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Jeffrey Hastings has written this lengthy essay on being (or not being) a school library media specialist. As always LISNews welcomes all original work. I am quite happy to now have had 2 days in a row with an original essay!
After eleven years as a school library media specialist, I’m considering quitting. I’ve gone back to school once again, completed the courses and taken the test required for secondary language arts certification and am prepared to beat a retreat into the classroom. Though I once felt school librarianship to be my ultimate professional destiny, I now think I’d like to teach high school English.
The teachers who are aware of this think I’m crazy. They wonder why I’d ever ditch the contemplative serenity of the school library in favor of the demanding unruliness of the English classroom. When I told our district personnel director of my interest in a pursuing a classroom post, she voiced the typical reaction: “Okay, Jeff,” she said, “but--I have to ask--my God, why? You’ve got the job all the teachers want.” -- Read More
The Nashville, TN Metro school district is planning to eliminate the positions of seven librarians, which could cause them to lose their school accreditation. The materials budget has been doubled, but unfortunately, it\'s been at the expense of the librarians themselves. Although Julie Walker, executive director of the American Association of School Librarians, applauds the boost in book money, she questions the logic. \"Why would you buy a Lexus without an engine? Acquiring skills to enable you to find, evaluate and use information is not inborn. Now, with the explosion of all the digital resources, you have to have someone helping students learn the skills they need to make wise choices. It permeates everything they do. If they can\'t wisely evaluate and use information, it affects all their coursework.\" More from The Tennessean
On the heels of this article, Learning Week takes a look at how \"e-learning\" is changing K-12 education. They\'ll be hosting a live Webcast tomorrow at 1:00 PM U.S. EST on the subject, featuring a panel of Canadian teachers, academics, and software vendors.
A recent interview with Tutor.com honcho John Fallon on library-sponsored online tutoring is now available from the Learning Week archives.
Abbey writes \"From the Boston Globe. \"Across the state, public school libraries are struggling, facing what librarians insist is a crisis that threatens to undermine the very academic skills education reform hoped to build up. There is no state mandate to fund libraries, so many remain neglected.\"
Full Story \"
I\'m not sure I understand This One.
A mother accompanies her daughter to the library on a weeknight to help with a research project. The school librarian says the mother cannot stay. The reason, she\'s told, is that parents are considered \"a security risk.\"
\"I\'m not a risk when I\'m at Crawford Stadium, or when in the gym, or even at a concert in the auditorium,\" Zajko. \"Apparently I am only a risk when I attempt to enter the high school library - a library funded and supported by my tax dollars.\"
Cabot writes \"Statistics Canada has prepared, for the National Library of Canada, an overview of school libraries in Canada.
\"Specifically, this report will examine information (both qualitative and quantitative), on library-related issues and concerns, elementary and secondary schools, school libraries, government spending, trends in enrolment and library finances. It will also provide an analysis of the availability and quality of current data sources for school libraries.\"
Full Report \"
From the Victoria Times Colonist:
Judith Reid isn\'t surprised to hear from me. God knows, the district\'s head teacher-librarian has been hearing from a lot of people these days during her visits to Greater Victoria school libraries, all of them asking the same questions I\'m asking.
Such as: What\'s going on with all these books? How come you\'re throwing away thousands of them? Aren\'t there desperate children somewhere in the Third World who\'d give anything to get their hands on some of these?
Reid and many of her 51 fellow teacher-librarians in the district are in the midst of a major cull, weeding out any books deemed to be outdated, shabby, incorrect, racist, sexist, ageist or just plain neglected . . .
janet clark writes \"Cover story, February 2002 issue of _Quill & Quire_ (Canadian book industry paper)
\"The crisis in school libraries\"
The January issue is on the web at quillandquire.com, February doesn\'t appear to be there yet, but story gives a sad picture of school libraries across Canada.
\"Last year, two of the five finalists in a national essay-writing contest competition were students from St. Andrew\'s High School in Victoria, B.C. and perhaps it\'s no coincidence that their English teacher is also the school librarian.\"...\" \'The state of our nation\'s school libraries can only be described as desperate in almost every province,\' says writer Roch Carrier, now the National Librarian of Canada.\"
They say demands of technology and higher academic standards are changing the roles of librarians, creating a new breed of educators who can shift gears from \"Hamlet\" to HTML, from Gogol to Google.
More importantly many of the same skills that make librarians indispensable in school are now making them more attractive to the private sector.
\"In the old days, you could trust a book, more or less,\" she says. \"You could look at the publisher. Now they have to figure this out for themselves.\"
Nancy Groves writes:
The World Bank Book Project packages and ships recycled books to supply hundreds of schools in several developing countries. It is currently undertaking a large shipment of books to Malawi.
This operation is entirely run by volunteers who collect, sort out and pack books according to the needs of each school which contacted this charity.
You can help them by donating books and magazines, old or new. The project is looking for elementary, intermediate, high school and university textbooks and library books, novels, fiction, National Geographic magazines and vocational material such as books on quilting,
knitting, woodworking etc . . .
Donations can be brought to the loading dock of the J building at 1775 G Street [in Washington, D.C.] all week long or at JB3-105 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Or you can contact Chantale Holzmann at 202-473-8960; Email:
Please distribute this notice to your friends and colleagues who may be able to supply the project with much needed books. Thanks very much!