School Libraries Head for the Edge: Rants, Recommendations, and Reflections

Overview

School Libraries Head for the Edge: Rants, Recommendations, and Reflections collects Doug Johnson's wildly popular "Head for the Edge" column for Library Media Connection. In one convenient volume, it brings together the best of Johnson's writing—topical, timely, technical, and theoretical—on the world of school media and the most effective ways libraries can use technology to serve teachers and students.

School Libraries Head for the Edge ranges across the breadth of its ...

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Overview

School Libraries Head for the Edge: Rants, Recommendations, and Reflections collects Doug Johnson's wildly popular "Head for the Edge" column for Library Media Connection. In one convenient volume, it brings together the best of Johnson's writing—topical, timely, technical, and theoretical—on the world of school media and the most effective ways libraries can use technology to serve teachers and students.

School Libraries Head for the Edge ranges across the breadth of its critically important subject, with chapters on libraries and education in transition, professional skills and development, building student research and technology skills, technology in the libraries and in education, and bringing an ethical, values-based sensibility to the use of media in school libraries. Throughout, Johnson tells it like it is, with cutting-edge coverage of the latest trends in library media and technology and incisive commentary on everything from the ramifications of Web 2.0 to what's new for tomorrow.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With some fresh and innovative ideas, Doug Johnson comes to readers with no shortage of creative advice for readers. School Libraries Head for the Edge is a must for any school library who wants to be the best resource for their students they can."

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Midwest Book Review

"As a library district supervisor in the 1900s, Doug Johnson encountered resistance from librarians who fought the notion that libraries were about something other than print. His response to that resistance led to a blog, and the blog led to a regular column in Technology Connection, a journal that later morphed into Library Media Connection. This volume brings together dozens of Johnson's best "rants" (his term) from his regular column 'Head for the Edge'. Some contributions are diatribes, some biographical, some philosophical. All are thought-provoking, offered in snippets that are easy to read in just a few minutes. One walks away from the book feeling as if you've met Johnson, who has earned your respect."

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Reference & Research Book News

"Entertaining? Yes. Thought provoking? Always. . . . You don't have to agree with Johnson's ideas, but his purpose is to make you defend what you do stand for."

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Teacher Librarian

"Chapters end with quotes, questions, and self-evaluative reflection that readers will be inspired to mirror. For all practitioners."

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School Library Journal

"School Libraries Head for the Edge is full of observations that cause the reader to pause, reflect, reconsider."

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Journeys (dmcordell.blogspot.com)

"This book is a quick and useful read. The short column length (around 800 words) makes it ideal for snatching a quick read between classes, and the complete table of contents makes it ideal for browsing by subject. Every column is concise, pithy, insightful, pragmatic, and laced with Johnson's wry humor. . . . Because Johnson works in the public school system, he targets their situations more often, but practitioners at all types of schools will find plenty of applicable information as well."

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VOYA

"Since 1995 Johnson has been writing the 'Head for the Edge' column for Library Media Connection. . . . The columns, even those now 15 years old, still challenge us to think about what we do, how we do it, and why we do it, reflecting Johnson's own educational philosophy. This collection will make media specialists look forward to their next issue of Library Media Connection."

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Booklist

"This book is a must-read for our profession . . . highly recommended."

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Library Media Connection

VOYA - Rebecca Moore
Johnson compiles many of the columns he wrote for Technology Connection and its successor, Library Media Connection, starting in 1995. Dividing the columns up by subject, Johnson offers chapters called "Libraries and Education in Transition"; " Professional Skills and Dispositions"; "Reading, Research, and Technology Skills"; "Technology in Libraries"; "Technology in Education"; Managing Good"; and "Determining Our Values." Within each chapter, he presents columns chronologically and follows each section with a "reflection." Johnson's overarching theme is that librarians must proactively take charge of their jobs—technology, instructional consulting, Internet use, copyright, promotion—or they and their libraries will be replaced. He offers many practical suggestions for taking action to prevent that eventuality. This book is a quick and useful read. The short column length (around 800 words) makes it ideal for snatching a quick read between classes, and the complete table of contents makes it ideal for browsing by subject. Every column is concise, pithy, insightful, pragmatic, and laced with Johnson's wry humor. Although some of the older columns are showing their age and the author's promotion of the controversial "instructional consultant" role may ruffle some feathers, overall the book is a cornucopia of thoughtful and constructive ideas. Because Johnson works in the public school system, he targets their situations more often, but practitioners at all types of schools will find plenty of applicable information as well. Reviewer: Rebecca Moore
School Library Journal
Eighty long-running "Head for the Edge" columns in Library Media Connection and its predecessor, Technology Connection, are collected here, in topical clusters dealing with professional issues relevant to both veterans and newbies. Reading much like threads in Johnson's "Blue Skunk" blog, the columns are reflective, conversational, and characteristically humorous. Often looking through the lens of a learner, colleague, or administrator, the author believes that "the librarian will always be the sole determining factor of quality of the library program." In the chapter "Professional Skills and Dispositions," he offers advice on handling constructive criticism and challenges us to be mindful of exhibiting the same dispositions for which we grade students, such as displaying positive attitudes and communicating persuasively without being combative. In "Technology and Libraries," columns focus on adapting to change, the future of books, and why we should demand features such as federated and concordance searching of all holdings and texts, ready-made citations, and customizable social network spaces from automation system designers. This forward-thinking approach is evident in one column from 1995, called "The Future of Books," in which Johnson imagines a book with a network jack, backlit screen, rechargeable battery, and touchscreen dictionary (12 years before the Kindle!). Chapters end with quotes, questions, and self-evaluative reflection that readers will be inspired to mirror. For all practitioners.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586833923
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/31/2009
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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