Back to Minutes Page

Minutes for the CTLA Meeting of May 17, 2008

We celebrated the retirement of our fellow media specialist, Pat Dempsey from Blaine Elementary School with a brunch meeting at Old Country Buffet.  It is located at 6560 W. Fullerton. The meeting was paid for by each member attending from 9 to 11:00 am at the cost of $9.00 per person. 

Our newly elected president, Annie Culverson, opened the meeting.  Our new corresponding secretary, Natalie Zaccagnini was introduced.  She will be replacing Ann Adams for the coming school year.  We now need a vice president to replace the vacancy of Annie Culverson. The treasurer reported an ending balance of $4,342.33.

Members were given and opportunity to share their thoughts about Pat Dempsey. Pat stated that she had a wonderful thirty-two years with the Board of Education and she has also served as our CTLA president. Paul Whitsitt, Director of the Department of Libraries, presented to Pat Dempsey a certificate from the Department of Libraries for her many years of service.  Pat is expected to attend the presidential inauguration celebration with her husband.

Paul Whitsitt gave an update on the department, beginning with library automation.  They will select a vendor, and the proposals are due by May 21.  They are anticipating five or six vendors to bid on this project. The goal is to launch a pilot in the fall.  If you are interested in your school participating in the centralized system, then go on-line and fill out the survey.  A small amount of funding is being offered to help schools get their collection in shape and ready to join the centralized automation system.  Get your electronic catalog created.  A hundred and twenty schools applied for those grants and the department is only able to fund thirty-five.  Those schools funded will be coming in for a training session starting next week. Everybody with centralized automation will share a master catalog.

Almost 200 schools were funded with matching grants this year.  This was a success.  There is a concern about the school population dropping and library positions being closed.  Make a pitch that every school needs a strong library and every school needs a professional librarian running a library. 

Paul met Arnie Duncan and the Mayor at the Spring Conference book Club. He expressed his concerns about the reduction of these positions in the school. It is important that everyone’s school lobby in Springfield to propose legislation to create some rule that would beef up what the school districts would have to do.  The most effective thing is what we do locally and what the principal sees in terms of benefits coming out of the school library program.  She should be able to see the matching of school goals as part of the literacy program in the library.

We received a little press coverage with the Battle of the Books.  Visibility is given to it for the more people that can join. Parents and principals were happy with it.

The Friday before Labor Day week we will have the back-to-school opening meeting event. 

Marge’s history moment was on a memorandum of February 7, 1996 about the Department of Learning Technology's and the Department of Libraries' "Project Inform".  Many people of that time have moved on to many other things. She mentioned the names of those who were there.  Nancy Volksman is one who works at Norris Park School and is now on medical leave.  Chuck Burkridge guaranteed us that we would get the line item back for libraries. We had no library department and our CTLA group kept everyone going.  So many people have retired since then. Marge stated that someone should step forward to be vice president.  There is money in our budget account for the vice president to go to the ISLMA conference. We will pay for the conference, bit not for the hotel. It is an honor to be vice president. Marge mentioned that we have to let people know what we are doing in order to give ourselves creditability. If you have something that is working in your schools to make our program more successful, then we want to hear about it. Thanks to all of you for your support this year at Book Expo.  They are doing something special for librarians and educators. Get the word out.  Ask the teachers what is going on in their classroom.

The Society of School Librarian International (SSLI) is meeting in Puerto Rico this year. You must be a member to get books for your library.  The books will be sent to you for reviewing.

Respectfully Submitted,
Maude Muhammad
Recording Secretary