Category Archives: Best practice

School Libraries Worldwide Current Call for Papers

Current Call for Papers

School Libraries Worldwide is the official professional and research journal of the International Association of School Librarianship. It is published twice yearly, in January and July, and is available online and through select periodical databases. School Libraries Worldwide publishes new works of current research and scholarship on any aspect of school librarianship. All papers are double-blind peer reviewed and adhere to the highest editorial standards.

Connections: Linking learning, leadership, technology, information, and society through school libraries (Volume 18, Number 1, January 2012)

This issue of School Libraries Worldwide will center on the theme of Connections: School librarians linking learning, leadership, technology, and society. As Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his influential book The Tipping Point (2001), “Connectors are the people who “link us up with the world … people with a special gift for bringing the world together” (pp. 38, 41). For this issue, we use this definition as our point of departure in considering the many connecting roles of school libraries and librarians. We encourage papers that both affirm and extend this initial definition.

This issue will provide an opportunity for researchers to share their work relating to connections and connectors in school libraries.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • School librarians as agents who link home and school;
  • School libraries as places where children build connections between learning and their roles in society;
  • School librarians as ambassadors of broadband Internet and mobile devices;
  • School librarians as promoters of transliteracy in context;
  • School librarians as connectors across cultural, social, professional and ethnic boundaries;
  • The interplay between school libraries and digital libraries or virtual learning environments.

School library researchers are invited to submit papers reporting their own original research that has not been published elsewhere. Authors who wish to know more about the issue theme should contact the editors to discuss revision.

School Libraries Worldwide also welcomes submissions of excellent research on any topic relating to school librarianship for the open portion of the journal.

Deadline for submissions of full papers: September 20, 2011.
Authors interested in contributing to this issue should contact the editors, Marcia Mardis and Nancy Everhart at

Submission guidelines are available online at School Libraries Worldwide submission guidelines (

Submissions and suggestions for the journal should be sent to:

Dr. Marcia A. Mardis and Dr. Nancy Everhart
Editors, School Libraries Worldwide
School of Library and Information Science
College of Communication & Information
The Florida State University
Tallahassee FL 32306-2100 USA
Fax: 1 (780) 492-7622

Marcia A. Mardis, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor
Associate Director, The PALM Center
College of Communication & Information
The Florida State University

School Libraries Worldwide
Official Journal of the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL)

Discouraging Read-Alouds

I heard a horrible rumor about a school librarian that was actually discouragingread alouds.  I’m not one to listen to gossip and especially not one to share it but I’ve been thinking about this ever since and so feel compelled to write about it.Now, like most rumors, I doubt this one is true.  A librarian?  Discouraging teacher read-alouds?  That would be kind of like a dentist discouraging you to brush your teeth wouldn’t it?

Maybe I misheard.  Maybe the gossiper meant the librarian was encouraging read-alouds.  Yeah, that must have been it.  But then, why would anyone be talking about that?  That’s what we spend a good deal of our time on, isn’t it?  I know not only am I actually reading aloud to classes but I’m often showing teachers new books that would be good read-alouds, suggesting more when they bring one up to check out and updating lists on the wiki of good read-alouds for certain grades and subjects.

As one of my favorite children’s lit. professors used to constantly reiterate: “Read aloud every day in every subject.”

My art teacher was delighted when I shared Chalk and Pete the Cat with her this year.  I’ve done much the same for many of the teachers in the building in a variety of subjects.  Yes, there are great non-fiction red-alouds!  Yes, you can turn that into an easy and fun reader’s theater! Yes, yes, yes!

The only problem I’ve ever heard with read-alouds is when someone doesn’t correctly match up their students and the book being read.  Often this comes from inexperienced or lazy teachers who haven’t read the book.  At one school I worked in, a fourth grade teacher picked up The Giver.  Maybe because it had an award on it, I don’t know.  It was a little much for that class and one student, upset at the ending, complained to parents.  The media committee in that school decided that the book was not appropriate for elementary and pulled it form the shelves, sending the copies to the middle school.

