January 16, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Feedback: Letters to SLJ, July 2012 Issue

I am the Project Coordinator for Limitless Libraries, the partnership program between the Nashville Public Library (NPL) and Metro Nashville Public Schools. Limitless Libraries provides collection development assistance to school libraries to meet curriculum needs, and also provides daily delivery of NPL materials to the schools.

I just read Rebecca Miller’s editorial, “We Need Tag-Team Librarianship” (May 2012, p. 11), regarding collaboration between public and school libraries. It made me very excited to see a cover story dedicated to a partnership that makes sense. With Limitless Libraries finishing its third year, we are continuing to flourish and have really seen the benefits of the program. I have had the privilege to experience the program from both sides, first as a high school librarian and then as the project coordinator of the program. The program and Nashville Public Library provided materials and opportunities I wouldn’t have been able to budget for my students.

Through the program this school year, we saw increased school circulation at 45 of the 54 schools we currently serve and NPL delivered over 96,000 materials to schools this past school year. We have over 25,000 registered Limitless Libraries users and 15,000 of those are first time NPL card holders. The program showed all parties that this can be the perfect partnership. Together we all have the same goal of providing students and educators access to the best material possible. Working so closely with the school librarians has been an amazing experience to further collaboration and programming to reach young adults in Nashville.

I hope school and public libraries took a very close look at your article to begin the discussions in their cities because it can work! Nashville has experienced amazing results and we look forward to expanding our partnership next year to include elementary schools.

Stephanie Ham
Project Coordinator
Limitless Libraries
Nashville Public Library, TN

As a public library administrator, I read with no small amount of incredulity the ideas espoused in Rebecca Miller’s editorial, “We Need Tag-Team Librarianship” (May 2012, p. 11). Collaborate with public schools? She has to be kidding.

Our experience in “collaboration” with the local school district has been a complete failure…a failure on the part of the school district to respond to any and all initiatives on our part. We have tried to engage the school district in library programming to benefit students, in outreach advertising our collection, and in sending our youth services librarians to the schools. Both school administrators and students have ignored our efforts.

Why has this happened? Two reasons. First, the school district is flush with money. They are constructing new buildings and hiring new teachers. Second, school administrators have embraced the scourge afflicting the whole library profession which is technology. Give students a laptop and they can access textbooks, ebooks, and databases in the comfort of their homes. Who needs a library? The school district has done away with professional librarians in the schools and rumor has it that they are going to do away with the high school library all together.

Our public library is withering on the vine financially. The whole state is in trouble financially and state public library funding has gone the way of the dodo. Yet this editor would have us coordinate book purchases that support curriculum and deliver books to students in the schools? What planet did she fall off of yesterday?

In view of the school district’s intransigence towards our efforts to “collaborate,” it will be a cold day in Hell before we reach out to a school district that is not interested in “Tag-Team Librarianship.”

Name Withheld by Request


CORRECTIONS:

The editors regret that the bibliographic data accompanying the review of The Healthier Happier Life Skills series (June 2012, p. 51) referred to the classroom edition instead of the home edition actually reviewed. The home edition consists of 3 DVDs priced at $19.95 each, and does not include the 100-page teacher’s guide embedded in the DVD of the classroom edition. Hence, the teacher’s guide was not evaluated.

In the video clip of Jeff Hasting’s review of Ebook toolkit: Mackin VIA (http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/06/ebooks/ebook-toolkitmackin-via) in SLJ’s The Digital Shift, the product’s name was pronounced incorrectly. Mackin “VEE-ah” is the proper pronunciation, and not “VYE-ah” as spoken in the clip.

The review of Jason Myers’s Run the Game (S & S, 2012), published in SLJ’s June 2012 issue (p. 131) was inadvertently attributed to the wrong reviewer. The book was reviewed by Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Hudson Library & Historical Society, OH.

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