Sara Kelly Johns

About Sara Kelly Johns

Sara Kelly Johns (skjohns@gmail.com) is the school librarian at Lake Placid (NY) Middle/High School, and knows that she has the best job in the school. She is also an instructor for the Mansfield University School of Library and Information Technologies and speaks and writes about school librarian activism. Find her on Twitter as @skjohns or on Facebook.

Kentucky’s Teacher of the Year Advocates for the Need for School Librarians

Eighth graders Skype with author Jeremy Schaap, Author of Cinderella Man

There is a  2012 Teacher of the Year in Kentucky who “gets it.” And, she expresses well what students need to do to be successful meeting the Common Core standards, tying them closely to what it is that school librarians do. She does so in an article that can be sent to every superintendent, shared [...]

“Big ALA” and the new School Library Resolution

ALA 201) Rally on Capitol Hill

“Big ALA” will be focused on school librarians even more after the 2012 Annual Conference recently held in Anaheim. We need it. So many school librarians want to join AASL or other divisions without paying dues that include the parent organization,  “Big ALA.”  I personally joined ALA and AASL as a new school librarian because [...]

MARC Records as an Advocacy Strategy: My AASL “Advocacy Tip of the Day”

Teacher enjoying the library coffee

Teachers drift in and out of my office all day for the $.25 freshly ground coffee, “real” and decaffeinated. I sometimes sit at my desk with a pile of new materials, entering them into my automated catalog. Suddenly it hits me. We talk about school and life, give each other advice, plan collaborative projects (the [...]

NLLD or VLLD: Time to “Take Action”

Your checklist for contacting federal legislators

I am on my first train to get from Albany, NY to Washington, DC on a grey, chilly Sunday morning as part of the New York Library Association (NYLA)’s delegation. We will participate in the American Library Association’s National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) on Tuesday, April 24th.  I am fairly sure I will be the [...]

It Takes a Group of People to Rescue a Sinking Ship: Colorado’s “Survive and Thrive” Campaign

The connections

Can we have business as usual on a Titanic? That’s a question that bothered Becky Russell, the School Library/21st Century Skills Content Specialist at the Colorado Department of Education’s Library Development Office, about the diminishing number of school library positions in her state. After reading Doug Johnson’s blog post about the new Colorado Association of [...]

“Library Skills” = Information Literacy Skills = Common Core Skills

Karen Zaleski shares her Common Core Moment: "I can teach citations for you--and more!"

If you have not sat down yet with your downloaded copy of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) with a highlighter in your hand, it’s time. And if you have, it’s time to read it again and for all of us to change our vocabulary. School librarians teach Common Core skills. Right now, schools are [...]

Guest Post: Visibility Works!

Literacy Teacher Mrs. Dowd with some of the students from the Pleasure Read Book Club.

So many school librarians around the country are doing excellent and exciting work in their libraries without anyone but the students they impact knowing about it. Visibility is one of the important parts of a deliberate promotion and marketing campaign that every school librarian needs. Below is a guest post by a school librarian, Rebecca [...]

Become an E-Activist Now!

With Sen. Jack Reed and then ALA President Camila Alire in 2008

What?!?! President Obama’s budget threw the Improving Literacy through School Libraries funds into one big literacy pot? It was JUST funded by Congress after two years of zero funding and now our chances of competing with the five other literacy programs get lower and lower. There is so much to be done! Time to throw [...]

Budget Time: What Is Your “Big Splash” this Month?

Reading in Study Hall has its reward

What is the local newspaper article headline for the event that will happen in your library in the next 30 days? “School Library Catches Students Reading” or “New Nooks Ready To Circulate in the School Library” may be ours. March 6th there is a school board meeting in my school district at which the budget [...]

You Have to Make Choices Sometimes

“You have to make choices sometimes, and the importance of librarians is a bit less than it used to be,” said Ze’ev Wurman, a Silicon Valley executive who participated in the development of California education standards and served as a policy adviser for the U.S. Department of Education. “In the elementary grades especially, librarians are essentially teacher’s aides, doing a variety of things that have little to do with books or literacy, per se.”