School Libraries

'Weird' stories OK in context

With the exception of a story about an anorexic dog, reading lessons several families had called "weird" and inappropriate for children will remain in the four elementary schools here.

The Beatrice Public Schools Board of Education agreed unanimously Monday that most of the stories would stay, taking the recommendation of a committee formed to investigate the books.

Parents and a teacher spoke against the decision at a board meeting.

Third-grade teacher Michele Blum said she didn't want her students reading stories in which characters made fun of people with disabilities.
Full Story.

Former Board Member Thinks Farting Dog Story Stinks

A former school board member from the West Salem (WI) School District has gotten the attention of the school board president with his concerns about a book at the elementary school library. Walter the Farting Dog, is a popular children's story book about a pooting pooch rescued from a dog pound, and whose problem...........(spoiler alert!) thwarts some burglars. The complainant doesn't feel like it's an appropriate book for his grandson, who attends the school. A special meeting, which will bypass the district's reconsideration of materials procedure, has been called to discuss the removal of the book. Speaking in defense of the book, publisher Richard Grossinger of North Atlantic Books/Frog Ltd called the book a fable that teaches that having undesireable traits doesn’t mean that people (or dogs) "can’t be successful or contribute to society.�
More here from American Libraries Online.

Books on occult subject of vigil in Washington, NJ

A Follow Up Story on The Devil's Storybookand The Devil: Great Mysteries, Opposing Viewpoints, were checked out from the Chestnut Ridge Middle School library by David O'Quinn, 14,an eighth-grader, this past fall.

A local businessman is organizing a candlelight prayer vigil to rally support for a group that wants restrictions placed on occult-related books in township school libraries.

"It's not a protest," said Martino Cartier, 28, who is planning the event for Sunday at Washington Lake Park. Cartier ownsMartino's Salon XI, a local beauty salon.
The group is not asking for an outright ban, but wants the school district to create a policy requiring younger students to get their parents' permission before checking out books with occult references, said Tahir Mella, O'Quinn's stepfather.
Via Gary "Hairy" Price

School Librarian in Trouble for Black History Lesson

bentley writes "As part of a Black History Month library lesson, a Clark County (Nev.) elementary school librarian separated the 3rd graders by skin color and gave preferential treatment to the black children. The school started an investigation after parents objected. More."

Blume's <em>Deenie</em> still controversial after 30 years

Here's a story from the St. Petersburg [FL] Times in which author Judy Blume defends her novel Deenie against its latest challenge. Blume recommends that the people who want to restrict young people's access to the book, based on a few passages in which the young adolescent title character explores her sexuality, talk to the children who might read it before making a final decision. She suggests that it's the adults, not the youngsters, who find something inappropriate about the topics in Deenie. Blume rejects the contention of some Hernando County school board members that she wrote the book, published 30 years ago, to "push buttons."

Texas librarian organizes candy drop for reading achievers

In Longview, Texas, Pine Tree Middle School students who had read all 20 titles nominated for the state's Bluebonnet Award were treated to a reenactment of the 1949 Berlin candy drop. "This is something I did to honor them and spur them on," said Carolyn Basham, Pine Tree's librarian. A flight instructor from nearby LeTourneau University did the honors, dropping chocolate candy with white handkerchief parachutes over the school stadium, where over 120 student honorees watched and waited. One of the books on this year's Bluebonnet list, Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot, by Margot Theis Raven, was based on the story of the "Berlin candy bomber," U.S. Air Force Lt. Gail Halvorsen. The Longview News-Journal has the whole story.

Kids, parents flock to school library for Tune Out TV Tuesdays

Lisa Cyprian, librarian at Santa Fe Elementary School, instituted a new tradition at the beginning of the school year: Tune Out TV Tuesdays. Once a month, she opens the school library on a Tuesday evening from 6:00 to 7:30, and hosts a night of reading, games, and other activities that get students and their families away from the tube for a while. Refreshments, drawings for free books, and the chance for parents to check out books add to the festivities. Find out more from the Arizona Republic about how this program has brought the school community into the library.

SBC returns unused e-rate money

First, there was the story about an Congressional investigation into fraud claims surrounding use of e-rate funds by the Chicago public school system.

With a public hearing looming in February, the probe is centering on approximately $5 million of equipment supplied by telecom carrier SBC to the Chicago school system that is still sitting in a warehouse.

SBC said in a statement that the company "voluntarily brought this matter to the attention of the FCC" and to the staff of the Oversight and Investigations Committee.

A favorite target of Republicans, Billy Tauzin began investigating the E-rate fund in March of last year following a January 2003 report by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit "public service journalism" organization that said the fund was "honeycombed" with fraud.

"We're not trying to kill the program, but clean it up," Ken Johnson, a spokesperson for the House Energy and Commerce Committee told "In the past it has been riddled with fraud, waste and abuse and we can already prove consumers have been ripped off for millions and millions of dollars. We want to put safeguards in place to avoid this in the future."

On the next day, there's another story about SBC returning almost $8 million in e-rate money.

School libraries may apply to receive free security products

2004 3M Salute to Schools
For the fifth consecutive year, 3M, in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), will donate $1.5 million in 3M Detection Systems and Tattle-Tape Security Strips to 100 middle and high school library media centers in the United States through the 2004 3M Salute to Schools program. Individual donations will vary depending upon specific needs of the library media center, such as the size of a collection and the physical layout. To be considered for the donation, a school must meet eligibility requirements and be able to demonstrate a need for a detection system. Applications must be postmarked by March 1, 2004. Details and application forms are available from AASL or from 3M.

FNO Journal Article - School Libraries and Books Are Back!

stevenb writes "The January 2004 issue of Jamie McKenzie's From Now On features an article on the resurgence of the school library after a period in which K-12 administrators were assuming libraries were obsolete in the Internet age. The article focuses on the impact of physical libraries and books on the quality of K-12 education. Read the article at:
See a good related cartoon from FNO"


Subscribe to School Libraries