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The League of Extraordinary Local Librarians

Group forms to coordinate the learning efforts of schools, institutions.

What do you get when you put 20 librarians in a room together?

There’s no punch line, just plenty of new ideas.

Librarians with , , , and both the and public libraries have combined to meet on all things librarian twice a year.

The group, called the Oak Park and River Forest Vertical Team, met last week for their third-ever meeting, this time at 's library, where the topics ranged from the potential of E-books for students to the implementation of a “Big 6” research method  — a learning strategy for students aimed at creating uniform research skills from elementary school through high school.

The idea for the librarian group is rooted in a recent school institute day, when some area librarians started chatting together.

“We found out it was so useful to talk to our peers,” said Kathy Rolfes, media specialist at Mann.

The decision to include the public libraries was also essential.

“Everybody had a relationship with the public library, but never all of us together,” Rolfes said. 

At the most recent meeting, librarians shared their views on E-books and reading from devices like the iPhone. Already, the Oak Park and River Forest public libraries are offering books and other media files to be “checked out” on digital devices.

“It’s super easy on the phone to read books,” said Amber Hooper, librarian at OPRF High School.

The librarians also talked about the possibility of picking one book to read for all grades of elementary through high school, dubbing it “One Book, One Community.”

A similar program is at , where all 475 students were given a copy of the same book to read.

The group agreed any selection would need broad appeal.

But there was also another issue: finding the money to purchase so many books. Some of the librarians suggested finding area sponsors. 

“What a cool way to start the school year with reading,” said Rolfes.

John Mulu December 20, 2011 at 01:13 PM
There have been some really cool shopping app recommendations over the past couple of days...I ended up downloading the 'Should I Buy It?' app someone recommended and it is awesome! I was shopping for shoes and was able to quickly share them with my friends to see what they thought of them. Here is the link again to download: http://bit.ly/sibifm33

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