SLJ's 2020 News Stories That Gave Us Hope

It was a tough year, but there is always an author, educator, or young person to remind even the most cynical among us that there are reasons to believe better days are coming.

By nature, being a news editor means being a fact-check-first kind of person, a news junkie predisposed to 15 follow-up questions before confirming a feel-good story is, in fact, feel-good.

In 2020, being a news editor meant spending day after day wishing the next story would be just slightly less depressing than the one before it.

But I am lucky enough to be a news editor at an organization with a mission of service to librarians, children, and education. Even luckier, in my role, I report and write some stories, allowing me to speak with the inspiring educators and authors going above and beyond for kids, to young people stepping up to help or successfully advocating a cause that they are passionate about, and to those who provide meaningful representation in their life and their work.

Here are the 10 stories this year that gave me reason to believe in people and have faith that better days are ahead. We hope they lifted your spirits as well. 

Steve Sheinkin and "Superlibrarian" Bring Authors and Readers Together on YouTube Game Show

Catching Up with 2020 School Librarian of the Year Cicely Lewis

San Francisco Learning Hubs Helping Most Vulnerable Students

Texas High School Teacher Zooms Into Remote Classes from U.S. Historical Sites and Landmarks

Jeff Kinney Hits the Road for Pandemic Book Tour Adventure

Police-Free Schools Advocates Earn Big Wins; Movement Has National Momentum

Educators, Organizations Get Creative to Build Students' Home Libraries During Coronavirus Crisis

Educators Use 3-D Printers to Create and Donate PPE

Kid Lit Authors Step Up To Help Educators, Students, and Parents

Jerry Craft Breaks Barriers with Historic 2020 Newbery Win

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Kara Yorio

Kara Yorio (, @karayorio) is news editor at School Library Journal.

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