The Many Faces of Collaboration

School Library Connection is pleased to collaborate with ALA President Julie Todaro and her school library group Task Force to provide access to a selection of key professional development articles aligned with essential professional competencies for school librarians. These articles were hand selected from our archives by an expert panel of librarians chaired by Susan Ballard, Dorcas Hand, and Sara Kelly Johns. You can read the latest about the initiative here.

“The Many Faces of Collaboration” by Stacey Gerwitz. School Library Connection, December 2015.

Much to my dismay, there are no hallway traffic jams caused by teachers lined up at the library door anxious to collaborate. In fact, some teachers might never cross our library threshold if I didn’t reach out and offer my services. Working with different faculty members can be quite the adventure, and it is never the same experience. There are different levels of collaboration. Some will be full co-teaching experiences, while others will include a division of skills and teachable moments. Whether you are just beginning your career or are a seasoned veteran, you may already know—or may someday meet—this assembly of collaborating teachers.

The Dream Teacher

This is the teacher who makes a librarian’s life amazing! When you meet with the teacher for the first time, you become instant collaborators. You want to work with her as often as you can throughout the year. In fact, the year isn’t long enough for all the ideas you have. She realizes the potential and increased cognitive gains for students through collaboration. It’s a win-win-win for the students, teacher, and librarian. Her units become your units and vice versa until you can’t tell which unit belonged to whom in the beginning. It’s a perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Continue reading “The Many Faces of Collaboration”

ICYMI: November 2015 Author of the Month April Pulley Sayre

Who says kids find nonfiction boring and dry? Despite what many people may think about kids and nonfiction, children’s author April Pulley Sayre knows that kids really do love nonfiction, it’s simply a matter of “letting them graze and have some input so they can pursue their interests.”

If you want to inspire students to read nonfiction, April Pulley Sayre suggests that you make sure you have titles from “passionate writers. Stock the library with Seibert winners, AAAS/Subaru/SB&F award winners, John Burroughs Award winners, and so on. Check out the many great Internet resources like the Picture Perfect Science book website, http://www.pictureperfectscience.com/.” When you’re looking for some good nonfiction titles, Sayre’s own books are a good place to start. Continue reading “ICYMI: November 2015 Author of the Month April Pulley Sayre”

It’s Summertime…But the Learning Doesn’t End

Summertime. A time to spend with family, a time to do some traveling, a time to have some fun, a time to simply relax. You probably know some people who think that’s all you do when school’s not in session—but we all know that summer isn’t all play and no work. We know you most likely spend a lot of your summer on a number of professional activities for which you’re not paid. Rather than asking you to list all the professional activities you partake in during the summer, we decided to narrow it down with our One-Question Survey that asks, “Which professional activity do you typically devote the most unpaid time to during the summer?” Below, Dr. Maria Cahill shares and summarizes the results.

We hope you use these surveys to help you reflect on your own practices. Subscribers can view our archive of past surveys here or check out the complete Summer issue, “Summer Escape,” at our website.

Which professional activity do you typically devote the most unpaid time to during the summer?

Several years ago, January 2015 to be exact, quite a few school librarians reported via the One-Question Survey (1QS) that “Students think I know every book that has ever been written!” Now, you and I both know some school librarians who probably do know just about every book that has ever been written for children, right?! It shouldn’t surprise you, then, that in response to our latest 1QS—Select the professional activity in which you typically devote the most amount of unpaid time during the summer—three of every seven respondents indicated the professional activity to which they typically devote the greatest amount of unpaid time is “reading or reviewing materials written for children and/or YA audiences (e.g. literature, information texts, poetry, audiobooks, etc.).”

As the chart above illustrates, the only other responses selected by more than 10% of respondents were “attending and/or presenting at professional conferences” and “engaging with and/or learning about new technology tools.” The next most frequently identified activity was reading back issues of professional and/or scholarly journals that the school librarians didn’t have time to read during the school year. Interestingly, 11% of high school librarians selected this choice compared to only six percent of elementary and middle school librarians. Continue reading “It’s Summertime…But the Learning Doesn’t End”

Summer Escape (Summer 2017 Issue)

Subscribers: Check out our Summer 2017 bonus online issue at SLC online! Find out how some of your fellow librarians spend their summers and get inspired. Click on the article titles below to read more.

