Category Archives: GLMA News

GLMA Intellectual Freedom Award

Intellectual Freedom Award
Georgia Library Media Association (GLMA) Intellectual Freedom of Information Award recognizes the contributions of a school library media specialist who has affirmed in an active way the rights of students to information and ideas furthering the cause of intellectual and academic freedom.


The award consists of:

■A plaque to the recipient commemorating the award
■The recipient will be recognized and honored at the annual Georgia COMO Conference
■The recipient’s application packet will be submitted to the American Association of School Librarians and the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee.
Criteria for selection:

1.The nominee shall be a PreK-12 personal member of Georgia Library Media Association (GLMA) and a member of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).
2.The nominee shall meet at least one of the following criteria:
■Developed and implemented an exemplary innovative information program on intellectual freedom.
■Developed and implemented an exemplary school selection policy or handbook emphasizing freedom of information.
■Developed a structured procedure for handling a challenge or intellectual freedom crisis within a school.
■Has upheld intellectual freedom principles in the face of a challenge.
■Has contributed to the literature of the field (print or non-print).
■Has been active in the establishment and/or continuation of a program or activity relating to intellectual freedom at the local, state or national level.
■Has not received GLMA sponsored Intellectual Freedom award in the past two years.
3. At least one supporting letter of reference must accompany the application form. The reference must substantiate that the applicant has upheld the principles of intellectual freedom and has met at least one of the above criteria. This letter may be submitted by:

■System library media supervisors, lead library/media specialists, directors or coordinators
■State, county, or district school superintendents, building principals, headmasters, or local school board member
■Directors of curriculum and instruction or educational supervisors
■A GLMA member
4. Documentation (Examples)

Examples might include a school or district public relations initiative to promote awareness of intellectual freedom, programmatic assistance to meet a censorship challenge, or a building or education outreach effort to ensure intellectual freedom of information. Other documentation may include video, scrapbooks, handbook of policies & procedures, programs and newspaper or journal articles.

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Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year Finalists and Winner 2011


One of the highlights of the Georgia Council of Media Organizations Conference (GaCOMO) is the presentation of the Library Media Specialist of the Year Award (LMSOTY).  Co-sponsored by the Georgia Library Media Association (GLMA) and the Georgia Association of Instructional Technology (GAIT), the LMSOTY Award recognizes a K-12 media specialist whose services have created an exemplary media program.  This year the state winner was selected from a group of seven district LMSOTY winners.

During GaCOMO the seven district LMSOTY winners participated in a very informative panel discussion.  They shared tips and ideas on how to develop an exceptional media program emphasizing student achievement.  At the GLMA/GAIT/GLA School Luncheon, GAIT President Sonja Fox and GLMA President Betsy Razza recognized each district LMSOTY and his/her enabler.  Then the state winner was introduced.

2011 Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year Susan Grigsby

This year’s state Library Media Specialist of the Year is Susan Grigsby of Elkins Pointe Middle School in Fulton County.  Susan represents the Metro District.  She was nominated by Jerome Huff, principal of Elkins Pointe Middle School at the time Susan was nominated last spring.  In his nomination letter, Mr. Huff stated that “Students enter the [Elkins Pointe] media center knowing that it is a place of learning and gathering information to make them better students.”   In addition to providing exemplary media services, Susan is actively involved in staff development at her school by consistently supporting the Georgia Performance Standards.

During the panel discussion, Susan commented that when library media specialists are asked to add another responsibility to their full schedule, we should “…shift our thinking from ‘yes, but…’ to ‘yes, and.’ That shift can lead to collaborative brainstorming that may never happen otherwise. Saying ‘yes, and’ allows others in on the idea so that solutions are discovered instead of problems. So, when you take a ‘never say no’ attitude it doesn’t mean you are doing every single thing someone asks you to do but it does mean finding a way to make many things work by inviting the requesting party to chime in on the solution. It also means giving creative ideas a nurturing place to grow and blossom instead of finding the problems with them right off the bat.”

In addition to receiving a plaque and $250.00 from GAIT and GLMA, Susan received a wonderful donation from Bound to

Susan Grigsby and Judy Serritella

Stay Bound Books, Inc., Peachtree Publishers, Capstone Books, World Book, and the GLA COMO Store.   Although not sponsors of the LMSOTY Award, these five vendors wanted to donate a gift to the state winner’s media center.  The donation will be used to purchase resources for patrons of Elkin Pointe Middle School Media Center.

