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Check It Out: 2/21/19

Your monthly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Important Dates

March 7th  8:30-11:00   Elementary Team Plan Day (at TAC in library services)

April 11th 8:300-10:30  Elementary Para Training (at TAC in library services)

April 24th 12:00-3:00 Secondary Team Plan (location TBA)

SLJ --Powerful Partnerships: Librarian-teacher collaborations yield robust, original ideas


Every day, school media specialists partner with classroom teachers to share a trove of skills, tips, and best practices. The strongest partnerships show the depth of librarians’ expertise, enrich curricula, and engage students in deep learning.

Many of these activities are short-lived, designed to teach one skill or check a box in a particular grade’s standards. But fostering long-term, fruitful collaborations is an essential aspect of school librarianship, library leaders say.

Partnerships solidify librarians’ standing and influence among colleagues and administrators, while also forging valuable alliances among faculty. Students also benefit from the out-of-the-box, original ideas that collaborative thinking can yield.

ASCD--Tasks Before Apps

How can you place learning goals front and center in a tech-rich classroom? Let the phrase "tasks before apps" be your reminder to focus on technology's purpose for learning, even when bright and shiny digital tools grab your attention.

As a teacher in a one-to-one iPad classroom, I strove to make the most of the tablets in my students' hands. From screencasting and moviemaking to reading activities and skill practice, these devices elevated and energized my students' learning experiences.

Digital platforms can give children access to learning experiences that meet their individual needs, such as when a student uses the free Microsoft Learning Tool Immersive Reader to hear a passage read aloud. Digital tools can open up the world to students, such as virtual-reality videos from the New York Times that showcase a place they may never have the chance to visit.

In my current role as a professional development facilitator, I spend time in other teachers' classrooms in schools across the country. The phrase "tasks before apps" was born out of my coaching conversations and presentations to educators. It is a reminder that, even as we consider how technology helps students do new and amazing things with their learning, we must always place learning goals at the forefront.

Here are four strategies to make the most of technology and embrace a "tasks before apps" mindset this school year.

FREE broadcast with HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON author

April is School Library Month! (Resources to help you plan)

School Library Month

The 2019 theme is Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library and the 2019 spokesperson is Dav Pilkey.

Spokesperson Dav Pilkey

“Growing up with learning challenges in school after being diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, I’ve been fortunate to have had the encouragement and support of my parents who helped me to associate reading with fun. I have fond memories of going to the library with my mom who had a radical idea—she let me pick whatever book I wanted to read. I read lots of books and magazines that made me laugh out loud, which led me to discover many other books in different genres. Reading without judgment was a turning point in my life and that is what made me a lifelong reader. Over the years I’ve had the privilege to have met many committed librarians whose passion and dedication to literacy is life changing. I’m honored to be this year’s AASL ambassador for school libraries and an advocate for everything they do to make the world a better place.”

Proclamation Templates (on the website)

Ask your school and elected officials and request they proclaim the month of April as School Library Month! The following samples are based on actual proclamations shared with AASL by its members. They are presented here as templates that can be downloaded and modified to fit your needs.

More resources coming soon...

School Library Month is the American Association of School Librarians' celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April school librarians are encouraged to host activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning. More about the history of School Library Month.

National Library Week--ALA

Melinda Gates named NLW Honorary Chair

Melinda Gates Headshot

We are thrilled to have philanthropist and author Melinda Gates serve as this year’s Honorary Chair of National Library Week. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has dedicated her life to achieving transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities and societies. Now as Honorary Chair, she will lend her support to our nation’s libraries. Visit the NLW webpage to download free print and digital graphics as well as PSAs, social media posts and a press release. We are continuing to add new tools so check back often. 

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).