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Mighty Little Librarian

Can little things have a big impact? Yes DEFINITELY

This post isn’t about any great, inspiring big idea. Instead, it’s about how sometimes little things can be big in that they help us build relationships and spark conversations with our students. Our circulation desk, the massive monstrosity that it is, sits right in the middle of the first floor of our library. We areRead more

Fighting the Fake with Britannica Learn

This fall, Britannica is tackling media literacy with a series of blog posts, webinars, and other resources that are perfect for school librarians. I am very excited to partner with them on several of the blog posts and the October 15th webinar! Each Monday during October, a new post will be added to the Britannica Learn Blog with resourcesRead more

The Digital Diva

SLJ News

ALA TechSource

Share your cutting edge practice!

OITP, LITA seek nominations for cutting-edge technology practices

Washington, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) are soliciting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology.

“Cutting edge” refers to tested and successful implementations of technological advancements used in services such as:

  • Improvements in traditional services and processes by inventing/re-inventing/twisting technology
  • Introduction of new, innovative services that are flexible and responsive to community needs
  • Methods for connecting libraries to their communities
  • Funding initiatives or organizational models that ensure library information technology will remain current
Nominations may be may for work in any of the following sample areas:
  • Application development (apps)
  • Architecture and design
  • Circulation (sorting, remote distribution, materials handling, delivery mechanisms)
  • Collections
  • Community services (to include equity, outreach, programming and assessment of services)
  • Curation
  • E-resources management services
  • Instruction/information literacy
  • Knowledge creation
  • Open source
  • Pathfinders
  • Patron services (to include self-services and privacy protection)
  • Participatory services (e.g., student-created content, community polling, wikis)
  • Professional development
  • Readers’ advisory
  • Reference services
  • Staff management (use of self-scheduling, recruitment and evaluation)
  • Unique missions
  • User interface
  • Web services
  • Other

Nominations should include the following:

  • A description of the project/service
  • An explanation of how the service/procedure is cutting-edge
  • Information about the evolution of the project (identification of need, why it is novel, funding sources/options, challenges, how success was measured, and recommendations)

Applicants may also submit supporting materials in a variety of media, such as Flickr, YouTube, video, audio, blogs, etc.).


  • Must involve the use of technology
  • Must be a novel idea or implementation of a service
  • Must be able to be documented for replication
  • Must be for a library that has been involved in the development of the service or product (can’t just buy something off the shelf) or has enhanced the product for added value

A joint committee of members from the Subcommittee on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century and LITA will review all nominations and may conduct selected interviews or site visits to identify those libraries that are truly offering a best practice or most innovative service.  Libraries or library service areas will be publicized via the OITP and LITA websites, as well as highlighted through ALA publications and programs at the ALA Annual Conference in 2012. 

The nomination form (.docx) is available online and may be emailed or faxed to Larra Clark at or fax 202-628-8419.

Learn more about the program and past winners on the OITP website.



Our first Webinar in a special Library 2.0 series with Dr. Steve Albrecht is Tuesday, November 20th. We've added 30 minutes to the end of the event for optional viewing, during which we'll first hear from Dr. Christie Kaaland, author of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery in School Libraries: Creating a Safe Haven, and then from Shauna Burkeen, the librarian at Marshall County High School who experienced a school shooting this past January with 52 students in the library. More information on both Christie and Shauna below.

You do not need to be available at the Webinar time in order to register, as a full recording will be made available for you to watch at your convenience. Register HERE.

TOPIC: "Responding to an Active Shooter in the Library: Protecting Patrons and Staff From a Rare But Catastrophic Event."

PRESENTED BY: Dr. Steve Albrecht, author, Library Security: Better Communications, Safer Facilities (ALA, 2015)

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20th, 2018, 4:00 pm US-EST (1-hour presentation + 30 minutes with special guests). Click here for time zone conversions. The recording of the Webinar will be available immediately following the live broadcast, and available to all who register.

COST: $99/person - includes participating live (not required), lifetime access to the recording, access to attendee discussion forum, and a certificate of attendance. (For group or other purchases, please email

TO REGISTER: Click HERE. You will first need to be a member of Library 2.0 (free) and be logged in. Please click "Sign Up" on the top right and we'll get you approved quickly.

DESCRIPTION: Recent mass shootings in public places should remind all library leaders and their staffs to review their emergency response plans to this disturbing event. These incidents are often foreshadowed by warning signs and specific pre-attack behaviors by disturbed patrons that may be noticed by staff members.

This 60-minute webinar is led by Dr. Steve Albrecht, a national leader in both workplace violence prevention and library security. He'll provide safety tools and security techniques to empower library employees at every level, not frighten them. This includes his discussion of how some people make threats and others pose threats; the national response protocol known as Run-Hide-Fight; how to safely evacuate all patrons and staff; how to shelter in place in the library; and how to best protect patrons and staff from an armed attacker. Dr. Albrecht will also discuss why these perpetrators strike in the first place and what we can learn from past cases as a way to both understand and stop them.


For the past 17 years, Dr. Steve Albrecht has made himself well-known to library training audiences around the country. His fast and empowering workshops focus on library safety and security issues; patron behavioral problems; customer service tools; and facility security improvements. His 2015 book, Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities, was published by the ALA.

Steve is one of the country's leading experts on the prevention of workplace and school violence. In 1994, he co-wrote Ticking Bombs, one of the first business books on workplace violence. He interviewed a double murderer for the book.

He holds a doctoral degree in Business Administration, an M.A. in Security Management, a B.A. in English, and a B.S. in Psychology. He is board certified in human resources, security, employee coaching, and threat management.

