TLACast • Volume 34, No. 1 • February 2015

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TLA's 2015
Corporate Sponsors

  DIAMOND
Capstone
DEMCO, Inc.
Follett

H-E-B/Read 3
Mackin
Media Source
  PLATINUM

Baker & Taylor

Bound to Stay Bound
GaleCengage Learning
Libra-Tech Corporation

  GOLD
Brodart
Library Interiors Of TX

  SILVER 
ABC-CLIO
ABDO
Aladdin/Simon & Schuster Children’s
American Locker
Driving-Tests.org
EBSCO Information Services
Ingram Content Group
Innovative Interfaces Inc.
LearningExpress
Little, Brown and Company
Penguin Random House/
Random House Children’s

Tech Logic Corporation

  BRONZE
Biblionix
Escue & Assoc.
InfoBase Learning
Innové LLC

Nat'l Ctr. for Children's Illustrated Literature
Overdrive
Perma-Bound Books
ProQuest
Scholastic Trade Books
Texserve
UNT CI

Corporate Members
Baker & Taylor
Capstone
Davidson Titles
Demco
Follett Library Resources
H-E-B/Read 3
HR Gray
Library Interiors of TX
Mackin
Media Source
Sourcebooks

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Sync Up! Your Professional Development Goals with TLA 2015

Conference is right around the corner, and you are busy making plans for how to spend your time while at the 2015 TLA Annual Conference, April 14-17, in Austin. Be sure to balance daily learning (the 300+ programs offer many choices) with activities that let you make the most of these dynamic four days of professional growth and fun. Even if you have already submitted your preregistration, you can add additional ticketed events by updating your registration online.

What Makes Conference Special? Spending time with colleagues, knowing that you are part of a community, and sharing the experience of professional discovery make TLA conference the learning event of the year. Beyond the impressive array of daily sessions, TLA offers many opportunities for you to enjoy conference through special events. Here are just a few!

Preconferences. From Storming the Capitol with colleagues in a fun and energizing experience in advocacy to Reframing Information Literacy, check out all of the terrific opportunities for you to enhance your CE credits.

Special Learning Forums. From the Hands On Labs to the Directors' Symposium, approach professional development from a truly experiential approach. At the Directors' Symposium on Thursday, April 16, nationally-known figures from a school, academic, and public library describe how they make their libraries indispensible.

Author Meal Functions.  From the enjoyable selections of TLA’s Lariat List (adult fiction) and the ever popular TBA luncheon to the elegant Evening with the Authors, don’t miss your opportunity to celebrate literature and authors at the various events (including the Black Caucus Session, Texas Tea, Opening Conference Session, and Friday's Youth Breakfast and Closing Lunch both featuring Caldecott-winning authors) throughout conference.

Celebrations Austin Style! Enjoy an 1980's sing along by the Alamo Drafthouse during the President’s Party. Health events include a first-ever trilogy of cycling, running, and swimming at Barton Springs. The newly-scheduled Freedom to Read activities at Uncle Julio’s on Wednesday evening and the Intergalactic Dance Club RT Party on Thursday at the famous Austin Scholz Garten offer classic Austin fun. And back by popular demand: the Book Cart Drill Team Challenge and Battledecks IV: Keeping it Weird in Austin!

Special Events and Activities – Tickets are Going Fast!

Hands On Labs are among the most popular TLA programming. Get hands-on experience with colleagues in these energetic and highly effective training modules. Check out the full program details and price information HERE

Tuesday, April 14

  • 1-3:30 pm: Basic Book Repair & Mending ($85 / $60 for TLA members): Note: A second session is in the works!
  • 2-3:50 pm: Manage Citations with Zotero
  • 4-5:20 pm: Creating Educational Computer Games @ Your Library 

Wednesday, April 15

  • 10:15-11:50 am: Library Gaming with Minecraft & Faster Than Light
  • 12-12:50 pm: Next Generation Social Media
  • 1-2:50 pm: Physics, Flight, and Friction using Kerbal Space
  • 3-3:50 pm: Build Your Own App, part 1: Basics
  • 4-4:50 pm: Build Your Own App, part 2: Building a Mobile App

Thursday, April 16

  • 8:30-9:50 am: Hanging Out with Google
  • 10-11:50 am: Infographics: How to Create
  • 1-3:50 am: Exploring 3D Printing At Your Library

Friday, April 17

  • 8-8:50 am: LibGuides
  • 9-11:50 am: Exploring 3D Printing At Your Library (repeat program)

TechCamp 2015! Have you heard? TechCamp 2015 is crammed full of the skills training you need to help get your library to the next level and impress your administrators while you’re at it! Spend the day (Tuesday, April 14) immersed in technology-focused sessions gaining knowledge you can take back for immediate use! The registration includes lunch. For full details, check out TechCamp15.

