School Libraries

School Libraries

I am a book trafficker

I am a book trafficker

The Librotraficante Caravan will travel from Houston, Texas on March 12th to Tucson, Arizona, carrying a payload of contraband books, creating networks of underground libraries and leaving community resources in its wake. One of many responses to Arizona’s unconstitutional laws prohibiting Mexican-American Studies, the Librotraficante Caravan has captured the imagination and hearts of activists, writers, educators, and students from all walks of life who want to preserve freedom of speech.

School librarian off to Zambia to work with street kids

School librarian off to Zambia to work with street kids
At a time in her life when many parents are helping their older teens get ready for a gap year, Jennifer MacKinnon is taking one herself.

Last week, the 55-year-old Millwood High School librarian headed off to Zambia to volunteer for a year with a special library project aimed at street kids in the African country’s capital, Lusaka.

MacKinnon said in an interview before leaving that she was both excited and afraid. But it’s an adventure that she has been building toward for years.

Occupy Wall Street Library Sending Banned Books To AZ

Join Us in Supporting the Students and Teachers of Tucson Unified School District

This is where you come in. Acting in solidarity with OccupyTucson and the students, parents, and teachers of the Tucson Unified School District we are going send copies of the banned texts to Tucson for distribution. Lots of copies. As many copies as we can find and buy. We respect the rights of authors and publishers, so all copies will be completely legally purchased though an independent bookseller or directly from the publisher. Donations of the these texts are, of course, welcomed.

Activities of Schools and Teachers Created Nexus for Bookseller

Scholastic needs to pay tax in Tennessee

The activities of Tennessee schools and teachers are sufficient to create Tennessee sales and use tax nexus for a mail-order bookseller that sells books via marketing materials distributed in schools.

Full article

Court opinion can be read here.

Students Save School Librarian's Life

Students Save School Librarian’s Life
Students at Piper Elementary are being recognized for their life saving efforts. The school held an assembly on Friday to honor Mrs. Ward’s first grade class.

The librarian had an apparent heart attack while the students were using the library a couple of weeks ago.

U.S. House Drafts SKILLS Act to Support School Librarians

U.S. House Drafts SKILLS Act to Support School Librarians
Three House lawmakers introduced legislation this week that could strengthen and ensure school librarians' continued role as educators in the nation's K-12 schools.

Tucson Unified School District has not banned any books as has been widely and incorrectly reported

George Orwell comes to TUSD: Books not banned, just boxed up and out of MAS classrooms
"NONE of the above books have been banned by TUSD. Each book has been boxed and stored as part of the process of suspending the classes. The books listed above were cited in the ruling that found the classes out of compliance with state law."
Here's the backstory: The "Madness" of the Tucson Book Ban: Interview With Mexican American Studies Teacher Curtis Acosta on The Tempest

Censoring School Books Before They're Bought

It's bad enough when a local politician is trying to designate which books a school should or should not buy, but it's even more frightening when he doesn't even know what he's doing.

From the article:

At the beginning of the school year, as the Dysart Unified School District was preparing to buy more than 1,000 novels for its libraries and classrooms, Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, posted to an online message board a list of books he thought the district was considering buying that he found objectionable.

It turned out that Harper had clicked on the wrong link for Follett Library Resources and viewed books from a general list of inventory available through the company, Follett, rather than a specific list created by the district.

More from AZCentral.com.

A Dearth of California School Librarians

If you can read this, don't thank a school librarian -- they're too hard to find.

Fewer than 25 percent of California public schools are staffed with a school librarian, according to SFGate. That makes about 900 school librarians across the state, according to Department of Education statistics -- or the lowest ratio of librarians-to-students in the country.

With budgets sliced and diced to balance big statewide deficits in Sacramento, school librarians are often the first to go, according to the report. Schools will try to share librarians between three campuses, or ask parent volunteers to fill in to tell students where the books are kept.

More from NBC Bay Area News.

School librarians trying to survive budget cuts

School librarians trying to survive budget cuts

Certified librarians — those who have two degrees, including one in library sciences — have become somewhat of a rarity in California schools as districts statewide slash their budgets each year by sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars.

CILIP/National Literacy Trust Press Release on School Libraries

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, the British counterpart to the American Library Association, issued jointly with the UK's National Literacy Trust a press release condemning the announced 2012 closure of Hertfordshire Schools Library Services.

School Librarian Concerns About Amazon/Marshall Cavendish Deal

Amazon's decision last week to purchase 450 children's book titles from Marshall Cavendish has left librarians wondering how the ecommerce giant will handle the books' distribution channels, and whether they'll still be available from independent bookstores and major library suppliers such as Follett, Mackin and Baker & Taylor.

Full article in School Library Journal

Girls talking in library push student over edge

What You Can Do To Support School Libraries In Crisis

Carl Harvey II writes in In today's Huffington Post:

As the leader of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and an educator, I am struck by the lack of support for school libraries from federal and local governments. Do decision makers fully realize how their lack of support will hinder the education of America's next generation? Due to the lack of funding for school libraries, students are at risk of not having some of the most critical 21st century skills needed to compete in the global marketplace.

There is a common misconception that technology replaces school libraries and school librarians. Rather, in reality the explosion of technology and information access makes having full-time access to a state certified school librarian and school library program even more critical for today's learners. There is an entire new skill set today's students will need as they enter the workplace, and school librarians are the leaders in helping teach these skills to students.

Quebecers' Have something to learn from bookish Ontario

Quebecers' Have something to learn from bookish Ontario

Two things are discouraging about young Quebecers' reading skills.

The first is the nationwide-reading test whose results came out this week: Quebec's eighth-graders scored "significantly lower" than Canadian students as a whole. (Quebec's English public schools ranked fifth among the provinces. Their counterparts in French schools fared far more poorly than in the previous test in 2007.)

The other thing that's discouraging is that no solution for this problem exists in Quebec.

School Librarians’ Role in ‘Crap Detection’ Cited

The crisis of information literacy, a familiar issue within the library community, is getting some wider attention. In this month’s Wired, Clive Thompson cites a recent study that reveals the paucity of search skills among so-called digital natives at both high school and college levels. Importantly he gets to the vital role school librarians play in fostering information literacy, including the critical approach to content, dubbed “crap detection” by Howard Rheingold.

See article in a School Library Journal

Laid-Off Teacher Makes Rebuilding School Libraries Her Mission

The library at Rowen Elementary School in North Philadelphia is musty and outdated - a locked room used for storage and occasional meetings, a repository of yellowing, untouched books. But Callie Hammond has big dreams for the room, whose leather-bound encyclopedias were printed in 1986, the year she was born. The plan is to start in city elementary schools with no library. <a href="http://www.LibraryBuild.org">Library Build</a> would recruit and pay library science graduates in exchange for a two-year service commitment to city schools.

A Call for Opening Up Web Access at Schools

A Call for Opening Up Web Access at Schools
Students, teachers and librarians across the United States are questioning whether schools should block Web sites.
Entire categories of Web sites had been blocked, including those that involved games, violence, weapons, even swimsuits, said Judy Gressel, a librarian. “It just got to the point that it became hard to conduct research,” she said, adding that students could not read sites about, say, military weapons for a history paper.

School libraries replaced with learning commons

School libraries replaced with 'learning commons' (Catholic school system in Ontario)

"We've kept reference materials here (in the library)," school principal David Lozinsky said. "That will help the teachers when they come to a certain point in their curriculum. Whether they're working on research, iPads, let's face it, it's a digital world now, Everything in the school, like books will be online, so there might not be a need for books anymore," he said.

Throwing the Book at School Libraries, L.A. Version

It's September, a time to remind children that we care about them and have high hopes and all that.

So what's going on in Los Angeles Unified? The school district is dumping 227 of its 430 elementary school library aides and cutting the hours of another 193 aides in half.

Welcome back to school, kids.

More from the LA Times.

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