Category Archives: Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel

Please Consider Donating to Support a “Culturally Reflective” Elementary School Classroom Library

Hello Readers,

I’m writing with a very special request for you to support a campaign that is both personally meaningful to me and I think also reflective of the moral and pedagogical values of many of the folks who read this blog.

My wife Lyndsay is a fifth grade teacher at Citizens of the World Elementary School in East Hollywood, CA.  This year she has been working to create a “culture of reading” in her classroom (based on principles from educational psychologist Daniel Willingham’s excellent book on the subject) and is now reaching out to ask for support to fund a small classroom library reflective of the diverse community of learners in her classroom. Lyndsay has selected several books (her school does not have a school media specialist) that would be amazing additions to her permanent classroom library, and will make a huge impact on the lives of children who love to read. As such, she’s asking for financial support to build this library. Here’s more info in her own words:

Hello everyone!

I teach in a busy 5th grade classroom at a diverse by design public charter school in Los Angeles. The mission of my school, and my classroom, is to provide curiosity-driven learning while also teaching Social Emotional Learning, Social Justice, and bridging differences. A typical day will involve students bouncing on their yoga balls as they work in groups on a problem-based inquiry lesson sequence. When there’s conflict, students can be overheard using I-statements and taking the time and space they need for themselves in the peace corner until they’re able to come back focused to their work. Restorative Justice Circles and Morning Meeting facilitate a deep sense of community and understanding that no one individual is without the influence of the rest of the community. Together, we strive everyday to show up as our best selves and support each other along the way.

I’m trying to build my library to be more reflective of the diverse community that I serve. If you’re able, please donate to these really amazing kids.

For the next seven days, if you use the code LIFTOFF, your donation will be doubled (about to $50).

You all rock!

And here’s her description of the project in full:

“Culturally Reflective Library
My students need books that celebrate the diversity in our classroom!

My Students

Our classroom is built of diverse students that are capable of perspective-taking, listening to other people’s stories, and exploring the ways that we as citizens of the world have an obligation to reach out and help others.

My students don’t want to wait until they’re older to bridge differences, they do it now.

They are able to perspective-take and discuss the ways our culture shapes our perspective, including naming the varied aspects that go into constructing an Identity. My kids are invested in learning to work together by respecting what makes us each unique individuals and committed to making the world a new and more understanding world.

My Project

My classroom is comprised of a diverse group of kiddos and I want to make sure that all the books that are offered in the library are reflective of this diversity and are inclusive of all the type of people represented in my classroom community.

Literature is a wonderful way for these culturally aware kids to hear other’s stories as well as having their own stories affirmed.

Having a diverse offering of authors, characters, and situations better reflects the world we live in. Especially in these times where certain populations are being marginalized, I want to ensure that all of my students feel reflected by our classroom library and feel empowered to share their stories.”

If you click on the donation link, you can see the specific books your donation will fund, and where your money will go directly.  It would be amazing to me and to so many students if this project is able to receive full funding, so please, dear readers, consider reaching out to support this awesome cause. As Lyndsay mentions – or the next seven days, if you use the code LIFTOFF, your donation will be doubled – so even “small” donations can help put a book in a really deserving child’s hands.

Thank you so much for considering!



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Filed under Education, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, Uncategorized

Congrats, Dani!

Really nice article by UCR featuring Dani and Learner-Centered Pedagogy!

An excerpt:

“Most librarians who come out as credentialed MLSs don’t have a background in teaching, but when they come onto their job, a huge amount of their work is in teaching,” Cook explained. “We hope this book will help librarians who don’t necessarily have a background in education to put their students at the center of their work.”

Full article here.

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, Uncategorized

“Creative Types”

There’s no such thing as a creative type. As if creative people can just show up and make stuff up. As if it were that easy. I think people need to be reminded that creativity is a verb. A very time consuming verb. It’s about taking an idea in your head and transforming that idea into something real. And that’s always going to be a long and difficult process. If you’re doing it right, it’s going to feel like work

-Milton Glaser (via NITCH)

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Filed under Education, On Being Human, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, Quotes

“Learner-Centered Pedagogy” Recommended in American Libraries Magazine

We wanted to share something we’re quite excited by, that our book Learner-Centered Pedagogy was reviewed and recommended by Karen Muller in her “Librarian’s Library” column for American Libraries Magazine.

