School Libraries

PowerPoint Goes to School

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story in the November 12th issue on the use of PPT in schools. They say even 2nd graders use it now. They also add the software tool also has its doubters, who worry that it is reducing writing to phrases and talking points and covering up weak content with dazzling graphics. "Writing has eroded seriously," says C. Peter McGrath, who heads the commission and previously was president of the universities of Missouri and Minnesota.

"We have children begging" to present their PowerPoint projects, adds Sandra Mammenga, principal of Central Heights Elementary, "You don't see that with a little report that they put into the teachers' basket."

Low-budget libraries have high cost

Kathleen de la Pena McCook sent over a Sad Story Florida's school libraries. They say the academic backbone of Florida's schools is becoming little more than a warehouse for old, useless books.
An Orlando Sentinel investigation of school libraries across the state found a system educators call a national embarrassment. Outdated books occupy shelves. Untrained clerks oversee dozens of media centers. Libraries close frequently for testing and picture days.

Public schools face librarian shortage

The Indianapolis Star Says licensed school librarians also are becoming an extinct group. They say there aren't enough qualified school librarians to fill jobs currently available, much less the positions that will open when baby boomers retire.

Bad News At The Library

One Sad Story says The Springfield School District's elementary schools began the 2002-03 school year with no librarians or library assistants, positions that were eliminated when nearly $10 million in budget cuts were made last spring.
That has left 2 that still do not allow children into their libraries.

An unrelated, but sad Story says Nearly eight weeks into the school year, hundreds of students remain unable to check out books from some elementary school libraries in St. Louis. This, thanks to a "change over to computer systems." They say With quality libraries critical to improving student achievement, many school libraries in other districts have gone through automation without skipping a beat.
Librarians say they lack the staff, money, qualified volunteers and time to do the work any faster.

In search of a decent school library

Arab News has This Story that says One of the most neglected facilities in Saudi Schools is the school library. Good libraries play a pivotal role in education and should consequently be considered indispensable in every school.

To encourage students to use the library at some schools, at the end of the school year is a gift given to the student who borrowed the most books and there is an intellectual competition.

Schools reviving a dead language

A CNN Story says As educators work to improve student performance in basic subjects such as reading, math, history and science, a few are finding that Latin, long thought stuffy and irrelevant, can help.
They say in 1895, about 44 percent of American students took Latin.

Tibi gratias ago.

Mexican Americans and Segregated Schooling

Ender pointed the way to South by Southwest: Mexican Americans and Segregated Schooling, 1900-195o, by Vicki L. Ruiz. The narrative that follows briefly delineates the institutional nature of segregation "for the cause of Americanization" as well as two significant legal challenges by Latino parents on behalf of their children.

"To this day I just love
going into libraries...there are two places that I can go in and get a
real warm, happy feeling; that is, the library and Bullock's in the
perfume and make-up department."

Net has boosted need for librarians

Lee passed along This Story that says the Internet has made trained librarians more necessary than ever before. I\'m not sure what it has done for the untrained librarians.
They say credentialed library media teachers can teach students how to conduct efficient Internet searches, sift valid information from a sea of bogus Web pages, and most importantly, monitor the sites they\'re accessing while teaching them about the ethics involved in plagiarism and copyright infringement.
See Also:Just one in seven California schools has a credentialed library media teacher on campus working part time or more.

Improving Literacy Through School Libraries

Ender, Duke_of_URL writes: \"On Sept 27 2002, the Department of Education announced 94 grants (doc) to
improve literacy through school libraries. The LSL program is
designed to promote local strategies to improve student achievement by
improving library services and resources, including advanced school
library media centers and professionally certified school library
media specialists\"

Cleaning Out the Stacks: Public School Libraries Slowly Update Collections

New, stricter state standards for school libraries in Missouri means massive weeding of outdated material. \"Many Missouri public school libraries still had books saying: “Someday, man will go to the moon...\" Those outdated books have been yanked off the shelves along with thousands of others deemed unacceptable by toughened state standards. But once they were off, many schools scrambled for funds to replace them and add books needed to meet new state library guidelines that emphasize quality and timeliness over quantity. Read More.


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