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October 20, 2014

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Lauren Barack

About Lauren Barack

School Library Journal contributing editor Lauren Barack writes about the connection between media and education, business, and technology. A recipient of the Loeb Award for online journalism, she can be found at www.laurenbarack.com.

CO Students Protest Proposed Changes to ‘Censor’ AP History

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Students from Jeffco Public Schools in Colorado rallied against the school board’s review committee, on October 11, as the board moves forward to review, and possibly remove, material from the AP U.S. History curriculum.

JukePop Opens Kickstarter to Get Indie Ebooks into Libraries

JukePop Opens Kickstarter to Get Indie Ebooks into Libraries

JukePop—a Palo Alto, CA-based start-up that crowdsources independently published books—has launched a Kickstarter, hoping to raise $15,000 to expand its library service to 60 more branches in states including California, Utah, and Arizona.

The Popular Nonfiction Minute Site Launches Crowdfunding Drive

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An Indiegogo campaign to sustain the Nonfiction Minute, a website with audio clips of quality nonfiction written and read by some of the biggest names in the field, aims to raise $50,000 before October 2.

Study Ties College Success to Students’ Exposure to a High School Librarian

Study Ties College Success to Students’ Exposure to a High School Librarian

Training high school students in digital research and partnering them with a school librarian can instill a high level of confidence during college, according to preliminary observations of a study underway by EBSCO.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Two Second Graders Pitch to Restore School Library on Indiegogo

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Seven-year-olds, Josephine Sinclair and Sarai Williams, of Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito, California, hope to raise $20,000 to restore their school library using the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

Queens Library to Offer PreK Class in Fall 2015

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In light of New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s push to open 33,000 PreK spots in NYC, the Queens Library Woodhaven branch will offer, for the first time, a PreK class for 18 kids starting this September.

California Administrator Creates Digital Stopgap After School Librarian Cuts

California School District’s Administrator Helps Students Access Books When School Librarians Disappear

When school librarians began to disappear in this Camarillo, California school district, Jay Greenlinger, the district’s director of instructional technology, found a way for students to find books and information online.

New ALA Report Examines Licensing Model for Ebooks in School Libraries

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For libraries, buying or licensing ebooks is a very different story than the average consumer simply clicking and purchasing off a book retailer website. A new report from the American Library Association takes a close look at the licensing models for ebooks, for school libraries in particular and how these policies affect access for students.

Are Today’s Kids All Thumbs? Touch Matters. Researchers Bring Tactile Learning into Digital Realm.

Are Today’s Kids All Thumbs? Touch Matters. Researchers Bring Tactile Learning into Digital Realm.

Using our hands is critical to learning, and the rise of digital devices in early childhood learning potentially limits children’s opportunities to learn about the world around them through touch. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers founds young children have trouble using toys and blocks because of their overuse of touch-screen devices. So, the digital industry is coming up with ways to use interactive touch and tools with the digital screen.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Bridging the Gap: Making Libraries More Accessible for a Diverse Autistic Population

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One in 68 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. SLJ explores the different accommodations and programs within the library world that encompass the wide range on the autism spectrum—depending on severity of the condition to the age of the youth with autism.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Reading Is Fundamental Study Says Summer Reading Is Not Priority

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How important is summer reading to parents? According to a study conducted by Reading Is Fundamental and Macy’s, only 17 percent of parents responded that reading should be a “top priority” for their kids during summer months.

LAUSD Passes Record $6.6 Billion Budget, Expected to Hire 15 New Librarians

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Los Angeles Public School District (LAUSD) recently passed a $6.64 billion dollar budget, the largest budget since LAUSD’s 2008 slashing of jobs, services, and programs. The budget is anticipated to not only restore school library services to every elementary and middle school, but also “more than double the number of new teachers to 1,200, increase librarians, nurses, and counselors, reduce class sizes, increase tutoring, and improve parent education efforts.”

Vermont School Librarians Win—And Are Recognized in State Standards Once Again

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In August 2013, the Vermont School Library Association discovered the requirement for their jobs was being removed from the language of the state’s Education Quality Standards. In response, school, university, public, and state librarians campaigned to become a requirement in state standards once again—and won.

California’s Modesto City Schools To End Library Instruction for Elementary Schools

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Modesto City Schools (MCS) is set to end all library instruction for its elementary schools for the 2014-2015 school year—while keeping the school library open with library assistants.

School Librarians Get No Love in Allentown School District

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Once staffed with 13 elementary school librarians and four middle school librarians, today Allentown (PA) School District now has one district elementary school librarian serving all 15 elementary schools and two middle school librarians split among four middle schools.

Weaving Together Touch and Digital into Early Childhood Play

Weaving Together Touch and Digital into Early Childhood Play

Experts have found that physical touch and hand movements are important for brain development and learning—crucial aspects to be aware of when creating apps and other digital programs for children.

New York High School Goes Entirely Digital

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This year, New York’s Archbishop Stepinac High School saw its entire textbook collection transition to a digital library.

LGBTQ & You: How to Support Your Students

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School librarians can provide pivotal support for LGBTQ teens by just being there.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

January 2014 YALSA Report Serves As a Guide for Library Community’s Youth Services Best Practices

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Published in January 2014, the YALSA report “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action” addresses the need for a national conversation around how young adults are served by libraries today—and how to better position library centers to foster and drive learning in the future. The report is also being seen as set of best practices, which YALSA will use to re-evaluate its own best practices guidelines, says Beth Yoke, YALSA’s director.

San Diego Schools May Restore Some Library Services in Upcoming School Year

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School library access in San Diego’s school district has been greatly reduced since a budget slash in 2008, and the outlying community having been vocal about restoring student access to its school libraries. The San Diego Unified School District has been listening, and may widen its severely curtailed school library access in 2014-15.