There were six other districts represented in this year’s competition.  Beverly Brostek represented the Southeast District.  Beverly is the media specialist at Brunswick High School in Glynn County and was nominated by her principal Terry Graff.  Beverly believes that by “…giving teachers the tools they need to enhance their teaching will ultimately benefit all stakeholders…”  Therefore, Beverly will host technology training sessions that integrate technology into the  GPS.  She also turns the media center in the Pirates Café to promote reading.

The East District was represented by Angela Dallis, media specialist at Grovetown High School in Columbia County.  Anna Olliff, media specialist at Evans Middle School, nominated Anglea for LMSOTY.  Anglea states reading is her passion and that is why she constantly promotes books through read-alouds, book talks, and even dressing as various book characters.  She strives to have a “student-driven” media center despite budget cuts.  Often Angela volunteers to pilot software at her school knowing it will be a benefit to students, teachers, and parents.

Chris Parker, media specialist at Mt. Carmel Elementary in Henry County, represented the South Metro District.  Chris was nominated by his principal Martin Gore.  An avid supporter of the Georgia State Media Festival, Chris works with students and teachers to incorporate technology skills into daily lessons.  As coordinator of the school’s Compassion Projects, Chris is able to put books in the hands of his students, their parents, and even soldiers serving in the Middle East through multiple fundraising projects including book fairs.

Andy Plemmons represented the Northeast District, and he is the media specialist at David C. Barrow Elementary School in Clarke County.  He was nominated by his principal and enabler Dr. Ellen Sabatini.  Andy strongly believes students should help make decisions on book purchases.  He has two groups of students who meet with the vendors, preview books and help with the final order.  To help struggling readers, Andy talks to each individual to discover their interests which helps to lead them to become stronger readers and better students.

Shannon Robertson of Southeast Bulloch Middle School in Bulloch County represented the Coastal District.  She was nominated by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Fran Stephens.  One of the highlights of the media center is the weekly Book Club meeting that involves students in all grades.  Shannon worked with the sixth grade teachers to create a unit that emphasizes internet skills, research skills, internet safety, the Dewey system, and print resources.  All lessons carry over to projects in the upper grades.

The Southwest district was represented by Cheryl Youse, media specialist at Colquitt County High School.  Cheryl was nominated by her assistant principal Delano Jefferson and Gail D. Thompson, work-based learning coordinator.  To promote reading, Cheryl uses book talks, a Banned Books program, and book trailers, which have been viewed by students around the country.  Thanks to Cheryl, technology is an instrumental part of the learning environment for her students: Thinkfinity, Discovery Streaming, GALILEO, iPods, Google Earth.

Now is the time to start thinking about the K-12 media specialist who you know that should be nominated for LMSOTY.  Please review the guidelines on the GAIT web site ( or the GLMA web site ( ).  There are many outstanding media programs throughout the state.  Now more than ever it is imperative that people in other areas of education and outside of education know who is the driving force of these great programs.  Nominate an outstanding media specialist for Library Media Specialist of the Year.

Leslie Wantland,
GAMA Assistant

Stockbridge High School
1151 Old Conyers Road
Stockbridge, GA

Georgia Ed Finance Commission Updates

On a positive note, in State School Superintendent Barge’s address to COMO on Friday, he noted that he considers media specialists’ contributions to student achievement equal to that of classroom teachers and recognized that we interact with more students each day than most classroom teachers.  When the Finance Study Commission work moves to its next phase, we may want to remember these statements – and remind others!

State Education Finance Study Commission Update

The first deadline for the State Education Finance Study Commission, established by House Bill 192, was September 30, 2011. The letter sent from the co-chairs, Sen. Fran Millar and Rep. Brooks Coleman, to Gov. Deal regarding the interim recommendations of the commission is at  An executive summary of the interim recommendations, which address school nurses, professional learning, capital outlay and the 65% rule, is at  For an example of how budget and Capitol staff are approaching analysis of these issues, you might want to read the white paper on professional learning at

Also relevant to media centers is a presentation on Textbooks and Technology delivered to the commission in late August.(  Finally, Joe Martin, long-time education advocate and recent state school superintendent candidate, has created a document overviewing his suggestions for funding formula framework changes. ( These are not highly specific, but do leave media staffing at current funding.  It also alludes to flexibility rather than expenditure controls, which might not bode well for return of media materials direct funding.  (See pages 10, 16, and 30 for most critical media-related information.  Page 8 also includes an interesting statement:  “A teaching position could be filled through various forms of technology along with new combinations of employees.”)

