School Libraries

Arizona Activists Take Media-Center Message to State Capitol

Fang-Face writes "It seems that the state of Arizona is dealing with the same troublesome budget issues as the California school district, although Arizona seems to be organized to counter these issues. That suggests to me that this is a long running problem in Arizona. You can see
the story about the Campaign to Save Arizona's School Libraries at American Libraries Online."

Computers vs. Books

Val Hamilton writes "While schools pour big money into computers, some educators say the educational rewards are disappointing
Vancouver Sun Thursday, March 11, 2004

"Library budgets, meanwhile, have been slashed. Mary Locke, a teacher-librarian at Gordon elementary in Vancouver, says studies indicate spending on library resources is a quarter of what it was 15 years ago.

Her school library falls short in almost every area, Locke said. There are few books to help students understand changing conditions in other countries, nothing on modern space exploration, little new fiction and almost no magazines.

"We don't have enough of what children love to read to fuel them to want to read," she lamented.

The flood of information available on the Internet does not substitute for good, age-appropriate print materials, she said. "You can press some buttons and see something, but do you actually understand what you are looking at? It's a struggle for students to figure it out.""

Disney Buys Up Judy Blume Books

A series of films based on books by the children's author Judy Blume are to be turned into Disney movies... Some of her books for young adults have sparked controversy because they deal with sex and puberty, issues which are usually taboo in books for teenagers.

Judy Blume's books have always been popular, but now, with The Mouse's imprimatur, school librarians will want to restock their shelves, and be prepared for challenges. So have those district policies and challenge committees current and at the ready.

Poverty plagues school libraries

Gary D. Price writes:

At Mariposa Elementary School in Redlands, students scouring the school library for books on the space program can find them tomes that date back to 1965.

"We have books on the space program written in 1965 before man even walked on the moon," said John DeLandtsheer, the school's principal. "We've pulled those books. There's current literature out there that kids need. We want them to be able to check out two books a week."

However, funding for new library books is scarce. The school once had $11,000 a year for library books. Now it has $2,000.

While PTA fund-raising and some federal funding help offset the cost of library books, the school still "needs at least three to four times that much," DeLandtsheer said.

Like DeLandtsheer, many educators remember when California's school libraries received about $28 per student to stock library shelves. Now that funding is at its lowest ever $1.41 per student when the national average is about $20. As a result, school libraries have fewer books and less money to buy new ones making it harder to encourage students to read on their own.

Until 2001, schools got about $28 per student based on average daily attendance earmarked for library books. That amount has all but disappeared.

For Valerie Lichtman, being the librarian for the Rim of the World Unified School District isn't easy, trying to keep Beatrix Potter and Dr. Seuss books stocked and available.


School librarian's role shifting from storyteller to data expert

The Seattle Times noticed with computers in most classrooms and encyclopedias online, a major shift is taking place in school libraries.
They say a job once designed for mild-mannered book lovers has evolved into something more powerful: CIO, or chief information officer, of the school. And school districts across Puget Sound are officially recognizing the shift.

School librarians grapple with racy reading materials -

bob Cox notes a article on how school librarians grapple with what to do each year with the racy issue, and what to do daily with magazines that contain controversial content.
School librarians keep Sports Illustrated and several other magazines behind the counter, not because of models' skimpy clothes but because of what is missing when students return the magazines, Vojtko said. Articles and pictures frequently are ripped out, and making students sign for the magazines keeps them intact.

Young readers push themselves

An Anonymous Patron writes sent over This IndyStar Article on "guided reading."
Not only is the success reflected in the numbers, but teachers see anecdotal evidence almost daily that the program is a good tool to help new readers get comfortable with reading.

"We would use this chunk of the day to read anyway," Unger explained. "We just had to rethink it, restructure it from a large group to a small group."

Treinen said the guided reading concept breaks students into groups of no more than six children, selected on the basis of their skills.

Separation of School and State

This is a very interesting commentary in the Jewish World Review. Wendy McElroy makes very good points about the media and how it regards any other education BUT public as corrupt. Note the reference further down the page to the Oct. 14 CBS News two-part report entitled "A Dark Side to Homeschooling." She also includes interesting statistics.
Separation of School and State

Administrators now understand - The Internet cannot replace books

moyergirl writes "Follow this link to a positive article on school libraries. We all know that the web will not replace all print materials. Read how one school library in TX is using the expertise of their librarians to further student growth."

Well-stocked, staffed school libraries boost FCAT scores, UCF research shows

An Anonymous Patron writes to share this article

Students at schools with well-staffed libraries that circulate the most books and have the most computers outperform their peers on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, according to research at the University of Central Florida.
FCAT scores, the state's primary measure of student achievement, were 20 percent higher in 2000-01 in reading at high schools that employed at least one full-time professional librarian and the equivalent of one other full-time library employee, UCF education professor Donna Baumbach concluded in her "Making the Grade" report. FCAT scores also were highest at elementary and middle schools with well-staffed libraries.


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