Saturday, September 26, 2009

There's Never Nothing to Do with School Libraries

This Weekend, It's Word on the Street

WOTS: Sunday at Library Square, 11 am to 5 pm. This is a wonderful annual Fall event where you can check out new titles, award-winning authors and spoken-word artists, book bargains, and more ... all for FREE. Who's there? Check here.

Fall Book Harvest, October 16

North Vancouver City Library's Annual Fall Book Harvest brings CWILLBC authors and illustrators, new titles, book prizes, displays, and the chance to meet children's favorites. 1:30 to 3:30 pm, 120 West 14th, North Vancouver.

Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable Fall Breakfast

Saturday, October 17: University Golf Club, 8:30 Registration: This year, meet Gregory Maguire, author of more than a dozen novels for children -- and Wicked for adults.

BCTLA Conference: Champions of Literacy

October 22-23: Richmond Olympic Oval and Richmond Secondary School. Keynote speaker: none other than Roch Carrier; a national treasure and a champion of Canadian culture. As a Canadian writer, he touched our hearts with books like La Guerre, Yes Sir! He was a director of the Canadian Council for the Arts from 1994 to 1997 and served as National Librarian of Canada from 1997 to 2004. Carrier is an ardent supporter of libraries and children's literacy.

The Thursday night wine and cheese will be at the Legacy Suite of the spectacular Richmond Olympic Oval so you can catch the Olympic excitement! Take a tour of this inspiring and innovative building and meet the Olympic Mascots! This year's themes are Imagination, Inspiration, and Information! Click on Venues or Presenters to get more details.
The main conference is being hosted by Richmond Secondary School, located at 7171 Minoru Blvd., Richmond BC, V6Y1Z3. There'll be exciting workshops, inspiring speakers and great literacy displays from a variety of vendors.

Register now!

DEAR, October 26

On Monday evening this week, Vancouver school trustees supported by District Management, unanimously supported a motion to endorse the annual Drop Everything and Read campaign in which, on October 26 National School Library Day, whole school communities drop everything and read for 20 minutes.

Under the guidance of BCTLA VP (Advocacy) Karen Lindsay, the BCTLA Executive successfully promoted this initiative to celebrate National School Library Day and were honoured nationally with the CASL/Angela Thacker Memorial Award. You should have received your poster for this year's event; it features a photo by BCTLA Exec member Al Smith from Kelowna.

Ideas for the celebration are wonderfully diverse. Last year's event featured prominent Vancouverites, authors, and school board officials reading to children. Then-Education Minister Shirley Bond got into the act as well, dropping what she was doing to read.

The support of our Trustees and District Management Team ensures our district's participation in this high-profile literacy promotion event. Many of our schools already have a daily sustained silent reading component. An added "celebration" of reading for National School Library Day, along with a vision that one day, all British Columbians -- all Canadians -- will "drop everything and read" to honour the importance of both school libraries and the importance of free voluntary reading remains before us. Ideally, all would include this reading daily as the research is clear: reading improves with reading and makes a significant difference in student success. For more, read Stephen Krashen, guru of free voluntary reading, in School Library Journal, 2006.

This event coincides with the IASL proclamation in 2008 that October is International School Library Month. This year's theme mirrors the 2009 Conference in Padua: School Libraries - The Big Picture.

Thanks, Jane, Val, et al, for your on-going and ready support. Let's get planning for the celebrations at schools and other education centres ....

Multivendor Display, November 4-5

Start planning for a half-day to peruse books from our various vendors at the Firefighters' Hall at Metrotown in Burnaby. Mark this on your calendar. New TLs are encouraged not to book for the first morning and to plan as well to attend Maryann's Selection and Acquisition workshop scheduled for the venue.

November 14-21, Canadian Children's Book Week

The Grade 1 (along with the children in their classes) TD Book Giveaway takes place during the TD-sponsored week, so plan now for this event. The books should be arriving in your schools this week. You can order kits. Check your numbers.

Pass this blog or readings along to your administrator and/or staff and/or parents.

South African Children Push for School Libraries

Read about The New York Times article about the march of school children to remedy a failing school system for the least priviliged young citizens. “We want more information and knowledge,” said one young marcher for Equal Education who learns in an environment where access to school libraries and the desperate need for building repairs constrains students' learning.

Place Priority on Teaching Internet Skills

Kids may be more Internet savvy than ever before, but their ability to perform online research and evaluate Web sites remains weak. How can parents and teachers help? Read this.

Literacy Accountability in a New-Media Age

Paul Barnwell, in Education Week (September 22, 2009), points to the limitations of assessments that are "stuck on a notion of literacy that does not reflect the reality of our time." Our focus on testing students' understanding of print materials ignores the reality that they learn from new media and need to be able to read and think critically about text in relation to multimodal formats, that skills they develop can be transferred to understanding text in traditional formats, and that this is about empowering students. Writes Barnwell, "Unleashing and teaching media skills results in student empowerment. This is scary to some, who are comfortable sorting students by their ability to perform traditional literacy tasks.These same students might be effective media consumers and producers, but not according to our current accountability system."

At The End of the Week

I believe I am about to return to a life of normalcy. I am on my first day off today since mid-August. This weekend was the BCTLA Executive where we welcomed new members Michele and Chris, both of whom are perfect "fits" for this wonderful group.

This week as well some of us gathered to say farewell to the retiring "super" Chris Kelly; he has always been a wonderful participant in and supporter of our programs. Who can forget his readings about love at last year's Winter Tonic. I thanked him for "the party," as his leadership has been uplifting, thoughtful, and thought-provoking.

Meeting Reminders: We hope to see lots of you at

  • Kerrisdale on Wednesday this week for TL Studio 1 (the season opener)
  • Hamber on Thursday at 4 pm for the AGM of the VTLA
  • for secondary TLs, the first meeting is on Monday, October 5, 4 pm, Hamber.
See you there!

1 comment:

meredyth kezar said...

Trudeau is all organized for this thanks to Alanna-nice to see you back into blogging-hope all is well-the staff loved the cookies which you gave me!