Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on a bookshelf in a target

Up to the Challenge

September 3, 2019

Build your foundation The first step is to be an excellent educator. Your lessons should foster “opportunities for learners to demonstrate personal curiosity and creation of knowledge” and “support the diverse developmental, cultural, social, and linguistic needs” represented in your community, according to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National School Library Standards for … Continue reading Up to the Challenge


The BeeChicas tend to one of two rooftop beehives at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library. (Photo: The Bee Chicas)

File under Bee

September 3, 2019

When Theresa Beck, a member of the Boulder, Colorado–based beekeeping team and advocacy group the BeeChicas, shared her idea with Kathy Lane at the Bee Boulder Festival in 2014, she didn’t think of it as more than a playful suggestion. But Lane, who is programs, events, and outreach coordinator for the Boulder Public Library (BPL), … Continue reading File under Bee


Youth Matters, by Joquetta Johnson

Empower Student Voices

September 3, 2019

Inspired by the 2015 protests following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who fell into a coma in Baltimore Police Department custody, I developed Lyrics as Literature. The program is a series of four lessons designed to support the district curriculum, amplify student voices, and bring awareness to social justice issues. Each lesson is … Continue reading Empower Student Voices


Former school librarian Helen Adams recalled the rise in surveillance technology in schools after the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.

No Minor Concern

June 25, 2019

“Ensuring library users’ confidentiality frees them from fear of retaliation or intimidation as a result of reading a book, visiting a website, or consulting other library resources,” said Candice Mack, senior YA services librarian with the Los Angeles Public Library system. “This is regardless of age.” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, interim director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual … Continue reading No Minor Concern


Clockwise from top left, logos for Sora, PBS Kids Scratch Jr., iCell, Chatterpix Kids, Mixerpiece, and iCivics Suite.

2019 Best Apps and Websites for Teaching and Learning

June 22, 2019

Recognized apps and websites foster innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They were also evaluated for their support of AASL’s “National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries.” The apps recognized in 2019 are: Chatterpix Kids EarthViewer Equity Maps Figment AR Green Screen by Do Ink iCell iCivics – Suite Khan Academy … Continue reading 2019 Best Apps and Websites for Teaching and Learning


From left: Moderator Liana Heitin Loewus; Elizabeth Rush, library specialist at Northside Independent School District in Leon Valley, Texas; Nawaid Ladak, legislative assistant to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.); and Dallas Director of Libraries Jo Giudice.

Texas Librarians Help Capitol Hill Slide into Learning

June 7, 2019

PPA organized the discussion to educate congressional staff about libraries’ role in developing literacy, especially during the summer months, and to encourage members of Congress to look to libraries as leading partners in education. PPA staff worked with the American Association of School Librarians and the Texas Library Association (TLA) to identify librarians in the … Continue reading Texas Librarians Help Capitol Hill Slide into Learning


Youth Matters, by Julie Stivers

Building Inclusive Libraries

June 3, 2019

One way I’ve been fortunate enough to do this in my middle school library has been through an initiative called the #LibFive. With 8th graders Cesar Falcon, Jose Gomez, and Jaida Morris, the #LibFive has leveraged teen insights and experiences to create a student-driven professional development program for youth librarians—initially in our district and eventually … Continue reading Building Inclusive Libraries



Kara Shelton Watson

Shaping Digital Citizens

September 4, 2018

I tell them that I believe that digital citizenship falls naturally under the domain of librarians, as we place high value on using and creating information ethically. In schools, we have a curriculum that teaches students the concepts of citizenship, community, and social justice through varied disciplines. And in the school library, these ideals come together. … Continue reading Shaping Digital Citizens


Liz Quakenbush and students at Orchard Park Elementary School in Indianapolis pose in the library.

Bookend: Shaking up Book Sales

September 1, 2018

For nearly 20 years, she held yearly used book sales at Orchard Park Elementary School in Indianapolis, where she is the media specialist. As her community grew more economically diverse, she wanted to help children add to their home libraries year-round, and she turned to her students for ideas. They wrote a business plan, set … Continue reading Bookend: Shaking up Book Sales



Newsmaker: Jason Reynolds

April 12, 2018

This year’s theme for School Library Month is “Making Connections at Your School Library.” You’ve said reading the lyrics to Queen Latifah’s 1993 album Black Reign changed your life and inspired you to start writing poetry. When students connect with and see themselves in the music, multimedia, and books they read, it changes their relationship with reading completely. … Continue reading Newsmaker: Jason Reynolds