Note: We're sorry, but we have indefinitely discontinued our newsletter.
Sara Kelly Johns Honored
Congratulations to LSC 5501 instructor, Sara Kelly Johns! Sara recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Library Association at their annual conference (Nov. 13, 2011). In honoring Sara, NYLA President, Marcia Eggleston, declared:
Sara Kelly Johns has been an effective, enthusiastic, experienced and energetic leader within the library profession for over 30 years at the local, state and national level. Sara unhesitatingly gives of herself, bringing her energy and experience to work for libraries and librarians as a teacher, school librarian, trustee and library school faculty member as well as within library professional organizations locally and within NYLA.
Among Sara's many accomplishments she has served as:
President of the American Associate of School Librarians
President of NYLA's School Library Media Section
Associate editor of AASL's journal, Knowledge Quest
AASL Regional Director
AASL Learning for Life state coordinator
Moran, Margaret. "School Librarian Awarded Lifetime Achievement Honors." Adirondack Daily Enterprise 1 Dec. 2011. Web. 7 Jan. 2012.
In support of our Fulfilling the Promise scholarship program, we have posted an 11-minute video on school library leadership on YouTube. Entitled, School Library Leadership: Leading Libraries into the Future, the video was created by Cindy Keller, in collaboration with professional videographers, Linda and Nathan Miller. Scenes feature former students, faculty, and school librarians in New York and Pennsylvania. Check it out.
Instructors of Note
The June and July 2011 issues of the AASL Hot Links newsletter gave a shout out to two of our SL&IT instructors for their recent advocacy on behalf of library users. Helen Adams (LSC 5545) was recently elected to the Board of Trustees for the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), and Deb Kachel (LSC 5530) was highlighted for her advocacy and op-eds in response to recent budget cuts. Not to be left out from national honors (and responsibility), Sara Kelly Johns (LSC 5501) was elected as an AASL Councilor. As part of her office she'll serve on the AASL Board and Executive Committee (both Sara and Helen Adams are former Presidents of the AASL).
For a class project, students of Deb Kachel's Spring 2011 School Library Advocacy class (LSC 5530) prepared a Summary of findings from the major statewide studies correlating student achievement and high-quality school libraries and librarians. Check it out.
As of Fall 2010 our infamous Cataloging class, LSC 5520, has morphed into two separate courses: Introductory (LSC 5521) and Advanced (LSC 5522). Students are required to take one but not both of the courses. Hopefully appealing to working practitioners, the advanced version will be offered in summers only. If interested in a professional development or enrichment course, here's your chance. For a synopsis see our Course Description page.
Are you an SL&IT graduate or not one of our active students? If so, you'll need to first submit an MU application, with NO supporting documents or fee. Where asked to select a Graduate Code, specify “302 Non-degree, individual courses only.” That will exempt you from providing transcripts, letters of recommendation, and copies of teaching certificates. For this class the university has also agreed to waive the $25 application fee. For questions about the course contact Candy Blessing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 5, 2010, the Pa. House of Representatives unanimously passed HR 987, a resolution asking the State Board of Education with Pa. Dept. of Education to conduct a study of public school library services for K-12 students. The study will measure and compare access to print and electronic resources, support and instruction in the use of information and research and evaluate how resources are allocated for school library services in relation to student and community circumstances. The official position of the House as stated in the resolution is that "Students and teachers need high-quality school library services and related educational resources in order to meet this Commonwealth's academic standards for research and learning in all core academic subjects." Rep. Mark Longietti of Mercer County was the lead sponsor of the resolution, supported by the Education Law Center and the Pa. School Librarians Association.
For an unprecedented fifth time the SL&IT program will receive funding from the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS). The project, entitled Fulfilling the Promise, provides $999,940 for 48 scholarships and operating funds to recruit new school library leaders into the profession. Partners consist of the Chicago Public Schools and New York City Department of Education. The three-year project, beginning spring 2011, highlights three goals:
Recruit and graduate 48 new certified school librarians
Improve persistence and academic success through active mentorship
Highlight leadership throughout the curriculum
After several years, MU and the 13 other universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) have replaced Blackboard as our learning management system for online courses. We moved to the new system, Desire2Learn (D2L) in May 2010 and the transition so far has been pretty smooth. In May we hosted several live tours of the system, and this month we will do so again for everyone who has not yet experienced D2L. Below is the schedule. Please Sign Up using our online form.
