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March 27, 2015

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James Patterson Raises School Libraries Grant to $1.5M

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On March 23, best-selling author James Patterson announced that he is donating an additional $250,000 to the $1.25 million school libraries grant he and Scholastic Reading Club publicized earlier in March.

Update: ESEA: ALA and Advocacy Community Urging School Library Supporters to Act Now

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With the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act coming up, the American Library Association has been leading the campaign to get dedicated funding for school libraries into the bill.

Pictures of the Week: New Teacher Librarian Training at P.S. 192

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SLJ was on hand for a day of professional development for a group of new teacher librarians, some decked out in green, at P.S. 192 in New York City on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day.

Illinois Public Library Partners with Middle School on Eighth Grade Maker Program

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Due to the partnership between Thomas Middle School in Arlington, IL, and Arlington Heights Memorial Library, a group of 29 eighth graders participated in a maker class creating everyday objects, including jewelry and take-apart scissors.

Net Neutrality: Why You Should Care About the FCC Vote

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The Federal Communications Commission vote concerning the regulation of Internet broadband services and net neutrality is on February 26, and here’s why schools and libraries should care.

Kansas May Criminalize Educators for Distributing “Harmful Material”

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A proposed bill in Kansas removes the protection of educators against prosecution for sharing so-called “harmful material” in schools. Senate Bill 56 has sparked strong partisanship, and the American Library Association is closely monitoring its progress.

Updated: The E-Rate Window Is Wide Open—So What Next?

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Libraries and schools applying for E-Rate’s Wi-Fi program have an extra $1.5 billion of funds to tap until the March 26 deadline. Here are some tips and tools to maximize your application.

Two Books Challenged Again in Highland Park Schools in Texas

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Renewed book challenges to The Working Poor: Invisible in America and The Art of Racing in the Rain stir up sides as the Highland Park (TX) Independent School District’s board gears up to vote on revisions to the district’s book policy.

OH Department of Education Will Vote to Purge School Librarian Requirement

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The Ohio Department of Education is trying to purge the “5 of 8” rule, which mandates that school districts hire five staff members in “education service personnel,” including librarians, for every 1,000 students.

OH School Librarian Gets E-Kiosk to Access Public Library’s Digital Collection

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Middle school librarian Mary Burkey wondered how she was going to get digital books into kids’ hands. Her ongoing partnership with the local public library eventually led to a digital kiosk that allows kids at school to browse and access the library’s full digital collection.

E-Rate Win for Schools and Libraries: Modernization Order Brings Another $1.5B

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The FCC voted another $1.5 billion to E-Rate, a federal subsidy program that brings high speed broadband to schools and libraries, and advocates, including the American Library Assocation and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries, are voicing their cheer.

School and Public Libraries Collaborate to Help Teen Community: Reports from the Field

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In big and small ways, collaboration is a way of life for many school and public libraries. From teen book festivals to maker space initiatives, they are working together to bring new services and programs to their young adults.

‘Highland Park Kids Read’ Takes on Censorship Battle in TX School District

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Nonprofit group Highland Park Kids Read is set to protest the pulling of “objectionable” books from the district’s curricula at a December 9 board meeting of the Highland Park Independent School District.

Follett’s New Destiny Resource Manager Helps School Districts Track Assets

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K-12 school districts can track their assets, including barcoded textbooks, laptops, whiteboards, tablets, and other equipment, using Destiny Resource Manager from Follett.

Nashville Mayor Gives the Lowdown on School-Library Partnership

Mayor of Nashville, Karl Dean. Photos courtesy of NP

The mayor of Nashville, Karl Dean, shares his city’s successful—and replicable—collections and renovations partnership with Nashville Public Library’s Limitless Libraries and Metro Nashville Public Schools.

School Library Renaissance in MA School District

front left:  Lainie Wood: son 10y/o (4th grade) and daughter 8 y/o (2nd grade)
middle left: Christina Murphy: son 6 y/o (1st) and son 8 y/o (3rd ) 
Back left: Heather Roman: daughter 8y/o (3rd) and son 11 y/o (5th)
Front right: Melissa Upton: daughter 8 y/o (3rd) and daughter 5 y/o (K) 
Back right: New principal as of 10/31/14, Stacy Phelan

Due to the perseverance of concerned parents and school administration, the Swampscott School District in Massachusetts is hiring school librarians.

Dynamic Librarian Gets Apple ConnectED Grant for West Harlem Middle School

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Peter Kornicker, a library media specialist at Don Pedro Albizu Campos Middle School in New York City, nabbed the Apple ConnectED grant for his school. This award translates into every student receiving an Apple iPad and every teacher, an iPad and Macbook, in 2015.

SLJTeen Chats with Jim Ziolkowski, Founder of buildON Nonprofit

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A trip to Malawi, Africa in 1992 convinced GE executive Jim Ziolkowski that he had a different calling—giving students the opportunity to transform their lives through access to education.

Scenes and Resources from the Summit | SLJ Summit 2014

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Inspirational and groundbreaking school librarians from all over the United States descended upon St. Paul, MN, on October 25─26 for SLJ’s 10th annual Leadership Summit. Here are some scenes and highlights from the event.

Hostile School Environments the Norm for LGBTQ Youth, Says GLSEN Report

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A recent report released by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network found that hostile school environments have adverse academic and social effects on LGBTQ youth.