School Libraries

Author calls for UK school libraries to be made statutory

A new initiative by the Campaign for the Book, spearheaded by author Alan Gibbons, will call on the government to make school libraries statutory,­ as is already the case in Scotland.

Gibbons said the initiative will help to galvanise the campaign's work in support of school libraries. He is gathering signatories for an open letter to the press demanding that school libraries become statutory.

School Librarians to learn Social Media through $1M grant in WI

The University of Wisconsin System School Library Education Consortium has been awarded almost $1 million to help school librarians become better versed in technology and social media such as Twitter.

The United States Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program will award $989,495 that will be used to train 50 new school library specialists for Wisconsin’s rural and high-need urban public schools. This was the only grant awarded in Wisconsin. More from Bizjournals/Milwaukee.

I wonder if Laura tweets?

Stuyvesant HS Librarian Is Accused of Sexual Abuse

The New York Times reports that R. Christopher Asch, the librarian at Manhattan's elite public high school, Stuyvesant, has been arrested and charged with harassment and sexual abuse after he was accused of inappropriately touching four male students.

The students said in the report that the inappropriate contact occurred from September 2004 through February 2008, when Mr. Asch grabbed the leg of a boy, the report said. The four boys decided to report Mr. Asch to school officials after that episode.

Asch, 56, led the quiz bowl team and served as faculty advisor to the Republican club and several other student groups. He was the coach of the cricket team, according to the student newspaper, The Spectator.

Mr. Asch started working in city schools in 1989 and has spent most of his career as a high school librarian. He came to Stuyvesant in 2002,

Washington State Passes Education Reform includes School Libraries

There have been articles about the Bellevue School District in Washington State doing away with their librarians on this site so I went to see what Washington State's elected officials are doing about it. The answer? House bill 2261, an overhaul of education funding which has, among other provisions, a permanent line item for school library materials—and an allocation of funds to pay for a certified librarian in every K–12 school by 2018. Granted it's not funded right now, which makes the point moot. Once the state does get money though Bellevue is probably going to have to put those teacher-librarians back where they found them.

According to the Washington Legislature website the bill starts to go into effect in July.

No More Librarians in Bellevue High Schools

The Bellevue School District has decided it can't afford librarians in its middle and high schools anymore. At Sammamish High, that could mean an end to the school's carefully curated manga collection.

Full story here.

School district criticized for reassigning librarians

School district criticized for reassigning librarians: The decision by the Bellevue School District to reassign all secondary librarians to classroom positions for the 09/10 school year has been criticized by some in the educational community.

Mike Eisenberg, dean emeritus and professor at the Information School of the University of Washington, said the move goes against the needs of the 21st century.

"This is the information age, and to compete in a tough, global economy, our children need to be experts in information seeking, use, evaluation, and synthesis,"

Librarian Transformed into Human Popcorn Ball

I was hoping this one had a photo with it, but sorry...you'll have to use your imagination. It's another one of those "I'll do thus and such if you kids read X number of books" stories.

Report from Jackson, MS : Children's librarian Melissa Strauss laughed, "I'm here because I want to make good on a promise at the beginning of the school year." The promise: she would become a human popcorn ball. Before she got into the plastic pool filled with popcorn, the principal poured sticky syrup all over Strauss. Then it was time to jump in and roll around.

Why is this happening? This librarian challenged her students to read 10 million words from library books. "They read 10.5 million."

The pure joy of this mess thrilled the students. "I love the way she dived into the pool." "A little like something I want to do to somebody." " I think it was funny." " I love it."

Strauss apparently picks a new 'treat' for the kids each year, and thus far, they haven't let her down.

Tennessee Schools Sued for Blocking GLBT Sites

A media specialist and several high school students are suing two school districts in Tennessee for unconstitutionally blocking access to online information about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) issues.

Librarian Karyn Stort-Brinks, students Keila Franks and Emily Logan, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and Knox County Schools. Franks and Logan attend Hume-Fogg High School in Nashville. Knox News reports.

Reassigning School Librarians

Ever wonder why school media specialists had to first be licensed to teach in an appropriate subject area? In Washington State, the matter is being put to the test. In the schools of Bellevue, secondary school librarians are being reassigned to classroom teaching and are being replaced with aides at the middle schools and high schools.

School Principal On Leave Over Racy Book

A teachers union in MA says the principal should be fired for trying to hock her book on school grounds. A Lawrence school principal has been placed on leave while the administration investigates teachers union allegations that she promoted her racy romance novel during faculty meetings.

Superintendent Wilfredo Laboy tells The Eagle-Tribune that Oliver School Principal Beth Gannon is "emotionally fragile" because of the accusation. He says Gannon wrote "Crazy Fortunes" before she started working in the city's schools.

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