Saturday, June 30, 2007

CLA/APLA/NLLA 2007 National Post-Conference Resource Centre

Retain - Recruit - Restructure: Regenerating the Library Community2007 CLA/APLA/NLLA National Conference Resource Centre

Whether you were unable to be with us in St John's or you want to access some of the resources made available by the conference presenters...this is the place for you! In this special post-conference section, you will find various items related to the 2007 CLA/APLA/NLLA National Conference. A number of our speakers have provided copies from their sessions that include things such as Microsoft PowerPoint Shows, handouts, resource lists, etc.

You can also access copies of The Signal, our conference newsletter that was published on-site during the conference

This site is currently under development and we will be posting additional information as it becomes available.

Additional information can be found at the CLA/APLA/NLLA 2007 National Conference web site.

Teens with literary talent: Sign up for book camp

Vancouver Sun
Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fifteen-year-old Omar Chu can't get enough of the Canadian Book Camp program offered each summer at the Vancouver Public Library. He's attended three years in a row and will return for a fourth time July 9.

The week-long camp puts budding preteen and teenage writers in contact with other kids who enjoy books and hope to write them. Successful writers, reporters and broadcasters -- who this year will include Carrie Mac, Dennis Foon, the Vancouver Sun's Amy O'Brian and CBC Radio's Theresa Lalonde -- provide tips and inspiration.

Omar lives in Burnaby. So as not to have to commute, he comes to Vancouver for the week and stays with his aunt.

He's a fan of comedy, satire and parody. This week, while on a road trip with his uncles, he took along The Penguin Anthology of Canadian Humour, edited by Will Ferguson.

At one of the earlier camps, he wrote a standup comedy routine. "I'm not quite sure if I'm funny," he says, "but I try."

Parents often despair that their sons aren't interested in books, but Omar credits his mom, Ramona, with showing him their appeal. "When I was little, she read to me and got me interested."

Mary Schendlinger, a senior editor at Geist magazine, a former managing editor at Harbour Publishing and the author of Prepare to Be Amazed: The Geniuses of Modern Magic, will be one of the mentors at this year's camp. "My focus will be editing and publishing, because I do that for a living," she says.

"There's no replacement for a good editor but, that said, there are ways you can approach your own work and ... figure out where you need to revise. I'll be doing a sort of be-your-own-editor workshop."

The Canadian Book Camp, July 9 to 12 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and July 13 (9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), is for kids aged 11 to 17. Cost: $185. To register, call Shannon at 604-331-4041.
© The Vancouver Sun 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

CLA Moves Open Access

From today's CLA Digest:

CLA Executive Council has approved some recommendations from the Open Access Task Force that move CLA towards providing virtually all of its intellectual property free of charge, in digital form, online and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

The revised policy has four parts:

CLA will provide for full and immediate open access for all CLA publications, with the exception of Feliciter and monographs The embargo period for Feliciter is one issue, and the embargo policy itself will be reviewed after one year. Monographs will be considered for open access publishing on a case-by-case basis.

CLA actively encourages its members to self-archive in institutional and/or disciplinary repositories and will investigate a partnership with E-LIS, the Open Archive for Library and Information Studies.

CLA will generally provide for the author's retention of copyright by employing Creative Commons licensing or publisher-author agreements that promote open access.

CLA will continue its long-standing policy of accessibility to virtually all CLA information except for narrowly defined confidential matters (e.g. certain personnel or legal matters).

The Task Force's Report is available at:

Heather Morrison
Convenor, CLA Task Force on Open Access

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Legislation Introduced to Ensure Essential Library Resources, Support for 21st Century Education

Legislation Introduced to Ensure Essential Library Resources, Support for 21st Century Education

WASHINGTON — Bi-partisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate today is an essential step forward in ensuring that students across America have the library resources and support they need for a Twenty-First Century education, according to Leslie Burger, President of the American Library Association.

The Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries or SKILLs Act guarantees that students across America will be served by highly qualified, state-certified school library media specialists and will have the library resources they need to succeed.

The SKILLs Act is sponsored by Senators Jack Reed (RI) and Thad Cochran (MI) and by Representatives Raul Grijalva (AZ) and Vernon Ehlers (MI).

“Study after study proves that students in schools with well-stocked libraries and highly qualified, state-certified school librarians learn more, get better grades and score higher on standardized tests than students who do not have the same benefits,” Burger said. “Today, only 60 percent of school libraries have full-time, state-certified school library media specialists on staff. With limited resources, school administrators are struggling to stretch dollars, and library resource budgets are increasingly being used to make up for shortfalls in other areas.”

