Monday, October 27, 2008

Set an example: Read today

The Vancouver Sun
27 Oct 2008

Drop everything and read. That’s what librarians are asking British Columbians to do today at 11 a.m. to mark National School Library Day and deliver a strong signal to children about the importance of literacy. “The message it sends could be more...


The BCTLA Conference this weekend in Victoria was fantastic. Michele's thank-you speech was inspiring and would make each one of you proud that she is ONE OF OURS! I have to say, after many years of attending these, I heard not one single complaint about any aspect of this year's conference.

The three fantastic workshops I attended, after a session with the book and resource exhibitors, included Karen Lindsay on reading (the same Karen quoted in the newspaper this morning), Dr Barbara McNeil from U of Regina (on engagement and reading with some of our most reluctant), and Susan Juby of Alice, I Think fame (on being retrieved from the edges by a teacher-librarian who recognized in Susan a young woman with a spark of writing brilliance -- she is now Victoria Public Library's "pet writer"!).

The weather, food, accommodations, and company were also amazing. In other delightful aspects of my weekend, including getting caught in Victoria's annual Zombie March, I must thank Gwen and Sylvia for their help in promoting "promoting the new EBSCO-and-World Book multisector database bundle" -- on very short notice at the BCTLA Chapter Councillors' meeting on Saturday! It is very clear that Gwen loves eLibrary and the Culturegrams as well, and Sylvia uses World Book the most.


Speaking of Gwen, our first DEAR report has just come in! Look who's reading today with Moberly students. Gwen emailed:

Wally Oppal just became a Friend of the School Library this morning. He also read a book on Divali to a Gr 5 class and talked about the importance of reading every ay. In fact hw suggested they read a novel every two weeks. He will observe DEAR.

Here's news from the mother-ship: Many of our colleagues arrived this morning to find a chocolate bar (thanks, Pat P, for this initiative) from Charlie's that has an attached reminder of National School Library Day and DEAR at 11 am; the chocolate bar reads: sChOOL Libraries -- The Heart (heart-shape) of Literacy. See the word COOL in "school"? I read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, a book I have Sylvia to thank for ... I have tried several times to find it at Chapters.

Here's ESL Betty on the 4th floor preparing to read The Navigator of New York.

This afternoon, Deb Martel, VBE Aboriginal Administrator, and I headed off to the Coalition-sponsored afternoon celebration of Literacy and School Libraries at Carson Graham in North Vancouver. The Honourable Steven Point spoke to students about the importance of reading. Asked by one what reading had made a difference in his life, His Honour quipped, "Mad Magazine"! In a more serious tone, he talked about the gift of a book that influenced his decision to pursue a career in Law; he was given The Story of My Life by Clarence Darrow. Thanks to CG TL Jennifer Teiche and FN Educator Brad Baker for their organizing of this event. The Catering Class had prepared a wonderful spread. Exhibits included carving in progress and displays of an upcoming play written in-house and aboriginal "reads" from picture books to novels and non-fiction. I also enjoyed the afternoon of chatting with CG administrators Steve Garland and Ray Bodnaruk, as well as North Van TLs Felicity Eadon, Shelagh Martin, and Marilyn Aldworth ... oh, and commenting on the really good food with His Honour. What a treat to be invited.

From the Carson Graham website:

“This is a wonderful opportunity for so many of our students to meet such an inspiring and accomplished person,” says Jennifer Tieche, learning resource/teacher-librarian at Carson Graham. “The Lieutenant Governor embodies the pursuit of learning and appreciation of literature we encourage with our students.”

“We are grateful for this opportunity to showcase the importance of high-quality school library programs,” says Kathryn Shoemaker, chair of the B.C. Coalition for School Libraries. “National School Library Day honours the connection between student success and the essential work of school libraries to promote the freedom to read, foster inquiry and further knowledge.”

DEAR Press Release Today:

PRINCE GEORGE - Education Minister Shirley Bond celebrated National School Library Day Oct. 27 by taking part in the Drop Everything and Read challenge, issued by the B.C. Teacher-Librarians' Association.

"Our family loves to read and has always made it a priority. I am happy to 'drop everything and read' to celebrate national school library day," said Bond. "I have also invited my colleagues around the province to do the same thing."

B.C.'s teacher-librarians challenged everyone in the province to Drop Everything and Read for 20 minutes at 11 a.m. today.... "It's about encouraging young people to read and value literacy," said Karen Lindsay, vice-president of the B.C. Teacher-Librarians' Association. "Studies clearly show that daily silent reading improves vocabulary, spelling, comprehension and much more."

"It is also important to say thank you to teacher-librarians and other educators who work so hard to ensure our students develop a love of reading and excellent literacy skills," said Bond.

Hope you enjoyed today ... and, as DEAR unfolded at the VSB, there was great excitement all across the province as word spread about new ways this initiative was developed or promoted in BC. DEAR has really taken off this year, and we want to hear what your school has done to celebrate National School Library Day. You can report your school's activity using the comment function below (that would be the best use of this Web 2.0 tool) or email me!

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