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Mighty Little Librarian

Interacting with Nonfiction Text

A few weeks ago, in anticipation of my 7th grade library visits, I asked the teachers what a good topic of focus would be for an activity. They said they were working on nonfiction text. In my searching for lesson … Continue reading

Blackout Poetry

This week during 8th grade library visits, students created blackout poems. They are just kicking off their poetry units, and the awesome ELA teachers and I thought this would be a fun activity for them. One of the teachers suggested … Continue reading

The Digital Diva

SLJ News

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban | SLJ Review

Sepahban, Lois. Paper Wishes. 192p. Farrar/Margaret Ferguson Bks. Jan. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374302160; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780374302177.

Gr 4-6 –In March 1942, 10-year-old Manami Tanaka’s whole world changes. Her family is forced to leave their home on Bainbridge Island along with all the other Japanese Americans in their community. Though arrangements have been made for a neighbor to care for their dog, Yujiin, Manami can’t bear to leave him behind and tries to bring him [...]

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune by P. J. Lynch | SLJ Review

Lynch, P.J. The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune. illus. by P.J. Lynch. 64p. bibliog. websites. Candlewick. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763665845.

Gr 3-6 –Lynch brings to vivid life the well-known story of the Pilgrims through the adventures and voice of John Howland. As a young man, Howland came across the Atlantic on the Mayflower as an indentured servant of John Carver, who would later become the first governor of the [...]

Sriracha | SLJ DVD Review

Sriracha. 33 min. Dist. by Dreamscape. 2013, released in 2015. $24.99. $199.99 PPR. ISBN 857063005165.

Gr 9 Up –Sriracha, the bottled red chile sauce with the rooster emblem and distinctive green spout, has gained a cult following in the United States, and in this ode to the deliciously spicy hot sauce, director Griffin Hammond reveals the story—and man—behind its success. David Tran, the unassuming founder of Huy Fong Foods, Inc. in Irwindale, CA, began his sauce-making career in the [...]

5 Reasons Why the 2015 NCTE Conference Was the Best Yet

Two big book award announcements, plus appearances by Kadir Nelson, Chelsea Clinton, Kate DiCamillo, and Kwame Alexander: The annual conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in Minneapolis had all the makings of an event to remember.

Opinion: Do We Honor Girls’ Stories? The Double Standard of YA Lit

Editor, blogger, former librarian Kelly Jensen asks why girls' stories in YA often take a backseat to boys' narratives during book awards season.

ALA TechSource

New Library Technology Report: Library Services Platforms

Library Technology Reports (Vol. 51, No. 6) Library Services Platforms: A Mature Genre of Products, by Marshall Breeding, is at the printer. You can read it now, however, on ALA’s journal site:

The Report starts with an explanation of this class of products and how it has diverged from the traditional integrated library system to take advantage of platform architecture. You’ll see in-depth descriptions of Ex Libris Alma, Kuali OLE, OCLC WorldShare Management Services, ProQuest Intota, and Innovative Interfaces Sierra. While neutral on product recommendations, Breeding offers advice on selection and procurement strategies.

Library Technology Reports is open access through June 2015. We also have a special $99 offer on our digital subscription, which includes Smart Libraries Newsletter.

Subscribe to Library Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter for $99

Library Technology Reports and Marshall Breeding’s Smart Libraries Newsletter will be open access for another month. Be sure to check them out. And, if you like what you see, please subscribe. Our best offer is on—a 15-month digital subscription is only $99. Your library will save $150 off the regular price. And your purchase will fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.

Now Open: Library Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter

Library Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter are on a new hosting platform, using Open Journal Systems. For a limited time, through June, both will be open access.

We’re hoping you will like what you see and get your library to subscribe.

This year brought a new cover design to our Library Technology Reports. Here's what's inside.

David Lee King, who has managed to keep a still up-to-date personal blog, wrote Managing Your Libraries Social Media Channels. Bohyun Kim wrote Understanding Gamification. She will also present a workshop on gamification Wednesday, May 6. If you’ve purchased it or are thinking about it, download her report. For our newest issue, Coding for Librarians, Andromeda Yelton surveyed colleagues to get ready-to-use-or-adapt snippets of code, as well as “deep dive” examples. She set up a companion website on Github. Even if you have the print issue in hand, you’ll want to download the PDF to link directly to the code samples on GitHub.

