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GlobeBooks.com has a Story that says The Americans understand the key role school libraries play
in learning. Why doesn\'t Canada?
Canadian politicians have evidently embraced standardized testing, but they seem troublingly indifferent to school libraries. Most provinces seem to regard them as a kind of discretionary item, easily sacrificed in the name of budget restraint.
Thanks to Bob Cox for the story!
Jeffrey Hastings writes:
A few weeks ago I posted an essay entitled \"Technology and The School Library: Great Expectations and Unexpected Consequences.\"
An unexpected consequence followed. People actually read the lengthy and rambling article--both on LM_NET and here--and wrote me to thank me for telling a largely untold story about the state of the school librarianship. I heard from lots of them. They told me that my career retrospective was \"eerily familiar\" because, they said, it was essentially their story, too.
In the essay I talked about facing the decision to quit school librarianship and retreat into classroom teaching after having faced a series of disappointments over the last decade. Though I mentioned a number of challenges and obstacles, most related to how technology, which presents so much promise and so many potentials to our profession in theory, had, in fact, had an adverse impact on both my ability to teach and my \"brick and mortar\" school library operation in practice. -- Read More
steven bell writes \"Today\'s Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the deficit-ridden city school system will achieve savings by cutting librarian postitions at fourteen city schools, a continuation of a long-term demise of the profession librarian in the Philadelphia School District. Most of the schools will keep the library open with minimal or no staffing. Read the Story
Also take a look at a worthwhile view of the situation by Lucia Herndon, an Inquirer columnist:
Right Here \"
Bob Cox sent along This Globe & Mail Story that quotes national librarian Roch Carrier as saying \"I was flabbergasted by the miserable state of our school libraries,\" after touring the country\'s book repositories large and small.
\"I saw beautiful ones, but I saw school libraries closed 50 per cent of the time, I saw school libraries that served 10,000 students, I saw libraries with no new books in the last 10 years. ... In Canada, it\'s happening. It doesn\'t make sense.\"
\"Of the papers we\'ve reviewed, about 30 percent are sent back with more than 50 percent of the paper underlined,\" says John Barrie, one of the site\'s founders. \"That leaves a lot of students with some explaining to do.\"
Suprised it\'s so low?
The state of Georgia has proposed to cut funding to school libraries is based on a logic that \"school libraries are not places where direct instruction occurs.\" According to an article in the Macon Telegraph, \"It is counterproductive to place emphasis on reading, while at the same time, cutting the funds that supply books to read.\" More
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.