New and Spotlighted Programs

Librarians as Change Agents: Project Connect
Wednesday, 10:15 am – 11:50 am

Project Connect is a group of educational leaders dedicated to illustrating how librarians can be a solution to the many challenges of a digital transformation. The librarians participating in this panel presentation have achieved remarkable results with the support of administration, and thus have a more influential voice to impact key curriculum and digital decisions. Learn from these amazing educators how they became key players in their districts, and what is possible when the librarian is valued and appropriately utilized.
Jennifer Boudrye, District of Columbia Public Schools; Mark Ray, Vancouver School District; Mary Reiman, Lincoln Public Schools; and Scott Smith, Mooresville Graded School District.

Freedom to Read Foundation is celebrating with a reading of challenged materials. Author David Levithan will lead festivities at Uncle Julio's, 301 Brazos, on Wednesday evening, 6:00-8:00.  Tickets will be $45 for non-members, $40 for members.  

Earn Your Badge of Advocacy Honor! Taking the Capitol by Storm: Libraries, Legislation, and Leadership (Ticketed)
9 am - 5pm, Tuesday, April 14

With the 84th Legislature in full swing, join colleagues and experts as you study key library issues and become an articulate and knowledgeable advocate with decision-makers. The first half of the preconference is an intensive training and skill-building workshop.

The second half is an afternoon of actual visits with legislative offices coordinated through TLA. Participants will earn a badge of honor to wear throughout conference.  Lunch will be provided.                           

Conference Resources 

Visit http://www.txla.org/annual-conference for information about conference – from the printed program and session listings by type of library to details on authors, the Placement Center, and other activities.

The TLA conference mobile app will deliver updated information as well as access to handouts and other conference resources. 

How do I get the mobile app?

1) Download the application your particular device.

  1. Go to the app store (a preset tool on most mobile devices) and do a search for “TLA 2015”. Then click on the download option.
  2. Link directly to TLA 2015 by clicking on the link corresponding to your mobile platform.

TLA is giving away four $50 gift cards, drawn randomly, to individuals who complete and return the SESSION PREFERENCE FORM by the end of February. The form is located on the meetings registration page and can be submitted online after registering for conference.

    • iTunes: http://goo.gl/fFYiDq
    • Android (Google Play): http://goo.gl/aGJZOv
    • Mobile Web view: https://tla2015.quickmobile.com/
    • Main consolidated Download link: http://tla2015.quickmobile.mobi/

2) Enter your username and password to begin using the mobile app. 

What is my username and password again? 

If you are a TLA member, you can use your membership web login to access the mobile app. Non-member conference registrants will receive a registration confirmation email that contains your username and password.

POSTER SESSIONS – Sync UP! TLA members by presenting your most imaginative, innovative, and collaborative ideas in the form of poster sessions. We are looking for your stories and accomplishments as they relate to all aspects of libraries and librarianship. If you or your institution has launched a new program or been very successful in an ongoing program, share that experience with your fellow library aficionados. We are looking for proposals that reflect the conference theme and goals of being innovative, imaginative, and collaborative, and promote diversity with the benefit of learning new skills or knowledge.

The 2015 Poster Session submissions may be for print or electronic posters or both. If you have a wonderful display that is beautifully represented on a poster board, then select your table size and get creative. However, if your content is better illustrated electronically, then feel free to bring your mobile device and visual display area.

In addition to presenting your poster at the sessions on Tuesday April 14th at the Convention Center in Austin, you can also opt to sign up to present again in “The Sync Up!” station. The deadline is February 28. If you have any additional questions, please contact Lisa Muilenburg.

