School Libraries

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.

In a Digital Future, Textbooks Are History

Story in the New York Times

At Empire High School in Vail, Ariz., students use computers provided by the school to get their lessons, do their homework and hear podcasts of their teachers’ science lectures.

Down the road, at Cienega High School, students who own laptops can register for “digital sections” of several English, history and science classes. And throughout the district, a Beyond Textbooks initiative encourages teachers to create — and share — lessons that incorporate their own PowerPoint presentations, along with videos and research materials they find by sifting through reliable Internet sites.

Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.

Full story here.

Is the book closed on school librarians?

School libraries are undergoing a transformation in the Las Virgenes (CA) Unified School District.

Six teacher-librarian jobs have metamorphosed into three media specialist jobs for next year, in part to save money due to state budget cuts.

Dan Stepenosky, LVUSD assistant superintendent of personnel, said the positions were based upon “a hybrid of skills and services that were previously performed by the technology teachers on special assignment and school librarians.”

Kelly Benning, Mary Ann Hamre and Barbara Folkeson were chosen to fill the media specialist spots. Benning has been a librarian at A.C. Stelle Middle School in Calabasas, and Folkeson has worked as a traveling elementary school librarian. Hamre worked as a district technology teacher.

Full story here.

Texas Board of Education May Remove Civil Rights Figures from textbooks

The Texas State Board of Education is listening to recommendations to remove or de-emphasize Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall, among others, in school textbooks.

School libraries, out of favor in China

Most schools in Chinese cities have a mini-library attached to them that is supposed to help children develop a lifelong love of books and literature. But in a recent study, many school libraries have failed to accomplish this task and have even fallen into oblivion. They probe into why school libraries are falling out of favor with students.

LISWire Reaches A Broad Audience of Librarians

Author Molly Dowd, whose book "Kevin Knows the Rules" was publicized on LISWire last winter knows that the Wire is a great way to reach a broad selection of librarians. Over 150 librarians accepted her offer of a reader's copy of her book to examine for their libraries. LISWire Works!

Now it's time for you to order copies for your libraries. Here's a listing on Google.

Publishers, authors, vendors and suppliers--register on LISWire today, and once your registration is accepted, you are welcome to post press releases about new titles, imprints and other products. press releases about author appearances, exhibits and personnel news...anything of interest to the community. Take advantage of this wonderful resource (while it's still free!!).

LISWire is a website from the guy behind LISNews & LISHost, Blake Carver, along with assistance from birdie, Robin K. Blum. Member companies and organizations can send their full-text news releases and multimedia content to librarians, journalists, library professionals and anyone with an interest in libraries.

Road Rage At The Elementary School

EVERETT WA — An Everett man is accused of berating fifth-graders on safety patrol and using his vehicle to knock down an (unnamed) elementary school librarian during a dispute over what entrance he was supposed to use when dropping off his child at school.

Prosecutors on Monday charged Trevor Wipf, 33, with second-degree attempted assault, a felony. He is accused of intentionally driving his sport utility vehicle into the librarian at Jefferson Elementary School during this past school year.

Wipf told police he didn’t hit the librarian. He said the librarian slipped when he tried to kick Wipf’s vehicle, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Janice Albert wrote.

PBS Creates Library of Digital Resources Targeted to Classroom Use

PBS Creates Library of Digital Resources Targeted to Classroom Use

"In an effort to make its vast collection of digital educational resources available for in-class use, PBS has announced the launch of the PBS Digital Learning Library, a comprehensive source of digital video, still images, audio, games, and interactive simulations for teachers to use to augment their lessons. PBS made the announcement at last week's National Education Computing Conference (NECC) in Washington, DC."

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