Monday, May 31, 2010

Authors tell story of Canada's illustrated children's books

Writer Roy MacSkimming chronicled this country's publishing history in his much-lauded book The Perilous Trade (2003), but until now no in-depth study of children's publishing in Canada has existed. Gail Edwards and Judith Saltman explore this often-fascinating industry in a new book, Picturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children's Illustrated Books and Publishing.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Guardian children's fiction prize shows wealth of literature for under-10s

After years of domination by teen fiction, a resurgence in quality writing for younger children has packed the line-up for this year's Guardian children's fiction prize with stories for the under-10s, full of ogres, wolves and mysterious Green Men.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Funding cuts leave trained school librarians on the shelf

ACT schools are using the increasing popularity of the internet as an excuse to wind back funding and staffing for school libraries, a parliamentary inquiry heard yesterday.

Toronto author's 2nd mystery wins top prize

  • Best juvenile: Barbara Haworth-Attard, Haunted.

Babes in bookland

Picturing Canada seeks to clean up the reputation of this country's 'Kiddie Litter'

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Librarian closes chapter on four-decade career

There were no computers in public libraries when Vancouver city librarian Paul Whitney began his career in Burnaby in 1974. Visitors and staff searched for items in card catalogue. One branch didn't know what was in the collection of another branch.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reconsider school counsellor cuts, Surrey teachers urge

A handful of school librarians travelled to Victoria to meet with MLAs Thursday to draw attention to planned cuts to teacher-librarian positions.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Marian the Cybrarian

For all the concern expressed about the imminent demise of the college library, there may never have been a time when librarians seemed more vital, forward-thinking—even edgy—than they do now.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The day the Queen came to call

Each year in B.C., children in Grades 4 to 7 vote for their favourite books from a list of nominated titles.

This year's fiction winner, recently announced, is Christina Kilbourne's Dear Jo, a novel in which a girl confides to her diary about her best friend having been abducted by an online predator.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Teacher librarians’ work valuable, trustees told

Whistler Question: 2010 May 19

Budget discussions continued at last week’s Sea to Sky School Board meeting, with Chair Rick Price announcing that “it’s not going to be difficult for us to achieve a balanced budget, but not a happy budget. We are not able to provide all the services we wish for our students.”

After having announced on April 14 that staffing levels and wages would be frozen as a result of belt tightening at the provincial level, Price last Wednesday (May 12) said about future budgets, “The most effective advocate to get more money for public education is through parents at the B.C. Schools Trustees Association.”

After the recent cuts in hours, representatives of the Teacher Librarian Association made a presentation to the board at its meeting at Whistler Secondary School titled “Schools without libraries are at risk of becoming irrelevant.”

British Columbia Public, School Libraries Offer First E-Book Collection - 5/19/2010 - School Library Journal

Public and school libraries across British Columbia, Canada, are for the first time offering an e-book collection made up of nonfiction works by local publishers.

The project started in 2007, when a consortium of library organizations and publishers launched BC Books Online to provide the entire province with a digital collection of books published in British Columbia.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Library for Every School Document

A Library for Every School Document (IASL)
International Association of School Librarians (IASL), has a newly published document on the importance of school libraries. Attached is an international proclamation for the establishment of school libraries entitled 'A Library For Every School': (see also

You may wish to adapt and use it in your own jurisdictions. The proclamation is intended to help others around the world to advocate school libraries. The word version can be used to sign yourself and send it to whomever you think needs to read this.

Related Files
“A LIBRARY FOR EVERY SCHOOL!” Word Documents (Microsoft Word Document)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Reading and writing: the golden ticket

Take a typical classroom of 25 pupils, anywhere in Canada. At the back, seven boys and girls slouch in their seats, unable to understand most of what they read, or to express their thoughts in writing. The problem of poor literacy skills is a scandal in plain view.

At some point the schools have to say, Enough. Enough pretending that poor readers are actually benefiting from social studies or novel studies or even science or mathematics. Enough of this charade of teaching and learning.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Inner Demons: Robert Munsch's struggle with cocaine use

Canadian bestselling children's author Robert Munsch admits to a history of cocaine abuse to dull the effects of his bipolar disorder in a Global television interview scheduled to air on Saturday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Budget cuts hurt school kids


While the 2010/2011 budget for the school district is not official, it is apparent that deep cuts have had to be made in order to present a balanced budget to the ministry. All over the district, teachers are reeling at the impact these cuts will have in the classroom, and they are wondering how it can be “business as usual” next September.

Several programs and services will not be available to students next year. Adapted physical education classes for special needs students are gone completely. Primary guided reading classes have been cut from some schools. 

Teacher librarian time in the secondary schools has been cut by 50 per cent, and in elementary schools, the time has also been reduced. Choir and music programs are either cut completely or reduced in schools. Special education time has been significantly reduced in most schools. In secondary schools, some elective classes have been cut, such as French 12 and Calculus 12.

Parents should be asking the administrators at their child’s school which services and programs will remain for next year. They may be very surprised with the answer.

Jenny Garrels
President, SC Teachers’ Association

Librarians rally to save independent bookstores

Vancouver Courier: 2010 May 14

The closure of three independent Vancouver bookstores in three months has teacher-librarians worried.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The best children's books ever

Increasing numbers of children are starting school without having been read to. But which are the books to get them – and keep them – hooked? Lucy Mangan introduces our guide to the best. So whether it's to fight the White Witch or snuggle up with the Moomins, make yourself comfy . . .

For Kids: Stian Hole's unique view of childhood

Six years ago, Stian Hole saw a look of fear in his son Odd-Olav’s eyes at the prospect of starting school, and remembered feeling such anxiety himself as a child.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

YAACS sends letter in support of the BC Teacher-Librarians' Association

The Young Adults and Children’s Section of the British Columbia Library Association (YAACS) would like to add its voice in support of the BC Teacher-Librarians' Association’s call to school boards to reconsider reductions of learning specialists  including teacher librarians in many British Columbia school districts.

Read the rest of the letter (html) (pdf)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Google bookstore plan could be boon to Canadian industry

Google is turning its massive store of digital information into an online bookstore to rival Apple and Amazon – and in the process further transform Canada’s book market.

Unlike its competitors, Google is opting to allow a host of smaller booksellers to join its online store, something industry experts say could be a boon to the Canadian industry and consumers.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Faithful few left to keep Dewey alive in a download world

A national inquiry into school libraries heard evidence last week to suggest that teacher-librarians are a dying breed. While the Rudd Government is building thousands of libraries as part of the $16 billion ''building the education revolution'', experts warn there will be no one to staff them.