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Alison Kirkpatrick, Librarian at
 River Road High School, received the American Association of School Librarians' 2017 INNOVATIVE READING GRANT. Sponsored by Capstone, the $2,500 award supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children that motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers.  


"School Library Journal" has named Tamiko Brown, librarian at Ed White E-STEM Magnet School (ESW) in El Lago, TX, as the 2017 School Librarian of the Year. Read all about this national award and Tamiko's impressive accomplishments 



2017 TASL Scholarships ($500 each)Katie Aycock, Plano ISD; Amelia Emerhirhi, Texas Woman's University; Sarah Withem Miller, Spring Branch ISD; Denisse Ochoa, Sam Houston State University;  Wendy Pray, Sharyland ISD ($500 each)


2017 TASL School Administrator of the Year
Dr. Bill Chapman, Superintendent of Jarrell ISD



The MVP (Media/Virtual Presence) Award is given to those school librarians who show excellence in their virtual presence through several different avenues, including but not limited to Twitter, professional websites, Facebook, school library websites, blogs, Pinterest, and other social media.

2017 MVP (Media/Virtual Presence) Award: Cynthia Alaniz, librarian at Cottonwood Creek Elementary, Coppell ISD.

2017 TASL MVP Committee Honorable Awards for Excellence: Cari Young, Fox Run Elementary School, Northeast ISD; Sara Romine, Woodstone Elementary, Northeast ISD


2017 TASL Shirley Igo Collaboration Award is presented to Duff Elementary (Stacie Farr, Librarian. and Jeannine Deakyne, PTA representative/Lisa Cravens, PTA President) 


Hurricane Harvey article in School Library Journal



AASL commends six programs aligned with its values and mission including #txlachat, the weekly Texas-based Twitter chat for school librarians.


Michelle Cooper, TASL Member & White Oak ISD librarian, was named Tech & Learning’s Leaders of the Year. http://www.mazdigital.com/webreader/50544?page=30


Naomi Bates from Northwest High School librarian in Justin, TX, who was selected as the inaugural "Program Pioneer" 2017 AASL Social Media Superstar. Read about Naomi and the other outstanding superstars on the Knowledge Quest blog: 



The Lilead Project announced the 17/18 Lilead Fellows; congratulations to the following Texas representatives: 

  • Carter Cook-Fort Worth Independent School District
  • Carolyn Foote-Eanes Independent School District
  • Ann Vickman, South Texas Independent School District


The Lilead Fellows Program, with funding from IMLS, will be an intensive 18-month long professional development program for 25 district library supervisors.  The program will focus on developing leadership skills in integrating information literacy instruction, technology use, and advocacy for library programs.  Additional information, including a list of all candidates, is available on this link:


The AASL Social Media Superstar Finalists were announced March 20, 2017, and TASL has FOUR members on this list!

Judi Moreillon has been nominated as an AASL Social Media Leadership Luminary finalist: 

Michelle Cooper has been nominated as an AASL Social Media Advocacy Ambassador finalist:

Cynthia Alaniz has been nominated as an AASL Social Media  Curriculum Champion finalist:
Naomi Bates has been nominated as an AASL Social Media Program Pioneer finalist:
FOUR national finalists from our state professional organization -- incredible news!  If you would like to support a nomination, please leave a comment on the KQ Blog link provided above for each finalist, including how these librarians have inspired you.   
AASL will be accepting endorsements until April 14, 2017.  Congratulations to these outstanding TASL librarians!


Karyn Lewis' Article on Using Music to Teach Reading Published in SmartBrief

Karyn Lewis, pre-K- 5 librarian at Meadow Wood Elementary in Spring Branch ISD, had a featured article Use Music to Teach Reading to ELLs published in SmartBrief. The article was also included in the ASCD national newsletter. Both of these publications have a national readership. Congratulations to Karyn on the great article and for being published!  


Sharyland ISD Librarian Honored by Sam Houston State University
 Librarian Honored by Sam Houston State University

Nicole H. Cruz, Sharyland ISD Lead Librarian, received the Mary Berry Award for Outstanding Alumnus this year.  The Mary Berry Award was initiated in 2009.  Its purpose is to honor an outstanding librarian who graduated from the Department of Library Science at Sam Houston State University. The recipient is honored for her/his contribution to the field of school librarianship. Recipients are chosen by faculty.

Nicole graduated from Sam Houston in May 2001.  Dr. Mary Berry was her supervisor and mentor.  She evaluated her during her internship at Miller Jordan Middle School in San Benito.  Nicole has served as an elementary, middle school, and high school librarian.  She has worked in school libraries in the following districts:  San Benito CISD, South Texas ISD, and Sharyland ISD.  Last year she was honored by the South Texas Literacy Coalition for earning the Excellence in School Librarianship Award.   She has served Sharyland ISD as the Lead Librarian for seven years.  She is the President of TASLA Texas Association of School Library Administrators and serves on the Texas School Library Standards Revision Steering Committee.  When asked about the honor, Nicole had this to say, “I’m honored to receive this award from my alma mater.   I feel Sam Houston State University is second to none in preparing future school librarians.”


