Friday, December 23, 2011

Start the holidays right-Support School Libraries!

Take Action

School Libraries and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) why YOU should care and what YOU can do!

The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), along with the American Library Association’s Office for Library Advocacy and the Washington Office, is asking that every single person in the country who cares about libraries contact their U.S. Senators in Washington at 202-224-3121 or at their local offices in your state about the importance of including school libraries in the reauthorization of ESEA. Please let us know when you’ve made your call by emailing
Background:  ESEA reauthorization, currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), will determine federal education policy for the coming decade.  The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee marked-up (voted out of committee) ESEA on October 20, 2011 without including school libraries!  While no date has yet been set for a Senate vote, the American Library Association believes that it may come up after January 23, 2012.
What It Means for School Libraries:  Ensuring that school libraries are included in ESEA reauthorization means that federal funding for schools would also include school libraries.  But, more importantly, having school libraries included in ESEA is a strong statement that school library programs are considered an important part of the learning environment.  This will make it harder for local decision makers to de-professionalize or cut school library services.
Why YOU Should Care:  As library supporters, it probably goes without saying that you value libraries at all levels.  But if you are not directly associated with a school library, it may well be that you really haven’t thought much about them and their contribution to every school, community, and even your own library!  Because of the pending vote on ESEA – which does not now include school libraries – it’s time for you to focus your library love on school libraries.
Studies have shown categorically that children who go to school without libraries and, importantly, school librarians, fare worse in academic achievement than those who have them.  Professionally staffed school libraries are a very small investment to raise academic achievement.  And we all know that kids who read succeed!
We all pay the price of the academic failure of our youngsters.  Crime rates, unemployment, social service costs, prison stays all go up when kids don’t succeed in school.  We pay dearly for that.  Not only are taxes higher as a result, but human potential is lost.
When school libraries are shut down or certified librarians are eliminated, public libraries and academic libraries also pay a price.  Children without access to instruction by school librarians will miss out on learning how to find, identify and use information appropriately.  Public libraries, community college libraries, and even four year colleges and universities see an immediate influx of new users (school children) when area school libraries are closed down. 
This means more materials and staffing are needed for public libraries (whose budgets are also being challenged across the country) and they often lack the curriculum-related materials the students need.  In addition, one of the greatest effects on the public library from underfunded school libraries is the demand from school librarians themselves and classroom teachers for materials to use in the classroom.    
When one type of library is threatened, all libraries are threatened.
What You Can Do:  It is imperative that every library supporter in the country call or email both of their Senators now!  Let them know that ESEA must include a specific authorization for an effective school library program.  Senators can do this by telling both Senator Tom Harkin and Senator Mike Enzi that they support including an effective school library program in ESEA.
In addition, we ask that you spread the word.  Ask your spouse, your friends, and your acquaintances to act now.  Facebook, twitter, and email about this.  Let’s start a school library movement!  Your voice counts – please use it on behalf of professionally staffed school libraries.
ESEA Talking Points
  • Since 1965, more than 60 education and library studies have produced clear evidence that school library media programs staffed by qualified school librarians have a positive impact on student academic achievement.
  • Spending for school library programs is the single most important variable related to better student achievement.
  • At the elementary level, four out of five schools (over 80%) with full-time librarians had more students who earned proficient or above proficient test scores on the CAT5 tests for reading, language arts, and mathematics.  In schools with no librarian at all, only about half had more high-achievement students.
  • At the secondary level, nine out of ten schools (over 90%) with full-time librarians had more students who earned proficient or above proficient test scores on the CAT5 tests for reading, language arts, and mathematics.  In schools with no librarian at all, only about half had more high-achievement students.
  • Based on analysis from its first year of funding, 95% of local education agencies that received funding from the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program have reported increases in their reading scores.  In its second year of funding, grantees reported access during non-school hours increased in just one year from 30% in 2005 to 72% in 2006.
  • This is the information age.  Our leaders are starting to understand it’s not enough for kids to know how to read – they must also be information literate.
  • Family literacy activities are supported by 42% of public school libraries strengthening the entire network of support for student learning and achievement.
  • Students visit school libraries almost 1.5 billion times during the school year – about one and a half times the number of visits to state and national parks.
  • Funding for school libraries comprises a very small portion of a school library’s budget but studies show that the return on this investment in terms of student achievement is high. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tweet for School Libraries- Thursday-12/8/11 at 3pm

As Congress continues to work on appropriation bills for FY 2012, we want to make sure they keep school libraries in mind. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted out of committee a bill that included $30 million for literacy, at least half of which must go to school libraries. But the fight for this money is not over.

In order to keep support for school libraries going, we are scheduling another Twitter Bomb for Thursday, Dec. 8, at 3pm EST.

Please tweet the following message at both of your senators and your representative. 

Below is an example of the tweet directed at Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana:

@DennyRehberg Keep $30 mil for #literacy and school #libraries in this year's federal funding!

To find out if your Congressional representatives are on Twitter and what their handles are, visit this website:

If you find that your representative is on twitter, click their image on the left and that link will take you to his/her acct.
Once on your representative’s page, click the silhouette icon,  and enter the message in the field below the ‘Follow’ button.

