Category Archives: Recognition

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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2711 Irvin Way, Suite 111
Decatur, GA 30030

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Volunteer Gifts!

Volunteer Gifts! (and clerks, of course!)It’s a challenge every year, isn’t it?  And gift giving is such a minefield these days.  How much to spend?  What if there’s no money?  Dietary restrictions? What holidays are they cool with?

Well I have some answers for you, my friends!  Of course, most of these are not my own.  I’ve been collecting them for years from other blogs, teachers, media folks, and online comments.

Let me just start by saying, personally, I like things that go away.  Baked goods and gift cards.  None of us need anymore candles, tree ornaments or candy-filled mugs.  But that’s just me.  Here we go:

Some people have…

…bought a beach bag with a towel, sunscreen, water bottles, and beach toys.

…bought an ice cream bowl, scoop, and gift card to ice cream place.

…bought a bowl, microwave popcorn, candy, soda, and video rental gift card.

…made a gift basket out of BBQ items.

…made a small gift basket with pen, memo pad and other small supplies.

…bought a set of patio dishes and glasses.
…gave a nice notecard set.

…bought a nice beach towel.

…gave a nice candle.

…gave some bath stuff.

…gave a potted or hanging plant or flowers.

…gave a gift card. (One teacher said they gave a MC/Visa gift card so the volunteer could use it as they pleased).

…got a yummy type of chocolate…Ghiraldi Peppermint Bark this year and attach a bookstore gift card

…baked them some pumpkin bread and/or Starbucks gift cards.

…had a luncheon and then give a nice ornament or poinsettia.  At the end of the year, we do a breakfast and another small gift like soap or stationery.  We also give them a book & treat bag during each book fair.

…got fleece throws at Kohls (I think they were $4 with my coupon) and I was going to attach some homemade chocolates and a note for them to use this to snuggle up with a good book this holiday season.  Last year I found winter themed to go coffee cups and put in packets of hot chocolate in them plus some homemade chocolates.

…bought them pedicures. They loved it!

…gave an ornament with their child’s picture in it.  The volunteers love it.  For those volunteers that do not celebrate Christmas I just put their child’s picture in a non-holiday frame.

…had a good friend who makes key chains, wristlets, and lanyards and all of the proceeds go to a charity.  I am ordering key chains for all of my aides, a wristlet for teachers who are always good “customers” and will probably order lanyards next semester for end of the year gifts.

…purchased tree ornaments from Pier One and they loved them!

…usually hit Bath & Body Works for all their travel sized items.  This year, I’ve done the socks infused with shea butter and an anti-bacterial lotion.  The most important part is presentation.  You don’t have to spend a lot, just make sure you wrap in cute cellophane and maybe throw some candy in there, too.  They always love it!

..purchased gift certificates from  to local establishments.  $25 denominations only cost $2 each.

…moved away from the Christmas gift and give them a token of our appreciation towards the end of the year.  I try to write personal notes throughout the year to let them know how much I appreciate them.

…make a few homemade goodies and write a nice thank-you note.

…took NEW books that I just ordered and  before I circulate them, I let the volunteers children come by and look at them and select a book to “dedicate” to their mom.  I make a dedication page and put it in the book which we cover with clear contact paper.  I then let the child be the first one to check it out when it is ready.  I also print a thank you card with a picture of the cover of the dedicated book.

…buy these lovely ladies gift cards out of my own pocket and am happy to do it.  But if I had more than my current 3 or 4 volunteers, I’d just do a whole lot more baking.  I also brought in a coffee maker last year and keep that stocked with good coffee and creamer and such out of my own pocket.  Because they are awesome.

More ideas?  Leave them in the comments!

Jim Randolph
Partee Elementary
Snellville, GA

Appreciation Shown

I don’t know how it is in your district, but in my large one we have two district “Media Conferences” at the head office twice a year.  The second one was this past Thursday and I wanted to tell you about it because while I’m sure we’re not perfect, it was a good meeting and shows me how much librarians are supported here.

