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It's becoming ever more critical day by day; today marks the beginning of Choose Privacy Week (School Library Journal).
“The point of Choose Privacy is to spark a nationwide dialogue of what privacy means to us, and what the privacy laws are today in the digital space,” says Angela Maycock, assistant director for ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
For children, protecting those rights is even more critical as young students often aren’t sophisticated enough to grasp what is appropriate behavior on the Web. School librarians can play a crucial role in helping to steer children towards tools they can use to protect themselves, say experts.
“Certainly we know young people are intuitively and naturally interested in social networking and other tools online,” says Maycock. “And so school librarians play a really important and critical part in this effort as they’re a starting gate in learning how to access information, and do it responsibly and safely.”
Yet how school librarians approach these lessons can vary, especially depending on a student’s age. A kindergartener may have a different understanding of cookies than a junior in high school and so teaching tools often need to start with very rudimentary examples and behavior models.
HULL, MA - Calliope Pina Parker is a sixth-grader who reads as many as 10 books a week and favors Harry Potter. She dresses as Potter characters for Halloween, plays Potter trivia with friends, and regularly revisits the series - all seven books and 4,167 pages.
Calliope is also an avid user of libraries, borrowing from across the region and frequenting branches throughout the South Shore on her way to and from school, ballet, and karate practice. So it came as a particular blow when budget cuts in Hull not only sheared the local library’s funding and hours but also cost the town its state certification last month.
“Now people from Hull can’t go to any other library,’’ said Calliope, whose card is no longer welcome at many other certified libraries.
Wanting to do something about it, the 11-year-old organized an all-day reading of the J.K. Rowling book that started it all, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.’’ Yesterday’s readathon and bake sale, with wizardly cupcakes and “magic wand’’ frosted pretzel rods, raised awareness about the library’s circumstances and collected money for the nonprofit Friends of the Hull Public Library.
Library site a hot new social media hangout for teens
"Our goal is to draw students in so that they're comfortable hanging out in the library, and then get them to engage with the workshops and technology in the space," Neal said. "We're seeing more and more students who were hanging out, participating in workshops and on the social network. It's been great to see their interests develop."
Students enrolled in workshops may check out digital still cameras or Flip high-definition video cameras for a week at a time to work on special projects.
Blogger Sarah N. Fisk, an author of young adult novels, questions the Orlando Public Library's policy on keeping adults out of the YA section of the library.
She wrote a letter to the library expressing her unhappiness with the policy, and received this response in return.
What are your thoughts and what is your library's policy on this issue?
I've spent a good part of the last day at the first annual Bookmark Collector's Virtual Convention BMCVC, where one of the presenters was Jen Funk Weber, who has created a program called Needle and ThREAD, Stitching for Literacy.
-a two-sided bookmark based on the old chicken/frog joke-
From her website: "In an effort to promote both literacy and needlework, Funk & Weber Designs is designing bookmarks. A minimum of 10% of profits from sales of Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy bookmark patterns will be donated to libraries, schools, and/or literacy programs." Sounds like a wonderful program to be shared in libraries.
Check out her Bookmark Challenge Kit.
A citizen of the Fond du Lac School District has added more books to a list she wants banned from the schools.
The school district has scheduled a reconsideration hearing for 6:30 p.m. today at Fond du Lac High School to hear public comment on Ann Wentworth's request to have the book "One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies" by Sonya Sones taken off the shelves of Fond du Lac school libraries.
The popular young adult book is being challenged by Wentworth as inappropriate for students of middle school age. In addition, Wentworth is asking the district to review the following six library books at Theisen Middle School:
# "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares.
# "The Second Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Girls in Pants "The Third Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Get Well Soon" by Julie Halpern.
# "What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya Sones.
Several interested persons have signed up to speak at Thursday's hearing. The district reconsideration committee will be asked to begin scheduling dates to review the other six books in question. Each book will be considered individually, according to the Fond du Lac School District.
Fond du Lac Reporter has the story.
After a Room for Debate discussion last week, “Do School Libraries Need Books?” the comments from readers included some first-hand views from students. This follow-up column includes excerpts of their observations on how studying has changed, how they use libraries (if at all) and how to use the space differently.
Here's one, from Ari, "Get Me Away From the Screen":
I am an 18 year-old student and I definitely spend large amounts of time on my computer. I don’t watch a ton of TV, but I’ll freely plead guilty to charges of texting, IMing, facebooking and reading the newspaper online (hello, NYTimes.com!). However, at the end of the day, I always pick up my flashlight and book and read for a few minutes before falling asleep. Reading remains one of the few activities that gives me a real break from being in front of a screen, be it computer or TV or iPod or cell phone or camera or … the list goes on. If my best source of novels or textbooks or required reading was routed through an electronic device, my entire life would literally be spent in front of a screen! Is that really what we as a nation want to have happen?
Student commentary from the New York Times.
NYTimes VAIL, Ariz. — Students endure hundreds of hours on yellow buses each year getting to and from school in this desert exurb of Tucson, and stir-crazy teenagers break the monotony by teasing, texting, flirting, shouting, climbing (over seats) and sometimes punching (seats or seatmates).
On buses equipped with Wi-Fi in Vail, Ariz., officials say more homework is getting done, and there's less rowdy behavior. Armando Lagunas finds the bus a place for quiet pursuits, even when he isn't online.
But on this chilly morning, as bus No. 92 rolls down a mountain highway just before dawn, high school students are quiet, typing on laptops. Morning routines have been like this since the fall, when school officials mounted a mobile Internet router to bus No. 92’s sheet-metal frame, enabling students to surf the Web. The students call it the Internet Bus, and what began as a high-tech experiment has had an old-fashioned — and unexpected — result. Wi-Fi access has transformed what was often a boisterous bus ride into a rolling study hall, and behavioral problems have virtually disappeared.
Up Next: Wi-fi access from the bookmobile?
What do inner-city teens want and need in a public library? Boston.com's Lawrence Harmon talks about how teens are using the new Mattapan Branch Library and how he thinks they will remember it when they look back at their childhood.
Not a single teen at the Mattapan library so much as touched a book on the shelves during a recent hour-long visit. Granted it’s the digital age, and several kids were using the computers constructively for homework projects. But there is still something off here: a city builds a $16 million library, designs it in such a brilliant way that kids come streaming through the door, yet can’t staff it adequately to introduce the young people to the full range of library materials.
Less is known in the world of library science about how best to serve teenagers than adults or young children. The teens in Mattapan appeared happy just to spend unstructured time with friends in the comfortable, well-lit space. But how does that experience differ from a clubhouse or community center? Teen librarians make the difference, provided they have adequate time to do their jobs.
The library, a $16.7 million modern building with an airy mixture of wood, glass, and attention-grabbing color, opened last year, despite a budget crisis that has imperiled many city projects, programs, and services.
Interesting discussion in The Scotsman about how today's children are no longer reading classic novels such as Wind in the Willows, Moby Dick and Oliver Twist. The bestseller lists are dominated by Harry Potter, The Twilight Series and other recent titles.
"Sometimes it can be a little daunting to be given a 600-page classic and told it is a classic if you are a young kid, so maybe it's about how you present books and talk about them."
To get hung up on whether children are reading "the classics", though, is to miss the point, says Ali Bowden, director of Edinburgh's Unesco City of Literature Trust .
"I think the most important thing is that kids read, rather than being overly prescriptive on what they read. "I think the classic novels are still being taught in schools and I suspect most kids are being given contemporary books rather than classics at home. A lot of kids are reading a whole range of books, including classics.
"Nurturing a passion for reading is really important, rather than giving kids a really strict book list."