The SKILLs Act ensures that library funds will be available to serve students in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the nation; that appropriate books and materials will be available for students at all grade levels, including those with special learning needs and those learning English as a second language; and that highly qualified school library media specialists will be available to assist and support all students with their learning needs.

“We know that school libraries are a critical component in improving student literacy skills and academic achievement. This legislation recognizes what makes this success possible: highly-trained librarians,” said Senator Jack Reed. “As technology rapidly changes the way our children learn, it is imperative that we have experienced librarians who can help kids harness these new technologies and access the information they need. The SKILLs Act underscores the value of school libraries by encouraging the hiring of highly-qualified school library media specialists in our nation’s school libraries.”

Senator Cochran added, “School librarians play an important role in the lives of students of all ages. The ability to foster confidence in a student to research a topic about which he or she wants to learn is a unique gift. A child who understands and is comfortable with information technology is a child who will grow up with the ability to learn throughout his or her lifetime. The SKILLs Act will provide federal support and incentives to strengthen our school libraries, which I hope will improve education in America.”

Rep. Grijalva stated, "School libraries often serve as a second classroom and the school librarian as an adjunct teacher. Our children are losing out on qualified professionals trained to collaborate with teachers and engage students meaningfully with information that matters to them both in the classroom and in the real world. This legislation would bridge that gap and ensure a highly qualified librarian for every school.”

Rep. Ehlers added a personal note. “I know personally how important reading is to a child’s learning process,” he said. “Frequent illness from asthma caused me to adopt reading as my favorite hobby as a child, which helped spark my interest in a number of things, including my passion for science. All children should be encouraged to have the same appetite for reading as I had as a child, and one of the main keys to that are school libraries.”

The SKILLs Act reauthorizes and strengthens the Improving Literacy through School Library Program of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Librarians: We're still vital in the digital age

Librarians: We're still vital in the digital age
By Angela Haupt, USA TODAY

More than 300 librarians in town for the annual American Library Association conference spread out across Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, forgoing sightseeing in favor of public service.

Their purpose was twofold: to make a difference while combating the perception that libraries are a dying institution, rendered unnecessary by Internet resources.
"There's this idea that with everything available online, there's no reason to continue building libraries," says Michael Dowling of the library association. "But libraries do so much. They are lifelong learning centers. This is an opportunity for us to reach out."

The conference began Thursday and lasts through Wednesday. Volunteers worked in schools, libraries, parks and food banks across the city.

In downtown Washington on Friday, four volunteers spent about seven hours entering 4,000 books into Ross Elementary School's computer catalog system. "I've been doing it myself, but it's quite a bit of work," school librarian Kathy Nelick says. "We're very fortunate to have these volunteers. … The job requires librarians with knowledge of databases."

Although they acknowledge that libraries play a different role in the community today than they did 10 years ago, the volunteers say they are more necessary than ever.

"There has been an incredible explosion of available information," says Domi Long, a librarian at the private Lowell School in Washington. "We need to teach kids how to evaluate information, and we need to help them navigate it."

Jill Hurst-Wahl, a digitization consultant and president of Hurst Associates in Syracuse N.Y., says a need for libraries will continue as times change. The challenge, she says, is adapting to the ways people want to access resources.

"You have the younger generation, which is more technologically literate and less eager to physically go into the library," she says. "They want to go online. And then you have senior citizens, who are becoming more technical but are also more comfortable going into the library in person. The pressure facing libraries and librarians today is taking all the possibilities and creating services — either online or in person — that adequately serve all the different generations."

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Resolution 104­ Class Size
That the BCTF continue to lobby the provincial government to establish in legislation firm class-size and composition limits and non-enrolling teacher/student ratios and caseloads at all grade levels. Carried

Resolution 106­ Specialist Teachers
That the BCTF lobby the provincial government to provide funding to school districts to reinstate staffing ratios and caseloads for specialist teachers so that services that support student learning can be regained. Carried

Resolution 143 ­Teacher-Librarians
That the BCTF demand that the ministry immediately include participation of teacher-librarians in all ministry curriculum and literacy committees and that a teacher-librarian be added to ministry staff to guide the building of strong school library programs in BC public schools. Carried

The chair ruled that Resolution 144 was dealt with in Resolution 143

Saturday, June 23, 2007

First, just connect

Picking the right book for a boy means finding 'the right level of reading and the right level of interest'

Anakana Schofield
Vancouver Sun
Saturday, June 23, 2007

When British writer Val Wilding got the idea for her Toby Tucker books, about a boy who becomes his ancestors, she wanted to make them attractive to boys, especially those who are reluctant to read. She wrote the main part of the story in very short sections, in the first person, so it would be less daunting. And she considered factors like typeface and line spacing.

