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News and Information

Please submit CTLA News and Info. to our Communications Secretary.

Our first CTLA meeting of the 2018-19 year is planned for Saturday, September 29. I’m very excited about what we have planned and would love to see as many people there as possible to set the tone for the upcoming year. If you haven’t been to a meeting in awhile, please come and see what’s new!

Date: Saturday, September 29, 2018: 9 am - 11 am

Place: Galileo Scholastic Academy, 820 S. Carpenter St. The front door to Galileo will be open starting at 8:30. It's door number 1 on the corner of Carpenter and Arthington.

Program: Main Event: Demo Slam with participating Librarians. Get tons of quick tips that can transform the way you teach! Come and watch or participate!

CTLA Discussion: What does becoming an AISLE Chapter mean for CTLA? Looking at a new logo. This website will be transferred over to aisled.org in the next couple months.

Professional Development Hours: CTLA can now offer PD hours. To receive your credits, you must complete a survey and provide your IEIN number. You can find you IEIN number by logging into the ISBE ELIS website. We can help you locate the number at the meeting if you need assistance.

Attend Virtually: If you cannot physically attend the meeting on Saturday, but would still like to participate, we will be having a Zoom meeting room as well. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/881097035
Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16699006833,,881097035# or +16468769923,,881097035#
Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 876 9923 ~ Meeting ID: 881 097 035
This meeting will also be recorded and posted if you would like to watch our event at a later date. A link will be provided after it has been uploaded.

No RSVP needed. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me, Stacie Bell!

A Message from our New CPS Library and Digital Media Manager, Kara Thorstenson:
Hi everyone, Please remember to register in Learning Hub or on our Google Form for School Libraries Transform! at Michele Clark Magnet High School Friday, August 31, beginning at 8am. We are so looking forward to an amazing day of professional learning. Here is the link with the most updated information about Friday's event. https://sites.google.com/cps.edu/school-libraries-transform/home If you have any questions or would like to attend but need some help with logistics, please let me know. Don't hesitate to call 773-553-6048 or email klthorstenson@cps.edu with questions. There will be totes filled with free books and other materials for each attendee along with contests and handouts from our wonderful vendors. We have an incredible lineup of speakers for our breakout sessions, some of whom have traveled a long way to be with us on Friday! Looking forward to meeting everyone, Kara

Next year meetings and organization are undecided due to our pending merger with ISLMA/AISLE as one of their charter state chapters starting September, 2018!

We were very saddened to share the passing of Shanalin "Irish" Leo-Bain. As an educator and former CTLA President, she was proven to be a dedicated supporter of Libraries and Librarians.

Our final meeting of the school year was Saturday, June 2 at Goethe School and hosted by CTLA. Also, Googlepalooza was August 10. Please see our Schedule webpage for past details.
Below are event photos from past meetings this school year. To see highlights from our 2016-17 year and previous years, please view our Photos Pages.
Click here
to jump down to our November, 2014 CTLA Position Statement for CPS libraries to be staffed with certified teacher-librarians.

Below is our April Meeting on Saturday, April 28 from 9:00 to 11:00 at Coonley School at 4046 N Leavitt St. and hosted by teacher-librarian member Nora Wiltse in her school library. Edwin Tucker from OverDrive flew in from their headquarters in Cleveland for the presentation on their new OverDrive app called SORA, which can also integrate with the Chicago Public Library eBook collection! It will be available starting in August from the Google Play Store. CTLA provided a continental breakfast plus chocolate treats. Nora gave a tour of her library and collection layout as well as explained her schedule and classes. Katherine Hlousek gave a report from ISLMA, which will be officially renamed AISLE starting July 1. At this time, they will add state chapters and CTLA is a lead candidate, as long as we have at least 50% members in AISLE. All future membership and officer roles will be handled through AISLE. All present supported this proposal. A membership vote will occur at our last meeting to join AISLE. There was also a lengthy discussion about book fair implementation, including the new option from Follett adding to existing choices from Scholastic and Anderson's.
Follett September MeetingBelow is our Holiday Get-Together on Thursday, December 14 from 5:30 to 8:30 featuring a full mexican dinner, including authentic soft drinks, in the Tortilleria Atotonilco Restaurant party room, 1637 S. Blue Island Av. The program included plenty of holiday cheer and music with an optional gift exchange shown below in the circle. There were a variety of churros and other holiday treats for dessert!