In 1999, Steve retired from the San Diego Police Department, where he had worked since 1984, both as a full-time officer and later as a reserve sergeant and a domestic violence investigator.

He has written 21 books on business, security, and law enforcement subjects.


Dr. Christie Kaaland is a full-time professor at Antioch University Seattle where she serves as director of the school library certification program and the associate editor of Teacher Librarian: The Journal for School Library Professionals. She has published numerous articles on school library advocacy and has been active in legislative advocacy in Washington state, resulting in passage of several bills including school library funding, ensuring retention standards, and the inclusion of school libraries in technology and information literacy initiatives. She has successfully submitted federal, institutional, and community grants. She is the author of the book, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery in School Libraries: Creating a Safe Haven

Shauna Burkeen is a Library Media Specialist at Marshall County High School in Benton, KY. "This is year 15 for me as librarian at MCHS.  My degree is in Library Science so I have never taught in the classroom.  I have lived in Benton, KY my entire life. I graduated from Marshall County High School in 1996 and Murray State University in 2003.  I have been married for almost 18 years to my high school sweetheart.  We have 2 sons, ages 15 and 11.  And I never expected a school shooting to happen in my school where I went and where I teach and where my son also attends.  Even though we are just a short 30-minute drive from Heath High School, where a school shooting occurred in 1997.  Even though we have talked about the scenarios, been trained on active shooter incidents, I never really thought it would happen.  But it did, on January 23, 2018."



Looking for Book club idea for secondary school students

Started by Titiksha Goswami Aug 14, 2018.

Elementary Book Club ideas 15 Replies

Started by Connie Anderson. Last reply by kvadiwala Jun 11, 2018.

How can I connect with elementary school librarians around the world? 4 Replies

Started by Claudia Pierce. Last reply by kvadiwala Jun 7, 2018.

Collection Development - new lists to view! 1 Reply

Started by Karen Hornberger. Last reply by kvadiwala Jun 4, 2018.

Novice Needing Help with the Set Up of New Library 2 Replies

Started by Tricia Atkins. Last reply by kvadiwala Jun 3, 2018.

Summer! Tips for maintaining your mindfulness practice

Started by Kristin McKeown May 29, 2018.

Lesson plan resources for pre-k through 6th grade - New Librarian 7 Replies

Started by Amy Skrovan. Last reply by kvadiwala May 28, 2018.

Pulling Library Staff to Sub for Other Teachers 3 Replies

Started by Melissa Smith. Last reply by kvadiwala May 28, 2018.

Trusting the Process

Started by Kristin McKeown May 2, 2018.

Differentiation in high school 9th grade ELA class

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Don't miss the new wiki Elementary Library Routines. Share your best ideas and learn from others in your tribe!

Blog Posts

Book Review: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

Book Review: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

Publishing date: January 1, 2019

read courtesy of

I'm going to start at the end... there's a sequel in waiting. That gives you an idea about the ending: it's a cliffhanger. Unfortunately, I'll never find out how it all ends; I won't be purchasing the sequel for my high school library. I'm not sure how much my students recognize cliched writing, but since it interfered with my enjoyment of the book, I'm…


Posted by Arlen Kimmelman on December 17, 2018 at 8:29pm

Book Review: XL by Scott Brown

Book review of

XL by Scott Brown

Pub Date: 26 Mar 2019

Read courtesy of

I love Scott Brown's writing style: interesting vocabulary, descriptive metaphors, a glimmer of breaking the fourth wall, and a bit of dry, subtle humor. It works. If you don't like being given one of the funniest lines of a movie during a trailer, don't read the next part of this sentence since I'm going to ruin a chuckle for you: car mitzvah, when you turn 16…


Posted by Arlen Kimmelman on December 9, 2018 at 2:19pm

Book Review: What We Buried

Book Review: What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman

To be published February 26, 2019

Read courtesy of

Riveting. RIVETING!

From the double-meaning title to the adept use of flashbacks entwined with the glimpses of memory, What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman epitomizes a psychological thriller. I'm so glad I read this and cannot wait to get this book for my high school library.

I read this in one sitting, from 9am to 2pm on a Sunday, and it was time well…


Posted by Arlen Kimmelman on October 14, 2018 at 3:30pm

Book review: Roam

Book review: Roam by C. H. Armstrong

Publication date: February 5, 2019
Read courtesy of
In spite of the serious nature of homeless families, this is a warm fuzzy, feel good, happy ending kind of story. With a new boyfriend too good to be true and an instant flock of new friends, teenage Abby allows her homelessness to color her daily life (but who could blame her?). None of the people in her new…

Posted by Arlen Kimmelman on October 6, 2018 at 10:26am

Book Review: One Second

Book Review:

Any Second by Kevin Emerson

Pub. date: November 20, 2018

Read courtesy of

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review!

I cannot wait to get this book for my high school's library!

My students are taught to be an upstander instead of a bystander. In Any Second, Maya did this... and beyond. Kevin Emerson wrote a story that is both unique and scarily possible, which is what makes it such a compelling read.

Emerson did a great job with the pace of the…


Posted by Arlen Kimmelman on August 6, 2018 at 9:35am

Book Review: Body Swap

Book Review

Body Swap by Sylvia McNicoll

Read courtesy of

Publication date: 09 Oct 2018

I think that Sylvia McNicoll and Dundurn are selling themselves short: This is not just a YA Middle School novel. While it's appropriate for middle schoolers (i.e., no cursing), I'm sure it would be appealing to high schoolers and adults, too. It reminded…


Posted by Arlen Kimmelman on July 25, 2018 at 1:08pm


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