DEED is beginning the process of reviewing and recommending Library/Information Literacy content standards, which were originally adopted in 1999. The process will involve writing and review committees who will work collaboratively online to develop new standards. There will be no face to face meetings and compensation will be in the form of one continuing education credit from UAA. Most of the work will be done over the summer. DEED intends to present the standards to the Alaska Board of Education by winter 2019; adoption would be finalized by spring 2020. Applications due May 7, 2019 to Janet Madsen, School Library Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). CLICK HERE for APPLICATION and HERE for detailed information sheet.
By Julie Doepken
One of the best parts of attending any large library conference is the BOOKS! Everywhere, BOOKS! After attending AASL twice, I had an idea what to expect regarding access to advanced reader copies (ARCs) and giveaways, and ALA Midwinter was much the same. In fact, it felt a little like *the* place to be to see up and coming titles and series. Perhaps that was because of the buzz of anticipation over the Youth Media Awards and knowing attendees were on the search for the newest, best books for their libraries.
No matter where you looked, publishers had myriad books on display.
Their reps were ready to answer questions, offer an ARC of a particularly
inviting title, or encourage you to pick up and see for yourself if a book
would meet the needs of your library. You could start a conversation with
just about anyone within earshot, comparing notes on books already read,
books waiting to be read, or books newly discovered, or give or receive a
book recommendation. As the exhibit hall opened, conference goers
flooded through the doors and those wonderful free tote bags were soon
filled with books.
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By Deborah Rinio
Like any field, research into school libraries helps inform librarians on the newest trends, methodologies, and thinking around school library practice. Trade publications such as School Library Journal and Voice of Youth Advocates contain articles and advice from practitioners and are definitely useful, but they rarely contain research reports and are not peer-reviewed.
Taking the time to read the newest research can help school librarians improve their teaching, management, and advocacy by exploring the newest trends and methods in the field. For example, an article on guided inquiry in School Library Journal might focus on the how of the approach; whereas an article on the same topic in School Library Research will explore not only the how, but the why, and the resulting data from the researcher’s study. This additional information can be used by the school librarian in applying the approach to their own circumstance, as well as making a case for the approach to teachers and administrators.
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Get Booked! How to Make the Most of Children and Teen Author Visits in Libraries, School Libraries and Classrooms
By Julie Doepken
A group of six authors and librarians shared tips and insights to encourage attendees to arrange author
visits for their school or library. The session was an informal panel discussion, guided by a moderator
who asked questions of the authors. There was a brief Q & A at the end as well.
One of the first questions asked was why even go to the effort and expense to arrange an author visit.
The answers varied slightly, but most of the authors viewed visits as a way to model writing as a
vocation. One author suggested that visits help to ‘humanize’ authors, to make them regular people and
therefore presents writing as something that could be attained by any student as well. Another author
shared that visits could get students excited about writing in a way that regular classroom instruction
could not. Author visits are a unique way to get students to engage with literature.
As far as preparing for an author to come, all of the authors agreed that the host school or library must
prepare the audience by sharing as much information about the author as possible before the visit.
Share the author’s books, tell about the author’s background. If students do not have a sense of who
the author is, it is much more difficult for them to connect with the author once the author is there. One
author shared that a visit went quite awry because the students had no idea what books that author had
written. By laying some groundwork, the visit should be much smoother. By being super positive and by
advertising well, a host librarian or teacher can make it feel as though a celebrity is coming, making the
visit highly anticipated and more well attended.
The panel advised potential hosts not to hesitate to reach out to publishers and ask questions. Find the
author’s website and peruse it for information that will help set up a potential visit. Do some homework
to know if the author’s fees are affordable. If it appears that cost will be a factor, seek out grants or PTA
funding. See if the event can be connected with another library. And, a large number of authors will
Skype for free or a reduced fee. Kate Messner has a great list of authors who will Skype for free. It
may not be the perfect option, but one author on the panel shared several Skype success stories, with
the visit being more focused on one aspect of writing or the author’s books. The authors acknowledged
the fees may feel expensive, but that in the end, it is worth the cost to bring an author to a school or
Throughout the discussion, it was quite evident that the authors enjoy author visits and use them to
energize student learning and encourage future writers. There may be a lot of paperwork involved, but
in the end, fighting for ways to better engage students is worth the work.
