June 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Greetings! and Farewell | Consider the Source

School Library Journal‘s longtime columnist discusses his current and future projects as he bids farewell to our readers.

Presentation Tools Worthy of the Content | Consider the Source

Looking at some of the new software, it’s clear that the grammar of picture books is becoming a design structure that applies to effective presentations.

The Three Faces of the Bologna Book Fair

The atmosphere at the International Bologna Children’s Book Fair was electric. Clearly, though, there were three simultaneous fairs taking place, and their story lines aren’t identical. Here’s a guided tour.

He Said What? Making Sense of the Presidential Campaign

Every day seems to bring a new “I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened” moment in the election campaigns. What can a school library offer? Context.

Translation Blues | Consider the Source

Why is it that publishers downplay the fact that some of their books have been translated? It’s time for them—and librarians—to help international books to strut their stuff—to become visible introductions to ways of thinking, seeing, and feeling that expand our sense of what it is to be alive in the world.

Is the Common Core Just a Scam to Sell Books? | Consider the Source

“What, are you crazy? It’s all about the money.” According to a video secretly recorded by a group called Project Veritas, these are the exact words of a (since-fired) executive at a major publishing company. Is the Common Core all about the money? Marc Aronson responds.

Facing Adversity: 72 Hours in the Life of a Librarian | Consider the Source

In the library, adversity comes in many forms: a community persevering during unrest; a challenge to readers’ rights, and sometimes, in the form of bureaucracy.

Meet “Homo naledi” | A Fascinating Discovery Surfaces

The discovery itself is only the beginning; the great news about this remarkable find is that it throws the science of human origins wide open.

Minding the Curriculum Gaps | Consider the Source

It is a form of generosity for authors to give young adults access to important histories—histories that are no less crucial simply because they are not yet required reading or don’t appear on standardized tests.

The Nonfiction Transmedia Challenge | Consider the Source

The challenge for nonfiction writers is to discover the best pathways into the world in any form, to build a compelling narrative in words, but, also, to find ways to weave in the sounds, the images, the videos that best complement the text.

Defining Excellence in Nonfiction | YALSA Action Required

The field of nonfiction is growing and changing and it’s time for librarians to take a closer look at what defines “excellence.” At ALA annual, YALSA will be considering its nonfiction award criteria. The discussion begins here.

Mathical: A New Book Award Honors the Magic of Mathematics

Last month a new prize was announced: Mathical Books for Kids from Tots to Teens. The prize is sponsored by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)—a non-profit that focuses on research and works to deepen appreciation of mathematics across all age levels—and the Children’s Book Council (CBC).

What Does “Excellence” in Nonfiction Mean to YALSA? | Consider the Source

A look at YALSA’s Nonfiction Award for Excellence leaves the author with some questions about the award’s criteria.

Books I’d Like to See | Consider the Source

Like me, you probably have a list of books that you would like to see written—and published. Here are a couple of topics I’d like to see addressed in a book. What are yours?

The World Builder’s Sandwich | Consider the Source

A central challenge in writing nonfiction for young adults is providing context. But what is context? The bread that holds it the sandwich together, or the meal’s nutritional value? It’s something to chew over.

STEM Is Busting Out All Over | Consider the Source

STEM events—from school programs to citywide activities—are happening all over. With a few tips from the city of Buffalo (NY), you might want to start planning your own festival.

Librarians and the Changing Job Market | Consider the Source

A recent news article offered a fascinating graphic on American jobs that pay $40–80,000 a year, highlighting whether these jobs have grown or declined between the years 1980–2012. Where does librarianship fit into the picture?

PARCC and You | Consider the Source

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) tests are coming to 10 states this spring. How can you help colleagues, parents, and students to prepare for them?

Let’s Talk About “Selma” | Consider the Source

“Selma”—there’s the film, and the reactions. Beyond all the friction is the question: What can we learn from the film and the controversy?

Breaking the Hypnotism of the Now | Consider the Source

The Italian media consultant Marcello Vena argues that we are in an “attention economy.” Our problem is not to locate media, but to find the time to read, watch, listen to, or play it. How does this relate to the role and function of the school librarian? Read on.