Tales of a Tech Gypsy – AASL Intellectual Freedom Award

This is my first blog post in “OnCUE,” and I’m happy to begin this process of sharing ideas about all things tech, library and education-related, on behalf of MassCUE. On this 24th of June and first day of summer vacation for the Sharon district, I have been frantically scrambling to prepare for a journey to Las Vegas tomorrow to attend the ALA annual conference, where I will be receiving AASL’s Intellectual Freedom Award. The Intellectual Freedom Award is given for upholding the principles of intellectual freedom as set forth by the American Association of School Librarians and the American Library Association. The following criteria are used in the selection process The recipient shall be a personal member of AASL. The recipient shall meet at least one of the following criteria: Has developed and implemented an exemplary selection policy/challenge procedure Has developed an innovative information program on intellectual freedom. Has upheld intellectual freedom principles in the face of a challenge. Has contributed to the literature of the field (print or non-print). Has been active in the establishment and/or continuation of a coalition relating to intellectual freedom at a local, state or national level. I am feeling both excited and humbled to have been selected to receive such a prestigious award, and am looking forward to the opportunity to meet members of the AASL Executive Board along with other AASL award winners. Members of the MSLA (Massachusetts School Library Association) Executive Board will also be there to cheer me on, along with my Simmons College professor of Instructional Technology, Susan Ballard and my family members flying in from both Massachusetts and Florida. As a way of introducing myself and sharing thoughts about libraries and technology, I offer the following links: http://www.proquest.com/blog/2014/Meet-Cathy-Collins-AASL-Intellectual-Freedom-Award-Recipient-2014.html. After several days of attending conference sessions, I will be flying home for all of one day before heading to India with a group of Sharon High School students and my colleague and friend, Shawn Kenner. We will be embarking on a World Challenge expedition which will help students develop leadership skills as well as explore life in another culture and in a very beautiful part of the world. I look forward to sharing my traveler’s tales when I return!

About the Author: Ms. Collins has worked as a Media Specialist/Librarian for 14 years in locales ranging from California to Kathmandu, Nepal. She currently works as Librarian/Media Specialist at Sharon High School in Sharon, Massachusetts. She serves on the Executive Boards of both the Massachusetts Library System and MassCUE (Massachusetts Computer Using Educators). She earned National Board Certification as a Library/Media Teacher in 2009 and is the 2014 recipient of the AASL Intellectual Freedom Award. Her writing contributions include a chapter featured in the recently published ISTE book, “Literacy in the Digital Age,” Library Media Connection (“Survival Tactics for the Warrior Librarian,”) NEA and other education-related blog posts and journals. She served as a project consultant for the learning layer of the multi-media e-book, “Searchlights and Sunglasses: Field Notes from the Digital Age of Journalism.”

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