Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Karla Shafer Resigns Under Heavy Criticism

Our own Para Section member Karla Shafer has resigned from the Hooper Public Library in the wake of receiving heavy criticism for the very work she was being praised for mere months ago.

Having already taught English to all of the immigrants in Hooper, she was going to teach English to immigrants in nearby Nickerson. She was doing this on her own time, driving her own vehicle, using grant money for its intended purpose. She was not using city funds. Yet Hooper shut her down, and she resigned in protest.

Those of us who met Karla at the Para Spring meeting two years ago know how passionate she is about improving her library, doing whatever it takes to meet the needs of her community. She was an inspiration to us all then, which makes this latest development so much sadder. I hope that Karla is able to find a new community that recognizes the wonderful benefits of the work she does, and supports her accordingly.

I don't know what we can do to help Karla just now, but keep an eye on the news for further developments. Karla, hang in there. You've got a lot of supporters throughout Nebraska.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Assorted Announcements, Congratulations, and Thanks in the Wake of the Conference

We had a great time at NLA/NEMA Annual Conference. All of the Para-sponsored sessions went well. I've never seen so many sessions scheduled in each time slot before, so competition for eyes and ears was rather steep this year. Even so, we had two sessions top 80 attendees each!
  • Christa Burns' session "Workshops, Meetings…Webinars" had 12 attendees.
  • Laura Johnson's session "Why is Weeding So Hard and What Can We Do About It?" had 87 attendees, and her "A New Basic Skills" had 10.
  • Sally Snyder's "One World, Many Stories: Summer Reading Program 2010" had 29 attendees, and her "Best New Youth Books of 2010" had 56.
  • Scott Scholz's "Digital Talking Books and BARD Book Downloading Service" had 15 attendees.
  • Michael Sauers' "Google Secrets" had 82 attendees.
The lucky winner of our Nebraska-themed raffle basket was Kay Kloppenborg of the Republican Valley Library Systems Office in Hastings.

Twelve people won $20 cash each in our smiley-themed scavenger hunt. They were:
  • Stacy Vogel, Westridge Middle School, Grand Island
  • Debbie Aden, UNL
  • Linda Johnson, Fairbury Elementary School
  • Jean Hurst, LaVista Public
  • Kay Brown, NE Corrections, Omaha
  • Barbara Simpson, Hartman Library
  • Karen Buckley, Pius X High School
  • Terry Osborn, Bellevue Public Schools
  • Alice Boeckman, Bellevue Public Library
  • Carole Matthews, Hay Springs Public School
  • Lois Rowe, North Platte Public Library
  • Sally Stahlecker, Norfolk Public Library

A hearty thank you to our generous scavenger hunt cosponsors: TSRT, SCYP, and C&U.

In addition, thank you to ABDO Publishing and Books on Tape, both of which donated prizes, which were given away at the Paraprofessional Luncheon.

Finally, thank you to all the vendors who hosted scavenger hunt items at their booths. I hope the hunt brought lots of traffic to everyone's booths. I think the participants had a lot of fun.

Congratulations to our Para of the Year award winner, Martha Grenzeback. If you've attended our spring meetings in the last couple of years, you've experienced Martha's handiwork even if you didn't know who was planning things behind the scenes.

Chrystal Dawson was elected Vice-Chair, and Terri Johnson was re-elected Secretary-Treasurer. Congratulations to them both. Also, a very warm thank you to our other two candidates, Laurel Marshall and Gwen Showers.

Now that I am Past-Chair, I'd like to thank every one of you for all of your support, assistance, and hard work throughout my tenure. As always, the Paras are a fantastic group of people to work with, and I am honored to have been your Chair.

All hail and welcome to our new Para Chair, Marguerite Miller!