Follett September Meeting


June, 2018: In loving memory of long-time member Irish Leo-Bain!Irish Leo-Bain

January, 2018: In loving memory of long-time member Trudie Harris! Trudi Harris Service Program

February, 2015: We all mourn the very sad loss of Ann Adams, a very active and long-time CTLA member (Past President twice) and teacher-librarian at Christopher School and also Tilton School for almost 40 years. Ann was a tireless advocate of libraries and children. She has impacted thousands of children and many adults with her advocacy and passion for teaching and libraries. In addition, she was very active with the Girl Scouts and other organizations along with her beloved family. We paid tribute, shared remembrances, and honored the dear life of Ann at our meeting February 21 and her funeral on February 19. We love you Ann and will miss you forever!

November, 2014 Press Release regarding updated CTLA Position Statement on the need for CPS libraries to be staffed with certified teacher-librarians. Comments are still welcome! This was prepared by CTLA Members Marie Szyman (Immediate Past President) and Michael Saelens and reviewed at our October, 2014 meeting:

Chicago Public Schools Teacher-Librarians are specifically trained to select and curate a wide range of resources that are designed to meet the academic, professional and personal information needs of students and instructional staff. We believe that nurturing readers and information consumers and publishers who are critical thinkers about a wide range of topics and issues builds student capacities, provides additional instructional support for classroom teachers, and encourages thoughtful and responsible participation in a democratic society.

We specialize in teaching information literacy; the efficient, safe and responsible use of technology, and research skills that are critical in the development of "college and career ready" students in the 21st century.

With more than half of CPS schools not having a certified teacher-librarian working in their libraries, we are concerned that many of our students’ right to access, read and evaluate accurate and up-to-date information is seriously compromised.

DLIS Logo

Please regularly check the CPS Dept. of Libraries and Info. Services' wikispace for Dept. news, events, calendars, and on-going services and programs. As of Sept., 2008, the Dept. created this wiki "as a means to communicate, collaborate, and share ideas and information with our schools, CPS librarians, and the broader community." Check it out! Due to the levels of central office bureaucracy for approval and editing the CPS Dept. website, this Wikispace offers better targeted services, especially their document repository. Wikispace webpages include: Matching Grants, Collaboration Mini-Grants, Battle of the Books (both Elementary and H. S.), calendar, and much more! In addition, there are links to their on-line, subscription-based "Library Databases", their "Professional Library" computer catalog (maintained by CPS Network Library Coordinator Lisa Perez), and the SOAR library automation project (maintained by CPS Project Manager Christie Thomas). Note: The old CPS Dept. of Libraries and Info. Services' website is only on CPS Intranet as of April, 2009 or at home via connect.cps.edu portal. On their "Professional Development" page is a link to our CTLA website!

The CPS Librarians Listserv facilitates collaboration between librarians to share successful pedagogical information, literature-based discussions, news of upcoming events, technology-based applications, and evaluation of resources. The listserv is hosted by the University of Chicago eCUIP. Click here to join the listserv using your CPSmail address. If you don't want to receive e-mail, you may still stay informed by reading the archives of all the threaded postings at: http://lists.lib.uchicago.edu/pipermail/cpslibraries!


Spring, 2013: CTLA mourns the recent loss of Melva Bryant-Samuels (retired CPS Regional Librarian and Dept. Administrator) and Audrey Newman-Miles (active Media Specialist at Charles Henderson Academy).

April, 2011: Member Ethel Philpott highlighted the organization "Retired Teachers Association of Chicago" and their website: www.rtac.org for information about issues and support for CPS retired teachers. Member Irish Leo-Bain informed us of a website monitoring current Chicago issues, including education, with the new Emanuel administration with options for comments at www.chicago2011.org.

Sept., 2010: At our first meeting of the year, children's author and writing/reading advocate Cynthea Liu was our guest speaker as shown above and on our Photos Page. In particular, she presented a list: Contemporary Children’s and Teen Fiction Books Featuring People of Color Recommended by Authors of Contemporary Children’s and Teen Fiction Books Featuring People of Color. This list is featured on her website: cynthealiu.com on the book list page.


