June 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Repurposing School Library Positions | Take the Lead

A school district superintendent describes school libraries as “a model of the type of learning space towards which education is evolving.”

A Look Back: Ursula Le Guin Talks Writing and Her Readers

In a 2004 interview with SLJ, Ursula K. Le Guin discusses her family, influences and evolution as a writer.

Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2–6 | Authors and Illustrators Remember Their Mentors

A timeless mix of reminiscences from authors and illustrators, first published in 2011.

From the Vault | SLJ’s Poetry Podcast Series

Recovered! After a transition to a new CMS a few years back, we lost some of our multimedia files. Here’s what remains from a trove of readings School Library Journal recorded in 2007 for National Poetry Month.

Recommended Books on Islam for K-12

Originally posted as a sidebar for a School Library Journal feature in October 2010 entitled “Islam in the Classroom”, the following curated list has been updated with more recent titles. The books below received positive reviews in SLJ. Feel free to add any we might have missed in the comments section.

Here, There, and Everywhere: 40 International Books for Young People

The United States Board on Books for Young People cites 40 international books for its 2011 honor list

In I Know Here, a young girl contemplates moving from northeastern Saskatchewan to Ontario: from rural to city life; from the known to the unknown. With her anticipated move, she joins a variety of characters from this year’s USBBY Outstanding International Books list who travel here, there, and everywhere. Their journeys take them from an airport (Oops!) to boarding schools […]

Role Call: Want to work with kids in a public library? Here’s the inside scoop.

Illustration by Giselle Potter

It was 2001 and I was a year out of college, my dream of becoming a photographer neatly scrapped due to the slightly sobering fact that my photography skills, not to put too fine a point on it, stunk. Library school seemed a given at that point in my life, and I was determined to follow what I had always thought was my lifelong ambition: becoming an archivist. I wanted to conserve books. Never mind […]

Fido Helps Kids Improve Reading Skills at Wisconsin Library

At Wisconsin’s Racine Public Library, the idea of going to the dogs is a good thing. Children have been flocking to its Ruff Readers program, where K-5th graders spend 15 minutes reading aloud to tail-wagging friends who are trained to listen and obey.

To librarians Jill Lininger and Erin Kant, the program helps children—especially struggling readers—gain confidence because the dogs only offer a gentle, nonjudgmental ear. And that’s key for kids who may find reading stressful because they have a learning […]

Best in The West: ALA Annual 2012

Planning to catch this year’s American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Anaheim, CA? If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to make every second count. That’s why we’ve asked seven savvy librarians to give us the skinny on the top five sessions they plan to attend during the June 21–26 event. As you’ll see, they came up with an eclectic mix that’s bound to make nearby Disneyland‘s power couple, Mickey and […]

On Common Core | Seize the Opportunity

The new standards dovetail elegantly with inquiry, and we know inquiry

This is the worst time to be a school librarian and the best time to be one. Our profession is under daily threat of extinction, yet the implementation of the Common Core Standards affords incredible opportunity to make the strongest case for the importance of librarians and libraries in schools. Together we must commit to gaining a deep understanding of these new standards and determine to be at the […]

The Competitive Edge: Online gaming can motivate students and make learning more fun

The word competitiveness often conjures up a negative image. Maybe it’s an athlete willing to do anything to be the best. Or perhaps it’s a corporate shark climbing up the workplace ladder by backstabbing co-workers. But being competitive doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. I’m a very competitive gamer and believe in giving my all to anything—especially a good game. But I always play by the rules. And if I win, that’s certainly a plus.

