I hear the school year knocking on my door already. My district returns on August 8. The past two years have contributed to mixed emotions for many Nebraska school librarians. If you’re feeling a little out of sorts, you’re not alone.
The NSLA helps me get through the school year. The question I ask most often is, “What do I get? How does this organization benefit me?” Let’s look at my top four ways the NSLA gets me through the school year. If you are currently a member, I ask you to please share this with other school librarians in our state and continue supporting NSLA through your own membership. If you aren’t a member, I would love to see every school librarian and school library student benefit from their membership in the NSLA.
Exclusive online resources
The NSLA has member-exclusive online resources including informative emails, professional development opportunities, webinars, meetings, and YouTube PD playlists. These resources are only shared with NSLA members and are in addition to the free resources we offer to the public.
Virtual and in person opportunities are available for our members in the form of Zooms, a closed Facebook group, and member-only meetings. There is nothing quite like being in a room full of school librarians, sharing struggles and victories, and knowing that you are understood and supported.
Awards and scholarships
The NSLA has four awards and six scholarships available annually. Some scholarships are available twice a year. We are committed to supporting Nebraska school librarians in their professional development and pursuit of certification - and we put our organization’s money where our mouth is. $3500+ in annual scholarships are only available to members of the NSLA.
Advocacy and awareness
The NSLA has working relationships with the Nebraska Board of Education, Nebraska Department of Education, state government, American Association of School Librarians, Nebraska Library Commission, Nebraska Library Association, Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska, Nebraska State Advisory Committee, Future Ready Nebraska, Nebraska Future Ready Librarians, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Kearney, and more. Through our relationships, we work to enact real change and protect Nebraska school librarians and their patrons. We advocate for intellectual freedom and strong school library programs with quality school librarians on the local, state, and national levels. We make sure NSLA members are aware of legislation that impacts our field and can communicate with the appropriate people to make their thoughts known.
If you’re looking for the “why” of joining, I encourage you to check out our website at neschoollibrarians.org . NSLA’s blog always has fun and fresh ideas to implement in my own school library, plenty of PD links, interviews and announcements, and powerful advocacy tools. There are opportunities to get involved in committees, elections to become board members, and celebrations of those sharing our profession. Your membership in the NSLA is the gift that keeps on giving all school year long.
I hope you have the best school year, friends. Don’t be a stranger.
submitted by Mandy
This blog is a joint effort by members of the NSLA Executive Board. We hope to provide relevant information, tips and tools to help you in your journey.