School Libraries

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.)"

Parents do the booking

Anna writes "The parents of students at Doherty Middle School in Andover (MA) have stepped in to help keep the library open. The hours of the school librarian, who has been in the Andover school system as a librarian for over 40 years, have been cut down to four per week, so parent volunteers are filling in the gaps to provide an adult presence and someone to check the books in and out.

"Knapp and Stacey said the parents can handle the basic running of the library, but they need Freedman's guidance for bigger problems."

"Freedman concurs. "When I come in there's (a stack of) questions this high," she said.""

School libraries "an untapped resource"

Mock Turtle writes "The Northampton, MA, school system employs only one full-time professional librarian these days: Richard Winnick doubles as Northampton High School librarian and the district library media department head. After 21 years with the school system, Winnick remains committed to his dream job, despite having seen the high school library budget dwindle from $20,000 to $2,000. The Daily Hampshire Gazette profiles Winnick."

School librarian reflects on decades of change

Mock Turtle writes "The Sun in Bremerton, WA, profiles and interviews Wendy Kraft, librarian for nearly 20 years at Bremerton's Brownsville Elementary, as she plans to retire at the end of this school year. Along with Kraft's reflections on the big changes and the reassuring continuities in the school library over the years, she offers her Top 10 list of books that turn kids into readers."

Padlocked school libraries in Mass

Marlene writes "I picked this off Live Journal

Padlocked school libraries in Mass

"That is also the case in Winthrop, where classes begin tomorrow. Consumer sciences -- what was once known as home economics -- will not be offered at Winthrop High School this year. Each of Winthrop's four school libraries has been "padlocked" because the librarians were let go as part of 22 layoffs and $1.5 million in cuts, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Giancristiano said. And no after-school activities, such as drama or sports, were funded.""

Plumbing leak floods school library

News From SD where Fast action by custodians at Wilson Elementary School saved about 9,000 library books from drowning in late July.

About $11,000 worth of children's library books and reading textbooks were ruined, however, after a July 22 plumbing failure on the floor above the library, according to principal Kathy Conlon.

"It sounded like it was raining in the library," Conlon, Wilson's new principal, said. She was out of town when the damage occurred.

Budgets cut student experience

CNN Is Reporting over the past couple years, like many Americans, students have been feeling the effects the economic recession. Shrinking state and local education budgets matched with the added pressure of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which sets rigid standards in reading and math that schools must achieve in order to receive federal funding, have created a new challenge for districts.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), school budget crunches have been a trend over the past couple years and span the entire nation, with no end in sight.

No more books? It's all on computer

A Report From New NZ says Classrooms at Ferguson Intermediate School will become exercise-book free and pupils will be able to access lessons from their home computer within the next three years.

The school has one computer to every four students but is working towards providing online access to reports, exam results, study plans and every lesson in the curriculum.
Parents without computers can go to libraries or come to the school to access the online information, he says, but Ferguson Intermediate is looking at ways of providing cheap computers for students.

The Conceptual Prep School: Library as Light Show

Steve Fesenmaier spotted a nifty NYTimes Story on The Upper School at Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, CT. The library has been turned into a light show.
All of the structural elements for the new library had to be equipped with channels in which L.E.D.'s and fiberoptics could be imbedded, along with wiring to let Mr. Turrell control the lights in one-foot sections.


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