Digging into School Library Journal

School Library Journal’s vast array of resources and interesting articles captured my attention such that I have found myself wandering back to explore other areas. Working my way across the centered menu, I found applicable topics under each category. This resource promises to offer me a wealth of information as I begin constructing ideas to fulfill my vision as a school librarian.

As I clicked from one link to the next, I was able to read of school libraries being renewed and renovated as Arapahoe High School’s response to a tragedy brought about among other things, library changes. Through the world’s most established crowd-funding platform, but new-to-me, Indiegogo, two second graders are putting forth great efforts to bring back their library shelves at Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito, California. Articles reminding me of the fundamental importance for library funding as a library plays a vital role in every school.

Once confident manipulating the site, I found myself immersed particularly in three themes, the “Fostering Readers” link from the drop down menu,  and the individually noted, but listed on the front page of SLJ “Latest Reviews,” and the “SLJ BLOG NETWORK.”  In these topics, I imagined and confirmed some of the most relevant, practical, and suitable information as a classroom teacher and hopeful elementary school librarian.

Sitting before seven and eight year old children daily, one of my main objectives is fostering a desire to read. Therefore, the articles regarding increasing independent reading minutes, links to incentives for independent reading, and the inspirational stories of how librarians raise money, write grants, and encourage diversity through their school libraries motivate me to attempt new strategies today and in the future. I am excited to not only join “The Birthday Party Pledge” and increase diversity in my picture book collection, but encourage others towards the goal. In conjunction with the “Fostering Readers” articles, the reviews of books – young adult books, picture books, novels, early readers, short story anthologies, offer me a quick reference to selecting books for my collections, my classroom collection, or for a specific readers. These quick, but thorough summaries and critiques help me to locate a book that may be just-right for my “less than motivated” reader or my “I can’t keep up with the book devourer” reader.  Connecting the reviews and the librarians, seems to be the blogs. In the librarian blogs, librarian teachers use humor, real life experiences, and knowledge to grow greater readers. Travis Yonkers’s, “One Star Review” kept me guessing and rereading the reviews of books I knew or needed to know, while his other recent post regarding his rationale of purchasing some books provided perspective into the responsibilities of a school librarian. Joyce Velenza’s “Internet Archive Book Images” reminded me of the last chapters of “This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybarians can Save us All.” Upon further searching her blog, I located a list of tools appropriate for higher level instruction – um, but could I manipulate this to work for me? This is a connection to technology that is necessary in today’s schools, and Ms. Velenza has now connected me to The Daring Librarian who is nothing less than a high energy wealth of information and enthusiasm toward the art of reading!

With tireless pleasure, as a teacher and hopeful school librarian, I work to foster young readers of text, technology, and information.  Together these particular aspects of the resource, The School Library Journal encourage me with many options! The School Library Journal is a user-friendly web tool that connects librarians and libraries across the nation, fosters learning and reading, and continues to balance the necessity of reading with the ever-changing technical world with ease. A required one-hour experiment of searching and learning grew into self-driven motivation, a resource relationship, professional networking, and technical knowledge that I will return to again and again.

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