SCASL News | AUTHORS | Cathy Jo Nelson
Cathy Jo Nelson

Dear Colleagues:
Approaching the annual conference in Phoenix, AZ on November 9-11, the American Association of School Libraries (AASL) is celebrating its 65th anniversary as a division of the American Library Association by promoting programs designed to transform the school library profession, and your assistance is needed.

 School librarians nationwide benefit greatly from the programs and collective effort of AASL membership. The current campaign offers an opportunity for both members and non-members to bolster the strength of the organization and is aptly named It’s in Our Hands: Celebrating the Past and Transforming the Future. Donations will support two programs that will impact the school library profession:

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Thanks Ronda Speed of Sumter High School for creating this wonderful reminder to join or renew! Her video was created in Animoto and uses all copyright friendly images from Pixabay


Ronda Speed, librarian at Sumter High School also graciously shares a video promotion about the new 2018 SCASL Book Awards Bookmark Contest. 


Plan to volunteer today for a 2017-2018 SCASL. Click here to sign up.

We are still wrapping our head around SCASL's recent Chicago Trip to ALA. As we reflected at the airport waiting for our flight home, we began listing the wonderful events directly from the conference that we participated in.  I've already shared our Affiliate Assembly events, so I'll focus this post on sessions and the exhibit hall. The following are events your SCASL friends were involved in as either a speaker or attendee. Karen Gavigan & Heather Moorefield-Lang both led multiple sessions at this conference, making all of SCASL, the University of South Carolina, and all of South Carolina PROUD. Karen presented two sessions:
  • Transforming Learning in K-12 Libraries through Inclusionary Best Practices
  • Telling Their Stories Through Graphic Novels - Views from behind the Fence
Heather Moorefield-Lang presented twice as well. She is outgoing chair for the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, soon to be assuming the role of AASL Region Four Director. Her two sessions were as follows:
  • Exploring AASL's Best Websites for Teaching and Learning This session was the big reveal of the 2017  AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, and there were MANY tweets and retweets, Facebook postings and more sharing the newly curated list! It always draws a big crowd! It followed the AASL Best Apps 2017 Reveal Session.
  • MakerSpaces: The View from Here This session also draws a lot of fans. Many are still clamoring for makerspace information.
  Sarah Jessica Parker, ALA President's Program The ALA President's Program featured Sarah Jessica Parker who glowed when she spoke of libraries in her life as a child, and how she has made sure it is a part of her own children's life. No trip is taken without a book!  Many lucked out at ALA, getting an autographed copy of No One is Coming to Save Us after hearing SJP and Author Stephanie Powell Watts talk of the book in this session.

Hillary Clinton, Closing Keynote ALA did not announce until way late that Hillary Clinton would be our closing keynote, and there were all kinds of rules about filing in, no saving seats, bags had to be checked, etc.  I'm super excited we didn't miss it. Jennifer Tazerouti and her sister Jackie were some of the first people in, so they had really close seats. (See picture) My group (myself, Heather Thore, and Cindy Symonds) strolled in with less than thirty minutes to go, and found seats near the back. Breakfast was more important to us than a front row seat. It was a great, short speech! Favorite Hillary quote: "You [librarians] have to be on the front lines to defend truth, reason, evidence and fact." I was hoping to get a arc of her book, It Takes a Village, or minimum a promise of it's in the mail from ALA!, but sadly that did not happen.

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I’m fresh back from the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, and am exhausted, filled to the brim with learning, and weighted down once again with quite a bit of exhibit hall swag! The American Association of School Librarians is a division of the American Library Association, and SCASL, if you did not know, is a founding member of the American Association of School Librarians Affiliate Assembly. In accordance with our SCASL bylaws, we send our SCASL leadership, two voting delegates and a "delegate in training," to the ALA Annual Conference each year. This year it was SCASL President Cindy Symonds, President-elect Cathy Jo Nelson (me), and the incoming President Elect, Heather Thore to the conference.  

AASL Affiliate Assembly

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Greetings friends. SCASL President Cindy Symonds, President-Elect Cathy Jo Nelson, and incoming President-Elect Heather Thore will be attending the ALAConference this week in Chicago. Your SCASL Leadership team will be proudly representing school librarians from across our great state of South Carolina at the AASL Affiliate Assembly. Note that SCASL is a charter member of AASL's Affiliate Assembly, one of the first state organizations to partner with other state organizations working together to empower the school librarian through AASL and ALA. They will be networking, learning, and last but not least, bringing back a ton of information and loot (books and more) picked up in sessions and from the vast exhibit hall. Much of that loot will wind up being door prizes at our SCASL 2018 Conference, which is March 7-9, 2018 in Greenville.

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SCASL President Jennifer Tazerouti and SCASL President elect share from Columbus, Ohio where they are attending AASL's annual conference! They will be representing us at the AASL Affiliate Assembly as well. 

