All posts by Mary Wilkins-Jordan

Accio Books! How Wizard Activists are Building & Saving Libraries All Over the World

Image result for harry potter library

Article from Book Riot website: “This guest post is by Katie Bowers. Katie is the Campaigns Director at the Harry Potter Alliance where she helps turn fans into heroes. She enjoys reading, travel, and most importantly, button makers. Follow her on Twitter at @CornishPixie9.”

“In spring, the air changes. It gets warmer, and sweeter, and for the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA), it becomes filled with flying books! Summoned by our members (known as wizard activists), the books collected and donated during Accio Books — our annual literacy & library advocacy campaign — help build libraries and ignite a love of reading for children around the world.

Since 2009, wizard activists have donated over 315,000 books to communities in need. Some of the libraries we’ve built are permanent institutions — lending libraries like those at the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, the Bedford-Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School in New York City, and Borderline Books in Leiden, The Netherlands. Other libraries we’ve brought into being are what we call Apparating Libraries. The library appears overnight, popping up in places like the Brightmoor Community Center in Detroit, Michigan and Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, Missouri. As young people and their families visit the pop-up book giveaway and filled their bags to the brim with free books, the library slowly disapparates and the books become part of the young people’s personal collections.

These personal collections provide a great advantage to kids, particularly over the summer when students often lose the academic gains they have made over the school year. Research has found that kids with books in the home do better academically, and reading just four to six books while school is out can help prevent the summer slide. That’s why in 2017, the HPA is summoning books to Words Alive, an organization that provides literacy and education services to over 5,000 children and families in Southern California. HPA chapters and members right now are raising thousands of books for Words Alive, who will host an apparating library and give the books away to young people and their parents to build their own magical home libraries.

On top of donating to Words Alive, many wizard activists will choose to donate locally. With HPA chapters in 35 countries around the world, this means that Accio Books will have a global impact. Young people in Orlando will be able to find a new favorite book at UCP of Central Florida, a school for children with disabilities where the Central Florida Slug Club helped build a library in 2016. Rohingya refugees will feel welcomed at a small lending library, currently being developed by Kovalen, our local chapter in Malaysia. At Good Shepherd School in Masaka, Uganda (a school that our local chapter, Masaka HPA, helped build), students can check out books from around the world in a library stocked by last year’s Accio Books campaign. Across the globe, our chapters are pretty amazing — you can find out more about them, and even help their program win a grant at A Community Thrives.”

Read the rest of this article here!

Applications now open! 2017-18 MN Coding in the Classroom Leadership Cohort

Coding da Vinci - Der Kultur-Hackathon (14120891062)

Dear Educator, We are in the middle of a coding revolution! Computer science in the classroom plays an important role in preparing students of all ages for success in a wide variety of areas. In an effort to contribute to this movement, the MN Coding in the Classroom Leadership Cohort, an initiative of Code Savvy, is starting its third year and is seeking elementary, middle and high school school educators from across the state to participate.

The purpose of this Cohort is to develop knowledgeable, visionary educators who will help to make Minnesota a world leader in computer science education, and to help all students become creators, not merely users, of new technologies. Cohort participants will explore a variety of coding platforms and resources, gain insights into the IT industry through site visits and guest speakers, and investigate national and international standards for computer science education.

They will then develop, evaluate and share coding activities that integrate with school curricula and meet Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards and National Computer Science Teachers Association K-12 Standards. Additionally, participants will share their knowledge and resources with at least 10 other educators by creating and delivering professional development.
Continue reading Applications now open! 2017-18 MN Coding in the Classroom Leadership Cohort

Build relationships to advance advocacy

Image result for el Pueblo Library in South Tucson

From the ALA District Dispatch:

“A crowd gathered this week outside the El Pueblo Library in South Tucson where Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D) and other library advocates to discuss the possible effects of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts — including the elimination of the IMLS —on libraries in Arizona and nationwide. A statement by ALA Julie Todaro was read at the event, in which the American Library Association thanked Rep. Grijalva for his leadership in fighting for library funding.

A statement by ALA Julie Todaro was read at the event, in which the American Library Association thanked Rep. Grijalva for his leadership in fighting for library funding.

Manager of the El Pueblo Library Anna Sanchez was among those who spoke: “Public libraries play a significant role in maintaining and supporting our free democratic society. They are America’s great equalizers, providing everyone the same access to information and opportunities for success.” Continue reading Build relationships to advance advocacy

2017 ALSC Summer Reading Lists

Young boy reading manga

“ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee has updated our Summer Reading Lists with new and exciting titles!

The lists are full of book titles to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer. Four Summer Reading book lists are available for Birth-Preschool, K-2nd, 3rd– 5th and 6th-8th grade students.

Each list is available here to download for free. Lists can be customized to include library information, summer hours and summer reading programs for children before making copies available to schools and patrons.

Titles on the 2017 Summer Reading Lists were compiled and annotated by members of ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee.

cover image birth to preschool summer reading listBirth – Preschool


cover image k -2 summer reading listKindergarten – 2nd grade







cover image grades 3 to 5 summer reading list3rd through 5th grade

cover image grade 6 to 8 summer reading list



6th through 8th grade

Top Library Tech Trends

This is  an excerpt from an ALA article

“From virtual reality to gamification to security techniques, libraries are using the latest technology to engage patrons, increase privacy, and help staffers do their jobs.

American Libraries spoke to library tech leaders—members of the Library and Information Technology Association’s popular Top Tech Trends panel from the 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits—to get the apps, devices, software, and best practices that you can adopt for your library right now and in the near future.

1. Take patrons on a virtual tour

Create a virtual tour of your library using a 360-degree camera and post it to your website or social media, says Cynthia Hart, emerging technologies librarian at Virginia Beach (Va.) Public Library (VBPL). Virtual tours can be helpful for both information and accessibility.

“One of our branches is 125,000 square feet. The A’s for adult fiction are all the way at the end of the building. Can you imagine if you were a person with disabilities or if you were an older person or had low mobility?” Hart says. “If you didn’t know that when you went into a library, wouldn’t it be helpful to have that virtual tour of the building? Then you could call and say, ‘Hey, can you pull that book from the shelf?’” Virtual visit statistics can also be used as a gate count metric. Continue reading Top Library Tech Trends