She understood that the low-tech printed word now has to compete for boys' attention with a myriad of contraptions like PlayStation and computer games.

So when Fabienne Goulet, who taught my son, Cuan, in Grade 2 this year, stressed the importance of readers connecting with the books they read, I kept that in mind as I surveyed a promising summer's worth of reading for boys.

Goulet, an experienced French-immersion teacher and literacy mentor, explains that "conversation is an important activity before, during and after any reading activity" and that "picking the right book means both the right level of reading and the right level of interest."

Fortunately, book publishers have responded with great material designed to attract and sustain young male interest this summer.

Among the more cutting-edge visual offerings this season is a beautiful and unique novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick. Described as a novel in words and pictures, it contains 287 pages of charcoal line drawings to enrich the text. The story, a mystery, concerns Hugo, an orphan, clock keeper and thief who lives in the wall of a Paris train station. The book offers reluctant readers a chance to conquer a 500-page novel.

Non-fiction titles can be a boon to parents seeking to entice reluctant readers. Boys' fascination with battle can be explored through fiction and non-fiction. The My Story series titles -- Battle of Britain and Flying Ace -- are engaging, accurately researched first-person fictional narratives of fighter pilots, while the indispensable Eyewitness: World War I and World War II offer a pictorial and factual approach. At Vimy Ridge, by Hugh Brewster, documents the Canadian soldiers' experience in 1917.

Pick Me Up: Stuff You Need to Know is a funky encyclopedia with the most reluctant reader in mind. Bright and snazzy, it whets a child's appetite without being overwhelming. It succeeds at mirroring the click and zip of the online experience.

It's funny what you find when you dig for treasure and a most unlikely-sounding book rises up out of the pile. The Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn and Hal Iggulden, is dangerously engaging. As Shelley Fralic wrote recently in The Sun, the Igguldens document the stuff that matters to boys. There are instructions on everything from how to build a go-cart to the essentials of soccer, navigation, skimming stones and maps. The Dangerous Book is easily my favourite pick for parents and boys this summer.

Information-rich books with a practical or interactive approach really hold my son's interest. Secret Agent Y.O.U.: The Official Guide to Secret Codes, Disguises, Surveillance and More, by Helaine Becker, is one that surprised me. Although it's shaped and designed like a picture book, it keeps him riveted with the thoroughness of its concept -- i.e., quizzes and challenges to one's suitability to be a spy.

Espionage led me to forensics, so I paired it with Crimebusters: How Science Fights Crime, by Clive Gifford. Again, the format is manageable chunks of text with sharp, engaging photography and graphics.

To my astonishment, two small books in Dorling Kindersley's Nature Activities series on birdwatching (Bird Watcher) and the weather (Weather Watcher) were huge hits. Perhaps it helped that we could step outside the door and experience the birds and clouds firsthand.

In the interests of blasting away stereotypes, pick up I Love Ponies, by Louise Pritchard. It's colourful and gentle in tone, and the text is manageable for emerging readers. Boys can love ponies, too.

It's foolish to overlook the potential in reliable series-type books, such as Geronimo Stilton. David Copperfield they're not, but with their brightly coloured words and other graphic tricks, boys respond to them when they're placed in their mitts. They're an important steppingstone in building vocabulary, and beause you can immediately hand a child the next one in the series, they encourage the act of consistent reading.

Boys who respond well to their fellow Vikings can laugh through July and August with Cressida Cowell's Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III's hilarious fourth epic memoir, How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse. I held a copy in a Vancouver playground recently and three boys rushed up to express their delight in all things Hiccup, Toothless and Snotlaut.

Cornelia Funke's fourth Ghosthunters book, Ghosthunters and the Muddy Monster of Doom will keep Hetty Hyssop, Tom and Hugo fans busy as the Ghosthunters negotiate the delightfully named ASGs (Averagely Spooky Ghosts) and IRGs (Incredibly Revolting Ghosts).

For more reluctant readers, adventures like Horrid Henry, by Francesca Simon; Jake Cake, by Michael Broad, or Toby Tucker, by Val Wilding, are accessible choices.

