New year, new times…

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New year, new times…

Greetings! I hope you have had a great summer (or at least as great as possible in these weird times) and had some time to rest and recharge for this new 2020/2021 school year.

First… as it is happening tonight, we are having our first #KyLChat of the school year! This one was organized in collaboration with KASL, and the questions were ones that you all sent in. THE Sam Northern, current KASL president, will be moderating. Please try to make it if you can. Here are the questions ahead of time so you can prepare a few awesome things to share. It’s at 8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central.

1. How can school libraries support students during distance learning? 
2. How can schools provide students access to books (both electronically and in-print)?
3. Describe your book quarantine set-up.
4. How do you plan to engage students in "maker" activities?
5. How are you supporting student learning IN the school library? How are you supporting student learning OUTSIDE of the library (e.g., in the classroom)?
6. Share what your school library is doing to serve teachers and students during pandemic learning conditions. 
7. What is something you want to try this year or learn more about?

It is simple to join this live Twitter chat. Just click on this Twitter search, read, and respond, and repeat. Be sure to include #KyLChat in your answers and interactions.


We have also been busy with our first-ever Kentucky Academic Standards for Library Media. Here is a presentation that gives an overview of the process so far. They had their first reading by the Kentucky Board of Education in their last regular meeting. There will be a second reading at the October KBE meeting, and then they will go on to the Legislative Research Council. You can view the draft of the standards using this link.

COVID-19 Considerations

I want to thank the Kentucky Department of Education and my Digital Learning Team in the Office of Education Technology for helping get specific considerations published for school libraries and librarians. You can find that document here or on the KDE COVID-19 Reopening Resources page.

KDE COVID-19 Considerations

The Kentucky Association of School Librarians also created an awesome document full of helpful resources and links to help you with the start of your school year.

KASL COVID-19 Document Image

You can also download and print KASL-themed signage. Click here for the Google Drive folder.

Digital Strategies…

Your Digital Learning Team within the Office of Education Technology at KDE has a workshop-like set of resources, that is in development. Do keep in mind that library media specialists are an integral part of the third strategy, People. This site may be of benefit to you as you work with other leaders in your school and district to make this year a success.

“A critical component of any successful digital learning initiative is the assembled team of support. Digital leadership and technical support is a must. Successful schools and districts are accelerating supports provided by Digital Learning Coaches (DLC) and Library Media Specialists (LMS). Districts with these support structures in place are ready to collaboratively support digital learning strategies and workflows across grade levels, content areas and job classifications.”

4 Digital Strategies Logo

Help and Support…

I will have more things for you soon, but SHEW, this is plenty for now! This is obviously not a normal “back-to-school” for anyone. Stay positive, flexible, and please… if you need help, have questions, or just need somebody to bounce ideas off of, reach out to me, or anyone in our great Kentucky library leader PLN.

James Allen, Statewide School Library Lead/Digital Learning Coach
Office of Education Technology
Kentucky Department of Education
300 Sower Blvd. – 4th floor
Frankfort, KY 40601

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