The President's Page

A Message From LASL's President Charlene Picheloup


LASL President’s Message

March 17, 2009
Wow! What a conference! LASL sponsored 24 programs; there were so many we really had to make choices. Of course, this could not have been possible without the hard work of Elizabeth Dumas, Annie Miers, Phyllis Heroy and Cathy Seal. Thanks for your commitment.
My compliments go out to Annie Miers for inviting Stephanie Tolan as our speaker for the LASL Author Luncheon. She was such an interesting individual and her speech was so thought provoking.
Thanks to you, Mrs. Idella Washington and your committee’s work on the corrections and changes to the LASL Constitution, By Laws and Official Policies; the member ship approved the changes. We are one step closer to being aligned with LLA.
Congratulations to Janet Lathrop for being selected as the recipient of the LASL School Library Media Specialist award. You are a deserving educator, and you demonstrated it through the many unique ways you energize your students and guide your faculty. Your fantastic workshop presentation on Research takes T.A.L.E.N.T. clearly exemplifies your dedication.
Also, congratulations to our newly elected second vice-president, Paula Clemmons, she is anxious and ready to serve.
Only one thing I can say after this LLA annual conference--what a great professional experience!

Charlene Picheloup
LASL President 2008-2009

LASL President’s Message – January 5, 2009

Dear Friends and Collegues,
Many of us, hopefully, have recovered from the personal losses of 2008.
No one ever dreamed we would have to deal with Hurricanes Gustav and Ike so soon after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. However, the new year of 2009 holds a promise that things will be much better.
Today, people everywhere are making their New Year’s resolutions. One of my resolutions this year is to continue the mission that we started almost seven months ago – to make a difference.

Together, we made changes in 2008, and with your help, we will continue to pursue important priorities in 2009 for further strengthening our profession and developing our impact to make Louisiana the best place in the world to educate young minds.

I wish to commend Meb Norton , Library Media Specialist at Country Day School in Metairie, who presented members of LLA and LASL the opportunity to meet and speak with Laurie Halse Anderson. Anderson was in New Orleans promoting her new book, Chains, which was a National Book Award finalist. The program was free and everyone received a free copy of her book! Things can’t get much better than that.

Our committee members have been hard at work.
I wish to thank Elizabeth Dumas, Mrs. Phyllis Heroy, Cathy Seal, Jan McGee and Peggy Wheelis for seeking worthwhile programs to be presented at LLA in March. Job well done, ladies! Look for the conference program to plan your schedule and get the most from this event.

We will continue our work--to improve our
professional organization by expanding programs and giving members more information and choices at our conferences. Plans are all ready underway for LASL Midwinter Conference in January 2010 at LSU—Alexandria. It will be a great one!

I hope you will join me this year in our journey together to make lasting and positive changes in our state. We need your help.– as we embark on a new year - to ensure we finish the job we started.

If student achievement is the bottom line, TOGETHER~~WE make a DIFFERENCE!!

Charlene Picheloup

LASL President 2008-2009

August 25, 2008

Thank you for allowing me to serve as President of LASL this year. I am honored and I hope that you are as excited about the progress that LASL continues to make in the areas of reading, literacy, information literacy as well as professional development. This year’s upcoming events and projects will serve to broaden the knowledge and experience of many librarians across our state. Library media specialists throughout the state have the opportunity to attend LALAMP in different regions and the LLA Conference in March in Baton Rouge. We are also actively planning our LASL Mid Winter conference for 2010. Many good things are ahead of us.

Get your tickets to hear…Stephanie Tolan, author of Surviving the Applewhites, the speaker at the LASL Author Luncheon at 2009 LLA Conference in Baton Rouge. Her website can be found online:
As the school library media program continues to be a vital component to the growth and success of academic achievement across the state, I am thrilled to announce that LASL will combine our efforts with others on three vital projects.

First, LASL received a letter from State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek in support of his renewed emphasis in the areas of reading. As instructional partners with classroom teachers, we dedicate our expertise and service to assist in promoting literacy and reading. Dr. Kerry Laster, from the DOE, would like to partner with LASL on four items for the Louisiana Literacy Foundation:
suggested reading titles, tips for parents, brochure for parents, and suggested links to websites. Our Louisiana Literacy “project” committee is presently being formed to address, gather and complete information for these items with publication in the spring of 2009.

Secondly, as an undertaking with the
Louisiana chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Academic Section of LLA, we will collaborate to produce a mutual conference focusing on a K-20 Information Literacy Initiative for Louisiana. These endeavors will benefit Louisiana greatly! Volunteer to become a part.

Thirdly, the
21st Century Library Learning Standards were released at the AASL conference in Reno, during Fall 2007 conference. A copy has been sent to a Louisiana State Department of Education contact person so that the publication Guidelines for Library Media Programs in Louisiana Schools and the Louisiana Information Literacy Model for Lifelong Learning can be updated to reflect the new learning standards. LASL will assist in this update.

