Archive | February, 2011

Introducing School Library Journal’s apps advisory group

25 Feb

As SLJ formally begins reviewing book apps, we decided, heck, we could use some help. A diverse group of advisors (below) will meet at our offices for the first time March 8. We’re excited at what will surely be a stimulating discussion, which we plan to share more broadly with the greater community. Stay tuned.

Pam Abrams, Director of Partnership Development and Strategy, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Abrams develops and manages relationships with businesses, academic institutions and philanthropies related to the Cooney Center’s mission: harnessing digital media technologies to advance children’s learning. She also oversees the Cooney Center Prizes and annual leadership forum. Previously, Abrams was Senior Vice President at Downtown Bookworks Inc., where she produced books in the areas of parenting, cooking, crafts, education and business.  She began her career at Harper’s Magazine, and subsequently served as Editor-in-Chief of Child magazine, Editorial Director at and as Senior Publishing Executive at Scholastic.

Matt Bassett, Executive Producer, One Hundred Robots. Bassett has been a creative director and designer for more than 15 years. He has produced and directed campaigns for clients such as MCA/Universal, Levi’s, MasterCard, Citi, NYSE, Philips, Sony, VH1, Island Records, GAP, Old Navy, 20th Century FOX, and Chronicle Books. Matt currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons, and coaches kids soccer on the weekends.Elizabeth (Betsy) Bird, children’s librarian at the Children’s Center at 42nd Street of the New York Public Library system and author of the blog A Fuse #8 Production. Her first picture book Giant Dance Party will be published in 2012.

Linda W. Braun, project management and consulting coordinator for Librarians & Educators Online (LEO), a library consulting firm. Past president of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, Braun provides training, consulting, and project management for schools, libraries, and other educational institutions and teaches for Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her latest book is Risky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Library Services for Teens (ALA, 2010).

Warren Buckleitner, founding editor, Children’s Technology Review, contributor, the New York Times Gadgetwise blog.
A former preschool, elementary school, and college teacher, Buckleitner holds degrees in elementary and early childhood education and a doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State University. He has been an adviser to Consumer Reports WebWatch, a judge for AEP’s Golden Lamp awards, and has taught at MSU, NYU’s ITP program and the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Buckleitner is the founder of the Dust or Magic Institute and the Mediatech Foundation.

Joy Fleishhacker, children’s librarian, is a freelance writer who lives in Colorado Springs, CO. A SLJ reviewer and frequent contributor, she covers media tie-ins for the magazine.

Laura Pearle, librarian, Hackley School, Tarrytown, NY
Pearle began her library career with a three-year stint as a student library aide at Emma Willard School, followed by a 16-year hiatus while she explored the varied worlds of college, Off-Broadway theater, investment banking and executive recruiting, among others. Since returning to independent school libraries in 1996, she has focused on the evaluating accreditation process, and investigating the K-20 skills curriculum. She is co-presenting the preconference program “Books, E-ink and Databases, Oh my! Collection Development in the 21st Century” at the AASL National Conference, October 2011.

John Peters is the recently-retired Supervising Librarian of the Children’s Center at 42nd Street, The New York Public Library. He has chaired or served on several Newbery, Caldecott and other ALA award committees.

Jennifer Hubert Swan, author of the blog Reading Rants, Library Dept. Chair/Middle School Librarian, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York, NY.

Lisa Von Drasek, Coordinator of School Services/Children’s Librarian, Bank Street College of Education School for Children Pre-K- 8. She blogs about kids’ books at

Phoenix Wang, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Startl
With a B.A. from Williams College and M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Wang spent her early career in business as a team leader on large-scale organizational change projects at Accenture Consulting and, later, as vice president of Strategic Operations at iVillage Inc. Since joining the education field, she has advocated for using technology to better serve students. Wang was formerly an education program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, directing investment strategies aimed at improving instructional practices and using digital media to enhance learning. She was Named to Fast Company’s list of 100 Most Creative People in 2010.