Submitted by birdie on September 13, 2010 - 9:58am
From SLJ: Joan Steiner, illustrator and creator of the "Look-Alikes" series (Little, Brown), died September 8 of cancer at her home in Claverack, NY.
Using everything from broccoli to razors to dominoes, Steiner painstakingly assembled three-dimensional collages that recreated everyday scenes such as a train station, city street, general store, park, and zoo. When asked to name the most unusual object used in her art, Steiner replied, "There is a hand grenade in the general store in the first book." The grenade became a potbelly stove in the scene.
Time magazine named "Look-Alikes" one of the best children's books, and it was one of the New York Times Book Review's Notable Children's Books of 1998. Steiner went on to create six other titles in the series, including Look-Alikes, Look-Alikes Jr., Look-Alikes Christmas, and Look-Alikes Around the World, which have sold more than a million copies worldwide and were translated into 16 languages.
Steiner served for many years as vice-president of New York's Claverack Free Library and as co-chair of its building committee. Steiner spent more than 10 years finding an affordable way to increase the size of the library and to expand its programs to better serve the community.
Submitted by birdie on September 10, 2010 - 4:42pm
With varying degrees of success, area schools and libraries have begun making use of ebooks like the Nook and similar devices. The hand-held devices can compactly replace a whole stack of textbooks, lightening the load for students.
In today’s technology-driven age, where children have grown up in front of computers and video games, challenging them to read a book has become more difficult.
Marian Parker, librarian at Seneca Grade School decided to test electronic books with students last school year in a pilot program to see how they would respond to getting their reading from a hand-held device.
“Last year’s pilot program had 18 Kindles, which were used by seventh- and eighth-grade students,” Parker said. “This year, we have 106, and have six more ordered.
Read more: Morris Daily Herald, Morris IL.
Submitted by birdie on September 10, 2010 - 11:49am
Stockton MO -- The Stockton Missouri school board voted unanimously Wednesday night to uphold its April decision to ban a book from the school curriculum. The 7-0 vote came after a public forum about the novel, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie.
The board also voted, 7-2, against a proposal to return the book to the high school library with restrictions.
Board member Rod Tucker said his main concern was the book's language, that it had too much profanity to be of value. He rejected the argument that most kids are familiar with such language and use it regularly. [ed- note to Rod Tucker: don't forget you live in the 'show me' state]
Supporters of the book said it was chosen to get high school boys, particularly, interested in reading. Another board member said that was a mistake because the book's reading level is low for high school readers. "We're dumbing down our educational standards if we do that," Ken Spurgeon said.
Cheryl Marcum, a resident who had pushed the board to explain and reverse its decision, was disappointed by the vote. She said she's heard about the issue from young people who have left Stockton.
"They said, 'I left Stockton because stuff like that happens there,'" she said.
Submitted by birdie on September 1, 2010 - 2:26pm
The Bridgewater and Raynham (MA) middle school librarians won’t be getting their jobs back, but the schools’ libraries will remain open.
That was the word from school officials at the Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School Committee meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 25. School Committee member Gordon Luciano said after the meeting the decision of the administration to use proctors instead of librarians at the middle schools this year is final and does not need a vote by the school board.
The school committee could have chosen to override the decision, he said. But there was no discussion of possible alternatives and there were no motions by committee members to take a different route.
The school committee meeting was the last before the beginning of school on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Last year, Bridgewater Middle School and Raynham Middle School each had one full-time librarian. But this year, the funding for those positions was eliminated. Story from the Bridgewater Independent.
Submitted by birdie on August 20, 2010 - 2:20pm
For Jess deCourcy Hinds, a a school librarian and freelance writer from Long Island City, back to school means only one thing: handing out 3,500 textbooks and begging students to treat them kindly. She writes in the NYTimes Cityroom blog:
I am still in shock from June, when a parent returned his daughter’s 10th-grade English text. It looked just like its name: “Things Fall Apart.” Ripped and torn, its cover was splattered with tomato sauce, as if it had been shot in the heart. My horrified expression did not register with the student’s father. “Do we owe you anything?” he asked. Flummoxed, I just smiled and issued his daughter full credit for returning her books.
In late August, we educators should be thinking about how to spark students’ love of learning — not peeling bubble gum off books or scrubbing “Macbeth” with the obsessiveness of Lady M. herself.
Since the recession, library use — and book abuse — have skyrocketed. I’ve found younger generations to be avid readers, but as products of the digital age, they don’t always respect the physicality of books. They dog-ear pages with the impulsiveness of clicking a mouse, not realizing that their actions have permanent consequences. Kindle-reading parents may have also forgotten the basics of book care.
Submitted by birdie on August 12, 2010 - 10:06am
A Redding (CA) School District librarian accused of embezzling and stealing from a school and parent club has not been placed on leave, an administration official said Wednesday.
Wanell Stolz is still working as an information specialist at Juniper Elementary and Cypress Elementary schools, district Superintendent Diane Kempley said before a special board meeting called to discuss “various employee evaluations” in closed session Wednesday.
