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April 15, 2014

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Rebecca T. Miller

About Rebecca T. Miller

Rebecca T. Miller (rmiller@mediasourceinc.com) is Editorial Director, Library Journal and School Library Journal.

Now Hiring: Recent Wins on School Library Positions Spark Optimism | Editorial

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New positions being created in school districts across the country point to places where advocacy has hit home, roles smartly redesigned, and librarians put back in the budget.

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

Dishes to Dirt: Six School Districts Step Up on Sustainability | Editorial

The Urban School Food Alliance is bringing greener choices to our schools, starting with the replacement of foam trays used in cafeterias with an affordable, compostable alternative.

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

Meet the Parents: Critical for Implementing the Common Core | Editorial

Parent helping kid with homework

In the initial rollout of the new standards, outreach to parents has been all too scattershot and, in many cases, much too late—in reaction to test results. It could take the pilot states years to recover from this misstep.

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

New Year, New Faces: Newcomers Join SLJ Staff | Editorial

From left: Sarah Bayliss, Shelley DIaz, Mahnaz Dar, and Kiera Parrott.

As 2014 arrives, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to our newest members of the team, poised to serve you, dear readers, even more effectively than before.

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

Take Your Place at the Table: Thrive as Part of the Solution Your School Needs | Editorial

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School librarians, your administrators need you like never before. So let’s make 2014 the year that each of you strengthens your connection to your school’s mission and goals—explicitly, by taking a place at the table.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Learning Spark: How Interest Fuels Cognition | Editorial

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Recently, I’ve reconsidered that element of human experience called interest, thanks to Annie Murphy Paul and Mimi Ito. Murphy Paul is a journalist covering cognitive science and Ito, a cultural anthropologist, is a proponent of the Connected Learning concept, but their ideas both relate to the power of interest, and the impact on kids when it is fostered.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Critical Legacy: Honoring Book Review Editor Trev Jones | Editorial

With Trev in my office at press time, talking about her early years at SLJ.
Photograph by Mark Tuchman

This month marks the retirement of Trevelyn Jones, as she steps down from her role as head of SLJ’s Book Review. We will miss Trev’s direct leadership and her steady presence, but we are comforted to know she’s available for us to lean on in an editor-at-large capacity as we transition to a new era. Her life’s work and contribution to the world of children’s literature has made the world a better place.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

New York’s Folly: A Lack of Vision at the City’s Dept. of Education | Editorial

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As students around the country return to school, those in New York City are facing a future without certified school librarians, as the NYC Department of Education (DOE) has asked to be excused from a decades-old state mandate on minimum staffing requirements.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Matters of Equity: As the Divide Grows, We Must Help Level the Playing Field for All of Our Kids | Editorial

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As the economic landscape continues to shift, the mission of schools and libraries to address the gaps intensifies, and the work of the key players, teachers and librarians, has never been more essential.

Give ’Em Chalk: Hands-On Learning Is Fun and Builds Literacy Skills | Editorial

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The most exciting time for a kindergarten teacher is when a kid looks up and says, ‘Hey, I can read!’” Fostering early literacy is the focus of our very first theme issue. We’re also debuting a new look, with some significant improvements to the all-important reviews section.

ALA, It’s Time to Step Up for School Libraries | Editorial

Librarian with kids

What if ALA leadership fought for school librarians like it fought for access to ebooks?

World Peace and Other Aspirations: The Role of Play | Editorial

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Pam Sandlian Smith’s ongoing reinvention of library service at the Anythink Libraries in Colorado shows what leadership exercised in a spirit of wonder and playfulness can achieve. John Hunter’s World Peace Game takes playing to a new level for learning. We can all learn from both.

Poem! Poem!: Everyday exposure to poetry brings joy and learning | Editorial

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April is National Poetry Month and a favorite part of this initiative by the Academy of American Poets is Poem in Your Pocket Day, coming April 18. It’s a perfect time to see poetry all around us and reinforce that poetry infuses our lives. How will you be celebrating?

The Cost of Cuts: When we lose librarians, it’s the kids who suffer most | Editorial

Glass half-full

The Pennsylvania study joins a growing body of research that proves the efficacy of librarians in our schools, but the findings of this study alone should take the decision to cut a librarian off the table.

The Art of the Caldecott: At 75, the powerful award keeps proving the value of librarians’ expertise | Editorial

Draft Drawing from Mei Li.

There’s nothing quite like the run-up to the announcement of the Youth Media Awards at the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting.

That Collaborative Spirit: Changing times demand more complex partnerships | Editorial

Photograph by Thomas Strand.

Who wouldn’t want to work with the two librarians on our cover? To me, their joyous, open faces welcome engagement. I want in on the action—in this case, the series of projects they pull off to bring more to the kids they each serve.

Behind the Best: Or what it takes for 65 books to become SLJ’s top titles of the year | Editorial

Instagram pic of Best Books print out

First, consider the numbers. Some 37,000 children’s and YA books have been published in 2012, according to Bowker. SLJ reviewed more than 6,500 of them—thanks to our corp of 300 active reviewers in the field. Of these titles, 289 earned stars. And here, in the final presentation, are the 65 that were selected as SLJ’s Best Books of 2012.

How they get identified is not a math problem, of course. Passions run high. There’s a talented team behind this list, packed [...]

Superheroes Among Us: Librarians are the unsung tech leaders in our nation’s schools | Editorial

Super hero figurine on desk

Photograph by Mark Tuchman

Action figures don’t usually weigh in on SLJ’s design, but Flash, the iconic DC Comics superhero, zipped into the story this month. He snuck his way into my purse and then onto my desk just as editors Kathy Ishizuka and Rick Margolis and I talked about our cover strategy with art director Mark Tuchman. Flash didn’t say much, but his force was unstoppable.

Our conversation about the findings of SLJ’s 2012 school library tech [...]

The Tension of Innovation: The bridges to the future must be built for the kids of today | Editorial

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As SLJ’s editors roll up our sleeves in final preparation for our annual Leadership Summit, in Philadelphia, October 26-27 (www.sljsummit2012.com), and our “Digital Shift: Libraries, Ebooks and Beyond” online event on October 17 (www.thedigitalshift.com/beyondebooks), I’m inspired by both the big ideas in education and the ground-level work I’ve seen in school libraries across the country.

I’m also aware of the vast challenges we face as we strive to give our kids the best educational experience possible. A recent [...]

What Creativity Looks Like: Put a Bunch of Librarians in a Room, and Great Ideas Fly | Editorial

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What happens when you comingle 80 or so librarians for some eight hours and give them just enough structure to focus on key issues? Answer: KidLibCamp. I expected this unconference at Darien (CT) Library, on August 16, to be good, but it was so much better than that. It was professional learning at its best—the kind of inspiring event that ought to be replicated in every system and district in the country.