If you’ve been following the rollout of the Common Core state standards, chances are you already know PW’s newest monthly columnists: Margaux DelGuidice and Rose Luna. Dubbed the “Dynamic Duo” by Library Journal—which honored the two librarians as 2013 Movers & Shakers, DelGuidice and Luna have been active members of ALA and frequent presenters on the Common Core.

In fact, PW first met them at the ALA Midwinter Meeting last January, at a packed session they hosted on the Common Core—and we knew immediately, they had the ability to help PW readers better understand the opportunities and challenges the Common Core presents. The article we did on their session (“For Libraries, the Common Core Presents Extraordinary Opportunity,” Feb. 5) remained in our top 10 most-read for five weeks. In their new roles as PW contributing editors, DelGuidice and Luna will write a monthly column—called “Cut to the Core”—as well as occasional posts to PW’s PWxyz blog and reports from the field.

Both DelGuidice and Luna are full-time teacher-librarians with experience in both school and public libraries. DelGuidice is a librarian at Garden City High School (N.Y.) and also works as a youth services librarian at the Freeport Memorial Library (N.Y.). Luna is a librarian at Freeport High School (N.Y.) and also works as a bilingual reference librarian at the Freeport Memorial Library (N.Y.), where she leads a Spanish-language book club.

They also have frontline experience and are plugged in to a wellspring of feedback and experience with Common Core. DelGuidice serves as a member of the ALA/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Task Force on the Common Core. Together, they’ve presented numerous times on the Common Core at national conferences, as well as at local and state library organization meetings and locally to parents, educators, and their professional colleagues. For those planning to attend, they will be presenting at the AASL 16th National Conference and Exhibition, being held November 14–17, 2013, in Hartford, Conn.

Together they have also written numerous articles on the Common Core State Standards and are coauthors of Make A Big Impact @ Your School Board Meeting (Linworth, 2012). DelGuidice is an adjunct professor of academic writing and research at St. Joseph’s College in N.Y.

What do we hope to achieve with our new column, ‘Cut to the Core’?

  • To showcase the vital role of school librarians as information experts, guides, valuable resources, and co-teachers who can help teachers implement the Common Core standards.

  • To offer a forum where we can begin to answer the tough questions that surround the Common Core standards, to separate the controversy from the true advantages and disadvantages for our students and their caretakers.

  • To hear stories from educators across the country—librarians, teachers, administrators—about how the Common Core is changing the way they teach and the atmosphere in their schools. This is crucial. We want to hear from educators in the trenches and those who are on the cusp of implementation. We want to share your experiences with others. How will the standards work in real classroom settings? What are the benefits? What tips can we share? What does not work? What needs to be fixed?

  • To help publishers and other educational companies understand the true meaning of the Common Core standards, and to help them understand the kind of quality materials needed for students and teachers—materials that are not just a reworking of old material with a new “Common Core Aligned” label.

The first “Cut to the Core” column will debut in August—and we look forward to hearing from you then. For now, we hope you enjoy your ALA experience in Chicago.

Common Core @ALA

Although we are not presenting at the national conference of the American Library Association this year, we will be there—and we want to hear from librarians in all sectors of the library field about their experiences with the Common Core.

And for those librarians and educators looking for more information on the standards, below are some programs that will feature the Common Core at this year’s national conference and have relevance for school, public, and academic librarians.

“COMMON sCOREs: Instructional Partnerships that Deliver Success.” This preconference will provide “strategies for demonstrating the school librarian’s central role in the academic program through practicing instructional partnerships to ensure success for k–12 students, teachers, administrators, librarians, and for the school librarian profession, too.” Sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians. Preconferences require an additional fee to attend. Friday, June 28, 8:30 a.m.

“What’s Hot in STEAM Education: How Using ECRR2 Supports Literacy, Common Core and School Success.” What is the latest research on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math)? Dr. Judy Cheatham, v-p of literacy services for Reading Is Fundamental, will discuss these issues, and a panel of librarians will share their real experiences with STEAM and ECRR’s curriculum. Sponsored by the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Services to Children. Saturday, June 29, 1 p.m.

“Celebrating Poetry Fridays & Common Core Curriculum Connections.” The new national Common Core standards include a poetry component—and this session will offer “guidelines, instructional strategies, and print and digital resources for sharing poetry with children (ages 5–12) weekly while incorporating these required skills in meaningful ways.” Sponsored by the Association for Library Services to Children. Sunday, June 30, 10 a.m.

“Collaborate 21: How Administrator/Teacher/Librarian/Technologist Collaborative Teams Can Integrate Common Core, AASL, State, and National Standards.” Meet a school team that is “successfully developing and delivering collaborative classroom instruction integrating 21st-century skills, AASL learning standards, and Common Core state standards.” Sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians. Sunday, June 30, 3 p.m.