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  • Friday, September 30, 2022 6:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Make it Private

    With the recent uptick in personal attacks on educators and librarians, MASL strongly recommends that everyone take a minute to do a privacy audit. Here are three quick actions you can take to protect your – and your students’ – privacy:

    Turn off checkout history in your library management system.

    ALA’s Library Bill of Rights states that, “All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.”

    Per the ALA Library Privacy Checklist for Students in K-12 Schools, a priority action should be to “configure circulation software to delete students’ borrowing history and retain only necessary records.”

    In addition to the important protection of patron privacy, this will protect checkout history and keep it private even in the event of a Freedom of Information Act request. This will also give librarians an opportunity to help students find creative ways to help students keep track of their own reading via a book diary or reading log. Students might enjoy keeping a google slides reading log (courtesy York Middle School Library).

    If you have Destiny, you will have to have administrator access to Destiny or ask an administrator to make this change for you. This brief video explains how to make this quick fix.

    Per the Maine State Library, Minerva network libraries all use Sierra for circulation, which does not allow for keeping a checkout history.

    For Alexandria users, this video (skip to 5:55) will show you how to make sure “keep history for all patrons” is turned off.

    Strip personal information from your school/work website.

    To avoid personal attacks, consider deleting your photograph on your school library website. If you must list a phone number, delete your private/internal extension and only list the main school number.

    If you have an “about me” section on your library website, it is better to only list things you like, e.g., I love to read historical fiction and I love to garden, and skip the personal information. Don’t list where you live or details about your family. 

    Do a privacy update on all your social media accounts

    Check your social media accounts – facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. and tighten up your privacy settings. Make it harder for non-friends to find you.

    Simple Online Security for Social Media Accounts

    Privacy on Social Media | This is How You Protect Your Socials

    Tips for protecting your social media privacy | Norton

    -MASL Intellectual Freedom Committee: Karen Silverman, Abigail Thompson, Kerrie Lattari

  • Friday, September 23, 2022 6:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of the best benefits of MASL membership is that you’re eligible for scholarships. These could be for coursework towards a degree or certificate, or attendance at professional conferences like ALA, AASL, MASL, Reading RoundUp, ACTEM, etc.

    And speaking of ACTEM…

    The ACTEM 2022 Fall Conference is coming right up! It will take place in-person this year on October 13th and 14th at the Augusta Civic Center. Click here to see the schedule of events. 

    To qualify for a MASL Scholarship, you must have been a MASL member for at least 12 months and be a Maine resident or employed by a Maine school. For the application and more information go to the MASL Scholarship page.

    For only $25 and a year's membership, MASL scholarships are here to support your professional learning. Please join us for these, and so many more perks!

    ~ Beth Andersen, President-Elect

    ~ Ellen Spring, Scholarship Committee

  • Sunday, September 18, 2022 8:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Since the start of our new membership cycle, we have welcomed several new members to MASL!  We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new members: Jessi Allaire, Ashley Austin, Kerry Brenner, Sandi Brawn, Dana Dowling, Jessie Goodwin, Therese O’Hara, Samuel Huertas, Cynthia Moloney, Dianna Pomerleau, Matthew Reutershan, and Debra Tanguay. We are very happy to have you as part of MASL!         

    Please help spread the word of our organization. If you know of any new library staff, please encourage them to join us. 

    By being a part of  the MASL community, you are gaining many benefits that come with your membership. These perks include reduced rates on our professional development opportunities (including virtual and in-person events), advocacy tools, intellectual freedom resources, scholarships, and eligibility for MASL awards. We hope that you are able to utilize the many resources that your MASL membership provides! 

    As mentioned above, as part of your MASL membership, you receive a discount for our professional development opportunities. Please consider taking advantage of this perk and register for our upcoming event — Lawrence Alexander Dine and Discuss: Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in Your School Library. This event will be held on October 27th at 4:30pm. While Mr. Alexander’s presentation is virtual, you can watch it live and in person with other educators at sites around the state. After the presentation, you’ll have a chance to debrief and discuss (with snacks!) with your small group. If you’d rather watch the presentation from home, there’s that option as well. Register today at the MASL member rate of $15!

    We hope your year is off to a great start! We are incredibly fortunate to have so many dedicated school library staff members, and we greatly appreciate all that you do for your school communities!   