We regret to share the loss of Dr. June G. Pembroke, past President of CTLA 1992-1993 and adored member.  June passed on May 1, 2010 and was laid to rest on May 7.  June was retired as the librarian at Beasley and previously McCorkle. We dearly remember her for exemplary and superior service as a teacher-librarian. Please read her Sun-Times obituary stating: She was born in Springfield, OH the second daughter of Otis and Dorothy E. (Valentine) Greene. Dr. Pembroke was an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Women's Board of Bronzeville Children's Museum, and the Chicago Chapter Philander Smith Alumni. Dr. Pembroke was preceded in death by her husband, the late Rev. Dr. Maceo D. Pembroke Sr., former Senior Pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church (Chicago, IL).

Cards may be sent to the Pembroke Family:
c/o Maceo Pembroke
5300 S. Shore Dr., #62
Chicago, IL 60652

May her soul rest in heavenly and eternal peace!


K. C. Boyd, DLIS area librarian, gave us Dept. updates at our Sept. 26, 2009 meeting. The Professional Library materials catalog is on-line, along with all participating school libraries at: library.cps.k12.il.us... click on the "Professional Library" link on the left panel. Lisa Perez is the CPS Professional Librarian at 773-553-6212. The Professional Library is open 8:30-4:30 M-F and located in Room 218 at Medill Pro. Training Center. Please check out their website for details along with a copy of their brochure. Materials may be checked out for 30 working days, and extensions may be granted by Gerald Battle, Pro. Lib. Asst. Librarian. In addition, Gerald can send and receive materials through G. S. R. (mail run).

K. C. also mentioned CPS University, which tracks all professional development records and CPS PD Central, which lists all professional development courses. To sign on, use your regular user ID and password.

Finally, K. C. said that the Dept. will charter a free bus if there is enough interest to the ISLMA annual conference in Springfield leaving on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 29 and returning on Saturday evening, Oct. 31. Please reserve a space with DLIS administrative assistant Armando Reddick as soon as possiblie and put "Springfield" in the subject line or call 773-553-6210.


We mourn the loss of wonderful CTLA member Donna Kelly who died unexpectantly. She was a long-time librarian from Walt Disney Magnet School who retired just two years ago. As noted above, there will be a memorial celebration for the life of Donna at Sabatino's Restaurant at 4441 W. Irving Park Rd on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 from 4 to 7pm. There will be a designated time to share a fond memory, a gratitude, or a special quality of Donna. Individuals and groups are welcome to stay and make dinner arrangements downstairs at the restaurant. For more information, please call Kori Kubitz at 773-202-0955, who is graciously hosting this gathering. Thanks also to Rochelle Wooding for her coordination.


The Society of School Librarians International (SSLI) had its annual conference on October 14-16, 2009 in San Diego, California at the Hilton Gaslight Quarter. SSLI was organized as a national, independent school library association in October, 1985. "Its major goal is to speak singularly and forcefully for the unique needs of school librarians in the educational community" and to present annual book awards in seven categories. Members may join the corresponding seven Book Awards sub-committees and receive free book samples. Besides the SSLI website, CTLA members Lois Waiters at LWait61464@aol.com and Trudi Harris at kipepeo2@sbcglobal.net has been long-time SSLI ambassadors and may be contacted for details and arrangements. SSLI is located in Charleston, South Carolina, and their executive director is Jeannie Schwartz: 843-577-5351. Membership is $45 per year or $400 for lifetime.


We are very sad to report that Maude Muhammad, our Recording Secretary for the last six years and dear member for the last ten years, passed away on Friday, December 26, 2008. Maude had attended our December 13 meeting, as pictured at left, faithfully reading the minutes from the November meeting and then recording the December minutes. Her niece, Bonnie Hill, is a member and had assisted Maude this fall with taking minutes. Maude was especially close to Ann Adams, long-time member and past president, who together had grand plans to go to Barack Obama's January 20 inauguration festivities in Washington, D. C. Maude had retired in 2006 from Los Ninos Heros School as their teacher-librarian and previously worked at Dunne School.

Her funeral was Wednesday, December 31 at Cedar Park Cemetery Chapel at 12540 S. Halsted St., Calumet Park, IL. Visitation was at 11:00 am and the service at 12:00 noon. CTLA sent a flower arrangement, and President Annie Culverson attended the service joined by other members. Condolences may be sent to: 8301 S. Blackstone Ave., Chicago, 60619-6505. Maude is survived by her husband Clifton Muhammad along with many extended family members. At our January meeting, we will have a tribute and moment of silence to remember and honor Maude's life and service.

