A Tale of Two Students

August 7, 2012

Meet Michael. In June, he graduated from a high school where he was encouraged to use his own technology for teaching and learning, and to connect to the district’s Wi-Fi network, where he shared almost complete open internet access on school- and personal-learning devices while on campus. The district’s guidelines for appropriate conduct are delineated … Continue reading A Tale of Two Students


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Make Room for Homeschoolers

April 23, 2012

Did you know there are an estimated 2 million home-educated children in the United States? According to a report from the National Home Education Research Institute, there were approximately 2.04 million American homeschoolers in 2010, and that number is increasing by 2%­–8% each year. That’s almost 4% of all school-age children in this country. Do … Continue reading Make Room for Homeschoolers



Making Progress by Fives

December 30, 2011

At the Australian School Library Association conference in October 2011, Executive Director Karen Bonanno offered several excellent insights in her keynote (Vimeo, 31:46) that are useful to all librarians in this era of tightened budgets and job opportunities. School librarians in particular may want to implement Bonanno’s five-finger mnemonic to craft that one-minute elevator speech … Continue reading Making Progress by Fives


Reach Out through Outreach

November 18, 2011

Some of the most important library work I do is outside the library’s walls. Outreach—traveling offsite to bring service to potential users—is essential to serving my community and especially its children. Outreach allows librarians to put a friendly face on library services and to meet our patrons where they are (which is all the more … Continue reading Reach Out through Outreach


Linda W. Braun

The Lowdown on STEM

September 20, 2011

Each week I have at least one conversation about how schools and libraries are working to support teaching and learning in STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I’ve discovered that some librarians are struggling to figure out what their role should be in the STEM universe. I’m here to give you a few pointers. First, … Continue reading The Lowdown on STEM


My Midsummer Metamorphosis

July 29, 2011

Summer is an island. The trees around my house come into leaf, a bright and wafting curtain of green between me and the neighborhood. Spring semester has ended, and fall term lies far in the distance, little more than a dot on the horizon. Wavelets ripple and inch near, passing, but not pressing, reminders of … Continue reading My Midsummer Metamorphosis


A Facility Forever Young

May 27, 2011

What do young people want? When it comes to library space, they’re inclined to seek sophisticated yet comfortable areas. In a focus group that gave teens the opportunity to advise librarians and architects charged with designing the new Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library, their wishes were simple: Skip the clashes of color that might be … Continue reading A Facility Forever Young


Hope Springs Eternal

February 23, 2011

At this writing, the world outside my window resembles a snow globe. Despite lingering wintery conditions, I’m thinking of spring. Not just because I’ve tromped through the snow to see what’s happening to my garden. I’ve also been talking with Keiko Kasza, and although she’s working hard in the cold here and now, it will … Continue reading Hope Springs Eternal


Screening Your Reads

December 6, 2010

In the office to my left, a colleague works with two oversized monitors and a driving simulator attached to his computer. From my right comes a steady bass thump as another colleague keyboards while listening to rap. In the midst of such 21st-century, tech-centric activity, an old-fashioned book-lover could feel decidedly dinosaur-like. Enter the book … Continue reading Screening Your Reads


A Feeling for Books

November 22, 2010

What’s not to like about bibliotherapy? Bringing readers to books, whether fiction or nonfiction, that respond to personal problems and promote well-being seems like powerful testimony to the notion that reading changes lives. Bibliotherapy has been described as an extension of readers’ advisory, a specialized kind of information provision, or even a means of healing. … Continue reading A Feeling for Books


Hearts and Minds in Play

October 8, 2010

What makes younger library users, past or present, so interesting to researchers? At the Library History Seminar XII, September 10–12, many scholarly papers focused on youth services. The ideas in circulation at the Madison conference suggested that two factors ignite academic interest—censorship and new technology. Forces of change make young people visible in the library, … Continue reading Hearts and Minds in Play