Submitted by birdie on May 7, 2014 - 11:38am
From the LA Times:
L.A. Unified paid for library staff in every school before the recession began in 2008. Today, it provides librarians in high schools but leaves most elementary and middle school campuses to make tough choices on whether to use their limited discretionary funds on library aides, nurses, counselors or other key staff.
Since 2011, the union has alleged that L.A. Unified laid off their members, then illegally allowed parent volunteers, instructional aides and others to do their work at nearly four dozen campuses. The district issued a bulletin last year clarifying that library work can be performed only by those with proper credentials, but the union asserts that violations are still occurring. Without trained staff to make sure books are properly checked out, returned and refiled, she said, thousands have gone missing.
Aiming to stem the problems, the Los Angeles Board of Education recently agreed to form a districtwide task force to seek ways to improve access to school libraries with more dollars, alternative arrangements and collaboration with other public libraries and charitable organizations.
Submitted by birdie on May 5, 2014 - 9:48am
From The Chicago Sun-Times: A beautiful new library opened last week in Humboldt Park for the 800 students of Daniel R. Cameron Elementary School. Puffy pillows await children for story time; new chairs sit at brand new tables, and shelves of books line the long, light-filled room. Quotes from children’s literature adorn the freshly painted walls. “Let the wild rumpus start!” reads one from Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”
A very grateful Cameron community celebrated the opening with Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who praised the room as “absolutely amazing” and told children that libraries were her favorite place as a girl.
“You are fortunate now to have a library,” Byrd-Bennett said at Thursday’s festive ribbon-cutting. “We know you’re going to be successful because you have this precious resource.”
But still, 252 of the 527 Chicago Public Schools that are staffed by union teachers lack a librarian, and 18 more schools have just a part-time librarian, according to the Chicago Teachers Union. By CPS’ count of 658 schools, which includes charters, 517 schools have libraries, according to district spokesman Joel Hood, who did not provide a count of librarians.
Submitted by Blake on April 30, 2014 - 8:32pm
Here's [PDF] the Materials Review Committee Reconsideration of Materials Summary for 2013 from the Toronto Public Libraries... It lists a complaint against Hop on Pop... Encourages children to use violence against their fathers: Remove from collection and issue an apology to fathers in the GTA and pay for damages resulting from the book. "The children are actually told not to hop on pop. "
Submitted by birdie on March 19, 2014 - 11:07am
This is a tragedy.
From The Miami Herald: Squeezed by tax cuts, Florida’s largest library system can’t buy nearly the number of children’s books it used to.
Countywide, Miami-Dade libraries budgeted about $90,000 for children’s books this year, a fraction of the $1.3 million the system spent in 2005 and about 60 percent below the $210,000 budget in place just three years ago.
Submitted by birdie on February 23, 2014 - 12:10pm
Here's the story via Melville House about a three year old childrens book that is ruffling some French feathers.
In a country where the banning of books is rare and mostly unheard of, France has recently experienced a spate of attacks by its politicians on the most liberal of French children’s books. Right-wing and even mainstream politicians have begun calling for the censorship of certain books in a trend that seems to reflect that “the domestic political system in France is under strain”, as Olivia Snaije noted for Publishing Perspectives.
In the most public example, the leader of the UMP, France’s main opposition party (which was previously led by President Nicolas Sarkozy), Jean-François Copé, appeared on French TV holding a copy of Tous à Poil (Everybody Gets Naked). Surely one of the sweetest ideas for a children’s book, Tous à Poil is a story in which everyone, the baby, the babysitter, the neighbour, the teacher and even the CEO get naked. The book’s authors, Claire Franek and Marc Daniau, explained they had written it in in order to show:
“Real bodies in natural situations from a child’s everyday life to counter the numerous images of bodies, often undressed, altered by Photoshop or plastic surgery, that are shown in ads or on the covers of magazines.”
Submitted by birdie on October 17, 2013 - 10:14am
From The New York Times:
Patricia Ann Kettles did not read her first book until she was 10. She knows what it is to struggle with the very act of reading, trying to make sense of words on a page long past an age when other children can polish off a thick Harry Potter or Twilight novel as quickly as a wedge of cake.