Two parents who arrived at the meeting late and did not address the board said while the board was in closed session that they are concerned about having Stolz, who was arrested last week, working around their children.
“With everything that is going on with her case, I really don’t think she should be working with kids,” said Alisha Woodruff, who has two children who will be attending Juniper School when classes begin next week. The accused librarian is the wife of Redding School District Board of Trustees President Rein Stolz. Redding.com.
Submitted by birdie on August 4, 2010 - 12:16pm
Speaking of ebooks, do you use them in your library? And wouldn't you like to know how widespread their use is in libraries?
LJ/SLJ is taking a survey and wants your participation. It is designed to measure current and projected ebook availability in libraries, user preferences in terms of access and subjects, and library purchasing terms and influences. This survey is open to all types of libraries, and high level results will presented during LJ/SLJ's first ever virtual summit, ebooks: Libraries at the Tipping Point to be held on September 29, 2010. Detailed results will also be reported in LJ and SLJ later in the fall.
Contest ends September 3. Prizes...including an iPad for one lucky sucker...for your participation! Start here.
Submitted by birdie on August 3, 2010 - 8:08am
EVERSON, WA - Sheryl Kindle Fullner was thrilled when she was asked to write a book about building and maintaining libraries with cheap and resourceful methods, since she had spent a dozen years doing just that.
When school starts this fall, the Everson resident will be in her 13th year as a librarian and teacher at Nooksack Middle School. She used her experiences to write "The Shoestring Library," which was recently published by Linworth Publishing, Inc. The book is designed to help librarians administer libraries in tough times. School and college librarians and public librarians in small, underfunded libraries are its target.
A Q and A with the author can be found at the News Tribune. More book info from Linworth Publishing.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on July 31, 2010 - 9:28pm
Joanna McNally, who was named 2010 Ohio School Librarian of the Year while at Brush High School, has accepted a position as media specialist at Orange High School.
McNally was hired at a salary of $73,564 by the Orange Board of Education June 28.
The South Euclid-Lyndhurst school board accepted her resignation, retroactive to June 28, on July 21.
Submitted by birdie on July 20, 2010 - 8:50am
What is the 24 Hour Fast for School Libraries?
Equal Education (EE) calls on everyone to join our Fast for School Libraries from 6:00 pm on Thursday 29 July until 6:00 pm on Friday 30 July to show government that all children deserve a quality education which includes properly stocked libraries, managed by librarians.
Why is Equal Education fasting (not eating) for 24 hours?
As a result of EE's consistent campaigning a National Policy recognising the need for a library or library stocks in every school was published by government on 11 June 2010.
In addition, School Libraries Guidelines have been drafted, but these must be improved to give schools a clear instruction to establish libraries and must be accompanied by a budget allocation. It is crucial that post for school librarians are established.
Most importantly, Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure must be finalised for all schools. All these document will only be implemented when government has a budget, plan and timetable to ensure that all schools in South Africa have libraries with a librarian.
The campaign is working but there is a long way to go!
Submitted by Blake on June 24, 2010 - 9:33am
Libraries fading as school budget crisis deepens
Students who wished their school librarians a nice summer on the last day of school may be surprised this fall when they're no longer around to recommend a good book or help with homework. No one will know exactly how many jobs are lost until fall, but the American Association of School Administrators projects 19 percent of the nation's school districts will have fewer librarians next year, based on a survey this spring. Ten percent said they cut library staff for the 2009-2010 school year.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 10, 2010 - 12:52pm
Last month, Google launched an encrypted version of its Web search, allowing users to enable a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection to encrypt their information. Like several other Google products that feature SSL encryption, including email and Docs, Google touted this move as a step towards enhancing users' privacy and security.
But as the encrypted searches mean that data cannot be logged, filtered, or blocked, Google's new secure search runs afoul of CIPA, the Children's Internet Protection Act. And with the service's beta release, many schools are now facing some difficult decisions in how to respond.
CIPA requires schools to monitor, and in some cases block, certain websites. And while filtering is not necessarily a popular tactic (the American Library Association and the ACLU have sought to overturn the law), schools and libraries receiving federal E-rate funding must comply.
Submitted by birdie on May 4, 2010 - 5:33pm
Rose Zertuche-Treviño, a librarian who devoted her career to helping improve the lives of children, died on April 30 in Houston, TX. She was 58 reports SLJ.
Treviño spent her last seven years as the youth services coordinator for the Houston Public Library, a system that serves one of the biggest Spanish-speaking populations in the country. She retired in October 2009 and moved back to San Antonio, where she was born and raised.
“How fitting that Rose died on April 30th, El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/ Book Day),” says her friend and colleague Oralia Garza de Cortes, a Latino children's literature consultant. “She loved her work and devoted her life to making sure all children had access to great literature and particularly to programs where children could enjoy and connect to the literature.”
The granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, Treviño grew up poor. Her father worked in a cotton field as a child and went on to hold two jobs to support his family, while his wife worked four jobs. Treviño’s first language was Spanish and only learned to speak English when she entered kindergarten. It was also that year that her mother first took her to a public library—and the five-year-old decided on her career path. “Not everyone figures out what they want to be at such a young age,” says her son Steven Treviño, 33. “And she got to do more than she thought she would ever do.”
Submitted by birdie on May 3, 2010 - 11:02am
It's becoming ever more critical day by day; today marks the beginning of Choose Privacy Week (School Library Journal).
“The point of Choose Privacy is to spark a nationwide dialogue of what privacy means to us, and what the privacy laws are today in the digital space,” says Angela Maycock, assistant director for ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
For children, protecting those rights is even more critical as young students often aren’t sophisticated enough to grasp what is appropriate behavior on the Web. School librarians can play a crucial role in helping to steer children towards tools they can use to protect themselves, say experts.
“Certainly we know young people are intuitively and naturally interested in social networking and other tools online,” says Maycock. “And so school librarians play a really important and critical part in this effort as they’re a starting gate in learning how to access information, and do it responsibly and safely.”
Yet how school librarians approach these lessons can vary, especially depending on a student’s age. A kindergartener may have a different understanding of cookies than a junior in high school and so teaching tools often need to start with very rudimentary examples and behavior models.
Submitted by birdie on May 2, 2010 - 9:06am
More than 90 per cent of teacher-librarians in Australia are believed to be over 40, compared to half of teachers generally. Many teacher-librarians also retire early because of a lack of promotional opportunities reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Meanwhile, there are just four tertiary courses nationally to train them, from a peak of 15, and only about 100 graduates a year.
Library associations say job security is poor, discouraging potential students. In Victoria, rationalisation during the Kennett era and dwindling budgets has meant many principals have chosen to hire extra classroom teachers instead of librarians to reduce class sizes.
''The view is that libraries are not important because students just access information online,'' Mrs Ellingworth told The Sunday Age. ''But the thing is, students have got information overload. They don't know where to start.''
Ms Ellingworth conducts sessions for students on finding, assessing and publishing information safely on the internet. But she would like to offer the students more.
''We used to have specific library programs … but now we work with teachers and classes..''
Submitted by birdie on April 23, 2010 - 10:32am
WALNUT CREEK — Librarians from Walnut Creek, Concord, Castro Valley and San Jose joined members of the California PTA today at Foothill Middle School to denounce education cuts that are shutting school libraries.
Because of cuts in the Mt. Diablo district, most middle schools libraries are open two days a week and closed three days. But Foothill parents raised about $17,000 to keep their librarian on-site for a third day and to pay for a library aide who staffs the facility from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the other two days.
California ranks 51st in the nation in its ratio of librarians to students, with one school librarian per 5,124 students compared to the national average of one to 916 students, according to a 2006-07 report from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Read more at education writer Theresa Harrington's On Assignment blog at www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on April 21, 2010 - 2:01pm
A conversation with kindergartners changed the course of Stephanie Gwinn's career three years ago. The Parkside Elementary School librarian in Grant Park was reading to students a book in which a character ate meat, a notion that struck the children as equally bizarre and horrifying.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 21, 2010 - 11:43am
One of our teachers received a grant to buy iPods to record her reading children’s books. She plans to share the recordings with her students so they can follow along with the stories. Although audio versions of the books can be purchased from iTunes, is this a fair use?
Question and answer here
Submitted by birdie on April 13, 2010 - 2:30pm
April is National School Librarians Month, and today is National Library Workers Day, bad timing for the American Association of School Administrators to report that 19 percent of school districts surveyed expect to cut librarians' jobs next year.
Rockwall High School librarian Nicole Redmond shows students in a family living class how to better explore resources on the Web in the library's computer lab.
Cuts couldn't come at a worse time, librarians and their advocates argue, because the close reading, critical thinking and research skills they teach are more important now than ever.
"The Internet and Google are wonderful tools, but it's all kind of a cut-and-paste mentality," said Gloria Meraz of the Texas Library Association in Austin. "There is such a fundamental need to continue to teach children to think critically."
Dallas News reports.
Submitted by AndyW on April 12, 2010 - 1:48am
Via Times Live (South Africa)
: "On Human Rights Day, March 21, a Sunday, 10000 high school pupils marched through the centre of Cape Town in school uniform. They were children, predominantly of working-class origins, from all over the Western Cape, rural and urban, black and white. Not a rock or a bottle was thrown and they dispersed peacefully to the trains that had been arranged to take them home.
Sixteen years after democracy, our young people are calling for schools that work, for places where they may study and for materials that will help them read and learn. As the organisation Equal Education points out, fewer than 7% of schools in South Africa have a functioning library. Perhaps 21% have some kind of structure called a reading room, but these are usually used for classrooms, are seldom stocked properly and do not have a library professional in charge to ensure that the right books are there and that they are used properly. The lack of libraries compounds the many problems, such as teachers' poor subject knowledge and poor access to textbooks, that plague our schooling system. These factors combine to make our reading outcomes, at all grade levels, among the worst in Africa."