All information on the Commission membership, activities, presentations and papers may be accessed through the Georgia DOE website at

What can you do?  Please keep your stories coming about how funding changes are impacting your ability to meet student needs.  If someone on the commission lives in or represents your district, please contact them directly as your situation affects their own family and neighbors.  (The list of commission members is on the website.)  Stay tuned and please respond when we need your advocacy support or more information.

Thanks for all you do for our students! Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns at

Nan Brown,

GLMA Advocacy Coordinator

Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year District Winners 2011-12

GLMA and GAIT (Georgia Association of Instructional Technology) co-sponsor the Georgia School Library Media Specialist of the Year award to recognize K-12 library media specialists whose services have resulted in exemplary library media programs. Each school system may select one library media specialist for this award. From those chosen for the system level award, one media specialist is chosen as the district Library Media Specialist of the Year. (Each district represents a different region of Georgia.) The state Library Media Specialist of the Year is selected from the district winners and will be announced the Georgia Council of Media Organizations conference in October 2011.

Congratulations to this year’s district winners!

Coastal Shannon Robertson Southeast Bulloch Middle Bulloch
East Angela Dallis GrovetownHigh School Columbia
Metro Susan K.S. Grigsby ElkinsPointeMiddle School Fulton
Northeast Andy Plemmons David C. Barrow Elementary Clarke
Southeast Beverly Brostek BrunswickHigh School Glynn
Southwest Cheryl Youse ColquittCountyHigh School Colquitt
South Metro Christopher R. Parker Mt.CarmelElementary School Henry

Update: GLMA Advocacy Report

We just completed a great GLMA Summer Institute at Callaway Gardens yesterday; thanks to Susan Grigsby for coordinating it all and to everyone who presented (or helped with the logistics).

During the Institute, Judy Serritella, Coordinator of Library Media Services for the Georgia DOE, gave an update on GALILEO funding. THANKS to your efforts (with those of the public and academic librarians in the state) not only was the funding maintained for this year, but some additional monies were added. ProQuest agreed to reinstate SIRS for the amount added, so all schools will have SIRS access again next year!

Again, THANKS for all the contacts you made in the “Save GALILEO” effort this winter. Now we need you to take just a moment and write another e-mail – to thank those legislators you contacted for their support of GALILEO and request their continued acknowledgment of the tremendous value of this resource. Please do contact your local legislator – who’s likely getting fewer e-mails since the General Assembly’s not in session – but also please send a similar note to the members of the House and Senate Education Committees. (I’ve listed their names and e-mail addresses at the end of this e-mail.)

The second update is on the State Education Finance Study Commission (established by HB 192), charged with evaluating education funding at the state level, which has potential for great impact on media centers. We will seek to have representation on ad hoc committees as provided in the law to provide input on funding needs for our programs. The first commission meeting will be held on June 30, 2011; the law calls for interim recommendations to be completed by September 30, 2011, and for completion of proposed legislation for interim recommendations by December 31, 2011. If you are interested and able to attend on Thursday, June 30th, please contact me or Michelle Crider ( so we can coordinate our efforts. Having a number of media specialists who make the effort during the summer to attend this initial meeting should help us in our effort to get a seat on one of the ad hoc committees, so please consider attending for some part of the day!


Nan Brown

Advocacy Chair, GLMA

Excerpts from HB 192:

20-2-331 (c) The commission may engage additional ad hoc nonvoting members as needed to address certain issues in subcommittee. This may include, but not be limited to, input from various personnel experienced in the Quality Basic Education Formula, such as counselors,? media specialists, ?.

20-2-332 (1) (d) (D) Review other areas within the QBE Act that relate to or impact school funding, such as maximum class sizes and expenditure controls, and whether local school systems should continue to be given flexibility in these areas (expenditure controls include our media materials allotments…)

Senate Appropriations Education Subcommittee Members:

Sen. Bill Heath, Chair

Sen. Tommie Williams, Vice Chair

Sen. John Bulloch

Sen. Jack Murphy

Sen. Chip Rogers

Sen. Horacena Tate

Sen. Jack Hill, Senate Appropriations Chair

Sen. Fran Millar, Senate Education Committee Chair

House Appropriations Education Subcommittee Members:

Rep. Tom Dickson, Chair

Rep. Rick Austin, Secretary

Rep. Amos Amerson

Rep. Kathy Ashe

Rep. Amy Carter

Rep. David Casas

Rep. Brooks Coleman

Rep. Jan Jones

Rep. Margaret Kaiser

Rep. Howard Maxwell

Rep. Jay Neal

Rep. Terry England, House Appropriations Chair