Johnson, Doug(las A.) 1952-

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JOHNSON, Doug(las A.) 1952-


Born July 29, 1952, in Sac City, IA; son of Darrell (a crop duster and farmer) and Joan (a carpenter and homemaker; maiden name, Gotsch) Johnson; married Anne M. Hanson (a library media specialist), February 14, 2002; children: Carrie Ann Johnson Roberts, Brady Allan. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Northern Colorado, B.A., 1976; University of Iowa, M.A., 1979.


Home—46813 Cape Horn Rd., Cleveland, MN 56017. Office—Mankato Area Public Schools, 1351 South Riverfront Dr., Mankato, MN 56002-8713. E-mail—[email protected].


Stuart-Menlo Schools, Stuart, IA, English teacher, 1976-78; West Branch Schools, West Branch, IA, English teacher and librarian, 1979-84; Aramco Schools, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, library media specialist, 1984-89; St. Peter Schools, St. Peter, MN, library media specialist, 1989-91; Mankato Area Public Schools, Mankato, MN, director of media and technology, 1991—. Minnesota State University—Mankato, adjunct faculty member. Mankato Downtown Kiwanis, member.


International Society for Technology in Education, American Association of School Librarians, Minnesota Educational Media Organization.


The Indispensable Librarian: Surviving (and Thriving) in School Media Centers in the Information Age, Linworth Publishing (Worthington, OH), 1997.

The Indispensable Teacher's Guide to Computer Skills, Linworth Publishing (Worthington, OH), 2002.

Teaching Right from Wrong in the Digital Age, Linworth Publishing (Worthington, OH), 2003.

Author of "Head for the Edge," a column in Library Media Connection.


Revising The Indispensable Librarian: Surviving (and Thriving) in School Media Centers in the Information Age.


Doug Johnson told CA: "Why do I write for publication? Well, of course I write for the big bucks, huge prestige, and pure adulation of millions of fans. While the limousines, champagne on first-class flights, and attractive strangers constantly opening their bank accounts and boudoirs to me gets tiresome, having my own line of fashion apparel saves me from having to shop for clothes. Oh, sorry, I got lost in fantasy for a moment.

"I write for publication because I have to write anyway. Much of what I write about comes from dealing with challenges at my day job as media and technology director for Mankato Public Schools. As a part of making an effective media program work, tools need to be developed, policies written, programs planned, and philosophies clarified. Things seem to run better in my district when they are written down in black and white. Problems, new projects, and good questions from students, staff, and the public all require that I write about them, even if it is only to help me clarify my own thinking. I also figure that, if I am struggling with an issue, others may be as well.

"Writing keeps me current. There is no incentive like knowing others will be reading what one has written to force one to stay current on technologies and trends in education. I like reading futurists, and it's a real challenge to try to figure out the implications of their predictions for my school and profession. While I was never much for doing 'research' in high school or college, using information to find solutions to problems is actually interesting. I still detest having to write footnotes, however.

"Writing helps me keep my day job (I think). I mess up on my job a lot. Anyone who really tries out new methods of teaching and working should be expected to fail on a regular basis. (If you don't, you are probably not reaching far enough.) So every now and then, it is nice to be able to slip an article or column to the superintendent, board member, or even my own staff. I hope they think, 'Gee, others think this guy has some credibility. Maybe he isn't as crazy as I think he is.'

"Publishing returns the favor to others from whom I have borrowed. I have learned so much from the people I consider to be the real experts in media and technology. A partial list includes Loertscher, Eisenberg, Simpson, Berger, Batton, Haycock, Donham, Jukes, McKenzie, and a whole raft more. And it isn't just the big dogs who help me. I steal my best ideas from practicing media specialists and technologists who speak at conferences, write for journals, and contribute to LM_Net. I am a great believer in the 'stone soup' mentality. When everyone contributes to the pot, the soup is richer for it.

"I write knowing that I've helped someone. It's the rare conference or week of e-mails when I don't get a thank-you from a media specialist or technologist to tell me they have been able to somehow use what I've written. Whether it is a tool that someone has found effective, the description of a plan that someone has gotten to work in his or her district, or a column that persuaded a local decision-maker, wonderful people come forward to say thank you. It makes all the sunny mornings I spend writing instead of playing worth it. Thanks back to you.

"I write because I'm on a mission from God. Heaven knows that nobody goes into education (or writes for it) to make money. As educators, our satisfaction comes from actually believing we are doing something that will make the world a more humane place in which to live. The ultimate goal of professional writing is to improve professional practice that in turn improves the lives of kids. I not only encourage, but I expect all members of our profession to write for publication. While it may never improve your bank account, you'll get jewels in your crown for lighting those lamps against darkness and hell. And please, toss in a little humor and poetry when you do."

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Johnson, Doug(las A.) 1952-

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