8/22 (Sun): 8:30 - 9:30 pm (new students only)
8/24 (Tues): 8:00 - 9:00 pm (new students only)
8/29 (Sun): 4:00 - 5:00 pm
8/30 (Mon): 8:30-9:30 pm
9/1 (Wed): 6:30-7:30 pm
Orientation sessions will take place online, using the web conferencing software, Wimba. If you have not used this program before test your computer and browser with their Setup Wizard. When ready to join the session login 5-10 minutes early in our meeting room:
After several years as customers, MU and the 13 other universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) will leave Blackboard, our learning management system used for online courses. Beginning the summer 2010 semester we will all use a system called Desire2Learn (D2L). Hopefully, the transition will be smooth for everyone.
In addition to our Desire2Learn Tutorial, we will offer four online orientations May 19 - 24, as follows:
5/19 (Wed): 8:30 - 9:30 pm
5/22 (Sat): 9:00 - 10:00 am
5/23 (Sun): 4:00 - 5:00 pm
5/24 (Mon): 8:30-9:30 pm
Orientation sessions will take place online, using the web conferencing software, Wimba. If you have not used this program before test your computer and browser with their Setup Wizard. When ready to join the session login 5-10 minutes early in our meeting room:
The SL&IT faculty have created a scholarship fund for Summer and Fall 2010. Five degree-seeking students will receive awards of $2,000 to pay for tuition, fees or a past balance, as long as they register for a summer or fall class. Eligibility is restricted to students who have not received one of the large multi-year scholarships (e.g. Building Leaders). Previous recipients of a faculty scholarship may apply again. The deadline for applications is April 20, and recipients will receive notification by May 10. Preference will be given to students who are close to graduation, can document financial need, and maintain a high Grade Point Average (GPA). For further details and a copy of the application visit our Faculty Scholarship web page.
[Note: awardees have been notified]
As of Spring 2010, all SL&IT students are required to submit an Affiliation Agreement and confirmation that they have liability insurance prior to participating in a field experience or practicum. This legal document (available for download) outlines the duties, terms, conditions and responsibilities of the university and school district(s) in which you perform class activities. Similar to clearances, the agreement takes effect immediately once signed by authorized officials of MU and the school district in which you plan to perform a field experience. Please send the signed form to Jill Scott, 202 Retan, Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA 16933. For further information see Cindy Keller's 2/14/10 Announcement. If you still have questions contact Cindy (717-816-6995) or Jill Scott (570-662-4790).
Beginning in Fall 2010 several courses will undergo changes. Most significantly, LSC 5564, Seminar in School Librarianship, will combine with LSC 5562, Practicum in School Librarianship, to become LSC 5565, School Library Practicum. The new Practicum will be required not just for school library certification, but for the Masters degree as well. However, there will be two versions of this course, for either one or three credits. For details see the Sep. 2009 issue of the SL&IT Newsletter (page 1).
As another big change LSC 5520, Cataloging and Classification, will split into two separate courses. Students will select either LSC 5521, Introduction to Cataloging and Classification in the School Library or LSC 5522, Advanced Cataloging and Classification in the School Library.
Finally, the following courses will undergo name changes, to better reflect their content:
LSC 5505, Core Resources —> Children’s and Young Adult Literature
LSC 5510, Electronic Delivery —> Technologies for School Libraries
LSC 5545, Access and Legal Issues in the Information Age —> Access and Legal Issues in the School Library
Deb Kachel, SL&IT Scholarship Coordinator and instructor (LSC 5515 and 5530), recently co-authored an Op-Ed for the Harrisburg Patriot News (the PA newspaper of record). In their editorial, Read between lines of library cuts, Deb and Susan Hauer, administrator of the Lancaster County Library System, argue passionately for adequate public and school library funding. In their editorial the authors conclude, "Our children are 20 percent of our population, but 100 percent of our future." For information about efforts to save PA's successful Power Library program, see the special web site sponsored by the Pennsylvania Library Association. For national efforts visit the American Library Association's Legislative Action Center, with custom pages for PA and other individual states.
