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May 22, 2015

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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.

One-to-One: Let’s Have One Librarian for Every 1:1 School | Pivot Points

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Despite seasons of budget cutbacks, education leaders are spending again. One-to-one devices are a favorite. How might teacher librarians support the strategic work involved?

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

Five Top Collaborative Research Tools | Cool Tools

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Collaborative research prompts students to share their discoveries, exposing them to more material than if they go it alone. It can also teach them to work together, defend choices, and think critically about Web content. Here, Richard Byrne’s picks to help jumpstart the process.

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

The World Builder’s Sandwich | Consider the Source

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A central challenge in writing nonfiction for young adults is providing context. But what is context? The bread that holds it the sandwich together, or the meal’s nutritional value? It’s something to chew over.

Virtual Preschool? Believe It or not, It’s a Thing

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A curriculum from Vinci, available to parents by subscription, promises to “inspire the genius” in young children. Public libraries have actually been offering remote services to families for a while now, maintains Lisa Kropp, who further considers the notion of virtual preschool.

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

SLJ Reviews Duolingo for Schools | Test Drive

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Duolingo has released Duolingo for Schools for grades 6 and up, based on its popular free site for foreign language learners. Melissa Techman covers the teacher dashboard and the application’s potential use in the classroom.

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

The YMAs and the Future of Diverse Books | Editorial

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The diversity in the 2015 Youth Media Awards selections was a critical step in the right direction, though barriers remain. Perhaps we will look back and recognize this as a turning point.

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

STEM Is Busting Out All Over | Consider the Source

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STEM events—from school programs to citywide activities—are happening all over. With a few tips from the city of Buffalo (NY), you might want to start planning your own festival.

Anonymous Book Reviews: License to Be Cruel

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Too many anonymous reviewers use their alternate online persona as a blank check to for cruelty. It’s as if being faceless themselves allows them to forget that there is a living, breathing human being with a full range of emotions who will be affected by their words.

Anonymous Book Reviews: There Is a Good Reason for Them

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Perhaps, as one of my colleagues (and countless authors) has suggested, reviewers should have the cojones to proudly byline negative reviews, but that’s a hard standard to enforce in a connected society.

Librarians and the Changing Job Market | Consider the Source

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A recent news article offered a fascinating graphic on American jobs that pay $40–80,000 a year, highlighting whether these jobs have grown or declined between the years 1980–2012. Where does librarianship fit into the picture?

Value Judgment | Scales On Censorship

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This month, Pat Scales fires back on a principal who nixes the study of a novel with a Buddhist mother-character in a world religions program, a teacher who wants to label library books by reading-level, and a company contracted for book fairs that labels a graphic novel featuring a kiss between two boys as “Mature Content.”

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