EXHIBITS

Shop and Plan Now to Visit our Fabulous TLA 2015 Exhibitors.  TLA offers many formats:

  • The mobile friendly Buyers Guide to TLA Exhibitors now has more than 200 new categories.  Shop the Buyers Guide year round on your mobile devices!
  • Find exhibitors in the hall using the FX Hall Map!  You can select a specific category to highlight the booths in the hall that offer the product(s) that you want. 
  • Create your list using the My Exhibits via the Conference Mobile App to plan to visit those you don’t want to miss. 
  • Find contact information of exhibitors by logging in to MyTLA or on the Conference Mobile App.   

Authors Authors!   Read about our fantastic authors who will be signing in the hall.  Print our author signing schedule.  

We love our Sponsors!  Be sure to thank our sponsors (listed in right column) when you see them. They help us tremendously in many ways, including events, programs, awards, and scholarships.


Legislative Update:

The 84th Session

The state budgeting process is fully underway. Now is the most critical time to advocate for increases in library funding, as the respective budget committees are in the formative stage of making budget recommendations.  

We need all library advocates to contact their representative and senator and urge them to support libraries! This action is especially critical if either of your legislators serves on the House Appropriations Committee or Senate Finance Committee. If your legislators do not serve on either of these committees, we still need you to contact your elected officials and ask them to work with colleagues on the funding committees to support libraries. 

The Message to legislators: Support the full budget and exceptional item requests of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (Article I/General Government). We need our library advocates to urge elected officials to support the educational and workforce infrastructure in legislators’ home districts by supporting the following key library-related initiatives: 1) Shared Digital Content (i.e., TexShare and TexQuest) - $6.4 million/biennium in exceptional item funding AND 2) Workforce Development Training for Libraries  - $550,000/biennium. See the resource sheets below for additional information. 

Securing appropriations for these requests is our mission!

Resources for Advocating

Budget Hearing Recaps

Members of the Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on Feb. 4 on the State Library’s budget, and the House Appropriations Article I Subcommittee heard testimony on Feb. 16. A total of 20 people have testified in support of the agency’s budget request. Library supporters spoke passionately about library programs – shared digital content (i.e., TexShare and TexQuest) and workforce development training funds – and the agency’s overall budget at these hearing.

We thank the following individuals who testified and traveled to Austin (some twice!) in support of the State Library and Archives Commission's budget.

Chris Custer, Sharon Gullett, Traci Jensen, Jim Johnson, Donna Kearley, Jennifer LaBoon, Leah Mann, Darrell Newsom, Danielle Plumer, Jeanne Standley, Robin Stout, Kyle Whipple, Jim Allison, Anne Keene, Ty Burns, Becky Calzada, Mayor Hal Richards, Jennifer Schwartz, Rebecca Sullivan, Tina Urdiales, and Cynthia Velis.

We also appreciate everyone who participated in Library Virtual Action Day! We know libraries across the state took the opportunity to contact legislative offices. Members of the Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas took the day to visit with their state lawmakers here in Austin. We thank Lori Brix, Gene Mackenzie, Julie Ousley, Carol Roark, Rhoda Goldberg, and Kerry McGeath who traveled down for the day.

Other Policy Updates

School Librarian Certification

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) will meet on March 6, 2015 in Austin. One of the items up for discussion is the certification of school librarians. SBEC members will review the various components of the certification requirements, including the critical element of two years of teaching experience. 

TLA’s Texas Association of School Librarians (TASL) has been hard at work drafting information for SBEC members. Additionally, TLA worked with SBEC in providing information and support as SBEC gathered school library representatives to discuss the criteria and make recommendations.  A taskforce met in November and offered key points for consideration. The TASL and TLA position was conveyed to SBEC in a letter submitted by TASL leaders. See: School Librarians are Teachers.

Agenda information for the March 6 meeting will be available at the SBEC website along with information on contacting members of the Board. If you are interested in participating in this process, please contact Gloria Meraz (gloriam@txla.org) as soon as possible.

School Library Standards 

The State Board of Education’s Committee on Instruction met on February 12, 2015 to discuss revising current school library standards. State Librarian and Director of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission Mark Smith presented information to the SBOE on the current school library standards and the need to begin a process to update them. 

The members of the SBOE were very positive about the importance of school library programs and agreed that revising the standards was an important process to begin. As state statute stipulates, updating these standards is a joint endeavor undertaken by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Texas Education Agency.

