FMQ: Florida Media Quarterly

Spring 2016 Volume 41, No. 3

Florida Media Quarterly is the official publication of the Florida Association for Media in Education, Inc., and is published at least four times annually: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Interested persons are invited to submit material for publication. For special information on articles and advertising, visit our website at

Text submitted becomes the property of FMQ and is not returned. FMQ is not responsible for the accuracy of text submitted; contributors are responsible for the accuracy of material, including references, tables, etc., and for obtaining necessary releases. The opinions expressed in Florida Media Quarterly are those of the authors and not necessarily those of FAME. Articles are the property of the authors and not necessarily those of FAME. Articles are the property of the authors indicated, and any use rights must be sought from the author. All other materials may be quoted or reproduced for non-commercial purposes provided full acknowledgements are given and FAME is notified.

All members of FAME have access to the FMQ via the webpage of the FAME website at

Nancy Mijangos, FMQ Editor

Kathy Lancaster, FMQ Contributing Editor

A Letter from our President

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Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the strategic plan survey. Your answers were thoughtful and insightful, and gives us wonderful data to complete FAME’s strategic plan for a strong future. The Committee on Governing Documents is working on formally writing up the plan with goals, strategies, and action steps, with the process of updating FAME’s mission and belief statement the next step. Based on the survey results, the main goals of focus are advocacy, professional development, membership, and communications.

Advocacy is a very broad goal with many subsets. Our Committee on Legislature does an excellent job with advocating for our profession by attending FAME’s Legislative Days, meeting with Senate members and Representatives, and forming relationships with both our lobbyist, Vern Pickup-Crawford, and elected officials. Data from the survey shows that members would like more advocacy in terms of communicating the value of our profession and the current role of school librarians to school boards, district superintendents, and those in decision-making and funding roles. Advocating for FAME as a professional organization is also a current need. The overall goal for advocacy in the strategic plan is to “increase awareness of the importance of school librarians and strong school library programs in the education process.”

Professional Development is a goal because the majority of the surveys viewed the provision of professional development to members a primary purpose of FAME. The goal for this area is to “provide targeted professional development for a diverse membership.” The Committee on Professional Development already offers monthly webinars on a variety of topics, but FAME will work to enhance surveying of membership to determine specific topics. FAME’s annual conference is the main professional development resource utilized by most of the membership. FAME will work to increase the amount of technology professional development at conference since the survey showed that many members have to choose between the FETC conference and FAME conference. The Conference Committee is pleased to announce that at #FAME16 in October, one of the keynote speakers will be Eric Sheninger, the former principal and author of Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times and Uncommon Learning: Creating Schools that Work for Kids. Also, half of the workshops will be technology based, including a workshop on Hour of Code. We will also submit calls for proposals for concurrent sessions to technology staff at schools.

The goal regarding membership is to “ensure FAME remains a robust, gratifying organization that develops school library leaders and meets their needs.” A primary strategy for this goal is to educate members on the value of their membership. Survey results showed that many members were unaware of everything FAME offers, manages, or promotes, including scholarships, our signature programs, and leadership opportunities. Another strategy for membership is to increase awareness of how to participate in FAME committees and programs. Responses from the survey showed that some members feel that it is the same people that are continually actively involved with FAME and that it is a bit of an exclusive community. It is a personal goal, and one in which I feel very strongly, to encourage all members who are interested to serve on committees and work toward leadership in FAME. I firmly believe that the strength of an organization relies on the development of diverse leaders, not the adherence to the status quo. Experienced FAME leaders should provide wisdom and advice for the new leaders who provide diverse ideas. One change that the Board has already made is to change the length of service on the SSYRA committee from six years to three years, in keeping with the policies and procedures of the SSYRA Jr. and FTR committees. This will help give opportunities to members who have been waiting to be able to serve on the SSYRA committee.

