Saturday, October 31, 2009

Feds renew commitment to B.C. books

B.C.'s book publishers were breathing a sigh of relief on Friday afternoon after the federal government announced its commitment to five years of full funding from Ottawa, totalling $2.35 million, for the beleaguered industry.

Just weeks after the provincial government cut funding for publishers, federal Labour Minister Rona Ambrose announced, on behalf of Heritage Minister James Moore, support for the Canada Book Fund, which until recently was known as the Book Publishing Industry Development Program.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kate Pullinger on the future of books

I've been to IFOA a few times before and each time I realize afresh what an incredibly vibrant and hospitable festival it is. This time I arrive as a finalist for the Governor General's Awards, with my novel The Mistress of Nothing on the fiction shortlist, and, consequently, am suffering from a fabulous combination of nerves, excitement, trepidation, and jet lag.

Books For Treats

We're excited that "Luann" comic strip author Greg Evans has created a special strip about Books For Treats which will run on 10/29/09.

Spry Health magazine mentions Books For Treats in October. This magazine is distributed to 9 million households in national newspapers.

Since Halloween 2001, we've given up to 6500 books each year to excited, costumed Willow Glen trick-or-treaters. Now-former Mayor Ron Gonzales, now-former Councilman Ken Yeager, Mayor Chuck Reed and Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio joined us in greeting the kids and happy parents. We are supported by the Diabetes Association. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Taking up the challenge

You could hear a pin drop at Silver Creek Elementary during the Drop Everything and Read challenge, Monday morning. Students, teachers and even the principal, headed out into the hallways for some silent reading. Austin Christopher, Lindsay Lemay, Lindsay Flexhaug, and Katie Talarico brought their new ball seats out of their classroom - making for a very comfortable read. The B.C. Teacher-Librarians’ Association (BCTLA) challenged everyone in the province to Drop Everything and Read for 20 minutes at exactly 11 a.m.. The Drop Everything and Read challenge began in Surrey in 2007 and became a province-wide event last year.
Simone Rolph

Monday, October 26, 2009

Library trustees association loses its executive director

The B.C. Library Trustees' Association says budget cuts have forced it to eliminate its executive-director position, leading to the resignation of Errin Morrison.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Schools drop everything and read

No matter what you’re doing Monday morning, librarians want you to drop everything and read.

As part of National School Library Day, an initiative to promote literacy, Drop Everything and Read hopes to get as many people reading at the same time, on the same day, as possible.

Gay Reversal Advocates Say School Libraries Banning Their 'Ex-Gay' Books - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

A story like this is only to be found on Fox News!

Val Hamilton

Visit most public school libraries and you'll find an array of books that address the subject of homosexuality. Many include sexually explicit content, and some even include graphic images.

But if you're looking for a book that refers to the possibility that homosexuality can be "reversed," a Chicago-based group says your best bet is the banned books list.

Victorians offer dental help to Ugandans

Scroll down to Drop everything and read

The acronym is DEAR, short for Drop Everything and Read, and the B.C. Teacher-Librarians' Association and B.C. Teachers' Federation are hoping people all around the province take it to heart tomorrow.

Drop Everything and Read started in 2007 to help mark National School Library Day. The idea is to stop what you're doing at 11 a.m. and spend the next 20 minutes with your face in a book.

Drop Everything and Read . . .

Get ready for the Drop Everything and Read event Monday at 11 a.m.

The event is organized by the B.C. Teacher-Librarians' Association and celebrates International School Library Day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Whistler writer hits mark with kids

Originally from Vancouver, Sara Leach has been coming to Whistler to ski since she was just three years old. She finally made the move to the community 15 years ago and now works as a part-time Grade 2 teacher-librarian at Spring Creek Community School.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The New Untouchables

Last summer I attended a talk by Michelle Rhee, the dynamic chancellor of public schools in Washington. Just before the session began, a man came up, introduced himself as Todd Martin and whispered to me that what Rhee was about to speak about — our struggling public schools — was actually a critical, but unspoken, reason for the Great Recession.

From academic obscurity to digital discovery

Once completed, theses and dissertations are often neglected. A new digitization project at UBC aims to make them more accessible.

Children’s books, parents, and discipline

Anxious parents—the midnight Googlers who repeatedly seek advice from experts—learn that there are many things they must never do to their willful young child: spank, scold, bestow frequent praise, criticize, plead, withhold affection, take away toys, “model” angry emotions, intimidate, bargain, nag. Increasingly, nearly all forms of discipline appear morally suspect.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Government reduces grant for Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium (ERAC)

The Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium has confirmed that its government grant has been cut this year - to $500,000 from $1.2 million last year. That amounts to a 46.8 per cent cut in ERAC's total budget of $1,495,000, executive director Judy Dallas told me today.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Poet Lane wins Victoria book prize for debut novel

Victoria Times Colonist: 2009 October 15

Patrick Lane won the $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for Red Dog, Red Dog, the first major win for the poet's debut novel. Earlier, his book had been short-listed for such prestigious awards as the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Award, First Novel Award and the B.C. Book Prize.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Libraries and Readers Wade Into Digital Lending 2009 October 14

Kate Lambert recalls using her library card just once or twice throughout her childhood. Now, she uses it several times a month.

