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October 1, 2018

Association News

Applications Open for 2019 AASL Awards
Applications for AASL’s 2019 awards are now available. AASL members are encouraged to nominate a colleague or themselves to be lauded for their outstanding talent and dedication to the profession as part of this prestigious awards program. AASL awards and grants recognize excellence and showcase best practices in the school library field in categories that include collaboration, leadership, and innovation.
Submit Your AASL Standards Story for Consideration for the May/June KQ
Since AASL introduced the National School Library Standards in November 2017, there have been so many engaging stories shared about how school librarians, library supervisors, library educators, and other stakeholders are working with the standards to invigorate their practice. Now, we want to hear your story! The May/June 2019 issue of Knowledge Quest will feature articles about the practice, theory, research, and/or policy implications of the National School Library Standards, and the guest editors for the issue invite you to submit an abstract for possible publication. Submissions are due October 25.
Learn How to Defend Intellectual Freedom during Oct. 10 Webinar
On October 10, join members of the 2018 AASL Emerging Leaders team for a webinar as they discuss AASL’s new “Resource Guide Defending Intellectual Freedom: LGBTQ+ Materials in School Libraries.” In addition to unpacking the guide and connected resources and activities, Rachel Altobelli, Juan Rivera, and Julie Stivers will discuss proactive steps school librarians can take to build and safeguard LGBTQ+-inclusive collections, instruction, and spaces.
Discover the Literacy Heroes Online Community in Oct. 25 Webinar
The important work of libraries is not exclusive to the United States. Literacy heroes all around the world are promoting global literacy, and many of them are advancing literacy in impoverished and neglected communities by creating libraries. Discover the Literacy Heroes online community website during a webinar on October 25. The site was designed for individuals who wish to learn about the various types and methods of global literacy.
Reading Motivation Examined in New School Library Research Article
New research published in AASL’s peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research (SLR), reports the findings of two case studies focused on student reading motivation. Natalie Hoyle Ross, a library media center director at Spring Brook Elementary School, focused her research on school librarians’ perceived value of the Bluestem Award and its effect on school librarians’ promotions and student behavior in the school library. Results suggest that school librarians’ perceived value of the Bluestem was essential for their promotion of the award.

Member Spotlight

Susan Mongold Profiled in SLJ
Susan Mongold, teacher librarian at the I PROMISE School in Akron, Ohio, is profiled in School Library Journal (SLJ). The school, opened by NBA star LeBron James, was established in partnership by the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools. “This feels like it’s the job I have been preparing for and searching for my whole career,” says Mongold. “I have the space that we fight for. I have resources. It’s exciting. It’s exhausting, but it’s also spiritually energizing.”
Submit a Member Spotlight
Have you been recognized for your work as a school librarian, received an award, published an article, or received another industry accomplishment? Submit a Member Spotlight today!

Submit a Member Current
Have you graduated, received a new certification, changed positions, or retired? Submit a Member Current for inclusion in the next KQ Express.

Education News

Federal Budget Includes Gains for Libraries
President Trump signed legislation for fiscal year 2019 that includes level or increased funding for many library programs. The Institute of Museum and Library Services will have an additional $2 million to improve administration of library state-formula grant programs and research for fiscal year 2019. Grants funded through the Library Services and Technology Act will continue to receive level funding, enabling libraries to continue offering a range of innovative services to communities.

ACT Developing Test to Assess Student Creativity
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development chose ACT to design a Program for International Student Assessment test that would assess student creativity. The exam would include sections on written and visual expression as well as social and scientific problems. If adopted, it could be administered in 2021. 

Grade Inflation More Common among Wealthy
A research study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute finds that grade inflation is more common among students from wealthy families. The study compared North Carolina algebra students' GPAs, their scores on state standardized tests, and their ACT college entrance exams. Grade inflation acts as a "self-fulfilling prophecy" that may widen the socioeconomic gap in education, according to author Seth Gershenson, an education economist at American University.

Survey Finds Fiction Reading Down, Poetry Up
Fewer adults in the US are reading novels and short stories, according to a survey from the National Endowment for the Arts. The survey finds a decline of almost 8% in the last five years mainly among women, African Americans, and younger adults. However, it did find an increase among those who read poetry, with 11.7% of adults saying they had read poetry last year, an increase of 76% from 2012.

Schools Use Software to Align Master Schedules with School Objectives
Some schools are using software programs to develop master schedules to improve outcomes for students. Instead of sorting students into classes based on logistics, the software aligns student schedules with other school objectives, such as increasing diversity in the classroom and supporting small learning communities.