We’re particularly pleased that the review considers the book useful for school librarians in a K-12 educational setting: though we wrote it, in some sense, with academic librarians in mind (since we’re academic librarians), we do think that the book is applicable for all kinds of libraries, and transfers to any context where librarians are connecting with learners or other educators in some way.

Happily, the review agrees:

Learner-Centered Pedagogy: Principles and Practice, by Kevin Michael Klipfel and Dani Brecher Cook, is intended for academic librarians, but the concept of having empathy for the learner and what that person needs or wants to learn has broad applicability.

We promise we won’t share every review of the book, but we may share some so it’s not just us saying that we think the book is good!

Also exciting, I might add, is the column’s general focus on the importance of librarians as educational leaders.

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, On Being Human, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, Uncategorized

Project Management


In advance of the former heavyweight champion’s appearance Saturday night at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, where he will perform his one-man stage show, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” I asked Tyson if he remembered the origins of that quote.

“People were asking me [before a fight], ‘What’s going to happen?,’ ” Tyson said. “They were talking about his style. ‘He’s going to give you a lot of lateral movement. He’s going to move, he’s going to dance. He’s going to do this, do that.’ I said, “Everybody has a plan until they get hit. Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze.’ ”

What I like so much about the quote is that its application stretches far beyond boxing. It really has meaning in any area of life, whether the blow comes from a health issue, losing your job, making a bad investment, a traffic jam, whatever.

It’s how you react to that adversity that defines you, not the adversity itself.

“Exactly,” Tyson agreed. “If you’re good and your plan is working, somewhere during the duration of that, the outcome of that event you’re involved in, you’re going to get the wrath, the bad end of the stick. Let’s see how you deal with it. Normally people don’t deal with it that well.”

He laughed. There’s another way to spin his famous quote:

“How much can you endure, buddy?” he said. “Most talkers, they can’t handle it.”



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Filed under Education, On Being Human, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, Quotes, Uncategorized

The Information Behavior of Librarians: A Super-Scientific Study

Based on about four years of periodically checking this blog’s traffic, here’s my super scientific impression of the percent of people who click on various kinds of links when I link to something on this blog.

Pictures of me or Dani: 99.9%

Any anecdotal thing I’ve said about threshold concepts that I thought about for less than three seconds: 92.4%

Ryan Gosling memes: 72.3%

Links to personal websites of guest bloggers: 68%

Links to persons, places, or things I just insulted: 49.6%

Papers we’ve authored: 19.1 %

Articles I think are extremely important for people in our profession to read: <1%

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Filed under Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, The Library Game

Opposing Viewpoints

I don’t generally comment on what other people in the profession are writing or blogging about (ironically,  I suppose, I don’t read any library blogs), but on my esteemed co-blogger’s twitter I came across and enjoyed this post by Lane Wilkinson on “Dealing with Both Sides in Your Library.” I liked it not just because I tend to agree with its general sentiments :re folks with morally repugnant and intellectually indefensible positions, but also because I haven’t seen a ton of discussion (though I haven’t really looked) about how dumb it is to think that “pro” vs. “con” or “for” and “against” is at all an interesting or nuanced way to think about research, debate, or anything else that is not a sporting event.

This has come up in a variety of professional contexts for me (e.g., at one job I had I was against showing freshmen the “Opposing Viewpoints” database because, well, there’s just evidence for or against a particular claim, not “opposing viewpoints, which aversion was met by horror for some other librarians) and it’s nice to see someone explaining why it’s not all that great.

More controversially, perhaps: I really like the tone (at least in this post) Lane writes with, and am glad to have people who conduct themselves that way publicly in the profession.

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, The Library Game, Uncategorized