In an effort to reduce paper mailings, MU no longer mails student invoices (i.e. bills). Instead, students must download and print the online versions, in PDF format, from the secure My.Mansfield web site. To login use your Blackboard username plus @mansfield.edu (e.g. email@example.com) and your Blackboard password. To access the secure invoices use as the password the last six digits of your social security number. For more details about the new system see the Invoice Information web page from Student Accounts.
Old News (2006-2009)
The two required texts for all SL&IT courses both have new editions. Below are the old and new reference items that all SL&IT students should own by fall 2009:
American Association of School Librarians. Information Power. Chicago: American Library Association, 1998.
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook. 6th ed. New York: Modern Language Association, 2003.
American Association of School Librarians. Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs. Chicago: American Library Association, 2009. [order directly from the ALA Store: http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=2682]
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook. 7th ed. New York: Modern Language Association, 2009.
Notable for the new edition of the MLA manual is a greatly simplified citation style. The fall newsletter will feature an article highlighting changes, but if you are interested in reviewing the differences right away, see Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) chart summarizing the major changes in MLA 7th ed.
As a heads up, the new style no longer requires URLs for web documents or identification of libraries from which you retrieved articles from subscription databases. The new edition also prescribes italics for titles rather than underlining.
Please note this important information regarding new rules for PA certification. Educators who receive their primary certificate after January 1, 2011, and who wish to add an endorsement (e.g. in Library Media), must meet the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Chapter 49 requirements for Adaptations and Accommodations for Diverse Learners and ELL.
Satisfaction of the new requirement requires the following undergraduate special education courses:
Foundations in Special Education (SPE 1001)
Graduate equivalent SPE 5501, Educating Children with Exceptional Learning Needs
Instructional Strategies for English Language Learners (SPE 2276)
Graduate equivalent SPE 5530, Diverse Cultural and Linguistic Learners
High Incidence Disabilities (SPE 3291)
Graduate equivalent SPE 5590, Teaching Learners with Mild Disabilities
Assessment and Evidence Based Behavior Supports for Inclusion (SPE 3352)
Graduate equivalent SPE 5542, Assessment and Behavior Management
These special education courses will be phased in and offered online over the next two years from Mansfield University and will be taught by Special Education instructors. If you do not plan on graduating before 2011, you will need to begin to take these courses as soon as they are offered. We will keep you posted as to when the courses will be available online. For additional details see PDE's Frequently Asked Questions. If you still have questions, contact Cindy Keller (firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-816-6995).
Given the economic hardships that many of our students now face, SL&IT faculty have raised $15,000 to assist seven deserving students. One student will receive a $3,000 award, while six will receive $2,000 scholarships. Students can use the funds for Fall 2009 and/or Spring 2010 tuition, education fees and technology fees. Funds may be used to pay past balances only for students within two semester of graduation. The deadline for application is April 8 (with notification expected by June 1, 2009).
Any degree-seeking SL&IT student is eligible, except for recipients of one of the federal grant scholarships (Building Leaders, LAPIS, REAP or SCALE). Though preference will be given to students closest to graduation, all may apply. For details and procedures see the SL&IT Faculty Scholarship page.
For Fall you will notice some changes to our Blackboard course management system. The changes aren't too monumental, so you won't need to re-learn how to use it. Most significant to the upgrade from version 7.0 to 7.3 are improvements to discussion boards (forums). Also, the visual editor, for creating discussion postings and for faculty to create content, is now compatible with all major browsers, on both PCs and Macs (and Linux too for the adventurous among you). Stay tuned for an email from Larry about changes.
As a result of the editor upgrade we now request that you upgrade your web browser to a current version for best results (the old editor only supported Internet Explorer 6.0, which is very obsolete and problematic for modern web pages and applications). We strongly recommend all students and faculty use either Firefox 3.0, Internet Explorer 7.0 (version 8 is coming soon), or Safari 3. Other browsers may work, but not as reliably.
