TeachingBooks Resources Available to 24 Million Readers with New Statewide Library Systems Added in 2021

CLEVELAND – February 3, 2022TeachingBooks, an online database of supplemental resources that enrich children’s and young adult books, had a busy year in 2021. In addition to being acquired by OverDrive in October, TeachingBooks announced the signing of four new statewide licenses and one territory license in 2021. TeachingBooks also was awarded the “Common Sense Selection for Learning” as a best-in-class resource for both students and educators.

With the addition of the new licenses, more than 24 million readers at over 55,000 schools, public libraries and higher education institutions can now access TeachingBooks’ curated educational materials. TeachingBooks deepens the learning experience by “bringing books to life” through their database of over 270,000 digital resources, including author interviews, video book trailers, discussion questions and literary games.

The five new licenses signed in 2021 represent more than 7,300 institutions and 2.6 million students. These library systems include:…Read More

3 reasons E-rate funding remains critical for school internet access

The federal E-rate program remains a vital and trusted funding source to bring “mission-critical” internet access to schools and libraries, according to an annual report tracking trends and developments related to the federal funding stream.

The 2021 E-rate Trends Report, from E-rate compliance services firm Funds For Learning, arrives as school systems work through COVID-related impacts, including the Homework Gap and on- and off-campus broadband needs.

Responses from a record-breaking 2,164 applicants indicate that E-rate remains essential, and network security is now an urgent concern.…Read More

A tale of three cities: Emerging from the pandemic…or not

New York City, New York. Cleveland, Ohio. Williamston, South Carolina.

In the height of the pandemic, nearly every community looked similar. Schools were closed.  Restaurants were closed. Families stayed home. 

As our world is emerging from the pandemic, there is a distinct division in our communities that was clearly articulated by the three librarians who participated in a recent panel for publishers who create content for schools and public libraries.…Read More

Gale Launches New Accredited Online Adult High School Program to Public Libraries

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – September 11, 2021 – Gale, part of Cengage Group, today announced the launch of Gale Presents: Excel Adult High School, a new online accredited diploma completion program available to public libraries. In partnership with Excel Education Systems, the program is designed to help adults obtain their high school diploma entirely online, as well as prepare them for college and the workplace. This new program comes as the nation’s economy is working to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling libraries to provide their communities with education services that create economic growth through the development of future workforces.

Currently, there are an estimated 30 million American adults without a high school diploma.[i] In addition, the pandemic created the highest jobless rate since the Great Recession and unemployment rates were highest for those workers without a high school diploma. With Gale Presents: Excel Adult High School, libraries are providing local economic value through workforce development by helping adult learners reach their education and career goals.

“We partnered with Excel Education Systems because they are a leader in adult learning and have an exceptional focus on supporting adults who wish to re-enter the education system,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. “As a trusted partner to public libraries, Gale understands the importance of access to education, particularly for underserved and at-risk populations. With Gale Presents: Excel Adult High School, we are helping public libraries change lives. Earning a high school diploma leads to better jobs with larger salaries, attending college and most importantly, a feeling of pride that comes with achieving your dreams.”…Read More

5 must-haves for school makerspaces

School makerspaces have emerged as centers of creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and more. These skills–often referred to as soft skills, but also known as durable skills for their importance in the workplace–are a focus of 21st-century classrooms.

These days, school libraries often include makerspaces and librarians are becoming well-versed in the coding, robotics, engineering, and tinkering skills necessary to help students bring their ideas to fruition.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, students set up personal makerspaces at home, logging onto school-provided resources and gathering materials from their homes to keep their creativity going when learning moved online.…Read More

5 digital tools for school libraries

School libraries have evolved from strict, quiet, hush-hush rooms to more interactive spaces with flexible seating, readily-available edtech tools, and educators on hand to help with research, critical resource evaluation, makerspaces.

It’s in school libraries where students often discover and hone their love of coding and programming, create amazing projects via makerspaces, and where they develop important 21st-century skills.

