Ashley J. Cooksey

Partnerships Beyond Four Walls

January 3, 2017

Sometimes collaboration is accidental. I’ve had lessons that just happened to coordinate with the curriculum. For instance, our library at West Magnet Elementary in Batesville, Arkansas, was able to give students a “virtual field trip” via live stream to see President Barack Obama answering questions at DC Public Library’s Anacostia branch. Our 4th graders were … Continue reading Partnerships Beyond Four Walls

Detail of statement from Illinois School Library Media Association

Speaking Out Against Chicago School Library Cuts

September 8, 2016

Patti Fleser, ISLMA president and school librarian at Deer Path Middle School in Lake Forest, Illinois, says the open letter addresses the “trend of school districts cutting their librarian positions at a time when it’s been proven over and over again that school librarians and effective school library programs increase students’ academic achievement.” ISLMA’s letter … Continue reading Speaking Out Against Chicago School Library Cuts

A billboard of Conquest of the Realm maps.

Engaging Students through Gamification

March 1, 2016

In 2015, teacher-librarian Tasha Squires of O’Neill Middle School in Downers Grove, Illinois, entered the Follett Challenge, an annual contest from Follett School Solutions that showcases schools with innovative methods for learning 21st-century skills. O’Neill Middle School won the grand prize—$60,000—and has used the funding to enhance its reading and writing program. Here, Squires explains … Continue reading Engaging Students through Gamification

Student banner inside DuSable High School, Chicago.

Sara Sayigh Reinstated at Chicago Public School Library

December 18, 2015

Sayigh, a 13-year veteran in the school system, is the sole librarian at the former DuSable High School building, which now houses two majority African-American public schools and a charter school. She tells American Libraries that she is one of the few remaining librarians at a majority African-American high school in the city. Students of … Continue reading Sara Sayigh Reinstated at Chicago Public School Library

Caldecott-winning author Brian Selznick talked about his story process and how important librarians have been to him since elementary school.

Brian Selznick, Digital Research, and the Digitally Naive

November 9, 2015

There was no snoozing through Selznick’s early morning talk about his story process and how important librarians have been to him since elementary school in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Selznick, a 2008 Caldecott Medal winner for his self-illustrated book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, had everyone laughing and sighing over his beautiful illustrations and stories … Continue reading Brian Selznick, Digital Research, and the Digitally Naive

Makerspace at AASL

Making Connections, Makerspaces at AASL15

November 7, 2015

At the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference on Friday, Rohl introduced a group of administrators with Project Connect, who are helping to empower their school library programs. Project Connect is a panel of superintendents, district-level librarians, and AASL leaders who are focused on advocating for effective school libraries and helping develop future-ready librarians. Follett sponsored … Continue reading Making Connections, Makerspaces at AASL15

K. C. Boyd (Photo: Andrew Nelles)

Bookend: Urban Renewal

September 1, 2015

“These are stories that are about inner-city life and urban life, and the kids could really relate,” says Boyd, now library media specialist and director of social media at Wendell Phillips Academy High School, where she has worked since 2010. When Boyd began advocating for the urban fiction genre, she was sometimes misunderstood. Many people, … Continue reading Bookend: Urban Renewal

Nancy Fawley

Flipped Classrooms

October 7, 2014

The method is not new; literature classes traditionally follow a similar model in which students read assigned texts as homework and come to class prepared for discussion. The renewed focus is a result of technological innovations that allow instructors to transfer a lecture into something portable that can be viewed or listened to outside of … Continue reading Flipped Classrooms