School Libraries

October 27: International School Library Day

Today is the fifth annual International School Library Day. This year's theme is "Breaking Down Barriers." Find out more on the ISLD 2003 page at the International Association of School Librarianship - School Libraries Online site.
Any school librarians out there participating in this? Please post a comment to report on your activities.

Content of some books in school libraries can draw parents' attention

The Macon Telegraph Reports Last month, two popular books that dealt with sex, reckless driving and murder alarmed parent Katie Jones so much that she fought for their removal from the Crawford County Middle School library.

She won, at least for now.

"Extreme Elvin" by Chris Lynch and "Double Date" by R.L. Stine, are books that deal with the often complex issues teenagers confront. They are now off limits to students.

The books will continue to stay off the shelves until at least December when board members finalize a library book policy, said Crawford County school board Chairwoman Patrice Walker.

Why do we need a teacher librarian or a school library when we have the Internet?

Mary H. Musgrave points us to This List Of Reasons produced by the Department of Education Library and Information down in Australia. Includes Snappy Comebacks, and Longer answers.

"We still need libraries because “everything� is not on the Internet. Not even Bill Gates can afford to digitise the sum total of human knowledge. And we need librarians because, as chaotic as the Internet is, librarians are trained to find information, and to determine which source - print or electronic – is the most appropriate to retrieve what is wanted."

Good school libraries boost readers

Bob Cox spotted an Obvious Article from down in Florida, where they say Donna Baumbach, a professor at the University of Central Florida, analyzed more than 1,700 media centers at Florida schools. She found that well-staffed, well-stocked libraries drive up elementary reading scores by 9 percent, middle-school scores by 3 percent and high-school scores by 22 percent.

Her yearlong study reflects the findings of similar research in six other states.
Of course, Money for new books is sporadic at best. Librarians report that about half of their budgets come not from the state but from book fairs, parent organizations, candy sales and profits from school supplies, according to the latest research.

Kids lobby for new library

Kids lobby for new library is a neat article out of California on pleas for a new city library handwritten in clumsy cursive, "Library-O-Grams" from elementary schoolchildren. The collage is part of a no-holds-barred lobbying effort launched by the city to win state money - a requested $18.9 million - for a new 92,000-square-foot library.

Fontana lost its bid for the money last year, in part, city officials say, because they failed to recognize how hard they would have to lobby.
The city's present 13,000-square-foot library has only 10 computers, said head librarian Renee Lovato, and on Tuesdays - the library's busiest day - by 4 p.m. children are often signing up for computer time up to a day ahead.
Visit The ResourceShelf for more good stories.

Grove librarian digs deep to fulfill promise

Katie writes "Grove Elementary School librarian, Tim Nave, regularly challenges students to send him postcards from their summer vacation destinations. This year's reward for making the goal was having Nave enact a scene from Louis Sachar's Holes.

More here..."

Parent lobbies to keep books, asks 'Where would it end?'

News From Iowa where parents, after books were challenged, collected more than 140 signatures on a petition asking the high school to keep the books in freshman classes. The books in question were "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, which describes the sexual abuse of the author at a young age, and "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier, which contains profanity.

School library trades a few cookies for 2,000+ books

Mock Turtle writes "Acme Elementary School in rural Washington is facing the kind of challenge any school would like to have: sorting through thousands of children's books donated to the school by a Seattle community center. University Heights Center for the Community had been looking for someone to help them clean out their former family reading room, and the center's director said Acme could have whatever they could haul away -- all for the price of a few chocolate chip cookies. Almost all the books are in good enough shape to get years more use in Acme's classrooms and libraries. The school even got some new bookshelves in the bargain. Read about it at the Bellingham Herald."

Weight Limits for School Books

The Boston
Globe says
that a state representative "has proposed
limiting the weight of books used in public schools amid concerns
about the health risks of overloaded backpacks." California
and Tennessee states already have such laws. Although baggage
products used improperly (backpacks are best positioned with the
center at waist or hip level, and carried with two wide, padded,
contoured, shoulder straps, preferably with a belt strap and
luggage-type wheels) can cause back trauma and lower back pain,
there is no proven link between heavy packs and scoliosis. The
folks at TeleRead
would likely have some alternate suggestions for enacting such laws.

New trend in high school libraries?

Katie writes "From the Lynnfield, MA North Shore Sunday: "The Booking Process - A new facility at St. John's Prep has set the standard for high school libraries. But are such posh digs a pipe dream for the state's public schools?

Here's one way to gauge the respect and reverence the senior class at St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers has for the sprawling A.E. Studzinski Library: They have unofficially proclaimed that there will be no trampling of books at the shiny new facility."

More... (Note: may have to select city/paper to view.)"


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