July 23, 2014

Give Students a Break: Four Strategies to Combat Information Overload

Less is More

When it comes to presenting resources to students and teachers, librarians have been as guilty as any regarding information overload. But in this digital age of abundance, our real value is being able to discern quality over quantity.

Self-Published Ebooks not a Solution for K-12 Schools

Illustration by Mark Tuchman

While self-published titles may be an option for public libraries when it comes to acquiring ebooks, not so for schools, according to SLJ columnist Christopher Harris, who lays out the ongoing challenges for ebook adoption in K-12.

In Light of Common Core, Seeking Ways to Circumvent Dewey

Photo by Sarah Reid (www.flickr.com/photos/sarahreido).

At one of the hottest sessions at ALA’s most recent Midwinter meeting, the Dewey Decimal System—that sacred cow of library organization—was trotted out in front of a packed room and subjected to intense scrutiny. But in the midst of Common Core, among other pressing issues, is this debate really worth our time?

Webooks: A novel plan for cooperative ebook purchasing | The Next Big Thing


Webooks, a cooperative ebook purchasing plan, has been named a Cutting Edge Technology Project by the American Library Association. It could be a model for districts around the country, says Christopher Harris.

Ebooks 2013: New leasing models, cheaper devices, more content

School books with Tablet

“School libraries, I believe, will be the coming focal point for ebook licensing,” write Chris Harris. “We have strong relationships with our K–12 publishing partners, but now we must reach out to the trade houses. As the print market weakens, the time is right for schools to present a new business proposal.”

A Call for ‘Blended Funding’: Schools must pool money to support Common Core

Illustration of a blander with money.

How will schools pay for new CC resources, including digital? One approach is to look for existing funds within your school and district that can be redirected so that your library can purchase CC resources for the classroom. But that requires that libraries market their expertise in resource selection and collection development so that your value is obvious to others, says Christopher Harris.

A Call for Fair Ebook Pricing: Site-based pricing has small schools overcharged


Christopher Harris shares his thoughts on how rural districts—with an average size of 1,100 students and less than half the budget of the average New York school district—are, in effect, subsidizing the state’s large, wealthy, suburban systems, which are purchasing the same content at the same cost per building.

A Video Hosting Solution for Schools


Under Common Core, students will be writing scripts, reviewing books, making public service announcements, and creating other content, all using video. For schools, this presents a technical challenge: Where to host all this video? SLJ columnist Christopher Harris has found a solution.

We Could Be Heroes: Research plus tech skills are a hot commodity


Librarians are masters of information. Finding it, storing it, organizing it, retrieving it—you name it. We excel at a wide range of skills. And in today’s world, that’s the name of the game.

Summer Project: Kill Dewey


Christopher Harris and Kristie Miller are the latest to brave the uncharted territory that lies beyond the Dewey Decimal System. Harris recently joined the librarian in the effort to reclassify her elementary school collection. Here’s the result.