Marshall Breeding is libraryland’s authority on product development in the library automation industry. His Smart Libraries Newsletter presents news and analysis on both the business and technology side. Breeding recently published vendor responses to a survey on the privacy and security functions of major automation and discovery products. His goal was to increase awareness and start a conversation that might lead to needed improvements. How are your vendors protecting patron privacy? See Smart Libraries Newsletter, January 2015. A regular writer of Library Technology Reports, Breeding’s most recent issue is “Library Resource Discovery Products: Context, Library Perspectives, and Vendor Positions” and his “Library Services Platforms” is our forthcoming May/June 2015 issue.

We migrated the Library Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter archives from our previous platform. As report titles did not carry over, the archive list is by date of issue only, making findability a little challenging. The author index and search will help. To give you a taste of what's there, I'll point to a few “known-items,” hidden gems, especially for LIS students or anybody looking for background in a new area. Karen Coyle offers remarkably clear explanations of complex concepts, writing the back-to-back reports in 2010, Understanding the Semantic Web: Bibliographic Data and Metadata and RDA Vocabularies for a 21st Century Data Environment and then in 2012, Linked Data Tools: Connecting on the Web. In 2013, Mirela Roncevic wrote E-book Platforms for Libraries, surveying 51 vendors. Though product offerings have changed since, the report shows the breadth of the marketplace and various approaches to the business model.

The archives will remain open for Library Technology Reports one year after publication and for Smart Libraries Newsletter six months after publication.

We're joined on the platform by several other ALA publications. See the full list at

App Learning for Librarians

Nicole Hennig would love to see more librarians reviewing apps.

“Have you noticed how uniformed many of the app-store reviews are?” she asks readers of her recent Library Technology Report "Selecting and Evaluating the Best Mobile Apps for Library Services." Often people write a review without understanding what the app was meant to do. Or they dash off a technical support question. Librarianship has a long tradition of reviewing books. Now is the time to apply those well-honed skills to apps and help your community find what they need in a chaotic marketplace.


For a general guide to reviewing, Nicole recommends the the thorough Elements for Basic Reviews: A Guide for Writers and Readers of Reviews of Works in All Mediums and Genres,from the ALA/RUSA CODES Materials Reviewing Committee (2005).

She supplements that guide with her own checklist for reviewing mobile apps.

Nicole Hennig is busy writing and presenting on all things apps for librarians. She will be leading the ALA ecourse “Apps for Librarians: Empower Your Users with Mobile App Literacy” starting Monday, February 2 (also Groundhog day). In addition to selection and evaluation criteria, she covers a full range of library services, including accessibilty, content creation, and reference. For a taste of what’s covered, check out the recording of her November 2014 webinar. Visit Nicole’s web page for for additional information about the course, a self-study version, and her other offerings. 

CES 2015 Press Day

Jason Griffey reports on what he saw at CES press day-- a few 3D printers, including Ultimaker, a good library option; another small robot programmable in Google's Blockly, a visual programming editor; Samsung's SSD; and a drone. The soundtrack starts rough, but is much better after one minute.

Jason's coverage of CES is sponsored by Spingshare. Visit his blog Pattern Recognition for ongoing reports.

Share your cutting edge practice!

OITP, LITA seek nominations for cutting-edge technology practices

Washington, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) are soliciting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology.

“Cutting edge” refers to tested and successful implementations of technological advancements used in services such as:

  • Improvements in traditional services and processes by inventing/re-inventing/twisting technology
  • Introduction of new, innovative services that are flexible and responsive to community needs
  • Methods for connecting libraries to their communities
  • Funding initiatives or organizational models that ensure library information technology will remain current
Nominations may be may for work in any of the following sample areas:
  • Application development (apps)
  • Architecture and design
  • Circulation (sorting, remote distribution, materials handling, delivery mechanisms)
  • Collections
  • Community services (to include equity, outreach, programming and assessment of services)
  • Curation
  • E-resources management services
  • Instruction/information literacy
  • Knowledge creation
  • Open source
  • Pathfinders
  • Patron services (to include self-services and privacy protection)
  • Participatory services (e.g., student-created content, community polling, wikis)
  • Professional development
  • Readers’ advisory
  • Reference services
  • Staff management (use of self-scheduling, recruitment and evaluation)
  • Unique missions
  • User interface
  • Web services
  • Other

Nominations should include the following:

  • A description of the project/service
  • An explanation of how the service/procedure is cutting-edge
  • Information about the evolution of the project (identification of need, why it is novel, funding sources/options, challenges, how success was measured, and recommendations)

Applicants may also submit supporting materials in a variety of media, such as Flickr, YouTube, video, audio, blogs, etc.).


