June 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Digital Terms You Should Know | Pivot Points

Want a spot at the administrators’ table? Then be sure to understand these terms related to digital content, curriculum, and management.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Fired Up by the SLJ Summit | The Next Big Thing

Passing remarks at the event provided inspiration, outlining key points for future consideration and action.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Change Makers at the SLJ Leadership Summit

Key conversations and presentations at the SLJ Leadership Summit, this past October, centered on school media specialists’ changing roles, how to use tech to meet 21st-century learning goals, and the importance of reaching all readers and learners.

Sticker Shock: Librarians Open Their Wallets

Almost 97 percent of school librarians spend their own money on supplies, according to a recent SLJ poll on out-of-pocket spending.

Fan Fiction Takes Flight Among Teens

Teens write fan fiction to experiment, explore, and interact with fellow writers they admire and respect.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Know Your Neighborhood: A Community Needs Assessment Primer

What does your neighborhood really need from you? Tips to help libraries get to know the communities that they serve, with a resource list of potential partners, literacy and early childhood organizations, and sources of demographic data.

AASL Conference 2011: Colorado Elementary School Ditches Dewey for Bookstore Model

Colorado’s Red Hawk Elementary School has gone Dewey-less—and so far the results have been great.

The new school, which opened its doors just six weeks ago, is the only building in the St. Vrain Valley School District to scrap the Dewey Decimal system in favor of a more user-friendly bookstore model for organizing its 6,031-title collection. In fact, according to District Librarian Holli Buchter, Red Hawk is the only elementary school in the United States to ditch Dewey. (The only other […]

Boy Story: Do you really want guys in your library?

Classes don’t start for at least 25 minutes, but the library is already jam-packed with kids, mostly boys. Students are sitting at tables, browsing bookshelves, standing and chatting. Three untamed games of chess are going full tilt, and a long line has formed in front of the circulation desk. There are so many students I have to stand up to make sure no one is running around the paperback racks playing tag.

“Mrs. Cox, can you help me find that blue […]

Federal Court:No Parent Notification on Gay-Themed BooksOK

A federal appeals court in Massachusetts has ruled that an elementary school may use children’s books that encourage tolerance for gays without notifying caretakers in advance.

The parents of three children in Lexington, MA, had argued that such notification was justified under the U.S. Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause and their parental and privacy due-process rights.

At issue were the books King and King (2002) by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland; Who’s in a Family? (1995, both Ten Speed) by Robert Skutch […]

DOE Unveils Database on Student Achievement

How is your state doing when it comes to closing the achievement gap? The U. S. Department of Education has unveiled a new database designed to show how schools across the country are performing on their math and reading scores, as well as their high school graduation rates.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings says the so-called National Dashboards—one for each state and the District of Columbia—will help parents and policymakers better understand how states stack up against each other in terms of […]

Better Late Than Never: Late fines stop teens from coming to the library | Teenage Riot

If you ask teens why they rarely visit libraries, they’ll likely say something about the mean librarians or slow computers. But the issue of late fines almost always comes up. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when the Columbus (OH) Metropolitan Library surveyed their young patrons and discovered that 41 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds said their library cards were blocked due to overdue materials. These kids weren’t using the library because they couldn’t afford it.

I’m the first to admit that […]

Everyone’s Invited: Ways to make your library more welcoming to children with special needs

Is your library a friendly environment for students with disabilities? Like most media specialists, you have good intentions. But you’re probably on a tight budget and can’t afford to purchase special resources or equipment. Moreover, you lack the time to cater to such a small minority of students.

At least that was my experience. I once had a seventh-grade student who had a personal frequency modulation system to help her hear in class. But the self-conscious girl did everything she could […]

One Year Later: Private Management in Riverside Co., CA

When California’s Riverside County announced it was hiring a private company to run its library system, Caryn Lanka was among the skeptical. “I’m philosophically opposed to private contracting when it comes to libraries,” said Lanka, a volunteer at the Desert Hot Springs branch and President of the Desert Friends, a Friends of the Library umbrella group.

Yet despite her misgivings, Lanka had to admit she’d seen some concrete improvements since LSSI (Library Systems and Services, Inc. of Germantown, Maryland) took over […]