AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Working Together to Beat Summer Slide

Summer Slide is the term for lost school achievement growth that can occur over the summer. Researchers have found that students from low income families can especially be affected, losing between 2 to 3 months in their reading levels during this time. Unfortunately, this can add up, leaving many students as much as 2 ½ to 3 years behind their peers. Children who read during the summer are more likely to have their achievement remain steady or modestly increase. School and public librarians can work together to help solve this problem. The Role of School Librarians Before the school year ends, school librarians can start a book distribution program with community partners to ensure children have books to read. In Durham (County) NC, we have partnered with Book Harvest to provide two free books to students in the school system. Prior to that partnership, I allowed for summer book check…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Tech Clubs

Technology Club is a partnership between the Algonquin Area Public Library District and local elementary schools.  Our Youth Technology Librarian visits schools once a month, working with the school library media specialists to lead club meetings. Students have the opportunity to participate in STEM enrichment programs and work with other technology their schools may not own.  Some of the different programs include squishy circuits, light painting, brush bots, spheros, ozobots, and coding. Currently, 24 students from two district schools participate in Tech Club.  In order to participate, students must be in grades 3 to 5 and fill out the school’s club registration form.  The school librarian tracks membership. Tech Clubs meet once a month after school. Meetings take place in the school library media centers and generally last for one hour. The Library provides the hardware, supplies, and the tech expertise and the school provides the meeting space, supervision, and school…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Expanding Partnerships

I’ve been fortunate to be part of Limitless Libraries, Nashville’s groundbreaking collaboration between school and public libraries, from both the school and public library perspectives.  Students and teachers in Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) are automatically enrolled in Limitless Libraries, meaning their student and teacher ID numbers are also public library card numbers.  They can access all of Nashville Public Library’s (NPL’s) digital resources, and request physical materials that arrive through school delivery.  Additionally, Limitless Libraries supplements local schools’ library budgets to ensure all MNPS libraries have recent and relevant collections. Shortly after Limitless Libraries began, a private donor, inspired by the collaborative spirit of the program, donated $1 million through the Nashville Public Library Foundation to renovate two MNPS libraries—one high school and one middle school.  NPL’s funding and renovation experience combined with MNPS’s knowledge of their students and best school library practices to produce welcoming and functional school…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Book Clubs with Heart

Collaboration. In theory, an easy concept. As a school librarian, I understand the importance of collaborating with my public librarians, and I try my best. But if you are anything like me, sometimes knowing what you should do and actually being able to execute it are two totally different things. When it came time to think of a topic to write about for this collaboration-themed post, I immediately thought of the program that is run jointly by Mira Johnson, the HS librarian in my district and Penny Kelley, our YA librarian at the public library. I thought I’d interview them about the program, the work involved, and the benefits and challenges. Tell me about the book club: We run a book discussion program with students in grades 5 to 7 based on the Jane Addams Peace Association’s book awards. These are “given annually to the children’s books published the preceding year…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Collaborating on a Mini-Con

The annual Comic-Con in San Diego is a juggernaut that everyone looks forward to. Photos of celebrity sightings, interview snippets, and panel videos dominate the web during the event. And Comic-Con isn’t about just comics anymore of course – it’s about books, movies, graphic novels and all things pop culture in general. So what about those of us nowhere near San Diego? You DIY your own!

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Starting Small and Building

A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about collaboration between school and public libraries. I talked about Nashville’s Limitless Libraries and how I wished my students had access to a similar program here in Clarksville (about an hour away from Nashville).  In this blog post, I am happy to report that wishes do come true!

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): A Successful Partnership Can Begin with Summer Reading

Through school-public library collaboration, librarians can co-design successful summer reading programs that help prevent summer reading loss. The goal of a national nonprofit called the Collaborative Summer Library Program, or CSLP, is to support public libraries with high-quality summer reading materials for all age groups at the lowest possible cost. Experienced librarian volunteers help CLSP provide member libraries with a summer reading kit in English and in Spanish. In Oracle, Arizona, public library volunteer director Pauly Skiba identified a pressing need for collaboration with the public school in her community. Oracle Public is an all-volunteer rural library thirty miles north of Tucson. Pauly, a retired classroom teacher, realized that although the library did an excellent job serving preschool and adult community members, few school-age children and teens used library resources—school-age programs and the summer reading program were not well attended. One day, Pauly was helping a 7th-grade girl do her…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Adapting Public Library Programs for Schools

In an environment where great emphasis is put on statistics like door count and program attendance, it is tempting for public library staff to view school counterparts either as competition, or conduits to promote our programs. A better approach to the numbers game is to collaborate together on programming, which can mean adapting public library programs for a school setting.