April 15, 2014

To Tackle Major Issues Affecting Kids, ALA Divisions Must Collaborate | The Next Big Thing

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The effects of screen time on little ones, the integration of technology with library programming – these are some of the issues now facing the profession. It’s time to break down divisional silos, according to Christopher Harris, and work together to ensure libraries’ effectiveness in serving kids and teens.

Putting the Pieces Together | Library Systems Landscape

LANDSCAPE DESIGNS (from the top), TLC’s LS2kids OPAC; 
VTLS helped KCPL build a Civil War website using linked data; 
Boston University was an early partner with Ex Libris’s Alma

This first edition of Library Systems Landscape, the successor to LJ’s annual Automation Marketplace feature, will examine how library systems are currently evolving, specifically focusing on recent advances in ebook integration, the emergence of next-generation library services platforms (LSP), new tools that are expanding the boundaries of what library websites and catalogs can do, and the maturation of open source options as competitors to commercial products.

New Jersey Librarians Get $116,000 in Makerspace Grants

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Fifteen New Jersey libraries—including public, school, and academic institutions—have received funds from a New Jersey Library Makerspace grant initiative making way for libraries to become a hotbed of community skill building and personal connections.

Innovative Acquires Polaris Library Systems

Innovative Interfaces Inc.

Innovative Interfaces Inc. (III) today announced that it has acquired Polaris Library Systems, bringing together two of the leading providers of library automation technology. The combined companies will be led by III CEO Kim Massana, with former Polaris President and CEO William Schickling joining Innovative as VP, Public Library Products. Several other Polaris executives will also join Innovative’s management team, including VP of Sales Scott McCausland and VP of Customer Operations Jodi Bellinger. Polaris’s headquarters in Syracuse, NY will be retained as a center for operations.

Cool Ways to Use Google to Inspire Your Students to Create Dynamic Worlds

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Here are some practical applications of how teachers and librarians can use Google’s Maps and Street View to create lesson plans and assignments on virtual tours of the streets of Paris, or map out some Civil War battles.

The HP Chromebook 11 Has Strength and Charm | Test Drive

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With its clean, kid-friendly design and cheery accent colors, the HP Chromebook 11 could fit nicely into K–12 classrooms and libraries, writes Test Drive reviewer Joelle Alcaidinho.

What’s Not to ‘Like’? Rethinking Restrictive Social Media Policies

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Most schools have highly regulated Internet policies that don’t address the productive use of social media by students. It’s time to revisit these rules.

Make the STEM connection | The Next Big Thing

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Put the “science” back in library science and help support STEM learning

Build Better Robots with LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 | SLJ Review

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“The EV3 is one of those toys that transcends consumerism and becomes a pathway into new kinds of hands-on production and learning for kids and adults alike,” writes Chad Sansing in our review of LEGO’s latest version of the popular Mindstorms robotics platform.