Libraries Fight Challenges to Graphic Novels

Libraries fight to keep graphic novels on the shelves

Brigid Alverson -- Publishers Weekly, 4/26/2010 6:09:55 PM

"At the recent Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, a librarian from Jessamine County, Kentucky, spoke firsthand about dealing with calls for censorship in his library, and an expert from the American Library Association discussed how to handle challenges to graphic novels at the panel titled "Burn It, Hide It, Misshelve It, Steal It, Ban It! Dealing with Graphic Novel Censorship in Your Library.""

What would you do if books in your collection were being challenged? I hope you're prepared to defend your books! To read more click here or go to http://www.publishersweekly.com.

Illustrators Join the Fight to Save California School Libraries

By Rocco Staino -- School Library Journal, 4/28/2010 2:05:00 PM
"Graphic novelist Kazu Kibuishi is the latest artist to join the fight to save California’s school libraries. He’s created an original work of art for librarians and their supporters to get the word out about the drastic budget cuts that have wiped out so many in the profession.

The artwork depicts Miskit, a toy rabbit character from the artist’s New York Times bestselling "Amulet" series (Scholastic), reading from a pile of books and proclaiming, “Save California School Libraries.” The series, about resistance fighters in a mythical city, have already been optioned for a movie by actor Will Smith."

To read more, click here or visit SLJ at http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/


Cell Phones in the Classroom? Wiffiti Says Yes.

 By Rocco Staino -- School Library Journal, 4/28/2010 2:00:00 PM

"A software app may have educators telling students to take out their cell phones rather than put them away. It’s Wiffiti, which takes its name from Wi-Fi and graffiti, and it’s been used by thousands in sports stadiums, concerts, gallery openings, corporate conferences, and both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Now it’s making its way into the classroom in a big way."

So maybe we should allow cellphones in the library? I'm not so sure, but it sounds interesting. What do you think?

Read the whole article here or visit SLJ at http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/.

When libraries and art collide!

Fourth Grader’s Cartoon Creation to Appear in ‘Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novel’

By SLJ Staff -- School Library Journal, 4/21/2010 2:05:00 PM

"Justin Cox, a fourth grader from Timmerman Elementary School in Pflugerville, TX, will have one of his dreams come true—a fictional cartoon character he created will appear in a "Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novel."

Cox was named the first-place winner of Create Your Own Sports Star, a nationwide contest sponsored by Capstone Publishers. The nine-year-old received more than 23,000 votes- or more than 70 percent of the ballots cast- from kids around the country who chose his creation, Dash the Flash, as their favorite character. Professional illustrators then brought his character to life."

Don't you think this is a great idea for an art project in the library?

To read more, click here. Or you can visit SLJ at http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/


eChicago 2010: Seizing the Broadband Moment (Conference)

April 30-May 1, 2010
University of Illinois at Chicago's Student Center West

"Bigger than ever, eChicago 2010:  Seizing the Broadband Moment will offer over 20 sessions covering the latest updates on how technology is being deployed and used in Chicago and beyond, from a wide variety of perspectives and areas of expertise:
What are the plans for building broadband infrastructure?...How is government using technology to become more transparent?...What about jobs?...How are our communities using technology in transforming themselves?...  What are the implications for libraries and media?...What does Wikipedia have to do with any of this?
Take a look at the program posted at http://echicago.illinois.edu, and then come to explore these and other questions on April 30-May 1 at University of Illinois at Chicago's Student Center West.   
Keynotes: Hardik Bhatt, City of Chicago CIO; respondent Neville Roy Singham, Executive Chairman, Thoughtworks; Erik Garr, General Manager of the FCC’s Omnibus Broadband Initiative; respondent Drew Clark, Executive Director, Partnership for a Connected Illinois"


This conference is co-sponsored by the GSLIS departments of the University of Illinois at Urbana and Dominican University.


ISLMA- Illinois School Library Media Association

ISLMA's mission is "to promote life-long learning by the students of Illinois, ISLMA will provide leadership and support for the development, promotion, and improvement of the school library media profession and programs in Illinois."

ISLMA is a great organization to be a member of! You can register for their 2010 conference "Bridging the Gap" at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL on October 28-30. For more information, click on the link below...



Catalyst Chicago: Independent Reporting on School Reform since 1990

Though not a direct news source about libraries and technology, the effects of state funding for schools, school leadership, and student preparation for college are all important issues to us as educators. Catalyst Chicago brings up some great news stories and forces us to closely examine how our schools are moving forward and what challenges we face as teachers in Chicago.



Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College by Doug Lemov

"Teach Like a Champion offers effective teaching techniques to help teachers, especially those in their first few years, become champions in the classroom. These powerful techniques are concrete, specific, and are easy to put into action the very next day. Training activities at the end of each chapter help the reader further their understanding through reflection and application of the ideas to their own practice.
Among the techniques:
  • Technique #1: No Opt Out. How to move students from the blank stare or stubborn shrug to giving the right answer every time.
  • Technique #35: Do It Again. When students fail to successfully complete a basic task?from entering the classroom quietly to passing papers around?doing it again, doing it right, and doing it perfectly, results in the best consequences.
  • Technique #38: No Warnings. If you're angry with your students, it usually means you should be angry with yourself. This technique shows how to effectively address misbehaviors in your classroom." 
I'm not sure I like "how to" books for teaching, but maybe this one actually shares some useful ideas.

You can see more details from Pressie.com here.

Prezentit.com - A Cool New Presentation App

Christopher Bell -- School Library Journal, 4/21/2010

"Buying presentation software can be a very expensive proposition. That’s why I’m constantly looking for free, high-performing presentation tools. Fortunately, there are a lot of good ones to choose from, and some of them even allow you to store your presentation and work online. Prezentit.com is a new presentation tool and it’s one of the easiest to use. Plus, sign-up is a snap—just create a username and provide a valid email address and password and you’re ready to go."

View the full review here. Please post any comments about this software!


Edutopia's Ten Top Tips for Teaching with New Media

"Through the Edutopia.org Web site, we spread the word about ideal, interactive learning environments and enable others to adapt these successes locally. Edutopia.org contains a deep archive of continually updated best practices, from classroom tips to recommendations for districtwide change. Allied with a dedicated audience that actively contributes success stories from the field, our mission relies on input and participation from schools and communities."

The Ten Top Tips for Teaching with New Media is in PDF format and can be accessed at the link below:


You can also subscribe to their informative magazine on their website.



"With VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world. All with no software to install.
 A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too."

Any recommenders out there?

How to Save the World: Kids are the Earth's best hope—and librarians can play a special role

School Library Journal presents an excellent article here about what kids really represent for all of us: the future. Some great insights and reflections on what we as media specialists and librarians can do to help shape students' ideas and perceptions.



Librarian and Information Science News

LISNews is a great source for what's happening in the library realm. Today's articles include the Rikers Island Prison Library, the iPad, the Kindle, and Amazon. One of yesterday's stories included an overdue book that was never returned by none other than our first president, George Washington!



i think iPad!!!

As I'm sure you're aware, the iPad is being talked about (and bought) all over the place. I tried it out at a demo last weekend, and it did impress me with its smooth interface and snappy performance. The educational potential of these "Objets d'Art" seems to be pretty high but I'll wait to make my final judgement. You can read about the iPad's "bigger picture" at the following link to an article in Newsweek:


Standards for the 21st-century learner

"Standards for the 21st-Century Learner offer vision for teaching and learning to both guide and beckon our profession as education leaders. They will both shape the library program and serve as a tool for library media specialists to use to shape the learning of students in the school."

This document was distributed to attendees of a CPS Dept. of Libraries professional development day in 2009. A very timely guide!



WebJunction Illinois

Here's a good site for getting connected with your librarian colleagues here in Illinois. Gives some good suggestions for Web 2.0 applications in your library.



Wordle- Beautiful Word Clouds!

This interesting word tool was presented to a group of high school librarians by Lisa Perez of the CPS Dept. of Libraries in the Spring of 2010.

A wonderful visual tool to help analyze text and create great visuals!


Differentiated Instruction

Here's a great newsletter on DI that could shed some light on this integral approach to our teaching practice:

January 2007 Newsletter (PDF) - A Teacher's Guide to Differentiated Instruction - Powered by Google Docs.

Technology and Libraries

To get yourself up and running on this technology stuff, maybe you can try out the following link from Learning 2. 0:

If you're not that experienced with using the latest web technologies, it'll be a great place to start getting those minutes in and becoming an expert! You may also want to check out the following blogs of true professionals (technology specialists and coordinators) in the field...

David Jakes is a librarian/media specialist at Glenbrook South High School:

Henry Thiele is Director of Technology at Maine Township High School District 207: