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Mighty Little Librarian

Changes Ahead for #TLChat

Seven years ago, our amazing tribe of Teacher Librarians embarked on a journey to deliver much needed professional development on library and technology topics. At the time, there were no such free opportunities to be found to meet this need, … Continue reading

Are You Ready?

  Join us on Monday, October 3rd at 8PM Eastern Time for Are You Ready? with guests Andrew Marcinek, CIO at Worcester Academy and Former Chief Open Education Advisor for the Office of Educational Technology, and Stony Evans, library media specialist at … Continue reading

The Digital Diva

School Library Journal Tech News

SLJ News

New U.S. Department of Education Guidance on ESSA and Early Learning

The DOE has released guidance to help state and local decision makers maximize the opportunities available under ESSA to strengthen early education.

The Superhero Librarian Within | Take the Lead

Perhaps you feel unworthy or unready to be a leader. But you can do it. You must: people are counting on you.

Therapy by the Book

Help students find solace, insight, and inspiration while reading. Plus, trauma-response resources for educators.

Steve Jenkins on Popular Pick “Animals by the Numbers”

Jenkins connects literacy, design, and the surprising world of animal facts.

Digital Badging and Microcredit | Tech Tidbits

Support and reward learning with these tips and resources for creating a digital badging and microcredit program at your school or library.

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.


Recordings Available



What reference books do you feel are necessary in an elementary library? 10 Replies

Started by Shelly Haskell. Last reply by Lisa Rutledge yesterday.

Creating a Lexile Library 1 Reply

Started by Titiksha Goswami. Last reply by Titiksha Goswami Sep 14.

Going to Destiny from Alexandria 4 Replies

Started by Susan. Last reply by MelodyJ. Philpotts Aug 27.

Fines in Secondary 11 Replies

Started by Suzanna L. Panter. Last reply by Jennifer Armour May 17.

Research Elem. Teachers' PD Online 2 Replies

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Adding Foreign Language Collection 9 Replies

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Creative Nonfiction

Started by Leslie Whidden Feb 24.

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

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