March 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Free Mackin Ebooks; Qlovi’s Common Core Platform; E-Rate Filing Opens | News Bites

A Mini-MOOC on Digital Publishing
The Z. Smith Reynolds (ZSR) Library at Wake Forest University has announced that it will present a ZSRx Digital Publishing mini-MOOC (massive open online course) that will run for three weeks beginning on February 4, 2014. The mini-MOOC is the second course that the library has offered but the first one that is free and open to all, even those outside the University community. The course aims to examine the past, present, and future of e-books and the digital publishing landscape. The course may be of interest to educators as well as authors who may want to self-publish. Interested participants can register for the course online.

Free Mackin EBook Bundles
mackinviaMackin Educational Resources is offering free ebook bundles to users who activate a new account on its MackinVIA content management system; each bundle includes more than 30 fiction and nonfiction titles for elementary, middle school, or high school levels. Available on the latest version of the platform are 50,000 audiobook titles and more than 200,000 eBook and database titles. MackinVIA features a tablet-friendly slider control for advanced search filters, an EasyBib citations button, a new “My Notebook” page for user notes, and an integrated Merriam-Webster Dictionary. A MackinVIA app expands the platform iPhones, iPod Touch, iPad, Android telephones and tablets, Kindle, Nook.

Qlovi Launches Common Core Platform
Qlovi, a personalized eReading and writing platform for K–12 classrooms, is launching new features available free with OER titles or alongside purchased eBooks that focus on essay writing and search capabilities, aligned with the Common Core State Standards. “Qlovi is dedicated to helping teachers meet the literacy instruction needs of all kids,” says Qlovi CEO Harlyn Pacheco, noting that the platform now allows teachers to assign their students leveled readings, monitor progress, and use data to target student feedback. Teachers can select from thousands of ebooks. Qlovi is supported in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Echoing Green, and Kapor Capital.

twitter-bird-blue-on-whitecropALA’s Copyright Tweetchat Archive Available
On Tuesday, January 7, school principals, superintendents, librarians, and educators participated in an interactive tweetchat with copyright expert and bestselling author Carrie Russell. An archived edition of that conversation, during which Russell answered copyright questions using #k12copylaw, is now available online. The event was hosted by the American Library Associationthe School Superintendents Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day
Children’s reading and play advocates and bloggers Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom have teamed up to create a new national event: Multicultural Children’s Book Day, to be held for the first time on Monday, January 27, 2014. The event aims to raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity as well as to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of the event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads to publicize great books to families, teachers, and libraries. According to Budayr and Wenjen, census data shows that 37 percent of the US population consists of people of color yet only 10 percent of published children’s books include diversity content. The moms have already posted book and resource lists, a Pinterest board, and suggested activities in anticipation of the event, and lined up author Susan Fayad along with publishers Wisdom Tales Press, Chronicle Books, and Lee & Low Books as sponsors.

2014: Year of the Bard
image001The Free Library of Philadelphia, one of the most widely-used educational and cultural institutions in the city, has just launched “Year of the Bard: Shakespeare at 450,” a year’s worth of programs and events celebrating Shakespeare in all his classic and modern incarnations. Following last week’s kick-off event, programming is expected to continue from the library—and in partnership with The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre and numerous other cultural organizations—to include activities, lectures, contests, digital and live exhibitions, pop-up and theatrical performances, and a big birthday bash on April 23.

E-Rate Filing Window Opened for 2014
Though discussion of the program’s potential reform is ongoing, the E-Rate filing window for 2014 opened last week and will be open through Wednesday, March 26, at 11:59 p.m. Until the deadline, schools and libraries can apply to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for discounted Internet and telecommunications services and to improve their broadband access.

imageawrdsNAACP Image Awards
The NAACP has named the finalists for its Image awards. The winners will be announced on February 22.

For Outstanding Literary Work for Children, the finalists are Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson (HarperCollins); Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me (Little, Brown) by Daniel Beaty, illustrated Bryan Collier; Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song (Little, Brown) by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney; I’m A Pretty Little Black Girl! (Dream Title Publishing) by Betty K. Bynum, illustrated by Claire Armstrong-Parod; and You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! (Random House) by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Terry Widener.

For Outstanding Literary Work for Youth and Teens, the finalists are Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers (Candlewick Press) by Tanya Lee Stone; Raising the Bar (Zondervan) by Gabrielle Douglas; God’s Graffiti: Inspiring Stories for Teens (Judson Press) by Romal Tune; Invasion (Scholastic) by Walter Dean Myers; and Serafina’s Promise: A Novel in Verse (Scholastic) by Anne E. Burg.

Karyn M. Peterson About Karyn M. Peterson

Karyn M. Peterson ( is a former News Editor ofSLJ.

Facts Matter: Information Literacy for the Real World
Libraries and news organizations are joining forces in a variety of ways to promote news literacy, create innovative community programming, and help patrons/students identify misinformation. This online course will teach you how to partner with local news organizations to promote news literacy through a range of programs—including a citizen journalism hub at your library.