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2004
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P. O. Box 21127
Baltimore, MD 21228


Maryland Educational Media Organization Affiliate Assembly Report - AASL Area II -Spring 2004

http://mdedmedia.org

[email protected]

Congratulations to former MEMO President J.Linda Williams
on her election to become the new AASL President!

Legislative

Sandra Bicksler (MEMO Treasurer) is the new legislative representative for 2003-2004 replacing Jay Bansbach (MEMO President).

MEMO participated again as part of the Maryland Library Association (MLA) Legislative Panel. No new legislation directly affecting library media specialists was introduced in this year's legislative session (2004). However, both houses approved legislation setting up an Equal Pay Commission that is to issue a report of findings in 2005 along with possible solutions to identified disparities. They will look at the extent of wage disparities in both the public and private sectors, between men and women and between minorities and non-minorities. They will also look at wages in "female-dominated occupations". The bill is veto-proof. This will be monitored closely and may have direct impact on pay issues in coming years.

The session ended without -- once again -- resolving the large budget gap created by the Public Education Bridge to Excellence (Thornton) legislation.

The Maryland Library Community Legislative reception, postponed due to inclement weather, was rescheduled for Monday, March 22nd. The event was held once again in the Governor's Reception room at the Maryland Statehouse and MEMO was only one of dozens of library groups from around the State of Maryland who contributed financially as well as logistically to the reception.

Sandy attended this year's ALA Legislative Day in Washington, DC on May 4, 2004. She was able to visit with legislative aides to Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md) and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.) and had a "live" visit with Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.). At all three visits Sandy emphasized the role of school libraries and asked for a letter of support to increase the funding under the ESEA Improving Literacy Through School LIbraries bill to $100 million so that it becomes a block grant program that is distributed by the states as opposed to the current under funded grant program in place.

Each Representative from Maryland was presented with a copy of the "Facts About School Maryland's School Library Media Programs, 2002-2003" published by the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Instruction - Office of Instructional Technology & School Library Media.

MEMO participated as a member of the Maryland State Teacher's Association Pension Coalition and helped to examine pension enhancements and legislation for the General Assembly Session.

Conference

The annual MEMO conference was held October 16-17, 2003 at The Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center in Ellicott City, Maryland. The theme of the conference was "Every Student Succeeds @ your library." Over 225 members attended the two-day conference and were treated to a full menu of 28 workshop sessions, over 30 vendors and a fabulous keynote address by Dr. Carla Hayden, ALA President. Our luncheon on Thursday featured the awarding of the Mae I. Graham Library Media Program of the year, the MEMO Distinguished Service Award and the MEMO Past President's Award. In addition, current AASL Affiliate Assembly Chair J. Linda Williams announced her candidacy for AASL President at the luncheon to the "home crowd."

Congratulations to the 2003 Mae I. Graham winner - Westminster High School - Carroll County, MD. Westminster has two Media specialists that are employed there; Barbara Sarangoulis and Jean Pysik. Visit the Westminster HS website for a look at their media program at http://www.carr.lib.md.us/ccps/whs/media/mediaindex.htm

This year's MEMO Distinguished Service Award went to Pat Goff, Library Media Specialist from Kenwood High School - Baltimore County, MD.

The MEMO Past President's Award went to Beth Harwood who served for two years from 2000-2002.

On Friday attendees were treated to a great Maryland Author's Luncheon that featured 12 local authors (who autographed their work before the luncheon) and our featured speaker, Eugene Levy. Mr. Levy is a Washington Post feature writer and author of Maryland Lost and Foundů Again and Chesapeake Country.

During the luncheon a special Black-Eyed Susan Award was given to Marvin Webb. Marvin was a driving force behind the creation of the Black-Eyed Susan Award, Chair of the BES Picture Book Committee, and for many years, Chair of the Maryland Author's Luncheon. Sadly, Marvin lost his battle with liver disease December 22, 2003 at the age of 62.

Repeating the theme of the 2003 Fall Conference "Every Student Succeeds @ your library" this year's conference will be held on October 14-15, 2004 at the Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center. Our keynote will be Kendall Haven, noted Storyteller and author.

MEMO has contracted with Conference Solutions, Inc. which will run registration for the 2004 fall conference and will offer both online registration for the first time and help with construction of our new website.