The lure? Electronic books she can download to her laptop. 

Where the Wild Things Are

TIME: 2009 October 14

The 338-word story of Max — last name unknown, emotional state tumultuous, willingness to obey dubious — has been a bedtime favorite of wild things everywhere (and their parents) since not long after its 1963 publication. That makes nearly five decades' worth of fans, many of whom have been harboring the disquieting fear that the universality of Maurice Sendak's Max, who so exquisitely embodies the inherent storminess of all small beings, would be marred by Spike Jonze's cinematic adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are.

Levelling Books is Misguided

VESTA General Meeting endorses BC teacher-librarians' position the practice of levelling books is misguided

Literary newspaper near a loss for words

The Globe and Mail: 2009 October 14

At 11:21 a.m. yesterday, Alan Twigg sent an e-mail in which he asked for help.
B.C. BookWorld, the quarterly newspaper he founded 22 years ago, needs money.

He learned a week ago that the provincial government was cutting the paper's funding. This year, he got $31,000. Next year, he's getting $0. That's dollar sign, zero, decimal point.

Also known as zip and zilch.

Things That Keep Us Up at Night

The library, as we once knew it, may no longer be relevant. School librarians, as we once knew them, may no longer be relevant. And, yet, this is undoubtedly the most exciting time in history to be a librarian.

Canada Council for the Arts announces the finalists for the 2009 Governor General?s Literary Awards

The Canada Council for the Arts today announced the finalists for the 2009 Governor General’s Literary Awards. The finalists include authors, illustrators and translators from ages 27 to 78. The English and French awards are in the categories of fiction, non‑fiction, poetry, drama, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation. In total, 70 books are shortlisted.  

Saturday, October 10, 2009

MA School Library Transforms into a New Learning Commons

Before there was the enormous LCD TV, coffeehouse, and scattered comfy couches, the library at Chelmsford High School in Massachusetts was a run down mess.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Parkland's librarian presents human books

Books don't often breathe and clear their throats, but that's just what they were doing yesterday in the Parkland Secondary School library.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

School board, teacher preach intolerance

I don't think there should be any religious clubs in a public school. That is what private schools and churches are for.

The School Act is clear that students should be protected from religious proselytizing, whatever the religion.

When I took over a school library the first part I weeded was the religion section.

I removed the Bible stories (in one school it was several dozen) and replaced them with a large selection of books explaining the various religions in the world. I wanted all students to feel valued and welcomed in my library.

Not having a range of books in a school library supporting gays is a message to the gay students that they are not valued.

Val Hamilton, Vancouver

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

To ban a book, to "erase history"

Since its instant success in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird, the story of racial injustice in the American South told from the point of view of a little white girl, has courted controversy.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

B.C. a world library leader

More than 4,000 libraries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are catching up to British Columbia -- and might make the public libraries in this province a model for their next leap forward.

Drop Everything and Read

A challenge has been issued to Drop Everything and Read by the teacher-librarians of B.C.

On Oct. 26 at 11 a.m. everyone is asked to pick up a newspaper, book or magazine and read for 20 minutes.

In its third year, the B.C. teacher-librarians are inviting businesses, students, adults, even the Legislature to participate.

Last year, the premier, MLA Shirley Bond and several other MLAs participated in the challenge and the invitation is extended to everyone in the province.

Organizer Karen Lindsay’s dream is to have everyone in B.C. put down their work, turn off their computer screens, pick up a book, magazine or newspaper, and read. Picture offices where calls go to voice mail just for those few minutes.

"You have reached L & G Real Estate. We are dropping everything to read until 11:20. If this is an emergency, please call (a designated cell number). Otherwise, why don't you read along with us?"

The event was a huge success last year. Dozens of schools representing thousands of students participated in the DEAR Challenge. Many schools across B.C. organized special events. Local celebrities, athletes, firefighters, police officers, politicians, parents came in to read. Big kids read to little ones, and group read-ins were held on playing fields.

B.C. teacher-librarians want to draw attention to the importance of reading in the development of a successful human being. People know the more you read the better you get at it, and the ability to read with understanding is vitally important to success in the world.

Reading improves vocabulary, increases general knowledge about the world, improves one's writing, and is a great way to relax. Not so obvious is its ability to increase the reader's capacity for empathy, stimulate imagination and create new connections in the brain.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Drop Everything and Read

October 26 is National School Library Day and the third anniversary of the BC Drop Everything and Read Challenge.

DEAR started as a small challenge between B.C. school libraries in 2007 and has since grown by leaps and bounds. The simple but powerful idea is to promote the importance of literacy by having as many students and adults as possible read at the same time on the same day.