If you are unsure of your browser information try our new Troubleshooting page. Upon landing on the page a table automatically displays technical information about your web browser and computer (the page is still a work in progress).
Students studying for the Praxis II Library Media Specialist exam can now "check out" the official ETS study guide in e-Book form from NetLibrary. If you do not have an MU account you'll need to login to our library's Setup page with your student ID to create an account. We also have additional tips and links on our own unofficial Praxis Study Guide (linked from the Portal, under the Resources tab).
For the first time we will try a registration procedure that should help students who are close to graduation get into the classes they need with far less stress (i.e. competition). Though registration begins March 24, the following schedule ("gates") will determine when you can begin registering via WebAdvisor:
- March 24 - April 15: students with 18 or more credits
- March 31 - April 15: students with 9 or more credits
- April 7 - April 15: all students
A close look at WebAdvisor for the fall term will reveal new course numbers for the non-core courses.
The Introductory Seminar will be permanently numbered LSC 5500
The number for the culminating Seminar will be changed to LSC 5564
Seminar II, which replaced Residency (LSC 5563) until we could officially remove it from the catalog, is now integrated with the new Seminar, LSC 5564. Residency and Seminar II no longer exist.
The Practicum remains the same (LSC 5562)
Note: LSC 5555 was temporarily used for both Intro and Seminar II, as that is a number used at MU for all courses that have not yet been approved, as was the case with both of our courses. If you see any references to LSC 5561, 5563 that information is now outdated (and we'll eventually change it).
Whether you knew it or not, the university has a policy that all students who drop all of their class work or sit out a semester are automatically withdrawn from the university. This requires students to reapply for admission and lose privileges to the library and WebAdvisor. After much advocating for a better deal, the university is now offering a continuous enrollment option for students who need to take a semester or two off. You will need to contact your adviser, who will enroll you in a special course (ED 5600) that costs nothing and exists merely to allow you to maintain active status. You won't actually show up to class or do any work.
School Libraries Count! AASL's Longitudinal Survey closes March 15, 2008. We encourage all students and their peers to participate in this survey. Conducted annually, the survey examines the state of America's school libraries. To view previous data and findings see AASL's School Libraries Count web site. New to this year are questions regarding social networking and other Web 2.0 tools used by school library media specialists and classroom teachers.
The data also help critical advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national levels. Please join us in this noble cause by urging other school librarians to submit a survey and agitate your local Congressional staffs to support the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) bill. This federal legislation will encourage every school to employ at least one certified school librarian and strengthen their library collections. For more information see AASL's Skills Act page.
To help strengthen technology skills we have subscribed to a web service called Atomic Learning. This resource provides dozens of video tutorials and curriculum materials on a large variety of software products and technical skills. For security reasons we cannot post the login and password here (it was sent as an announcement), so if you wish to gain access contact your instructor or Larry Schankman.
Besides helping all of us learn new software skills, Atomic Learning provides a treasure trove of ideas for projects that integrate technology in your own K-12 curriculum. Check out their Workshops and Lesson Accelerators, tutorials that show how to create classroom technology projects that align with state or NETS-S standards. You can even browse for standards by state. As we stress in the Intro course, regardless of your skill and comfort level with technology you can always learn something new or improve existing skills (or perhaps just learn to work faster or more efficiently).
If you wish to learn some tricks in Microsoft Word, you may also find helpful Larry's series of Video Tutorials. Though based on the older Word 2003, these videos demonstrate various formatting features of Microsoft Word that work in most versions. Part One consists of one 23-minute video on margins and basic formatting, and Part Two (43 minutes) consists of four videos on page setup and layout, section breaks, headings (levels), and tables of contents.
