June 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox
Karyn M. Peterson

About Karyn M. Peterson

Karyn M. Peterson (kpeterson@mediasourceinc.com) is a former News Editor ofSLJ.

US Students Still Struggle with Reading Proficiency, Report Shows

A majority of fourth graders in the United States are still not reading proficiently, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The data show that 80 percent of lower-income fourth graders and 66 percent of all kids are not reading at grade level.

Findaway World’s Bookopotamus; Smithsonian Conference; Kohl’s Scholarship | News Bites

Findaway World launches audiobook trivia app. Library of Congress offers primary source programs. Smithsonian’s diplomacy conference includes digital badge. Mackin initiative aids library fundraising. San Jose State examines the immigrant experience. Kohl’s offers scholarships to student volunteers. Technology and kids conference to be held in Massachusetts.

Snyder, Polacco, Bascomb Score 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Awards

The Association of Jewish Libraries has named Laurel Snyder, Patricia Polacco, and Neal Bascomb as the winners of its 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award, which honors new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience.

ALA Plans Library Declaration Signing in Philadelphia

The American Library Association hopes to draw attention to the nation’s cutbacks in school and public library funding by hosting a public signing of the Declaration for the Right to Libraries in Philadelphia on January 23.

Georgia Teacher Librarians Aim to Strengthen Role as State Revamps Public Schools

As Georgia pursues a major revamp of its public schools that could allow greater community control over school budgets, the state’s teacher librarians say it’s an ideal opportunity to strengthen the skills of their colleagues and build grassroots support for their changing role in student learning.

Harvard Study Examines Youth View on Technology Use in Schools

A new Harvard study examines US students’ attitudes towards technology in schools. Although 78 percent own cell phones, activating them in schools is restricted, which frustrates students. Students also express frustration with school’s limited WiFi access, Internet filtering, monitoring, and the push to embrace tablet computers.

Ezra Jack Keats Grants; Win a Wireless Lab; Celebrate Kindness | News Bites

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation offers minigrants. Kent State SLIS plans a course in Denmark. CDW-G, Discovery Education launch the Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes. The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network celebrates No Name-Calling Week. Grants are available for Día programs with an African American focus.

AASL, Head Start Praise Federal Budget’s Focus on Early Learning

The American Association of School Librarians and the National Head Start Association are praising the early learning dollars included in this week’s federal budget. However, both say challenges to funding remain—and the budget comes too late to help the 57,000 children cut off from Head Start last year.

MWA Announces 2014 Edgar Awards Nominees

The Mystery Writers of America has announced the nominees for its 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television from the previous year, in celebration of the 205th anniversary of Poe’s birth.

California School Librarians Look to Higher Ed during Advocacy Overhaul

New data confirming a 1:7,000 ratio of media specialists to students has the California School Library Association rallying for big advocacy. Key to those efforts will be the support of universities, who can help publicize that students’ college readiness is suffering without information literacy experts at every school.

Engaging with Ebooks Can Aid Children’s Literacy, Study Finds

As younger and younger children recognize and use electronic devices as sources of information and entertainment, what is the impact on their literacy skills? Largely a positive one, according to a study in the January edition of SAGE Open.

National Jewish Book Award Winners Named

The Jewish Book Council has named the winners of its 63rd Annual National Jewish Book Awards, including selections in both the Children’s and Young Adult Literature and the Illustrated Children’s Book categories.

School Libraries May Benefit from Congressional Budget Deal

The $1.012 trillion spending bill unveiled by House and Senate leaders, if approved, will restore most of the critically needed federal education funding that was dramatically cut during last year’s sequestration. The boon to poorer school districts could ease budget squeezes that have forced the elimination of school librarians.

SLJ Survey: Ebook Usage in School Libraries Expected to Rise Incrementally

School library media specialists, especially in high schools, expect ebook usage by their students to rise incrementally, according to the 2013 Survey of Ebook Usage in U.S. School (K–12) Libraries. The annual survey, the fourth of its kind, was produced by School Library Journal and sponsored by Follett.

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

Here are our latest briefs on a digital publishing mini-MOOC, free Mackin ebook bundles, Qlovi’s Common Core platform, an archived copyright tweetchat, Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Philadelphia’s Year of the Bard, the E-Rate filing window, and the NAACP Image Awards.

Chicago Schools Seek Library Tech Coordinator

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has just posted an opening for a library technology coordinator, according to Lisa E. Perez, library manager for CPS’s Department of Literacy. It’s encouraging to see the opening given that Chicago, like many US cities, has recently faced budget cuts.

Bellevue (WA) to Rehire School Librarians

Washington State’s Bellevue School District is seeking to hire two certified media specialists, to be known as Research Technology Specialists, by this spring and hopes to fully staff more of its secondary schools—whose librarians were cut in 2009—by 2015, District Superintendent Dr. Tim Mills confirms.

US Student Achievement Stalls amid Funding, Equity Hurdles, Report Shows

Despite notable progress in key states, overall US student achievement has stalled in the face of funding hurdles and equity gaps, according to the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center’s annual “Quality Counts” report.

AASA Announces Finalists for 2014 National Superintendent of the Year

AASA, the School Superintendents Association, today announced the finalists for the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year. The candidates lead school systems in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and Texas.

Providence (RI) Community Library Launches New Early Learning Program

In the coming weeks, staffers at Rhode Island’s Providence Community Library (PCL) are seeking to sign up hundreds of families for its new Ready for K! school readiness program, which aims to narrow the achievement gap for poor children.