As you read this, ALA and NECC are over; it's July, and summer is really here. With luck, that means you have some contemplative time, which may also mean time for professional reading along with traditional, purely fun, summer reading.
With that in mind, I'd like to direct you first to Katherine Lowe's feature in this summer issue of MMIS, Addressing a Potential Crisis in School Library Programs: The Work of the ALA Task Force on School Libraries, page 26. It provides solid fodder for professional reading as well as for contemplation. Katherine is a member of ALA's Special Task Force on School Libraries, a group charged with "providing an overall assessment of the current state of school library services in America ..." and a great deal more. (See our MMIS online news story from last July at http://www.mmischools.com/Articles/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=10258 for further information.) We asked her to report on the Task Force's findings, and she has delivered their sobering take on the school library scene.
Lowe based her article on the group's preliminary report, which they had completed at the time she wrote for us. But note that their final report and recommendations were scheduled to be delivered during the ALA conference. And check our MMIS Web site at http://www.mmischools.com for news that should complement and complete the story printed here.
We also have in this issue some complementary content to last issue's article on social networking. This month, Nancy Willard, whom you probably know as a prominent spokesperson in K-12 educational technology circles on the subject of online safety, goes into useful and practical detail about the phenomenon—the concerns, the false hopes invested in filtering, issues to educators, and more—in Social Networking, Part 2: A Toolkit for Teachers, page 18. And then Stephen Abram contemplates the bright, creative side of social networking environments, as he terms them, in his Pipeline column What Can MySpace Teach Us in School Libraries? on page 22.
Finally, for our cover story, we got Robert Lackie to take stock of the "full-text environment" on the Web, a fast-changing environment if there ever was one. He's got an up-to-date, annotated list of full-text resources—free ones!—that you and your serious secondary-school researchers can benefit greatly from. Check out The Changing Face of the Scholarly Web: Finding Free, Quality, Full-Text Articles, Books, and More! on page 8.
David Hoffman, editor