School Libraries

Skeptics, Fortune Tellers, and Librarians

Rob Lopresti writes "In James Randi's latest commentary he includes a letter from Annette Paulsen who was upset by a book offered for sale at the fund raiser for her kid's school library:"Imagine my surprise when I saw this book on the shelf: "The Kids Guide to Fortune Telling" by Louise Dickson. I picked the book up and was shocked to see that it was presented as a nonfiction teaching tool. Now, understand that if this book was called "The Kids Guide to Fortune Telling for Fun," I would not have had a problem with it. I'm all for fun and games. I asked the Librarian if she thought that this was an appropriate book for children, thinking that perhaps she had not really looked at the book. Of course, she looked at me as if I had two heads. She stated that she hadn't really looked at it and asked if I also had a problem with Harry Potter? I told her, "Of course not. Harry Potter is a novel and clearly identified as such, and everyone knows that it is fiction. But when a book is categorized as nonfiction, and we all know that fortune telling is not real, I think we have an obligation to the children of our school to remove it from the shelves, until it is categorized appropriately, as fiction...""

Mom Petitions To Get Puberty Book Removed From Library

thedenverchannel.com Reports "The Cat Who Killed Lilian Jackson Braun: A Parody" and "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture," will remain on the shelves of libraries run by the Weld Library District.

But members of the board still are considering an objection to a book that has explicit depictions of sexual development during puberty.
Second Story Here.

School Library Perspectives

DEH writes ""More than Just a Pretty Face: and other observations on school libraries and teacher-librarianship" is the title of a webpage created by Donald Hamilton, formerly Education Librarian at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. The page offers a collection of short pithy provocative pieces that appeared in several journals over the past decade. They are offered without charge, to the field for any educational purpose. Check out the classic "Inventory: Folly or Fancy?" that has been reprinted many times. You will find the page at members.shaw.ca/donaldhamilton "

Librarian Sues School District

Anonymous Patron writes "If you want further information on the (AP) story about the Kansas librarian suing for $500,000, visit the website: http://www.hicksvusd470.com. Yes, he should have gotten written permision--too trusting after 25 years as the HS librarian. He verbally notified his building principal and the district library chairperson of his actions, both of which corroborated his testimony at the due process trial. Interestingly, USD 470's computer expert found a total of FIVE porn hits on the librarian's THREE year old computer." -- Read More

A delicate balance in the classroom

Here's An Editorial Out Of Indiana on an English class at Franklin Central High School had read about three-fourths of the novel "Fallen Angels" when the students were told to stop. Principal Kevin Koers decided the book was too profane, and it was dropped from the curriculum.
The editorial says obtaining parental consent is the best way to teach sensitive topics while protecting all students' sensibilities.

"Administrators and teachers need to look for ways to keep classrooms relevant, challenging and interesting while respecting the concerns of parents who want their children protected from influences they don't deem appropriate. That's a tough order."

Parent objects to book in catalog from school

Bob Cox spotted This One out of FL, where Jill Leskow is proud that her 11-year-old son likes to read, but when he brought home a catalog from school with the book title When Dad Killed Mom on its cover she was stunned.
But because of Leskow's complaint, the district is now looking into how to handle a review of the book catalogs before they reach students.

Labeling a book inappropriate, however, is not an easy process even when dealing with school libraries and reading material for English classes.

School librarians have a recommended list of books to choose from, but may purchase other books at their discretion. There is no banned-book list for Palm Beach County schools.

"Emerging Technology Report:A Guide to Wireless LANs in K-12 Schools"

"A new report from the Emerging Technology Committee of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) examines the implementation of wireless LAN technologies in K-12 schools and identifies challenges, options and lessons learned. The goal is to provide a practical road map for CTOs, CIOs, school administrators, technology coordinators and others charged with planning for wireless implementation."

URL:http://cosn.org/emerging_technologies/wireless.html

Based on the summary for this report, it looks to be a worthwhile purchase for schools.

Bill Drew

Wireless Technology Makes Up 28.6% Of Instructional Computer Purchases

Survey from Quality Education Data (QED) shows:
"Wireless Technology Makes Up 28.6% Of Instructional Computer Purchases"

" Wireless Technologies: Two-thirds of the districts surveyed (68%) report current ownership of wireless devices, a jump from 39% in 2002. Importantly, an additional seven percent of districts report they will purchase wireless devices for the first time this year. Districts will be spending $220 million in 2003-2004 for wireless networking and equipment including portable wireless laptop carts and wireless-enabled handhelds."

URL: http://www.qeddata.com/Technologypurchasingforecast.htm

October 27: International School Library Day

Today is the fifth annual International School Library Day. This year's theme is "Breaking Down Barriers." Find out more on the ISLD 2003 page at the International Association of School Librarianship - School Libraries Online site.
Any school librarians out there participating in this? Please post a comment to report on your activities.

Content of some books in school libraries can draw parents' attention

The Macon Telegraph Reports Last month, two popular books that dealt with sex, reckless driving and murder alarmed parent Katie Jones so much that she fought for their removal from the Crawford County Middle School library.

She won, at least for now.

"Extreme Elvin" by Chris Lynch and "Double Date" by R.L. Stine, are books that deal with the often complex issues teenagers confront. They are now off limits to students.

The books will continue to stay off the shelves until at least December when board members finalize a library book policy, said Crawford County school board Chairwoman Patrice Walker.

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