Thursday, June 14, 2007

025.1 School Library Administrators: Always Learning Day 2, Part 2

After another good networking break, Dr. Adrian Johnson, Associate Commisioner of Education, is bringing greetings from TEA and Commissioner Neeley. He stated the obvious--Libraries and Librarians are the heart and soul of the schools. In explaining his role, he shared a little personal history about being a Frost Polar Bear, having a community where people "watched" the radio, and having his mother as his first teacher in life...and school! A nice quote-- "You (as Librarians and educators) bring Old Yeller back to life."

We all need to work together. He does recognize that Librarians often feel "left out" in the educational family. He reminded us about the 03 issues when we lost a voice at the agency. He doesn't like the present situation...the challenge-- live with the things as they CAN be, not with the way things were. He is committed to doing what he can.

Planting...where the first seed began essential ingredient...create a climate of knowledge and learning
Example: college readiness in not possible without knowledge of how to do research

Recommendations for LEAs
Latest technology and online resources are necessary parts of libraries
Use library standards to ensure school libraries/librarians assist classroom teachers in information literacy and tech apps learning.

He discussed how TEA and the State Library will work together to support school libraries under the new legislation that just passed. There is no edict in TEA that says libraries are not important and he wants to know if that mis-information is out there!

Take what we have and make it go farther..reevaluate where and how it goes in a spirit of cooperation.
"Their (children) success is our success."

He did review the Rider 88 for Library Resources...2.5 million each for 2008 and 2009 and SB923 School Library Study.

When in the TEA website...use ELA-Reading as the search term for finding library "stuff."

Question from audience:
TEA and State Library meeting is good but who will "represent" "us"--maybe we need a representative group to be there? Dr. Johnson said the idea is a good one, but they need to have a broad view. He will present the idea in the initial meeting.

Another audience comment:
Ways to keep school library informed thru the TEA website...a place to go and read what is happening, changes, etc.

Can we have something flowing so when school starts IN August, we can start working...not wait until September?
Related question:
Look at the fiscal year...maybe the cycle needs to change.

Another audience member hopes that ALL the research about libraries and student success will be apart of all this need conversation.
Another audience member reminded him AGAIN in a very nice way that we WANT a voice, It is i-m-p-o-r-t-a-n-t.
And...who from TEA is going to make sure the schools are built according the standards correctly.
One more...can we connect the standards to some form of measure to give them weight in the scheme of things..where the community will now how our libraries stack up

His new word--sustainability. We have a "benchmark" now and we will make corrections and we will continue next year and next...

Dr. Johnson was hugely entertaining and made some tough stuff easy to get through. I really enjoyed his presentation and words.
He says he is "real" and really wants all of this good stuff to happen.
Oh, I really, really, really hope he IS. It will make looking towards the future so much better.

[Sideline--we have been joined by a church group and choir in the room next door--has added an extra dimension to our discussions.]

on to lunch...

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