We expect additional information about this process to be developed by the agencies in the coming weeks. To view the background material on the current standards, you may review the SBOE’s documentation for the Feb. 12 meeting. See:  Discussion of School Library Standards.

Telecom Bill Filed

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen) has filed HB 1475. We appreciate Rep. Aycock’s support of educational institutions. This bill would extend the special state pricing for telecommunications services first established in 1995, by the landmark HB 2128, the state telecommunications deregulation bill, known as the Public Utility Regulatory Act of 1995.

Provisions implementing the primary goal of HB 2128 in Texas were designed to open competition for local service in order to both keep rates down and generate new services, such as high-speed Internet access. The legislature took special care to ensure that a telecommunications infrastructure that connects public entities such as schools, libraries, institutions of higher education, non-profit telemedicine centers, and public hospitals was established at a reasonable rate.

To that end, several discounts were established under Chapters 57, 58 and 59 of the Texas Utilities Code for the benefit of these entities.  In particular, a discount on contracts for private network services (i.e. customer specific contracts that include T1, T2, and T3 lines/trunks) was set to expire in 2005, but SB 5 (Second Called Session of the 79th Regular Session) extended these discounts through January 2012. 

These discounts allow libraries, schools, colleges and hospitals to purchase high speed services from incumbent local exchange carriers at 105% to 110% of long run incremental costs (LRIC). Approximately 877 public entities are currently utilizing these discounts.  In 2005, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) approximated the value of these discounts at almost $100 million annually and anticipated a rapid increase in these values. 

This special pricing program was extended in the 2011 session to run through January 1, 2016. Since the State Legislature next convenes in 2017, this special pricing program must be extended in this 2015 session to avoid a gap. HB 1475 seeks to continue the program through 2024. TLA will continue to provide information about this legislation and what you can do to support this critical state policy matter. 


TLA News

TLA Elections

TLA elections opened on Wednesday, February 18, and will close on Thursday, March 19. All members who renewed their membership by February 1 are eligible to vote.

Members with a primary email address will only receive their election information via email. Any member without an email address or whose email address bounces will receive a paper ballot via US mail. These ballots only have TLA Executive Board candidates on them; if a member wishes to vote for a candidate in one of the participating TLA groups, they must do so online.

While all TLA groups have the option to participate in electronic election, they are not required to do so. At right is a list of this year’s participating groups.

To view Executive Board candidate information, go to: http://www.txla.org/news/2015/02/meet-your-executive-board-candidates, where you will find biographical information along with other statements from the candidates. The candidates for TLA President have also provided video. 

For candidates in unit elections, check your unit’s webpage for any posted information. A directory of TLA’s units is available at: http://www.txla.org/TLA-groups.

PARTICIPATION GROUPS:

TLA EXECUTIVE BOARD

DIVISIONS

  • College & University Libraries Division
  • Public Libraries Division
  • Texas Association of School Librarians
  • Texas Association of School Librarians-Private School Discussion Group

ROUND TABLES 

  • Acquisitions & Collection Development
  • Children’s
  • Reference & Information Services
  • Supervision, Management, & Administration
  • Tall Texans
  • Young Adults

DISTRICTS

  • District 5
  • District 8
  • District 9

Awards, Grants, Scholarships, and Stipends

Some nomination and application deadlines have already passed, but check the awards page for a full listing of unit and corporate-sponsored grants and awards that might be available to help defray conference expenses, fund a special project, or cast a spotlight on a successful program.

TLA Cool Stuff

TLA wants to know what’s cool (and hot!) at your library! The Cool Stuff Initiative promotes your most successful programs and services, favorite displays, and any special projects and events at your library you want the world to see. We have received great photos so far, showcasing Halloween zombie shootouts, travel kit backpacks, book character scavenger hunts, and more!

Check out TLA’s Cool Stuff board on Pinterest for ideas and inspiration from great libraries. Want to see your library on the board? Send your photos along with a brief description to coolstuff@txla.org. If your library has a Twitter account, include it in the email so we can give you a shout-out when we post your photos!

We know cool stuff happens in libraries every day, so this project is open year-round!

Please note that if you are submitting a photograph, you assume responsibility for having the authority to post the photo. This means that any photograph that includes children has been taken with the expressed permission of their parents and gives TLA permission to post.

