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July 30, 2015

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The Nonfiction Transmedia Challenge | Consider the Source

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The challenge for nonfiction writers is to discover the best pathways into the world in any form, to build a compelling narrative in words, but, also, to find ways to weave in the sounds, the images, the videos that best complement the text.

Surprise—It’s STEM for Toddlers!

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These sorting, stacking, and other hands-on activities in libraries support math and science learning. Also: a STEM storytime booklist for toddlers and online resources for teaching pre-K STEM.

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

Not Enough: We Must Renew the Charge to Build an Equitable World | Editorial

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Libraries have long been central to helping create a culture that, at a minimum, tolerates difference and, at best, embraces and celebrates it. Yet, we must do more to desegregate our schools, our neighborhoods, and our workplaces—including our libraries.

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

When Colleagues Need Clarification About Restricting Books | Scales on Censorship

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Don’t be afraid to enter the discussion about intellectual freedom, and be firm when stating your opinion.

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

Building Belief in Libraries | Pivot Points

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Librarians can’t assume that district leaders are believers, writes Mark Ray. Some get it; others don’t. Those who don’t may be listening for different information. If librarians align their words and work with top educational issues, miracles might just happen.

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

Innovating on Impact: Good School Libraries Bring Stronger Learning | Editorial

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A recent impact study from Washington State reinforces that good school libraries are a great investment, offers fresh insight, and provides a new way to dig into the reality at work in our school libraries. In turn, it creates a vision for what quality libraries should look like in every school.

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

Defining Excellence in Nonfiction | YALSA Action Required

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The field of nonfiction is growing and changing and it’s time for librarians to take a closer look at what defines “excellence.” At ALA annual, YALSA will be considering its nonfiction award criteria. The discussion begins here.

“King & King”—and Teacher Who Read It—Under Fire in North Carolina

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While King & King will be allowed in the school, it is not currently in the media center, says Omar Currie, a third-grade teacher in Efland, NC, who read the picture book to his class. Any book a teacher wishes to read to students or use in the classroom that is not in the school’s media center will need to be submitted to parents in advance, starting in the 2015-2016 school year, adds Curie, who says a personal grievance has been filed against him with the district.

Family Place Libraries Recast the Librarian’s Role in Early Learning

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A national network now in 29 states, Family Place Libraries, re-envisions public libraries as centers for early childhood information and positions librarians in the role of change agent.

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

LGBTQ and College Bound | College Ready

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These seniors have particular concerns about safety and acceptance. Here’s how librarians are supporting them.

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

Make It So: Building on the Impulse to Create | Editorial

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The maker movement has taken our culture by storm, and libraries have been stepping up with programs large and small. While some might not view storytime craft projects—such as paper daffodils—as maker, others recognize their vital place on the creation continuum. We at SLJ see the SLJ_CV_May2015nimble response from the library world and recognize how much remains unknown or untested.

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

Mathical: A New Book Award Honors the Magic of Mathematics

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Last month a new prize was announced: Mathical Books for Kids from Tots to Teens. The prize is sponsored by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)—a non-profit that focuses on research and works to deepen appreciation of mathematics across all age levels—and the Children’s Book Council (CBC).

Evaluating Transgender Picture Books; Calling for Better Ones

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A school librarian reviews some of the transgender-themed picture books out there—and challenges authors and publishers to produce ones that share the high literary quality of great books on any other topic.

Six Top Sources for Free Images, Video, and Audio | Cool Tools

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A curated list of resources to help students find high-quality, copyright friendly media for use in projects or presentations.

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

What Does “Excellence” in Nonfiction Mean to YALSA? | Consider the Source

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A look at YALSA’s Nonfiction Award for Excellence leaves the author with some questions about the award’s criteria.

Library Police: Who Determines What Is “Appropriate”? | Scales on Censorship

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Pat Scales responds to a kindergarten educator who questions the age-appropriateness of This One Summer as a Caldecott Honor Book and an English teacher who grapples with what to do about her student teacher from a Christian university who has asked to opt out of working with To Kill a Mockingbird.

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

SLJ Reviews the MaKey MaKey | Test Drive

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The popular Arduino kit makes a game of learning and banana pianos are just a start. School Library Journal Test Drive columnist unpacks the learning potential of MaKey Makey.

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

Librarians Can—and Should—Help Students Navigate the High Cost of College | College Ready

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School librarian Katie Llera talks with her students early, when they’re sophomores, about the SAT, ACT, and possible careers—and about their financial needs. “I haven’t heard of many other librarians getting involved [in college guidance],” she says.

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

Books I’d Like to See | Consider the Source

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Like me, you probably have a list of books that you would like to see written—and published. Here are a couple of topics I’d like to see addressed in a book. What are yours?

Step Up on ESEA: Act now to get school libraries built into this federal legislation | Editorial

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A decade of potential school library support hangs in the balance. Tell your U.S. senators and representatives how critical school libraries are in delivering quality education, helping schools and kids keep up with new technologies, and fueling engagement with learning as a lifelong necessity and pleasure.

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