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May 2013, Volume 5, Issue 5

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

One Book SD

Choose Privacy Week
May 1-7

National Library Legislative Day
May 7-8

Children's Book Week
May 13-19

BookExpo America
May 30– June 1, Javits Center, New York City

ALA 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition
June 27– July 2, Chicago, Illinois

SD Festival of Books
Sept. 20-22, Deadwood

Tri-Conference: NDLA, MPLA, SDLA 2013
The Library: All Travelers Welcome
Sept. 25-27, Sioux Falls

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Genealogy eResources—where history is new

School Libraries


Best practices for labeling books in school libraries

The adoption of the Common Core State Standards has brought a renewed focus on the readability levels of text for students in both print and digital formats. The corresponding College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards ask students to "read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently." The difficulty of the text, or text complexity, is determined by a three-part model which includes consideration of text in terms of qualitative, quantitative and reader and task factors. Does this mean that libraries should now arrange all materials by reading levels using readability formulas such as Lexile or ATOS measures? Not at all.

Librarians have always been in the business of helping students find that “just right” book to read. Student interests, motivation, age and reading ability are all factors that go into matching the right book to the right student for the right purpose. That is exactly what text complexity is all about. Readability measures are just one tool to use in helping match the reader to the text. School librarian and blogger, Paige Jaeger, shares her expertise.

Best practice recommends that a student's reading ability is confidential information. A library collection is not the same as a classroom collection meant for specific reading instruction. In a library, students should be able to freely browse and select materials that meet their recreational and academic purposes.

Spine stickers, color coding or arranging materials on the shelves by reading levels is not considered best practice for any type of library. Reading levels are most appropriately placed in MARC records in a searchable field of a library's automated catalog. If some type of book label is felt necessary the best place for it is inside the front or back cover. The American Association of School Librarians has adopted a position statement on labeling books with reading levels in libraries that can apply to public libraries as well.

Further details about reading levels and text complexity may be found in the Common Core ELA Appendix A and supplement to Appendix A.

Lexile levels can be searched in Find a Book. Further information about the Lexile Framework for Reading may be found on the SD Department of Education webpage.

ATOS levels (Accelerated Reading) can be searched in AR Bookfinder.


Deadline nears for School Library Survey

This is a reminder to all school librarians that your school library survey needs to be completed by May 15. You don't need to wait for students to finish checking materials in and out for the year — do the survey now. Last year, we achieved 100 percent participation from our school libraries in completing the survey, and we would like to again provide the best data for you in the 2013 School Library Data Digest.

To reiterate, each district is asked to submit just one survey for all of its libraries. Survey information was sent to superintendents, but you may also access it on the State Library page [or pdf].

If you have questions or need login and password information, please contact the State Library at 1-800-423-6665; Mary G. Johnson (email or 605-295-3173); or Joan Upell (email or 605-295-3152).


School Library Boot Camp or bust…

This year's School Library Boot Camp promises to bring great topics, discussion and collaboration with the theme "ShaZam! Multiple Literacies in the 21st Century School Library." Boot camp will be held July 21-24 at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. This two-credit course is designed for South Dakota-based school librarians, paraprofessionals, teachers and administrators. The 2013 focus is on Common Core Literacy Lessons, SD State Library Online Resources, Children's and YA Literature, and Emerging Technologies.

Time is going quickly, however. Be sure to sign up by the deadline of May 15 to be assured a place in this second annual learning event. For more information, go to the State Library website. Come join us!





books, boot camp, Common Core, Lexile, school libraries, survey, Vermillion

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The Cornerstone monthly e-newsletter is created by the South Dakota State Library. For more information on how to be a part of this newsletter, please contact us via e-mail with your questions and ideas.