May Maude's soul rest in heavenly peace with our gratitude and with prayers of eternal comfort.


Oct. 2008: Special Guest Speaker W. Nikola-Lisa informed us about Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrator websites: www.scbwi.org and www.scbwi-illinois.org (Illinois chapter) Note: these sites have been added to our Links column to the left.

Sept. 2008: CPS Dept. of Libraries was awarded a major grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities last spring to provide every school with the "Picturing America" series. Delivery was scheduled by early September. As First Lady Laura Bush describes:

"Picturing America is composed of forty, carefully selected works of art spanning several centuries—all by American painters, sculptors, photographers, and architects. The NEH will distribute large, high-quality reproductions of these images, along with a teachers resource book, lesson plans, and materials, to schools and libraries nationwide. Including the newly unveiled website, PicturingAmerica.neh.gov, Picturing America's resources unlock the potential in each work of art to enhance the study of American history, social studies, language arts, literature, and civics.

Irish Leo-Bain (Librarian at Crane) found a supplemental website through ALA that matches a set of 22 books with this theme called "We The People Bookshelf". As a bonus, 4000 schools that apply (one-page) will be selected to receive this collection. Otherwise, please seek out these books from local sources.


Chicago Public Library - Teacher in the Library Program: The Teacher in the Library (TIL) program makes available after school homework help and guidance provided by caring, trained, accredited teachers who can address each child's individual needs. Serving children ages five and up, the Teacher in the Library program provides high quality, professional after-school homework help to Chicago's at-risk children and youth a half million times each school year. TILs explain homework assignments, suggest strategies for completing assignments, contact teachers, speak to parents and collaborate with Library staff. The TIL program currently operates in 38 branch libraries throughout the city. For more information, please contact the Branch Manager or Children’s Librarian.


CTLA mourns the loss on June 4, 2008 of our active and beloved member Nancy Volkman, teacher-librarian at Norwood Park Elementary School. Nancy served as an officer of CTLA in the past and also hosted a monthly meeting at her school library. Nancy had just renewed her membership for two years to show her enduring support of our association and her vocation. She had just attended our March and April meetings in good spirits as a tribute to her courageous will to keep learning and growing with her colleagues. We will dearly miss you Nancy! We bid you eternal peace and comfort! Thank you for being such a wonderful colleague, friend, and true professional through the years! Dr. William Meuer, principal of Norwood Park Elementary School, lovingly expressed his school's sorrow and gratitude with a note to his school community on June 4 (from their homepage's "Dr. Meuer's Notes..."):

It is with sadness that I share the news of the death of Mrs. Nancy Volkman, our school librarian. Mrs. Volkman passed away this morning after a courageous battle with brain cancer... Nancy Volkman was an outstanding librarian and was held in high regard by all of us, including the staff of the Department of Libraries for the Chicago Public Schools. During her fourteen-year tenure at Norwood Park, she was credited with building an exemplary library with a vast collection for students, staff and parents. Mrs. Volkman's particular talent was in matching each student's reading interests with "that perfect book" which would inspire and advance the student's love of reading. As a voracious reader herself, she possessed an invaluable knowledge of literature for both adults and children. As a school community, we owe Mrs. Volkman a huge debt of gratitude for our modern, up-to-date library which she created for all of us. Services for Mrs. Volkman were held at Piser Funeral Home, 9200 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, Illinois, on Friday, June 6th at 2:00 PM. The family invites students and parents to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to ENH [Evanston Northwestern Healthcare] Foundation, 1033 University Place, Suite 450, Evanston, Illinois 60201.


Ann Adams mentioned the Digital Wish website at the March 1, 2008 meeting where you can qualify to win up to 43 grants, plus the CPS "Free Things" website at our December 15 meeting. In addition, check out the CPS "Competitive Grants" website.

Marge Fashing, our Historian officer, related many wonderful information websites and a special poem during her "History Moment" at a past meeting-- click here to check it out. In tribute to our CHICAGO BEARS and their 2007 Super Bowl effort, Marge also compiled a reference sheet... check it out and GO BEARS!