Maybe something like that happened with the school librarian in question.  Even so, that’s a dramatic and rare example that just reinforces the importance of the librarian’s job in helping find the right read-alouds for the right teachers and grade levels.  You can’t have people just pulling any old book off the shelf and reading it.  (Yes, I’ve seen this done, usually with bad results.)

So we need to encourage read-alouds and help teachers find the right books so they can…

Read aloud every day in every subject!


Jim Randolph

Partee Elementary, Snellville, GA

LMC One Question Survey

Happy May Everybody!

We always have great participation from Georgia media specialists so thanks in advance for responding to the May/June survey.

The question for the current survey is:

How do you use volunteers in your library?

Judi Repman

Georgia Southern University and Associate Editor, LMC

Student Poetry Webcasts

Amazing! Global!  Collaborative!  Snap!  I’m overjoyed by how today’s Poem In Your Pocket Day went.  For the past 3 years, we’ve been observing national poem in your pocket day by carrying poems in our pockets, wearing stickers to promote the day, and holding a day of poetry reading in the media center where every child (and adult) has a chance to read poems into our open microphone.  This year, we tried something new:  a live webcast.  Using Clarke County’s new purchase of Adobe Connect, Joel Frey setup a room for the Barrow Media Center.  The link was sent directly to the PTA listserve and an online registration was setup via Google Forms for anyone else interested.  Registrants on Google Forms were emailed the room link.

Today, 18 classes came to the media center for 20-minute poetry reading sessions.  Students came up one at a time and read their poems.  We all celebrated with snaps.  At the same time via Adobe Connect, parents, media specialists, classrooms within our school, classrooms across the district, and family members in other parts of the United States and the world were watching, listening, and making comments about the student poetry.  As online participants made comments, I shared the comments with the students in between poets.

Amazing things started to happen.  Students started huddling around the computer waiting for the next comment to come in.  They got excited when they saw that someone was typing.  They wondered why someone didn’t make a comment about their poem.  They kept asking, “You mean people can really see us?  They’re watching us right now?”  Students took over the computer while I got up to make announcements and when I read my own poem.  In a matter of minutes, they discovered multiple functions of the Adobe Connect software just by watching it in action.  It was electric.

Online, participants made comments about how much they appreciated being able to connect with their child, nephew, cousin, etc.  People joined us from multiple locations:  Mrs. Marsha West, Barrow’s former media specialist, joined us from Lincoln, Nebraska.  One student had family members join us from Chicago, Illinois, Cohutta, Georgia, and Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Another student had an uncle tune in from Afghanistan.  Parents explored a technology that many had never tried, and they appreciated this opportunity to think about learning and connecting globally in a new way.

At the same time, every teacher in the school got to see a new technology in action, and now the ideas are beginning to spark about how this can be used in the future.  At least two teachers have already approached me with ideas for future events or lessons.

Did everything work perfectly? Well……no.  However, I learned many things along the way.  Think about how to market your event.  I posted on my blog, facebook, PTA listserve, and sent some personal invitations.  This opportunity to webcast came only one week before my event, so I didn’t have a lot of time.  I would have tried other avenues of invitation if time had allowed.  It is a good idea to have someone who can login and monitor sound quality while you manage the chat, camera, audio, and recording.  If you have a registration process, it’s good to have that same person managing audio also watch for new registrants so the link can quickly be sent out.  Using a wired connection is better than using wireless.  My wireless dropped me off the network twice, and I had to get back into the room.  It was quick to fix and not a big deal, but I wish it could have been avoided.  The great thing about Adobe Connect is that even though I was dropped from the room all of the people were still in the room when I got back and everything was just as I had left it.  You should also think about what part of your session you want to record.  I pressed record at the beginning of each session and stopped at the end of each session so that separate archive links were created for each class.  Also, think about what your users need to see on their screen.  For the first few sessions, Joel Frey, my technology integration specialist, helped me arrange the chat, webcam, participant list, and power point on the screen so that it could be seen by all in a logical way.  Originally, I made the video full screen, but participants weren’t really sure which class was reading poems.  By putting the slide with the class name, grade, and time beside the video, it was easy for users to stay informed.  Finally, I had to periodically remind people in the chat to participate.  For many, this was a new experience, so it was important to give them reminders and tools on how to connect with students through their comments, snaps, and virtual applause button.

