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October 20, 2014

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White House Declares June 18 “National Day of Making” and Launches Maker Initiatives for Libraries

President Barack Obama looks at Lindsay Lawlor’s 17-foot-tall, 2,200-lb robotic giraffe on the South Lawn of the White House during the first White House Maker Faire, June 18, 2014. Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

On June 18, the White House hosted its very first Maker Faire, where the Institute of Museum and Library Services and LEGO Systems announced STEM and STEAM initiatives for libraries across the country.

How a VA Middle School Librarian and Her Book Club Raised Funds to Provide 15,000 Meals for Students in South Sudan

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Virginia Middle School Librarian Lauren McBride shares her story with SLJ of how her book club read Linda Sue Park’s A Long Walk to Water (Houghton Mifflin, 2010)—a book about the civil war in South Sudan and its thousands of children orphans and refugees—and how the story prompted her students into action, exercising their computer literacy skills in a fundraising campaign for students of South Sudan.

How Libraries Can Measure their Impact: Outcome vs. Output

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One of the most common buzzwords in librarianship today is ‘outcomes.’ The measuring metrics of libraries’ impact is shifting from measuring the outputs─like circulation or visits─ toward the impact of those activities on the lives of patrons.

A Literacy Lesson from China: What an Exuberant Culture of Reading Can Teach Us

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The objective of a dynamic literacy initiative in some Chinese schools is not to raise reading scores but to develop positive reading attitudes that inspire children to read more at school and at home—and therefore to read, write, speak, and spell better throughout their lives.

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

Austin Power! A Snapshot of School Librarian Leaders | SLJ Summit 2013

Antero Garcia chats up participatory culture

Librarians from around the country made their way to Austin, Texas, on September 28–29 for SLJ’s annual Leadership Summit. On stage and off, the conference convened key players and collaborators who are shaping a vision for the future of libraries. Here’s a snapshot and slideshow of the leadership event.

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

Washington State Library Conference Adds Virtual Connection

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You don’t have to be in Washington State to get the exciting takeaways from the Washington Library Media Association’s (WLMA) two-day conference, being hosted in Yakima, Washington, starting Thursday, October 17. WLMA will again be offering a free virtual broadcast of key presentations from the event.

School Librarians Must Be Assertive Leaders, Technology Experts | SLJ Summit 2013

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School librarians must be assertive leaders and technology experts, Joel Castro, associate superintendent for the Lubbock, Texas, School District, told attendees at SLJ’s annual Leadership Summit in Austin in September. Castro also urged school librarians to work closely with their school principals in order to forge common ground.

Texas School Librarians Share Strategies on Parent Advocacy | SLJ Summit 2013

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Jennifer D. LaBoon, coordinator of library technology for the Fort Worth Independent School District, and Cindy Buchanan, program director for library media services for the Aldine, Texas, Independent School District, shared advocacy strategies with attendees at the SLJ Summit in Austin. Here are takeaways from their presentation, “PTA & School Library Relations.”

Transformation Through Effective Collaboration | SLJ Summit 2013

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School librarian leaders from across the country made their way to the Austin, TX, aka the “Live Music Capital of the World,” on September 28–29 to attend SLJ’s annual Leadership Summit, where they discussed the future of libraries and how partnership is a necessary ingredient for stakeholder success. Throughout the weekend, participants—speakers, sponsors, panelists, and attendees—honed their conversations around the transformative power of collaboration.

Smart Stakeholders | SLJ Summit 2013

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Impassioned, creative, dynamic, evolving and cool—these are just some of the words that the sponsors of SLJ’s annual Leadership Summit used to describe their companies’ latest developments. Joyce Valenza, SLJ blogger and teacher librarian, lead a panel discussion with the companies to examine the relationships between vendors and schools, the importance of strong content, and the ways that vendors can help educators in support of the Common Core.

Scenes from the Summit | SLJ Summit 2013

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Innovative school librarians invaded Austin, Texas en masse from September 28-29 for School Library Journal’s ninth annual Leadership Summit. With invigorating presentations by journalist Annie Murphy Paul, author of the forthcoming Brilliant: The New Science of Smart (Crown, 2014) and Colorado State associate professor Antero Garcia, library leaders gathered together to discuss and plan for the future of education and the profession. Take a sneak peek at some of the scenes from the weekend with a slideshow from the Summit.

Pop-Up Libraries Blossom in Philadelphia and Beyond

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The books come by the hundreds almost daily. Boxes dropped off from yoga clubs, suburban book drives, and schools to be handed out at the Mighty Writers Street Libraries—pop-up libraries recently launched in Philadelphia to offer books to the city’s students and parents who watch as their access to titles diminish.

What to Expect at the SLJ Summit 2013

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A group of forward-thinking and trailblazing school librarians will soon be gathering at School Library Journal’s ninth annual Leadership Summit. Taking place in Austin, Texas from September 28-29, the event will showcase the transformative work that educators are doing all over the country through effective collaboration. Check out the full schedule here.

An Administrator’s View: Giving Teacher Librarians an Edge | Pivot Points

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Former teacher librarian and current district administrator Mark Ray continues to reflect on the ways teacher librarians can better connect and work with building and district leaders.

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

Miami’s Public Library Cuts Detrimental to Students

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Draconian cuts to Miami public libraries—nearly 45 percent of its branches shuttered and more than 250 staff positions—lost stand to impact the community. The intended cuts pose a monumental loss of service to Miami’s K–12 students, as some of the public libraries slotted to shut down are close to Miami-Dade County public schools.

Libraries Changed My Life | A Platform for Patron Advocates

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Ingrid Abrams, children’s and teen librarian at Brooklyn Public Library in NYC and Natalie V. Binder, a systems librarian at the Jefferson County R.J. Bailar Public Library in Monticello, FL, teamed up virtually to create Libraries Changed My Life (LCML), a patron-driven Tumblr initiative, in direct response to Michael Rosenblum’s article “What’s a Library?”, which was published in the Huffington Post this past May.

Up Close with Library Journal’s 2013 Youth Services Movers & Shakers

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The 2013 class of Movers & Shakers represents the many outstanding, diligent, and creative librarians working in the field today. Karyn M. Peterson, SLJ news editor, had the opportunity to get an in-depth look into the innovative programs, important milestones, and daily inspirations of the 13 youth services librarians that were honored this year for their work with children and teens in public libraries and school media centers. We’ve gathered these interviews into a resource page for your future use.

Spread the Word: Administrators and Principals Must Advocate for School Libraries | Feedback

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Check out School Library Journal’s reader responses to Keith Curry Lance and Debra E. Kachel’s “Librarian Required” article, tweets from SLJ’s first Public Library Think Tank, and highlights from the #lovemylibraryjob social media campaign.

Pew Study: Teens Still Love Print Media, ‘Traditional’ Library Services

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Tech-savvy younger Americans are more likely than older adults to have read printed books in the past year, are more likely to appreciate reading in libraries, and are just as strong supporters of traditional library services as older adults, a new national report from the Pew Research Center shows. And, according to the survey of Americans ages 16–29, a majority of young adults say it is “very important” for libraries to have librarians and books for borrowing.

What’s Right With This Picture?: Chicago’s YOUmedia reinvents the public library

Armani Harris, a high school senior in Chicago, used to just hang out or go home after school. “I didn’t do much,” he says. But then the 17-year-old stumbled onto YOUmedia—an innovative learning space that’s housed in a 5,500 square foot room full of noisy teens, food, computers, and video games on the ground floor of the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center. Now, he hangs out there 10 to 15 hours a week, designing posters [...]