Archive | August, 2010

Bonus question: Here’s more of our interview w/ Suzanne Collins. Excited for Mockingjay?

23 Aug


Due to the space restrictions of print, we had to cull this question and Collins’s answer from our cover story.

Rick Margolis, SLJ: Did you feel any additional pressure while working on Mockingjay?

Suzanne Collins: Do you mean pressure because the book was finding more of a readership? Here’s the truth. I realized a few weeks ago that between television and books, I’ve literally been under deadline for eight solid years. And for most of that time, I have been working seven days a week. So while I’m extremely grateful for the work opportunities and everything I’ve gotten to do, I am really looking forward to trying to restore a little balance in my life. After the book tour, I’ve got a new piece I’d like to start developing, but I’ve not committed to any deadlines for a while, and that’s been a wonderful thing about the success of the books. It’s given me a little bit more freedom.

Illustration by Marcos Chin.


Sneak peek of our September cover

21 Aug


I will surely catch an earful for sharing this. Whatever.

It’s an especially nice one, the illustration by Bob Staake.

So much advocating for your library to do, so little time

20 Aug



Carolyn Foote, who wrote our feature “Everyday Advocacy: Making a case for libraries is easy with web tools” had this additional advice, which didn’t make the article due to space.

When time is limited

Since time is always an issue, try to schedule a consistent weekly slot dedicated to your library advocacy. For example, you could post an online update about your library once a week via Twitter or Facebook, or commit to taking photos once a week for a Flickr site.

There are also a variety of ways to use the power of a network to help you. If you aren’t up to doing this for your own library, consider asking your district to set up a district library social media presence, where someone can highlight great things going on in all of the school libraries. I recently started a blog to highlight positive events in all of our district libraries. Currently, each librarian simply emails me photos and details of library events, but this fall, we’ll have training so that it’s truly a collaborative effort. I’ve created districtwide Animoto slideshows for publicity from photos each librarian sends me. Spread the tasks around the district to lighten the load and make your programs more visible.

Another option is to outsource your ongoing p.r. efforts like the ones above to parent volunteers or a library advocacy board of parents. This appeals to parents who want to help their child’s school and connects them more closely to your program. Remember that advocacy coming from the community is a very powerful thing.

However, even if others are helping you with online tools, do make it a priority to improve your own information technology skills and share new strategies with your staff and students. It’s imperative that in order to advocate for your program, you have to be offering students the best you can in library services. According to Joyce Valenza and Doug Johnson in their SLJ article “Things That Keep Us up at Night,” we have to ask ourselves, “How do we stay one step ahead of our staff and students in information accessing, evaluation, use, and communication in order to be seen as experts and collaborators?”  Make a constant effort to educate yourself about the best and newest library tools and practices.

Photo by PlayfulLibrarian

Ebook Summit: K-12 programs, early bird fare ends tomorrow

12 Aug


Early Bird pricing on our virtual summit, Ebooks: Libraries at the Tipping Point, ends tomorrow August 13. It’s $19.95 for a full day of programming.

There are two K-12 programs of interest:

K-12/Youth Track panel (2 – 2:40 pm EDT)
Reality Check: Putting Ebook Reading Devices into Kids’ Hands
The explosion of ebook devices has profound implications for readers, especially students. A panel of experts will consider the device landscape from the Kindle to the iPad and beyond, and what it means for students, from preschool to college.

The founding editor of Children’s Technology Review, Warren Buckleitner contributes to The New York Times, covering kid’s technology for the Gadgetwise blog. A former preschool, elementary and college teacher, he holds degrees in elementary and early childhood education and a doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State University.

Christopher Harris is coordinator of the School Library System for the Genesee Valley (NY) Educational Partnership. He blogs at Infomancy and writes “The Next Big Thing,” a regular tech column in School Library Journal.

Jason Griffey is the Head of Library Information Technology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The author of Mobile Technology and Libraries, Griffey blogs at American Libraries’ Perpetual Beta, and Pattern Recognition, his personal blog.

Calvin Reid is a senior news editor at Publishers Weekly where he covers general book news as well as digital publishing. He is also co-editor of PW Comics Week, PW’s weekly email newsletter on comics and graphic novel publishing.

Kathy Ishizuka is the technology editor at School Library Journal. She tweets at @kishizuka and @sljournal.


K-12/Youth Track panel (3 – 3:40 pm EDT):
The School Library Without Walls: New Content, New Collections
In the school environment, ebooks provide new opportunities for curriculum support, allowing content to be accessed from the library to the classroom to the home. This panel will jump into some of the major issues around ebooks in schools: making ebooks play well with the rest of the collection, promoting ebooks to other educators, and experiments with handheld devices.

Joyce Valenza is the author of Power Tools, Power Research Tools and Power Tools Recharged for ALA Editions. She currently blogs for School Library Journal at NeverendingSearch, which won an Edublogs Award for 2005, was nominated in 2008, and won again in 2009.

Marc Aronson is an author, editor, publisher, speaker, and historian who believes that young people, especially pre-teens and teenagers, are smart, passionate, and capable of engaging with interesting ideas in interesting ways.

Todd Brekus, President of Digital Solutions of Capstone Publishers, leads the digital product vision and strategy as the organization continues to expand its digital solutions in the education market.

Photography by Andrew Mason

Sound Bytes: Alexander Street QR codes

11 Aug


This month’s Buzz featured a QR code, our first in the magazine. It’s from Alexander Street Press, which has added mobile access to its streaming music collections.

Scan the code (included in the print issue) to access the publisher’s back-to-school playlist, which you can also find online, until October 15.


Another QR code (below) gets you a playlist on a Moon theme (Fly Me to the Moon, Moon River, audio of newscast on the moon landing, etc.). You can also find it here. The list was inspired by the First Moon Landing (July 20, 1960), says Meg Keller of Alexander Street.


Dale’s party

3 Aug

Josephine and Dale.


Luann, Dale, and Trev.