State Initiatives

Our Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) representative to the MEMO Board, Jayne Moore has reported that as a result of the "No Child Left Behind" Act the state is currently in the process of putting together a voluntary state curriculum to correlate with new testing programs. The exciting news is that library media and technology specialists are being invited to participate to correlate research and technology skills into the new documents.

FY03 was the last year for the state-funded School Library Enhancement Program, a funding initiative that provided $3 million per year for 5 years for acquisition of materials for school library media programs to support student learning. Systems were required to have a 100% match for the state funding received. The program has had a tremendous impact on collections within the local school districts in Maryland.

As part of the federal Enhancing Education through Technology Program (Title II, Part D), school systems were able to apply for multi-year competitive grants by forming partnerships to address several priority areas, one of which was digital content. Twenty-three of the twenty-four school systems in Maryland have partnered on a grant to provide digital resources to schools and to create a purchasing consortium for local school systems. Contracts have been awarded to World Book and Sirs, Inc. to provide content that began July 1, 2003. Montgomery County Public Schools has taken the lead in this partnership grant.

Publication

The revival of our quarterly newsletter, "MEMOrandom " is going to press and will be released in late Spring 2004. Work has begun on the new MEMO website. MEMO has contracted with Conference Solutions, Inc. The MEMO listserv has been moved to Yahoogroups and a new member directory has been published and distributed to members.

Black-Eyed Susan Awards

On May 8, 2004, MEMO sponsored the first BES Cruise on the paddleboat "Black-Eyed Susan." The cruise featured the announcement of this year's winners with over 57,000 votes cast by children from across the State of Maryland. In addition, the crowd heard from author Twig George (daughter of Jean Craighead George), enjoyed a great luncheon, the sounds of a great barbershop quartet, and enjoyed the sites of the Baltimore Harborfront. Winners this year included Scranimals by Jack Prelutsky/Peter Sis (picture book category), Million Dollar Kick by Dan Gutman (grades 4-6), Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz (grades 6-9), and Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn (high school).

The committees (picture book, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and 9-12) selection of nominees for next year are now up on our web site (See link to Black-Eyed Susan Awards, at the left).

Organizational Advocacy

As a result of the 2003 ALA Resolution on School Libraries, representatives from the MSDE, Division of Instruction - Office of Instructional Technology & School Library Media and MEMO launched two events featuring school libraries during School Library Media Month in April.

The first event featured the State School Superintendent, Nancy Grasmick and the Governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich as they read a proclamation from the Governor highlighting the role of school libraries in education in Maryland. The event was held at the Blue-Ribbon Award winning school Jones Elementary in Anne Arundel County and featured the members of the local school board, local superintendent, J. Linda Williams, Director of Library Media (and Past MEMO President) and other dignitaries. After the proclamation was presented to J. Linda Williams, the Governor and State School Superintendent read to children at the school. A copy of the proclamation is being sent to each of the state's 24 school districts.

The second event held April 20, 2004 featured MSDE Instructional Technology & School Library Media Director Jayne Moore, Staff Specialist Michelle Landen, and MEMO President Jay Bansbach in a presentation to the Maryland State Board of Education on the role of the Library Media Specialist in Maryland Schools. The presentation included a reading of the Governor's proclamation and highlighted some of the programs that school library media specialists have conceived of or are participating in across the State.

In addition, MEMO placed "Every Student Succeeds @ your library" banners in the lobbies of the Maryland State Department of Education in Baltimore that hung for the entire month of April.

MEMO Past-President J. Linda Williams and President Jay Bansbach both spoke as part of a presentation at the Maryland Library Association (MLA) conference held May 6-7th, 2004. The program titled Make It Count was sponsored by the Citizens for Maryland Libraries and featured representatives from different sectors of the library community speaking on advocacy efforts, legislation and sharing ideas for working together in tough times. The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award committee also did a presentation at this year's Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS) Conference this past October 2003.

MEMO is both a financial contributor and will be involved in the planning for next year's Maryland Library Leadership Institute to be held at the Donaldson Brown Conference Center in Port Deposit, MD. Further information will be provided when available.

Respectfully submitted,

Jay Bansbach, President - Maryland Educational Media Organization (MEMO) and Delegate to the AASL Affiliate Assembly.

15 May 2004


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