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August 30, 2014

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Michelle asks: RU Ready 2 Trust ‘em? (@TEDxWestport)

Michelle Luhtala suggests we judge millennials unfairly. Are they really coddled or are they resourceful?  Are they narcissistic or transparent? Unfocused or hyper-focused? Is taking a selfie narcissistic, or is it a way to connect with the world? In her kid-focused TEDx talk, Michelle, head librarian at New Canaan (CT) High School shares the importance [...]

Celebrating the news from Vermont!

Celebrating the news from Vermont!

During National Library Month, it’s so lovely to celebrate a victory for children and that the hard work of advocacy can pay off. VSLA President, Denise Wentz, just wrote to share the following great news in advance of my visit to the the Vermont Dynamic Learning Landscapes Conference. I am very happy to finally announce [...]

SLJ’s two new awards: School Librarian of the Year Award and Build Something Bold!

SLJ’s two new awards: School Librarian of the Year Award and Build Something Bold!

I am so embarrassed to have missed these announcements, and I want to make sure that others do not! SLJ just announced two new awards that are ripe pickings for so many of you! 1. School Librarian of the Year! You know who you are. I urge you to nominate yourself.

On “hacking” school library or crowdsourcing innovation (PLEASE SHARE YOUR HACKS!)

I am preparing for a talk at Computers in Libraries this week and I’d love to showcase your best ideas. In what ways have you innovated this year? How have you challenged traditional notions of: collection, instruction, reading, space/design, budget, walls, rules, and especially expectations? In honor of School Library Month, please help by adding [...]

School Libraries Can Now Access Over 17,000 Ebook Penguin Titles through OverDrive

Penguin Ebooks Return to OverDrive, Go National on Axis 360

What was now only available to public libraries is now open to school libraries. Beloved authors—including Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, John Green, and many others—are now at school libraries’ fingertips.

School Library Story: When libraries thrive and when they crumble

School Library Story from joyce valenza on Vimeo. I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a long time. My very talented student friend, Walter Lynch, offered to help me tell it. A day doesn’t go by when I am not inspired to action by the inventive ideas I discover from my generous teacher librarian colleagues who [...]

The view from my circ desk vs. stories of heartbreaking inequity

The view from my circ desk vs. stories of heartbreaking inequity

“There are 242 schools in the School District of Philadelphia. Only 16 librarians are left standing across that line. And what my [former] city colleagues tell me, is that NO Philadelphia public high schools have certified school librarians,” writes Joyce Valenza. “Consider this divide.”

Declaration is now online. Sign it and wear the badge proudly

NYPL's 42 Street Children's Center.

When I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago, the resources were not yet available online.   They are now.  So please spread the message widely.  Have everyone you know who believes in equity, who believes that every child has a right to a strong library program, sign Barb Stripling’s Declaration. Host a face-to-face signing or [...]

Librarians and Danielson and PA

Librarians and Danielson and PA

Late last spring, our district distributed the Danielson Framework for Teaching rubric listing the components of instruction–divided into 22 components and 76 smaller elements, and clustered into four domains. Danielson’s Framework, is designed to serve as the the foundation of a school or district’s mentoring, coaching, professional development, and teacher evaluation processes, thus linking all those activities together [...]

Help me crowdsource TL monthly checklists?

I’ve had these in my files for a couple of years doing nobody no good. So, I thought it was time to crowd-source, update and improve a series of checklists I’ve planning to work on and share. The checklists are meant to be a handy list of things to plan, do, and celebrate month-by-month in the life [...]

TL Cafe Hosts “Back to School Special”

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September is a great time get your network on. On Monday September 9 at 8 pm ET, it’s the very special third annual Back to School Special, featuring an idea share led by Tiffany Whitehead (Mighty Little Librarian), Jennifer LaGarde (Library Girl), and the daring Gwyneth Jones. Visit the TLCafé homepage for instructions on how to join the event using Blackboard Collaborate.

A new Follett Challenge & a couple of inspiring stories

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I’ve come to the conclusion that there are probably a thousand different ways to do library great. Sure there are handbooks on how to put together a traditional library program–how to create a budget, weed a collection, host an author event, collaborate with teachers. But no textbook shows you what it looks like when the [...]

Orientation inspiration

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You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Joyce Valenza shares some creative ways to do a library orientation. (Zombies included.)

School Library Research Summarized (and newly updated)

(Note: I just realized that I created a draft of this post a few weeks back, but forgot to publish. Forgive me!) Deb Kachel, my colleague at the Mansfield SL&IT, just shared her latest revision of School Library Research Summarized. The revised booklet updates the work of Deb’s grad students in her Spring 2011 Advocacy [...]

What did your edtech year look like? (The results)

What did your edtech year look like?  (The results)

A couple of weeks back I shared a survey that asked the following: As this school year comes to a close, I’d like to call on you to share your discoveries and your wisdom and to help me reflect. Which edtech goodies, tools, apps, platforms, and strategies worked so well for you in 2012/2013 that [...]

Our first PSLA/MU Unconference

Our first PSLA/MU Unconference

I am a big fan of the unconference/edcamp movements and of open space planning.     And though I’ve personally been lucky to attend a number of local, regional, and national edcamps and unconfs, I’ve wanted to share my excitement about these participant-driven events with my TL colleagues in Pennsylvania.  Our traditional PSLA state conference is pretty darn [...]

Web2MARC/DL2SL: Making our OPACs more gracious hosts

Web2MARC/DL2SL: Making our OPACs more gracious hosts

It’s time to bust open the OPAC. In fact, it’s long past time. My notion of collection development and of cataloging were a little different back in the day. I now consider digital resources–OER, images, videos, audio files, slideshows, documents, ebooks, maps, art, student work, data sets, interactivities, simulations, and especially the elements of the [...]

on Creativity and testing and poetry

Yesterday, I was touched when I read a letter by a retiring principal in Diane Ravitch’s blog. In his letter to parents, Don Sternberg (Wantagh Elementary, Long Island, NY), shared that he felt he was abandoning my students at a time that they might need my voice the most. Sternberg writes of his concern that [...]

School library infographics: research and advocacy

School library infographics: research and advocacy

However compelling the research is, it can be hard to make the case with a 30-page study, or even a executive summary. Sometimes you need the visually attractive, embeddable, tweetable version of the elevator speech. Over the past couple of months we’ve seen a research translated and chunked in the form of infographics.  We’ve also [...]

New Zealand: The future of library services to NZ students

New Zealand: The future of library services to NZ students

A couple of summers ago I was invited to visit New Zealand and speak at the SLANZA Conference. I will never forget the warm welcome, the energy, and the passion of the librarians I met in Auckland.  While I was there I toured the National Library of New Zealand and had the pleasure of meeting [...]