To “enhance avenues of effective communication” is a goal that will aid in accomplishing the aforementioned goals. Communications is a goal that we have immediately tackled. FAME now has a new updated website that was designed for simplicity, ease of use, and current content. Please bookmark if you have not already. Under the Leadership tab on the new site, you will find information on all the committees along with the form to apply for the various committees. Want to nominate yourself or a fellow member for a leadership position? Check out the Nominations page under Committees. Want to suggest a webinar topic to the Professional Development committee? Click the Webinar tab and scroll to the bottom of the page. Need a form or to download a logo? Check out the Forms and Files page under the Resources tab. Want to read an opinion on a current hot topic? Check out the new blog on the website: inFAMEous. The website will be updated on a regular basis with any impending deadlines on the home page.

In addition to the new website, FAME is changing to a new bulk email service provider that will allow not only bulk emails, but distribution of an online newsletter as well. Please be sure to add to your email contacts and check your spam folder the first few months to allow emails from FAME. Also, allow images to be shown from FAME emails to get the optimum information from the newsletters. If you need to update your email address, please fill out the online form at the bottom of the Membership page of the new website. The Committee on Communications is also looking to enhance our social media with scheduled Twitter Chats, so be on the lookout for more information regarding social media.

It is my hope that in developing these goals, strategies, and action steps based on your input from the survey, FAME will meet members’ needs, continue to grow, and develop strong leaders in our field. For in supporting and developing effective school librarians and school library programs, the ones who benefit are the ones for whom we do this all- the students in our schools.

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Collection Development Policies

Written by Lucretia Miller

You may have read or heard on the news that Seminole County recently removed the book This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki from its school library shelves, including the high school shelves. A third grader in Seminole County checked the book out from her school library; the student’s mother then complained that the content was inappropriate for elementary school. The book was removed from the three elementary schools which had it in its collection, but then the county also removed the book from the three high schools that had the book. This One Summer is a Caldecott Honor book, a Printz Honor book, was on last year’s SLJ Battle of the Kids’ Books, and has four different starred reviews. The book is a graphic novel with a YA interest level. The news of the book challenge and the resulting removal from all the libraries in Seminole County reached several media outlets, including local television news, School Library Journal, and ALA.

I addressed the situation in a letter to Seminole’s superintendent and school board (posted on the Intellectual Freedom page of the new website:, stating FAME’s disapproval of removing the book from the collections of the students for whom it was written- high school students. However, I want to emphasize the importance of having a collection development policy and adhering to that policy. In determining what materials to place in your library collections, please be sure to utilize a variety of resources, not just reviews, or awards, or book jobbers, or publisher recommendations. In this case, the book was placed in elementary schools because it was a Caldecott Honor book, and many librarians think of the Caldecott as an elementary-level award. However, the Caldecott is given to the “most distinguished American picture book for children…” where “children” is qualified as up to age fourteen. With limited funds for library materials, and YA literature increasingly stretching the perceived norm for content, it is vital that librarians spend time perusing multiple sources in determining the best materials for their specific community. What is best for one school is not necessarily the best for another school based on the school community.

I also want to stress the importance of having a collection development policy in place that addresses when challenges to materials do occur. FAME adheres to ALA’s intellectual freedom policies and believes in providing access of information for all students where appropriate. As the school librarian, you have the duty to determine which materials are appropriate for your school community as long as your collection is diverse with balanced points of views and issues. A strong collection development policy that is adhered to makes it much easier if a challenge does occur.

I will be glad to share the policy I wrote for my school and also encourage you to attend FAME’s March webinar on Intellectual Freedom facilitated by the committee’s chair, Pat Franklin. If you would like to view my school’s policy, please email with the subject heading “Collection Development Policy.” To register for the March webinar, please visit the Webinar page of the website:

Legislative Days in Tallahassee: Making Connections and Lasting Impressions

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Written by Vandy Pacetti-Donelson

Each year the Legislative Committee visits Tallahassee during the Florida State Legislative Session. As our lawmakers are writing bills and amendments, and planning our state’s budget, we attempt to make our organization’s ideals and concerns known. We try to visit as many of our elected officials as we can while attending committee sessions to hear discussion on the education bills under review. We hope our influence will be felt by the lawmakers and when those difficult decisions about funding are being made, that will provide the “face of libraries” that they will remember when they vote.

