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Librarians and the Common Core: Making the Implicit Explicit PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Frontier Regional High School Library
113 North Main Street
South Deerfield, MA 01373
Facilitator: Kristin Fontichiaro, University of Michigan
Make a weekend of it! There is lots to do in this part of western Massachusetts. We have made a Pinterest board with some local attractions and information. We hope it will entice some of you to come west and enjoy the fall - our most beautiful time of year! 

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are bearing down as we prepare for testing in 2014-2015. What is the role of librarians in helping students achieve these ever-higher benchmarks?

In this daylong workshop, we'll put our leadership caps on and spend the day kneading, poking, and peering inside the standards to find points of connection between CCSS's goals and our professional values. We'll begin with an overview of the CCSS to clarify and eliminate misconceptions about CCSS and its intent, then focus our day on the English Language Arts standards, reviewing major themes, genres, and styles related to informational text, writing, and research.

Then we'll look at the standards themselves, reading between the lines to discover what it really takes to achieve a standard like Writing 3.7, "Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic." While the wording of the standards may be succinct, the implicit skills hidden within need to be unpacked before we can help our classroom colleagues plan and teach robustly. What kinds of procedural or higher-order thinking skills (from note-taking to synthesis) are explicit in the CCSS documentation but may be absent within the standards themselves? How do we turn Informational Text 9-10.8, " Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning" into meaningful instructional steps?

After lots of discussion (and a bit of laughter about CCSS's inconsistencies), we'll tackle our back-at-school action plan. You'll review exit standards and check them against the work you are already doing -- or could expand your role in doing. Most librarians, in doing this, discover that their work already aligns quite closely. Whether as a primary instructor, team teacher, reinforcing teacher, or provider of materials, you are already working actively toward a CCSS implementation -- you just may not know it yet! From shifting lessons to anticipating the professional development your teachers will need, you matter in this implementation effort.

We'll end the day by preparing an action plan that you can take back to building or district administrators, showing your essential contributions to your school or district's CCSS efforts.

Kristin Fontichiaro is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, where she coordinates the school library media program. In addition, she co-teaches Teaching with Technology in the UM School of Education. Formerly, she was an elementary school librarian and professional development facilitator for the Birmingham (MI) Public Schools and a secondary English teacher in Tennessee.

Her most recent edited volumes are Navigating the Information Tsunami: Engaging Research Projects that Meet the Common Core State Standards, K-5 (Cherry Lake, June 2012) and Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers (with Debbie Abilock and Violet H. Harada, Libraries Unlimited, June 2012).

In 2011, she edited two eBooks: School Libraries: What's Now, What's Next, What's Yet to Come (co-edited with Buffy Hamilton) and Information Literacy in the Wild.

Earlier professional books include 21st-Century Learning in School Libraries; Active Learning Through Drama, Podcasting, and Puppetry; and Podcasting at School. With Sandy Buczynski, she is co-author of Story Starters and Science Notebooking: Developing Student Thinking Through Literacy and Inquiry. She also writes informational texts for middle grade readers and has written for Principal Leadership, ASCD Express, Teacher Librarian, Synergy, and other publications.

Named an Emerging Leader by the American Library Association, Distinguished Alumna by the Wayne State University Library and Information Science Program, and a 2012 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, she blogs at and writes the “Nudging Toward Inquiry” column for School Library Monthly.

Last Updated ( Friday, 14 September 2012 )
2011-12 Executive Board Election Results PDF Print E-mail
Congratulations to the newly elected MSLA Executive Board for 2011-2012.
Southeast Area Directors:    KATHLEEN PORTER and LYNN WEEKS
Northeast Area Directors:    CHRIS STEINHAUSER and SHARON HAMER
Metrowest Area Directors:    AMY BLOOM and MAUREEN TANNETTA
Western Area Directors:    LEIGH BARNES and ROCHELLE GARFINKEL
 Boston Area Director:   AMY SHORT (one seat remains empty)
Central Area Directors:    CECILY HOUSTON and CINDY ERLE

Respectfully submitted by Sandy Kelly
MSLA Immediate Past President and Nominations Chair

Last Updated ( Friday, 13 May 2011 )
Teen Choice Book Award PDF Print E-mail
The Massachusetts School Library Association's Youth Services Section and the Massachusetts School Library Association have launched the first-ever Massachusetts Teen Choice Book Award. This is not a typical book award – teens will nominate the titles, then vote on the short list of their favorites. Nominations opened June 1, 2010 and teens may nominate their favorite books published in 2010  through December 31. Visit the Massachusetts Teen Choice Book Award web- site for more information, links to lists of 2010 books, and a printable brochure, or contact Sue-Ellen Szymanski at This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Library License Plate Winners Announced PDF Print E-mail
Gerri Fegan from West Middle School Media Center met Gregory Maguire at his home and was thrilled that he was dedicating his next book to her as well as public and school librarians, “It means so much to me, to all of us, to be recognized and appreciated in this way," said Gerri, who has read everything Maguire’s written. She found the author “warm, witty, and welcoming.”  Read more...
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 February 2009 )
YALSA Podcast - Diversity in the Library PDF Print E-mail
In this podcast, MSLA member Alma Ramos McDermott interviews Helen Snowden, Gloucester Township Library (Blackwood, NJ) and Angie Miraflor, San Jose Public Library (CA), YALSA’s 2008 diversity stipend winners.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 September 2008 )
Salem Student is School Library Advocate PDF Print E-mail

Watch a YouTube video of student Salem from the Salem, MA public schools telling Governor Deval Patrick how he raised money to save his school librarian from budget cuts.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 September 2008 )
YALSA Podcast - Teens & School Libraries PDF Print E-mail

In this YALSA podcast , Maureen Ambrosino of the Central MA Regional Library System talks with Kathy Lowe, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Library Association and Lynn Rutan, middle school librarian in Michigan on the current state of school libraries.

The podcast covers:

  • The state of school libraries across the country and the crisis level of school libraries in Michigan.
  • The importance of administration seeing school libraries as a value to the school community.
  • The role of a school librarian as an advocate for school libraries
  • Best practices in being a school library advocate
  • Impact of school library services on students and in particular on teens
  • Impact of school librarians on academic achievement
  • How public librarians can support school librarians
  • AASL School Library Campaign
Last Updated ( Monday, 07 July 2008 )
MSLA Blogs the Nationals PDF Print E-mail

MSLA Executive Board members attend the Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings of the American Library Association (ALA) each year, and the bi-annual conference of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

They have blogged their last few conference experiences while at the conferences. If you'd like to learn first-hand what a national is like, check out these blogs:

Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 November 2008 )
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