Links

Cool Stuff Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/pin2tla/the-cool-stuff-initiative/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/TXLA (our handle is @TXLA)


CE Logo

All webinars will be recorded. A link to the recording will be sent to all registrants (i.e. you may want to register even if you know you cannot attend the live event). All webinars will carry continuing education credit and some also have CE credit available for viewing the recording. See individual descriptions for details. 

New this year, please note that TLA’s Onstream Media webinar platform can also be used on mobile devices! You can get the free app at: 

  • (For Android): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.onstreammedia.webinars
  • (For iPhone): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/onstream-webinars/id850541796?mt=8

 SCHEDULE

February 24, 2-3pm Central Time
On the SPOT: the Spirit of Texas Reading Club (Collaboration Series) - FREE
Amanda Galliton, Librarian, Kirby Junior High School, Wichita Falls ISD
Jennifer Smith, Librarian, Legacy Middle School, East Central ISD, San Antonio
Leaders from this young committee will discuss how the group collaborates with Texas authors to promote programming and reading in school and public libraries. Register

March 12, 11am-12Noon and repeats at 2-3pm Central Time
Supervising, Coordinating, or Managing Others (A to Z for Support Staff series)  - $15 for TLA members, $25 for nonmembers, group rates available
Julie Todaro, Dean of Library Services, Austin Community College
This webinar includes the basics of public & support services for staff, including best practices with both do’s and don’ts; time management; and the role of communication.
For registration and discount information see www.txla.org/CE-AZ

March 19, 11am-12 Noon Central Time 
Won't You Be My Neighbor? Building Partnerships in Small Rural Communities (Collaboration Series) - FREE
Victoria Horst, Tifton-Tift County (GA) Public Library
Deborah Moorman, Irwin County (GA) Public Library
This session will give ideas on how to form relationships with nonlibrary organizations that have the same goals as a library. The facilitators have experience with organizations such as Rotary, local theatre, literacy volunteers, institutions of worship, YMCA, schools and colleges, the Department of Labor, the Society for Creative Anachronism, and others to build programming and advocacy for the library. Register

March 24, 3-4pm Central Time 
Community Curation, Data Alchemy, and Bleeding Edge News (Collaboration Series) - FREE
Kenn Bicknell, Digital Resources Librarian, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Learn how to strengthen the library's role as a critical community partner. The speaker explains how libraries can employ news aggregation, community curation, and "data alchemy" to create (and create demand for) value-added community news and information. Social media and an auto-generated newspaper tool give every library the potential to become a reliable, relevant, and respected news source. Innovative collaborations around easy online tools can help libraries define how their entire community is perceived online. Register

March 31, 10-11am Central Time 
Got Big Data? Big Data and School Libraries (Collaboration Series) - FREE
Evelyn Schwartz, Librarian and Teacher, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC
From Google's Ngram Viewer to Twitter Trends, from the World Bank to Google Public Data Explorer, the prevalence of Big Data (and its analysis and collection) opens a door to new kinds of integrated library instruction for many classes. Librarians can teach their students how to access and manipulate "raw" data for their work as well as how to understand how it is used in contemporary society. The ease of access to data collection tools (such as online surveys) means that data analysis is a good teachable skill that librarians can introduce to students for both school work and everyday life. Register

April 2, 11am-12Noon and repeats at 2-3pm Central Time
Cataloging: Introduction to Organizing Information
 (A to Z for Support Staff series)  - $15 for TLA members, $25 for nonmembers, group rates available
Julie Todaro, Dean of Library Services, Austin Community College
This session begins with the basics of acquisitions, cataloging, and processing with an overview of technical services. For registration and discount information see www.txla.org/CE-AZ

May 12, 11am-12Noon and repeats at 2-3pm Central Time
Introduction to Providing Information and Directional Reference
 (A to Z for Support Staff series)  - $15 for TLA members, $25 for nonmembers, group rates available
Dr. Julie Todaro, Dean of Library Services, Austin Community College
This webinar covers information desk services and resources, including the patron interview, moving patrons among public service desks, reader’s advisory, and delivering information and reference for paraprofessionals through online, digital and virtual services. For registration and discount information see www.txla.org/CE-AZ 