For visual learners, the graphic novel is a good solution. In stores July 15 will be Bone 6: Old Man's Cave. The humour of Jeff Smith's unlikely hero, Fone Bone, who, with his cousins, is trying to save an idyllic valley from the forces of evil, has delivered readers through five earlier books to this instalment.

First-time author Gareth Hinds's graphic version of Beowulf offers a decent history and classics fix. And bear in mind that the Vancouver Public Library has a wide range of graphic novels in its collection these days, well worth a gander at the downtown shelves.

For soccer fans, David Beckham's Soccer Skills has practical tips, though it's a bit overloaded with snaps of Becks.

No such problem exists in Jeff Rud's more interesting biography, Steve Nash: The Making of an MVP. My two 15-year-old test readers, Corey and Bradley, loved it, especially the description of Nash's early life.

Also, I highly recommend Keeper, by Mal Peet. It's a rich, poetic novel about a World Cup-winning South American goalkeeper telling his life story to a journalist.

For teen readers looking for edgy, thoughtful stories, Deborah Ellis's Jakeman tackles families and prison via a superhero called Jakeman the Barbed-Wire Boy. Ellis is a Toronto writer who uses serious themes to connect her young readers with the world beyond Canada's borders.

Finally, Vancouver's Raincoast Books distributes quirky general-knowledge books intriguing to boys of every age. If you keep on hand Everything You Need to Know About the World, by Simon Eliot, or 101 Things You Need to Know and Some You Don't, by Richard Horne and Tracey Turner, you'll be able to interrupt sibling disputes with distractions like, "Hey, let's find out why we don't fall off the Earth." It's better for teeth and waistlines than "Let's go out for ice cream."

Anakana Schofield will be spending her summer with Honore de Balzac, while seven-year-old Cuan will be plowing through Geronimo Stilton and Harry Potter in French.

© The Vancouver Sun 2007

Automatic book- making machine a ‘ revolution’ in publishing

Once technology is in place, ‘ there’s no going back’, says one independent publisher


NEW YORK — Beginning July 2, the New York Public Library will operate a 750 kilogram, Internet- connected bookmaking gizmo that can deliver a 200page paperback in six to eight minutes — although mine took 12.

Through the Web, the “ Espresso Book Machine,” from New York- based On Demand Books LLC, has access to 200,000 titles in the public domain — that is, books that aren’t protected by copyright.

On Demand is trying to secure arrangements with publishers so its 2.5metre- long machines can eventually print and sell virtually any book published.

“ It’s kind of a funny- looking revolution,” co- founder Dane Neller said at the NYPL’s Science, Industry and Business Library, where the machine will be displayed. “ But it is a revolution.”

Neller’s partner, Jason Epstein, publishing entrepreneur and former editorial director of Random House books, said he started thinking about a company to deploy an automatic book machine after lecturing at the library about his career and the Web’s potential for distributing books.

After the lectures, Epstein found that a man named Jeff Marsh was already developing the technology, so they joined forces, and Neller signed on with the company in 2005. Early versions of their book machine are at the World Bank in Washington and the Bibliothecca Alexandrina in Egypt.

This year, they’re leasing one to a bookstore in Manchester, Va., and selling one to a campus bookstore at the University of Alberta.

“ We are in discussions with a large printing company,” Neller said. Neller added later they’re also talking about linking with an equipment manufacturer, in order to turbocharge their printing process. Currently it prints 20 doublesided sheets of paper a minute, or 40 pages.

The machine comprises an offtheshelf blackandwhite laser printer to create the book’s pages and a color printer for the cover. On Demand has pate n t s o n t h e technology that a u to m a te t h e process. Version 2.0, planned for next year, will be smaller than the current setup.

To flourish, On Demand needs cooperation from publishers. Some are wary they’ll lose control of their business, Neller said. But he and Epstein claim that decentralized printing will enhance book sales and human knowledge. Some publishers are game. “ For us, it’s a tremendous opportunity,” said James Atlas of independent publisher Atlas Books, who was at the library. “ Once the technology is invented, there’s no going back.”

The New York Public Library will give away the books its Espresso Book Machine prints. To avoid the inevitable gridlock as visitors decide among 200,000 books, it’s limiting titles to 20.

They include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Moby Dick and A Christmas Carol and Epstein’s Book Business.

Following the press conference, I requested Book Business. Though several other books had already come out fine, the technology proved to be imperfect. After about 12 minutes, my copy of the 187- page memoir and treatise came out legible and tightly bound — but with a mangled cover.

No matter. Neller and Epstein are betting that you can’t judge a book — or its potential to disrupt a business — by its cover.

