February: Focus on the New AASL Standards and More


If you’re like me, you’re starting to get a little of the winter blues. What better way to fight cabin fever than to get out and hit the road for some great PD? We’ve got a busy February of conference travel ahead of us, beginning with the California School Library Association in beautiful Yosemite. Libraries Unlimited’s own Blanche Woolls will be presenting on the pros and cons of genrefication in a session on Sunday, February 4th, from 10:45 to 11:45. SLC columnist Debbie Abilock and editorial advisor Tasha Bergson-Michelson co-lead a workshop with our frequent contributor Connie Williams on evaluating government information sources. (Check out Connie’s new book on the subject here). Our editorial advisor Audrey Church leads a workshop on advocacy, and Libraries Unlimited author Leslie Maniotes will be keynoting the conference and talking Guided Inquiry Design®. On SLC’s Community Page you’ll find some great free resources from Leslie and a special limited-time discount on her books. Hot on the heels of CSLA, we also look forward to seeing many friends in Denver for the ALISE and ALA Midwinter conferences.

This month in our latest online issue, we’re tackling the recently released AASL standards from a practitioner perspective. Lara Ivey, Laura Gardner, and Robyn Young offer a range of insights on what the standards mean to their daily practice through their respective vantages in elementary, middle, and high school settings. Melissa P. Johnston and Melissa Jacobs discuss applying a growth mindset to our interaction with the new standards and Deborah Rinio suggests ways to step up in your district and state to push for the adoption of the standards. And if you missed it, Paige Jaeger’s webinar “PowerVerbs: A Tool for Tackling the New Standards” also offers some helpful tips for getting started—you’ll find it on our Community Page.

(Speaking of free webinars, don’t miss our next one on February 27th at 4:00 Eastern. Dr. Kafi Kumasi will be presenting “In-FLO-mation: Hip Hop Principles for Library Instruction.” Registration is now open here.)

Lastly, we’re pleased to announce the formation of our new Reviews Advisory Panel at School Library Connection. Recognizing the central importance of professional reviews in the collection development policies of our school and public libraries, this panel will promote best practices for reviewers in pursuit of a mission to establish SLC as the most trustworthy, high-quality outlet of professional reviews for librarians. Welcome to our four incredible panelists!

Tiffeni Fontno

Tiffeni Fontno, MEd, MLIS, is a senior education librarian and bibliographer at Boston College, where she studies elementary education, library science, literacy, ESL, and educational technology. Her areas of interest include diverse children’s literature, curriculum, and educational technology.


Danielle Hartsfield

Danielle Hartsfield is assistant professor in the Teacher Education Department at the University of North Georgia. In addition to teaching, Danielle researches topics related to children’s literature, especially issues of intellectual freedom, censorship, and controversial books. Her scholarship has been published in the Journal of Teacher Education, Teachers College Record, and several other journals in the education field. Danielle is active in the Association for Library Service to Children; she serves as co-chair of the Education Committee and is a member of the 2018 Sibert Medal Selection Committee. Before completing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at Old Dominion University, she was a fourth grade teacher in her home state of Massachusetts. She has been reviewing for School Library Connection since 2013.

Michelle Hudiburg

Michelle Hudiburg holds a PhD in Instructional Design & Technology from Old Dominion University, an MS in Educational Technology and Library Media Licensure and a BSEd in Mathematics from Pittsburg State University. In a previous life she was a high school math and computer science teacher, a stay-at-home-mom to twins, and director of the Instructional Resource Center for preservice teachers and university students. She is currently an assistant professor in the graduate Educational Technology and Library Media program at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. Her research interests include best practices for online teaching, school librarianship, and teacher leadership.

Jenna Spiering

Jenna Spiering is a PhD Candidate in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Iowa. She currently teaches young adult literature and children’s literature courses to preservice teachers. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she worked as a school librarian at a public junior high school in Iowa City for five years. Her research interests include Critical Youth Studies, children’s and young adult literature, literature learning, and reader response. Specifically, her work explores representations of gender and sexuality in young adult literature and considers how these topics affect selection practices in school libraries and the inclusion of these materials in classrooms.



David Paige, Managing Editor, School Library Connection
David Paige is managing editor of the magazine School Library Connection, as well as books and electronic resources for library professionals.

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