May 19, 2-3pm Central Time
Building a Culture of Collaboration (Collaboration Series) - FREE
Lucy Santos Green, Assistant Professor, Instructional Technology, Georgia Southern University
Melissa Johnston, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama
Judy Kaplan, Coordinator of the School Library Media Studies Sequence, University of Vermont  M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction
Judi Moreillon, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman's University
How can you increase collaboration in your school learning community? Building a Culture of Collaboration at Edublogs: Co-bloggers will share strategies for reaching out and developing collaborative relationships with four library stakeholder groups: administrators, classroom teachers and specialists, students, and families and community members. Bring your commitment to building partnerships, your experiences, your ideas and your questions to the conversation. Register

June 4, 11am-12Noon and repeats at 2-3pm Central Time
What’s New in Library Collections and Services (A to Z for Support Staff series)  - $15 for TLA members, $25 for nonmembers, group rates available
Dr. Julie Todaro, Dean of Library Services, Austin Community College
This introductory program describes the role of electronic resources in the library, from databases to eBooks. It includes basic techniques for working with these applications as well as the tools to use them, such as eReaders, smartphones, and tablets. For registration and discount information see www.txla.org/CE-AZ  

July 16, 11am-12Noon and repeats at 2-3pm Central Time
Maximizing the Life of Resources: Books, Discs, Flash Drives, and More
  (A to Z for Support Staff series)  - $15 for TLA members, $25 for nonmembers, group rates available
Dr. Julie Todaro, Dean of Library Services, Austin Community College
The instructor discusses the “care and feeding” of physical materials including basic book repair and caring for media (DVD’s and CDRoms) as well as USB drives and other hardware peripherals. For registration and discount information see www.txla.org/CE-AZ 


 ALA News

 ESEA Reauthorization

The reauthorization of ESEA (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) currently known as No Child Left Behind is now being addressed in Congress. Language is being drafted by both the Senate Health and Education Committee and the House Education & Workforce Committee in Washington, DC. Although the major points of contention are over student testing and teacher evaluation, this is the time to try to impact our Congressmen to add provisions for school libraries.  

Therefore, the next two months will be an opportune time for library and education advocates to contact federal lawmakers and advocate the American Library Association/Association of School Librarians position: 

  1. Maintain dedicated federal funding for school libraries;
  2. Staff school libraries with state-licensed school librarians; and
  3. Provide professional development funds to be used for recruiting and training school librarians.

The House Education & Workforce Committee is working on a version of a reauthorization.  Congressman Ruben Hinojosa from Texas serves on this committee. If he is your Congressman, please contact his office to ask that the Congressman work with colleagues to add the three bullet points above to the ESEA Reauthorization.

Related Federal Legislation:  Senators Reed and Cochran introduce school library bill

Last week, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) joined Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) in introducing the SKILLS Act (S.312). Key improvements to the program include expanding professional development to include digital literacy, reading and writing instruction across all grade levels; focusing on coordination and shared planning time between teachers and librarians; and ensuring that books and materials are appropriate students with special learning needs, including English learners.

ALA Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs

The ALA Committee on Accreditation has announces the ALA Council approval of the 2015 Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies http://www.ala.org/accreditedprograms/standards.

The new Standards emphasize planning, assessment, and evaluation to sustain quality. The requirement to demonstrate how the results of evaluation are applied is now a culminating aspect of each of the standards. The five-plus-year Standards review process, documented at http://www.oa.ala.org/accreditation/, resulted in three drafts issued for comment. The final, approved version reflects suggestions from all sectors of the profession, including, most notably, employers of LIS program graduates, LIS program faculty, students, the ALA Council and Executive Board, and affiliated associations. 

Implementation of the 2015 Standards will begin immediately only for those programs not already in the comprehensive review cycle.

ALA welcomes strong network neutrality protections proposed by FCC Chairman

On February 4, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler outlined the network neutrality proposal he plans on bringing to a vote on February 26, 2015. In a Wired op-ed he wrote: “I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open Internet protections ever proposed by the FCC. These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services.” The American Library Association (ALA) has welcomed this affirmation of strong network neutrality protections.

“I am very pleased that Chairman Wheeler’s outlined proposal matches the network neutrality principles ALA and nearly a dozen library and higher education groups called for last July,” said ALA President Courtney Young. “America’s libraries collect, create and disseminate essential information to the public over the Internet, and enable our users to create and distribute their own digital content and applications. Network neutrality is essential to meeting our mission in serving America’s communities and preserving the Internet as a platform for free speech, innovation, research and learning for all.”