    ~ Regan Parker, MASL Membership Chair

  • Wednesday, September 14, 2022 11:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    How are you celebrating Banned Books Week (running September 18-24) this year?

    Here’s a simple suggestion: share these infographics — —with your colleagues, administrators, school board, and community members. It could be a great addition to your school’s newsletter!

    MASL members collaborated with multiple education organizations around the state to create this series of infographics for educational stakeholders last spring.

    Here is a suggested note you could include with the link to the infographics, adapted from MASL’s Intellectual Freedom page :

    Many school districts in Maine and across the country are seeing a rise in book challenges of library and classroom books, leaving educators and administrators to “defend” the books on the shelves. These challenges are about more than the content of the texts; they are attempts to silence and erase the truths and humanity of the books’ characters and creators. 

    The Maine Learning Results, approved by the Maine Legislature, articulate goals for all Maine students to be “a responsible and informed citizen” and “an integrated and informed thinker.” Access to, and choice of a wide range of reading material, are vital to developing perspectives and insights that prepare students for participation in a global society. All Americans, specifically young people in our educational institutions, are guaranteed access to information and ideas from various points of view under the Freedom of Speech in the First Amendment. Censorship is a danger to the ideals of our state and our nation.

    In response to the attacks on intellectual freedom and the rights of Maine students to freely access information, this joint statement and series of Intellectual Freedom Matters infographics were designed to support educational stakeholders in responding to book challenges and combating censorship. Access the complete statement, infographics, and other resources on Educate Maine’s website.

    ~ submitted by Karen Silverman, MASL Intellectual Freedom Board Chair

  • Friday, September 09, 2022 11:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have some exciting news to share with you! Jody Bachelder, MASL member and 2013 Walter J. Taranko Maine School Librarian of the Year winner, has a brand new book, Here First: Samoset and the Wawenock of Pemaquid, Maine, published by Down East Books. This is an excellent selection for middle and high school collections.

    From Jody’s website: 

    I grew up on the Pemaquid Peninsula in Maine where Samoset and the Wawenock lived, and like many people of European descent, I knew little about the Indigenous people who called the area home for thousands of years. With a background in library work, I began my research with the question, “What was Samoset doing in Plymouth?” The journey to find the answer was both enlightening and surprising.​​

    Congratulations, Jody! 

    Upcoming Events 

    Did you know we have an Events page on our website? Here’s what’s coming up:

    • Free MASL Open House - 9/21 from 6-7pm - Register here for this informal meet and greet, a great chance to connect with your professional community and share ideas with other Maine librarians.
    • Lawrence Alexander Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion in Your School Library - 10/27 from 4:30-7:30 - This Dine and Discuss event with other educators across the state can also be experienced from the comfort of your own home. After the virtual presentation with Mr. Alexander, in-person groups will engage in facilitated discussions and activities. Read more on the events page and register today!
    Got News?

    Have some news to share? Is there awesome happening in your school or library (yes, always), or an event or opportunity you think other school librarians in Maine need to know about? Email Iris Eichenlaub and Deb Lavoie so we can promote your news!

  • Saturday, September 03, 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Connect with Your Peeps

    Looking for connection with your professional community? Want to get a preview about what MASL has planned this year to support you in your work in a Maine school library? Want some tips and ideas for the new school year ahead? This FREE Open House is for you! All are welcome — please share the link with other library staff!

    Back-to-School open house with MASL on September 21st from 6–7p.m.

    Register here!

    “MASL is the best Board I’ve ever worked with.”

    It’s true. We’re a fun group, if we do say so ourselves! Are you interested in being more involved with MASL, but not quite ready to commit to being on the MASL Board? We’re always looking for MORE VOLUNTEERS on our committees who are passionate, solution-minded folks with great ideas! The time commitment is variable — find out more by contacting the Committee Chair below:

    Professional Development & Conferences Committee (Beth Andersen)

    Membership Committee (Regan Parker)

    Intellectual Freedom (Karen Silverman)


    Who wants a prize?

    Feeling competitive about your professional learning? We LOVE to see it! For every one of our PD events this year — starting with our Open House on the 21st — you can earn a point! The librarians who’ve accrued the most points by March, at our Spring Symposium, will win a MASL All Star Award.