For the fourth consecutive time our SL&IT Program has received a major grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The new project, entitled Building Leaders provides $997,388 for 72 scholarships and operating funds to recruit new students into the profession. Once again we have partnered with Antioch University in Seattle, as well as the Tacoma School District to train 60 principals in library advocacy, collaboration and leadership skills for school library media specialists. For more information see the official Press Release at the IMLS web site. Special thanks to Debra Kachel for coordinating the project and assuming primary responsibility for writing the grant (I guess she can keep her job as instructor of LSC 5530, School Library Advocacy).
Mansfield University was recently informed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education that residency is no longer a requirement for school library certification. Consequently, we as an institution have decided that a residency course will no longer be required as part of the School Library & Information Technologies online graduate program effective 8/27/07.
As a result, the School Library & Information Technologies online graduate program will now be 100% online. However, since the certification program requires completion of 32 or 34 credits (practicum and/or residency) in order for MU to recommend a student for PA library certification, we are developing an alternate one credit course, LSC5555 Seminar II. This online course will cover many of the activities/assignments that students would have completed during the five day residency in Harrisburg, without the expense of traveling and staying in Harrisburg
To comply with a recent interpretation of policy from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), MU has adopted a new mandatory policy regarding student experiences in public schools (i.e. field experiences). This policy affects any student who visits a school or school library as an assignment for any course (not just practicum).
See our Clearances Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to nagging questions.
Prior to participating in any field experiences for an SL&IT course, students who are already certified teachers will need to send evidence that they have met the clearances required for the state in which they reside or in which they perform a field experience. Students can submit evidence in two ways:
Students can submit a letter signed by a building principal stating that they have met the clearances requirements of their state, or
Students can submit copies of their clearances.
Students who are not certified teachers must meet all requirements for PA clearances: Act 34, Act 151, TB test, and finger printing (see PDE's Background Checks page). Students should send the attached letter or copies of the clearance via US mail to the SL&IT office, in care of:
Ms. Jill Scott, 202 Retan, Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA 16933
If a student is teaching in an international school, and that school requires any clearances, the clearances policy pertains. However, if there are no clearances requirements in the school outside the US, email Jill Scott (email@example.com) with the following statement:
I, ______________, do not reside in the United States and the school where I will be doing my field experiences, ____ (Name of school and country) does not require clearances.
Students who have not submitted evidence that they have met state clearances requirements will not be permitted to participate in any field experience assignments.
MU has created a convenient web page entitled My Accounts@Mansfield to provide a one-stop source to retrieve logins and passwords for email, courses and registration. Just follow the instructions to view the information needed to login to these essential services.
Blackboard replacing eCollege as Course Software
Recently, our university mandated a move of all courses from the eCollege platform to Blackboard. Your courses will essentially work the same as in eCollege, though the interface will look a bit different and use slightly different names for some tools (e.g. Document Sharing is now the Digital Dropbox).
Because we had to wait longer than expected for a server upgrade, we are just now completing the process of moving courses to Blackboard. But fear not, courses WILL be ready by August 25. Still, we beg your indulgence as we're all new to this software and will need a few weeks to work out the kinks and gain experience with Blackboard.
As we speak,we're working on a new tutorial to help you learn how to get around Blackboard. A brief orientation should be complete by August 20. When available all students should review the tutorial prior to beginning course work (classes should be available for entry by Aug. 25).
This summer MU has begun to assign new students email accounts for a brand new email service from Microsoft called Windows Live. This is an ambitious and eagerly-awaited improvement over Web Mail (the university's current web service for students), and will eventually replace it for all students at the end of the Fall semester.
As of now, only new students will get accounts with the Windows Live service, which is currently Hotmail until Microsoft launches the new service. The format of your email addresses is rather long: lastname-first initial-day of birth, followed by the server name, @mounties.mansfield.edu (e.g. if your name is Mary Johnson born on August 10 your email address would be: firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have any questions please contact Information Technology at email@example.com (570-662-4357).
We would like to proudly announce that Cynthia Keller will assume the role of Department Chair, Residency Coordinator and Program Director on March 20, 2006. Cindy offers our program over 35 years of school library and academic experience, and has been one of our most popular instructors for the past three years in the Information Searching, Retrieval and Presentation Strategies course (LSC 5540).
