It's a new year, with new challenges and new opportunities facing the school library media profession. In fact, we believe we'll start seeing those challenges and opportunities brought into sharp focus this January, as that's when ALA's Task Force on School Libraries, formed last summer, is due to report to the executive board and council at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.
We've also been thinking a lot about the profession lately, both in planning issues of MultiMedia & Internet@Schools and in putting together our March Internet @ Schools conference in Washington, D.C. [Click HERE for information.] A focus on professional development, challenges, and opportunities is apparent in both venues.
In this issue of the magazine, Mary Burns' feature, A Thousand Words: Promoting Teachers' Visual Literacy Skills (p. 16), picks up the professional development theme, offering techniques to "help teachers become as consciously comfortable in the world of images as they are in the world of words." Then there's Jan Ross's story, You Can Get That National Board Certification (p. 24), which she has loaded with helpful tips as she describes and demystifies the professional certification process for you.
Another feature this month is from Joyce Valenza, who will be delivering the keynote address at Internet @ Schools East in March. Joyce interviewed a dozen K-12 educators and educator-librarians for her recently published book Super Searchers Go to School (CyberAge Books/Information Today, Inc.), and we excerpted from her interview with a top library and education leader for Library Media Specialists and the Future: A Conversation with Ken Haycock (p. 11).
GoodBye, and Hello
This issue marks the last in a 2-year series of Learning Unleashed!
columns by Trevor Shaw. Trevor has chronicled the progress of a project that has successfully integrated technology in the form of tablet computers and much more into the fabric of teaching and learning at his school, and we've learned a great deal from the series. Trevor has now chosen to take final stock of what they have accomplished, and then lay his pen down. We thank him and wish him and his Learning Unleashed program continued success.
And we look forward to the first installment of a new column next issue by Dr. Mary Ann Bell of the department of library science at Sam Houston State University. From what we know of Mary Ann—she's twice spoken at our Internet @ Schools West conferences—we're sure she'll range far and wide addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the school library profession in her new column. We thank Mary Ann for taking up the mantle.
David Hoffman, Editor