Now 40, at the library on Staten Island where she presides and where patrons know her fondly as “Miss Patty,” she talked recently about what it was like to be illiterate while others around her were devouring entire worlds.
“The family’s name for me is Patty Ann, and for the longest time when I wrote the name ‘Patricia,’ I thought I was writing ‘Patty Ann’ because I had memorized it,” she said. “I didn’t realize I was not writing my right name.”
Forced to repeat first grade and twice made to switch schools, she was so lost that she was in fourth grade before she conquered an entire book. “That was ‘Dear Mr. Henshaw,’ by Beverly Cleary,” Ms. Kettles said. “I remember, because I was so proud.”
Today she is the manager of the Port Richmond Library, which operates out of a stately brick edifice that Andrew Carnegie’s largess built a century ago on “one of the finest residence streets on Staten Island,” as the area was described in The Staten Islander of March 1905. There is a theater in the basement bestowed upon the library 74 years ago by the Work Projects Administration.
Submitted by birdie on October 9, 2013 - 4:49pm
Submitted by birdie on October 4, 2013 - 10:34am
Who could refuse? Workman Publishing, via Early Word is offering a FREE COPY of a new book by Chip Kidd, GO, an introduction to graphic design for kids, but also a wonderful primer for adults. Be one of the first 50 librarians or instructors to respond!
Submitted by birdie on September 27, 2013 - 3:55pm
Yes and no, according to your perspective.
City Limits, a NYC blog reports that earlier this summer, the Department of Education requested a variance from the state, asking official permission to offer fewer librarians in schools. While the DOE says it recognizes librarians' value, in the face of fiscal challenges and technological changes the department is looking for alternative ways to provide students with library services. In place of hiring certified librarians, schools could train teachers to offer the same services, bring in parent volunteers or have librarians circulate between schools.
Meanwhile, elementary schools are exempt from the regulation altogether. Some elementary school libraries are staffed by teachers or librarians without certification. Some even go without.
And from the librarians' POV: "The idea that a shelf full of a books somehow replaces a librarian is wrong," says Christian Zabriskie, Executive Director of Urban Librarians Unite, a professional group that supports librarianship in urban settings. "If I'm exploring things about, say, my sexuality, drug issues, health issues, I can't grab those books in front of my peers," he adds. Zabriskie's own middle school librarian had a significant impact on his life by supporting him when he was being bullied and teaching him how to stand up for others.
Submitted by birdie on August 20, 2013 - 1:54pm
Via Gawker a librarian who is sick to death of the same kid always having read the greatest number of books at the summer reading program.
Nine-year old Tyler Weaver calls himself “the king of the reading club” at Hudson Falls Public Library. But now it seems Hudson Falls (NY) Public Library Director Marie Gandron wants to end his five-year reign and have him dethroned. Tyler won the six-week-long “Dig into Reading” event by completing 63 books from June 24 to Aug. 3, averaging more than 10 a week.
He has consistently been the top reader since kindergarten, devouring a total of 373 books over the five contests, according to his mother, Katie.
“It feels great,” said Tyler, an intermediate scholar student at Hudson Falls School. “I think that was actually a record-breaking streak.”
Everyone is so proud of him. Everybody, it seems, but Gandron, who was surprised to learn Katie (his mom) notified a Post-Star reporter about her son being a longtime winner. During a phone call Tuesday to Gandron, the library director said Tyler “hogs” the contest every year and he should “step aside.” “Other kids quit because they can’t keep up,” Gandron said.
Gandron further told the reporter she planned to change the rules of the contest so that instead of giving prizes to the children who read the most books, she would draw names out of a hat and declare winners that way. She said she can’t now because Katie has come forward to the newspaper.
Gandron said she has an “attitude” about the contest because several years ago a little girl came in claiming she had read more than 200 books. Her mother backed her up, but it was discovered the girl was lying.
Submitted by birdie on June 20, 2013 - 8:02pm
The great green room and the purple crayon are here; so are the wild things and the poky puppy, Charlotte’s web and Alice’s wonderland, the very hungry caterpillar and the stinky cheese man. It is a reunion of creatures, characters and creations, gathered from memories of childhood and parenthood, and celebrated in “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter,” a remarkably rich new exhibition at the New York Public Library.
