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
More than 100 people gathered in the rain at the state capitol steps in Olympia, Washington, February 1 to rally for school libraries (above), despite cold winds and a storm in the eastern half of the state that prevented many from attending, and which later caused Governor Christine Gregoire to declare a state of emergency for 15 counties. The rally and an all-day summit were the culmination of the work of a group of concerned Spokane mothers.The effort began last spring when Lisa Layera Brunkan, Denette Hill, and Susan McBurney, enraged at the cuts to school library media programs in Washington and determined to strengthen them statewide, began a grassroots movement to combat their school board’s decision to close part of a $10.8-million deficit by halving the hours of the 10 full-time, K-8 teacher librarians still employed by Washington’s second-largest district. READ MORE
The award was the 2007 Thompson Gale Giant Step Award, a $10,000 award to libraries who provide unusually beneficial services to their community or school. As the co-winner of the award, splitting the honor and money with a New York school, the Fort Washakie School in Wyoming was chosen as the recipient because of its efforts to make the library not only a school affair, but a community one too. READ MORE
American Libraries Associate Editor Dan Kraus talked to seven editor-reviewers for Booklist Magazine about the books they read in their spare time in 2007. Learn one editor's excuse for not reading Harry Potter, how another found cheer in "an intrusive and lying government, torture, and nuclear experiments," and the treasure a third found in Montana READ MORE
The Supreme Court's Brown versus Board of Education decision turned 50 in 2004. Over the next several years, many of the perennially popular research topics of the Civil Rights Movement will celebrate equally momentous anniversaries. Media attention and scholarly interest increase with each significant anniversary.Fortunately for librarians and researchers, the events, people, and places of the Civil Rights Movement are well represented online. Web sites include an excellent array of primary source materials, including papers, laws, photographs, oral histories, and speeches. These digitized collections will interest researchers of any age group or scholastic level. The digital files offer a great opportunity to listen to Martin Luther King's most galvanizing speeches in his own voice, to read Malcolm X's letters to his mother, and to look at photographs of the freedom riders. In addition to primary source documents, many federal sites provide in-depth data, history and government documents from the Civil Rights Movement. The museums dedicated to civil rights provide outstanding study guides, biographical information, and photographs online. READ MORE
 >Download Sunshine Week poster (.pdf format).What Is Sunshine Week? READ MORE
Teen Tech Week is a celebration of the technology you love to use @ your library®, including playing video games, chatting on the Web, listening to mp3s and more.During Teen Tech Week, libraries across the nation encourage teens to explore technology and learn something new. Visit your school or public library to find out how you can celebrate Teen Tech Week or get started right away with a list of 25 celebration ideas. Tune in @ Your Library is the 2008 Teen Tech Week theme and the celebration takes place March 2-8. READ MORE
Every year, the editors of Booklist magazine prepare a set of Editors' Choice lists. These lists contain dozens of great reads representative of the year's most outstanding books. Books included on these lists balance popular appeal with intellectual, literary, and aesthetic excellence. READ MORE
If you’re listening to the presidential debates, you know immigration continues to be a hot issue in America. Foreign-born residents now constitute nearly 13% of the American population, a rate not seen since 1910. A new report from the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) entitled “Welcome, Stranger: Public Libraries Build the Global Village” reports on trends for the spread of immigration into new cities, and the role public libraries play in welcoming and settling new residents READ MORE
American Libraries Editor Leonard Kniffel visited the White House March 19 for an exclusive interview with First Lady Laura Bush. Mrs. Bush, a teacher and librarian and the first librarian to serve as First Lady, covers a host of topics, including the role she will play in the George W. Bush Presidential Library to be built at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, how her work as a librarian influenced has influenced her own initiatives, and why young people should consider librarianship as a career. From American Libraries Focus. READ MORE