April 20, 2021
AASL SmartBrief
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Learners and Literacy
Authors, illustrators visit students in school
(Pixabay)
Thirteen authors and illustrators visited more than 25 schools in Nebraska for the recent Plum Creek Literacy Festival, which was adjusted due to the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time, students did not go to Concordia University for the festival, with authors and illustrators instead going to them to discuss their process of writing or illustrating and the importance of reading.
Full Story: Beatrice Daily Sun (Neb.) (4/19) 
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Teachers in Paterson Public Schools in New Jersey recently attended training on how to use an audiobook app with students across all grades, learning through a demonstration using "Rebound" by Kwame Alexander. The app from Learning Ally offers more than 82,000 audiobooks, plus its multisensory support and educator tools will support the district's goal of getting more books to students while helping struggling young readers, Superintendent Eileen Shafer says.
Full Story: TAPinto/Paterson, N.J. (4/17) 
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Choosing developmentally appropriate books -- usually by the reader's age -- is a good way to develop a lifelong interest in reading, author and former librarian Kelly Jensen writes in this commentary. Jensen offers book choices for babies through eighth-graders, starting with board books such as "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats, while the oldest middle-schoolers may consider Kwame Mbalia's "Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky."
Full Story: Book Riot (4/19) 
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Today's School Libraries
Proceeds from former Los Angeles Ram Jared Goff's official brand JG16 are being invested in a California school district, including funding the remodeling of an elementary-school library. The remodeling project includes new paint, new books, and new tables and chairs.
Full Story: KABC-TV (Los Angeles) (4/19) 
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Organizing books -- in the library or classroom -- to de-emphasize reading levels may help engage students in reading, suggests Julia Torres, a language arts teacher and librarian. In this blog post, Torres writes that she has observed greater circulation and other benefits from organizing fiction books in the library by genre.
Full Story: Edutopia (4/16) 
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The Future of Library Science
Drexel University's nationally ranked online MSI in Library & Information Science offers students transformative insight into the future of librarianship. The program focuses on the study of people, information, and technology, preparing students to work in a wide variety of information-intensive environments. Learn more.
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Professional Leadership
Schools will need strong leaders to help navigate myriad challenges and aid recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, writes Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. In this commentary, Petrilli writes that a comprehensive, thoughtful approach will be needed to help students recover academically, socially and emotionally.
Full Story: Education Week (4/14) 
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Policy Update
A plan to hold back third-grade students who do not pass a reading proficiency test could be delayed by two years under a measure being considered by the Alabama Legislature. Supporters of the bill argue it is unfair to test students who have been struggling with interrupted and nontraditional learning during this pandemic.
Full Story: WAFF-TV (Huntsville, Ala.) (4/14) 
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Study: Gifted programs not beneficial
(Pixabay)
A study of 1,300 elementary students across the US raises questions about whether gifted programs improve outcomes for students. The study, to be published next month in the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, finds small gains in reading, smaller gains in math, no improvement in motivation and no gains at all among Black students and children from low-income families.
Full Story: The Hechinger Report (4/19) 
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AASL News
Last day to save $70 -- register with promo code AASL70 for AASL21
Today is the last day to save $70 off your registration to the 2021 AASL National Conference, taking place Oct. 21 to 23, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Register now with AASL promo code AASL70! AASL21 is the only national conference dedicated solely to school librarians and their unique role in the education community. This is one of the most affordable national conferences -- lock in your savings today!
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Kathy Lester, school librarian at East Middle School in Plymouth, Michigan, has been elected the 2022-2023 president of AASL. Lester will serve as president-elect during 2021-2022 under AASL President Jennisen Lucas. Upon learning of her election, Lester stated: "I am truly honored to have been elected to serve the profession that I love. In the last year, I have been so impressed and inspired by school librarians across the nation who have translated their practices to support their school communities both within and beyond the school library walls. I look forward to working together with all AASL members, the AASL Board, Chapters, Sections, staff, partner organizations, and stakeholders to continue to support our school communities and advance our profession."
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April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.
Christopher Morley,
writer, editor, journalist
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