The success of the LASL 2.0 wiki site continues and proves to be a positive tool for many SLMS.
Be sure to check the other links on our LASL 2.0 wiki site. This website is designed as a tool to discuss current issues and hopefully share solutions. Use this wiki to seek answers from those who may have had similar experiences.

Additionally, the program committee is now looking for presenters for this year’s LLA Conference in Baton Rouge. Make plans to submit a Program Proposal so that you may share your success with others.

If student achievement is the bottom line, TOGETHER~~WE make a DIFFERENCE!!

Have a wonderful school year!
Charlene Picheloup

LASL President 2008-2009

Messages from Dr Peggy Wheelis, Past President of LASL

May 2008
As I reflect on the 2007-2008 year for LASL, I feel that we have grown professionally as individuals and as a group from the professional development experiences during Midwinter Conference in January and LLA’s state conference in March. All the committees have been very dedicated and active this year. We are fortunate to have such a large active membership that embraces the desire to be a vital part of the school’s educational team.
Thanks to everyone who gave endless hours in preparing for our 2008 Midwinter Conference. Our final financial report shows that we netted $5,472.95 from this one-day conference. Pat yourselves on the back for a job well-done. Annie Miers and Elizabeth Dumas have compiled an awesome notebook of information from the conference so that when the planning committee starts work on the 2010 conference, we won’t have to reinvent the wheel!
During the state LLA conference held in Shreveport in March, LASL sponsored and/or co-sponsored over 20 sessions, which is more than we have been able to offer in quite some time. Charlene Picheloup worked diligently to schedule Donald Crews for our LASL luncheon which was attended by many. Thanks to all the presenters who spent numerous hours creating awesome sessions for us to attend. We are fortunate to have library media specialists with the level of expertise that we have in our state and that they are so willing to share their knowledge with everyone!
My wish is that each and everyone will make a commitment to continue to be involved at the state level so that our unified voice may be heard. I mailed a letter to Superintendent Pastorek on behalf of LASL stating our support to his emphasis of literacy education throughout the state. The school library media program is a vital component to the growth and success of academic achievement across the state as well as graduating students who will continue to be lifelong learners.
Please contact our incoming president, Charlene Picheloup to offer your assistance to her during the next year by serving on a committee. If you have never served on a committee, take the step to be involved. You will not regret the opportunity to work side-by-side awesome library media specialists from around the state! You may contact Charlene at her home number 337-369-6206 or by email at I know she will appreciate your support.
Thanks again for a wonderful year and the awesome opportunity to serve as your president. I have only helped to gently lead our group, you have done all the work!

February, 2008

Thanks to everyone who spent Saturday, January 26th with us in Alex at our Midwinter Conference. Many Library Media Specialists, teacher, administrators, and guests throughout the state attended the 2008 LASL Midwinter Conference. Evaluations and comments from attendees confirm that the day of focused professional development was a tremendous success!
Many thanks go to LSU-A for hosting our conference, especially Debra Rollins and Heather Bandy. The location and facilities proved to be a special match for our needs. Thanks to the superb presentations held throughout the day by highly qualified presenters from across the state and beyond. Annie Miers and Phyllis Heroy with the help of Elizabeth Dumas and Catherine Brooks preformed miracles getting such a lineup of programs! It was hard to choose which session to attend! Thanks to our vendors for taking time out of their busy schedules to display the newest products at our conference. Linda Holmes and Janet Lathrop did a great job scheduling vendors! Our registration numbers are not finalized but Charlene Picheloupe and her committee did a great job getting everyone registered. Thanks to Beverly Laughlin for handling the money for us! Norvella Williams and Carolyn Shine with their Hospitality Committee made sure everyone had great directions for quickly getting around at the conference. Remember the handouts that were provided to us electronically are still on this website available for your use.

Another great opportunity for professional development is just around the corner – our state LLA Conference in Shreveport on March 4-6. I hope you have registered by now and already make plans to attend many of the 18 sessions sponsored by LASL including the Author Luncheon featuring Donald Crews as well as the School Tour. Having the opportunity to tour other school library facilities and hear about their successful programming is an added bonus! We are very fortunate this year to have such a large number of LASL sessions available to us. Please take advantage of this opportunity especially since the location is so close!
It is hard to imagine that the year is just about over! Testing is upon us and the year quickly slips away! As you reflect on your year, please make a commitment to become more involved in your professional organizations. Charlene Picheloupe, as the incoming President will need everyone’s support to help LASL continue to grow and become a vital component of professional development for our state. Please consider becoming involved in one of the many LASL committees and email Charlene at or that you would like to serve next year as a part of that committee. You will be surprised at your own personal growth that occurs from being involved with your professional organizations.