Story and slide show from the New York Times.
Submitted by birdie on May 31, 2013 - 10:47am
From the New York Times:
David Javsicas, a popular seventh-grade reading teacher known for urging students to act out dialogue in the books they read in class, sometimes feels wistful for the days when he taught math.
A quiz, he recalls, could quickly determine which concepts students had not yet learned. Then, “you teach the kids how to do it, and within a week or two you can usually fix it,” he said.
Helping students to puzzle through different narrative perspectives or subtext or character motivation, though, can be much more challenging. “It could take months to see if what I’m teaching is effective,” he said.
Educators, policy makers and business leaders often fret about the state of math education, particularly in comparison with other countries. But reading comprehension may be a larger stumbling block.
Submitted by birdie on February 11, 2013 - 5:41pm
Interesting story from Rutgers University about an academic librarian who is pursuing a study of what happens to children in popular YouTube videos after their fifteen minutes/seconds of fame have ended.
Child-centric viral videos are turning young stars into internet sensations, but a Rutgers–Camden researcher warns against exploiting the children by cashing in on the fame.
“We just don’t know what kinds of affect this internet fame will have on these children in the future,” says Katie Elson Anderson, a librarian at the Paul Robeson Library on the Rutgers–Camden campus.
Anderson has examined the implications of the YouTube videos for her essay, “Configuring Childhood on the Web,” which is featured as a chapter in the book Portrayals of Children in Popular Culture: Fleeting Images (Lexington Books, 2012).
“Viral videos starring children have become a real phenomenon,” Anderson says. “David After Dentist,” the video in which a father taped his young son dealing with the effects of anesthesia, has been viewed more than 117 million times. “Charlie Bit My Finger,” in which a baby boy bites his big brother, has been seen more than 511 million times.
“I think the early videos — the ones with Charlie and David, for example — were organic,” Anderson says. “People didn’t really know that these videos could become viral. They just posted videos for family. Now, it seems that people are posting videos because they are seeing the fame that can result from it. There’s actually money to be made.”
Submitted by Lee Hadden on January 10, 2013 - 4:34pm
After a successful pilot program, McDonald's has pledged to distribute 15 million books in England over the next two years. In its Happy Meals. Instead of toys.
As a book blog, of course, we're all for this kind of thing. Give books away! Equate them with toys! Maybe even convince kids that books are toys!
But will the kids buy it?
Their parents might.
Submitted by birdie on October 15, 2012 - 10:17am
Interesting story of how E.B. White made the transition from New Yorker to Mainer.
Submitted by birdie on October 3, 2012 - 10:00am
From the NY Daily News:
A sticky-fingered thief stole one of four iPads from the Children's section at the newly renovated branch of the Park Slope (Brooklyn NY) Library.
“It’s a shame that someone would go to such lengths to steal an iPad that was being used to engage and teach children in one of our libraries,” said BPL spokesman Jason Carey.
“Someone jimmied open the protective casing and took it out,” he said. “The casing was secured to the table.”
The Park Slope library is the first branch in the borough to have iPads only for the young.
The branch showed off the gizmos during its September 13th reopening of the renovated reading space which attracted the likes of legendary Brooklyn writer Pete Hamill and other Kings County bigwigs.
Submitted by Blake on September 13, 2012 - 7:52am
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 10, 2012 - 6:59pm
Submitted by Blake on August 21, 2012 - 1:43pm
Mary Poppins, Harry Potter and Peter Pan were centre stage at the Olympic stadium – let's keep them there, says Judith Elkin
"It is vital that authors, publishers and other literary organisations encourage this two way relationship between writers and readers – libraries have always made it a priority. New developments at the Hive, the revolutionary Idea Stores in several London boroughs and ventures such as the Ministry of Stories are building on this strong heritage."
Submitted by birdie on August 1, 2012 - 7:35pm
Here, at the Montgomery (AL) City-County Public Library Hampstead Branch, the librarian has agreed to kiss a pig if the kids read 1,000 books this summer.
We hear of dyeing hair green, jumping off a roof...what unusual deals have you or your colleagues made as promises to your summer reading program groups? Please add comments!