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  • 25 May 2023 9:20 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Posting by: Susan Yutzey

    Congratulations, Heidi Fletcher upon receiving the Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month Award for May 2023.  Heidi is the library media specialist at Madison-Plains High School, London.

    Heidi received the award for her collaborative project with Matt Long who is a technology teacher. The Technology Ethics Research project is a 6-week long research project for an 8thgrade technology class. The project is centered around technology ethics (ex: Online Gaming, Social media, Online Mental Abuse). The project begins with learning how to pick a topic and how to do pre-research through how to present a Google Slideshow. 

    The goal is to teach students the ethical uses of technology and teaching research techniques, tips and tricks, along with properly citing their source and critically evaluate a variety of points of view (INFOhio) sources of online information. Students learn about unseen impacts that technology has on individuals. This is also an introduction to proper research and citations, in order to prepare students for high school and beyond.

    The Rosen Publishing Ohio School Librarian of the Month recognizes one school librarian a month who designs, develops, and implements a collaborative lesson plan and/or programming that empowers student learning. This award spotlights the importance of both the school library community and librarian and the pivotal role each plays in transforming learning throughout students’ K-12 education.

    OELMA is pleased to partner with Rosen Publishing for this award.  Since its establishment in 1950, Rosen has offered engaging print and digital books on a wide range of topics that are aligned with the curriculum.  Rosen is also known for its databases and interactive e-books.

    Heidi will have the opportunity to select a free set of books for the school library from Rosen Publishing Company.   She will also be recognized at the 2023 OELMA Conference.

    Consider nominating yourself or another OELMA Library Media Specialist to be considered for Rosen Ohio School Librarian of the month!  The Rosen award nomination form can be accessedunder the Professional Recognition tab. Contact Susan Yutzey ( with any questions.

    Congratulations Heidi!

  • 3 Apr 2023 5:52 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    The Awards Committee is eager to read your award nominations and celebrate your accomplishments so don’t let the deadline fly away.  Visit the Professional Recognition tab on the OELMA website and check out the entire list of awards, scholarships, and grants.  All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5.  If you were nominated and need to finish Part B and submit your photo, please do so ASAP.

    Here they are:

    OELMA Ross J. Todd Collaborative School Library Award

    OELMA Emerging Leader Award

    OELMA Tech Innovation Award

    OELMA Leadership-in-Action Award

    OELMA Literacy Leader Award

    OELMA Follett School Solutions Outstanding School Librarian Award

    OELMA Service Award for School Administrators

    OELMA Outstanding Contributor Award

    OELMA J. Allen Oakum Scholarship

    OELMA Founders Scholarship 

    OELMA/JLG Floyd Dickman Programming Grant

    OELMA READ On! Ohio Award for Children & Teens

    The Awards Committee has enjoyed bringing you these graphics each week.  The White Lotus theme (thank you Amanda Brasfield) has been fun to create and a special thank you to the members of the Awards Committee for coming up with with weekly themes.


    The Awards Committee

    Casaundra Bronner

    Gayle Brusk

    Heidi Fletcher

    Lisa Gallagher

    Cheryl Lorson

    Susan Yutzey

  • 27 Mar 2023 8:55 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    What kind of souvenirs do you bring home from a trip?  The most common souvenirs are:

    • Postcards

    • Ornaments

    • T-shirts

    • Shot Glasses

    • Tattoos

    • Sand in a Bottle

    • Fridge Magnets

    • Tea Towels

    Souvenirs are defined as “a usually small and relatively inexpensive given, kept or purchased as a reminder of a place visited, an occasion, etc.  

    The OELMA awards, like souvenirs, come in many shapes and sizes.  There are engraved plaques, engraved trophies, framed certificates, and certificates.  More than the physical tributes, the awards are reminders of an occasion in which the recipient is honored for what they have achieved in their profession.  As Angela Wojtecki states “An OELMA award is truly special because it is a testament that the work you do on a daily basis is being seen by others in the field.  It is empowering and a very special honor to receive an OELMA award as a school librarian and educator. An OELMA award means that you are recognized by your colleagues who know the “dedication and effort we put into the work we do in our libraries.”