This afternoon, as I walked down the halls, a student stopped me and said, “Mr. Plemmons, did anyone else make a comment about my poem?”  Kids want authentic audiences beyond their classroom walls.  Thank you, Clarke County for giving us this tool.  Now, our task is to keep using it, seeking out authentic audiences, connecting with experts around the globe, and collaborating with classrooms in our own district and beyond.

You can listen to every class recording on Adobe Connect below.  At each link, you will hear and see the students reading poetry.  You will also see the chat comments that took place during the webcast and hear my announcements to the students each time a comment came in.  I hope you will take some time to see what an important day this was for us in the media center and consider how this might work in your own media center or classroom.

You are also invited to tune in on Monday April 18th, where several PreK, Kindergarten, and 1st grade classes will read their poems between 8:00AM-12:20PM EST.

Hart 1st Grade

Sheppard 2nd Grade

Watson 1st Grade

Brewer 1st Grade

O’Prey 5th Grade

Beshara 5th Grade

Slongo 5th Grade

Freeman 4th Grade

Selleck 4th Grade

Landstrom 4th Grade

Em Kindergarten

Brink 2nd Grade

Sitler 2nd Grade

Yawn 2nd Grade

Cantrell 3rd Grade

Griffith 3rd Grade

Rogers 3rd Grade

Shealey 3rd Grade

Andy Plemmons
School Librarian
David C. Barrow Elementary
Athens, GA

Poem In Your Pocket Day: LIVE!

Tomorrow is National Poem in Your Pocket Day.  For 3 years, I’ve been celebrating this day in my media center but not always on the official day.  Last year, I shared the details of this event on the GLMA blog.  This year, my students will celebrate on Friday April 15 and into Monday April 18th.

I’ve added two new pieces this year.  For the first time, we held an original poetry contest in grades Prek-5th grade and 156 students turned in poetry.  This contest was to encourage students to prepare original poetry to carry in their pockets instead of only poems written by others.

The second exciting new addition is that our poetry readings will be broadcast online via Adobe Connect.  I would like to invite any of you to join our event throughout the day on April 15th or 18th.  You might broadcast this live in your media center, share it with teachers who might want to see other students sharing poetry, or simply tune in to see what a live poetry reading might look like.

Please register at the following link and I will email you the link to the Adobe Connect room.  I hope to “see” many of you on Friday and Monday as we do some virtual snaps and celebrations for poetry.

Here is our schedule of events:

Poem in Your Pocket Schedule Friday April 15th (Times are EST)

Time Class
8:00 AM Hart 1st
8:20 Sheppard 2nd
8:40 Watson 1st
9:00 Brewer 1st
9:20 O’Prey 5th
9:40 Beshara 5th
10:00 Slongo 5th
10:20 Freeman 4th
10:40 Selleck 4th
11:00 Landstrom 4th
11:20 Em K
12:00 PM Brink 2nd
12:20 Sitler 2nd
12:40 Yawn 2nd
1:00 Cantrell 3rd
1:20 Griffith 3rd
1:40 Rogers 3rd
2:00 Shealey 3rd

Poem in Your Pocket Schedule Monday April 18th (Times are EST)

Time Class
8:00 AM
8:20 Boyle K
8:40 Li K
9:00 Carney K
9:20 Hocking PreK
9:40 Spurgeon PreK
11:00 Stuckey 1st
12:00 PM Wyatt 1st


Andy Plemmons
School Librarian
David C. Barrow Elementary
Athens, GA