Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Library War in Philadelphia? I'm All For It!

Closing school libraries? This means war

Philadelphia's school budget woes have shuttered the district's much-lauded libraries. It's a failure of basic civilization that cannot be allowed to stand.
By Stephen Segal 
Posted September 13, 2012
Philadelphia Weekly (online)

Read more: click here.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rebirth of the Teaching Machine ...

Alberta Teachers' Association Executive Staff Officer and U of Alberta Adjunct Professor Phil McRae, Ph.D., offers this thought-provoking and thorough blog post that provides support for the continued protections of FIPPA for BC students:

Moving Forward with School Libraries

If the ALA is moving forward with a focus on school libraries, can the CLA be far behind?

"As we are all aware, school libraries across the country are at a critical point. On the one hand, budget and testing pressures on administrators and school districts have led to decisions to eliminate or de-professionalize school libraries. On the other hand, the increased emphasis on preparing all students to be college and career ready and the widespread adoption of [new curricula] and integration of technology have opened an unprecedented door to school library leadership."

Barbara Stripling, ALA President Elect; Maureen Sullivan, ALA President
Susan Ballard and Pat Tumulty, Co-Chairs, School Library Task Force

Monday, June 17, 2013

Stories from Library World: Missing Teacher Librarians and More

Library World is becoming stranger and stranger.  Everyone, it seems, knows better how to do the work of a librarian, though I have always believed the librarian's credentials are particularly difficult and rigorous.  One simply has to shake one's head and heave sighs of relief these things only happen elsewhere!

We heard about the "witch hunts" and trials of TLs in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), a school district intent on determining whether or not TLs' have any qualifications to teach, their careers hanging on their success in these "kangaroo courts."  

And did you read my May 9 posting from Jamie McKenzie, the one appropriately entitled, "Jamie McKenzie and the Apocalypse"Can it get stranger?  

Here are a few Canadian contenders for weirdest of the weird stories:  

Dude, Where's My Teacher Librarian?

Editorial/blog from You Don't Know Spitt, by Steve Spitt (June 2013): Spitt comments -- and invites comments on -- the strange case of the replacement of District TL Janice Reynolds in the Near North School District (Ontario) with a District Principal of Library, Literacy, and Math (PLLM).  That should do it!

Closer to home is this stranger-than-strange account from the Fraser Valley:

Trustee and librarian head to head over 'book burning' claim

By Jessica Peters - Agassiz Observer
Published: June 07, 2013 11:00 AM 
Hmmm!  Is Agassiz beyond Hope?!!  This is certainly beyond anything imaginable in my iteration of Library World.

In rummaging around in the internet to see about other strange library stories, I came across this one from looty in Daily Kos (January 20, 2012), suggesting that Harvard had determined that cataloging librarians were a remnant of the past.  Ask my school library colleagues about this:

"The Great Librarian Massacre of 2012": a cataloging librarian's view

But my search also brought me ultimately to Donalyn Miller in Texas, a classroom teacher who had a gift for bringing even the most reluctant reader into the reading world.  A recognized leader in Literacy, Donalyn -- The Book Whisperer -- eschews Lexiles, she challenges a guest blogger to connect the Kardashians to reading (he suggests that, in re-branding themselves, despite their underwhelming realities, they offer a model that works for reading re-branding), and she is clearly a follower, like me, of Dr Stephen Krashen.  The Book Whisperer does Literacy in her classroom in terms I clearly understand and wholly endorse.

Check out:  The Book Whisperer.

Speaking of Stephen Krashen, guess who is our Keynote Speaker for the BCTLA Summer Institute on August 27 at Hamber Secondary School? 

You guessed it!  Stephen Krashen himself.  Hope to see you there.

Check out the event here:  BCTLA Summer Institute Information and Registration.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Case for Preserving the Pleasure of Deep Reading

Thanks, Gino, for this bringing this article to our attention: 

The Case for Preserving the Please of Deep Reading
Annie Murphy Paul in Mind/Shift, 2013 June 3.

See also:

In the Digital Age, What Becomes of the Library?
Holly Kolby in Mind/Shift, 2013 May 31.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Great Canadian Events: Space Oddity

Who is this guy, and which of us would ever have imagined the incredible possibilities in this short video?  Canadian Commander Chris Hadfield in a "tin can far above the world ... with nothing left to do" launches his brilliant cover of David Bowie's Sixties hit song.  Tons of possibilities for student inquiry here.  We in Vancouver schools will be wishing Chris the best of luck in coming down to earth after an epic journey of great interest to 1000s of students in Canadian classrooms.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Virtual Learning Commons

Here is an excellent example of a Virtual Learning Commons, well into development:

Way to go, Gladstone TLs Pat and Hilary and students.  Love it!