    Receiving the OELMA Intellectual Freedom Award was incredibly important to Kristin Dages “because it recognizes the critical role that school libraries and librarians play in ensuring that diverse viewpoints and ideas are accessible to all of our students.  In a time where there is increasing pressure to censor or limit access to information, winning this award signifies a commitment to upholding the principles of intellectual freedom and providing safe and welcoming space for our students and staff to explore and engage with ideas.This award not only celebrates the important work that we do as librarians but also serves as a reminder of the ongoing need to protect our students’ access to diverse collections and promote free expression in our communities.”

    For Kate Loker, recipient of the 2022 Tech Innovation Award, it propelled her professionally into more opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and to share her passions for literacy and technology in her school community. Leading beyond the school library into the community, Lori Pringle’s leadership in bringing media literacy awareness and professional development  to educators, school library media specialists, and students will have a long lasting impact.

    Members of the Awards Committee urge you to examine the list of OELMA awards, scholarships, and grants this week and nominate yourself or a colleague for the award that is special because it is a testament to the work that all school librarians are deeply passionate about.

    Awards are due by 11:59 p.m. on April 5.


    The Awards Committee

    Casaundra Bronner

    Gayle Brusk

    Heidi Fletcher

    Lisa Gallagher

    Cheryl Lorson

    Susan Yutzey

  • 20 Mar 2023 12:54 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Ready for Spring Break? Warmer Temperatures? It’s just around the corner. But before you go to your destination’s Suite Spot, don’t forget to nominate a colleague for the Ross J. Todd Collaborative School Library Award.

    This OELMA Award honors the life and work of Dr. Todd, a professor of library and information science at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, who was recognized up until his death in 2022, as an award-winning expert on the transformative role of school libraries. The award recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school library media specialists and the school community through joint planning of a program, project, or event in support of the curriculum, using school library resources, and incorporating Ohio’s Library Guidelines for Librarians (2021).

    So, make sure you nominate a colleague for that Suite Spot of Professional Recognition before relaxing on Spring Break!

    For more information, visit the OELMA website today. Click the Professional Recognition tab to discover more about OELMA Awards and Scholarships.

    Post written by: Gayle Brusk

    OELMA Awards Committee

  • 19 Mar 2023 5:04 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Written by Karen Gedeon, Media Specialist, and Amanda Gedeon MLIS student Kent State University

    *Image from:

    Dictionaries and encyclopedias and the hot new checkout items in my libraries. Really, I’m not kidding.

    Several years ago I dismantled my reference collections (I serve two middle schools). The survivors – an encyclopedia set and some dictionaries – were moved to nonfiction instead. My thought was they would probably never actually be checked out, but students still need to learn the skills that come with using physical reference books so I hung on to them.

    Fast forward to now, March of 2023. So far this year, I have had multiple encyclopedia volumes checked out. Their circulation has been steadily increasing each year. One volume was (unfortunately) so loved that it came back covered in gum. I’m currently debating its future – the set is from 2009!

    But more surprising still are the dictionary checkouts. Sometimes two go out at a time, to different kids from different classes, and the Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary– yes, the 5-inch thick one – is by far the most popular. The English Language Arts teachers just shake their heads in disbelief.

    At first we thought it was the novelty of checking out the biggest book in the collection, but that’s not quite it. It’s a print book – a physical, tangible object instead of a search box. Kids are starting to appreciate the ability to flip between pages, easily go to exactly where they want to be and see how small pieces of information compile into a larger unit.

    What we used on a daily basis back in the day had fallen out of fashion, but now it’s making a real comeback. To tell the truth – I’m just happy that the kids are always so excited to check them out.

