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  • 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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