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School Librarians Spend Summer Hours Collaborating

In-service participants (Gibsonia, PA - August 16, 2019) More than a dozen local librarians participated in a training session at Eden Hall Upper Elementary School on August 16, 2019, and was hosted through collaboration between the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) and the University of Pittsburgh.

Eden Hall Upper Elementary Librarian Beth Shenefiel organized and hosted the session along with Wexford Elementary Principal Kelly Gustafson.

Ms. Shenefiel said the session focused on developing a collaborative information literacy lesson plan based on the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the PA Academic Standards.

Ms. Gustafson said the session, which was funded through a grant, was key in establishing a framework.
"These training sessions help establish a common framework to prepare our young learners," she said. "It's all about taking the standards and making sure our school librarians understand the foundation and common belief to help build the programming within our school. We are able to align the national and state standards to the indepth program review."

The six common beliefs include:

1. The school library is a unique and essential part of a learning community.

2. Qualified school librarians lead effective school libraries.

3. Learners should be prepared for college, career, and life.

4. Reading is the core of personal and academic competency.

5. Intellectual freedom is every learner’s right.

6. Information technologies must be appropriately integrated and equitably available.
Dr. Mary Kay Biagini, project director from the University of Pittsburgh, led the session along with Rebecca Morris, assistant project director also from the University of Pittsburgh.

Attendees plan to share lessons plans and continue the collaboration.

Gustafson Recently, Ms. Gustafson was selected as one of seven administrators on the AASL School Leader Collaborative. The AASL School Leader Collaborative: Administrators & School Librarians Transforming Teaching and Learning is a two-year initiative with funding support from OverDrive Education that aims to strengthen AASL’s collaboration with school administrators. This initiative champions the school librarian’s integral role in teaching and learning.
Administrators in the AASL School Leader Collaborative will attend the 2019 AASL National Conference, which takes place November 14-16 in Louisville, KY. She will participate with Ms. Shenefiel, who has been involved with the PSLA and is a graduate of the Sustaining Leaders Academy.

The mission of the American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is to empower leaders to transform teaching and learning.