Making Connections:

What many do not realize, our lawmakers are affected by what is happening in the world and in our state when they approach making new laws and fiscal appropriations. For example, in a previous year after a school shooting in another state, there was a bill introduced that would have given some teachers the responsibility of carrying concealed weapons on school campuses. When we met with lawmakers, they were interested in our opinions about this bill. While this did not directly affect our day to day library operations and our own situations, this was an opportunity to be “an expert on the scene” for the lawmakers and gave us a point to connect with lawmakers so that we could then speak to concerns we have about school libraries. Every year we have the challenge of finding the right concerns to focus on that will be make a lasting impression.

Hot topics this year were elementary recess and charter school funding.

Arriving at the Capitol:

We usually arrive on a Monday afternoon in the Capitol. The committee will check in to our hotel and then we immediately get to work. We meet with our lobbyist, Vern Pickup-Crawford for dinner and a strategy session. Vern is a full time lobbyist and is in the capitol for the entire session; so, he is able to follow the exhaustive current of committee meetings, bills, amendments, and the publication of information as it happens. He collates and consistently summarizes for us what is happening in the session. He is able to show us what are current concerns in the session, what bills may affect education, its funding, and libraries, and what he believes we should focus on to relay our message to lawmakers.

When we are not in Tallahassee, Vern provides us with weekly, and sometimes, daily reports of what is happening so that we can understand how to apply our position in our meetings with lawmakers. We often relay this real-time information to our membership on our Facebook page.

Once the meeting and dinner are finished, we head back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep to prepare for the next day.

On Tuesday, we begin our day in the Capitol cafeteria. Vern arrives with the latest printings of bills that will be discussed in committee that day and with of any meetings that he has been able to set up for us with key senators and representatives to those meetings. Vern is very thorough and takes the time to explain the position and affect that bills under consideration will have on us at the local level. After a review of the literature, we head immediately to the House Education Committee meeting.

The committee meetings are a very important visit. On this visit, the representatives were heatedly discussing amendments that would affect a proposed bill for charter school funding. We listened intently as every single word was debated and what the implications of each word would be if the bill was passed. I like these meetings because I am able to see which legislatures are concerned with the individual student, on where the dollars go, and what implication their decisions will have on the future. It also gives us an opportunity to decide on what other legislatures we would like to meet, either to influence their stance on a bill or to encourage or give support to their efforts.

Pages and pages of notes are taken. I also find that tweeting to the Representatives during the meeting has a positive effect. During these meetings, the members of the committee tweet what we hear are concerns and also what we would like our members to show support for through tweeting. The Representatives and their assistants can be seen checking their Twitter accounts during the meeting; so, our voices are being heard in those meetings.

Once the committee meeting ends, we must jump into action. This is a brief opportunity to meet some of the representatives, possibly make a comment or two, or walk with them to their next meeting to share some of our concerns or insights on the meeting.

There is usually no time for lunch on this day, so we may stop at the snack stand provided by Publix on the third floor to grab a cola or a bottle of water and a handful of trail mix as we go to the Senate side of the capitol to meet with some of the Senators to give our “elevator speeches” and have 5 minute chats about what is happening in the next committee meeting. The Senators may also share with us some piece of legislation that they are working on to see what we think about it. We do the best we can to give our opinion and relate how that will affect what we are doing at the school level. This legislative session, we were also careful to mention the amount of time that libraries are being closed for testing and what happens to reading and learning when libraries are closed. Elementary recess, coding, and charter school funding were all topics of interest this year.

After several stops at different offices, we take an elevator ride up to the observation floor, the top floor of the capitol to take in the panoramic view of Tallahassee from the Capitol building. There is also an art exhibition every year on this floor as well. A few moments to check in with each other and then back down stairs for another committee meeting.

The next committee meeting is the House Appropriations Committee meeting. In this meeting, many budgetary bills are discussed and debated. The room is full of lobbyist, the members of other associations, citizens, and students visiting the capitol. The committee must move their discussion at a break neck speed in order to finish the meeting in the time allotted. The chair of the committee moves members along and keeps comments from the public to a minimum unless clarification of a bill is needed. There are some members of the public that are frustrated that they will not be allowed to speak during the meeting. Of course, every citizen can send commentary to the committee beforehand by email to weigh in on any of the bills under discussion.

This is an opportunity for FAME members to give their opinion to lawmakers from home. Send emails to your local officials about what is happening in your school. They are interested.

After a few more visits, we head out of the building to the courtyard to take a group photo on the capitol steps.

The first day of running the halls of the capitol ends with dinner and more late night reading for the next day.

On Wednesday morning, we attended another committee meeting and heard discussion on several bills including one bill on requiring a syllabus for AP Literature courses to include the titles of materials that may be of objectionable material to parents. There was quite a discussion, which led to an office meeting with the House Education Committee Chair, Marlene O’Toole to view the materials which had prompted the bill. It was a rousing discussion of ancillary materials used in literature courses and the proper way to address concerns about materials. The Representative asks a few questions about how materials are introduced and reviewed by teachers in my district and we chat about the role of parents and educators in the selection of reading materials.

After a few more meetings with our own elected officials and lunch at a restaurant on Capitol Square, we are ready to head back home. Representative O’Toole did visit our table at lunch to say thanks for stopping by.

I truly believe that everyone should make a visit to the capitol at least once in their lives to see how our elected officials conduct the business of our state. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day problems of our individual situations and not remember that our elected officials are in the same business that we are, which is to serve our community.

If you are interested in the individual bills and the progress that are Legislature is making, please follow the Legislative posts on our Facebook page, Florida Media Ed.

The Amanda Award: Building Resilience in Students

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Written by Jami L. Jones, Associate Professor, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

Mario figures he spends about eight hours a week in the school library--it’s his safe haven at a large high school that has its share of cliques and mean kids, and it’s his feel welcome place. Most mornings Mario heads to the library to complete his homework or finish studying for a test. Mario spends his lunch time in the library with friends and at times he retreats to a quiet corner to read. Sometimes he stays after school to access the Internet. What keeps Mario returning to the library is the warmth of the librarian who greets Mario by name and asks questions about his life, studies and future that seems a little shaky ever since his parents were laid off—it is not the collection (even though it is very good) or the comfortable furniture.

Mary Beth attends a nearby middle school but she rarely uses the library unless it’s required for a class. Although Mary Beth has found interesting books on the shelves and the room is attractive, the librarian doesn’t seem interested that she—or any students—are there. The librarian doesn’t know many of the students’ names and doesn’t seem aware of what is happening in the school outside the library’s wall. Much of her time is spent browsing catalogs or looking intently at the computer screen. Ever since Mary Beth’s mother died she had wanted an adult in the school to take time to reassure her but none of the teachers has reached out. Mario and Mary Beth have two very different stories to tell about their library experiences.

The important factor in Mario’s library that is missing from Mary Beth’s is a librarian who instinctively understands the value of programs and relationships to create an environment of care. These library programs build resilience, which is a “the set of attributes that provides people with the strength and fortitude to confront the overwhelming obstacles they are bound to face in life” (Sanger, 1996). Research is very specific about these protective attributes that strengthen children and teens to bounce back in spite of challenging situations such as poverty, stressful family circumstances, and mental and biological conditions. When stressed beyond their ability to cope many youth adopt ineffective strategies such as dependence on illegal and unhealthy substances, behaviors of acting out and extreme anger, isolation, bullying, cutting, or suicide.

A finding of the landmark Kauai Longitudinal Study begun in 1985 by Emmy E. Werner of the University of California at Berkeley is the identification of protective factors such as supportive relationships, development of interests and hobbies, feeling needed by assuming responsible positions or volunteer opportunities, and scholastic competence that help individuals bounce back from challenging situations. Each protective factor promotes a feeling of self esteem and competence in one’s own abilities which are the most important individual qualities that builds resilience.

