news iconBook Launch: October 27 - 30 AASL 15th National Conference & Exhibition in Minneapolis, MN


The authors all appeared at the Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. booth at AASL where they signed books for the newly released Teaching for Inquiry: Engaging the Learner Within.


Visit the publisher online at


Authors also made other presentations at the conference.


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Website banner and book cover designed by Marguerite Chadwick-Juner. All other images on this Web site are licensed, in the public domain, or owned by the authors.

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"The library is love." -- Young girl in NYC school

TOPIC: Getting to know your learners can be tricky.

Photo of Pam Berger Pam: Librarians need to be careful what and how much information they seek out about students because it can sometimes cause bias and false assumptions. For example, if finding a student has low standardized test scores, one might have lower expectations about what that student can learn in the library.


Photo of Ruth SmallRuth: As a school librarian I tried not to look at students' permanent record files unless I absolutely needed specific information about that student. It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you see that a child has a history of behavior problems, you might expect him to misbehave and then you many unconsciously set up a situation that causes him to misbehave .


Photo of Barbara Stripling Barbara: I have always found that getting to know the strengths and needs of individual students is one of the trickiest parts of being a librarian. I want to set high expectations but I also need to know the kinds of supports to offer each student so that he or she will be successful.

TOPIC: The library as a safe place.

Photo of Barbara Stripling Barbara: Students in large urban districts have to deal with safety issues on a daily basis. The library is often a "safe haven" for many students, frequently providing not only physical safety but also emotional safety.


Photo of Ruth SmallRuth: We learned about the importance of safety and security first-hand from students in some of the schools Marilyn and I visited to interview kids about their libraries. We spent time in a variety of libraries in both high needs, urban districts and affluent suburban districts. While we knew that research supports the notion that a child who feels safe is more likely to learn we hadn't really thought much about the school library in terms of personal safety and security until then.


Photo of Marilyn Arnone Marilyn: Yes, I remember one overweight sixth grade boy that we interviewed in an upscale suburban middle school. We suspected he had been the target of bullying when he told us that when he comes to the library, he feels safe because the librarian had created a learning environment that made all students feel secure and able to express their ideas. And we were deeply touched by a young girl in a New York Cilty school who, when asked how the library made her feel, said with a big smile and a self-hug, "The library is love." This is a powerful role for school libraries.