SLJ Debuts “Higher Ground” Column on College, Career Readiness

School Library Journal has launched "Higher Ground," a new monthly column covering all aspects of college and career readiness.
School Library Journal has launched a new monthly column covering all aspects of college and career readiness.

Susanna Williams

Written by Susanna Williams, a consultant and former educator, “Higher Ground” has debuted with its first installment: “In the College and Career Information Gap, Libraries Could Make the Difference.” Future columns will cover:
  • Responsible college planning begins at the library. Higher education is pitched as the most secure ladder to financial stability, but the cost of college is skyrocketing. How can librarians help users access real information about paying for college?
  • Poverty and the brain. A new study shows that poverty actually reshapes brains, but it's possible to help people learn new ways of operating. Can librarians play a role in helping the children they serve set and achieve concrete, future-oriented goals?
  • Data is the new bacon. If data is the new bacon and libraries are the original repository for accessing all the data that matters, could libraries be seeing a sunny side up?
Internships, the data economy, community college, and lifelong learning will also be covered in “Higher Ground.” “Libraries are critical ‘third places’ in our communities and within our schools,” says Williams, founder of BridgEd Strategies, a management consulting practice focused on improving organizational communication and strategic planning for nonprofits focused on workforce and education. “The space libraries hold for exploration and learning, untouched by tests or performance standards, allows young people to explore the possibilities of their own lives. I'm looking forward to sharing some of the creative ways libraries are bridging the space between K–12 and everything that lies beyond,” she says. Prior to launching BridgEd Strategies in 2014, Williams was a program officer with the Postsecondary Success initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She began her career as a K-4 teacher before becoming a K-12 administrator.

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