About the Food Network LibrarianBefore the Food Network, Jonathan was living in Chicago working on a doctorate in Performance Studies."I was living on my own and responsible for my own care and feeding for pretty much the first time in my life. My mother, who must have wondered how I'd manage to sustain myself, gave me a copy of Julie Rosso and Sheila Lukins' The New Basics Cookbook. Next thing I knew I was using my paltry stipend to buy Arborio rice, trimming artichokes, shelling fava beans. Then she sent me Anne’s Willan’s La Varenne Practique, and there I was having friends over for quail, slaving over tarte tatin, spending entire weekends in total dereliction of my studies making veal stock. Grad school never had a chance. My shelves started to fill with M.F.K. Fisher and Alice Waters and Paula Wolfert.That was the start of it all (or the end, depending on how you look at it). I read and reread compulsively and in the end basically wound up substituting the pursuit of one form of knowledge for the pursuit of another tastier one. In an odd way, my interest has remained 'academic'. I’ve never had a burning desire to become a chef or work in restaurants. My desire was and remains to crack open a book, immerse myself in its world, take it into the kitchen, and try to, in some small way, experience that world. My qualification for my current job is really little more than that—years of a very particular kind of learning, coupled with grad school-given research skills—which, lucky for me, was just what the job called for." READ MORE
It felt like the Academy Awards. But it wasn’t. At the Academy Awards, the recipient has 45 seconds to thank everyone for their contributions to his/her now-publicly acknowledged success. At the Highline School District Board meeting on April 27, 2011, I had 5 minutes to prove that my position as a professional school librarian generates a daily positive impact on the academic achievement of 690 students ages 10-13. READ MORE
States and cities are under severe budget constraints. They are turning to the library.My feeling -- as someone who works in a local tech education center that shares its library with the high school next door -- is that this situation is more complex than administrators' seeing librarians as expendable.No matter how effective teachers are, children will be left behind without librarians to help guide them through the information blizzard.In the situation schools are in now, where expenses like staff health insurance costs and I.T. infrastructure budgets are going up by double-digit percentages a year, people have a triage mentality. Some schools are having to reconsider all non-mandated services and make tough decisions. I think a few factors come into play. READ MORE
After 30 years on the line, Dan was let go by the factory. In a technology-driven economy, he had no computer skills, no job prospects, and no money for training.They helped him find a job.A class of 4-year-olds from low-income backgrounds took part in a program that combined literature with technology-based learning experiences—and fun.They helped them find a futureWho are “they,” and why should we care? READ MORE
Loriene Roy, president of the American Library Association (ALA) released the following statement regarding the release of the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the University of Illinois’ "Information Searches That Solve Problems: How People Use the Internet, Government Agencies, and Libraries When They Need Help" survey. The survey was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal funding for U.S. museums and libraries."The Pew survey supports our assertion that libraries are flourishing in the age of the Internet. According to the ALA’s 2007 State of America’s Libraries, library use is up nationwide among all types of library users, continuing a decade-long trend. Almost 1.8 billion visitors checked out more than 2 billion items last year. READ MORE
Though Greensburg has been visited by scores of individuals with greater clout and name recognition since its utter destruction by the May 4 tornado, none have come to Kiowa County in recent months with a greater sense of purpose than did 17-year-old Christopher Skrzypczak last Friday.With his mother Sonja, two younger brothers and little sister, Skrzypczak traveled to Greensburg last week with a trailer full of books to help restock the town’s library. They left last Wednesday afternoon from their home in Enterprise, Alabama, site of an F-4 tornado last March 1 that killed eight of the teen’s fellow students as they huddled in a hallway just outside their classrooms. READ MORE
PHILADELPHIA - The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audiobooks for children and young adults - including the Caldecott, King, Newbery, Schneider Family and Printz awards - at its Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.The following is a list of all ALA Youth Media Awards for 2008: READ MORE
Recently, I visited the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library ( in Seattle, where the books talk.Library director Gloria Leonard filled me in on the history of this special library. It opened around 1906 at the Seattle Public Library, then located on Fourth Avenue. As the story goes, a library employee wanted to supply Braille materials to the entire state, and by 1907 about a hundred Braille-embossed books were circulating by mail.Then, in 1931, the Pratt-Smoot Act established the National Library Service (NLS) within the U.S. Library of Congress, and nineteen libraries across the country – including Seattle Public – signed up to distribute Braille materials. Today, there are fifty-seven regional libraries across the United States. READ MORE
The 65 Reasons to Love Your Library tool kit (PDF) was developed by the Texas Library Association Public Relations Committee,  under the leadership of Sue Haas, committee chair, 2003-2005, and Dee Brock, committee chair, 2005-2006. Texas libraries use it to develop local promotional campaigns. The elements of the 65 Reasons tool kit can be adapted to fit your library and your needs. READ MORE
Characterizing school library media specialists as “an endangered species,” Washington State Sen. Tracey J. Eide (D-Federal Way) introduced a bill January 22 that codifies through a per-pupil formula how many credentialed school library media specialists should be employed by each district and offers some $55 million to fund the initiative. Its aim of guaranteeing the presence in school libraries of certificated staff echoes the language of the federal SKILLs (Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries) Act, introduced in June 2007 as an unfunded amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act and scheduled for Senate committee review in February. READ MORE