In its January 2014 ruling on Verizon v. FCC, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down much of the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Order. The Commission responded by opening a new public proceeding in May 2014. Subsequently, nearly 4 million public comments were filed with the FCC.

“The ALA commends the Chairman for asserting FCC authority under both Title II of the Communications Act and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to provide the strongest possible legal foundation for network neutrality rules,” said Larra Clark, deputy director of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy. “We also are pleased these rules will apply to both fixed and mobile broadband, which ALA has long advocated.”

Chairman Wheeler also outlined provisions of Title II from which he would forbear from enforcing, including rate regulation or imposing new taxes or fees. “After the recent successful completion of E-rate program modernization to better enable affordable access to high-capacity broadband through libraries and schools, ALA has a particular interest in safeguarding FCC authority related to the Universal Service Fund,” Clark said. “We are encouraged the Chairman specifically called out universal service and look forward to better understanding how a partial application of Section 254 will work.” 

Young concluded: “Libraries strongly value and support the open Internet as a cornerstone for preserving our democracy in the information age. We also depend on it to make sure essential library services and content aren’t stuck in an Internet ‘slow lane.’ The educational and public interest benefits of an open Internet are extremely important, and we welcome strong network neutrality protections that will help ensure equitable access to online information, applications and services for all.”

More information on libraries and network neutrality is available on the ALA website.


 Other News

Texas Book Festival at Work

Class Act: HSPVA creative writing students host Festival authors

Note: This article by Allison Baron has been edited for length. It is available in its full length at BLOG POST.

At the Texas Book Festival, we love introducing young minds to new ideas and authors. It’s so rewarding for us when introductions made at our Festival inspire classroom curriculum and give birth to lasting, flourishing literary relationships. 

Students in the creative writing program at the High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston take an annual field trip to the Texas Book Festival every fall. Judith Switek, the program chair, says it’s their favorite activity all year. Judith brought back oodles of books and ideas from the Festival that she is incorporating into upper-level electives such as having her students create artifacts for a piece of writing to further delve into storyline and character development, this based on an interactive storytelling panel she attended called “The New Era of Interactive Fiction” with Doug Dorst, Michael McGriff, and J.M. Tyree.

“The kids start talking about it in August. They love the Festival and really bond over the course of the weekend. Each session they attend is like a master class. We had another wonderful experience this year. We brought 52 students with nine chaperones—parents love to come along on this field trip. The students talked with many writers and even invited some to our school,” says Judith.

2014 Festival author Jericho Brown visited the HSPVA students after he met them at the 2013 Festival and most recently, past Festival author and famed poet Roger Reeves came to their school for not only a day, but an entire week— the creative writing program’s first-ever week-long residency! 

Stories like this are what the Texas Book Festival is all about: celebrating authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination. We look forward to seeing the HSPVA students again at the 2015 Festival, and we hope their story inspires more teachers, librarians, and students to explore new literary horizons at the Festival.

Texas Rangers Announce Anti-Bullying Educational Program

The Texas Rangers and first baseman Prince Fielder announced the details of a new educational program designed to help students promote an anti-bullying environment. Going to Bat against Bullying launched in late January and will be available for use in grades 4 through 8 in Texas schools. The program has been developed by the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation in partnership with BKFK and MLB Advanced Media.

The program, which is aligned to TEKS standards, will feature anti-bullying tips and ideas from Fielder along with activities designed to prevent and combat bullying. In addition, the Going to Bat against Bullying contest will launched earlier in February and asks students to devise concepts to help create an anti-bullying atmosphere in their schools and communities.

Details about the educational program as well as teacher guides, program flyers, and activities materials can be downloaded at http://www.goingtobatagainstbullying.com/. Contact the Foundation with any questions. Teachers and school administrators may also register on-line to receive updates and more information on the Going to Bat against Bullying contest, which will run through March 27.


Names in the News 

  • Kimberli Evans is the new director of the Comfort Public Library.
  • Lori Grumet, formerly of Las Cruces, NM, has been named the new director of Abilene Public Library.

Deaths

  • Susan Elliot of Odessa College passed away on January 8. 
  • Joseph Lively has passed away.
Created on Feb 18, 2015 | Last updated February 19, 2015