Tag Archives: School Libraries

Seattle’s school libraries: a stark example of rich and poor

“When Pat Bliquez interviewed for the librarian job at McDonald International Elementary in Seattle’s North End a few years ago, she asked what her library budget would be.For more than two decades, she had dealt with a shrinking library budget at another school in a poorer neighborhood. She scrambled to get books wherever she could, sometimes using her own money at used-book sales.But at McDonald? The interviewers looked at each other, then one replied, “Well, we have a very generous PTA.””I found out if I wanted any money, it was all going to come from the PTA,” she said.” (via AP)

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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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