November 2007

Dear School Librarians,
I am writing this on the plane flight home from the 2007 AASL Conference in Reno. This was my first time to attend AASL, but I assure you it won’t be my last. Please mark your calendars now to attend the 2009 AASL Conference in Charlotte N.C. on Nov. 5-8. To be immersed in library media content with 4000-5000 librarians is awesome. I visited with conference attendees from all over the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico. The unifying factor was that we all struggle to be an integral part of the classroom instruction and we all seek to equip our students with life-long skills to be efficient and effective users of information – information literate. How we go about achieving this goal may vary region to region.

Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind and an expert on innovation, competition, and the changing world of work was the keynote speaker for the Opening General Session. He said we need to prepare students for their future, not our past. Brain-based research has enlightened educators about how our brain functions. The left side of the brain is very analytical and logical which is used for such tasks as setting up a spreadsheet or developing abilities to pass the SAT. The right side of the brain is for functions such as artistic reasoning, empathy, and emotional connections. Now, it is not enough that students develop just the logical side of the brain, but right brain skills are also needed to meet the demands of the current work force. Pink said that we are no longer concerned about accessing information – we are beyond that point. Now we seek to become effective users – effective in solving our questions now and also the skills to solve information questions in the future.

AASL’s new Standards for the 21st Century Learner was introduced at the conference. Hopefully, these standards will provide a foundation for a strong library media program in every school where our students will research expertly, think critically, problem-solve well, read enthusiastically and use information ethically. Our students will succeed. A break-out session suggested ideas for curricular integration in an effort to address school-wide implementation of the new standards. (The new standards can be found on the AASL website.)

One session addressed the importance of our voice being heard in support of the SKILLS Act which could possibly have a major impact on our jobs, as well as seeing that libraries are provided for the students in every school. Individually, we have a very small voice, but by uniting and everyone calling state leaders asking for support of this act, we can make an impact.
An array of break-out sessions offered information on such topics as book challenges, graphic novels, empowering boys to read, collaboration, assessment, high-tech tools for the library, literacy and poverty, virtual author programs, Web 2.0 tools, audiobooks, connecting with parents, podcasting, digital photography, principal support, online learning, 21st century LMC facilities, Big6, Social Media, weeding, fantasy and science fiction, and the list goes on and on. It was very hard to select which session to attend because there were so many good ones. Omar Wasow, co-founder of and a respected technology analyst, was the keynote speaker at the closing general session on Saturday. He stressed the importance of doing well what librarians are known for – teaching literacy skills to students so they become life long learners.

Please realize that you are not alone. Even though you may have no one at your school site who understands your day to day challenges, there are many school librarians across the nation who do understand. Become involved in professional organizations so our unified voice can be heard to make the necessary changes we need in the schools.

Don’t forget to register for 2008 Midwinter Conference to be held at LSU-A on January 28th. Many people are working diligently behind the scenes now to be sure this will be an awesome day of professional development. We still need you to send in program proposals! This is a great time to share all the wonderful things you are doing in your library with others around the state. Invite your fellow teachers and principal to attend Midwinter with you.
Happy Thanksgiving,

Dr. Peggy Wheelis
LASL President

September 3, 2007
Thank you for allowing me to serve as President of LASL this year. I hope that you are as excited as I am about this year’s professional development opportunities. Library media specialists throughout the state have the opportunity to attend not only LALAMP, the state LLA Conference, but also LASL Midwinter Conference. The logo for the state conference is “Louisiana Libraries Designing the Future.” Keeping a focus similar to the state theme, the LASL Midwinter Conference theme is “School Libraries 2.0: Doorways to the Future.”

While reading about School Library 2.0, these are some of the comments made about our school libraries: on the front lines of change, social Web tools, redefining how we connect with people and content, transforming the nature of knowledge and information, fast-moving technological change. It is very obvious that if the school library media center is to remain an integral component of the school’s academic success during this era of school accountability, our school libraries will experience transformation. We are all entering, with our students, a new library media center environment and world – all entering this doorway to the future. Communication and networking among librarians will help make this transition easier. The purpose of our LASL 2.0 wiki website - one of this year’s projects – is to strengthen the channels of communication and become a valuable resource to the school librarians in our state.

Please plan to take advantage of the opportunity to attend Midwinter Conference on Saturday, January 26th. The program committee is now looking for presenters for this conference. Many of you are doing awesome jobs in your schools and need to share with others around the state. Make plans to submit a Program Proposal so that you may share your successes with others.

Be sure to check out the other links on our LASL 2.0 wiki site. This website is a tool for you to discuss current issues and hopefully share solutions. Often the school library media specialist feels isolated because no one else on campus wears the many “hats” that the SLMS wears. As a program administrator, information navigator, technology facilitator, collaborative teacher/learner and school leader you encounter day to day problems that are specific to your situation. Utilize this wiki to seek answers from those who have gone through the doorway before you. Experience is the best teacher and all of us should be willing to share our lessons with others.

Have a wonderful school year!