School Libraries

Schools Need High-Quality Librarians Dedicated To Children's Learning

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School libraries are not deserving of children without a qualified librarian who cares for the development of children as learners and readers.

Statistics on the Chicago Public Schools website notes that there are 675 schools in the system. Subtract 164 schools without libraries (including Whittier Elementary, which made the news recently when parents staged a sit-in for a new library) and do the math: Over 500 libraries constitute that pesky “other side of the story” that never seems to be told

Speech to School Board Supporting School Libraries and Librarians

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It felt like the Academy Awards. But it wasn’t. At the Academy Awards, the recipient has 45 seconds to thank everyone for their contributions to his/her now-publicly acknowledged success. At the Highline School District Board meeting on April 27, 2011, I had 5 minutes to prove that my position as a professional school librarian generates a daily positive impact on the academic achievement of 690 students ages 10-13.

Unquiet Library Has High-Schoolers Geeked

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The noise became a buzz at Creekview High School in Georgia, where the Media Center has three times as many Facebook fans as the football team.The students are skeptical when the librarian says, “I want everyone to take out their cell phones and check to see if you can get reception in the library.” The young scholars hesitantly pull out their mobile devices unsure of what to make of this request. “Your assignment is to charge up your phones for class on Friday.” This wasn’t like any librarian they had met before.

Welcome to the Creekview High School Media Center in Canton, Georgia, or as it is commonly known around the halls, “The Unquiet Library.” ( The school opened its doors in 2006 and its library services were conceived during the Web 2.0 boom. This is evident in its design as a highly participatory learning environment embedded with interaction and technology from the beginning.

It Took a Community To Build This Library

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The award was the 2007 Thompson Gale Giant Step Award, a $10,000 award to libraries who provide unusually beneficial services to their community or school. As the co-winner of the award, splitting the honor and money with a New York school, the Fort Washakie School in Wyoming was chosen as the recipient because of its efforts to make the library not only a school affair, but a community one too.

Grassroots Group Grows School Library Support in Washington State

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More than 100 people gathered in the rain at the state capitol steps in Olympia, Washington, February 1 to rally for school libraries (above), despite cold winds and a storm in the eastern half of the state that prevented many from attending, and which later caused Governor Christine Gregoire to declare a state of emergency for 15 counties. The rally and an all-day summit were the culmination of the work of a group of concerned Spokane mothers.

The effort began last spring when Lisa Layera Brunkan, Denette Hill, and Susan McBurney, enraged at the cuts to school library media programs in Washington and determined to strengthen them statewide, began a grassroots movement to combat their school board’s decision to close part of a $10.8-million deficit by halving the hours of the 10 full-time, K-8 teacher librarians still employed by Washington’s second-largest district.

Grassroots Group Rally for SKILLs Act

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Characterizing school library media specialists as “an endangered species,” Washington State Sen. Tracey J. Eide (D-Federal Way) introduced a bill January 22 that codifies through a per-pupil formula how many credentialed school library media specialists should be employed by each district and offers some $55 million to fund the initiative. Its aim of guaranteeing the presence in school libraries of certificated staff echoes the language of the federal SKILLs (Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries) Act, introduced in June 2007 as an unfunded amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act and scheduled for Senate committee review in February.

Children's Author Deedy, Oscar Nominee Breslin Named Spokespeople for School Library Media Month

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Award-winning author Carmen Agra Deedy and Oscar-nominated actor Abigail Breslin have been named national spokespeople for the 2008 School Library Media Month, celebrated in April. School Library Media Month is sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and celebrated by school library media centers around the country

Delectable Delights for Teen Read Week

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"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few are to be chewed and digested" Francis Bacon once said. The "monsterific" theme of 2008's Teen Read Week celebration as "Books with Bite," agrees with Mr. Bacon's suggestions as to how to devour books. Likewise, Teen Read Week offers libraries the opportunity to give teens a taste of reading delights that will have them chomping at the bit for the next book. Whether "Books with Bite" elicits images of the vampire we all love to read about Edward Cullen of the Twilight series, or graphic novels of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teen read Week is the library marketing extravaganza to strut their stuff for teenagers.