Tonight this district recognition was shared with SCASL, and we wish to congratulate the librarians mentioned. Here is the acknowledgement in full, along with a picture:

Blythewood High School
Contact: Crystal B. Smith
(803) 691-4090 x28046
FAX (803) 714-6035

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There has been a discussion/thread recently regarding how to limit YA books found in a library with mixed levels. The desire is to make sure elementary students are not checking out mature content.  Many suggestions have been shared:

  • Create a YA shelf that is designated as a certain grade level only (example: 8th grade only)
  • Create a form letter and get lower grade students to return a form that lets parents specifically give permission for access to mature fiction content like YA books
  • Create a form and require parents to opt out at the beginning of the school year.

All of these are suitable response and effective ways to deal with the topic at hand. But did you know that most circulation systems allow a librarian to set up these kinds of restrictions?  How is this done.  

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Michelle Bates, SCASL member and School Librarian at Northside Middle (Greenwood 50) shares this Prezi as a way to introduce the 2014-2015 SC Junior Book Award Nominees.  Enjoy!  


The 2013-2014 SC Young Adult Book Award Committee used this video to introduce and highlight the 2014-2015 SC Young Adult Award Nominees. Enjoy!! This video was created by SCYABA 2013-14 Chair Melanie Dillard, School Librarian from Dorman High School in spartanburg District 6. This video can be downloaded from Flickr or Edmodo.  Edmodo codes are available in the Forums area set up for the 2014 SCASL Conference.

The 2013-2014 SC Children's Book Award Committee used this video to introduce and highlight the 2014-2015 SC Children's Book Award Nominees. Enjoy!! This video can be downloaded from Flickr or Edmodo.  Edmodo codes are available in the Forums area set up for the 2014 SCASL Conference.


Have you seen this video making rounds?  

"Principals Know: School Librarians are the Heart of the School" was crowdsourced by Dr. Judi Moreillon and Dr. Teresa Starrett using funds provided by the Texas Library Association, Demco, and the Dean's Research Funds (College of Professional Education, Texas Woman's University).If you are a principal or school administrator and you want to share why your school librarian is the heart of your school, contact Dr. Judi Moreillon (

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Congratulations to the following district where 100% of working school librarians are current members of SCASL. These members enjoyed recognition at conference and preferential seating at the Book Awards Day Luncheon at Conference. 

Distinguished Service Award Winner-Connie Dopierala

During the 39th Annual SCASL Conference, Award recipients were honored at the Thursday, March 13, 2014 Awards Banquet. SCASL’s highest award is the Distinguished Service Award. This award is intentionally kept secret from the recipient. It recognizes an individual or an organization for contributions to SCASL and school media programs throughout the state of South Carolina. She is a 25+ year teaching veteran.Camellia Harris, who nominated our recipient, says she has served the faculty, staff, and students of the Charleston County School District and the state of South Carolina over her seven years tenure with her whole heart and with an extraordinary vision. She has urged the Charleston County teacher librarians, who she refers to as her Library Ninjas, to be more and do more in each of their schools.Throughout the years she has sustained her one true goal to meet the needs of all students so that they will become good citizens who think for themselves, are media literate, love to read, and are life-long learners.” Having served in Charleston County School District as their Media Services administrator, she is now enjoying a well-deserved retirement as of January of this year.  Our Distinguished Service Award for 2014-2015 is presented to Connie Dopierala.  

The Margaret Ehrhardt Student Scholarship provides a scholarship to a graduating media center volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to South Carolina school librarianship, school library services, and/or SCASL.

He is the son of a renaissance man and an English teacher who answered the call to be a library media specialist, both of whom taught their only son self-sufficiency and a love of education. His thirst for knowledge was fed by volunteering in the library from elementary school through high school and was ultimately his springboard to numerous high school activities. His Colleton County High School media specialist, Lynne Douglas Simmons, calls him a “dream library assistant.”  Leon Williams is SCASL’s Margaret Ehrhardt Student Scholarship Award recipient for 2014-2015.

During the 39th Annual SCASLConference, Award recipients were honored at the Thursday, March 13, 2014 Awards Banquet. Over the next week or so we will highlight our award winners. Congratulations to Melissa Keefer the 2014 recipient of the SCASL sponsored Nancy Day Scholarship. Melissa Keefer is a current  MLIS candidate at the University of South Carolina, pursuing a career in school librarianship. She is a former Exceptional Children’s teacher and 2009 alumna of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Special Education program. Melissa lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina with her husband and children

During the 39th Annual SCASL Conference, Award recipients were honored at the Thursday, March 13, 2014 Awards Banquet. Over the next week or so we will highlight our award winners.  

2014 SCASL Paraprofessional of the Year - Angela Hendricks

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