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


At Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Civic Data Zine Camp, young adults learned data literacy concepts by presenting statistical narratives and visualizations in a handmade zine format. Photo: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Engaging Civic-Minded Teens

March 1, 2018

But what about data literacy? Did librarians tackle charts and graphs as much as headlines? And what about teens, who are often overlooked in the context of civic and voter preparedness? Increasingly, librarians are addressing these questions by bringing statistical education and opportunities to young adults—and they’re using massive collections of open civic datasets to … Continue reading Engaging Civic-Minded Teens


ALA President Jim Neal

Fight for School Libraries

March 1, 2018

We must all fight the closing of school libraries, the reductions in professional staffing, the erosion of budgets for resources and technology, and the consequent weakening of the librarian–teacher partnership in the classroom. We must advocate for the federal funding that supports network access in schools. We must continue to document and demonstrate the powerful … Continue reading Fight for School Libraries


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

We Can, But Should We?

March 1, 2018

In K–12 and academic libraries, this is becoming increasingly possible with learning analytics systems that aggregate student data to make trends visible. The systems also allow advisors, instructors, and other stakeholders to use the trend data to identify a student at risk based on specific characteristics or behaviors. They allow educators to intervene, often before … Continue reading We Can, But Should We?


To Preserve and Protect

March 1, 2018

As we observe Preservation Week (April 22–26), keep in mind that even our youngest students are eager to hear about cultural and historic preservation from the people most invested in it. Our learners realize that everybody has a story and that these stories make a difference. My own preservation journey with 3rd graders at Pilot … Continue reading To Preserve and Protect


Rachel Altobelli

Creating Space for Agency

January 2, 2018

This is an excerpt from “Creating Space for Agency,” Knowledge Quest, Sept./Oct. 2017. It’s easy to imagine no LGBTQ students are at a given school, and therefore no need exists to court controversy by providing LGBTQ materials, but LGBTQ students are everywhere. I loved to read as a kid, but when I looked inside the books on … Continue reading Creating Space for Agency