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Supporting Sara and Gwyneth

sara Supporting Sara and Gwyneth   gwyneth Supporting Sara and Gwyneth

Please vote in two very important elections.  You can make sure that teacher librarians (and the learners we touch) have strong voice in ALA and ISTE.

1. My good friend, Sara Kelly Johns, is running for ALA president.  You can join her and learn more about her energy, creativity, and her plan for the future tomorrow night, Tuesday, March 16th at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT in Second Life for “A Chat with Sara Kelly Johns."

Sara will discuss her platform and her vision for ALA.  Just as voting opens, this will be your opportunity to inform yourself and share your priorities.  Join us at or IM Elaine Tulip for a teleport. 

If you are new to Second Life, set up an account to join us:
1. Go to the Second Life website several days in advance to set up your free basic account.
2. Verify that your computer and connectivity meets the systems requirements
3. Click on the orange “Get Started!” button. Go through the subsequent screens to create your avatar account.
4. Download and install the Second Life viewer software
5. Open the software and log into Second Life using your avatar first name, last name, and password. Watch your avatar “be born”. Complete the orientation activities to learn about how to communicate, move, search, and
edit your appearance.
6. When finished, search “Places” for locations such as ISTE or the American Library Association. Teleport to a favorite location, explore, and become acquainted with Second Life. (When searching, make sure the “search mature places” square is checked.)
7. Fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled meeting, log on and IM ElaineTulip for a teleport to the meeting location or use provided SLURL.

2. My other very good friend, Gwyneth Jones, is a candidate for ISTE’s PK-12 Schools Representative. I asked her to share her thoughts on the experience, and her own vision for leadership within ISTE.

I was amazed and honored to be nominated for the board of directors of ISTE. I truly believe it’s time for a teacher librarian, library media specialist, or school librarian – or whatever we’re calling ourselves this week – to step up in the PK-12 Schools Representative Position and represent our tribe and our schools.

Now more than ever, I passionately believe that we need to be seen as vital to our schools and the technology education of our most important customers – our kids. I also think that as a teacher librarian we “see the forest “ and not just the trees in our schools. Though I very much respect my subject area colleagues, as Media Specialists (and often times the Technology leader in our schools),  I think we are in a great position to see how to advance technology integration, digital citizenship, and helping our students create a digital footprint they can be proud of.

Innovative professional change is very important to me while nurturing and maintaining our traditional librarian values. I believe we need to support the effective use of technology in education to better the learning experience of the teachers and students while building and maintaining our library collections. I don’t think that technology is a replacement for books but is a vital enhancement.

I am also enthusiastic to bring in new members to the association and to foster those new members to contribute, participate, and join personal learning networks to create a more involved community of learners. Collaboration, innovation, approachable leadership, and building community bridges are central to my vision of leadership if I am elected to the board.

If you’re reading this blog that means you’re already committed to your own professional growth, and you’re probably a change agent for your school and county, and I’m "preaching to the choir."  For years I’ve been active with ISTE locally but meeting and working with Joyce Valenza and the geek squad has inspired me to step up and try and make some changes for us and for our profession – changes for the BEST!

Oh, and in the above paragraphs I realize there were WAY too many "I’s" for my liking – But hey, it’s not easy to write about one’s vision of leadership without them…but if elected I promise that it will be about the we, us, and about the you. Thank you for your time and consideration! Cheers!

If you are a member of either organization, please help get out the vote. Please forward this message to other appropriate listservs. Please don’t miss this opportunity for teacher librarian strength and visibility in the library and edtech arenas.

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is the teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School, a technology writer, and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Sara Kelly Johns says:

    Thanks so much, Joyce! The ballots are out and I hope that everyone will vote early. If you are an ALA member, no matter whether AASL,PLA, ALSC, YALSA, you should have received your ballot by now. If not, check your spam folder and if it’s not there, call ALA membership at 1-800-545-2433, selection 5. They are ready to handle ballot questions.

    I am ready to lead ALA as your president to be a responsive and inclusive professional organization for all libraries and I appreciate your support, Sara

    PS–Second Life was a blast!

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