Not yet a subscriber? What are you waiting for? Click here for more information and to sign up for a free trial.


Table of Contents

SUMMER ESCAPE

Free-Range Professional Learning by Susie Highley

The YALit Lover’s Travel Guide by Jennifer LaGarde

Mindfulness in the Library by Brooke M. Davis


Continue reading “Summer Escape (Summer 2017 Issue)”

Thoughts on ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference

ALA’s annual conference offers an opportunity for librarians to hear about the latest initiatives, ideas, award-winning books, authors, illustrators, websites, apps, tech tools…and so much more. But perhaps most importantly of all, it presents a chance to simply meet with fellow librarians, to reminisce with old friends, meet new ones, to share ideas and concerns. And, at the end of the day — after attending panels and checking out the exhibitors including, of course, stopping by to hobnob with our own Becky Snyder  (and Keith Chasse, Sharon Coatney, Jessica Gribble, Kevin Hillstrom, Barbara Ittner, David Paige, Cleta Walker, and Blanche Woolls) — it’s your time to let your hair down, enjoy the company of your colleagues, and to eat, drink, dance, and be merry. Oh, yes, and to advocate, always with the advocating!

We’re sure you learned many things that furthered your professional development and that you can use in your own library, and had lots of experiences that will make for some warm and fuzzy memories. In that spirit of learning and sharing, we asked some of our editors to share a few of their takeaways on the conference. And please, if you’d like to share any of your thoughts, leave a comment or give us a tweet; we’d love to hear from you!


Liz Deskins, our curriculum editor for reVIEWS+, jumped in with what might be everyone’s first thought as they gather at the conference:

“There are so many librarians! All different kinds, with a variety of interests and specialties; but all are happy to talk with you. We are family!”

Liz also felt it worthwhile to point out that “AASL is a democratic microcosm; it is wonderful to watch it in action.” And let’s not forget the books: “Books, in many formats, are still exciting and worth standing in line for.”

Here’s Liz taking advantage of the chance to meet with fellow librarians Jeffrey DiScala, Deb Logan, and Susan Yutzey. And who’s that sitting beside her, can that be David Paige?

Continue reading “Thoughts on ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference”

Serving Black Youth — Part Two

Yesterday we spoke with Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell and Dr. Casey H. Rawson to find out more about their new book. Today, we present a sneak peek of their new video workshop on SLC. This professional development workshop briefly covers some of the key concepts from their work on equity and the need to change our thinking about serving Black youth.

In this sneak peek, Dr. Hughes-Hassell discusses enabling texts, why they are important, and what to look for when including them in your collection.

Subscribers can access the full workshop here.

Libraries, Literacy, and African American Youth, edited by Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Pauletta Brown-Bracy, and Casey H. Rawson covers key research concepts and includes profiles of school (and public) libraries that are working to effect change.

 

Serving Black Youth — Part One

One of the new books from Libraries Unlimited that we’re particularly excited about is Libraries, Literacy, and African American Youth, edited by Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Pauletta Brown-Bracy, and Casey H. Rawson. This book tackles the issue of making libraries welcoming to Black youth and addressing the needs and desires of this population in the interests of promoting equity and social justice. The text covers key research concepts and provides illustrations of best practices by offering profiles of school (and public) libraries that are working to effect change.

In their introduction, the authors say that rather than a how-to guide, they want their book to “spur dialogue and reflection about how libraries must change” in order to better serve African American youth. In the interests of building on this dialogue, Dr. Hughes-Hassell and Dr. Rawson were gracious enough to answer  some questions for us about their work.

And, stay tuned! Sandra and Casey also created a professional development workshop for SLC on these same issues. Tomorrow we’ll post a sneak peek of the video.

