School Libraries

UCSC's Grateful Dead Archivist

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Interview with Nicholas Meriwether, Special Collections, McHenry Library, University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC)

About Nicholas Meriwether

Before coming to work as the Archivist at University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), I received my BA in history from Princeton, and then studied cultural and intellectual history at Cambridge, where I became fascinated with oral history. I worked for many years in the private sector as a business executive but kept up my scholarship and writing until I tired of the business world and got a job as the oral historian at the University of South Carolina’s South Caroliniana Library. While I was there I earned my MLIS, which focused on oral history and archives.

The University of Kentucky College of Law Library: A Short History

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When the University Of Kentucky College Of Law was founded in 1908 under the leadership of Judge William Thornton Lafferty, it had no library. In the ensuing years a law library would be developed to meet the research and information needs of students enrolled at the law school as well as the larger campus community, alumni and citizens of the Commonwealth. This article seeks to explore the library’s development and the milestones which have occurred related to its history, and to bring attention to the librarians who have played a vital role in that history.

Assured Experiences Provide Students Opportunities to Meet Standards

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The Joe Townsley Library at Simsbury High School is one of the winners of the 2008 AASL National School Library Media Program of the Year Award. The SLMPY Award, sponsored by Follett Library Resources, is given to library programs that are fully integrated into the mission, goals and objectives, and long range plans of the school; and therefore, the program is central to the learning process.

The Preservation Jam

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When I was a kid, I was really hard on books. Aside from my mania for reading and re-reading every-thing within my grasp, I also scribbled in them, read them in the bathtub and—most appallingly—used the smooth paperbacks to “skate” around the carpet of my bedroom.

All of this, of course, took a toll on the books. As the spines gave way and the paper covers tore off, my mother patched them back up with brown gaffer’s tape. The repairs bought them many more years, and some of the relics from my childhood remain in my personal collection.

AASL observes 25th anniversary of School Library Month

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This April, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will observe the 25th Anniversary of School Library Month (SLM).

School Library Month, is celebrated in conjunction with National Library Week (April 12-18). Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career. The 2010 theme is "Communities thrive @ your library."

Comedy Club in the School Library

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During the spring 2008 Vermont Library Conference, I laughed hysterically at Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum when they shared their Unshelved Comics (http://www.unshelved.com/) with us. I knew at that moment I wanted humor to exist in my library, not just in book form, but LIVE. So when the idea of forming a comedy club for my library came to me, I turned to Josie Leavitt at the Flying Pig Bookstore in Charlotte. She was not only willing to help me get the laughs rolling, but also gave me the starting point to comedy...write every day and write about your struggles. 

A New Library for America's Oldest Law School

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Nearly 30 years ago, in 1980, the College of William & Mary opened its original 36,500-squarefoot library. By the mid-1990s, shelf space, work space, and seating were in short supply. The library looked dated and offered little support for today’s technology—only a small portion of the library’s carrels and tables had access to power outlets, its computer lab was carved out of former stack space, and its tiny “typing rooms” had long outlived their usefulness. During the sabbatical inspections that took place in 1995 and 2002, the American Bar Association (ABA) and Association of American Law Schools (AALS) both pointed to the library’s physical facilities as a serious weakness for the school.

Are School Librarians Expendable?

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States and cities are under severe budget constraints. They are turning to the library.

My feeling -- as someone who works in a local tech education center that shares its library with the high school next door -- is that this situation is more complex than administrators' seeing librarians as expendable.

No matter how effective teachers are, children will be left behind without librarians to help guide them through the information blizzard.

In the situation schools are in now, where expenses like staff health insurance costs and I.T. infrastructure budgets are going up by double-digit percentages a year, people have a triage mentality. Some schools are having to reconsider all non-mandated services and make tough decisions. I think a few factors come into play.

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