Monday, May 30, 2011

Board chair should resign

Windsor Star: 2011 May 30

The board won't lose as many librarians now, but it's far from clear what that means. How much time will they have in schools? What will the new "learning commons areas" be like? Will they have books? What will happen to the librarians when their positions are reviewed at the end of next year?

What a difference a school library makes

The Australian Library and Information Association and Australian School Library Association have created this wiki to enable parents, students, teachers, and everyone else who is concerned about the state of school libraries, to find out more information about this highly topical issue and to join in the discussion.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Digital 'gold rush' gains speed at BookExpo

Province: 2011 May 29

As American publishers gathered in New York last week to promote the best of what's coming in the year ahead, more and more attention was focused on the growing influence of digital publishing.

Companies at last week's BookExpo America agreed that while the book publishing industry is losing money overall, the increasing sales of e-books and e-readers are offering investors a chance to bet on the winners and losers in the future of publishing -where print books may eventually become obsolete.

Switching off the Interactive White Board for good

Steps in Learning and Teaching: 2011 May 28

IWB’s have had their day. I personally can’t see any future for them in classrooms and the sooner schools stop buying into them the sooner the money can be spent on better educationally interactive tools.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Slave Lake’s new library a casualty of devastating blaze

Globe & Mail: 2011 May 27

Before the Slave Lake public library moved into its new building a year and a half ago, it was crammed into a room with small windows, low ceilings and little space for computers. At the new 6,000-square-foot library, sunlight streamed through giant windows, illuminating a spacious room with high ceilings and gleaming wooden tables, chairs and bookshelves.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Books can't make history without people

Globe & Mail: 2011 May 25

A few days ago, announced that for the first time ever, it’s selling more e-books than paper ones. Although the company wouldn’t cite hard sales figures, it did suggest that since April, Amazon’s customers have bought 5 per cent more digital than traditional books.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The state of the library

Two unrelated yet interconnected articles have come to my attention in the past week or so that have made me think about libraries and their future.  The pieces sent to me were a blog post written by Seth Godin called The Future of the Library and an article from Inside Higher Ed called A Hole Lot of Books.  (Thanks Morgan and Ivy!)  Both offer a unique insight on how libraries are changing and what they are doing to keep up with the changes. 

Winners in ALA...Why I Need My Library teen video contest announced

ALA: 2011 May 25

CHICAGO–Of the 157 videos entered into the Why I Need My Library teen video contest, it was two original music videos that rose to the top, netting $3,000 in prize money from ALA for their creators’ libraries.

Margaret Atwood on Why School Librarians Rule

“The librarian is the key person you don’t want to remove from a school.” She said being able to surf online isn’t a substitute for having a librarian who can handpick and recommend books for students in their early years of reading.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Libraries face growing demand for ebooks, and complicated rules about using them

VaNcouver Sun: 2011 May 24

The book-lending business at public libraries used to be a simple affair: Buy books, catalogue them, loan them out and keep them in good repair. But that's all changing with the soaring popularity of ebooks.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Take on Librarians

Culture of Yes: 2011 May 23

Teacher-librarians are our second circle of support.  In a recent interview with Dr. Paul Shaker on Your Education Matters, I said that as we move forward “teacher librarians are more important than ever.”   My experience has been that next to the principal, the teacher-librarian is often key in moving the learning agenda forward.  In schools that are moving forward, it is very often the teacher-librarian, working side-by-side with teachers on staff, who find new ways of working with students.

'Dragon' librarians come out fighting

The Age: 2011 May 24

STEREOTYPED as dragons in cardigans, derided by colleagues who think they do little more than check books in and out, and starved of resources, school librarians are pouring their hearts out.

Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools

Parliament of Australia: 2011 May 23

On Monday 23 May 2011, the House Standing Committee on Education and Employment tabled its report on the inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools entitled School libraries and teacher librarians in 21st century Australia.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Don’t discard the librarians

The world of librarians was thrown into a tizzy this week – it doesn't take much these days – when the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board announced it will shut its school libraries and dump all but four of its library technicians. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Behind student success, an LAUSD librarian

LA Times: 2011 May 20

Rosemarie Bernier, the librarian at Hamilton High School, sees hundreds of students every day. She knows them by their study habits, the questions they ask and the books they read.

