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Minutes for the CTLA Meeting of March 24, 2007

Viki Noe Chikow, Sales Supervisor of Usborne Books (EDC Educational Services) hosted our meeting at Maggiano’s Little Italy (Amarone Room). It is located 111 W. Grand, Chicago. We had a continental breakfast meeting from 8:00-11:00 am.

Viki explained Usborne Books' “Literacy for a Lifetime” program. This matching grant program was started after Hurricane Katrina to assist to New Orleans restock their school libraries and classrooms, but it has now been expanded to support any local educational institution. Donations are made to the educational institutions by businesses, foundations, and individuals, which are then forwarded to EDC for the matching grant portion. You may use the matching grant program to get an extra 50% in free books. We were given details on their Book Fairs which offers no work for staff or volunteers. Their pledge-based reading incentive program titled “Reach for the Stars” offers flexible time commitment; they give teacher in-services using Usborne Internet-linked books for lesson plans, homework and classroom activities. You may schedule this free one-hour presentation for your teachers. Teachers will be able to purchase Internet-linked books at the end of the workshop. One CPDU was offered. They also have a new presentation for parents on “Kid-Safe Research On-Line" with Usborne Books. For more information contact Viki Noe-Chikow at 773-588-0154 or Experience their direct sales which provides over 1,300 titles, PK-8 with library processing services available.

As a personal project, Viki is looking for stories or issues that are related to when a friend dies to include in her book. She asks that you speak from the heart and share your experiences. She hopes this book will give people a sense of community and comfort. Her email address is:

Membership forms for CTLA were available. It is also available on our website at: Our website is kept up to date by Charlie Gunn. We need to know this year's retirees before our next meeting by notifying the President. Retiring members are honored at our year-end luncheon. Mary Hebda may be the new president.

Toby Rajput, Area Librarian, gave a Department report:

  1. Chicago Tribune News in Education (NIE) presents a Links-to-Literacy Workshop "Getting Back to the Basics" on April 11, from 8:00 to 11:00am at the Chicago Tribune (Freedom Center) 777 West Chicago Avenue. This workshop will link Illinois State Standards Reading Instruction Framework, Teaching Strategies, and other resources. 2 CPDUs will be offered. The guest speaker is Evan Georgi from Reading is Fundamental.
  2. The 2007 Elementary Battle of the Books is on. It will be April 21, 8:30am to 2:30pm at the D.H. William’s Prep School of Medicine, located 4934 South Wabash Avenue (Dusable Campus). 80 teams of students from 50 CPS schools will join for this fun and rewarding reading event. Volunteers are needed. Please call Toby at 773-553-6214. This is the 2nd annual Elementary School "Battle of the Books". This contest engages students with books and motivates them to read more, including new titles, authors and genres, gives them the chance to participate in groups, and involve parents and community members in a fun and rewarding reading event.
  3. The Department presents… "Serving Students with Special Needs in the Library" Online Training. The instructor is Marilyn M. Irwin, Ph.D. She is the Associate Dean and Professor of the Indiana University, School of Library and Information Science. She is the former Director of the Center for Disability Information and Referral of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. She is 2005 Recipient of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies Service Award, which is a division of the American Library Association. Module 1: "Serving Students with Learning Disabilities in the Library". Course Dates: Feb. 1 – Feb. 28. Module 2: "Serving Students with Autism in the Library" Course Dates: April 2-30. Ten CPDUs will be provided for each course. For more information contact Dr. Marilyn Irwin via email at

Charlie Gunn stated that the Department is also conducting training workshops on Second Life, which is a MUVE (Multi-User Virtual Environment) The Department has established a virtual office in Second Life. There is a growing interest in exploring the use of SL to provide adults with additional library services, as a forum for professional development, and to network with other library and information service providers.  The CPS Department of Libraries has been provided with a one-year, no-cost virtual office space within SL.  Click here to see their webpage announcement! CPS librarians can create an avatar (or virtual person) in order to visit the new office. Accounts are created at and there is an ability to create a no-cost account. To date, CPS has one of the first presences of K-12 school librarianship in SL.  Other organizations that have built spaces within SL include: the American Library Association, National-Louis University (along with most major universities), the International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE), and many others.  It is growing daily.  It is common to meet librarians and educators from all over the world. Contact Area Librarian Lisa Perez to attend either upcoming workshop on Tuesday, April 17 from 8:00 am – 11:00 am or else from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

Esther announced that Emerson Park is having a rally against violence. It is located in East Roger Park. She reminded us that students are our future.

Respectfully Submitted,
Maude Muhammad
Recording Secretary