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School Library December Newsletter

School Library News and Updates from the Library Development & Networking Division
December 2016

Liz Philippi, School Program Coordinator



Hello Liz - Goodbye Len

We say a sad "Farewell" to our wonderful Len Bryan! Len has accepted a position as the Library Director in a school district in Oregon. We wish him lots of luck and hope he returns to Texas at least for TLA!
Liz Philippi has joined TSLAC as the new school program coordinator, she comes most recently from Houston ISD. A school librarian for 30+ years she is passionate about all libraries, especially school libraries, students, and reading!

Texas School Library State Standards:
What's happening with the state School Library Standards? Well our wonderful sub committee members spent the summer working diligently on updating the individual standards! We now have a rough draft of each standard to work with and we will keep you updated as we continue the process.

What’s New with TexQuest?
New Resources Added This Summer:

Britannica EStax - Britannica E-Stax includes 4 collections of non-fiction eBooks for K-8.
EBSCO eBooks - EBSCO provides 5 different collections of downloadable eBooks that can also be read online.
ProQuest SIRS Discoverer K-8 - SIRS Discoverer informs K-8 students with vetted, age-appropriate articles, books, maps, multimedia, images and issues that align to core subjects. 
TeachingBooks - is a K–12 resource connecting cross curricular literacy materials to the titles used in classrooms and libraries, including resources to support ELL students and STEAM instruction.


ESSA - Every Student Succeeds Act:
The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed in law this year by President Obama. Please check out the link above for information regarding how to use ESSA to help increase student access to libraries and librarians. This is the first time in many years that school libraries and school librarians are mentioned in this important legislation. Title funds can now be used to fund school librarian positions, the purchase of materials, both print and electronic! So please talk to your administrators NOW! Make sure that school libraries are part of the plan for Title funding for the 2017-18 school year. Another good source of information is AASL's ESSA  site for information. Recently the American Association of School Librarians and the Texas Association of School Librarians collaborated to bring an AASL workshop on ESSA to Region 13 in Austin! The full day workshop featured information from Dr. Jody Howard, AASL Board of Directors member, and a video message from ALA Executive Director Emily Sheketoff. Librarians, Teachers, and Administrators from all over Texas worked together to formulate elevator speeches, identify key stakeholders, reviewing the ESSA timeline and talking about ways to increase our presence at the "table" when ESSA is being planned at both the state and local levels. Two more useful links - TSLAC ESSA page, and TASL ESSA page


Has a book brought you to laughter, tears, or changed your life? Write a letter to the author!

Letters About Literature is a reading/writing contest for 4th-12th graders under the direction of the Library of Congress.

State winners receive $100 and a trip to the Texas Library Association Conference. National winners receive $1,000 and travel assistance to the National Book Festival in Washington D.C.

Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. See this printable handout for key dates.


COMPETITION LEVELS:   Level 1 - Grades 4-6.    Level 2 - Grades 7-8.    Level 3 - Grades 9-12.

READ - Select a fiction or nonfiction book, a poem or play you have read and about which you have strong feelings. (Sorry, no song lyrics!) It might be a book that helped you through a difficult time or it might be a book that simply touched your heart or inspired you.

REFLECT - Think before you write. How did this author’s work change you or your view of the world? How do you know it did? How and why are you different now than you were before you read this work?

PERSUADE - Write a personal letter to the author, stating how reading his or her work changed you. Be personal but also persuasive! Support your ideas with specific details, including details from the work itself. This is not a fan letter but rather a reflection on how an author influenced you.

WRITE - Type your entry in letter format – do not send handwritten letters. Your name and complete return address (either school or home) must appear in the upper right corner of the first page of the letter.

SEND - Mail your letter with the required entry coupon by the deadline date.

Need some tips to get started? Not sure how towrite a personal letter? Visit Letters About Literature website to read winning letters from past competitions and to access the Letters About Literature Teaching Guide (PDF).

Here are the complete Rules and Guidelines (PDF).

Deadlines: Dec. 2 2016 for level 3 grades 9 - 12, Jan. 9  2017 for level 2 grades 7 - 8, Jan. 9 2017 for level 3 grades 4 - 6


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