School Libraries

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.

KC school board votes to keep 24 librarians on the books

SomeOne writes: "Some news that the Kansas City Board of Education spared 24 librarians, as well as teachers' extra pay, from the budget ax Wednesday night.

With little discussion, board members voted unanimously to amend the budget approved two weeks ago and increase spending by $2.4 million. The board restored the librarians' positions and about $842,0000 to the Career Ladder, which offers teachers additional pay for tutoring students and continuing their own educations.


Learning in the Information Age School: Opportunities, Outcomes and Options

SomeOne writes "This paper, by Dr. Ross Todd, first articulates the core beliefs around which effective school library services need to be developed to ensure playing a central role and making a significant contribution to learning in information age schools. These core beliefs revolve around the concepts of difference, intervention and transformation. Based on these core beliefs, it explores the concept of evidence-based practice. The paper provides a brief overview of and rationale for evidence-based practice, identifies and discusses underpinning assumptions, and using findings from a recent research study in Australia, identifies some practical strategies and processes for undertaking effective evidence-based practice, and examines barriers to and challenges of evidence-based practice. In doing so, the paper explores a range of opportunities and options for maintaining effective library services in information age schools.


Book brigade helps Webster University move library

A Fun Little Story on a line of people who moved a library, well, about 200 books that marked the last of 200,000 to be moved from a shared library.

Those in the line - infants to people over 70 - hailed from as far away as Germany, Mexico, Ghana and England. They began lining up about 10:30 a.m. Just before 11 o'clock Allen Mueller, director of the Luhr Library, handed out the first book - "Library Evaluation: A Casebook and Can Do Guide."

Volunteers clapped as the books began changing hands.

Some people took a moment to read titles: "Peru Before the Incas," "Managing Electronic Resources" and even "From Here to There, Moving a Library."

As adults passed books to the preschoolers from Faith Academy, one book and then another dropped to the ground.


School libraries in \'miserable\' state: national librarian

\"Canada\'s youth risk falling behind unless school libraries get more resources, says Canada\'s national librarian, with the support of a new study called The Crisis in Canada\'s School Libraries.\"

\"In many places the state of school libraries is just miserable,\" Roch Carrier told the International Forum of Canadian Children\'s Literature on Thursday.\"

\"In this rich Canada, I saw libraries in schools where they could not buy books for the last 10 years.\" (from CBC Ottawa)

Pupils fingerprinted at school

"The children at Kingsmoor Lower School in Flitwick, Bedford, have been fingerprinted to enable them to use the school library, which has had a high-tech makeover."

"Pupils check out books by placing their thumb on a scanner which determines their identity."

"The school's librarian can then use data captured in the computer to finger those who do not return their books." (from BBC)

Report on Links Between Libraries and Achievement

Brought to you by Gary Deane: The Globe and Mail reports on a new study that shows a direct correlation between investment in school libraries and improved standardized test scores.

There's no quick fix [for poor standardized test scores], commentators are quick to point out. But what if there were? What if someone found a dependable method of raising test scores while enhancing the educational values that a standardized Q and A can't measure?
Ken Haycock, a University of British Columbia researcher and former chairman of the Vancouver School Board, has identified that miracle solution in one of modern education's most neglected outposts: the school library. No, it's not sexy or particularly cutting-edge -- the opposite, if anything, which may be why the library's backers can't get the attention of people fixated on education's next big thing.

The full report (in .pdf) is available here.

Parents save school librarian job

Christine writes "A Nice Story on parents at Hacienda Elementary in San Jose, CA Unified School District who saved a school librarian's position from being eliminated by contributing the $52,000 needed to keep her job. Dayle Moore was recently named San Jose Unified's Teacher of the Year for her work in the library and community, including a successful accelerated reading program. "If we lost the librarian . . . we're talking about taking a perfectly wonderful school down to zero,'' said parent Tessie Crosby." Moore will now be called a "resource teacher" since her official position no longer exists. "


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