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August 30, 2014

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Colorado School District Experiments with Digital Literacy Teachers

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Faced with a budget cut that turned their full-time teacher librarians into half-time positions, Adams 12 Five Star Schools District in Thornton, Colorado created a new job position to get media specialists into K-8 classrooms as much as possible.

St. Paul to Create 15 New School Library Positions

A  January 30 rally supporting the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers with parents and teachers.

In Minnesota, Saint Paul Public Schools has agreed to more than double the number of school librarians over the next two years, to 25 positions by the fall of 2015.

YA Romance Imprint Swoon Reads Selects NJ Librarian as its Next YA Novelist

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YA librarian Sandy Hall had never finished writing a novel before. After reading about Macmillan’s new romance novel imprint’s process that uses its online community to chose its authors, she found herself selected as a YA novelist.

Cleveland Public Library Pushes Out 54 Early Literacy Stations

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The Cleveland Public Library has opened 54 new Early Literacy Stations across its 27 branches in the hope of enticing young learners, ages 2-8, through gamification and other means.

Discovery Education Summit: We Don’t Just Need Tablets, We Need A Digital Game Plan

Discovery Education Summit: We Don’t Just Needs Tablets, We Need A Digital Game Plan

Educators at Discovery Education’s learning summit last month in Maryland talk of how digitization requires strategy and training—not just putting a device into student’s hands.

New Report Hails Librarians as Drivers of Digital Transition

New Report Hails Librarians as Drivers of Digital Transition

This past January, the Alliance for Excellent Education published a report showing school librarians in the front lines of the education movement to shepherd digital tools and skills into the hands of students.

“Sketchnotes” Invigorate Student Note-Taking and Bolster Visual Thinking

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Brad Ovenell-Carter, an education innovator at a K-12 school in Vancouver, B.C., is teaching students the value of sketchnotes—illustrated records that distill a lecture, speech, or lesson into a visual synopsis. Others educators are catching on.

Advocates Progress on Restoring Funds to Utah School Libraries

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Utah’s school libraries are one step closer to getting a $500,000 infusion for new books, materials and electronic resources for the 2014-2015 school year. Even so, advocates are still pushing for funds—and increased awareness of school libraries.

Teen Tech Week 2014: Computer Tear Downs, Skyping, and Raspberry Pis

Teen Tech Week 2014: Computer Tear Downs, Skyping, and Raspberry Pis

Maker spaces, robot construction, and computer tear-downs will figure prominently in librarians’ Teen Tech Week lineups this year, taking place from March 9 through 15.

26 Science Kits Available for Checkout at Texas Libraries

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Students, parents, and teachers can now borrow science experiments along with other materials from the Denton (TX) Public Library and run their own chemical and mechanical observations in class—and at home.

Poetry Book by Teens Removed from Arizona School

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“Things I Have to Tell You,” a compilation of more than 30 poems by teens from ages 15 to 18, was pulled from Arizona’s Stapley Junior High School due to references to drugs and boys’ bodies, among other issues.

Massachusetts Parents Fight For School Librarians—And Win

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Parent and school library volunteer Melissa DeFilippi started a district-wide movement in Swampscott, MA, that’s leading to restored librarians in the middle and high school and a new cataloging system for three elementary schools.

Idaho School Libraries Open this Summer to Tackle ‘Summer Slide’

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Idaho’s betting its younger students will choose school this summer—investing $30,000 to keep six school libraries open during June, July, and August. The Summer Slide Pilot Project aims to entice children to come to school during the summer heat, crack a book, and read.

Mid-Continent Public Library Proves Summer Reading Programs Boost Student Achievement

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The results of a pilot study of Missouri’s Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) suggest that summer reading programs actually raise student reading levels by their return to school in the fall—particularly among at-risk kids.

New York Libraries Face Five Percent Cut

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New York libraries are facing close to a five percent budget cut with just $81.6 million allocated in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive budget—down from the $85.62 million granted to libraries last year.

Free Common Core Resources for Parents

School library consultant Jennifer Maurer of the Oregon State Library tapped these resources for its public libraries—targeted at critical partners in children’s education: their parents.

Librarians on the Common Core: Cautious Optimism

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While educators grapple with the Common Core State Standards, school librarians are finding aspects to celebrate. To start? Their jobs, and their important role in supporting teachers and students through this transition.

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

Sonoma Library to Host Minecraft Camp

Sonoma Library to Host Minecraft Camp

Rebecca Forth doesn’t want kids to simply play Minecraft, she wants them to design their own worlds in the virtual building game. They can do just that and learn the necessary coding skills in a program set to launch at the Healdsburg branch of the Sonoma County (CA) Library in March 2014.

School Library Advocacy Gains Steam in Missouri District

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In an era when school districts are chopping funds to libraries, Missouri’s Union R-XI School District is looking to break the mold—and give more.

Reading, PA, Students Protest Classroom Library Probe

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Middle school students in Reading, PA, are protesting what they see as unjust scrutiny of their classroom libraries—using their own voices even as teachers express reservations about speaking out.