If your representatives aren’t on Twitter yet, please tweet the message out anyway, to keep the echo chamber going.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jersey City Schools Need Your Input Now-11/22/11

Public Forum Public Forum to announce Board process and seek community input on the Superintendent Search- both Interim and National.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 6pm

PS #30/ Alexander D. Sullivan Elementary School
171 Seaview Avenue,Jersey City, NJ 07305

Your questions or comments will be encouraged so we can move forward in a transparent and inclusive manner in this vital mission to find new leadership in Jersey City Public Schools.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

National Gaming Day, November 12th

Gamers invade libraries on November 12, 2010 for  the 4th annual National Gaming Day
Is your public library taking part? Check here
The American Library Association sponsored event has participating libraries  offering  kids and families a chance to meet and play classic board games such as Connect Four and Scrabble or dabble in an international Super Smash Bros. Brawl video game tournament!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Children's Authors present at Raritan Valley Community College 11/15-17/11

You're invited to the Baker & Taylor CATS Publisher Presentations Winter-Spring 2012
November 15-17, 2011 (Tuesday - Thursday)
at Raritan Valley Community College
118 Lamington Road
Branchburg, NJ 08876
Directions to Raritan Valley Community College

Presenters include:
K.K. Ross/Kate Klimo, Doreen Cronin and Laura Cornell and Michael Dahl
Visit the Publishers Presentation page for the complete event schedule and details on our featured guest speakers

Please RSVP to When you respond include:
  • Your first and last name
  • Library or business name
  • What days you will be attending (Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday)
  • If you will be staying for lunch
Feel free to pass this invitation along to your colleagues and Baker & Taylor customers.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

KNUFFLE BUNNY- The Musical 2/26-2/27/12

Knuffle Bunny: the Cautionary Musical returns to the Skirball Center, NYC  in February 2012.

Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Place, NY

Feb. 26, 2011 – Feb. 27, 2011

PERFORMANCE TIMES:February 26, 11:00am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm
February 27, 11:00am, 2:00pm

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical returns to NYC with the story of a little girl, her daddy and her favorite stuffed animal. If you've ever felt lost, then youll know just how Trixie's favorite stuffed Knuffle Bunny feels when left all alone. If you've ever felt loved, then you'll know just how Trixie, Knuffle Bunny, and their family feel when they're together. This 50 minute long performance is recommended for ages 3 and up.

"It is one of Mo Willems' many achievements to be, if not the first, then certainly the best author to present the dread heartbreak of the lost stuffed animal." — The New York Times on Knuffle Bunny Free

Monday, September 19, 2011

Reward an outstanding NJ Black History educator

Do you know a New Jersey teacher, librarian or other educator who has done an outstanding job in creating   black American history curriculum materials  or teaching black American history for grades K-12?

Here is your chance to nominate them for an award!
DEADLINE for submissions is 10/6/11

The Commission is Accepting Nominations for the

The Mildred Barry Garvin Prize is an award of $1,500 to a New Jersey teacher, guidance counselor, or school librarian for outstanding teaching of black American history in kindergarten through high school or outstanding performance in a related activity such as developing curriculum materials. One prize is awarded annually.

Nominations for the 2012 prize must be postmarked by October 6, 2011. Nominees must be a New Jersey teacher, guidance counselor, or school librarian engaged in teaching of black American history at any grade level between kindergarten and high school. Individuals may be nominated by others, or they may self-nominate.

To nominate an educational professional, submit the nomination form, and a 500 word essay describing the nominee’s qualifications and why he or she should receive the Garvin Prize. You may access the nomination form at

Postmark and submit the nomination form and essay no later than October 6, 2011 to:
Niquole Primiani
Chief Programs Officer
New Jersey Historical Commission
225 West State Street, PO Box 305
Trenton, NJ 08625-0305
(Please use the P.O. Box for U.S. Mail and the street address for courier service.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Education/ Curriculum Librarians Group (Metro NY/NJ) visit the Keats exhibit at the Jewish Museum

Please join the Education/ Curriculum Librarians Group (Metro NY/NJ) as we go to the Ezra Jack Keats Librarian Workshop at the Jewish Museum on September 23, 2011 at 10am. We will also be having a luncheon meeting (either at the Jewish Museum Café or at a nearby restaurant) after the program.


Please register by calling 212.423.3225. registration deadline 9/16/11

Ezra Jack Keats: Author and Illustrator
A Workshop for Librarians
Friday, September 23
10:00 am–Noon

Program fee: FREE
Refreshments will be served. Please register by September 16.

Join Leonard Marcus, renowned children’s book historian, author and critic, in a discussion celebrating the legacy of Ezra Jack Keats. Designed specifically for school and public librarians, this workshop also includes an opportunity to view the special exhibition The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats.

To register, please call 212.423.3225.
Program information
General Exhibit Information

Please also RSVP to this blog in the Comment section, and tell us if you will attend the luncheon meeting (pay your own way).
Amy and Sheila
Co-chairs Education/ Curriculum Librarians Group (Metro NY/NJ)
Education/ Curriculum Librarians Group (Metro NY/NJ)

Our description: We discuss issues that relate to our duties as subject specialists in the discipline of K-12 Education, and teacher preparation. We meet 2-3 times a year at locations in the metropolitan area.

Our mission: In the spirit of collaboration, we join together to discuss common issues related to the discipline of education in colleges and universities, children and youth literature and curriculum materials.


Lit-Fest: A Celebration of Books for Children and Young Adults

Co-sponsored by the Nassau Library Systems, Youth Service Office and Adelphi University’s Ruth S. Ammon School of Education.

Friday, October 14th8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Adelphi University
UC Ballroom
Garden City, NY
Lit-Fest - Nassau Library System: