Monday, November 30, 2009

Vavenby school to stay open

Vavenby Elementary School will not close.

Trustees of School District 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) made the decision last Monday evening during a school board meeting in Kamloops.

“It’s great,” said Carol Schaffer, a Vavenby resident who spearheaded a petition to keep the school open. “At least it’s open. When the economy turns around and people start moving in, we can get it back to Kindergarten to Grade 7. If it had closed, it likely would have closed for good.”

The trustees decided to limit Vavenby to just Kindergarten to Grade 3. There will be only one teacher and secretarial hours will be cut.

Of the other rural schools that were on the chopping block, Westwold will go to just Kindergarten to Grade 5.

Savona and Pinantan will have Kindergarten to Grade 7 but will do without a principal and a teacher-librarian, and will have reduced secretarial support.

Friday, November 27, 2009

BC First Graders Get Book Rejected as 'Racist' Elsewhere

Two maritime provinces declined to distribute a book to students saying it was racist and promotes stereotypes of First Nations people. British Columbia schools are giving the same book for free to students in Grade One.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Keep an eye on WatchKnow (YouTube meets Wikipedia?)

Launched in October after a year-long development period, WatchKnow is a wiki-style portal that gathers and organizes educational videos for students ages 3 to 18.  An age filter slider allows you to easily focus your search.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Author reading

Local author Tessa McGuiness, former Surrey School District teacher-librarian, will read from her first novel, Never See A Poor Day, on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. at the White Rock Library, 15342 Buena Vista Ave.

An expatriate from Liverpool, England, McGuiness – who emigrated to Canada in 1957 – has drawn on her own wartime experiences to create the world of nine year-old Katie Byrne, forced to flee Liverpool with her family and take up residence in a gypsy caravan.

Registration is required. For information, call 604-541-2201.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Children's literature can and should go beyond feel-good fantasy

At this time of year, holiday celebrations and some quiet time for reflection beckon. Some long for the picture-book perfect holiday. Some look for the perfect picture book for a child's holiday reading.

For many years, before I taught at the University of B.C., I worked as a bookseller. Buyers hunting for "the perfect book for a bright child" wanted books solely for delight. They shied away from "serious reads."

Booksellers today see this, too. Books with a happy ending and popular series books such as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter or C.S. Lewis's Narnia Chronicles or Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series are much in demand.

Yes, kids need these books, but for balance they also benefit from and can enjoy reading tough books that challenge and expand their view of the world, particularly the world of children less fortunate than themselves.

Friday, November 20, 2009

School libraries key in teaching information skills

When school media specialists and educators make an effort to become familiar with the social-networking web sites and technologies that today's students use each day, they can forge important learning connections with their students: That was one of the key messages to come out of the American Association of School Librarians' annual conference, held Nov. 5-8 in Charlotte, N.C.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Local Heroes get kudos

Five of Burnaby's Local Heroes were singled out at the Nov. 10 school board meeting for their contributions to the school district community.

Sharon Freeman is a district teacher-librarian and advocate for literacy, who has served on the Burnaby Public Library board.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Copy fight: Cory Doctorow's struggle to make books free

Last Friday morning, the writer Cory Doctorow took the stage of the Royal Ontario Museum's Bronfman Hall and, over the course of 45 minutes, delivered a lecture entitled "How to Destroy the Book." He began his keynote address of the TD National Reading Summit with an elegy to our love affair with books, before launching a blistering attack on those trying to remake copyright laws to snuff out copy and sharing culture, which he sees as the lifeblood of books. Take e-books, for example. The convoluted fine print, which runs into the thousands of words, makes clear that the reader does not own this version of the book - with the ability to, say, sell it to a second-hand bookstore - but rather "licenses" it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

$400,000 dedicated for new books

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Yellowknife kids will have some new books to read this school year, as the territorial government has dedicated a $400,000 fund to fill out their school libraries, as well as others across the NWT.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Elementary school students make reading an Olympic sport

Shannon Lee pulled out a digital camera to show a shot of her pink pajama-clad daughter Megan Goodwin slumped on a couch while reading British author Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach.

"This is how Megan survived the swine flu," Lee said with a laugh, adding, "While she was sick I read five novels to her."

Reading at home while recovering from the flu helped the Grade 2 student add to the books she's completed since the summer break--a number that now totals 251.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall Activities Report now online

The BCTLA Executive has produced a summary report of activities.

Download file and read about the exciting projects completed or underway.

Monday, November 9, 2009

School libraries lacking

A strong school library program is the cornerstone of a healthy school, unfortunately schools do not have the money to support strong school libraries and students are suffering from it, according to California School Library Association.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

San Jose State Breaks with California Library Association Over Drexel Agreement

Charging that the California Library Association (CLA) had broken a promise by partnering with Drexel University Online, the San Jose State University (SJSU) School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) has severed its partnership with CLA, withdrawing from hosting the CALIX electronic mailing list and no longer purchasing several hundred memberships a year for its students.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Local heroes recognized for contributions

More than a dozen local residents were hailed for their civic efforts on Monday night in a jam-packed council meeting...

- Sharon Freeman: A teacher librarian who is considered a "tireless" advocate for literacy, Freeman has served on the Burnaby Public Library board from 2001 through 2006, and again in 2009.

California DOE Calls for Public Comment on First School Library Standards

California is developing statewide school library standards for the first time—and a draft document is available for public comment until December 18.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Don't leave students without librarians

Many schools have a room that they call a school library, but it may very well have no budget, no online databases, no teacher librarian and no new and engaging books. Its doors may even be closed.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cuts force library to pare books and Sundays

There will be fewer books on library shelves and reduced Sunday hours as the Greater Victoria Public Library tries to deal with a 22 per cent cut in provincial government funding.