November 26, 2015

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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

Found Objects Give Digital Learning a Fresh Face


Brussels entrepreneur incorporates everyday objects, such as buttons, bottle caps, and string, into digital-based learning with a new app.

In the Tech Mosh Pit: True Adventures of Nikki Robertson


Nikki Robertson enjoys a sandbox just as much as her students. But instead of shovels and sifters, her toys tend toward digital tools that fill the maker space at James Clemens High School in Madison, AL, where Robertson is the librarian and tech facilitator. Her goal? Get messy, get out of her comfort zone, and bring others along with her.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Hartford Library Offers New Path to High School Diploma


Online college classes are all the rage. Yet many adults are trying to finish their high school education — years after their classmates graduated.
The Hartford (CT) Public Library (HPL) has decided to take a step towards changing the city’s grim high-school graduation statistics.

Emily Jenkins Apologizes for “A Fine Dessert”


Describing her book as “racially insensitive,” author Emily Jenkins took to the web Sunday to apologize for her picture book A Fine Dessert, announcing her intent to donate her writing fee to We Need Diverse Books, which has been confirmed by the organization.

FL School District Lets Parents See What Kids Are Reading


After book challenges by a local parents group this summer, a southern Florida school district gives parents online access to see what their children are checking out of the media center.

Where are the ELL Books? Educators need more content to serve growing demand


Technology may be transforming the way people learn a second language—but not in K–12 schools. Instead, librarians and teachers still prefer to use print books to support their English language learners (ELL), according to a survey by SLJ and Rourke Educational Media.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

“Libraries Are Essential to a City” | SLJ Talks to Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean

Outgoing Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.

Karl Dean remembers his childhood public library as a place where “you could go to dream.” Recreating that experience resulted in Limitless Libraries, which brought public library resources into Nashville schools to enable every student to pursue their dreams.

Amazon Ebook Deal With NYC Schools Not Dead Yet

Terms of the pending three-year, $30 million deal between the retail giant and the New York City Department of Education for e-materials are being revised after the National Federation of the Blind said that the technology would not adequately serve blind students.

Stop Calling Them “Young Adult” Books, Teens Say

Stephanie Retblatt (left) moderates the all-teen panel “Suburban Teens on Reading, the Young Adult Label and More” at the Nielsen Children’s Book Summit in Manhattan.

Eight high school students sounded off about the “YA” label, print books versus ebooks, and why they read what they read during a panel discussion at the 2015 Nielsen Children’s Book Summit in Manhattan.

School Librarian Jobs At Risk In Ohio


Ohio’s school librarians are losing Jobs after a state education mandate, colloquially referred to as “5 of 8,” was removed.

Chicago Public Library Wins Founder’s Award for Stemming Summer Slide

The 2015 Founder’s Award, bestowed by the National Summer Learning Association, recognized the Chicago Public Library for its high level of collaboration and coordination with other city groups on its summer learning program.

New Zealand Bans YA Title “Into the River”; Imposes Fine for Selling, Sharing Book


Ted Dawe’s award-winning YA novel Into the River, about a Maori boy at a boarding school, is the first book to be banned in New Zealand in 22 years.

Charleston Library Hands Out “Some Girls Are” After School Bans Book

some girls are

The Charleston Public Library in South Carolina gave 1,000 copies of Courtney Summers’s Some Girls Are to teens after a high school removed the book from its summer reading list.

Authors Talk About the Teen Transgender Experience | SummerTeen 2015


Authors Susan Kuklin, Robin Talley, and Alex Gino spoke about transgender representation in books and the importance of making LGBTQ titles visible.

Putting LGBTQ Books into Kids’ Hands


School librarian Susan Polos believes that reading books about different kinds of families enables children to better understand others. So she co-founded “Shared Stories Open Minds,” an initiative in which children read and discuss LGBTQ-themed stories.

Philadelphia Launches $30 Million Literacy Push


The School District of Philadelphia has launched a $30 million early literacy initiative intended to make sure that by 2020, all students are reading on grade level when they reach fourth grade.

Kansas Suffers a School Librarian Slide


A proposed revision to a Kansas law may help protect school librarians’ jobs, but it will be hard to reverse the slow drain of certified school librarian positions in the state during the past decade.

NBA’s Pistons Give Detroit High School Library a Makeover


A Detroit high school has scored a slam dunk—a renovation of its school library—by winning the Detroit Pistons’ “Reading Room Makeover” for 2015–16. More than 30 Michigan schools from 24 cities applied for the makeover, which supplies new carpeting, paint, and furniture.

October 3 Picture Book Summit Offers Workshop for Aspiring Authors


Do you have a children’s story itching to be told, but you’re not sure how to begin? You might consider the Picture Book Summit, a live, online workshop on October 3.

School Librarians Want More Tech—and Bandwidth | SLJ 2015 Tech Survey


IPads, maker spaces, 3-D printers, and coding skills top the tech wish lists for 1,259 school librarians across the country, according to School Library Journal’s 2015 Technology Survey.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.