Wednesday, June 30, 2010

B.C. schools' skill assessment test results not meeting expectations

B.C.'s education minister says new approaches to learning are needed after Foundation Skills Assessment test results showed almost a fifth of students in Grades 4 and 7 are not meeting expectations.

Time for letters to the editor about the relationship between test scores and libraries!!

'AskAway' Library Service Quits Answering Questions

This is the day B.C.'s libraries pull the plug on the AskAway! Program, which let patrons from all over the province ask questions of librarians online, in real time, and receive an immediate answer. 

The provincial plan for libraries and literacy, set out in Gordon Campbell's 2004 strategic planning document Libraries Without Walls, was to bring the "world within the reach" of anyone with Internet access (and a card to a B.C. library).

Libraries Have a Novel Idea

Libraries are expanding e-book offerings with out-of-print editions, part of a broader effort to expand borrowing privileges in the Internet Age that could challenge traditional ideas about copyright. 

Starting Tuesday, a group of libraries led by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library, are joining forces to create a one-stop website for checking out e-books, including access to more than a million scanned public domain books and a catalog of thousands of contemporary e-book titles available at many public libraries.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Importance of School Libraries

The California School Library Association (CSLA), with funding help from Follett Software Company, has released an audio journal to spotlight how the school librarian actively impacts student success.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New website is the future of historical research on B.C.

Vancouver Sun: 2010 June 24

If, as poet Gary Geddes argued on The Vancouver Sun's oped page, history is the deep mirror in which we discover who we are, British Columbians gained another opportunity for reflection this week.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Teen books with gay themes take off

At his Kentucky elementary school, kids taunted Brent on the playground about being gay, whatever that was. By eighth grade, he realized what they meant and came out to a friend — and vice versa.

She was an avid writer, he a voracious reader. They headed to their school library in search of stories that spoke to their lives: gay, gay in the South, gay and fearing stereotypes like "disgusting" and "worthless."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A library without books?

The question is a vital one. Indeed it wouldn't be too dramatic to say the question relates ultimately to your continued employment.

When you do a concerted analysis, you'll find there is a dramatic difference between a 'school library' and an information services unit, a difference that has to do with both perception and the actual situation, which sees one disappearing and the other continuing to play a significant role in the education of the young.

BER library-building spree exposes teacher shortage

THE rush by schools to use Building the Education Revolution funds to build or upgrade libraries has highlighted an estimated shortage of teacher librarians of between 2500 and 3000, according to the Australian School Library Association. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

iPad Love and the Future of Book Publishing at Untethered 2010

“Despite what you may have read,” said PublicAffairs founder Peter Osnos, moderator of the Future of Book publishing panel at Untethered, New York’s newest digital publishing conference, “ book publishing is not in deep crisis. We haven’t lost advertisers or subscribers because we never had them.”

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Big stink at Ottawa elementary school over 'Sir Fartsalot' reading

A book reading at an Ottawa elementary school by children's author Kevin Bolger was cut short Tuesday when the principal objected to its language, says Sean Wilson, artistic director of the Ottawa International Writers Festival, the organization behind the event.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Librarian in Every School..

This spring, within a week’s time, two things happened that made me angry. The first was the release of scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) that showed African American 4th graders in Wisconsin (most of whom live in Milwaukee) had the lowest reading scores in the nation. Despite the limitations of such tests, the results confirmed what many educators already knew: Way too many Milwaukee children are not reading at an acceptable level.
The second was the district’s announcement of major cuts to local school budgets for next year.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mom's the word: The book on supporting school libraries

More than words.

That's what libraries mean to me: the library in my elementary school that was so air-conditioned you needed a sweater to read there; the public library in Alhambra I walked my nephews to every day most

summers (the novelty of renting videos back then!); and of course, the city libraries my kids and I visit these days for their fun and free events - from "Star Wars" parties to pajama storytimes - in Arcadia, Duarte and Pasadena to Glendora and Azusa.

Libraries grow readers and a foundation for a lifetime of success. Literally.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Don't be fooled: Librarians are 'true revolutionaries'

Re: Getting Over Easy Rider, Lorne Gunter, June 2. 

I was enjoying Lorne Gunter’s analysis of Easy Rider in my morning National Post when I was caught short by this sentence: “The teens who were prompted by its anti-establishment message to pledge themselves to change the world are today school librarians and public broadcasting technicians living in suburban bungalows, looking around the next bend at pensionability and wondering whether to open a B&B in Niagara.” 

Yikes! Now there’s a sweeping stereotype! I know he was trying to humorously make a point about becoming the essence of establishment self-focus. But clearly, he has not met many school librarians, nor does he fully appreciate what they do every day 

As a writer of children’s literature, I have had the great privilege of spending time with hundreds of school librarians across North America — from Nunavut to New Brunswick, from the Jane-Finch Corridor in the GTA to Lima, Peru.

Virtually every single one of the people I met are still honouring that pledge to change the world.

