School Libraries

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.

Meet the Author Junot Diaz

Junot Diaz is in Baltimore to read from his novel, The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Blogging in the Baltimore Sun, Mary McCauley asks him about his development as an author.

His introduction to his lifelong love of literature was at his school library. Diaz says, "Mrs. Crowell, the librarian of the Parlin Elementary School in New Jersey, encouraged my love of reading. When I found the library, I felt as though I'd stumbled onto Ali Baba's cave. I'd walk four miles to take out books. She's even let me photocopy lists of books in print, so I could find new titles by my favorite authors."

Library invigorates school, kids

The Daily Yomiuri - Osaka,Japan: Library invigorates school, kids: "I read about 200 books every year," sixth-grader Minako Shirahata told The Yomiuri Shimbun during a visit to the public school before she graduated last month. "So, since first grade, I've read over 1,000 books. I love reading because I can experience something I'll never experience in real life."

The library has been a central part of the school's educational approach since 1995, when the student body was checking out an average of about 50 titles per year.

Mom Protests Library's 'Sexual' Spider-Man Comic

A Millard mother said she's upset by a comic book that she considers sexually explicit that is in her son's elementary school library.
The comic is part of a popular new series about Spider-Man and the head librarian of the Millard School District said it's been in high demand.
"My son looked at this and goes, 'Ohhhh!'" said Physha Svendsen.

Full story here.

Are School Libraries Obsolete?

With computers and Internet available almost everywhere outside and inside schools, does the school library still play an important part in the education process or is the school library obsolete?

KAIT Channel 8 asked Ima Raye Hurdle the school librarian at Weiner if she thought the school library was obsolete.

"Oh, No, No, No! They have been the heart of the school forever."

Twilight book missing after parent complains

A parent's complaint over sexual content in the Mormon author's fourth novel, Breaking Dawn, coincided with the book's temporary absence from the library at Brockbank Junior High in Utah.

Officials at the Magna school purchased copies of the book some time ago, but as of Wednesday hadn't placed them on library shelves. Principal Terri Van Winkle would not say whether the delay stemmed from a parent's complaint about a honeymoon scene in which sex is implied between the central characters Bella and Edward. But Granite School District officials confirm a complaint was voiced.

Meanwhile, the school has ignored repeated complaints from another parent "appalled" by the "censorship" of a book she says promotes chastity and tolerance.

ACLU challenges Cleveland Heights Schools over Removal of Nintendo Magazine from Library

A principal's decision to remove a magazine from a middle-school library has drawn criticism for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school board from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU said the First Amendment was violated when Brian Sharosky, principal of Roxboro Middle School, confiscated the November issue of Nintendo Power magazine. The magazine covers the world of Nintendo video games, from previews and ratings to secret codes and short cuts.

"Literature should not be removed from a school library simply because one person may find it inappropriate," said Christine Link, ACLU of Ohio executive director, in a statement last week. She called for the board to "immediately order that the magazine be reinstated."

Sharosky deemed that particular issue unsuitable for students in grades six to eight because of a "violent figure" on the cover and content about a game that's rated for mature audiences, according to district spokesman Michael Dougherty

The librarian objected, maintaining that staff members -- including the principal -- are supposed to follow the policy for challenging a publication. That starts with submitting a form to the superintendent and ends with a decision by the school board.

Most Portland Schools Don't have Certified Librarians

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.

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