New ALA advocacy Web site targets public audience

CHICAGO- The American Library Association (ALA) is launching its new public advocacy Web site,, at the start of the ALA 2007 Annual Conference, June 21-27, 2007.

The Web site strives to increase the visibility of today's library, as well as about the issues facing libraries in communities throughout the country."The idea behind is simple."

said 2006-2007 ALA President Leslie Burger, who made the Web site one of the top initiatives of her presidential year. "We want to reach out to people who use and love libraries and offer them a chance to get involved in the health and vitality of America's libraries."

The site will contain a variety of features designed to attract - and hold the attention of -- library lovers of all kinds: reviews of new and award-winning books , fast-breaking library news, library spotlights, a "find a library" feature, blogs and newsfeeds, as well as library related links on YouTube and flickr. Interactive software will allow users to share their library stories, connect with other library lovers, and contact Congress about library issues.

"We are excited to launch a Web site that will appeal to the ultimate advocate for libraries: the general public. will provide the information necessary to help library lovers make the case for libraries of all types, at the local, state and national levels," says Keith Michael Fiels, ALA Executive Director.

"We know that we need to be reaching out to the millions of people that care deeply about libraries, and want to help. The site we're rolling out at conference is a big step for ALA, but it's just the beginning. As the site moves forward, we are looking to our membership and the community at large to contribute stories, examples and ideas to help strengthen and grow this valuable tool."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Youngest volunteer sets the standard

By Jennifer FeinbergThe
Jun 22 2007

Becoming a devoted bibliophile at a tender age has its advantages.

Five-year-old Abbe DeBruyn became the youngest recipient ever to receive a City of Chilliwack Heartfelt Volunteer award this month.

“The standard she has set at such a young age is amazing,” said Mayor Clint Hames at the council meeting Monday night.

Since the age of three, Abbe has shown dedication beyond her years by working diligently in the Promontory Heights elementary school library for an hour and a half every Monday, Hames told the crowd in council chambers.

Abbe has been helping Promontory Heights teacher/librarian Ms. Wandl with scanning and checking in returned books.

“She has an excellent work ethic,” Mayor Hames said.

Councillor Dorothy Kostrzewa, who is on the Heartfelt Volunteer committee, was impressed by Abbe’s commitment to the school library, especially for her age.

“We’ve awarded teens in the past but never before in our history has the award gone to someone so young,” she said. “Abbe is a terrific bookworm and loves going into the library.”

The young book-lover recently asked for the extra responsibility of collecting books from several of the primary classes. She can already distinguish between fiction and non-fiction, and readers from novels.

“It warms my heart to know that more and more young people are volunteering,” she said.

Abbe was recognized by Mayor Hames with a Heartfelt Volunteer award certificate and pin.


The ReadNow BC strategic initiative will help attain the provinces literacy goals. With a focus on reading during all of life's stages there are four key components for preschool children and for reading success for school students, adults and Aboriginal people. There are brief descriptions that can be used when describing the initiative.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mr. G. retires but his teaching is destined to continue

Jeff Bell
Times Colonist
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Alan Govender is retiring after 34 years in Victoria classrooms, but his teaching career seems destined to continue.

Govender, affectionately known as Mr. G. at Sir James Douglas Elementary School, is considering a return to his native South Africa to join his brother at a school for children orphaned by AIDS. The disease is decimating young adults in the country, he said.

Govender, 60, came to Canada as a refugee in 1973 and knows the stark contrast between life here and life in his rural hometown about 200 kilometres from Johannesburg. The school he attended there has changed little, he said.

"It's mud and tin, with outhouses and 50, 60, 80 kids in a classroom."

He said he has always told his students about his life in South Africa, and has made sure they realize how fortunate they are to live in Canada. The laws have changed in South Africa, he said, but racism still exists.

"I tell my kids You have no idea how lucky you are. Don't ever throw half an apple into the garbage can. I will scream, because that's food.'"

He is drawn to go back and do what he can do to help, he said.

"When you enjoy this, and you see what's there where you come from, it hurts you. You feel for those kids, and you feel guilty. Why should my son have been privileged to have the opulence of Canadian society?"

Such are the lessons he has imparted to his students over the years, first at Blanshard Elementary, then at Cloverdale, and finally at Sir James Douglas. Many of them, past and present, gathered in the Sir James Douglas library Wednesday to tell Mr. G. the special impression he made on them, and how much they admire him.

