If you are looking for a change of pace multimedia tool that spices up and informs your presentations, you should really spend some time with PowToon. Its basic (free!) features allow you to create a video up to five minutes in length using their music, animations, and various templates.
Shelly Ripplinger watched last year as her job disappeared in Utah’s Ogden School District—fired along with 19 of her fellow school librarians. But after push-back from colleagues, parents, and advocates, one-time money has now funded seven district librarian positions, including hers. They travel to schools as mobile co-teachers, while clerks man school libraries.
Make It @ Your Library, in collaboration with Instructables.com and the American Library Association, has finally launched its searchable website, makeitatyourlibrary.org, for librarians seeking maker space ideas and projects. Make It @ Your Library—an initiative developed through the ILEAD USA program over the past year—aims to help librarians realize maker projects in their own communities at low cost.
Nancy Robertson is not a school librarian—but as Michigan’s State Librarian, she believes strongly in the role of certified media specialists in student success. That’s why she has worked for the last five years on a benchmarking program called SL21 to help the state’s school librarians raise their programs to exemplary status.
The People for the American Way Foundation (PFAW), a progressive advocacy and freedom of speech organization, have sent a letter to the Watauga County (NC) Board of Education urging it to retain the use of Isabel Allende’s novel The House of the Spirits in the school’s English curriculum. The award-winning novel has been challenged by a parent, who is asking the board to consider its removal from the district.
Librarian Misti Jenkins, formerly an English teacher at the Nashville, TN, high school she now serves, shares her experiences in adapting from a predominately Spanish-speaking population of English Language Learners (ELL) to one that is comprised largely of Nepali and Burmese refugees. Here are her recommendations for ways to reach out to all students, regardless of their backgrounds.
The Tucson, Arizona, school board on Tuesday voted 3-2 to reintroduce seven books by Latino and Native American writers to the curriculum as supplementary classroom materials, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) announced today. The books had been removed from the curriculum two years ago when the district dissolved its acclaimed Mexican American Studies program.
A parent at Watauga High School in Boone, North Carolina, has challenged the use of Isabel Allende’s novel The House of the Spirits (Knopf, 1982) in the school’s English curriculum and is asking the Board of Education to consider its removal from the district, local newspaper the Watauga Democrat has reported.
Neil Gaiman’s bestselling urban fantasy novel Neverwhere is still available to students at the library at New Mexico’s Alamogordo High School, despite recent news reports that it is “banned,” the school’s librarian and media specialist Vicki Bertolino tells SLJ. The district is currently accepting written public comments ahead of its planned review of the book’s literary merit.
School librarians are currently an endangered species in Houston—and the future doesn’t look very bright. Decisions in the district on librarian staffing levels are left to the principals, with no mandates at the district level for certified media specialists in the schools. The result? A dramatic decline in the number of these professionals serving students in Houston, according to the Texas Education Agency.
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.
A Partnership for Success: The Jacksonville Public Library and University of North Florida Summer Tutoring Program
In an August issue of SLJTeen, we covered a program run by University at Buffalo’s Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction that matched graduate students with 180 elementary school students to advance their reading and writing schools over the summer. We asked readers to tell us about other programs like it, and the Southeast Regional Library (FL) stepped up with their collaboration with University of North Florida’s education undergrads.
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.”
Data from New York City’s Independent Budget Office, requested by the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), exposes huge inequities in the distribution of resources in New York City high schools. According to AQE’s analysis, black and Latino students are being denied opportunities available to many white and Asian students.
Neil Gaiman’s dark urban fantasy novel Neverwhere has been removed from both the school library and the required reading list at Alamogordo (NM) High School this week following the complaint of one parent, who objected to its sexual innuendos and “harsh” language, according to a report by New Mexico’s local KRQE news station.
Follett and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) have announced that applications are being accepted for the 2014 National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) Award. The competition is open to K–12 programs that are fully integrated into the school’s curriculum and meet the needs of the changing library environment. The deadline to submit an application is January 1, 2014.
Rebecca Newland, librarian at Kemps Landing Magnet School in Virginia Beach, VA, has been selected as the Library of Congress (LOC) Teacher-in-Residence for 2013–2014. Newland began her work at the library in August and—except for the government shutdown—she is looking forward during her appointment to planning and facilitating workshops for teacher/librarian pairs on using LOC primary sources with students, she tells School Library Journal.