School Library Journal

 

Publication analysis


About the publication

Title: School Library Journal (SLJ)

Website: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com

Purpose, objective, or mission: Per their website, “School Library Journal aspires to be an accelerator for innovation in schools and public libraries that serve the information, literacy, and technology needs of 21st century children and young adults. SJL provides resources, services, and reviews that make library and education professionals savvier, and communities stronger.”1

Target audience: Librarians that work with students in K-12 schools as well as those in public libraries.2

Publisher: Media Source, Inc.3

Peer reviewed? No.4

Type: Professional.5

Medium: Print and online.6

Content: Claims to be one of the most authoritative reviewers of children’s and young adult materials. It mainly focuses on books, but also includes reviews on audio and video items. The journal also contains columns, news, and feature articles.7

Frequency of publication: Monthly.8

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines: http://www.slj.com/about-us/content-submissions/

Types of contributions accepted: Items of interest to librarians and educators who work with children: feature articles, news articles, and specialty columns.9 Articles from the last few years include topics such as tidiness vs. a messy library, a high-tech twist on a treasure hunt called “geocaching,” bloggers, Wii, YouTube, censorship, racy reads, Web 2.0, and the joys and pitfalls of sharing literature orally.10

Submission and review process: Send article proposals (400 words or less) to the editor before submitting any complete articles. Feature articles are generally less than 2,500 words, while opinion pieces are around 600-700 words. News articles can vary in length, depending on the topic. Please include your name, location, and affiliation on your submission.11

Editorial tone: Informative, but not academic.12

Style guide used: None indicated.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

This is a successful and popular publication that, while they encourage submissions, may be difficult to break into as a writer. A review of the publication with attention to the authors published in their pages will give a writer a better idea if this is a good match for them.

 

Audience analysis


About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: School Library Journal has a circulation of 24,000 in the print edition, and slj.com reaches over 95,000 subscribers.13

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The media kit does not give a specific breakdown on the nationality of the readers. The history of the journal reveals that it is entirely geared toward schools in the United States and Canada.14 Most of the readers of this journal would be those who work with youth in libraries in the United States, so there should not be any problems with cultural references, LIS jargon, or terminology particular to education.15

Reader characteristics: Readers of this journal would be those who work with K-12 students, either in the schools or the public library. They have a shared interest in promoting literacy and welcome resources that inspire student achievement.16

Bias is evident in articles regarding intellectual freedom, censoring, and filtering. For the most part these articles paint these issues as being negative aspects within school libraries. Attitudes towards other subject matter is generally positive, with overtones of cooperation and a willingness to make school libraries a integral part of the learning community.17

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Readers of this journal would not be limited to those with teaching credentials or MLS degrees. Some may be library media technicians who may not have an advanced degree, but would have enough education or professional training in order to understand the subject matter.18

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Readers of School Library Journal have a common interest in children’€™s literature and issues regarding school libraries. Many of the readers are library technicians, so some articles are geared toward encouraging collaboration with teachers and librarians. Authors should recognize that there is an education gap as well as a wage gap between the professionals and the paraprofessionals and should refrain from using an excess of technical terms in their articles. Readers of SLJ maintain a great interest in information literacy and how this can be integrated into the curriculum, as well as increasing the technology available to the students. Introducing ideas that are on the cutting edge of technology yet are not restricted by financial or time constraints would be a way of effectively reaching the intended audience.

Last updated: May 14, 2016


References

Show 18 footnotes

  1. School Library Journal. (2016). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/about-us/
  2. School Library Journal. (2016). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/about-us/
  3. SerialsSolutions. (2016). School Library Journal. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1406849317591/52981
  4. SerialsSolutions. (2016). School Library Journal. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1406849317591/52981
  5. SerialsSolutions. (2016). School Library Journal. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1406849317591/52981
  6. SerialsSolutions. (2016). School Library Journal. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1406849317591/52981
  7. School Library Journal. (2016). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/about-us/
  8. SerialsSolutions. (2016). School Library Journal. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1406849317591/52981
  9. School Library Journal. (2016). Content Submissions. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/about-us/content-submissions/
  10. School Library Journal. (2016). School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/#_
  11. School Library Journal. (2016). Content Submissions. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/about-us/content-submissions/
  12. School Library Journal. (2016). Content Submissions. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/about-us/content-submissions/
  13. School Library Journal. (2016). School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/#_
  14. School Library Journal. (2016). School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/#_
  15. School Library Journal. (2016). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/about-us/
  16. School Library Journal. (2016). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/about-us/
  17. School Library Journal. (2016). School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/#_
  18. School Library Journal. (2016). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/about-us/
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