Don’t be fooled by the prim reading-glasses-on-chains cartoon image.

Teacher-librarians are true revolutionaries, trying to change and improve society by empowering the most vulnerable members of society: children. School librarians are professionally committed to freedom of thought and speech, and to the notion that teaching kids how to learn is the root of all education. If that’s not progressive, I don’t know what is.
Helaine Becker, Toronto. 

Like Lorne Gunter, I have always been unimpressed with the self-righteous inanity of Easy Rider. However, “the teens who were inspired to change the world” actually did contribute greatly to a decrease in racism and sexism in our society, as well as being instrumental in bringing an insane war to an end.

If some of them are now school librarians and public broadcasting technicians, are those professions less valuable to our society than, say, print journalism?
Kurt Weinheimer, Toronto.

Friday, June 4, 2010

CLA Passing Grade to New Copyright Legislation

User Rights Still Tempered by Digital Locks

The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques (CLA) finds much to applaud in the government’s newly announced copyright legislation, Bill C-32.

“Canadians will appreciate the expansion of fair dealing to include parody, satire, and education,” says CLA President John Teskey, “and with some important modifications to the provisions on digital locks, this bill addresses a number of the concerns brought forward by librarians across the country.”

CLA is heartened that Bill C-32 gives  users some new rights, but is disappointed that longstanding rights, the heart of copyright’s balance, as well as the new rights, are all tempered by the over-reach of digital locks.

In essence, the bill protects digital locks so they cannot be circumvented for legal uses.  The government has, perhaps unwittingly, placed a barrier to the bill’s achievement of its objective to promote innovation and support culture, by prohibiting Canadians from exercising their legitimate, statutory rights to copy material for research, study and education.  Fortunately, this can be corrected by simply allowing circumvention for legal purposes.

CLA is pleased that Canadians with perceptual disabilities will have use of material in accessible formats imported from other jurisdictions. The bill clarified that importation of such materials would not constitute infringement.

“While the additional fair dealing uses, limitations on liability, and the ability to import accessible formats give CLA reason for initial optimism,” adds Teskey, “we will review the bill thoroughly and formulate a detailed response.”

As well, the bill’s attempt to be technologically neutral appears to be incomplete, leaving parts of the Copyright Act still based on various media. 

CLA will be looking for format neutral language to facilitate the library’s role in providing access and in preserving Canada’s cultural heritage.

CLA is also mindful that in previous rounds of copyright reform, user rights became significantly eroded as the bill went through the committee review process. The library community will be vigilant and engaged in the process to ensure that the gains to Canadian users will not be undermined and derailed as the bill moves through its review.

Pat Parungao is Follett International 2010 Teacher Librarian of the Year

The Canadian Association for School Libraries is pleased to announce
Pat Parungao, Teacher-Librarian, Gladstone Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C. as the 2010 recipient of the Follett International Teacher Librarian of the Year Award


The Canadian Association for School Libraries honours, through this award, a school-based teacher-librarian who has made an outstanding contribution to school librarianship within Canada through planning and implementing school library programs, based on a collaborative model which integrates library and classroom programs.

Pat has been a teacher-librarian since 1982 and is recognized as an outstanding teacher-librarian, consultant, writer, professor, and advocate for school libraries and learning in her district and province. She works collaboratively with a wide variety of teachers at Gladstone Secondary School to create teaching units and projects around assessment for learning, literacy, and curriculum. Her colleagues, supervisors, and administrators (in K-12 and post-secondary) praise her highly for her work.

Throughout her career, Pat has demonstrated her passion for libraries and learning and she “believes strongly that students benefit when they have teacher-librarians who develop school library programs and who are qualified in teacher-librarianship”.  Within her district, Pat has worked as a teacher-librarian in both elementary and secondary school libraries, as a Teacher-Librarian Consultant, and as a Cooperative Program Planning and Teaching Resource teacher (ESL emphasis).

In the K-12 division, Pat has contributed to key initiatives in the province of British Columbia from information and technology skills development, critical thinking, cultural diversity and bibliography publications such as, Canada’s Year of Asia Pacific Multicultural Bibliography. She has written many articles in professional publications and she has co-presented at various workshops, including the BCTF Program Against Racism workshops, Cultural Diversities – Literary Gifts based on the annotated bibliography.

At the post-secondary level, she has written, designed, and taught courses at the University of British Columbia online and face-to-face which includes the UBC Information Literacy Project for teacher candidates in the Faculty of Education.

As a teacher-librarian, educator and advocate, Pat has been a dedicated, active member in professional associations such as VTLA (Vancouver), BCTLA (British Columbia), CASL (Canadian Association for School Libraries), BC Library Association and BC Coalition for School Libraries. She is also a recipient of a provincial award.

Pat Parungao is an exemplary teacher-librarian, who is very deserving of the 2010 Follett International Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award.

Media Contact: Dianne Leong-Fortier, CASL Councillor, Awards Chair, Selection Committee