Continue reading “Serving Black Youth — Part One”

June Author of the Month Deron R. Hicks

Mystery, history, and Vincent Van Gogh—these are at the top of my list of favorite things. You may well imagine, then, how  thrilled I was to run across a book that incorporated all three, Deron R. Hicks’ The Van Gogh Deception. On top of that, he also has a Shakespeare mystery series. I think I’m in love!

Be sure to look for our review of The Van Gogh Deception, which received a highly recommended rating in the May/June issue of School Library Connection. Subscribers can see our complete archive of reviews here.

As our forever-leaping columnist Stacey Rattner has written in the pages of School Library Connection, children’s book authors are the school librarian’s rock stars. And it is definitely one of the perks of my job that I get to have a little one-on-one with these rock stars and get to know them on a somewhat more personal level. Another perk? I get to share their stories with you. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the author of the highly recommended The Van Gogh Deception, rock star Deron R. Hicks (whose books, by the way, are anything but much ado about nothing!). Continue reading “June Author of the Month Deron R. Hicks”

“We Read Diverse Books: Connecting Our Diverse Collections to Our Instruction.” A Supplement for LIS Faculty

We are pleased to continue our series of learning experiences designed for use with school library candidates in graduate/professional programs, including pre-service school librarians and practitioners working as educators while earning their credentials. This month, Carl A. Harvey II, Topic Center Editor for Organization & Management, has provided a series of activities to help faculty in using the text from our May issue for assignment instructions or online course modules.

Current subscribers can access the referenced articles via the hyperlinks below. (Magazine subscribers who still need to register for their login credentials at no extra cost may do so here.) As always, new subscribers are warmly welcomed into the SLC community, or we invite you to sign up for a free preview of our online platform.

In this issue of School Library Connection, which focuses on how to connect our students to diverse books, Leslie Preddy reminds us that, “although diversity is currently a social and politicized buzzword, it is important for us to remember school libraries have a history with understanding and embracing diversity in our community. It is through meeting the needs of the populations we serve that we intentionally, and in a natural manner, incorporate compassion and respect through the instruction, programming, and collections we design for our schools.” In many articles this month, our authors explore the diverse collections found in our libraries and the diversity of the patrons who use them, offering potential connections and points of discussion to LIS courses that focus on collection development, children’s literature, young adult literature, and library instruction.
—Carl A. Harvey II, Instructor of School Librarianship, Longwood University, Farmville, VA Continue reading ““We Read Diverse Books: Connecting Our Diverse Collections to Our Instruction.” A Supplement for LIS Faculty”

Redefining Reading: Comics in the Classroom

If you haven’t already heard, graphic novels and comics are gaining popularity with librarians as their value in promoting reading fluency, especially among beginning readers, reluctant readers, and ELL students, becomes more apparent. In this piece from our archives, Deborah B. Ford shares some ideas on using graphic works in your library or classroom.

Subscribers can always find more great articles in our archives. Not yet a subscriber? Click here for more information.

The Return of the Saturday Matinee!

Recently we decided to do Saturday Matinees @ the IMC, a teacher’s lending library for San Diego Unified School District staff. These one-hour classes for teachers focus on the resources available to them. With Comic-Con just around the corner, I decided to do “Comics in the Classroom”

Literature? Comics? Yes, comics. When was the last time you looked at a comic without reading? Don’t you have to determine sequence of events, character, plot, and resolution? And don’t forget that these panels have a beginning, middle, and end in as few as three squares. Using Follett Destiny as a search tool, I found a website, professorgarfield.org, that allows you to sort the panels into correct sequence, and then you have to answer questions about them. It is not as easy as you might think!

Comics in the Curriculum

Teachers can use comic books and graphic novels (fiction and nonfiction) to teach curriculum and standards. Publishers see the interest that students have in graphic novels. Some companies have published graphic novels of the classics. These versions make it easier for second language learners or students reading below grade level to grasp the storyline, as well as give them some background for reading the original. Stone Arch books and Capstone Press have created graphic libraries of content related curriculum. Now students can read what they want and learn something while doing it. As with any literature, teachers and librarians will want to pre-read before using graphic material with students. Continue reading “Redefining Reading: Comics in the Classroom”