Joelle and Johanna love to run their fingers through old books. We find them in the stacks, admiring the beautiful, old binding of a Jules Verne novel.

A Country Without Libraries

The New York Review of Books: 2011 May 18

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
—Groucho Marx

All across the United States, large and small cities are closing public libraries or curtailing their hours of operations. Detroit, I read a few days ago, may close all of its branches and Denver half of its own: decisions that will undoubtedly put hundreds of its employees out of work. When you count the families all over this country who don’t have computers or can’t afford Internet connections and rely on the ones in libraries to look for jobs, the consequences will be even more dire. People everywhere are unhappy about these closings, and so are mayors making the hard decisions. But with roads and streets left in disrepair, teachers, policemen and firemen being laid off, and politicians in both parties pledging never to raise taxes, no matter what happens to our quality of life, the outlook is bleak.“The greatest nation on earth,” as we still call ourselves, no longer has the political will to arrest its visible and precipitous decline and save the institutions on which the workings of our democracy depend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Department of Education withdraws federal support for school libraries

ALA:2011 May 17

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program was zeroed out under the Department of Education’s allocation for FY2011 funding released today.

Improving Literacy Through School Libraries is the only federal program solely for our nation’s school libraries. This program supports local education agencies in improving reading achievement by providing students with increased access to up-to-date school library materials; well-equipped, technologically advanced school libraries; and professionally certified school librarians.

School-library cuts a miscommunication problem, education group says

Montreal Gazette: 2011 May 16

While governments say librarians are necessary to teach the skills needed to navigate today's information environment, schools aren't hearing the message, a report released Monday suggests.

Vancouver school kids contribute to book of ‘dreams’

Vanciuver Courier: 2011 May 17

Last week Ethan Lam achieved what most writers spend entire careers working towards—his words were published. They appear in a book entitled Our Place: Celebrations and Dreams of Vancouver, launched May 9.

LAUSD Doubts that Seasoned Teacher-Librarians Can Teach

American Libraries Magazine: 2011 May 18

“There’s no better use of limited funds than paying attorneys to harass educators who’ve devoted their lives to helping our children,” Bennett Tramer of Santa Monica, California, said in a letter published May 17 in the Los Angeles Times. A tongue-in-cheek response to the May 13 Hector Tobar column, “The Disgraceful Interrogation of L.A. School Librarians,” the letter concluded: “I also applaud the valuable presence of armed police officers at the hearings; you never know when a librarian will pull out a book and start reading.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our Learning Commons: One “How To” for 21st Century Learning

Learning the Now: 2011 May 16

A few months back, I began reading Building the Learning Commons: A Guide for School Administrators and Learning Leadership Teams.  Much of what follows is a summary of the book, the impact that it has made in transforming our library at John Oliver and the importance of the Learning Commons as a “hub” or centre of learning in our school (and the district).  It is a facility that will be characterized by “hum and hub, not hush”. 

How to make school libraries relevant again

Globe and Mail: 2011 May 17

Transforming school libraries for the digital age is no small task for financially strapped boards, and so a school board in southwestern Ontario should be encouraged, not condemned, for making the attempt.

L.A. Unified's librarians on trial

L.A. Times: 2011 May 18

Soon after I became a school librarian, a teacher came to me about Mario, an eighth-grader who had never read an entire book. Mario struggled to read at all, and English was not his first language, but he was a bright kid whose teacher believed in him. I recommended a short, funny, mysterious book that appeals to reluctant boy readers. Mario took it home, read it in a week and came back with his friends in tow to check out the remaining titles in the series.

