School Library Journal, is the leading print magazine, and now SLJ.com serving librarians who work with young people in schools and public libraries. The two resources give librarians up-to-date information needed to integrate libraries into the school curriculum, become leaders in the areas of technology, reading, and information literacy, and create high-quality collections for children and young adults
School Library Journal (SLJ) serves librarians who work with students in school and public libraries, reaching an audience of more than 100,000. The world’s largest and most authoritative reviewer of children’s and young adult content—principally books, but also including audio, video, and the Web—the magazine and its Web site provide 38,000 subscribers with information indispensable in making purchasing decisions. In addition to its reviews, SLJ’s news, features, columns, and departments deliver the perspective, resources, and leadership tools necessary for its readers to become indispensable players in their schools and libraries.
Launched with the title of Junior Libraries in September 1954 in the pages of its parent publication, Library Journal, the magazine eventually found independence and a new name, as the now-familiar School Library Journal. SLJ started with nine issues per year and now publishes monthly.
School Library Journal has expanded its franchise, with its semiannual supplement, Curriculum Connections, which informs K-12 educators about excellent supplemental books and related media. Both School Library Journal and Curriculum Connections garnered Distinguished Achievement Awards in 2004 from the Association of Educational Publishers.
School Library Journal‘s mission is to move libraries to the center of their respective learning communities, whether that community is a school, neighborhood, or municipality. SLJ is accomplishing this by providing library media specialists—as well as children’s and YA librarians—the resources they need to be true innovators and collaborators in an information-literate school community. Besides being a time-tested authority on the evaluation of books and related media, SLJ plays a leadership role in helping librarians partner with teachers to design worthy learning experiences, identifying quality curricular materials and related resources, and guiding school communities in effective instructional strategies that combine traditional and emerging technologies that inspire student achievement.
On behalf of SLJ‘s editors and its publisher, I thank all of our 300+ reviewers who, with us, continue to seek out books that excite, and engage, stimulate, and challenge young people. It is their willingness to share their time and their professional experience with colleagues everywhere that keeps School Library Journal‘s Book Review influential, practical, and reliable.
SLJ reviewed more than 5000 books in 2008. Having completed our 54th year of publication, we continue to be the most comprehensive review journal of new general trade books for children and young adults. SLJ’s Book Review publishes its annual policy statement in order to restate our purpose and bring to your attention any changes in our practices.
We are committed to publishing concise, critical reviews to help SLJ’s readers make informed acquisition decisions for their libraries. SLJ does not review reissues, textbooks, or self-published books. For an archive of our reviews back to 1987, subscribers are invited to search our database on www.slj.com/reviews by author, title, Dewey number, and other options. SLJ’s reviews are written by librarians working directly with children and young adults in schools or public libraries, library-school educators, teachers of children’s literature, and subject specialists. They evaluate books in terms of literary quality, artistic merit, clarity of presentation, and appeal to the intended audience. They also make comparisons between new titles and materials already available in most collections and mention curriculum connections. All books are assigned by the Book Review Editors.
We recognize that reading levels and interests vary from one community to another, so we keep age-level categories as broad as possible. However, we rarely repeat the phrase so often seen on book jackets—”for all ages”—since it carries publishers’ sales expectations rather than relevant information for library selection. Instead, grade levels are assigned by reviewers, based on their experiences with their reading public. SLJ‘s stars signal titles that are outstanding in relation to others on the same subject or in the same genre. Stars are the editors’ decisions, but reviewers’ recommendations are a key consideration. Reviews of reference materials appear every other month, as do reviews of graphic novels. A roundup of December holiday books is published in our October issue, and our editors’ choices of the “Best Books of the Year” appear in December. Each issue of SLJ carries indexes of authors, illustrators, and titles reviewed. A cumulative index appears on our Web site in December. Information about reviewing for SLJ and submitting books for review can be found here.