Teacher librarian Matthew C. Winner, media specialist at Longfellow Elementary School in Columbia, MD, is having the year of his life. Thanks to his boundless enthusiasm for student learning and engagement, Maryland’s 2012 Outstanding User of Technology Educator can also claim a few more distinctions: Mover & Shaker, White House “Champion of Change,” and published author. Ahead of ISTE’s annual conference, Winner shared his thoughts on school libraries and his exciting plans for the future.
The White House’s announcement last week of the ConnectEd initiative, President Obama’s urging of the FCC to overhaul the E-Rate program, is only the first step in what must be a larger, committed effort to fully fund technology in our nation’s schools and libraries, the International Society for Technology in Education says.
The White House’s announcement Thursday that it is urging the FCC to overhaul E-Rate—the program that provides discounted Internet access and telecommunications services to U.S. schools and libraries—is an important and nearly unprecedented step forward in closing the digital divide, the American Library Association tells SLJ.
Michelle Perera, assistant director of the Rancho Cucamonga Library (CA) and 2013 Mover & Shaker, has broken amazing new ground. Her efforts to expand programming, infrastructure, and professional development have garnered grant funding and awards, and her plan to build interactive exhibits for children—now trademarked as the Play and Learn Islands—is being expanded to other libraries. In this interview, Perera shares with us her inspirations and passions, and some of the secrets behind Rancho Cucamonga’s success.
“Audio is a great doorway to a love of literature,” says Katherine Kellgren, award-winning young adult audiobook narrator, lifelong audiobook listener, and supporter of a SYNC, the free YA audiobooks program. SLJ caught up with Kellgren for a candid chat about her start in the field, the joys—and challenges—of narrating YA literature, the importance of audio in boosting kids’ literacy, and her upcoming projects. Kellgren even stopped by our offices to record a few video segments.
Librarian Christy Aguirre—supervisor of the Southgate branch of the Sacramento Public Library (CA), 2013 Mover & Shaker, and noteworthy neighborhood networker—knows how to stop the summer slide. Her literacy outreach efforts have helped triple the branch’s summer reading program to more than 2,000 participants. We caught up with Aguirre to learn more about her inspirations and passions, the ways she collaborates with her community, and her thoughts on the future of public library youth services.
Two very different young adult books—the first volume of Amy Ignatow’s lively graphic novel series “The Popularity Papers” and Dave Pelzer’s harrowing memoir A Child Called It—will both remain on school library shelves in the Prosser school district in Yakima, WA, following several school board votes on the titles, according to the district’s superintendent, Ray Tolcacher. Rich Korb, a teacher at Prosser High School, had challenged both books for removal this winter.
What does a good school library look like? What role does a good school library play in educating New Jersey students? These are the questions Ross Todd, Ph.D., and Carol Gordon, Ph.D., co-directors of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL), sought to define in a recent two-phase study they conducted in public elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the state. In an interview with SLJ,Todd and Gordon share some of their most surprising and illuminating findings, along with the steps they are taking to promote the research this year and their best practices recommendations for how other schools can build successful libraries.
More than a dozen New York City Council members, the presidents of New York’s three library systems, and several hundred librarians, library staff, supporters, advocates, and children from nearby schools rallied on the steps of city hall to protest $106 million in proposed funding cuts. Council members Jimmy Van Bramer and Vincent J. Gentile also pledged to introduce legislation that would create a baseline of stable funding for the city’s public library services.
“[Our] library in Freeport is the heart of that community,” says 2013 Mover & Shaker Margaux DelGuidice, who shares duties with fellow honoree Rose Luna at the Freeport Memorial Library in Long Island, NY. These two powerhouses also hold full-time teacher librarian positions at two area high schools, and have devoted countless hours to professional advocacy. In our interview, they share their inspirations and passions, their best practices for constructive collaboration, and their goals for the future of libraries.
Three cheers for Miskatonic University! That’s the rallying cry of the La Vista Public Library (NE)’s teen advisory board—who, under the guidance of youth librarian and advisor Lindsey Tomsu, 2013 Mover & Shaker—turned its 2012 Teen Read Week into a massive celebration of the works of H. P. Lovecraft, complete with crafts, workshops, and a life-sized version of the complex, cooperative Arkham Horror board game based on the Cthulhu Mythos.
Zavala Elementary School librarian Lisa M. Lopez, the unofficial Little Free Library ambassador to El Paso, TX, and 2013 Mover & Shaker, talks to School Library Journal about her passion for storytelling, her tireless efforts to advocate for bilingual literacy through Día de los niños/Día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) celebrations, and the ways she inspires her students.
Melissa Zymboly Depper, children’s and family services librarian at the Arapahoe Library District in Centennial, CO, and 2013 Mover & Shaker, talks about her passion for the profession, her favorite read-aloud titles, the importance of collaboration and community, and why the library is critical to giving every child a good start in life.
National Screen-Free Week has finally arrived—and, if you’re reading this, you probably haven’t yet taken the pledge to dramatically reduce the time you spend using a computer for the next few days. But many educators (and a kid lit publisher or two) are doing just that, encouraging kids to explore a range of non-screen activities this week, including reading books, going outside, and having fun the old-fashioned way.
2013 Mover & Shaker Susan Anderson-Newham, early learning supervising librarian at the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA, talks about the importance of collaboration and a good sense of humor to her work, why hands-on play is key to kids’ learning, and her top early learning picture books of all time.
What better way to engage and inspire a group of fashion-conscious kids than by creating a design competition modeled after the hit reality show Project Runway? Thanks to the efforts of children’s librarian Frances Grossman-Goldberg—and a little help from The Weinstein Company, Mood Fabrics, and L’oreal.Paris—a group of teens and tweens at the Pomonok branch of the Queens Borough Public Library (NY) had the experiences of a lifetime this past winter.
“If you can bring the community into the library, those children will ultimately flourish. And if a library can go outside of its walls, you’re only expanding the area in which young people can be affected,” says Rebecca Zarazan Dunn, 2013 Mover and Shaker, lifelong bookworm, blogger, advocate, youth services librarian assistant for the Lawrence Public Library (KS), and soon-to-be MLIS candidate. In this interview, Dunn shares her top kids’ book picks of all time, her inspirations and passions, and why it’s critical for public librarians to collaborate with school librarians and teachers.