Carlyn Gray Recipient of the Texas Library Association’s  2016 Distinguished Service Award

April 19 – 22, 2016 at the George R. Brown Convention Center

HOUSTON – May 2, 2016 – Carlyn Gray, retired Director of Library Services at Round Rock ISD, received one of the state’s highest recognitions for librarians and educators across the state. The Texas Library Association (TLA) honored Gray, a 38-year library veteran, with the 2016 Distinguished Service Award, which salutes a librarian who demonstrates superlative leadership and provides outstanding and continuing service to the library field. 

Gray is continuing to share her expertise as a community college reference librarian. She recently retired after 38 years as a working librarian including as a school librarian, public school library director and part time community college reference librarian who aligned knowledge of online information databases in public and academic curriculum and designed numerous new library spaces.

A true leader at both the state and national level, Gray served TLA as Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for two conferences, Chair of the Young Adult Roundtable (YART), Executive Board Representative at Large – School Libraries, TALL Texan mentor, as ALA Councilor, and as Chair of the first Chair of the School Library Administrators Conference “Strong Libraries, Strong Scores.”

Gray received the prestigious Library Distinguished Server Award medal before thousands of her colleagues on April 20, during the Association’s annual convention held in Houston.


Nora Galvan Recipient of the Texas Library Association’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award

April 19 – 22, 2016 at the George R. Brown Convention Center

HOUSTON – May 2, 2016 – Nora Galvan from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD has received the state’s top honor for library service.  The Texas Library Association presented Galvan with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honors a librarian in recognition of exemplary career in librarianship. 

Galvan has devoted 22 out of her 38 years of work in education as a librarian, school library administrator, and leader in the Texas Library Association which she has never missed attending an annual conference.  She works collaboratively with community leaders and school library colleagues to promote life-long reading skills, information literacy skills, and 21st Century technology skills through her work in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School (PSJA ISD) and as a leader of the Texas Association of School Libraries (TASL), Texas Association of School Library Administrator (TASLA), Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA), and other organizations.

Galvan received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award medal and recognition before thousands of cheering colleagues on April 20, during the Association’s annual convention held in Houston.


2016 TASL Award Winners

TASL: Letters about Literature - Level One:  Benjamin Hu; Level Two: Sarah Helmbrecht; Level Three: Tiffany Wang. The winners will be recognized at the TASL business meeting on Wednesday, April 20th.

TASL: School Administrator of the Year: Christopher Nestor, Wilson Elementary School, Coppell ISD

TASL Scholarships of $500 each to: Karen Zimmerling Stanton, Deborah Chavez, Christi de Leon, Andrew Johnson, and Debra Castillo

TASL MVP Award: Michelle Tuttle, Tompkins High School in Katy ISD
The award recognizes best virtual presence for a school librarian. Tuttle is honored for her tweets and blog posts to spotlight the activities in the Tompkins High School library. Her tweets include images, input from students and classroom teachers, and questions from followers. The @TompkinsLibrary tweets are featured on the Tompkins Library blog. Richly illustrated, “The Book Nest” blog provides information about literacy events and contests, the Canvas Book Club and other reading programs, book recommendations, and links to information.

TASL MVP Committee Honorable Awards for Excellence to Michelle Cooper from White Oak ISD to Jean Darnell from Fort Bend ISD

2016 Shirley Igo Award Winner

Sara Stilwell (PTA), Kaci McDaniel (PTA President), Lina Baiza (Principal), Susan Harmon (Librarian)


Renee Smith-Faulkner

Creating a Transformative Library Vision

By Renee Smith-Faulkner, Assistant Superintendent of Technology Services, Castleberry ISD

2015 Winner, TASL Distinguished Library Service Award for School Administrators

I would like to begin the blog post by thanking all of the librarians, teacher-librarians, hybrarians, and Twitterbrarians across the state for the leadership and support you offer your campuses, teachers, students, and the community each day. Districts and administrators that employ you as a vital resource and recognize the potential return on their investment have the best opportunities for transforming student learning on their campuses.  

Since receiving the Distinguished Administrator of the Year Award at TLA last year, I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most dedicated librarians in the state via face-to-face, email, and through participation in the #txlchat. However, when I speak with them, I hear a common theme amongst them. Can you help change school administrators’ perceptions of the library program and educate them on the evolving role of the librarian as a 21st century campus leader? How do you begin the rebranding of a library program and implementing a transformative vision?

First, I assure librarians that although Castleberry ISD has some great things happening in their libraries, this can be the story of every school library. Administrators can develop a Transformative Library Vision and turn it into a reality by starting with these 10 strategies we implemented in our district.

1. Create a Shared Vision for the Library.

  • Create a Library Improvement Plan. Present the plan to the school board and report progress on goals and objectives. Without a district-wide plan, internal and external stakeholders might not recognize the library as an integral component of the school community.

2. Staff Your Library with a Full-Time Librarian.

  • Value their expert knowledge. With the exponential growth in digital information, it is more important now to have an expert that can assist students in deciphering the validity of digital information. 