Cindy was the 2003 recipient of the PSLA Outstanding Contributor award and is recognized throughout the region for her frequent workshops, presentations, and publications, including two Library Skill Books. Her experience extends to K-12 libraries, supervision, distance learning, grant writing, curriculum development, storytelling and technology. Cindy advises new students and currently teaches Seminar/Residency and Practicum in School Librarianship (LSC 5560).
Good news. In February, 2006, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced formal recognition of our program. This honor affirms that we have met the rigorous standards of ALA/AASL for School Library Media Specialist Preparation. Congratulations to all faculty and you, our students, for this honor!
For the third time since 2002, MU's School Library program has been awarded a prestigious Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant for scholarship support. The LAPIS (Librarians and Principals in Sync) program, awarded $981,814, will address the national shortage of qualified school librarians by providing approximately 45 new scholarships for teachers to become certified school library media specialists.
The grant will also fund an online, summer library advocacy program for school principals. Awards will reduce tuition by either 50, 75, or 90 percent, depending on various criteria. Additional consideration will be given to candidates from Colorado and Pennsylvania, particularly the Harrisburg (PA) School District. The LAPIS Scholarship program will begin accepting applications immediately and take effect as early as January 2006. For more information, please visit the LAPIS Web site at http://libweb.mansfield.edu/lapis/
Really Old News (2000-2005)
Dr. Marjorie Pappas has resigned as the Director of the School Library and Information Technologies Program as of July 31, 2005. Dr. Doris Dorwart has been appointed the Interim Program Director. However, it is anticipated that by the spring 2006 semester we will have a new full-time Director for the program in place. Meanwhile, we will move ahead and make the transition as seamless as possible for students and faculty.
Who are the most influential school librarians in the US? According to The Whole School Library Handbook, edited by Blanche Woolls and David Loertscher, five current and former SL&IT faculty, along with two advisers to the program and 96 others, deserve that distinction. Representing our program are Debbie Abilock, Helen Adams, Sharon Coatney, Doris Dorwart, Carrie Gardner, Deb Kachel, Marjorie Pappas, and Joyce Valenza. For more information see the MU News Release from 3/22/05.
Register now for LSC 6600, a five-week, one-credit graduate course for school principals, curriculum and technology coordinators, and superintendents. This short course is designed to help administrators maximize a school library program to increase student achievement. School leaders learn the research correlating school libraries with improved test scores, how to integrate an information literacy skills with classroom curriculum and state academic standards, and how to improve access to libraries and collections. Utilizing guidelines, evaluation tools, readings, videos, and online discussions participants apply new advocacy skills and knowledge to their local school library programs. For further details, including syllabus and a testimonial video by administrators who have completed the course, visit the Advocacy for Administrators home page.
Join the Student/Alumni Discussion Group
Many current and former students have asked about keeping in touch with classmates. For this reason, we created last year a Yahoo Group that requires no official MU affiliation. Simply click on the link marked, Student/Alum Listserv on the Portal's left menu, under Program Info (technically, this is not a listserv, but discussion group is too long to put on the menu). To register, access the Yahoo page then click on the button to Join our group. Registration is fast and easy.
Marjorie Pappas Replaces Doris Dorwart as Program Chair
Most students probably know by now that our beloved Doris Dorwart is retiring at the end of the Fall 2004 semester. In her place, Dr. Marjorie Pappas will assume the role of Department Chair, Residency Coordinator and student advisor. Dr. Pappas brings to our program significant academic and school library experience, as well as national influence.
Dr. Pappas' professional experience includes positions as middle school librarian and administrator of school libraries. She has been a library science professor at Wright State University (OH), the University of Northern Iowa, and Eastern Kentucky University. She has also published numerous articles and books on information literacy and electronic searching and is an active member of AASL. Dr. Pappas currently teaches Seminar/Residency and Practicum in School Librarianship (LSC 5560).
New Mission and Philosophy Brochure Available
We have just published a 2-page brochure (in Acrobat's PDF format) detailing the goals and mission of our program. Graduates of the School Library and Information Technology program at Mansfield University are highly qualified school library media specialists who exhibit 29 characteristics, beliefs, and competencies. View or download the brochure.