FAME’s Amanda Award was established in 2002 to “recognize high school and middle school media specialists for developing programs that enhance and support the self-esteem and well-being of young adults by creating exemplary environments where students are made to feel that they fit in and that they are part of the school.” Amanda Award recipients remind me of two characters in Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, a fiction book about the struggles of Leigh Botts, the new kid at school, who is trying to make sense of his parents’ divorce. The school’s janitor and librarian deserve Amanda Awards for their kind actions toward a student whose life is dissolving around him and needs a bit of encouragement.

Amanda Award-like programs “are inherently interpersonal, encompassing both teacher-students and peer connections” (APA 22). Werner’s findings from the Kauai Longitudinal Study can provide a framework for designing resilience promoting programs such as those recognized by FAME’s Amanda Award.

Caring relationships. Many children studied by Werner remember a special teacher who was a mentor, listened when times were especially difficult, and helped them learn more effective ways to cope. In 2002, Nelle Martin, Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, received one of two inaugural Amanda Awards for The Lunch Bunch, and being that caring teacher. When she noticed that the same children were coming to the school library during lunch and eating alone, she talked to them and found out that they were new to the school and had not yet made friends. She took it upon herself to introduce them to each other and gave them a corner in the library to eat. She bought games to play and offered them small chores around the library. In Martin’s application for the Amanda Award, she writes how these students grew and flourished right before her eyes!

Interests and Hobbies. Werner and Smith (1992) found that “extracurricular activities played an important part in the lives of resilient youth” by encouraging competence and providing a vehicle to forget for a time the chaos around them (p. 57). School librarians can encourage hobbies and interests by organizing exhibits or demonstrations, such as a HobbyFest, to bring together students and adults to share their hobbies and interests, and to teach these to each another.

Positions of responsibility. Werner found that the more resilient children in the Kauai Longitudinal Study had chores, a school responsibility, or volunteered that helped them to feel needed, which in turn increased their self-esteem. Library assistant programs or student advisory groups in which students provide meaningful service help students to learn important work and communication and social skills. Students could organize a book drive and donate these books to a local organization or they could create a program to recruit their class mates to read to younger children in a variety of settings.

Academic competence. Werner found that academic competence “at age 10 was positively linked with the number of sources of help that the teenagers attracted…and was positively linked with a sense of self-efficacy (self-esteem). Students exhibiting academic competence will likely have greater opportunities in life and will transition more successfully into adult responsibilities” (200). Michelle Jarett’s 2011 Amanda Award-winning program, The Red Umbrella Project, increased English language learners’ literacy through reading and by providing a venue for sharing their family stories. The students met with Christina Diaz Gonzalez, author of The Red Umbrella, who shared her experience of writing this book and its important story about the value of culture.

A favorite book of mine is Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000) that illustrates the importance of seemingly small changes to the environment. He describes how in the 1980s one small change turned around the impending collapse of the New York City subway that was overwhelmed by crime, filth, and trains that did not run on schedule. At the urging of a consultant, the New York Transit Authority focused on eliminating graffiti, which may seem inconsequential compared to the extraordinary challenges facing the subway system, but was viewed as the “symbolic collapse of the system” (Gladwell, 2000, p. 142). Eradicating graffiti was the tipping point—the small change—that transformed a beleaguered subway system into one of the world’s best.

Likewise, Amanda Award programs oozing with protective factors can be the tipping point that moves your library to a resiliency promoting space such as Mario enjoyed every day


American Psychological Association, Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education. (2015). Top 20 principles from psychology for preK–12 teaching and learning. Retrieved from http://

Cleary, B. (1983). Dear Mr. Henshaw. New York: HarperTrophy.

Sanger, M. (1996). Building resiliency in students. Educational Leadership 54(1). Retrieved from

Werner, E.E., & Smith, R.S. (1992). Overcoming the odds: High risk children from birth to adulthood. Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press.

Amanda Award

Recipients will awarded $1,000, a plaque, and recognition at the FAME Conference.

Deadline for nominations is May 1, 2016.

Deadline for supporting data and documentation is May 30, 2016.

