Tag Archives: School Libraries

School & Library Spotlight: How to Make Libraries Indispensible

“Suzanna L. Panter is the educational specialist for library services in Henrico County Public Schools, just outside Richmond, Va. She oversees 83 librarians and 70 assistants, who serve more than 50,000 K–12 students in her system’s 70 schools. Panter designs library programs, handles staff development, negotiates with vendors, and does whatever it takes “to help our librarians be effective,” she says. Prior to taking her supervisory position, Panter was an elementary teacher and school librarian. Among her other professional achievements, Panter was an ALA Emerging Leader in 2009 and was chosen to attend the first ALA Leading to the Future Institute, in 2013. She also is a current Lilead Fellow and chair of the Virginia Association of School Librarians’ supervisors committee.” (via Publishers Weekly)

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Lacking a librarian, a school tries to promote reading

“Just nine school librarians work full-time in the School District of Philadelphia’s 218 schools. This can be disastrous for literacy development in poor neighborhoods, where families often don’t have books at home.Studies are clear that students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, perform better academically when they attend schools with functioning libraries.  A report from the Library Research Service found that states that gained school librarians showed greater increases in 4th-grade reading scores than states that lost librarians.” (via thenotebook)

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In city elementary schools, a campaign for libraries

“Across the city, many classrooms lack what Alison Walters has cobbled together from 10-cent yard sales, book-club deals, and the proceeds of side jobs she works “to support my teaching habit”: a colorful, voluminous classroom library. City and school officials want to change that. On Tuesday, Mayor-elect Jim Kenney, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr., and 30 other leaders gathered at Clara Barton School to launch a $3.5 million fund-raising campaign aimed at placing libraries in every Philadelphia School District elementary classroom.” (via Philly.com)

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The calamity of disappearing school libraries

“From coast to coast, elementary and high school libraries are being neglected, defunded, repurposed, abandoned and closed. The kindest thing that can be said about this is that it’s curious; the more accurate explanation is that it’s just wrong and very foolish. A 2011 survey conducted with my graduate students of 25 separate statewide studies shows that students who attend schools with libraries that are staffed by certified librarians score better on reading and writing tests than students in schools without library services. And it is lower-income students who benefit the most.” (via Houston Chronicle)

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Hoping to raise interest in books, public library opens school branch

“The kindergarten students sat in rows on a rainbow-colored carpet and listened to a story during a visit to their new school library. Then they did a reading cheer — “Read, Baby, Read!” — before they got to go “shopping” for books. Within a few minutes, the children at D.C. Prep Benning Public Charter School were lined up clutching books about Hot Wheels, princesses, pandas, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Curious George, Superman, and Pete the Cat, to name a few. The students usually select books in their classrooms, going through shelves or bins that are organized by reading level. But the Ward 7 school added 5,000 new books in March by opening a D.C. Public Library branch inside the school.” (via The Washington Post)

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Unequal shelves in D.C. school libraries benefit wealthier students

“Lafayette Elementary School, in upper Northwest Washington, has one of the largest library collections in the District’s public school system, with more than 28,000 books filling stacks on two floors. Drew Elementary, 12 miles away and east of the Anacostia River, has one of the city’s smallest inventories: 300 catalogued books lining shelves along two of the library’s walls. Reading and literacy are high priorities for the urban school district, as proficiency rates for its poorest students dwell below the averages for major cities. But the District dedicates no annual funding for school-library collections, instead relying on the largesse of parents or the kindness of strangers to stock its shelves through donations.” As a result, an unequal system has developed. (via The Washington Post)

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Millburn High School librarian juggles print, digital offerings

“With 30,000 print titles and 20,000 digital titles at the Millburn High School library, students and staff need some guidance.Enter high school librarian LaDawna Harrington.At Millburn High School, she has been guiding students and staff through the library’s vast collection, which she has worked to increase during her five years with the district.A part-time lecturer on library management at Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information, Harrington previously worked as a school librarian in Woodbridge Township and through the years has seen the library sciences grow by leaps and bounds since the days she had just a dialup modem in Woodbridge.” (via NorthJersey.com)

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LAUSD’s students need better libraries, not iPads

“Like Supt. John Deasy and others in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I am concerned about the educational civil rights of the district’s students. While the iPad-for-every-student controversy has gotten much media coverage lately, a long-term problem has gotten very little attention: the lack of equal access to a quality school library. A 19-month investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights concluded in 2011 that thousands of LAUSD students were being denied equal educational opportunities, which included libraries with sufficient books and staffing.” (via LA Times)

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West Philly libraries, key to student success, struggle to exist

“While Penn students might dread their weekend visits to Van Pelt Library, it is clear from the crowded cubicles and GSRs that the University would lose a valuable resource if its doors were closed. This is exactly the situation in which Philadelphia elementary school students find themselves. Because of extensive budget cuts, students are locked out of their school libraries without access to books or trained librarians. The School Reform Commission passed a “Doomsday Budget” in late May last year, in which $304 million was cut from Philadelphia schools for the 2013-14 fiscal year. As a result, about 3,800 school employees were laid off, 24 schools were closed and money to extracurricular programs was eliminated.” (via The Daily Pennsylvanian)

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School libraries urged to embrace the digital — cautiously

“Technology might make some parts of libraries obsolete — but librarians won’t be among them, panelists contended at this week’s annual Texas Library Association conference in San Antonio, which drew 7,200 attendees. As the popularity of electronic books continues to rise, schools are emerging as a dynamic area of how libraries adjust, they said. Educators and administrators, struggling to figure out how much to spend on their campus libraries amid state funding cuts, have reduced library staff and pondered the potential savings of buying digital books over printed ones. But concerns that students will increasingly be left with a self-service method of accessing books and research materials stem from the realization that today’s students are more tech-saavy than their predecessors.” (via San Antonio Express-News)

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