From SLJ: Joan Steiner, illustrator and creator of the "Look-Alikes" series (Little, Brown), died September 8 of cancer at her home in Claverack, NY.
Using everything from broccoli to razors to dominoes, Steiner painstakingly assembled three-dimensional collages that recreated everyday scenes such as a train station, city street, general store, park, and zoo. When asked to name the most unusual object used in her art, Steiner replied, "There is a hand grenade in the general store in the first book." The grenade became a potbelly stove in the scene.
Time magazine named "Look-Alikes" one of the best children's books, and it was one of the New York Times Book Review's Notable Children's Books of 1998. Steiner went on to create six other titles in the series, including Look-Alikes, Look-Alikes Jr., Look-Alikes Christmas, and Look-Alikes Around the World, which have sold more than a million copies worldwide and were translated into 16 languages.
Steiner served for many years as vice-president of New York's Claverack Free Library and as co-chair of its building committee. Steiner spent more than 10 years finding an affordable way to increase the size of the library and to expand its programs to better serve the community.
With varying degrees of success, area schools and libraries have begun making use of ebooks like the Nook and similar devices. The hand-held devices can compactly replace a whole stack of textbooks, lightening the load for students.
In today’s technology-driven age, where children have grown up in front of computers and video games, challenging them to read a book has become more difficult.
Marian Parker, librarian at Seneca Grade School decided to test electronic books with students last school year in a pilot program to see how they would respond to getting their reading from a hand-held device.
“Last year’s pilot program had 18 Kindles, which were used by seventh- and eighth-grade students,” Parker said. “This year, we have 106, and have six more ordered.
Read more: Morris Daily Herald, Morris IL.
Stockton MO -- The Stockton Missouri school board voted unanimously Wednesday night to uphold its April decision to ban a book from the school curriculum. The 7-0 vote came after a public forum about the novel, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie.
The board also voted, 7-2, against a proposal to return the book to the high school library with restrictions.
Board member Rod Tucker said his main concern was the book's language, that it had too much profanity to be of value. He rejected the argument that most kids are familiar with such language and use it regularly. [ed- note to Rod Tucker: don't forget you live in the 'show me' state]
Supporters of the book said it was chosen to get high school boys, particularly, interested in reading. Another board member said that was a mistake because the book's reading level is low for high school readers. "We're dumbing down our educational standards if we do that," Ken Spurgeon said.
Cheryl Marcum, a resident who had pushed the board to explain and reverse its decision, was disappointed by the vote. She said she's heard about the issue from young people who have left Stockton.
"They said, 'I left Stockton because stuff like that happens there,'" she said.
The Bridgewater and Raynham (MA) middle school librarians won’t be getting their jobs back, but the schools’ libraries will remain open.
That was the word from school officials at the Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School Committee meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 25. School Committee member Gordon Luciano said after the meeting the decision of the administration to use proctors instead of librarians at the middle schools this year is final and does not need a vote by the school board.
The school committee could have chosen to override the decision, he said. But there was no discussion of possible alternatives and there were no motions by committee members to take a different route.
The school committee meeting was the last before the beginning of school on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Last year, Bridgewater Middle School and Raynham Middle School each had one full-time librarian. But this year, the funding for those positions was eliminated. Story from the Bridgewater Independent.
For Jess deCourcy Hinds, a a school librarian and freelance writer from Long Island City, back to school means only one thing: handing out 3,500 textbooks and begging students to treat them kindly. She writes in the NYTimes Cityroom blog:
I am still in shock from June, when a parent returned his daughter’s 10th-grade English text. It looked just like its name: “Things Fall Apart.” Ripped and torn, its cover was splattered with tomato sauce, as if it had been shot in the heart. My horrified expression did not register with the student’s father. “Do we owe you anything?” he asked. Flummoxed, I just smiled and issued his daughter full credit for returning her books.
In late August, we educators should be thinking about how to spark students’ love of learning — not peeling bubble gum off books or scrubbing “Macbeth” with the obsessiveness of Lady M. herself.
Since the recession, library use — and book abuse — have skyrocketed. I’ve found younger generations to be avid readers, but as products of the digital age, they don’t always respect the physicality of books. They dog-ear pages with the impulsiveness of clicking a mouse, not realizing that their actions have permanent consequences. Kindle-reading parents may have also forgotten the basics of book care.
A Redding (CA) School District librarian accused of embezzling and stealing from a school and parent club has not been placed on leave, an administration official said Wednesday.
Wanell Stolz is still working as an information specialist at Juniper Elementary and Cypress Elementary schools, district Superintendent Diane Kempley said before a special board meeting called to discuss “various employee evaluations” in closed session Wednesday.
Two parents who arrived at the meeting late and did not address the board said while the board was in closed session that they are concerned about having Stolz, who was arrested last week, working around their children.
“With everything that is going on with her case, I really don’t think she should be working with kids,” said Alisha Woodruff, who has two children who will be attending Juniper School when classes begin next week. The accused librarian is the wife of Redding School District Board of Trustees President Rein Stolz. Redding.com.
Speaking of ebooks, do you use them in your library? And wouldn't you like to know how widespread their use is in libraries?
LJ/SLJ is taking a survey and wants your participation. It is designed to measure current and projected ebook availability in libraries, user preferences in terms of access and subjects, and library purchasing terms and influences. This survey is open to all types of libraries, and high level results will presented during LJ/SLJ's first ever virtual summit, ebooks: Libraries at the Tipping Point to be held on September 29, 2010. Detailed results will also be reported in LJ and SLJ later in the fall.
Contest ends September 3. Prizes...including an iPad for one lucky sucker...for your participation! Start here.
EVERSON, WA - Sheryl Kindle Fullner was thrilled when she was asked to write a book about building and maintaining libraries with cheap and resourceful methods, since she had spent a dozen years doing just that.
When school starts this fall, the Everson resident will be in her 13th year as a librarian and teacher at Nooksack Middle School. She used her experiences to write "The Shoestring Library," which was recently published by Linworth Publishing, Inc. The book is designed to help librarians administer libraries in tough times. School and college librarians and public librarians in small, underfunded libraries are its target.
Joanna McNally, who was named 2010 Ohio School Librarian of the Year while at Brush High School, has accepted a position as media specialist at Orange High School.
McNally was hired at a salary of $73,564 by the Orange Board of Education June 28.
The South Euclid-Lyndhurst school board accepted her resignation, retroactive to June 28, on July 21.
Equal Education (EE) calls on everyone to join our Fast for School Libraries from 6:00 pm on Thursday 29 July until 6:00 pm on Friday 30 July to show government that all children deserve a quality education which includes properly stocked libraries, managed by librarians.
Why is Equal Education fasting (not eating) for 24 hours?
As a result of EE's consistent campaigning a National Policy recognising the need for a library or library stocks in every school was published by government on 11 June 2010.
In addition, School Libraries Guidelines have been drafted, but these must be improved to give schools a clear instruction to establish libraries and must be accompanied by a budget allocation. It is crucial that post for school librarians are established.
Most importantly, Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure must be finalised for all schools. All these document will only be implemented when government has a budget, plan and timetable to ensure that all schools in South Africa have libraries with a librarian.
The campaign is working but there is a long way to go!