By Lydia Frankenburger
Not long before I attended the 2019 ALA Midwinter Conference I saw #ownvoices on a list for types to book to read for the year, which made me reflect about the books I get for my high school. Am I getting books that my students identify with? I like to think I am, but I need to make sure I am more conscious about it. I should add that a month or so before seeing the hashtag one of my big fantasy readers pointed out that he was not seeing any new fantasy books with a male protagonist. Because of this conversation, I searched for more recently published fantasy books with a male protagonist, which I found is not easy. I also connected the student with one of my favorite fantasy books, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, which he loved, but I digress.
When I saw that there was a session featuring #ownvoices authors I knew ...(CLICK HERE to continue reading)
By Lydia Frankenberger
Rick Steves, American travel writer, advocate, and TV personality was one of the auditorium speakers during the 2019 ALA Midwinter. He spoke for over 75 minutes about his travels in Europe, especially related to his book, Travel as a Political Act. One thing he spoke about was concerning current issues such as world trade, the environment, and the opioid epidemic where America’s views or solutions differ from much of the rest of the world’s. (Click here to continue reading)
By Lydia Frankenburger
The 2019 ALA Midwinter conference in Seattle was my first national library conference. I was encouraged by a fellow high school librarian who is also a friend to go to it, especially since it was one flight away in Seattle. Before attending, my friend gave me some tips from her experience:
Submitted by Robin Riddell-Gambel
Big Lake Elementary
I wrote this lesson plan for UAF class LS593 Invigorating Your Library with AASL National Standards. Learning About Your Library – Each One Teach One
Intended grade levels 3rd and up
Prior knowledge needed: Genres, alphabetizing, numerical order
Materials: Sticky notes labels with sections ( i.e. 398.2 L-S or RIO-RYD), index cards for notes, tent cards or numbered signs.)
Objective: Each student becomes a mini-expert or guide for their section and shares their knowledge with others as they come through on tour.
Submitted by Walt Chapman
This fall I completed the class, Invigorate your School Library with the AASL National Standards, taught by Deborah Rinio of University of Alaska Fairbanks. There are 6 shared foundations embedded in the standards with “Include” being #2. The key commitment of Include is to demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to inclusiveness and respect for diversity in the learning community. As a librarian, I have been working on making the library space a safe haven for students. I would like to share an anecdote about one particular student:
Nicole, from our before and after school program, asked me if Joe would be able to check books out of school hours. “He has a much better day, if he has something to read." Joe has a difficult time interacting with peers in the less structured settings of recess and lunch. Now, Joe routinely walks in first thing in the morning, usually showing up about 7:45, to return a graphic novel. Then he looks for another graphic novel to check out. He smiles and enjoys telling me about the book he just finished. In the mornings, he has a bright adhesive eye patch on his left eye. This patch mysteriously disappears sometime during the day. Other students have started to notice his actions and sometimes he has a friend from breakfast come in with him to check out books. Joe usually goes through a book a day. I have not been able to move him out of the graphic genre yet. I have to assume he has read and reread some of the titles before. When I am not around Joe always seems surprised. “I looked for you, and couldn’t find you,” he will say later or the next day. It is nice to be missed when you’re not around. Joe now uses the library as his sanctuary when things get tough during free choice times.
The following article from the Reuters News Agency looked at a library as a sanctuary in a much bigger, more complex way with greater implications. When I read the article I realized I had driven past the library numerous times when I lived in Burlington, Vermont and would cross the border heading to Montreal, Quebec. I appreciated the original intent of the library’s founders to create a safe place that could be shared by friends and neighbors regardless of which side of the border they resided on. I also have to wonder if, in these turbulent times, they will be allowed to maintain that same spirit.