Layoffs, Interrogations: L.A. School Librarians Under Fire

SLJ: 2011 May 17

Just be grateful you're not a school librarian in L.A. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is poised to layoff 85 middle and high school librarians at the end of this academic year, a move that's set to leave most of the district's 700 K-12 schools without media specialists.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Students walk out to protest library cuts - Windsor

CBC News: 2011 May 16

Students in Windsor walked out of class Monday to protest against a Catholic school board decision to cut librarians and close libraries.

"I don't like this move by the Catholic school board. It's just ridiculous," Michael Lajoie, an Assumption High School student, told CBC's Early Shift host Tony Doucette. "They're laying off librarians due to budget cuts or no money. I find that a load of bull."

School Libraries and Information Literacy

People for Education
May 2011

Reading, researching — and having fun

.ca: 2011 May 16

It’s home to a reading club and students come in all day — even before school starts, at lunch and after school — to sign out books.

Libraries are worth saving

570News:2011 May 16

Libraries should not be on the chopping block when it comes to cutting costs at Ontario school boards.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Librarians fight for a role in a digital world

In a time before the internet, children gathered among stacks of books arranged according to letters and numbers taped to their spines. There, a wise person known as a teacher-librarian would guide students’ imaginations to far off places through the pages of atlases, encyclopedias and other rare texts.

History of School Library Standards - A Timeline

While working on my dissertation I created a timeline of important events in the history of school library standards.  Taking a look at the events and people involved with the always evolving school library profession has helped me to realize what a varied and rich historical progression has led to the current standards.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

LAUSD prepares to ax school librarians' jobs. What would August Wilson say?

Charles Darwin, Franz Kafka and playwright August Wilson (pictured) are not three names typically linked together.

But this astonishing piece Friday by Los Angeles Times columnist Hector Tobar brought them to mind all at once.

Inquisition: Los Angeles school librarians grilled by lawyers

San Francisco Examiner: 2011 May 14

WHAT: Some 85 credentialed teacher-librarians at the Los Angeles Unified School District can only keep their jobs if they survive cross-examination by district lawyers and prove to an administrative law judge that they have taught students within the last five years.

The disgraceful interrogation of L.A. school librarians

...this week, you'll find them in a makeshift LAUSD courtroom set up on the bare concrete floor of a building on East 9th Street. Several sit in plastic chairs, watching from an improvised gallery as their fellow librarians are questioned.

A court reporter takes down testimony. A judge grants or denies objections from attorneys. Armed police officers hover nearby. On the witness stand, one librarian at a time is summoned to explain why she — the vast majority are women — should be allowed to keep her job...

Friday, May 13, 2011

SD23 Board highlights

  • Mr. Alan Smith, Teacher Librarian from Kelowna Secondary School, recently received the British Columbia Teacher Librarian Association (BCTLA) President’s Award for exemplary service and contributions to the profession.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kuhn ‘an inspiration to others’

Rossland News: 2011 May 11

RSS teacher-librarian Nicola Kuhn is the recipient of the 2011 B.C. New Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award by the B.C. Teacher-Librarian Association (BCTLA).

Margaret B. Scott Award of Merit

The Canadian Association for School Libraries is pleased to announce Heather Daly as
the 2011 recipient of the:
Canadian Association for School Libraries / Margaret B. Scott Award of Merit.

Angela Thacker Memorial Award

The Canadian Association for School Libraries is pleased to announce
Moira Ekdahl
as the 2011 recipient of the
Angela Thacker Memorial Award

School Libraries/Follett International Teacher Librarian of the Year Award

The Canadian Association for School Libraries is pleased to announce
Judith Comfort
as the 2011 recipient of the
Canadian Association for School Libraries/Follett International
Teacher Librarian of the Year Award

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Background Papers re Govt. Cuts

Vancouver Sun: 2011 May 10

The BCTF has provided the following background documents that were entered as evidence during the trial over Bills 27 and 28 (which removed from contract the BCTF's ability to negotiate class size, composition and specialst teacher ratios).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

23 Studies Find Positive Link Between Library Spending and Student Learning

Newswise: 2011 May 2

It is an article of faith among many critics of public schools that there is no correlation between spending and learning outcomes. But it’s not so—at least where library spending is concerned.