3. Ensure Librarians are a Member of the Campus Leadership Team.

  • Librarians provide insight on the campus culture.

4. Involve Librarians in Planning and Facilitating District-Wide Professional Development.

  • Librarians can help others create a strong Personal Learning Network which provides individualized professional development based on campus and teacher needs.

5. Provide a Budget to Equip Your Library with Digital Resources and Technology Equipment.

  • Be careful, librarians are instructional experts and not meant to spend their day on technical support. Use them to transform the learning culture that encourages collaboration, communication, and supports innovation.

6. Schedule Meetings with Your Library Staff Regularly

  • Do your librarians have a scheduled time to meet collaboratively, plan, and create a common vision to bring about purposeful change and establish one clear voice?
  • Meeting regularly with the campus administrator helps build a positive relationship between the library and campus administration. These meetings can change how the library program is perceived.

7. Transform the Library Space to Accommodate Collaboration and Personal Learning Networks

  • Allow librarians to have conversations about what these spaces should look like and what tools should be available to support these learning spaces. Yes, coding, makerspaces, and gaming should be funded and implemented in the library.

8. Share Library Success Stories through a Hashtag Embedded on the District Website

  • Promote your library programs through the power of technology, and this can make all of the difference in your library program. If you don’t have a district, campus, or library hashtag, create one now.

9. Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Risk

  • Don’t roll the dice and bet the farm, but instead be willing to put transformative ideas “out there” and don’t be afraid to present ideas that are outside of the box.

10. And Did I Say, Staff Your Library with a Full-Time Librarian

  • Librarians make a difference and impact student learning.

Personally, I can’t imagine what our district would be like without the leadership of our teacher-librarians. We meet monthly as a group to assess the progress of our District Library Improvement Plan, so necessary adjustments can be made to ensure goals and objectives are reached. In addition, technology coaches are often invited and planning for campus professional development and teacher support networks are established. Then, the teacher-librarian for each campus reports progress on library initiatives during campus improvement monitoring meetings held each six weeks with the campus principal, assistant principal, technology coaches, and myself.  During this time, standardized student resources are shared so all stakeholders can support key collaborative initiatives for the year such as the creation of student digital portfolios, student blogs, teacher Canvas classes, and flipped lesson resources.

In our district, it has become second nature for our administrators to view teacher-librarians as a vital member of the campus leadership team.  Our administrators embrace and advocate for creating and supporting libraries designed to accommodate a “collaborative” and “connected” learning pedagogy that elicits 21st century learning.

The transformation did not come easy or without a few bumps in the road. However, my experience has confirmed that an investment in your library program is well worth the return!

Administrators, for more information, I encourage you to contact me using any of the following methods:

Twitter: @faulknerr

E-mail: smithr@castleberryisd.net

Office: 817-252-2087




ALA & AASL Leadership

Congratulations to two TASL members who have been elected to AASL leadership positions and one TASL member who has been elected to ALA leadership. Carlyn Gray, Director of Library Services in Round Rock ISD, will begin a two-year term as a Director on the AASL Board of Directors, representing Region 6 (Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas).  Maria Cahill, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Studies (Texas Woman's University), will serve as the new Secretary of the  Educators of School Librarians section. Dorcas Hand, Director of Libraries for Annunciation Orthodox School, was elected to ALA Council. Thanks in advance for your service!


AASL Awards & Grants AASL Research Grant News

Congratulations to Texas Woman's University Judi Moreillon, assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Studies, and Teresa Starrett, assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education, the 2013 recipients of AASL's Research Grant sponsored by Capstone.  This grant is given to school librarians, library educators or library information science or education professors to conduct innovative research aimed at measuring and evaluating the impact of school library programs on learning and education.  The project, “The Principals’ Perspectives on the Value of School Librarians in Teaching and Learning Case Study” involves investigating the factors involved in a principal’s decision to eliminate and subsequently reinstate one or more school librarian positions. Moreillon and Starrett will also ask study participants to describe the role of the school librarian in the teaching and learning community at their schools. The goal of “The Principals’ Perspectives on the Value of School Librarians in Teaching and Learning Case Study” is to produce a professional video that will inform, educate and advocate for the role of 21st-century school librarians in helping students, teachers, administrators and parents meet student achievement goals.



AASL National School Library Program of the Year

AASL National School Library Program of the Year 2012   

From left to right Sara Reibman, STISD Librarian; Denene Fultz, STISD Librarian; Dr. Maria Guerra, STISD Superintendent of Schools; Lucy Hansen, STISD Lead Librarian; Mary Edna Sandoval, STISD Librarian

Back row, left to right: Jack Belford, Follett Representative; Kathleen Paur, Follett Representative; Ann Vickman, STISD Librarian; Chris Schubert, Follett Representative; Lolly Pena, STISD Librarian; Scott Chain, Follett Representative


Congratulations to the South Texas Independent School District for being named the 2012 National School Library Program of the Year! This photo was taken at the AASL Awards Luncheon at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Here is a link to the press release with information about STISD's outstanding program:



Created on Oct 4, 2010 | Last updated February 15, 2018