"You're one of the coolest teachers in the world, and one of the funniest," said Shanelle Demelo, now a Grade 6 student at Colquitz Middle School. Like many others, she said she was actually afraid of the outwardly gruff, straight-talking Mr. G. until she had him as a teacher.

Friends Dayna Clark, Carina Bogoler and Camille Roos-McElroy, all in Grade 6 at Central Middle School, said they cried as Grade 1 students when the older kids teased them by saying how mean Mr. G. was. A few years later, he became one of the best teachers they've had.

Even Rachel Diamond and Mandy Popescu love him, though they spent many recesses writing lines - Mr. G.'s favourite means of discipline.

"He was the best," Popescu said.

Mr. G. himself claims to be feisty, even grumpy, but his students know better. The word "softie" is often used.

Sir James Douglas teacher-librarian Susan Harrison said her colleague has "quite a bark," but is definitely one of those special teachers who students will remember all their lives.

"They love him. He speaks to them like a sergeant-major, but he's all heart."

Greater Victoria School Board trustee Michael McEvoy stopped by the event to pay his respects.

"There's nothing that happened at this school that didn't involve Mr. G. He symbolizes everything a great teacher should be, he's a remarkable man."

Mr. G. said he simply tried to share his feelings and experiences with his young charges when he was teaching.

"I felt that was more important than learning from books. When you tell children that this is who you are, they become more personal with you, they become more involved with their learning, and they become more appreciative of what is around them.

"I'll be sad to leave. I'll miss them."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

SJSU and Second Life

This YouTube three minute video explains the way that the San Jose School of Library and Information Science is integrating Second Life and other immersive environments into its graduate teaching and research program:

Trained tour guides await your visit.

This news story, in a national professional journal with 30,000 subscribers, describes our first programs and projects:

San Jose SLIS Embraces Second Life

Library Journal - New York,NY,USABy Lynn Blumenstein & Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 6/15/2007 The School of Library & Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University, CA, ...

Our grand opening last month was a wonderful success attracting students and faculty from around the world.
Dr. Ken Haycock, Professor and Director
School of Library and Information Science
San Jose State University
408.924.7039; fax: 408.924.2476

Monday, June 18, 2007

AMLA Conference Names 'Six Core Principles' of Media Literacy

SLJ Staff -- School Library Journal, 6/18/2007 12:45:00 PM

Educators need to take their focus off the dangers or poor quality of the new media—and instead zero-in on how their students perceive and assess those media, according to 6 "Core Principles" being presented at this upcoming weekend’s annual National Media Education Conference in St. Louis.Sponsoring the conference, "iPODs, Blogs and Beyond: Evolving Media Literacy for the 21st Century" is the Alliance for a Media Literate America ( AMLA), a 1,000-member nonprofit organization. It’s expected that about 300K-12 librarians, teachers, technology specialists, administrators, and youth leaders will attend the June 22-24 event.

"Media Literacy Education is not sharing a critique of media without also sharing skills so students can critically analyze media for themselves," states AMLA’s first Core Principle, which concerns the development of active inquiry and critical thinking about the messages we receive.

"Media Literacy Education is not using media literacy videos, films, books or other curriculum materials as a substitute for teaching critical inquiry skills," the first core principle continues.

A second core principle regards expanding the media literacy concept to include all forms of media (rather than just presenting the concept as a political movement or educational discipline). Media literacy education also should reinforces skills for learners of all ages, rather than worry about "inoculating people against presumed or actual harmful media effects," the core principles.

"Someplace we have to deal with the world that kids actually live in and that’s a media-saturated world," AMLA founding president and current board member Faith Rogow told SLJ. "So the question is, what do you do? In the past many people who use the label ‘media literacy’ have believed that what that meant was ‘we teach students about the harmful effects of media or we teach how bad media are.’

"And the shift we’re talking about here is ‘this is about an educational process. It’s not about media. It’s about how we think in a media-saturated world.’"

As an example, Rogow said that instead of planning a lesson on the dangers of MySpace, a teacher or media specialist should guide children in assessing the pros and cons of social networking sites themselves. "It’s not about us lecturing at them," Rogow said. "It’s about us providing the skills to navigate the world they already live in."

A key part of the conference will be the development of an action plan for the 12 Core Principles. Some 75 workshops, panels and peer-networking opportunities in all are planned for the conference.

Also scheduled is a media literacy education research summit, where researchers will identify new techniques and practices, toward generating a research agenda. Further, a "crash course" for staying current with the evolving media landscape will be featured. MIT’s video game researcher Henry Jenkins will keynote, along with pop culture author Douglas Rushkoff.