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Remembering W.S. Merwin

The world lost a renowned poet the other day, on March 15th. W.S. Merwin died at the age of 91.

In 1971 and again in 2009, Merwin won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2005, and the Tanning Prize, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Academy of American Poets, and the Golden Wreath of the Struga Poetry Evenings. He was also named the 17th United States Poet Laureate by the Library of congress in 2010.

Click here for a remembrance of his life by Poetry Foundation, and to read some of his poetry.


Click here for the latest Brain Pickings by Maria Popova for the article titled: “Astrophysicist and Author Janna Levin Reads “Berryman” by W.S. Merwin: Some of the Finest and Most Soul-Salving Advice on How to Stay Sane as an Artist”


PBS STEAM Education Webinar Series

PBS is offering a series of three webinars designed to inspire young scientists through STEAM education. PBS will provide a certificate of attendance for each one-hour virtual learning event.

Part One | Helping Students Interpret Data

March 19 @ 7PM ET

Data, data, data. Data is everywhere! How do we teach students to interpret data? To care about data? About all the cool things that can be done because of data? Look no further. Join us in this LIVE conversation with NASA experts to explore how they brought visualizations of the Earth to the palm of your hands all using, you guessed it, DATA!

Register Now

Part Two | Teaching Computational Thinking

March 26 @ 7PM ET

Join in on a live conversation with Josh Caldwell from Code.Org! Josh, a former classroom teacher, is the author of “Creative Coding” and the curriculum lead at Code.Org. This one-hour live learning event will dive into the ways in which you can help students think about computational thinking in artful, creative, digestible and fun ways!

Register Now

Part Three | Exploring Models Inspired by Nature

April 2 @ 7PM ET

There are so many innovations and models we use in our day-to-day life that are inspired by nature. How do you incorporate these concepts into your classroom? And how do you get students excited to learn more about it? In this last of our three-part “Inspiring Young Scientists” series, world renowned anatomist, Dr. Joy Reidenberg, and Megan Schuknecht, from the Biomimicry Institute, will join us to present ideas about the science within nature!

Register Now

Reading Fiction Makes You a Better Person

Ok, ok. It makes you a slightly better person. A study done by Rochester’s own David Dodell-Feder (a University of Rochester psychologist), that shows that reading fiction slightly boosts your emotional intelligence. Here are a few articles that came out recently about this study:

New Study: Reading Fiction Really Will Make You Nicer and More Empathetic

Want More Emotional Intelligence in 2019? Do More of This 1 Thing, According to 2 Clinical Psychologists

And you can request the original article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology General here: Fiction Reading Has a Small Positive Impact on Social Cognition: A Meta-Analysis

So, keep on doing the good work you’re doing getting kids to read more!


ALA’s American Libraries journal reported that the White House released its Fiscal Year 2020 federal budget proposal on March 11, and again it aims to eliminate funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In response, ALA is kicking off its #FundLibraries campaign.

Read the full article by Kathi Kromer here and see what you can do to take part in this important campaign.

Then go directly to the ALA Fund Libraries Campaign web page.

Digital Collections Accessible to Students

There are a number of digital archives around the world that are free and open to the public and therefore, available to students. This past November, the British Library digitized 800 medieval manuscripts. These are accessible at the British Library.

The Library of Congress has thousands of items that have been digitized and made available online to the public. It houses anything from Presidential letters to to Civil War Maps to notated sheet music, famous and not so famous photographs, newspapers, and legislation.

The World Digital Library is a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, carried out with support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world.

The WDL makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures including, Chinese rare books, Mozart’s original manuscript score of the Magic Flute, works by Galileo Galilei, primary documents from US history, and more!

The Library and Archives of Canada has archives and digital collections which include governmental records, immigration records, photographs and a collection on indigenous heritage.

The National Library of Australia has a few digital collections accessible from its home page. This includes Trove, a group of collections from hundreds of Australian cultural organizations.

The National Archives of Australia also has a number of digital collections available to view.

Trinity College in Dublin has also made the Book of Kells (a 9th-century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world) accessible in a digital format.

3 Weeks Left for Submissions for the 13th Annual Digies Digital Media Arts Festival

We are very excited for another year of celebrating student achievements in digital media arts. Submissions are open until April 1st and are online at If you need an account to submit on behalf of a student, please contact Brian Mayer at

As a reminder, the DIGIES is a FREE, digital arts festival that celebrates youth achievements in digital arts, media and production. Submissions are open to school age children and young adults, from Pre-Kindergarten until 12th grade and are accepted through schools, arts councils or public libraries.

If you are in a school district, please take a moment to share the attached materials with your arts and technology teachers as well as students who you know are doing work on their own.

Submissions are open to both school projects and personal work. If you have digital artists, photographers, musicians or content creators then this is a great way to recognize and celebrate the work they are doing.

Submissions do not need to have been created special for the Digies and anything made from April 2nd of last year until April 1st of this year are welcome. The Digies will be celebrated on the evening of May 16th.

ALA Leadership Institute Application Deadline Extended

The deadline to apply for the 2019 ALA Leadership Institute, “Leading to the Future,” has been extended until March 15.

The institute will take place August 5-8 at the Hilton Oak Brook/Chicago Conference Center and Resort in Oak Brook, IL and costs $1,650 per participant. This cost includes training, materials, lodging, breakfast and lunch on all four days, dinner on Wednesday, and a free one-year membership to the Library Leadership And Management Association (LLAMA).

Click here for information and a link to the application.

LOC Summer Teacher Institutes Deadline is Sunday

Immerse yourself in the practice of teaching with primary sources from the unparalleled collections of Library of Congress this summer at the Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute. Apply to attend a week-long professional development program for K-12 educators in the nation’s capital.

In 2019, the Library will offer three Institute weeks:

Open Sessions (any subject area): July 8-12; July 29-Aug 2
Science, Technology, and Engineering Focus: July 15-19

Yes, we know it’s short notice —  the application Deadline is Sunday, March 10, 2019!

Click here for information and application info.

March Madness Book Bracket

The school year is FLYING by and we are already in the beginning of March. Don’t worry though. There is still time to do your March Madness Book Bracket if you haven’t already set it up! The NCAA March Madness dates this year are March 19 – April 8 (Slightly overlapping National School Library Month).

If you’re not sure how to set up a book bracket, check this article out showing how one teacher chose the books, and made the board.