Documents, Data and Digital Collections: Primary Sources from the Federal Reserve

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Written by Lesley Mace, Senior Economic and Financial Education Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta- Jacksonville Branch

Primary sources have become essential tools for teaching across all disciplines, from social studies to the sciences. As today’s 21st-century students become ever more accountable for their own learning, particularly as they approach higher education and the job market, the discoveries found in original documents, letters, and artifacts can build the critical thinking and analysis skills so fundamental for future success.

The Federal Reserve—created in 1913 to provide stability to the financial system through monetary policy, the supervision and regulation of financial institutions, and the provision of financial services—is more typically linked with primary dealers and primary credit than primary sources. However, with technology allowing institutions to bring records, documents, and data online for easier accessibility and preservation, the Fed has developed a number of digital collections and tools that provide almost instant retrieval of economic data, historical records, and data of interest to researchers in a number of fields.

To begin a review of the Fed’s primary sources, the logical starting point is the Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research, also known as FRASER. An online data preservation and accessibility project begun by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in 2004, its mission is to safeguard and provide access to economic history, particularly that of the Federal Reserve System. The archive naturally contains the records, statistical releases, and policy documents from all 12 Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors, but FRASER is more than just a storehouse of Federal Reserve history. The collection also includes data, publications, and annual reports from a number of institutions and agencies, giving insight into both the economic and financial history of our nation and the notable personalities who shaped it along the way.

Alongside the statements and speeches of Federal Reserve leaders such as Janet Yellen, Ben Bernanke, and Alan Greenspan, the Fed’s exchanges with presidents from Truman to Nixon can be found in the collection, as well as the federal budget, U.S. Census Bureau Statistical Abstracts and Atlases, reports from agencies such as the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Economic Report of the President, and a host of historical data dating back to colonial times on a number of diverse topics ranging from department store data and auto loans to food prices and the status of women in the labor force. Searchable texts include economic advice from esteemed economists John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, and John Kenneth Galbraith, along with the views of early American statesmen John Quincy Adams, James Buchanan, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, and Daniel Webster, all whom weighed in on the matters of central banking.

FRASER’s collections are searchable by title, author, data, and theme, with most documents housed in the archives falling under the public domain. Under FRASER’s education tab, you can find lesson plans and resources categorized under five central themes: central banks and credits, labor, demographics, money and inflation, and financial crisis. One of the more interesting sources is “75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation, 1861 to 1935.” This 85-foot-long timeline chronicles economic data and historical events and political happenings from around the world, giving a snapshot of history in a graphical format from the times before electronic documents. A glance at the entry for 1900 reveals it was the year of President William McKinley’s reelection and when Carnegie Steel was incorporated, the first New York subway contract was awarded, and the U.S. population reached 75 million. Among other developments, the timeline captures for the first year of the 20th century the Galveston hurricane, the latest fashion trend—shirtwaists—and the fact that 800 railroads traversed the country. Classroom activities accompany the timeline, and numerous activities can also be found on the site to accompany demographic sources from the Statistical Abstract of the United States.

For those who like to get their data in pictures, Federal Reserve Economic Data, or FRED, is another primary source that allows users quickly and easily to build customizable graphs from over 250,000 time series. While economic data are at the center of the collection, users who are not looking for data on banking, the labor market, business activity, or prices may find the international and regional data of interest: demographic information that can be viewed at the state, county, and MSA level. A feature that allows users to add several data series to the graphs allows easy comparisons between countries, state, and counties, all of which can be shared, exported, saved, printed, and downloaded numerically onto spreadsheets. FRED is also available as a mobile app, and both tutorials and a number of lesson plans are available to help guide users through the tool’s many features.

Geo FRED is another visual-based primary source tool that allows users to create and share geographical maps from data collected worldwide. Banking statistics, economic indicators, and price data on everything from education to electricity can be viewed via color-coded world maps alongside noneconomic indicators such as literacy rates, population, school enrollment, life expectancy, and Internet usage. Graphs and data details can be downloaded from the maps, which are customizable by users.

In commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the Fed’s founding in 1913, the Federal Reserve History Gateway was launched. Its collection of historical essays and biographies tell the story of the Federal Reserve from its formative years through the present day. Searchable by people and events, the site also includes informative videos on the Fed’s purposes and functions, with primary sources and photographs from FRASER, FRED, and other collections embedded in several of the essays.

Primary sources and archival collections, with their ability to make the past come alive, allow students, researchers, and learners of all ages to uncover new insights into the past and make connections to the present and the future. Glimpses into rich data sources may bring unexpected discoveries, often ones we may not even have been looking for. With FRASER, FRED, GeoFRED, and the Federal Reserve History Gateway, exploring the history of our central bank, the nation’s commerce, and the nation itself is easy through the stories told in numbers, pictures, and writings and speeches from early founders through our leaders today. Whether based on a quest for knowledge, data, or simple curiosity, the Fed’s online technology tools make it easy to begin your journey to create a picture of the past.

5 Tech Goals for School Librarians: Lead the Florida Standards

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Written by Michelle Cates

“Technology will not replace teachers, but teachers who use technology will replace those who do not.” (Author unknown)

In our recently adopted Florida Language Arts Standards, a slight revision of the Common Core Standards, student technology consumption and production are now overt academic objectives. Of the 662 total grade level standards, 15% directly reference technology. School librarian expertise could not be more necessary for our students’ success.

The Florida Standards require every teacher on campus to engage students with technology, providing students with information seeking and communication assignments. Textbook companies will not be able to provide all the resources nor lesson plans to accomplish the higher order thinking described by the standards. Teacher and student creativity is critical. School librarians are indispensable, how can school librarians lead the technology demands of the new standards?

1. Know which standards reference technology.

2. Emphasize digital reading.

  • 50% of Florida textbook funds must be spent on digital materials.

  • The Florida Standards writing and language arts assessments both require digital reading of articles.

  • Current research for content projects is best found online.

  • Students need to build stamina, internet dexterity, and device familiarity.

  • Students need our e-books and databases.

3. Explore online publication.

  • LAFS.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others

  • LAFS.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations

  • Have you tried: Kidblog, Glogster, content curation, Prezi…?

  • For some more ideas, check out “50 Ways to Tell a Story”

4. Provide teachers with multimedia sources.

  • LAFS.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words

  • Know sources for:

    • Text (Databases and close reading articles)

    • Audio (books, songs, speeches, interviews)

    • Photographs, Video, Artwork

    • Literary Dramatizations

    • Interactive websites and Simulations

    • Charts, graphs, and models

    • Maps

    • Historical primary sources

5. Know, utilize and teach Fair Use (Copyright)

  • Best Practices for Educators have been updated recently giving educators and students far greater use of copyrighted materials than was previously exercised.

  • Visit the Center for Media and Social Impact for everything copyright:

School Librarians: It’s our time to shine. Have fun with the new technology standards in education!

For more ideas of games, apps, and websites aligned with the Florida Standards, visit Common Sense Media:

A Question of Copyright

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Written by Gary H. Becker

Q. In implementing a new assessment program in our district, we are developing new questions that use literature passages, images and other materials from our curricula's textbooks, current events' materials, contemporary artwork, etc. We use limited details from these materials and it is always used for our students and teachers in a closed system for the district testing system and is not for public consumption or access. What types of permission should we gather for the purposes stated? What do we need to do to protect the district?

A. Historically, textbook publishers provided a teacher's guide or teacher's edition of a textbook, which usually contained test items for use by teachers. The materials were sold with the rights to use the materials in a testing situation. In reference to the materials you wish to use from your district's textbooks, I would recommend verifying what type of rights your district was granted with your textbook adoptions and if your district negotiated any additional rights, such as reproducing pages from workbooks or digital resources that accompany the textbooks. If these rights meet your needs, you would not need to seek special permissions, in regard to those textbook sources.

