School Libraries

For Young Latino Readers, an Image Is Missing

Like many of his third-grade classmates, Mario Cortez-Pacheco likes reading the “Magic Tree House” series, about a brother and a sister who take adventurous trips back in time. He also loves the popular “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” graphic novels.

But Mario, 8, has noticed something about these and many of the other books he encounters in his classroom at Bayard Taylor Elementary here: most of the main characters are white. “I see a lot of people that don’t have a lot of color,” he said.

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Why Good Libraries are Important for Education

Neighborhoods with high poverty rates have lower test scores. Education is affected by lack of access to resources. Libraries and their staff (both in schools and out of schools) are part of those resources that can help bridge the achievement gap between rich and poor students. Working-class children hear 10 million words before they enter kindergarten compared to the 30 million that kids with professional parents hear. That initial vocabulary gap is predictive of reading comprehension in high school (Beth Fertig "Why Can't U Teach Me 2 Read?"). The gap is developed in part by lack of access to literary materials, which libraries provide free of charge, and probably continues because of the perpetual inaccessibility of libraries to the inner-city. I'm sure Schaumburg has great test scores that are in part due to its great main library and school libraries. Let's make it a city goal to have good libraries, and our students (and their test scores) will benefit from the plentiful access to educational resources.

Has your Library Gone to the Dogs?

With the recent stories about disasters, legal wrangling, and futurism, let's look at a hands down, slam dunk, win-win idea for libraries: dogs! Many school and public libraries use therapy dogs in their reading programs, calming children to widespread acclaim. Academic libraries also make use of therapy dogs, calming homesick students during finals week. These projects involve minimal costs and have a profound impact. Don't let a lawyer or administrator use absurd logic to deny you this wonderful opportunity to have patrons perceive the library as a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. And remember: refusing to allow a service animal in to a building is also a violation of federal law. What are your dogs in libraries stories?

Librarians Without Borders hosts Prominent Guatemalan Educator and Social Activist

From November 11-29 Librarians Without Borders' hosts their Guatemalan partner, Jorge Chojolán, on a speaking tour in five North American cities: Toronto, London (Ontario), Ottawa, Montreal, and Los Angeles.

Jorge is the founder and director of the Asturias Academy, a progressive K-12 school that offers education for students from low-income and indigenous families. The speaking events will focus on education reform, leadership, libraries, literacy, and indigenous issues and culture in Guatemala.

Since 2009, Librarians Without Borders has worked with Jorge and the Asturias Academy to promote literacy and libraries in Guatemala. Through many hours of fundraising, planning and hard work, Asturias was able to open a community library to students and their families in January 2011.

For detailed information on the events, time, and places, read more here. All these events are free and open to the public.

iPads set to take over from books in school libraries, principal says

Seems Like A Bad Idea...

Principal of Madison Park Primary David Lawton said books would become a "thing of the past".

"The day has arrived - iPads are here ... look out books," Mr Lawton told the News Review Messenger.

"School library budgets are being lowered and our budgets for technology are higher, so it's only a matter of time before technology takes over from the traditional way of teaching.

Male Librarian Advice: Don't Be Afraid To Be The Only Guy In The Room

Interview with Anthony Carnovale. The teacher-librarian at St. Michael Secondary School in Bolton, Ont.

"The most difficult part of my job initially was trying to get people to take my role as teacher-librarian seriously; there are very few males in this role. When I told a colleague that I had accepted the teacher-librarian position, he laughed and quipped: “You just ruined every fantasy I ever had about a librarian.”

School Bus Driver Honored for creating a "Library on Wheels"

Books on board - Learning in progress! That's the mantra of one Prince William County school bus driver who turned the bus into a "library on wheels." Ric Clark was voted the "Education Support Professional of the Year by the Virginia Education Association for his efforts in creating a learning and interactive experience for kids.

School librarian spends $7,000 to turn RV into campaign billboard

McQueen looked at his recreational vehicle and decided to make into a roving bill board in support of Ballot Questions 3A and 3B in Jefferson County, which would raise property taxes to generate money for Jeffco Schools.

If both measures pass, property taxes for a $300,000 home would go up by about $44 for the year.

See text and video here.

Study finds PA's school librarians spread thin

School librarians do more than shush students – they help teachers with reading curricula, encourage kids to read outside of school, and they’re proven to be linked to high student achievement.

If they have the time.

About 73 percent of the commonwealth’s public schools have taken part in a study that reveals school libraries are hurting for funding and resources.

Good news for DC libraries, or more empty talk?

Education advocates weren't dancing in the streets last week after their meeting with DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson. But some were smiling -- just a little.

"I felt very positive and hopeful for the future of the libraries," said Suzanne Wells, a founder of the Capitol Hill Public School Parents Organization, or CHPSPO, which has been driving the effort to save librarians and push the city into making a greater investment in school libraries.

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