Thursday, January 28, 2010

8 Easy Ways to Get Digital Natives Wild about Reading

I recently took my 10-year old son and a few of his friends to see Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are." Afterward, I asked the Max-like brood which they liked better: the book or the movie.

"They came out with the book already?" gasped one of the boys. "The movie's only been out like a month or something!"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Teacher, student lose hair for Haiti

You can't say Trina Zuyderduyn is one to welch on a bet.

The teacher/librarian at Glenrosa Middle School bet her hair that the school couldn't raise $650 for the Haitian relief effort.

Olympics in the classroom

On Feb. 28, Canada Hockey Place can hold 19,300 Olympic spectators to watch the men’s gold medal hockey final. But if the arena is 70 per cent full, how manypeople will be in attendance?

The students at Torquay elementary know the answer. That’s because staff at the Saanich school have taken advantage of using the current event as a way to enhance the normal math, computers, and social studies curriculum.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Search engine rolling over writers

Google's digitization of the world's books to make them available online is 'theft on a grand scale,' writer says

Bill Gates launches his own website

Bill Gates, the founder of Windows-maker Microsoft, has launched a personal website for the first time, and is billing it as “An inside look at global matters”. In his greeting to new users of, he writes “since leaving my fulltime job at Microsoft to dedicate more time to our [charitable] foundation, a lot of people have asked me what I'm working on. I'm fortunate because the people I'm working with and learning from are true experts in their fields. I take a lot of notes [and] I thought it would be interesting to share these conversations more widely with a website.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

AASL Adopts ‘School Librarian’ As Official Term for the Profession

Forget media specialist or teacher-librarian. As far as the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is concerned, the official title for the profession is now school librarian. 

The AASL board of directors voted in favor of the move on Saturday during the American Librarian Association’s midwinter meeting in Boston. And that means “school librarian” will be used in all of the profession’s advocacy efforts and publications, including reports and press releases.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vancouver's Duthie books to shut down after 52 years

Independent Vancouver bookseller Duthie Books will shut its doors at the end of February after 52 years in business.

Facing pressure from online bookseller Amazon and multi-national chains such as Chapters, owner Cathy Duthie Legate has decided to pack it in and close the last of eight locations on Fourth Avenue in Kitsilano.

Monday, January 18, 2010

ALA announces literary award winners

The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, audiobooks and video for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Literacy linked to locale

The neighbourhoods where young children live predict their reading skills several years later, according to a University of B.C. study released this week.

The study found that children who live in wealthier neighbourhoods while in kindergarten did significantly better on standardized tests in Grade 7 than children from less affluent areas, regardless of where they lived when they wrote the same tests as teenagers.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Age-inappropriate literature

I was a bookish boy. I read at school and at home, encouraged by boredom and the summer reading programs at Lincoln Library. I didn’t read to learn; I read to be entertained. (There is no spur to youthful literacy as sharp as crap TV.) I plowed through the entire collection of nonfiction — it didn’t take long — at the Matheny School library. My favorite fare was expurgated biographies of famous men and women from Sun Yat-sen to Mozart. I learned about composers of music I’d never heard, liberators of countries whose names I couldn’t pronounce, civilizations I couldn’t imagine.  

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Parents, students thrilled with new Glen elementary school

Nearly 500 students and their parents walked through the doors of the new $14.8-million Glen elementary school Monday, getting their first glimpse of the open-concept building that has a library with no walls, computers in every classroom and removable dividers so teachers and students can collaborate.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Envoy’s Old Advice for Children

Katherine Paterson, the children’s novelist who will be appointed the national ambassador for young people’s literature on Tuesday, often assures aspiring writers that she showed little apparent talent as a child.

On visits to schools and libraries, Ms. Paterson, a two-time winner of both the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, frequently recites her first published work, a poem that appeared in her school newspaper in Shanghai:

Monday, January 4, 2010

25 Awesome Virtual Learning Experiences Online

Just because you’re online doesn’t mean that you can’t experience the world first-hand — or as close to first-hand as possible. Here are websites that feature virtual learning experiences, exposing online visitors to everything from history to geography, astronomy to anatomy, literature to government.

Looking to Ramp Up Your Library Web Site?

Does your library Web site feel a bit flat or just plain boring? Do you wish you could interact with students on your site and share more of your passion for learning? Then consider turning your site into a blog.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Potter, Pi and Pilgrim

A decade ago, Harry Potter was still at Hogwarts, Stephen King was still recovering after being struck by a van and Dan Brown was several years away from becoming the world's most famous author. Bonnie Burnard had just won the Giller Prize for her novel A Good House; her next book, Suddenly, wouldn't come out until later in the year. Matt Cohen won the Governor General's Award for Elizabeth and After, just a few weeks before his death. It would be a few years before Scott Griffin established the Griffin Poetry Prize. To kindle was to set something on fire, a nook was a cranny and a kobo was, er, we're not really sure.

How technology killed copyright

Copyright infringement has stirred the souls of artists and publishers since the time of Charles Dickens, who went to the United States in 1842 to ask the Americans to stop pirating his works.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Future Shock: It takes five magazines to figure out tomorrow

About a year ago, when I was at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Denver, I joined the editors of some of the other school librarian magazines for drinks (I only had a diet Coke!) and dinner. Around the table were gathered Debbie Abilock (Knowledge Quest), Gail Dickinson (LMC, Library Media Connection), Deb Levitov (School Library Monthly), and David Loertscher and Betty Marcoux (Teacher Librarian). We try to get together at every conference.