  • Must involve the use of technology
  • Must be a novel idea or implementation of a service
  • Must be able to be documented for replication
  • Must be for a library that has been involved in the development of the service or product (can’t just buy something off the shelf) or has enhanced the product for added value

A joint committee of members from the Subcommittee on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century and LITA will review all nominations and may conduct selected interviews or site visits to identify those libraries that are truly offering a best practice or most innovative service.  Libraries or library service areas will be publicized via the OITP and LITA websites, as well as highlighted through ALA publications and programs at the ALA Annual Conference in 2012. 

The nomination form (.docx) is available online and may be emailed or faxed to Larra Clark at or fax 202-628-8419.

Learn more about the program and past winners on the OITP website.


Teacher Librarian Day - October 19 - Free and Online


Adding Foreign Language Collection 1 Reply

Started by Ashley Fetterolf. Last reply by Javier Santovenia Diaz on Tuesday.

Pulling Library Staff to Sub for Other Teachers 2 Replies

Started by Melissa Smith. Last reply by Javier Santovenia Diaz Nov 16.

Lesson plan resources for pre-k through 6th grade - New Librarian 6 Replies

Started by Amy Skrovan. Last reply by Javier Santovenia Diaz Nov 4.

Earth Science Bibliography 1 Reply

Started by Bernadette Kearney. Last reply by Javier Santovenia Diaz Oct 30.

New Librarian - Advice on Book Protection Supplies 3 Replies

Started by Charity Collins. Last reply by Javier Santovenia Diaz Oct 30.

Library physical setup (furniture etc.) for digital 2 Replies

Started by L.E. Spear. Last reply by Javier Santovenia Diaz Oct 27.

What's new in your September? 33 Replies

Started by Joyce Valenza. Last reply by Javier Santovenia Diaz Oct 20.

Changing building levels: suggestions for planning 1 Reply

Started by Deborah Hoover. Last reply by Javier Santovenia Diaz Oct 20.

Kindles in the library 3 Replies

Started by Pat Rideout. Last reply by Javier Santovenia Diaz Oct 20.

friend request or spam? 3 Replies

Started by Diane Sands. Last reply by Javier Santovenia Diaz Oct 19.


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Don't miss the new wiki Elementary Library Routines. Share your best ideas and learn from others in your tribe!

Blog Posts

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) Winter by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG, I LOVED Winter and Meyer's whole Lunar Chronicle series!!! I am so sad it is over BUT I have so many great… Continue

Posted by BJ Neary on November 21, 2015 at 7:30am

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)" src="" /></a><a href="…


Posted by BJ Neary on November 15, 2015 at 7:08pm

Drowned City by Don Brown

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans" src="" /></a><a href="…


Posted by BJ Neary on November 15, 2015 at 7:01pm

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe #1) Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I listened to the awesome narration of Cruel Beauty on Audible by Elizabeth Knowleton. There… Continue

Posted by BJ Neary on November 15, 2015 at 6:49pm

Whippoorwill by Joseph Monninger

Whippoorwill Whippoorwill by Joseph Monninger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a dog lover and I love to read any kind of book about dogs and as much as I loved this… Continue

Posted by BJ Neary on November 8, 2015 at 5:25pm

Me Earl& the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" src="" /></a><a href="…


Posted by BJ Neary on November 5, 2015 at 7:42pm


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Latest Activity

Liz Lien is now a member of TLNing
Javier Santovenia Diaz replied to Ashley Fetterolf's discussion Adding Foreign Language Collection
"I like to order the books by subject. Using tenth Melvil Dewey system."
Ashley Fetterolf posted a discussion

Adding Foreign Language Collection

I am looking for any advice about creating a new foreign language collection in the library. I have ordered about 30 new titles in Spanish and I look forward to adding more throughout the coming months and year. My question is about shelving in particular. Do you shelve the books in with the literature? Do you create a separate shelf/shelves for your foreign language materials? If so, do you also separate out any foreign language movies? Any and all advice is welcome! Thanks!See More
Lisa Mctague updated their profile
Nov 21
Profile IconLori Kohls and Lisa Mctague joined TLNing
Nov 21
BJ Neary posted a blog post

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter by Marissa MeyerMy rating: 5 of 5 starsOMG, I LOVED Winter and Meyer's whole Lunar Chronicle series!!! I am so sad it is over BUT I have so many great memories to continue to replay over and over again about the awesome…See More
Nov 21
Profile IconAngel Aquino and leela rama joined TLNing
Nov 19
Javier Santovenia Diaz replied to Melissa Smith's discussion Pulling Library Staff to Sub for Other Teachers
"I think you could think of on-line classes. Possible alternative in study."
Nov 16


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