School Library Month 2011

Create Your Own Story

SLM Logo

What is School Library Month?

Professional Development During SLM

Events and Activities


What is School Library Month?   

School Library Month (SLM) is the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career.

The 2011 theme is "Create Your Own Story." This year, AASL will help school librarians tell their stories and advocate for the value their school library program brings to their school and local community.

This year, AASL observes its 60th Anniversary.  Read about the history of School Library Month and download SLM proclamation templates.

Professional Development During SLM       

How to Create Strategic Stories to Gain Support for your Library

The single-most-important skill for librarians is the ability to share the library's story in a compelling way so people want to help you succeed. These complimentary webinars help you significantly improve your ability to "tell your story" and win support from parents, government officials, administrators, and other stakeholders. Appropriate for all types of libraries and information services, this interactive workshop includes an overview of techniques; how to tell your library's story using the "Three-Act Storytelling Method”; tips, tricks and techniques.

Truth. Heart. Sincerity. There’s a lot of hype about the power of stories. I’ve even contributed to the hype in enticing you to attend this workshop. But the true secret to any story is not the how you tell a story but what that story makes your listener feel. And that’s where it gets tricky because no one likes you messing with their feelings. So when people ask me about the magic behind stories I tell them: truth, heart and sincerity. This workshop will teach you the skills needed to create a compelling story but in order to have success with those skills you must reach within yourself and find those stories that matter to you. You must always keep it real and resist the urge to paint a pretty picture because in the end the truth sacrifice will damage your relationship with those who hear your story. And most of all, you will need to be sincere. When you apply those three elements to your story, your listeners will walk away with the faith to follow you. And that is the true magic of storytelling. 

Download the Message Box and Tips PDF Icon

    Nancy Dowd is the Director of Marketing for the New Jersey State Library where she incorporates her career experiences as an editor, writer, presenter and marketer to produce effective and replicable marketing strategies for libraries. She is the author of ALAs best selling book, Bite-Sized Marketing, Realistic Solution for Overworked Librarians and The M Word blog.

    Nancy Dowd

    A popular speaker, Nancy has spoken around the world helping libraries improve their marketing and advocacy efforts. Her statewide marketing campaign, Tell Us Your Story, was one of six campaigns awarded the 2010 John Cotton Dana Award.

    Advocating for Federal School Library Legislation   

    March 30, 5:00 - 6:00 pm Eastern
    Presenter: Stephanie Vance

    Stephanie VanceThe current federal budget environment offers challenges – and, believe it or not, opportunities – for school librarians. You may have heard about the many proposed cuts to school library programs as well as the upcoming ESEA reauthorization (also known as the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind). At the same time, members of Congress and their staff are looking for positive stories from their district, particularly on education and economic issues. Fortunately, school librarians have a tremendous opportunity to tell a story that will matter to legislators. The role you play in preparing America’s youth for 21st century jobs, promoting quality of life and economic development and improving literacy in communities around the country must be understood. Attend this webinar to understand how you can get legislators to listen up and, more important, agree with you on school library policy and funding issues.

    Storytelling Podcasts   

    Hear stories from your peers on how they successfully worked with different stakeholder groups.

    Maribel Castro, Susi Parks Grissom, and Dr. Chris Salerno tell their story of collaboration with the Texas PTA.

    Additional Information:
    Resources for School Librarians & Parent Partnerships

    North Elementary Principal, Vince Barnes, and North Elementary School Librarian, Carl Harvey, tell the story of their collaboration.

    Marilyn Rothberg, 2010 Collaborative School Library Award winner, and fellow teacher Jenelle Watson, share how collaboration works at General Wayne Elementary in Malvern, PA.

    Events and Activities   

    Writing Contests for Teens   

    AASL and,External Link Icon a free online community for teens to create, discover, and share new reading and writing, celebrate School Library Month by presenting four writing contests for teens. In honor of this year's theme "Create Your Own Story," Figment invites students 13 and up to participate in story writing contests to be judged by some of the YA literature's most exciting authors - Alyson Noel, Lauren Oliver, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Gayle Forman.

    Figment LogoEach week in April a new contest prompt in a different genre of creative fiction will be announced. Figment users will vote to select the finalists and then that week's guest author judge will select the winner. Winners of each weekly contest will receive autographed books from that week's judge and one grand prize winner will receive a Kindle. All finalists and winners will be featured on the Figment and AASL websites.

    Week One

    Congratulations to Figment site user Cesia Kloudsmouth whose story The Square Root of Negative One was chosen by Gayle Forman as the first winner of the AASL and student writing contest! A list of all the finalists and their entries can be found on Figment's contest page.
    Gayle Forman

    Week Two

    Congratulations to Figment site user Eliza M. Yeager whose story The Man of My Dreams was chosen by Alyson Noel as the winner of the week two romance story writing contest! A list of all the finalists and their entries can be found on Figment's contest page.

     Alyson Noel

    Week Three

    Congratulations to Figment site user Tia Richardson whose story The Last Touch was chosen by Lauren Oliver as the winner of week three's dystopia story contest! A list of all the finalists and their entries can be found on Figment's blog.

    Lauren Oliver

    Week Four

    Congratulations to Figment site user Charlotte Hennessey whose story Perfection's Flaws was chosen by Paolo Bacigalupi as the winner of week four's sci-fi story contest! A list of all the finalists and their entries can be found on Figment's blog.

    Grand Prize

    Congratulations to user Tia Richardson!  Her name was drawn for the grand prize and will receive a Kindle!


    Focus Your Message

    Public Service Announcements   

    General Focus - Audio MP3: 20 seconds | 25 seconds

    Parent Focus - Audio MP3: 20 seconds | 25 seconds

      Posters and Graphics From the ALA Store   

      21st-Century Skills setExternal Link Icon

      21st-Century Learner setExternal Link Icon

      School Library Month Poster fileExternal Link Icon

      School Library Month Flyer fileExternal Link Icon

      School Library Month Web filesExternal Link Icon