School Libraries

A fight over Forever

Librarians, parents, and staff members are trying to bring Judy Blume\'s Forever back to middle school libraries in a Chicago-area school district after a 4-year absence from the shelves. The leader of the local opposition calls the district "pagan" and says, "The book is harmful ... it shows teens committing sins."

Forever tells the story of a teenage girl\'s first sexual experiences with an orphaned boy wizard. (Wait, scratch that last part.)

Anyway, the full article is in today\'s Chicago Tribune.

The School Librarian\'s Role in the Electronic Age

ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology has The School Librarian\'s Role in the Electronic Age by Carol Simpson.

She says librarians are evolving From warehousing to consulting in Schools today.

\"The school librarian in the electronic age expands the services available from the library to include computer-based data and sophisticated information-seeking strategies. Working in concert with classroom teachers and curriculum experts, librarians form a comprehensive team designed to enhance student academic achievement and critical thinking skills necessary for success in lifelong endeavors.\"

Louisiana Librarians Urge State to Require Librarians in All Schools

For The Leesville Daily Leader (LA), someone writes...

\"Armed with a stack of recent studies and statistics, Louisiana librarians on Tuesday urged the state school board to require a librarian in every Louisiana elementary and middle school. Board of Elementary and Secondary Education regulations require only high schools to have librarians. Citing recent studies of student achievement in other states, a University of New Orleans professor told board members that students at schools with librarians and well-equipped libraries earn higher scores on reading tests as well as on other types of standardized tests. More

The Invisible School Librarian

SLJ ran The Invisible School Librarian: Why Other Educators Are Blind to Your Value Part 1 and Part 2 way back in \'97, but if you\'ve never read it, it\'ll be new to you.

\"It\'s time for librarians to fight back against budget cuts and layoffs, the handiwork of forces that ignore you -- or worse, would diminish or eliminate you. The way to fight back is to make the role and contributions of school librarians visible to those people who have the power to make a difference.\"

Need more bad news? Try schools without books

Donna Marentette sent This Story on from The Globe and Mail on budgets and library staff in Canadian schools.

But hey, everything we need is on the internet now, right?

\"Across Canada, teacher-librarians are a vanishing breed. Their acquisition budgets have nearly vanished, too. Public libraries have cut back on hours and staff who know what children like to read. And instead of buying new library books, schools are pouring millions into computers and Internet connections.\"

The School Librarian -- A Heroine for Today\'s Youth

The Nevada Appeal has a Nice Piece that says for youngsters looking to serve their country, the job of School Librarian just might be the career for them.

\"Some people think the School Librarian is a tame and innocuous creature. But behind the bun, the tweed and the glasses lurks a fiery defender of Children\'s Right to Know. By fostering the inquiring minds of our youth, regardless of race, sex or attention deficit disorder, she symbolizes one of our most cherished freedoms -- the freedom to learn.\"

CO Students Break Reading Record - Share Prize with Schools Near WTC

Some Colorado school students have broken a record by reading. The program, Focus on Reading, pays students for each page they read. The money goes toward school libraries. This year, the students want part of the money to go toward replacing books for some schools near the WTC. More

Library Evacuated After Birdseed Scare

After finding \"suspicious particles\" in a box of interloaned books, the Taunton High School Library (MA) was evacuated. A Hazardous Materials Emergency Response team collected and tested the material and discovered that it was nothing more than birdseed. According to the article, \"Only two librarians were in the library at the time and for precautionary reasons they were sent to the nurse\'s office to have their hands washed. Students were told of the incident at the school and urged not to panic or be alarmed.\" more... from The Taunton Gazette.

SLMs as Tech Gurus In Demand

Someone submitted This One From the Richmond Times Dispatch that says School librarians are in short supply because, as technology gurus, they\'re in demand elsewhere.

This may be the second or third time we\'ve run this type of story, and for some reason they always seem to focus on School Librarians. Never any mention of the shortage driving salaries up, however.

\"The challenge has just been staying abreast,\" Walls said. \"Things change so fast. . . . That\'s been the hardest thing, the most exciting thing too.\"

Plea for Improved School Libraries at National Book Festival

Award-winning children\'s book author and National Children\'s Book and Literacy Alliance founder Mary Brigid Barrett will make the case for improving school libraries this Saturday at the National Book Festival in Washington:

Libraries and librarians are in the forefront of literacy outreach, Barrett says. While organizations that give children books are providing a valuable service, they can never replace libraries. \'\'Giving a child one or two books is like giving him one free breakfast when he\'s starving,\'\' she said. School libraries are particularly needed today, because most children cannot walk to their public libraries. Libraries in urban areas may present a safety threat, and in rural areas, the distances are often too great.

Barrett says that her work with senators Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, and Thad Cochran, a Mississippi Republican, on legislation to increase funding for school libraries has revealed some disturbing information . . .

More from the Boston Globe.

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