School Libraries

Explicit 'Banned Book' Infuriates Virginia Father, Leads to School Review

Fox News: [John Davis] says he became "infuriated" when he discovered that his 16-year-old son brought home a book he'd been given in school that contained references to homosexuality, drug use and explicit sexual behavior.

The father's complaint has led to a school review of the novel, "Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky, which has been a source of controversy in other schools across the country.

[...]

"I don't think it's age-appropriate for anyone," [Davis] said. "I don't think adults should be reading that junk. It's pornography. They're corrupting his mind with this garbage."

Full story

(Right on the heels of Banned Book Week, no less. AW)

Brooklyn middle school students squeezed out library

Students and parents at a Brooklyn middle school are fuming after they were pushed out of their newly spruced-up library by an expanding charter school.

Junior High School 126 kids have severely limited access to the cozy, mural-painted reading spot this year so the three charters sharing the Greenpoint building can use the space for planning, meetings and small classes.
Read more.

One Million New Books In Ontario School Libraries

Elementary students started the school year with more than one million new books in school libraries, and there are more on the way.
Last January, the government selected 72 Ontario-based vendors, and negotiated discounts up to 50 per cent for school boards. To date, this has saved boards about $3 million and allowed them to purchase 175,000 more books. More savings and additional books are expected during the school year.

Volunteers Can't Replace School Librarians

Referring to a previous article in the Daily News Tribune, Mary Ellen McKenna, herself a parent volunteer, salutes parents who volunteered to man the school library in Ashland Massachusetts when the librarian position was eliminated. But she adds:

"The article sited budget cuts and the inability to hire professional librarians. The parents in town did not want their children spending another academic year with [sic] library services. They formed a unique volunteer team to support the lending of library resources to the children. While I am very impressed with the commitment of the volunteers, I am concerned the article serves to perpetuate the lack of appreciation for our professional school librarians.

As a volunteer library parent, I routinely check out books for the children. However, the librarian's job goes much beyond checking out books. Who will teach these children the origins and ways of the Dewey decimal system? Who will teach them a true appreciation for the various genres of writing? who will teach them the research skills that become lifelong tools? Our school librarian is constantly thinking outside the box to meet the needs of the children."

Oklahoma Parent’s Questions Stop Author's Visit to School

A visit by a best-selling author to a Norman OK middle school was canceled after a parent questioned the content of one of the author’s books.

Author Ellen Hopkins was scheduled to speak to eighth-graders at Whittier Middle School today about her career, writing process and books.

Hopkins is the author of several New York Times best-selling books for young adults. She was notified Thursday her visit was canceled because a parent at the school requested a review of her book "Glass”.

Twilight Banned At Australian School- Deemed Too Racy

Twilight, though an international bestseller, isn't faring so well in Strathfield, NSW. School administrators and librarians at the Santa Sabina College say the book is too racy for school children to read and have even gone so far to hold seminars on paranormal romance. Librarians have removed the book from the shelves of the school library.

The head librarian, Helen Schutz, says "We wanted to make sure they realise it's fictitious and ensure they don't have a wrong grasp on reality."

More from The Daily Telegraph.

Private school library gets rid of all books

The Boston Globe today reports on the Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, MA that has decided to take all the latest trends in libraries to their absurd extreme: A library without the books. "Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine."

Prefab library 'cheats' school in southwest Sydney

THE small community of Douglas Park Primary School outside Sydney is feeling cheated of the benefits of the federal government's $14.7 billion school building program after being charged three times more than the amount quoted for a prefabricated school library.

Tracking Down the Forgotten Book Title

Christian Science Monitor's guest blogger Rebekah Denn is trying to remember a book she read as a child, hoping to pass it on to her young son who is laid up with a broken arm.

It was a faraway book memory, where I could almost see the book’s jacket – was it plain, with an outline of a baseball player at bat? – but couldn’t remember the title, author, or character’s name.

I called in the big guns, asking “Book Lust” author and Seattle uber-librarian Nancy Pearl if the book rang any bells in her encyclopedic mental library. She referred me to a completely delightful resource, an online site, Loganberry Books where readers try to match books with titles based on similarly vague, fragmented memories. And then, before I could even enter my posting there, I got a reply from Laurie Amster-Burton, a Seattle Public Schools librarian who loves a surprising number of the same children’s books I do. She didn’t know this one herself, and the inquiries she sent to librarian friends came up blank, but she managed to sleuth it out online. She sent me a message yesterday that the book is “There Are Two Kinds of Terrible,” by Peggy Mann, published in 1977. The protagonist’s name is Robbie.

Victory for LGBT Websites in Tennessee School Districts

NPR's Andy Carvin reports from "All Tech Considered"...

The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that they have settled out of court with two Tennessee school districts sued on behalf of local students for blocking classroom access to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Web sites. The lawsuit, as we reported last May, alleged that Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and Knox County Schools violated the rights of three students by denying them access to LGBT sites, yet continued to allow access to sites that advocated "reparative therapy" programs that attempt to change a person's sexual orientation.

As part of the settlement, the school districts agreed to unblock the LGBT Web sites. If the districts re-block the sites at any time, the ACLU says it will bring the case back to court.

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