First off, we celebrated some truly amazing school librarians.  The first was the district’s Middle School Teacher of the Year who just happens to be a fantastic school librarian.  She was thoroughly embarrassed by the kind words and videos and applause.  Too bad for her, because she got plenty of all three.  Then we did the same for a woman retiring after many years as not only a school librarian, but also a trainer and program manager of us all in the district office.  It was quite moving and she more than deserved the standing ovation.

The Teacher of the Year’s principal spoke to us, a rare treat to have an administrator take part of her day (bearing cake!) to show her appreciation and admiration of the hard work of school librarians.  She said that as a scaredy-cat first year teacher umpty-ump years ago, it was her school’s librarian who she carefully watched to learn how to really teach.  So she’d always known librarians are teachers as well and was happy our district was known for recognizing the hard work of our “media specialists.”  I hope she talks like this to all of her administrator colleagues!

The next speaker was a professor from one of the two big state schools with great school librarian training programs (GSU & UGA, although there may be more).  She was funny and engaging and had us all in the palm of her hand with her delightful Prezi-backed presentation, highlighting our influence in literacy work, with plenty of jokes thrown in for good measure.

It was a great day, allowing me the chance to talk to all of my mentors, official and unofficial.  I also enjoyed the positive comments on my “You’re Not a Luddite” post which had recently been reprinted in the state “Media Matters” newsletter.

When I looked at my calendar earlier in the week and realized I had to spend a day away from my library, I was grumpy.  I have classes!  I have a book fair going on!  I can’t possibly!  But the kind of learning as well as appreciation and inspiration I took from the meeting were totally worth it.

Jim Randolph
Partee Elementary
Snellville, GA

Two reasons to celebrate one of Georgia’s own!

Not only was Buffy Hamilton named School Library Media Specialist of the year at this year’s COMO conference, she has also been selected as one of the National School Board Association’s Technology Learning Network “20 to Watch.” She’s the only school librarian on that list. It’s great to be honored by our peers but it’s also nice to see our professional contributions recognized by an organization like the NSBA.

Way to go Buffy!!!

Judi Repman

Georgia Southern University


Library Media Program Recognition

If you haven’t had a chance to attend one of the webinars presented at the TL Virtual Café, , I highly recommend them. I was able to attend the one March 1 on School Library Web Presence with about 160 others. The next one, What It Means to be a Change Agent in Educational Technology, will be April 5 at 8:00 PM. The previous sessions are archived.

The webinar on web presence provoked my thinking about not just my school library’s presence online, but how others perceive it overall as a total school library program. One of the best measurements for Georgia school libraries is the Library Media Program Rubric available at the Exemplary Library Media Recognition Program. Even if you are not applying for the award, the comprehensive rubric is a good evaluation tool to use to see how your program measures against the best in the state. Most administrators are proud when a program in their school is recognized, so take this rubric to your next meeting and discuss how you want to build an exemplary library media program.

Recognition of your program is a great way to create a positive buzz and can open doors to other opportunities for the expansion of your school library media program. GLMA sponsors the Mable Wyche Underwood Grant doc | pdf. The application deadline is May 15, 2010. Information can be found at or . The Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year is another recognition program, sponsored by GLMA and GAIT, which can lead to other opportunities.  System applications are due by April 1, 2010.

A national award you may want to consider is the ISTE SIG Media Specialist Technology Innovation Award. Begin gathering information on the qualifications to apply next year if you don’t feel you are ready yet. For information about the award and to apply click here: SIGMS Award. Nominations close on March 31, 2010. My program was awarded this recognition in 2008 and it opened up many opportunities for us not only in the school with collaboration with other teachers but in the community as well with some technology grants.

Remember that how you are perceived by students, teachers and administrators can be enhanced by taking part in these recognition programs. Using these rubrics and applications to improve your program can be helpful in these unstable times.  Improving some aspect of your library media program each year should be one of your main objectives.

Cawood Cornelius

Sonoraville High School

Calhoun, GA