Scholarship Money Available ($$$)
In memoriam to Larry Schankman's father, Irv, his mother (Irene) has generously contributed $7,000 for three $2,000 tuition scholarships, up to ten $100 awards for textbooks, software, or other course materials from the MU bookstore, and an additional $3,000 for general departmental needs. The application procedure for student awards will be very easy, consisting of only one short 2-3 page essay on the question:
How will I make a difference in the lives of my students when I become a school library media specialist?
Essays will show the applicant’s sincerity, conviction and enthusiasm for the profession of school librarianship. Financial need is not a factor in selection, but the deadline is February 1. For further details and mailing instructions, see our formal announcement.
Larry Nesbit wins Contributor's Award
The School Library Program's co-founder and director, Larry Nesbit, won yet another prestigious award at the annual Pennsylvania School Library Association's annual conference (April 30, 2004). According to the PSLA web site, "The Outstanding Contributor to Library Media Program Award is presented to recognize an individual in Pennsylvania who has made a notable contribution to the field of school librarians." We are all very proud of Larry's dedication to libraries and our program in particular.
New Portal and Help Pages
The new Portal page should be faster to load and provides one-click access to many resources, including login to eCollege (bypassing the Keystone University page). The Help page has also been edited for faster access to information that may help you with MU resources or technical issues. Please see especially the new Knowledge Base of technical questions and answers (frequently asked questions).
New Scholarship Program Available
The School Library Program is pleased to announce availability of scholarships for new students. Please see the Project REAP Homepage for details.
Discussion Group for Alumni and Current Students
Many students, especially our graduates, have asked for an online discussion group to keep in touch with classmates. So, we have created a Yahoo Group called MUSLIT_Alumni. For subscription information see the group homepage, at:
See us in the Movies
Mansfield University recently digitized our 10-minute recruiting Video and made it available online. But note that it requires the free RealOne multimedia player and may not load if you have a slow or congested Internet connection (e.g. problems reported with ATT WorldNet and EarthLink customers).
New Databases for Fall 2003
Over the summer the library made a few changes to database selections. Noteworthy is the move from the WebSPIRS version of Library Literature to the more user-friendly WilsonWeb. At the same time, library school students have been given free access to five additional Wilson products: Book Review Digest Plus, Education Full Text, Readers' Guide Full Text, Famous First Facts, and Short Story Index.
Graduates Ace the PRAXIS Test
Congratulations to first group of 14 graduates who took the PRAXIS II examination. Not only did all 14 pass, but they passed at an average well above the national average. Many students nationwide fail to score the minimum passing score of 620. The average for our students was an impressive 679 out of 800, with one student scoring a 770. Way to go SL&IT!!!
eCollege Replaces e-education
For the last three years, the School Library program has used the web product called e-education as our course management software. Unfortunately, the president of JonesKnowledge.com, owner of e-education, has decided to get out of the educational software business this summer. This means we had to move our courses to another vendor. The new software, eCollege, is a respected and well-designed program, and we hope that students find it easy to use.
In addition to the new software, student login and passwords will also change. Your login will consist of the letters MAU plus your 7-digit Student ID, found on the upper right part of your ID Card (for example, MAU1234567). The password is simply the last 4 numbers of your social security number. If you can not login, first read an Announcement on possible causes, and then contact Larry Schankman for assistance.
For eCollege tips, see our brief Tip Sheet (in Acrobat/PDF format) or the eCollege guide listed in your course menu as AU+ Student Orientation Tutorial. As always, feel free to contact your instructor or Larry Schankman for help or questions.
Online Grades via WebAdvisor
Beginning this semester, all semester grades will be available online only through WebAdvisor. Grades will no longer be mailed to you. Your login and password are as follows:
your MU email name (up to the @ sign)
Password: last 4 digits of social security number
For example, if your name was Mary Smith, and your SSN was 111-99-1234, your login would be smithm (if that was your email name) and password 1234.
