CDC: Teachers, Support Staff Recommended for Next Round of Vaccine | News Bites

The CDC recommends teachers and support staff get the coronavirus vaccine in the next round of distribution; the Black Caucus of ALA has put out its Best of the Best 2020 booklist; applications are being accepted for the Library of Congress Librarian in Residence program; and more in this edition of News Bites.

The CDC recommends teachers and support staff get the coronavirus vaccine in the next round of distribution; the Black Caucus of ALA has put out its Best of the Best 2020 booklist; applications are being accepted for the Library of Congress Librarian in Residence program; and more in this edition of News Bites.

Teachers included in next round of vaccines

Teachers, school support staff, and day care workers are included in the CDC advisory panel's recommendation for the next phase of coronavirus vaccination after front-line healthcare workers and those in long-term care facilities, who are beginning to receive the vaccine now. 

Education staff is part of the "frontline essential workers" group that also includes firefighters, police, and workers in food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections facilities, at the U.S. postal service, in public transportation and at grocery stores. That phase of vaccinations, 1b, could begin in February.

In the end, each state will make the decision about vaccination order as there is no federal program, only recommendations.

BCALA Best Books of 2020

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association has released its Best of the Best list for 2020 .

“Books that appear on this definitive list are written/illustrated by Black authors/artists with copyright dates of 2019- 2020. Through stories and informational text, these books celebrate the black experience and most importantly the black community,” the BCALA announcement said.

There are 50 books for PreKGrade 4 and 25 for middle school and YA. Here are the top five in each category:

PreK-Grade 4

1. A Girl Like Me by Angela Johnson

2. All Because You Matter by Tami Charles

3. Ana and Andrew: A Day at the Museum by Christine Platt

4. Another by Christian Robinson

5. Bedtime Bonnet by Nancy Redd

Middle School

1. A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Ramee

2. Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

3. Blended by Sharon Draper

4. Class Act by Jerry Craft

5. Clean Getaway by Nic Stone


1. A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell

2. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

3. All The Days Past, All The Days To Come by Mildred D. Taylor

4. Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, edited by Ibi Zoboi

5. Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown

OverDrive’s most read ebooks and audiobooks in 2020

OverDrive Education announced the most-read ebooks and audiobooks worldwide in 2020. Data is based on usage of ebooks and audiobooks from 38,000 schools in 71 countries.

OverDrive reported that nearly triple the number of digital books were borrowed and read on the Sora student reading app in 2020 than in 2019. Here are the top titles worldwide in K-12 and YA ebooks and audiobooks. (The data does not include titles in the free Sora Starter package.)

Ebooks from K-12 Schools

  1. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series by Jeff Kinney
  2. “Smile” series by Raina Telgemeir
  3. “Big Nate” series by Lincoln Peirce
  4. Forgotten Bones by Lois Miner Huey
  5. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Top digital audiobooks

  1. “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling
  2. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  4. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Top YA ebooks and audiobooks

  1. A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park
  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  5. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Connecticut becomes first state to require Black and Latinx studies course

Connecticut is the first state to require schools to include a Black and Latinx studies course. High schools must offer the class as an elective beginning in fall 2022. Students will not be required to take it.

Some districts in the state already had a course on the subject and even make it a graduation requirement. But this new legislation was lauded as an important step, and the push by student advocates was credited with helping to make it happen.

Lamont signed legislation in 2019 that created a requirement for boards of education to include an elective course in high schools “that provides students with a better understanding of the African-American, Black, Puerto Rican, and Latino contributions to United States history, society, economy, and culture.”

At a meeting in early December 2020, the state’s Board of Education unanimously voted to approve the State Education Resource Center (SERC) of Connecticut’s African American/Black and Puerto Rican/Latino course. The Connecticut Department of Education partnered with SERC to develop the curriculum, which uses the state’s social studies framework themes and inquiry-based approach.

A 150-member advisory group of educators, administrators, higher education professors and scholars, national researchers and historians, representatives from education and community organizations, and students and families worked to develop the curriculum, according to the governor’s office.

In addition, a “review panel” of 10 national and state experts “[reviewed] course deliverables as they were developed and provide critical feedback and resources.”

Details of the curriculum can be found at

Library of Congress taking applications for 2021 Librarians-in-Residence Program

The Library of Congress (LOC) has announced the 2021 Librarians-in-Residence program . As many as seven applicants will be selected for the six-month residency, which begins in June 2021 and gives early-career librarians the opportunity to receive on-the-job training and contribute to the LOC’s ongoing mission and work in at least one of the following areas:

  • Archives and special collections (new for 2021)
  • Cataloging and metadata
  • Collection preservation
  • Digital services
  • Reference and instruction

The program is open to students who will complete their master’s degrees in an American Library Associationaccredited library and information science program no later than June 2021 or who completed such a degree no earlier than December 2019. Applications are being accepted through January 22.

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