  • 13 Mar 2023 12:12 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Daylight Saving Time has begun which can only mean one thing. Not only is Spring Break almost here but the end of the Awards Season is coming to an end soon. So, OELMA members, before you enjoy those extra hours of sunshine and a well-deserved vacation, let’s check the professional recognition awards criteria and get all the application materials packed and submitted by March 22nd. Remember the nominee must also pack their accomplishments in order to give their nomination one last zip. Let’s Go! Our destination is a full professional recognition itinerary.

    Consider these opportunities for professional recognition: the OELMA/Follett School Solutions Outstanding School Librarian Award and the OELMA Service Award for School Administrators.  

    The OELMA/Follett School Solutions Outstanding School Librarian Award recognizes a licensed Ohio school library media specialist who has developed an exemplary school library program. An outstanding school librarian incorporates all four strands of the Ohio Library Guidelines for Librarians (2021) throughout their daily practice. Follett School Solutions, Inc. sponsors this award by providing $150 in Follett resources and OELMA provides a commemorative plaque to the recipient during the OELMA annual conference.

    The OELMA Service Award for School Administrators honors school administrators whose leadership has made a significant impact to the school library media program and services within their learning community. This award can have multiple recipients and is an excellent opportunity to acknowledge a supportive administrator.

    If you would like to know more about these and other professional recognitions, then visit the Professional Recognition tab on the OELMA website or reach out to any of the OELMA Awards Committee members. Pick an award that reflects your or a colleague’s accomplishments. Then get that nomination packed up, zipped up, and let’s go! The deadline to nominate is March 22, 2023.

    Lisa Gallagher

    Awards Committee

  • 6 Mar 2023 8:07 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Calling All First-Class Librarians:

    Are you a first-class librarian? Or do you know a librarian that delivers first-class service? OELMA has awards, scholarships, and grants to recognize and celebrate librarians that provide high-quality service to our school communities. 

    Consider nominating yourself or a colleague for the OELMA Intellectual Freedom Award that promotes the Freedom to Read. Or the OELMA Outstanding Contributor Award that recognizes the long-term contributions of librarians serving schools. 

    First-Class service librarians, what are you waiting for? Visit the OELMA website today. Click the Professional Recognition tab to discover more about OELMA awards and scholarships.

    Keep an eye out… next week the Awards Committee will focus on another OELMA award, scholarship, or grant

    Casaundra Bronner

    Awards Committee

  • 25 Feb 2023 9:51 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    The OELMA/JLG Floyd Dickman Programming Grant,  The OELMA J. Allen Oakum Scholarship, and The OELMA Founders Scholarship

    Post by: Cheryl Lorson 

    Sharing the joy of reading with our students is one of the many great highlights of being a school media specialist/librarian!  The OELMA/JLG Floyd Dickman Programming Grant honors an OELMA member who is a licensed Ohio school library media specialist who exhibits evidence of a school library program or activity that supports reading among children and/or youth and has provided a letter of support from a school administrator.  JLG will collaborate with the recipient to select $250 in award-winning books that meet the goal of the grant. 

    Additionally, OELMA offers two distinct scholarships - The OELMA J. Allen Oakum Scholarship and the OELMA Founders Scholarship.  Those who have the opportunity to apply for the scholarships would be an Ohio resident enrolled in an accredited library school program who is pursuing licensure in school library/media.  These scholarships are intended to help defray educational costs for future library media specialists as they complete their studies. The OELMA J. Allen Oakum Scholarship recipient receives a $500 stipend and the OELMA Founders Scholarship recipient receives up to a $1000 stipend.

    Would you like to know more about these and other professional recognitions?  Further information including the applications may be found at the awards pages. All application materials are to be submitted to OELMA using the online application form by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.  If you have any questions, please reach out to any of the OELMA Awards Committee members. 

  • 21 Feb 2023 1:50 PM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Don’t miss the boat! Nominate a school librarian for an OELMA award.  Today’s announcement focuses on three awards - the OELMA Emerging Leader Award, the OELMA Tech Innovation Award, and the OELMA Leadership-in-Action Award.  Professional recognition in your field is more important than ever because it gives you credibility which helps build trust with the people that you work with in your building, your district, your community.