    Winners will be recognized with a special prize and a chance to win a FREE MASL membership for a year!

    Host your colleagues!

    MASL (with other partner organizations) is looking for site hosts for our fall Dine and Discuss PD event on October 27th with Lawrence Alexander.

    See graphic below for more information, and fill out this form to indicate your interest!

    MASL wants to spread the news

    Have some news to share? Is there awesome happening in your school or library (yes, always), or an event or opportunity you think other school librarians in Maine need to know about? Email Iris Eichenlaub and Deb Lavoie so we can promote your news!

  • Sunday, August 21, 2022 5:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Did you know MASL has been busy supporting our members facing intellectual freedom challenges? Just in the past month, we have sent letters to two school boards in support of keeping books in libraries. Here's an excerpt from one of the letters:

    "Your efforts to defend the intellectual freedom of your students may have been met with resistance from detractors, but please know that you are supported by a much larger community of educators, librarians, and Americans who believe that the loud voices of a few people should not be given the power to dictate what other individuals and their children have the right to read.

    We should note that processes like the one you have in place are, of course, established for precisely this sort of circumstance: when disputes arise within a community over whether or not a book is appropriate for inclusion in a library’s collection. Without such policies, responsible parties can find themselves subject to pressures brought to bear by the loudest, most influential, or most powerful members of a community, without regard to the merits of those people’s case. The process allows you to adjudicate the matter with careful consideration, considering information and vantage points other than those expressed by the most strident voices. The processes result in decisions that are as free as possible from prejudice and misinformation. This is precisely the process your district has followed in this case, and we wish to express our admiration to you for having done so steadfastly. We also wish to encourage you not to undo that careful work in the face of continuing pressure from a subset of the community."

    From the same letter:

    "Books are tools for understanding the world; limiting young people's access to books does not protect them from life's complex and challenging issues. As a school board, you have a duty to support the learning and growth of all of your students. Removing this book from the library at (redacted) School would restrict the intellectual freedom of your students and their right to choose what they wish to read. The Maine Association of School Libraries strongly supports your willingness to defend your students’ access to this book and we fervently hope that you will continue to do so by retaining it in the (redacted) School library."

    What can you do? Go to school board meetings, write school board members and administrators (reach out if you need help crafting a letter, we have lots of ideas and skillful editors), and stay aware of what is happening in your towns and districts. Don't allow a vocal minority to dictate what your students get to read!

    Remember to reach out to our IF Chair, Karen Silverman, if you need support or have questions. She can be reached at silvermank at link75 dot org.

  • Sunday, August 07, 2022 1:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Welcome to MASL's new blog! Instead of quarterly newsletters, we plan to share timely updates on this site with you throughout the year. 

    It's already August, and you've probably heard this somewhere before, but for teachers, August is like a month-long Sunday night, where we anticipate that first day of school like it's the most stressful Monday morning ever. Here are a few resources and announcements to help you out as you get ready!

    First things first: make sure you are set up for a year of success with support from your colleagues at MASL by renewing your membership here. Among the many benefits of membership, renewing and new members will get access to our regional professional development workshops planned for this fall at locations around the state, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. More details coming soon!

    • Mark you Calendars for some upcoming Professional Development opportunities: 
      • Librarian K.C. Boyd is putting on a two day virtual workshop, FREE, for school librarians on August 13 and 14. Register at
      • August 15 is when registration opens for NerdcampNNE's September 24 unconference in Freeport.
      • October 13 and 14 are the dates for ACTEM's Fall Conference. We love to see a strong presence of school librarians at ACTEM and encourage you to propose a session to present. We promise you will have a great audience of supportive school librarians for whatever you choose to share!
    • Worried about Intellectual Freedom and book banning this fall? We plan to support you, as always, and encourage you to reach out to us directly if you experience a book or resource challenge. Email our IF Chair, Karen Silverman, and be sure to report your challenge to ALA. Check out this page on our website for more resources.
    • Finally, here are some ideas from other school librarians to help you get started this year: Martha Bongiorno has some great tips for both new and veteran school librarians on her blog here and Kelsey Bogan has some ideas specifically for newbies (but there are great ideas for all of us, we especially like "stay connected with other librarians") on her blog here.
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Maine Association of School Libraries

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