May 1, 2014 (Vol. 20, No. 9) Happenings

Get Involved! An Update about Strong School Library Programs and CIPs

In March, OASL and the State Library reported about developments around school districts having to account for “strong school library programs” in the continuous improvement plans (CIP) that they submit to the Oregon Department of Education every three years. An ad hoc committee of OLA, OASL, and OLA Legislative Committee members has formed to reach out to school districts. The goal is to share information with key individuals and organizations to help inform them about the inclusion of school libraries in CIPs and to point them to resources to help them develop their library programs. This would include sending letters to the superintendents whose district CIPs are due at the end of June, sending letters to select education service district personnel who often help draft CIPs, and posting a press release.

The strategy also involves developing a cadre of volunteers to serve as local contacts in communicating this message to superintendents, ESDs, and school boards. The local, volunteer contacts would work with the State Library, OLA, andOASL to offer information about how to address the OAR requirements. Ideally, volunteers will come from outside the K-12 system and could be academic librarians, public librarians, or even college writing faculty. For example, academic librarians and writing faculty could communicate with superintendents to relate the effects of lack of information literacy skills on students as they navigate the higher education world. In addition to the immediate goal, this type of interaction and connection would establish meaningful contact with school districts that could lead to a more promising relationship between a college library/college and local schools. At a time with an increased stress on Accelerated Learning options between high school and college, this local link could prove invaluable for multiple reasons. If you would like to volunteer as a local contact for your ESD, please contact Candice Watkins, Library Director at Clatsop Community College.

If you have any questions or want to get involved in the overall effort, please contact JenniferMaurer, the School Library Consultant at the State Library.