School Libraries

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.

President Obama Freezes School Library Funding in 2010

President Obama may talk about the importance of libraries, but now that his budget is out, librarians are wondering, where’s the love?

Full story at School Library Journal

Free download of The Alchemyst

The Alchemyst, which got a starred review in School Library Journal, is available as a free PDF download on Amazon for a limited time.

You can download the book here: The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (Just below the box on Amazon that list the different editions is a link that allows you to download a PDF of the entire book; my understanding is the link is coming down in a couple days so grab a copy now if you want one)

Bronx Middle School Teacher (Didn't) Plant a Bomb at the Library, but Said He Did

A Bronx educational building that houses three public middle schools with about 1,200 students was evacuated by the authorities around 8:30 a.m. Friday after a disgruntled computer teacher claimed to have planted a bomb in the library — a claim that officials said turned out to be false.

The Police Department dispatched officers, hostage negotiators and bomb squad technicians to the scene, after the teacher, Francisco Garabitos, 55, evidently angry about being reassigned because of a disciplinary proceeding, made the threat, the authorities said. The teacher, a union chapter chairman at the school, barricaded himself inside a computer lab, but he surrendered to the authorities around 11:15 a.m.

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