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A Look Back at 2014 – With Thanks and Appreciation

As outgoing president of OELMA, I wish to say thank you to all library media specialists across the Buckeye state.  Serving as president for two years has been a learning experience.  The journey  created some opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.  I undertook some things that took me way out of my comfort zone, as many of you know, but I was able to do it because of the support I received from so many library media specialists across the state – whether it was through personal e-mails, letters, and phone calls.  Despite the State Board of Education outcome that will be decided in March, we had many triumphs this year and I would like to call your attention to those.  With special thanks to Joanne McNally, Susie Ridgeway, Brandi Young for testifying before the State Board of Education last March – it took guts.  Thank you to Liz Deskins for attending State Board of Education meetings in March and July.  Sarah Thornbery who rallied her parents and as a result some testified at the November public hearing. Dyann Taylor, ES/MS library media specialist for Columbus City Schools, testified before the State Board of Education on December 8, 2014.  During her public testimony, Dyann remarked to the SBOE members – “The reasoning that you have suggested for rescinding this rule,” said Taylor, “is that it would give district boards of education more flexibility in providing services for the students in their district. I would argue that you are correct-it would give districts more flexibility to cut all of the programs included in [the standards]”  (

The Information Literacy Awareness Campaign that received national recognition and enabled OELMA to further its conversations with Professor Sharon Weiner, Vice President of NAMLE – Ellen Williams, Sue Subel, and Michele Kuhar for their letters to the editor and to Kathy Fredrick and Sue Subel who helped compose the letter templates.  To the OELMA Conference Committee, Angela Wojtecki (chair), thank you for a terrific conference filled with lots of new ideas.

Special thanks to Diane Christensen , library media specialist at Sheridan High School in Thornville, who met with State Board of Education member Stephanie Dodd on September 18, 2014, while Dodd and State Superintendent Richard Ross visited Sheridan High School. Diane found Dodd to be very receptive as she shared with Dodd the importance of libraries, the changing and yet vitalrole of library media specialist and the precarious position we find the whole structure.  Thanks to Diane, we now have an opening to invite our State Board of Education members to our schools and to our EduCons so that they can see firsthand what a licensed library media specialist does – and it’s not sitting behind a desk checking out books! 

The Model Curriculum of Ohio includes information, media and technology literacies.  Digital citizenship as part of those literacies is integral to what library media specialists do every day through our work with children, teachers, and administrators.  So a special thanks to Lori Pringle, East Holmes Local Schools, for devising a GoogleForm entitled “Online Safety Book List and Resources” that will enable library media specialists to submit the titles of books, videos and other resources.  It is a shared resource that all Ohio library media specialists can build together and use with teachers and administrators.  Here is the link

We have much to be thankful for as we enter 2015.  With heartfelt thanks to all Ohio library media specialists, I look forward to our continued journey.