- LISWire: La Veta Public Library Goes Live on LibLime Koha 4.14
- LISWire: Griffin Free Public Library Chooses ByWater Solutions’ Koha Support
If, as advocates say, the library should be the "living room" of a school, the place where kids can ask questions, find what they're passionate about and expand their world view, Portland Public Schools leaders acknowledge they're overdue for a change.
Some kids barely know how to find books and check them out. Others rarely visit the library without teacher prompts. Students have limited access and little familiarity.
Superintendent Carole Smith wants to fix that. In her budget released last week, Smith is requiring all traditional schools, about 75, to staff their libraries for at least 20 hours a week.
Portland was rated tenth in CCSU's America's Most Literate Cities in 2008.
From an innovative school librarian:
He said the image of a school library as a "mausoleum" of people reading books "by dead white guys" is long past.
Read the whole story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal about a library that features many displays of comics at a local high school.
It's time to kick yourself. You too could have been a contender, like Susan Kowalski, if only you had read about and entered the Smart Poodle Publishing contest publicized on LISNews last November.
Kowalski, a school librarian at Pine Grove Middle School (East Syracuse, NY), recently took third place in the Smart Poodle Publishing "What I Wish Everyone Knew About Librarians" writing contest.
Report from the NYTimes: Two years ago, an effort to fix No Child Left Behind, the main federal law on public schools provoked a grueling slugfest in Congress, leading Representative George Miller, Democrat of California, to say the law had become “the most negative brand in America.”
Education Secretary Arne Duncan agrees. “Let’s rebrand it,” he said in an interview. “Give it a new name.” And before Mr. Duncan has had time to float a single name, scores of educators, policy wonks and assorted rabble-rousers have rushed in with an outpouring of proposals.
A blog contest to rename the No Child Left Behind law has received entries like the Rearranging the Deck Chairs Act and the Teach to the Test Act. Here's the website sponsoring the contest. So far, 216 suggestions have been made.
And that's the lesson that Stephanie Rosalia was teaching her students at P.S. 225 in Brooklyn. The website they were looking at, All About Explorers, is intentionally peppered with false facts.
Ms. Rosalia, the school librarian at Public School 225, a combined elementary and middle school in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, urged caution. “Don’t answer your questions with the first piece of information that you find,” she warned. Story from the NYTimes.
The Times has an article from February 11, 2009, by Alice Miles, "Look out, Kipper! These books are deadly! It's no wonder that our children don't enjoy reading. The first material they are given ticks boxes but dulls minds "
In all schools, book space is under pressure from the march of the screen, just as reading for fun has been replaced with ICT. I recently worked in a school where six-year-olds, a computer apiece, were learning basic graphic design and creating fireworks on their computer screens, but I was told off by a teacher for spelling out “colour” for a boy who asked me. The teacher wanted to encourage the children to guess: ‘kl', wrote one girl.
School libraries have been rebranded “learning resource centres”, their books shoved down one end of the room while computers take over the rest. The computers tend to be underused because of their controlled and anodyne content - rather, in fact, like the reading scheme books.
Read more about it at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/alice_miles/article5704459.ece
Scholastic Inc., the children’s publisher of favorites like the Harry Potter, Goosebumps and Clifford series, may be best known for its books, but a consumer watchdog group accuses the company of using its classroom book clubs to push video games, jewelry kits and toy cars.
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, an advocacy group based in Boston, said that it had reviewed monthly fliers distributed by Scholastic last year and found that one-third of the items sold in these brochures were either not books or books packaged with other items.
UCLA law professor and freedom of speech scholar Eugene Volokh recently posted at his legal group blog, the Volokh Conspiracy, a post about a school libraries matter. The post, What May a School Board Do When It Concludes an Elementary School Library Book Omits Important Information?, takes a look at a recent case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. An opinion has been released in the matter.
Though Philadelphia's public library services recently landed on the chopping block, the city's public school students have watched school library services dwindle for years. Today, more than half of the district's 281 schools have no library staff. In one region, it's up to 78 percent. It's a worsening problem. At one point, every one of the 200-plus city schools had a library and a librarian. By 1991, the number of librarians had dropped to 176. Now, there are only 77. "We're very concerned about a lot of our libraries," said Lois McGee, who as the district's new director of integrated instruction is the point person for libraries. "We don't know what condition the libraries are in right now."
Read more at: Philly.com