Leonard Felson’s article in the Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com/hartford-magazine/education/hc-hm-education-libraries-evolving-20170729-story.html, discusses the roles of school library media specialists and school libraries with maker spaces and information literacy instruction in Connecticut.

Walk into the year-old makerspace at Granby Memorial High School (enrollment about 665 students), eight miles west of Bradley International Airport. Sewing machines, tripods, podcasting microphones, video cameras, fabric, markers and lots more fill the former library office. The Granby Education Foundation, a nonprofit supporting education in the town, provided a $2,000 grant to launch the space, a common funding pattern across the region, where school budgets are strapped, even in more affluent towns.

A new focus on information literacy following the rise of “fake news”

To help design new courses on fake news, school librarians throughout Connecticut are signing up for webinars and workshops, many offered by the Connecticut school library association. And librarians often are co-teaching classes with social studies, English and, even science teachers.

This fall, Carolyn Shea, a library media specialist at West Hartford’s Hall High School will for the second year offer her two-day lesson on fake news. It starts with a quiz for students about where they get their news. Last year, most said it came from social media, a finding consistent with a survey by Common Sense Media, a non-profit focused on children and the media.

She will talk about the 10 fake-news red flags, including stories that make you angry or include words with letters all capitalized; and verification websites such as snopes.com, Pulitzer prize-winning politifact.com, and factcheck.org.

If it is important in Connecticut, then what about NJ?  There are two bills currently in the NJ Legislature which would be key for these opportunities to exist for New Jersey’s children.  A4500/S328 and A4858.  Sign our petition today and help us provide opportunity for our children.

Hartford Courant Article: School Libraries Where Kids Now Put Ideas Into Action: Makerspaces, Critical Thinking
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