Why School Librarians are the Literacy Leaders We Need

Van Duzee, Alyssa

(CO) Collaboration

Sacks, A. (2018, May 30). Why school librarians are the literacy leaders we need. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/whole_story/2018/05/why_school_librarians_are_lite.html

This article essentially summarizes some of the key components regarding what a librarian does. Since many libraries are underutilized (for a multitude of reasons), the article provides good insight as to what a high functioning library can offer. It also touches on the importance of the librarian truly being a literacy leader on campus.

This article is important because it showcases the impact that the librarian can have on a campus. Teachers are amazing and definitely influence their students within their classrooms. but having another person to support literacy campus-wide is only going to help support them. The article concludes with a call to action to support more well-trained certificated librarians being hired on school campuses. Funding is always an issue, but librarians can offer a lot of support and really become a leader on campus.


Knowing the Difference Between Digital Skills and Digital Literacies and Teaching Both

Hertz-Newman, Jenny


Bali, M. (2016). Knowing the difference between digital skills and digital literacies and teaching both. Literacy Today. Retrieved from: https://www.literacyworldwide.org/blog/literacy-daily/2016/02/03/knowing-the-difference-between-digital-skills-and-digital-literacies-and-teaching-both

This article makes the important distinction between digital skills such as the ability to use digital tools (i.e., how to download, how to retweet, how to use Powerpoint) and digital literacies, which Bali (2016) characterizes as the “issues, norms, and habits of mind surrounding technologies used for a particular purpose”.  In other words it’s important for teachers to make sure they are teaching both the HOW of using digital tools as well as the WHEN and WHY involved with using those tools.

I appreciate the way Bali (2016) discusses the contextualized teaching and learning involved in digital literacy — when would you use Google instead of another platform, when should your use be determined by issues of privacy, issues of source reliability, issues of appropriateness and long term consequences of a particular posting?  She proposes a progressive model, scaling up in complexity in both skills and literacy.


Simplicity can be Complex

Name: Needham, Theresa


Snow, S. (2015, January 28). This surprising reading level analysis will change the way you write. Retrieved from https://contently.com/strategist/2015/01/28/this-surprising-reading-level-analysis-will-change-the-way-you-write/


Summary: Some of the best writers of our time have not authored books with a college reading college; case in point, Hemingway rarely wrote above a 9th grade reading level. The author describes the stunning discovery that as a society, we have come to assume that complex writing structure equates with complex ideas; and yet, this is not holding to be true. The reality of the world is that people do not like to read texts written at the collegiate level, that the universal comfort level is set at 6th-9th grade. These texts can communicate their complex and valuable ideas to a far larger audience when written for where people can and will read at, rather than some idealized level.

Evaluation: A very interesting article, especially since the author gives links to the data used in his analysis.  I felt it was illuminating to find that some of our most beloved writers were writing for the everyday people rather than a scholarly approved addition to a journal. The article is quite thought provoking.

Book Love

Gould, Molly




Kittle, P. (2013). Book love: Developing depth, stamina, and passion in adolescent readers.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann

Link to the Book Love website, including information about the book and podcast: http://booklovefoundation.org



Book Love is Penny Kittle’s guide for secondary ELA teachers who wish to implement choice reading in their English classes. While Kittle does not make a case for doing away with the more traditional shared reading that occurs in most secondary English classes, she provides guidelines, instructions, inspiration and the rationale for including choice reading in the curriculum.



This is an inspiring and empowering guide to a practice that is near and dear to my heart. If you want to create or support a culture of reading in your classroom or school, this guide not only inspires, but it provides practical advice for the implementation of a successful student-selected reading program.

Public school libraries Closing and negative affect

Shibrie Wilson


Schou, S. (2014, February 28). How cuts and closures of elementary school libraries are hurting our kids. Retrieved from Takepart website: http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/02/28/read-public-school-libraries-suffer-staff-cuts-and-closures

Summary: School libraries are constantly closing surprising in major cities such as Philadelphia, New York, L.A., and other places.  Kyle Ashberry library aide to two schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. His position receives special funding from government to increase performance in minority communities. School libraries in L.A.  district has closed their doors to many school libraries in which has eliminated qualified librarians and aids. Unfortunately, there is no statistical data on public school affected by library staff cuts and closures. Many U.S. schools lacks qualified candidates in public school libraries. Administrators and local officials have adopted conception in which they believe closing libraries will save money yet this is false. There is a distinct correlation between literacy rates affect to poverty and crime. Many low income students desperately need libraries in school s because they are unable to access public libraries in their communities. For many students just as adults books are a way in which one can escape reality and focus on different things. Issue as is many school districts is that school library aides are being forced to compete against school nurses, and nurses are preferred over library aides.  

Review: This article is something that I hold close to my heart. Considering district in which I work for recently voted to layoff positions in middle and elementary libraries. Out of 12 sites and 12 employees district has decided to layoff 9 people and allot 2hours per day to 3 individuals covering 12 sites. This is not infallible. From this article and issue occurring personally I have developed a strong advocacy for school libraries and importance of having access in schools. I think it is important to have a qualified librarian and aide to assists professional. There is so much more to librarianship that many persons do not understand therefore do not value.