As schools plan to return to full in-person learning in the fall, students will no doubt be eager to return to their school libraries and pick up where they left off.…Read More

“It Isn’t Enough to Not Be Racist.” ULC and Gale Call on Library Executives to Actively Embrace Anti-Racism’s Leadership Imperative

A New Urban Libraries Council Leadership Brief Highlights Action Strategies for Library Executives to Lead the Charge for Anti-Racism, Starting by Looking Inward

WASHINGTON & FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) has published a new Leadership Brief on Anti-Racist Executive Leadership for Public Libraries, sponsored by Gale, a Cengage company. This resource examines the deep roots and enduring harm of structural racism in public libraries and challenges library executives to take on a more active, intentional and accountable role in strengthening their libraries as anti-racist institutions.

Introducing the Leadership Brief is the following quote from Baltimore County Public Library Director, Sonia Alcántara-Antoine, “In order to make any progress as library leaders, we need to look at our own history with humility and have the courage to recognize that we can be part of the solution.” Alcántara-Antoine is a member of ULC’s Anti-Racism action team, which informed the development of the Leadership Brief.…Read More

Gale and New Mexico State Library Launch Free Program to Provide Adult Residents Accredited High School Diplomas

New Mexicans can obtain their high school diploma through their local public library. New Mexico State Library now offers Career Online High School (COHS) from Gale, a Cengage company, making it the first program in the state that gives qualified residents the chance to earn an accredited high school diploma through their public library.

Currently, six public libraries in New Mexico are offering Career Online High School to qualified adults (19 and older) who are looking to advance their careers, prepare for workforce entry or continue their education. There is no cost to students for the program, but enrollment is limited and requires a library card. The six participating libraries include: The Public Library Albuquerque and Bernalillo CountyBelen Public LibrarySanta Fe Public Library and three of New Mexico’s Rural Bookmobiles: Bookmobile East (Tucumcari), Bookmobile Northeast (Cimarron Library) and Bookmobile West (Los Lunas).

The New Mexico State Library decided to invest in the COHS program in order to help New Mexicans and New Mexico public libraries meet the immediate needs of the communities the libraries serve as they confront adverse education and economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.…Read More

Pandemic Leads to a Significant Increase in Streaming Video Usage That is Expected to Continue, Study Shows

As more people stayed at home during 2020 due to the pandemic, they were streaming a lot more videos for reasons beyond just entertainment. This trend is expected to continue over the next three years, prompting many public libraries to transition their budgets from DVDs to streaming and prepare for changes and challenges.

This finding, along with others, was revealed in a recent survey conducted by Kanopy, a company committed to streaming high-quality films that inspire, educate and entertain to libraries around the globe. More than 730 librarians, primarily in the U.S., participated, and a full report is freely available to anyone who registers here.

“Kanopy is extremely grateful to the hundreds of librarians who took the time and effort to participate in our survey,” said Kanopy CEO Kevin Sayar. “Their invaluable input will help inform our product development and allow us to better serve the public library community and the patrons they serve.”…Read More

Kanopy Enhances Kanopy Kids with Short Films from Sesame Workshop and Highlights

According to a soon-to-be released Kanopy survey of more than 730 librarians — primarily in the U.S. –50% of public libraries believe it is their responsibility to provide their local K-12 schools with streaming films that support their curriculum. Despite that, just over 14% say they are currently collaborating with local schools to help meet their needs.

To help facilitate collaboration between public libraries and the communities they serve, Kanopy is adding a dozen Spanish-language videos from Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street,and 30 films from Highlights to Kanopy Kids. This carefully curated collection now includes a growing selection of more than 1,500 educational, age appropriate videos with parental controls covering topics from STEM to history and story time.

“Parents, educators and librarians know that having access to quality content is important,” said Darryl Eschete, Director of the West Des Moines Public Library. “The educational and instructional films that Kanopy offers helps our library make sure that we meet the strategic goal of supporting education and making content appropriate to all grade levels accessible wherever our patrons are.”…Read More