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”

On Spring Cleaning & Evidence of Learning

“Perfectionism means that you try not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived.” —Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

As the mother of a toddler, I deeply appreciate these words. In our house, a fresh array of sippy cups, cereal, books, socks, cars, and blankies adorns the living room before 7 AM.

In the spirit of developmentally appropriate exploration, and to preserve my sanity, I tend not to pick up the mess as it happens. Instead, I try to delight in my daughter’s energy and curiosity, and do my best to avoid panic if she finds and eats a forgotten Cheerio. I straighten and clean when possible, and often, it’s not perfect before bedtime. If Anne Lamott says there is proof of a rich and full life in this pleasant chaos, then so it shall be. Some might call this patience, others sloppiness. Either way, I’ve found this approach to be a critical skill for getting through the day. I didn’t learn this secret as a new mom, though. I learned it as a school librarian. Continue reading “On Spring Cleaning & Evidence of Learning”

Administrators Take the Mic (March 2017 Issue)

Subscribers: Browse our March 2017 issue at SLC online! In this issue, we explore how strong partnerships between librarians and school administrators drive positive changes in the school library program, student learning, and the school community as a whole.

Subscribers can 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


Building-Level Advocacy with Library Impact Research By Gary N. Hartzell

The Natural Leadership Role of the School Librarian By Kyle A. Lee

Piecing Administrators into the Collaboration Puzzle By Stony Evans and Bruce Orr

Continue reading “Administrators Take the Mic (March 2017 Issue)”

Joy Tips in the Library

Library of Congress
Library of Congress

Take a moment to think about how to maintain your sense of joy in the library with this article from Jim McMillan and Barbara Pedersen.

Subscribers can find more great articles like this here.

Life in the library can include many situations that try to steal your joy. We all know if we lose our joy, we lose our peace, and we don’t want that to happen. You may believe that when things go wrong you can’t control how you feel, but you can. Each of us can control how we respond to things through the use of our will power. Make your will power your library power and use it when you need it. Students will learn from watching you. The way you live your life in the library is what you teach others. They will learn by your example. So how do we use our will power, you ask? There are five Joy Tips that have always helped guide me and are guaranteed to help you too in holding onto your joy wherever you go. Continue reading “Joy Tips in the Library”

Get Your Library Organized with Apps and Tools

moorefield-lang_heather-2Worried about that upcoming presentation? Want help with those everyday tasks in the library? In this excerpt from the archives, tech guru Heather Moorefield-Lang shares her expertise on finding the right tool to help you run your library more efficiently and impress your patrons and administrators with your knowledge and creativity.
Subscribers to SLC can read more helpful ideas like this by visiting School Library Connection.

Being in charge of others comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities. Those who work for their library administrators hope that they will be empathetic, creative, and flexible, have vision and good communication, be able to work well and collaborate, and serve the community at large (Chow and Rich 2013). There are a host of online tools and apps that can aid library administrators (and their employees) in communication, organization, presentations, creativity, and with everyday client, patron, student, and faculty service.

Every library administrator has to call meetings, and often it would be useful to have tools to aid with presentations.

Haiku Deck ( Similar in style to PowerPoint, this app and online presentation tool won AASL’s 2014 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning and the TIMEs 50 Best Websites for 2014. Presentations can be made on an iPad or computer. Haiku Deck makes creating presentations incredibly easy with templates, colors, and a partnership with Getty Images for a vast collection of gorgeous Creative Commons pictures. Presentations can be shared online or downloaded for free for offline presenting in PDF or PowerPoint format. (Free and Pro Levels Available).

Editor’s note: Subscribers can get more presentation ideas by checking out Heather’s article “Presentation on the Go” available online.

Just about all of us struggle with organization in one area or another. Here are some sites and apps that might be useful.

Droptask ( This online site and app works in two ways. It is a concept mapping and task management tool. Users can group their workload by categories into circles and then add to them as needed. It’s a visual way to view tasks as an individual or group. Collaboration is a strong component of this site. Tasks can be shared among employees and departments, and Droptask is great for presentations as well when sharing ideas for an upcoming project. (Free and Pro Levels Available) Continue reading “Get Your Library Organized with Apps and Tools”

Help! My Assistant Doesn’t Like to Shelve Books!

This column by Mary Keeling from the latest issue of School Library Connection has been getting some buzz. Happy reading, and remember: “Everyone is a volunteer!”

Keeling_MaryAt a recent meeting of new elementary librarians and their mentors, someone asked, “What is my assistant supposed to do? She doesn’t like to shelve books!”

A paradox of school library management is that the librarian is in charge of the library program, but a school administrator evaluates support staff performance. Without clear lines of authority, supervision experience, or detailed descriptions of successful task performance, the new librarian may feel it would be easier to have no help at all. Continue reading “Help! My Assistant Doesn’t Like to Shelve Books!”