Author Archives: Joan Lange

Modeling Good Writing

In an NPR video series on Billy Collins, the poet laureate was asked how young poets could get started writing poetry. Billy Collins responded, “it’s such dull advice, there’s really no key to it, you just have to read, read … Continue reading

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Inspire Writing with Memorials

Memorials promote powerful, personal encounters with moments in history.  I recently created my own memorial to commemorate a time in which my newly married parents were separated during World War II. The assemblage of photos and letters documented the years 1942-1945, … Continue reading

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Curation and Curiosity

The librarian’s role as curator was the topic of a TxLA conference session by Joyce Valenza. For anyone who has attended one of Joyce’s high-energy presentations, you know that you leave with your brain whirling with new ideas. This session … Continue reading

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Magical Portals for Research

“A straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.” Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time Searching a special collections archive can at times feel as mind-boggling as finding the wrinkles that lead you to another time dimension. How … Continue reading

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Thinking Like Leonardo

In the “Should it be STEM or STEAM” debate, no one is a better poster child of how Science and Art complement each other than Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo’s journals are filled with close observations of nature and the human … Continue reading

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Launching an Idea Wall

This year, new school construction provided opportunities for our middle school library. A library office and workspace disappeared to create a hallway connecting the new lower school building to the middle school building. It felt like the old adage…”it’s not … Continue reading

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Books of Hope and Resilience

“Hope” is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.                                    … Continue reading

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Weaving Literature into Science: Novel Engineering

“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing.  I wove my webs for you because I liked you….By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can … Continue reading

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Take a Reading Field Trip

“History is more than war and politics; it is literature, the arts, engineering…above all, history is human.” This quote is a constant refrain in David McCullough’s recent book, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For, which is a … Continue reading

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Teaching Empathy with Primary Sources

“They never saw a child.” Ruby Bridges It was my first reading of The Watson’s Go to Birmingham–1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis, and I was fascinated by the book’s structure: most of the book is not about Civil Rights, but … Continue reading

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