Course numbers Now 4-Digit
Soon you'll all discover that course numbers have changed from three to four digits to conform to a new MU standard. For us, all courses will begin with an initial 5 (e.g. LSC 5501, 5505, 5510, etc.). Hopefully, this won't cause much confusion.
Free Access to GaleNet and InfoTrac Databases
Thanks to quick negotiating on the part of MU instructor, Deb Kachel, the School Library program now has access to several awesome GaleNet and InfoTrac databases. Access them either from the Portal page's Database tab or login via:
Specific databases consist of:
- Associations Unlimited
- Biography and Genealogy Master Index (BGMI)
- Biography Resource Center
- Business and Company Resource Center with PROMT, Newsletters, and Investext Plus
- Custom Newspapers
- Expanded Academic ASAP
- General Reference Center Gold
- Health and Wellness Resource Center and Alternative Health Module
- History Resource Center: Modern World
- History Resource Center: US
- InfoTrac OneFile
- Literature Resource Center (LRC)
- Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
- Student Resource Center - College Edition - Expanded
School Library Program Now a Full OCLC Member
Recently, the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) accepted us into their library school membership program (symbol MANLS). As a consequence, cataloging students will be able to access the full suite of technical processing products and services beginning in April, 2002. In addition to cataloging tools, our students will also have full, unrestricted access to dozens of databases from their FirstSearch service and thousands of online journals from their Electronic Collections Online. Cataloging tools include CatExpress, WebDewey, and the Cooperative Online Resource Catalog (CORC).
Note that FirstSearch is only available to MU's School Library students, so the only link is from the databases section of the Portal. You may also wish to bookmark the URL: http://libweb.mansfield.edu/asp/firstsearch.asp
Our program recently received certification from the PA. Dept of Education, so we're now official!!! Likewise, our school has also been accredited by NCATE and the Middle States Commission. Congratulations to us.
New Library Resources Arrive
Beginning in July of 2001, the library, in partnership with the 14 universities of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education (SSHE), will begin a new three-year subscription to specialized "Core" databases. Currently, the Core databases are available through WebSPIRS. Though the individual databases will essentially remain the same, some will move to EBSCOhost, including ERIC and PsycINFO. ERIC will also continue to be available via WebSPIRS (for power users). In addition to minor changes, we will upgrade the popular Academic Search Elite to Academic Search Premier. This full-text database is EBSCOhost's most popular index to academic subjects, with a focus on the Humanities and Social Sciences (including education). The upgrade will increase the total number of full-text journals to over 4,500 titles.
New WilsonWeb Resources
Just for the School Library program, the MU Library recently ordered four new databases from Wilson. You should now use the WilsonWeb button on the Portal page to access Library Literature and four new school library resources: Children's Catalog, Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Junior Authors and Illustrators, and Senior High School Catalog.
Seminar Course Arrives
To comply with the Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements for accreditation, we now require LSC 5560, a seminar course for all degree-seeking students. This culminating experience allows students to assess their professional growth and prepare for employment in the profession. The course consists of an online seminar and on-site field work in a local school library. Students currently employed as school library media specialists may be exempted from the field work if they have met all competencies in the Pennsylvania Standards. Most students will be required to complete a 30-hour practicum, while others having no professional classroom teaching experience may choose to complete a 60-hour practicum. The course may be 2 credits (online seminar only), 3 credits (seminar plus 30-hour practicum), or 4 credits (seminar plus 60-hour practicum).
ERIC Documents Online via E*Subscribe
Almost all education majors, educators, and others familiar with the ERIC database know the frustration of locating and manipulating ERIC microfiche. Now the vast collection of ERIC ED documents are available in Adobe Acrobat format, back to 1975, via E*Subscribe.
NetLibrary Means E-Books
The library owns over 2,000 online books (e-Books). Like regular books, only one person at a time can "check out" these electronic books. Available through NetLibrary.com, you can either view the e-Books online with a web browser, or download them to view off-line in a special browser (installation instructions are provided at the time of download). Currently, the circulation period for e-Books is three days. After that time, they automatically return to general circulation. To access MU's e-Books, either search Pilot, our online catalog, or access the site directly, if you have an account already. New users must first create an account through the library's off-campus access.