Libraries attract latchkey kids with activities, programs

The Post and Courier (Charleston,SC) has a report on the main branch of the Charleston County Library and their "latchkey" children that flood in after school. Some do their homework, like Christina Brown, 12, who on a recent day sat on the steps to finish her French while waiting for her father, and Brittany Latten, also a sixth-grader, who researched a social studies project on a computer in the children's area.

Others, such as fifth-grade pals Louisa Hopkins and Sophie Greene, gather in a group outside to pass the time.

Coached on safety issues, the youngsters mainly keep to themselves and stay in groups. They know exactly what time to expect their rides home.

Libraries aren't day-care centers

The Fort Wayne News Sentinel Looks At the staffers at the Allen County Public Library who are expressing concerns for the safety of children left alone, sometimes even without a way to get home. Security staff recorded an estimated 81 incidences last year systemwide in which a child was left unattended for several hours or was at the library at closing time without a parent or a way home. John Hidy, security services manager for the library system, said, to his recollection, that represents a slight increase from previous years though he doesn't have any numbers before 2005.

The library branch is a great resource, but as with any public place, predators can hang out,he said. We're very fortunate that we haven't had any serious incidents.

Reinventing libraries in CA

Reinventing libraries is an article from the Sacramento Bee that takes a look at the innovations in school libraries that set stage for online research but also bring uncertainties. The Rio Linda Union School District is expanding their libraries, and they say it's a bold investment in libraries, particularly as library programs from other districts sometimes face the chopping block when budgets tighten.Rio Linda Union's library media centers may be steps ahead of other districts' programs, but Rio Linda is still wrestling with the debate familiar to other districts over how best to integrate online education with book learning.

25,000 books for the kids in NSW

Some Good News for the kids down in New South Wales. Truck loads of new books are to be delivered to NSW schools thanks to a joint fund-raising effort to put more than 25,000 books into their libraries.

About $190,000 has been raised for the Premier's Reading Challenge Books for Schools fund by donations from The Sun-Herald and the NSW Department of Education and Training.

Not a single shop sells only children's books

A Report AT Ha'aretz Daily says Egypt's children can buy the affordable old books distributed by the governmental publishing house Dar Al Maaref, written over 50 years ago. "But they are so out of date and written in a language children find difficult to understand," complained Abul Magd in an interview with the Egyptian monthly, "Egypt Today." Children's literature is a painful subject that comes up each time a book fair is held in Egypt - and is dropped just as quickly. Thus, for example, only one session will be devoted to the subject of children's literature and its distribution problems in Arab countries, among the dozens of other discussions that will be held in the context of the fair.

Knitting and Mancala Bring Kids to Libraries

Just in case you're finding that budget stretched too tight to pay for some Xbox 360s, here's a pair of news articles about children attending library events featuring classic games and knitting sessions. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Library 2.0.


Newberry, Caldecott Winners Announced by ALA

ALA Announces 2006 Newbery, Caldecott Winners
Here is a list of the winners of the 2006 John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals, along with other award winners and honor books, announced today at the 2006 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio.


Newbery Medal:
Criss Cross, by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins)

Newbery Honor Books:
Whittington, by Alan Armstrong, illustrated by S.D. Schindler (Random House)
Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Scholastic Nonfiction, an imprint of Scholastic)
Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
Show Way, by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott (G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Caldecott Medal:
The Hello, Goodbye Window, illustrated by Chris Raschka, written by Norton Juster (Michael di Capua Books, an imprint of Hyperion Books for Children)

Caldecott Honor Books:
Rosa, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Nikki Giovanni (Henry Holt and Company)
Zen Shorts, written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic Press)
Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride, written and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman (An Anne Schwartz Book from Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster)
Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, illustrated by Beckie Prange, written by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin Company)

Broward library introduces online storytelling

Redcardlibrarian writes "The Miami Herald reports:

"The Broward County Library system now offers a new feature, Online Story Time, on its website,

Online Story Time is an actual story available online in a streaming media format, according to a news release from the library system.

The first two stories are written and told by Lucia M. Gonzalez, Broward County Library's associate director for youth services. They are The Bossy Gallito (El Gallo de Bodas) and Senor Cat's Romance and other Favorite Latin American Stories.

The stories are told in English, and can be watched from any computer with Internet access. To view either version of Online Story Time, visit and click on the A-Z Directory in the right navigational bar. Then, scroll down to the letter O and select either story under Online Story Time."

The current story is Senor Cat's Romance "


Swearing's on the Increase -- Have you Noticed?

Back in 1930 when Freud's "Society and its Discontents" was published, profanity was seldomly used publicly, but when it was, it was used creatively. Nowadays it seems to be an everyday thing, sometimes an every-other-word thing....and especially among young people.

The Cincinnati Enquirer does an informal survey, including observations by librarians, teachers and students, most responding that parents and the media are to blame.

So watch that shhhhh might get a four-letter word back in response.


Library Bars Students w/o Adult After School

After trying several measures to deal with crowds of rowdy students after school, the Wickliffe Public Library (OH) decided that they would not admit kids under 14 years of age, unless accompanied by an adult, between the hours of 2:30-5:30 on weekdays.

Richard Zalecky, the library's clerk-treasurer, said that at times more than 100 children have been seen loitering inside the library or outside. Graffiti has been found on outside walls and inside restrooms, he said. Students have harassed patrons as they arrive or leave, he said.

"We had to escort some people out because they were afraid of the crowd," Zalecky said.

More, and mixed reaction here at the Akron Beacon


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