Superintendents List Top K-12 Challenges
Nearly 75 percent of superintendents say it will be a challenge to prepare students to be engaged citizens, according to a Gallup survey. Other challenges they identified include improving student achievement and retaining teachers.

Study Finds Benefits to Teachers Greeting Students
A recent survey found that greeting students at the classroom door boosts academic engagement and behavior. The researchers determined that making eye contact, saying students' names, and offering encouraging words inspires students to put more effort into their own learning.

“Homework Gap” Hits Minority and Impoverished Students Hardest
A survey from ACT finds that lack of access to technology and Internet connectivity at home is especially severe among poor, rural, and minority students. It showed that 14% of students have access to only one device at home, and of those students 85 percent are classified as "underserved"—defined as economically disadvantaged, first-generation college students, and/or people of color.

Literacy Gender Gap Begins in 4th Grade in US
Girls perform better than boys on reading and writing standardized tests as early as the fourth grade, according to research published in the American Psychologist. The research showed that as students get older that achievement gap widens even more. 

Gen Z Prefers YouTube over Textbooks
Nearly 60% of those identified as Generation Z (ages 14 to 23) prefer learning via YouTube over traditional textbooks, according to a poll by Pearson Education. The poll found that only 47% of Generation Z students preferred textbooks, compared with 60% of millennials.

Group Work Offers Personalized Learning
A study from the American Institutes for Research finds that collaborative group work may help support students' individual needs. The findings show that students who experienced more collaboration also "experienced a greater degree of personalization in their learning," according to AIR senior researcher Kristina Zeiser.

More Students Experiencing Bullying
Approximately 1 out of every 3 students say they were bullied during the 2017-18 school year, according to the nonprofit YouthTruth Student Survey. Previous survey results found 1 out of 4 students said they were bullied. 

Do ESSA Plans Support Vulnerable Students?
An analysis by the Alliance for Excellent Education finds that states may be neglecting students with disabilities, English-language learners, and racial minorities in their Every Student Succeeds Act implementation plans. Its review of all ESSA state plans finds only 17 states integrate the performance of these students into their ratings systems.

Most Talked-About KQ Blog Posts

AASL Standards and Multiple Literacies during Academic Flex Time

Lesson Plan Ideas For Teaching Information Literacy

Authors to Grow With

Letter to First-Year Librarians

Resources for School Librarians

Genius Hour Connects Learning and Careers
In this article, Jen Schneider, a middle-school language arts teacher in Nebraska, details how she uses a "genius hour" to help students find the connection between academic lessons and prospective career paths.
Pilot Program Promotes Accessible Makerspaces
Johanna Prince and Kevin Good from the Univeristy of Maine at Farmington detail  how a pilot program at their university is helping students who are training to be special-ed teachers learn to adapt makerspaces to make them more inclusive.
4 Strategies to Implement Blended Learning
In this commentary John McCarthy, an education consultant, shares four ways to use technology in blended learning: managed learning, orchestrated learning, collaborative learning, and authentic learning.
Congressional Research Service Reports Now Publicly Available
The Library of Congress is providing Congressional Research Service reports to the public. The reports present a legislative perspective on topics such as agriculture policy, counterterrorism operations, banking regulation, and veterans’ issues.
Colorado District Blends Reading and Writing Instruction
A Colorado school district is implementing a literacy curriculum known as "balanced literacy" that integrates reading and writing lessons.

Tips to Help Select Ed Tech Tools
Mark Henderson, a high-school assistant principal, outlines the vetting process his own district used when it adopted technology to support small-group learning.

How to Engage Parents in Tech Rollouts
In this opinion piece, Mike Daugherty, director of technology and information systems at Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools in Ohio, shares several strategies his district used to engage and educate parents about a technology shift.
Teacher Uses Art to Boost Math Skills
Students in Shanna Meyer's high-school AP calculus class turned math into art by drawing functions and derivatives on paper and hanging them on the wall for other students to study during a "gallery walk." 


Grants & Awards

ALA Publishing Committee Carnegie-Whitney Award
The American Library Association Publishing Committee provides a grant of up to $5,000 for the preparation of print or electronic reading lists, indexes, or other guides to library resources that promote reading or the use of library resources at any type of library. Funded projects have ranged from “A Resource Guide about Disabilities, Disability Theory, and Assistive Technologies” to “A Bibliography for Queer Teens” to “Graphic Novels & the Humanity of Mental Illness” to “Web Accessibility Resources for Libraries.” Applications must be received by November 2, 2018.

ALA Scholarship Program
If you need financial assistance to get through your graduate program, scholarship funds are now available. ALA has more than $300,000 available to students who are studying in library science or school library media programs at the master’s degree level. Scholarships range from $1,500 to $7,000 per student per year. The deadline to apply is March 7.
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