Playing competitive […]

Staying Power: Edwards Award winner Susan Cooper has been working her magic for more than 40 years

I’m on my way to visit Susan Cooper on an unseasonably warm day in mid-February. As my car cruises along, about 45 minutes south of Boston, low tide reveals miles of untouched marshland. I drive across a short causeway, creep down an unpaved lane, and suddenly I’m staring at the exquisite home that Cooper built a couple of years ago. My first thought is that I’ve stumbled upon the Grey House, the setting of Cooper’s […]

To Have and Have Not: When it comes to the latest technology, some schools are more equal than others

“The future is here,” William Gibson once quipped. “It’s just not evenly distributed.” Gibson, the sci-fi writer who coined the term “cyberspace” back in 1982, could easily have been describing the state of technology in today’s K–12 classrooms. Sure, there are lots of stories about schools adopting the very latest digital devices, such as Maine’s Auburn School District giving iPads to each of its more than 250 kindergarteners or Burlington High, outside of Boston, ditching traditional […]

Hey, ‘Glee.’ Get Real: It’s time for the TV series to make room for a genuine librarian

The Golden Globe and Peabody Award–winning Fox series Glee, now in its third season, has revamped the tired reputations of both glee clubs and TV musicals. Can it do the same for school librarians? Certainly not if producers and writers maintain their current approach, scripting a shushing, out-of-touch librarian who has barely gotten a minute of screen time and hasn’t appeared since season two, despite the fact that scenes often take place in the school library.

The Glee […]

Plagiarism: That ‘P’ Word!

Ah, tis’ spring! The smell of the flowers, the warmth of the sun, and the dreaded end of the term’s essay assignment! For most students, that means a heavy reliance on the Internet, where they have virtually instant access to information. This tempting availability of facts (or opinions presented as facts) has made it even easier for students to search, copy, paste, and turn it in! But while it’s increasingly easy for young digital natives to locate papers to plagiarize, […]

Score!: Lessons on and off the playing field | Listen In

Young Pelé: Soccer’s First Star (Live Oak Media), Illustration by James Ransome.

April is traditionally the opening of the major league baseball season, turning our thoughts to sports of all kinds and the ways in which they can be integrated with studies in mathematics, history/social studies, biography, science, family life, health, and physical education. Stories about famous players, how sports help young people overcome adversity, and the thrill of a game well played bring listeners a fresh appreciation of […]

To the Rescue!: These incredible new tales can inspire your students to fight injustice

Michael Tunnell’s latest book did something amazing to my brain. Now I can’t hear the word “candy” without thinking of the word “hero.” This is a delectable combination that I’m certain my booktalk audiences make daily, but I’m also certain they haven’t heard the amazing story found in Tunnell’s Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Aircraft’s Chocolate Pilot (Charlesbridge, 2011).

In 1948, after World War II, Berlin, except for narrow air corridors, was cut off from the […]

The Titanic: Unsinkable | Focus On

April 2012 marks the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland. Even after 100 years, the disastrous loss of the White Star Line’s premier ship continues to fascinate. Over the course of 10 decades, the calamity has inspired a Broadway show, multiple books, and several movies, including the 1997 blockbuster film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, which will be rereleased in 3D for the anniversary. But why do students remain interested?

Undercover Librarian: Tech Coordinator Sarah Ludwig | Editorial

When Sarah Ludwig applied for her current job, the former media specialist was looking for the right fit for her skills. She found it, and now Ludwig has potentially forged a new model for school librarianship. As she drives tech innovation across the entire curriculum, her work is skill-centered rather than site-centered, and it’s connection-oriented while staying collection-oriented. It also emphasizes learning outcomes over gadgetry and validates the core work of librarians in meeting educational goals. She’s done all of […]

Holy Cow!: Sy Montgomery’s ‘Temple Grandin’ is an inspiring tale of cattle… and courage

When Temple Grandin was born, her parents didn’t know she had autism. In fact, her father thought she was retarded and wanted to send her to live in a mental hospital. Today, she’s a renowned scientist who designs humane environments for cattle and other animals we eat. What impact has she had on the industry?

Thirty-five million cattle are raised annually for beef in the U.S. Half of them spend their final minutes in buildings Temple designed, but her […]