A Farewell and a Welcome
As managing editor of School Library Monthly (SLM), I am making an atypical “appearance” on the SLM blog in order to say a fond farewell to Kristin Fontichiaro, the current SLM Blogger. While Kristin moves in new directions to continue her many contributions to the school library and education profession, I want to thank her for the enormous impact she has made over the past five years in building the SLM Blog. Kristin launched the blog in September 2007 and with her energy, creativity, and wide professional knowledge and reach, it has grown exponentially as an important resource for over 1,400 followers. Although Kristin has decided to pass the torch of the blog to someone else, she will remain a voice in the magazine through her regular SLM column, “Nudging toward Inquiry” and as a SLM Advisory Board member.
It is with this farewell announcement that Kristin and I would like to introduce and welcome the new SLM Blogger, Rebecca Morris, classroom teacher, school librarian and professor.
–Deb Levitov, Managing Editor, SLM
I’ve been mentally drafting this goodbye message since I first confessed to Deb in October that I needed to scale back and say goodbye to the SLM blog. Yet I’m still finding myself tongue-tied all these months later about what to say to all of you.
Has it really been five years? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we rejoiced about our fourteenth follower, and now we have over 1400? Times sure have changed in the five years since we launched this blog. It’s hard to remember that it was just five years ago that we were still using Information Power 2, nobody had a Kindle (and who would ever want one?), the iPad was still a figment of Apple’s imagination, and the Common Core State Standards were yet to be. Parent trigger laws sounded like something downright illegal, and netbooks were for fishermen. Who would have guessed that we’d still have No Child Left Behind … and yet who could have guessed that there would be NCLB waivers, too? Could we have predicted things like Race To The Top or the Mars rover? Web 2.0 tools have come and gone … and yet libraries are still here.
It’s been an eventful five years for me, too. (Not that I’m comparing myself to landing on Mars or anything.) When I started this blog, I was an elementary school librarian. I then added staff developer to my repertoire, then adjunct lecturer. Two years ago, I got the offer of a lifetime to join the University of Michigan School of Information as a full-time faculty member. To be on the faculty of such a vibrant, internationally-ranked learning and research institution has brought me so many opportunities to learn and grow — so many, in fact, that the time came last fall when I knew I needed to pare back. Like the trees we prune now so that they will flourish more later, it’s time for me to let this blog go. I have loved being SLM’s blogger — I just need to free up a bit more time in my life so I can follow new and emerging research paths. Never has the cross-section of K-12 education and libraries been so complex.
I’ll still be around in the print edition of SLM, and you can find me on Twitter (@activelearning) or on my personal web page and occasional blog (http://fontichiaro.com). I’ll look forward to continuing to learn and grow with you all in the future.
Calling this blog home for the past several years has been an enormous personal and professional gift. Rebecca is in for a real treat when she takes the helm in September, and I am confident that being SLM‘s next blogger will be as rewarding for her as it has been for me, thanks to all of you.
– Kristin Fontichiaro
Meet New SLM Blogger, Rebecca Morris
Hello, SLM Blog Readers! I am Rebecca Morris, and I’m honored and excited to take on the role of SLM Blogger, beginning in September 2012. I follow in the footsteps of Kristin Fontichiaro, whose list of SLM Blog categories reads like the index of a rich atlas of school librarianship and 21st century teaching and learning. Over the past five years of blogging in this space, Kristin has shared school library innovations, suggested new technology tools and relevant applications, and invited us to enter (virtually) into the doors of her classroom and the pages of her recent reads, and into thoughtful, purposeful conversations about our profession and Library 2.0.
As I begin my tenure as the SLM Blogger, advocacy will become a primary area of focus, which reflects the ongoing emphasis on and diversity of advocacy endeavors across the profession. As I tell my school library graduate students, advocacy and leadership must be integrated into every lesson, interaction, and image that they construct as school librarians, because they will shape what students, parents, administrators, and teachers will know to be a 21st century school librarian. I’m looking forward to the possibilities that this blog holds as a place for exchanging ideas, information, and discussion about what this “advocacy everywhere” idea looks like in practice and in research.
I’m looking forward to promoting the SLM Blog as a place to build bridges across topics of advocacy, education, and school librarianship, and perhaps to discover new ideas that we haven’t begun to think about yet. It may be the end of summer, and despite those back-to-school commercials that make me cringe a little, I do believe it’s a special thing to begin a new year in the school library, and in the same way, a special thing to begin fresh conversations here at the SLM Blog.