Secondly, and once again, historically, teachers have created tests based upon the content they were teaching. Brief quotes, very limited use of images, etc. were able to be used in a testing situation based upon the Fair Use criteria, which would still be the criteria to utilize when pursuing a project of the nature you have outlined.

What makes this situation somewhat different is that these materials aren't being created by an individual teacher for their classroom use, but rather are to be used system-wide by many teachers and are being drawn from a number of sources, several of which are not materials owned by the district. As a result, you have two options, both based on each individual use of copyrighted content desired.

Option 1 - Apply the Fair Use criteria to each source and use and make a determination locally that you are considering this use to be Fair Use and your attorney of record will back up such decisions. Keep in mind that Fair Use requires using a very limited amount of copyrighted content, per source and that the item/portion used is not highly creative in nature. As an example, if you chose to use a photo taken from an on-line news source and the photo is highly original/creative due to the nature of the situation in which the photo was obtained, that high degree of originality would preclude using that item under Fair Use.

Option 2 - Solicit written permission from the various sources of content you wish to use, being specific as to purpose, length of use of such content and how this material will be accessed by teachers/administrators, clearly stating in your request that all such materials and test items would be housed and accessed in a restricted access environment.

Option 3 - A combination of Options 1 & 2, taking into account the quantity of content from a single source or the degree of originality of an item, such as a photo or graphic.

In general, for longer term, repetitive use of materials, I recommend writing for permission. This provides the district with a clear, written permission file that can be accessed by other staff in the future, if any items are challenged or even internally, if other employees wonder if the proper rights were obtained for them to use the materials.

Keep in mind that some materials are considered in the public domain and do not require permission. Materials produced by the federal government are in the public domain. Photos of public figures are in public domain. I would recommend your becoming familiar with public domain sources of graphics, photos and other materials that might meet some of your needs. There are also on-line sources of materials for which the copyright owners have granted use rights in advance, as long as you adhere to the conditions stated. One of the most well-know sources for such materials is Creative Commons. ( In addition, there is much course content, images, graphics, photos, etc. on iTunes University which could be drawn upon for assessment material.

A “Question of Copyright” is an ongoing column authored by Gary H. Becker, national Copyright law consultant and retired, public school system, technology administrator. If you have a question, pleased send it to You will receive an individual response and your question may appear in a future edition of FMQ. Requests to withhold names will be honored.

Open eBooks Initiative: Helping All Children Discover a Love of Reading

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If you teach in a Title 1 school, or with in-need youth, you can help the students get access to millions of free eBooks through the Open eBook Initiative. Open eBooks is a partnership between Digital Public Library of America, The New York Public Library, and First Book, with content support from digital books distributor Baker & Taylor. This effort is made possible by generous commitments of publishers with funding support provided in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and is part of the White House ConnectED Initiative.

FAME president, Lucretia Miller, and FAME Board member Vandy Pacetti-Donelsen were part of nine librarians nation-wide who worked on curating the books for this project from the titles donated by the participating publishers. Open eBooks is an app containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from low-income households. These eBooks can be read without checkouts or holds. Children from low-income families can access these eBooks, which include some of the most popular works of the present and past, using the Open eBooks app and read as many as they like without incurring any costs. The goal of Open eBooks is to encourage a love of reading and serve as a gateway to children reading even more often, whether in school, at libraries, or through other eBook reading apps.

Go to the Open eBooks website at, and click “Get Started” or the “Get Involved” link for more information and resources.

Employment Opportunity:

FAME is hiring an Administrative Assistant who will work directly with the FAME President. Duties include, but are not limited to: developing and maintaining a membership database; organizing membership by regions; monitoring FAME postal and email accounts and disperse with information appropriately; answering and responding to FAME phone calls; assisting with the annual conference management company; facilitating hotel and venue negotiations for SSYRA, SSYRA Jr., FTR, Legislative committees, and the president's travel to ALA and AASL functions. Remittance is $12,000, assuming an average of ten-twelve hours a week with the understanding that the majority of those hours will be in the fall during annual conference. Applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2016 or scanned and emailed to by April 1, 2016. Please visit the FAME website below for the application.