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Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)
Lamar (TX) High School’s library is in the midst of an overhaul that is shifting around more than the books. The project is redefining how the study space will be used and how students will access the information resources it holds.
More specifically, the conversion under way means fewer physical books on the shelves (and fewer shelves), but more equipment on site for tapping into the books, periodicals and research tools available in electronic formats.
As explained by Principal James McSwain, the project includes:
Laptop computers (100 now and hopefully 100 more to follow) that can be checked out for use only in the new center and accessible only by a student ID code that also connects to the new Lamar portal, “Sky Drive.”
Longer hours of operation, (6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) to increase access to the new computer equipment and online information for students who might not have other study venues or research tools.
Space for peer tutoring and teacher-led tutorials, and
A small coffee bar that also serves healthy snacks for studying. Students in the culinary division of Lamar’s magnet program in business management will run the new amenity.
Sexy or not sexy...not words I would choose, but hey it's the "OC"...
From the OC Register: In California, as we plod through this not-so-great recession, there are two kinds of education-related cost cuts in play – the sexy kind and the not-so-sexy kind.
Any reduction in spending that might crank up the number of kids in a third-grade classroom, for example, is easy for parents and other tax payers to understand. Same for cuts that wipe out arts classes or PE or, the latest craze, several school days a year.
Teacher Librarian Marie Slim dresses the part of "rock star" during her "Read Like a Rock Star" 2009 book fair at Troy High School to raise funds for new books.
All those cuts, popular or not, attract attention and debate. In short, they're sexy.
But farther down on the radar is another kind of cost cutting – the one that wipes out the often stereotyped resource known as the school librarian.
We all know the images of the school librarian. She shushes. She shelves. She sits, quietly, behind a desk. Dewey Decimal anyone?
But head into Orange County's school libraries and you'll discover what I've found: passionate, dedicated, tech-savvy teacher librarians.
Are you in a school library in CA, NV or NY? Read on...
GlobeNewswire via COMTEX -- City National Bank today announced that it is now accepting applications for grants to support literacy-based projects at public and private elementary, middle and high schools in California, Nevada and New York.
Educators interested in applying for a literacy grant can access an online application by visiting Reading Is the Way Up. Any full-time teacher, librarian or administrator at schools in counties where City National has offices is eligible to apply. California counties include Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura. The Nevada counties are Carson City, Clark, Douglas and Washoe.
Approximately 100 grants totaling up to $75,000 may be awarded. Grants will provide up to $500 for the recipients to create, augment or expand literacy projects that are judged to be creative and engaging, and that may help improve student achievement. Awards can be used for books, videos, CDs, DVDs, computer software or hardware, or in other ways so long as the recipient shows that the project for which funds are sought will support literacy. -- Read More
"Banned books are a sign of an oppressive regime. That said, forcing age-inappropriate reading materials on youngsters not ready to deal with the material -- and doing so just for the sake of a bigger principle -- is just as oppressive..." Read more at Yahoo News
Melissa Stewart, award-winning author of over 100 non-fiction books for children writes in Celebrate Science:
Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
Let’s start with some background. About 80 percent of all children's nonfiction titles are sold to schools and libraries. This was great in the 1980s and 1990s when teachers were able to find lots of creative ways to integrate children’s literature into their lesson plans.
But then 2001 rolled around. That’s the year the No Child Left Behind Act was passed. And everything changed.
Suddenly educators had to teach to the test. They no longer had much time for creative teaching strategies, and they had to greatly reduce their use of trade books in the classroom.
The result is no surprise. Sales of nonfiction books have fallen significantly over the last decade. And in response, trade publishing houses have reduced their nonfiction lists on average 25 percent (and in some cases as much as 50 percent).
That’s a shame because trade nonfiction titles are meticulously researched and expertly crafted to delight as well as inform. They engage young readers in a way that text books and other standard teaching materials can’t.
Teachers know it.
Librarians know it.
We all know it.
Ranee Ellefson-Jones, of Monroe, WI found a class ring recently while cleaning out her deceased mother’s jewelry box. It was in a bag with other rings, but the one with the big blue stone stood out. It was a class ring. The thing was, it wasn’t her mother’s class.
Her mother Joan Ellefson was a 1960 graduate of Monroe High School, and while Ranee at first thought the tiny date on the ring said 1960, the ring also had a big “S” in the middle of it.
“I thought maybe an old boyfriend had given it to her,” Ranee said this week. It was a week or two later, she said, when she got a chance to ask her dad about the ring. He didn’t recognize it, or have any idea where it came from. Still curious, Ellefson-Jones examined the ring more closely, eventually using a magnifying class.
The mystery continues to unravel in the pages of the Wisconsin State Journal.
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.
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.
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.