Email Treats

I’ve recently subscribed to two more library related listservs (LM_NET and YALSA-bk) and found some gems from them in my inbox this evening.

I know you shouldn’t wish your life away, but the first gem is a YouTube video for a book coming out this fall.  Gotta get this book!

ECYA Blog

Another great find was this list of YA series on the ECYA Blog.  What a great site!  Check out the book lists, display ideas, and the Young Adult Authors page.

Publication Date Nearing

Are you a fan of the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness?  The third book in the series, Monsters of Men,  is being published May 3rd – in the UK.  Not sure of the release date here, but Jennifer Rothschild shared on the YALSA-bk listserv that you can order it with free shipping from The Book Depository.com (direct link to the book).  Have never done business with this site, but for diehard fans of the series, it might be worth checking out.

Book Trailers

If you have yet to discover Book Trailers for All, head on over to the site.  It’s still in its infancy (eight weeks old), but it is brimming with book trailers.

These were just a few of the great tidbits shared through listservs today.  What goodies have you discovered lately?

The Ultimate Teen Bookshelf from YALSA

yabookshelf_thumb

Another notable reader’s advisory and collection development tool has just been released. The Ultimate Teen Bookshelf list  is available for download as a .pdf file.  The list includes 50 books, 5 magazines, and 5 audiobooks.  It was compiled by Pam Spencer Holley and Judy Sasges from suggestions by subscribers to the YALSA-BK discussion list.

“Ultimate YA Bookshelf,” American Library Association, June 25, 2009.
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/yabookshelf.cfm (Accessed July 01, 2009)
Document ID: 549310

Teens’ Top Ten 2008

More than 8,000 teens voted for the Teens’ Top Ten 2008 books. The winners are:

1.  Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

2.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

4.  Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

5. Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson

6. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

7. The Sweet Far Thing  by Libba Bray

8. Extras by Scott Westerfeld

9. Before I Die by Jenny Downham

10. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Image attribution:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/97317367@N00/369412187

The State of School Libraries

In June, talk on the South Carolina Association of School Librarians listserv focused on the need for school library program advocacy. In somes states, library media specialist jobs are being eliminated in tight budgets.  Today, YALSA’s podcast on Teens & School Libraries focuses on interviews with media specialists in Michigan and Massachusetts.

In YALSA’s Podcast #53, Maureen Ambrosino of the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System interviews Kathy Lowe, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Library Association.  Interestingly, Lowe states, “It really comes down to a principal in a building within a district and whether or not that principal perceives the school library program as having value and if they do,  and if they understand the positive impact on students and teachers of having a professionally staffed and up-to-date library then they will support that.  It’s a priority that any prinicpal has to decide.”

How can your principal know the value your program adds to the school if you don’t tell him? Our job as school library media specialists must include advocacy.  Already overwhelmed by all the roles they must fill, many media specialists have put advocacy for their library program on the back burner.  If we don’t advocate for ourselves, no one will, so this year, plan on making your presence known!  Here are some resources to help you get started:

Welcome to the School Library Campaign AASL site

School Libraries Work! The 2008 edition of Scholastic’s Research Foundation Paper

Strong School Libraries Help Students Learn An advocacy toolkit that accompanies the School Libraries Making a Difference site

Research: Making the Case Part of a site started by 3 moms in the state of Washington in response to hearing that school librarians’ hours were being cut

Advocacy: The Teacher Librarian as Advocate This online course offered by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson defines advocacy and provides many links to sites to help you in planning your advocacy program.

The Principal’s Manual for the School Library Media Program A two page guide to evaluating a school library media program produced by AASL

School Library Systems Advocacy Toolkit Although created for New York, this site has many suggestions that all library media specialists can use.

Advocacy Toolkit for School Library Media Specialists The Colorado Library Consortium has compiled several resources, arranged by category: Learning to be an Advocate, Usable PowerPoint Presentations, Facts and Stats, Brochures, and Quicktime Video.

Added 3/31/2010:

California’s Best Seller Campaign for Strong School Libraries This California School Library Association’s site includes several useful sections and forms: The Message, What is a Strong School Library? (identifies 5 components), Identifying “Best Sellers,” “Strong School Libraries Build Strong Students and Lifelong Learners” (a flyer you can access from the home page – scroll down to “Identifying and Inviting ‘Best Sellers'” ), and Research and Other Resources (an annotated list with hyperlinks) found at the bottom of  The Message page.

We can incorporate research that proves the efficacy of school library programs in increasing student achievement, but we must begin to collect our own evidence.  Circulation statistics, class visits, and tallying individual student visits show our media centers and their resources are being used, but the best evidence is proof that our programs are making a difference.  How can we show that learning is taking place?

  • use programs such as TRAILS to track the improving information literacy skills of our students
  • ask teachers who have successfully collaborated with us to provide a “testimonial”
  • ask students to complete exit slips after you have taught a skill
  • maintain portfolios of lessons taught and evidence such as projects completed in conjunction with the lessons
  • sponsor a “What My Library Means to Me” contest

This is by no means an exhaustive list!  Please help by adding your suggestions.

Image from cindiann http://www.flickr.com/photos/trucolorsfly/352573802/in/pool-749214@N22