    Lori Pringle received the 2022 Emerging Leader Award.  Here is what she shared:

    It was an honor to be a 2022 recipient of the Emerging Leadership Award. “I am grateful to be recognized for leading beyond the library to positively impact student achievement through classroom collaboration, professional development, and media literacy awareness. It is exciting to see Ohio educators and library media specialists striving to achieve PBS Media Literacy Educator Certification as a result of my leadership.” 

    You can find out more about OELMA awards by clicking on the Professional Recognition tab on the website.  But in a nutshell, here is what you need to know about the Emerging Leader, Leadership-in-Action, and Tech Innovation awards.

    The OELMA Emerging Leader Award recognizes members who have recently assumed an OELMA leadership role for the first time.  The Emerging Leader Award honors members who demonstrate leadership potential and encourages members to actively participate in the Association.

    Multiple recipients may receive the OELMA Emerging Leader Award. The applicant must be a current OELMA member and effectively fulfill an OELMA leadership role for the first time within the last five years.  Have you served as a member or chairperson of an OELMA committee or know an OELMA member who has?  Then nominate yourself or a colleague between now and March 22, 2023.

    The OELMA Tech Innovation Award honors a licensed school library media specialist who uses technology as a tool for learning and collaborates to promote the integration of technology throughout the curriculum. The applicant must be a current OELMA member who practices a commitment to the implementation of innovative uses for technology in the classroom or professional development.  Have you designed an innovative lesson or PD that integrates technology or know an OELMA member who has?  Then don’t miss the boat, nominate yourself or a colleague between now and March 22, 2023.

    The OELMA Leadership-in-Action Award recognizes an Ohio school library media specialist who pursues active leadership roles in their school district, in OELMA, in a national professional organization such as ALA, AASL. The applicant must be an OELMA member for the previous three years and have successfully completed at least one Association leadership role and be currently serving in a leadership role in their school district, on an OELMA committee, and/or in a national professional organization. Are you committed to leadership in the school library profession or know an OELMA member who is? Then hop on board and nominate yourself or a colleague now!

    Please check out the awards pages and stay tuned for awards and scholarship updates throughout February and March!

  • 11 Feb 2023 11:56 AM | Angela Wojtecki (Administrator)

    Dear Ohio School Librarians:

    OELMA is pleased to announce that the READ On! Ohio Award for Children & Teens is now open for nominations.  The READ On! Is a special award because it honors K-12 students who are enthusiastic readers and enjoy being in the school library and/or the public library using its many services.

    Do you know of a student who visits the school library and exhibits two of the following?

    ·         Demonstrates an enthusiasm for reading

    ·         Exhibits an enthusiasm for sharing books with others

    ·         Uses books for a variety of purposes

    ·         Reads independently on a voluntary basis

    ·         Uses the school and/or public library frequently

    Then nominate them using theREAD On! Ohio application form found on the OELMA website by March 22, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.  Each nominator is asked to write a 250-word rationale that speaks to at least two of the following criteria: 1) demonstrates an enthusiasm for reading; 2) exhibits an enthusiasm of sharing books with others; 3) uses books for a variety of purposes; 4) reads independently on a voluntary basis; 5) uses the school library and/or public library frequently.

    The OELMA Awards Committee will select up to sixteen recipients, according to grade band (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) and region (Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, and Southeast).  A break down of counties may be found in theOELMA READ On! Ohio Award description. Recipients of the award each receive a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble, a commemorative certificate, and is invited to the OELMA Annual Conference Award celebration in early October. 

    The nominator of each winning nominee will be notified by email about their nominee’s selection for the award. The nominator is expected to contact the winning nominee with the award selection results.

    We have included a flyer, press release, and graphics that you can post OR feel free to make your own to promote the award to your school community.  Since the READ On! Ohio Award is now open for nomination by public library staff, please reach out to your public library to promote the award.  The OELMA Awards Committee has made a resource folder for public library staff, too.

     If you have any questions, please reach out to the Director of OELMA Communications, Amanda Brasfield.  Her email is or to the OELMA Awards Committee.

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