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September 15, 2014

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Taking the Teen Summer Challenge to New Heights, Pierce County Style

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At Pierce County Library System (WA), staff recognized that their summer reading program needed to be reimagined. The Teen Summer Challenge was created to provide a more meaningful experience for their tweens and teens.

A Photo Gallery of Six Library Gardens

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What’s growing in library gardens across the country.

Ferguson Public Library Offers Lessons for Students in Limbo

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Missouri’s Ferguson Public Library has gone out of its way to be a refuge of peace and calm during the the tumult following the August 9 shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, and teachers—and retired teachers—offer lessons at the library during the ongoing district closure.

Queens Library to Offer PreK Class in Fall 2015

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In light of New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s push to open 33,000 PreK spots in NYC, the Queens Library Woodhaven branch will offer, for the first time, a PreK class for 18 kids starting this September.

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.

Opinion: Dear Congressman, Research Shows Closing School Libraries and Cutting Certified Librarians Does Not Make Sense

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Closing school libraries and cutting certified librarian positions does not make sense, says YA author and advocate Sarah Darer Littman, who has backed this assertion with research she cites in an open letter to policy makers.

How Librarians Can Help Fight the Culture of Slut-Shaming

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YA authors are tackling “the s-word” head-on. As professionals serving young people, librarians can talk to teens about why slut-shaming can’t be tolerated—and provide supportive programming.

Collaborating on the Summer Slide: University Students Tutor at Jacksonville Public Library

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A unique partnership between Jacksonville (FL) Public Library and the University of North Florida continues to bring tutoring services to children who might otherwise experience the “summer slide.”

Chaos in Your Children’s Section? Embrace It. | First Steps

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Mayhem, schmayhem. If your library’s children’s room is chaotic, it’s proof that the little ones are learning.

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

Reading Is Fundamental Study Says Summer Reading Is Not Priority

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How important is summer reading to parents? According to a study conducted by Reading Is Fundamental and Macy’s, only 17 percent of parents responded that reading should be a “top priority” for their kids during summer months.

The FCC To Vote on $2 Billion E-Rate Proposal, Librarians Are Speaking Out

Common Core Will Stress Already Inadequate E-rate Funding

On July 11, a big E-Rate vote for Wi-Fi funding for schools and libraries is coming up. The latest FCC proposal states that libraries’ Wi-Fi funding be determined by a space’s square footage—$1 per square foot. With $2 billion at stake, librarians across the country are objecting to this funding formula with claims that it doesn’t serve high-need urban libraries where square footage does not represent the number of visitors.

Libraries Needed to Host Summer Meal Programs. Here’s How to Help.

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Summer is a tough time for many kids—when they don’t get enough to eat. Summer meal programs are critical and public libraries are uniquely suited to host them. While outside of traditional library services, providing food to hungry citizens is “another way we can serve the community,” says Susan Maldonado, teen services librarian at Oakland Public Library.

Free Online Curriculum: ABCMouse.com for Libraries Launches at ALA | ALA 2014

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On June 26 at ALA, Age of Learning launched ABCmouse.com for Libraries, a fully featured, free-for-libraries version of ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy, its award-winning online curriculum used by millions of children as part of their series of Education for Access Initiatives.

U.S. World Book Night Announces Its End

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After three years, U.S. World Book Night has announced it will be suspending its operations due to a lack of ongoing funding.

Why Your Library Needs Music

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Library music programs are fun and support early learning. They’re also essential: A growing body of research is affirming the central role of music in building literacy.

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

Fizz, Boom, Read: Summer Reading Programs Blend Learning with Fun and Prizes

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School’s out for summer, but the library is still open, and there are programs around the country looking to entice and educate kids—and their parents—while fostering a love of reading and preventing the summer slide.

Nashville Public Library Reinvents Its Summer Reading Model, Sees Early Success

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Children’s librarian Lindsey Patrick recounts how Nashville Public Library redesigned its summer reading program into a flexible model that addressed the drop in participants and transformed the usual stress of summer into an exciting challenge for patrons and staff.

Know Your Neighborhood: A Community Needs Assessment Primer

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What does your neighborhood really need from you? Tips to help libraries get to know the communities that they serve, with a resource list of potential partners, literacy and early childhood organizations, and sources of demographic data.

Let’s Talk Tech: Tour de Tech at Arapahoe Library District

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The Arapahoe Library District’s (ALD) recent technology fair, Tour de Tech, left the public talking tech—and about libraries as community hubs for difficult-to-access technologies. Seventy percent of attendees who filled out an evaluation had never attended a library event before.

Winneconne Public Library Welcomes ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Cast

L-R:  customer service specialist Tracy Aerts, 'Tin Man' Sam Engel, children’s librarian Amanda O’Neal holding Toto (Ladybug), 'Dorothy' Abby Litjens, 'Scarecrow' Luke Flunker, library director Holly Selwitschka,  marketing specialist Kelly Nelson

Collaboration comes in all shapes and sizes. Winneconne Public Library pulled off a ‘Wizard of Oz’ cast party that brought the tiny Winneconne community (pop. 2,300) together in a big way.