in standards advocacy.

CASL has partnered with the Colorado PTA to discuss collaborations around educating parents and engaging them as supporters of libraries.

What are you doing with parents as advocates?
Are you interested in developing our statewide partnership?
Advice? In these hectic times, working together can be energizing. Let us know what you’re up to or your thoughts….

CASL Kick Off To TIE Review

The CASL Kick-off to the Colorado Technology in Education Conference (TIE: http://www.tiecolorado.org) was a huge success, with over 120 librarians and educators in attendance this year.  The day began with special guest presenter, Dr. David Loertscher speaking on the topic of his book The New Learning Commons Where Learners Win! Reinventing School Libraries and Computer Labs. We took a tour through the evolution of school libraries, from facilities that offered scheduled visits, isolated library lessons, emphasized print collections and had little technology to today’s libraries that are centers of inquiry with an emphasis on learning literacies, offer collaborative co-teaching, multimedia collections and abundant technology. In considering the next steps teacher-lbrarians must take to stay relevant in 21st century schools, we explored  the concept of a “Learning Commons” and how to incorporate all of the rich Web 2.0 tools to build a vibrant, student-centered 24-7 center for learning in the physical and virtual world.  Dr. Loertscher’s presentation and links to more ideas and conversations around this topic can be found at http://caslworkshops.pbworks.com.

Following Dr. Loertscher, participants joined in on a Gallery Walk, exploring the Colorado Learner’s Bill of Rights, recently featured in School Library Media Activities Monthly.  Ten groups rotated around the room to consider each of the student rights, posted on giant poster paper hung around the ballroom. The groups discussed and commented on what each one might look like in the classroom and library, and how they relate to and support the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner.  To view and comment on the work done by our participants, visit http://colearnersbor.pbworks.com/.

The afternoon allowed participants to choose 2 of 3 breakout sessions.  Dr. Loertscher ‘s session featured his most current work on “The Big Think”  and Collective Synthesis. Workshop participants used an inquiry process in considering a potential disaster scenario, while looking at strategies to transform a more traditional learning experience to one requiring higher order thinking and problem solving.  Colorado High Performance Power Librarian Phil Goerner led a hands-on session featuring the free Web 2.0 tool Voicethread. (http://voicethread.com) . Participants  learned how to use the tool and also saw the many ways this tool might be used with classes.  Phil shared a wealth of resources on the CASL wiki: http://caslworkshops.pbworks.com/VoiceThread.  The third breakout session featured Peggy O’Neil Jones, regional director for the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Western Region program and professor of technical communication and media production at Metro State College. Peggy showed how working with primary sources folds so easily into the inquiry process, demonstrating and giving time to workshop participants to search American Memory and reflect on the steps of the inquiry process as they located resources they might use with students. To see how the inquiry process aligns with AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner, visit this wiki: http://jeffcocolloquium.pbworks.com/Inquiry-Process .  Click on any of the links to a piece of the inquiry cycle to see the alignment with the standards.

We encourage you to explore the resource links posted here – especially if you were unable to attend this special event. Many thanks to CLiC for their support, all of the CASL Board members who put this event together and the TIE Board for partnering with us and helping us to make this happen.

-Nancy White, CASL Co-President Elect

Teacher Librarians: Add Your Voice!

There are big happenings going on at the state level with regard to the Colorado State Content Standards. As a result of the passage Senate Bill 08-212, all 13 Colorado Model Content Standards are in the process of being revised and refreshed to include 21st Century Skills and Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Skills.  Who better to inform the process than Teacher Librarians?  We are the experts in 21st Century learning.


I am very pleased to have been asked to serve on the Science Standards Review Sub-Committee, and even more pleased to learn that the Science folks asked for recommendations, resources and documents from the Colorado Technology Leadership Forum (TLF) and Colorado School Library Leaders (CoSLL) Their recommendations are found in 21st Century connections to Colorado Content Standards.doc.  I’m not sure if the other content areas asked for similar recommendations, but Science is an excellent place to start.

The intention of the state is to make the standards review process a community driven, transparent process.  This provides a wonderful opportunity for Teacher Librarians to advocate for the role of School Libraries and Teacher Librarians in raising student achievement. 

Here is how you can stay informed and involved

·         Follow the progress and discussions related to the review process at the Colorado Standards Review Wiki

·         Read the weekly updates posted on the CDE Colorado Model Content Standards Review Process webpage

·         Attend any Standards Review Sub-Committee meetings in your area.  These are going to be held around the state as shown on the Standards Review Wiki Planning Calendar (specific locations are still TBD, but keep checking).  These meetings are open to the public, and a method for public feedback and commentary will be provided.

·         Most importantly, be a resource for your administrator and teachers.  Let them know that you are staying informed about the standards revisions, and offer your ideas about how they could be implemented through collaboration between teachers and librarians.


Becky Johnson CASL Board Member at-large

Bibliography – Standards for the 21st Century Learner

On behalf of Nance Nassar:

Download as a PDF

CASL Kickoff to TIE!

Colorado Association of School Libraries is

Partnering with TIE!*

*T.I.E. is the annual regional Technology in Education Conference, June 24-27.

Full-day preconference focused on school librarians’ leadership role in the integration of technology and 21st Century skills.

Copper Mountain Resort, June 23, 2008

Library Journal Mover & Shaker Christopher Harris as a keynote and workshop presenter

Library 2.0: The Digital Reshift

The world is changing, and school libraries certainly aren’t immune. Though change can be difficult, it can also bring new possibilities. In the case of school libraries, this change means navigating through a digital reshift – an adoption of new tools and techniques that reinvigorate our traditional library practices. Christopher Harris, recently named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker for being a 2.0 Guru, has focused on the potential of technology in a flat world to bring powerful changes to the libraries he serves. From an online library portal that provides student-centered access to a library experience 24/7 to a game library that pushes the boundaries of learning resources, Christopher will share a wealth of tools and practices that define the Digital Reshift.

AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner will be presented by Stevan Kalmon, Director for the Council on 21st Century Learning, Colorado State Library’s Nance Nassar, and Colorado’s AASL Representative, Sherry Crow

Workshops & planning time will reinforce learning by addressing:

  • Useful Web 2.0 tools for the librarian by Christopher Harris

  • Blogs & Nings by University of Colorado’s Dr. Laura Summers

  • Roaring Fork SD & CASL Board Member Jenna Cook’s successful student collaboration program

Registration for the full-day CASL preconference is $60 for TIE attendees ($100 for the preconference only, for those not staying for TIE­) regardless of CAL membership status and includes coffee & lunch. .5 UCD graduate credit hour available for an additional fee. Registration will close when the workshop reaches capacity. Please note that purchase orders will not be accepted.

Find the preconference agenda or download a registration flier at http://www.calwebs.org/associations2.html#1.