AM News: Library Shortage Makes National News

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Del Valle Disputes Report: Campaign Still On Tribune:  City Clerk Miguel del Valle held a news conference Monday to deny a published report that he was angling to pull out of the race for mayor... Aldermen seek tougher rules on concussions for high school athletes Tribune: Two Chicago aldermen on Wednesday proposed tighter rules for dealing with concussions suffered by city students playing sports. The Illinois High School Association, which governs sports at more than 780 private and public high schools, already... Chicago's Lack Of School Libraries Sparks Dispute NPR: Nearly one in four Chicago public elementary schools and more than fifty high schools don't have staffed, in-school libraries. Parents at one school were so incensed, they occupied a school building for more than a month to pressure city officials to add one. School officials say they value libraries, but in an era of tight budgets, they often lose out to other priorities.

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  • A cart of laptops with internet access which can be brought to classrooms to teach good research skills (by a librarian if possible) is probably more valuable than a physical library. The library books in one selective enrollment high school I know hardly get touched but the computers in the library are in heavy demand.

  • del valle says he'll appoint an educator to head cps if he gets elected

    not gonna happen, but interesting that he chose to say this.

  • Librarians and learning

    If 41+years means anything I qualify as an expert in the library. About 15 years ago
    I was able to change schools. That was about the time a radical re-thinking of just what
    Makes a Librarian began. We are in a wonderful period of history which belongs to those
    Who know how to use the tools of modern society.
    The written word still reigns supreme, but now it is likely to be delivered by computer
    instead of bound volume. A few librarians resent their inability to control knowledge
    while most of us have learned the true nature of almost universal access to information.
    One brief, yet narrow example.
    If you wanted to know if Great- Great Grandpa was in a Illinois Regiment during the
    Civil War your best choice was a series of publications named

  • Those college libraries are full of students using them as quiet space for studying.

    I think you and I are almost saying the same thing. Keep the role of the librarian alive as the information expert. I say ditch the physical school library - there will never be enough money for a diverse, up-to-date set of books but keep a classroom full of computers reserved for before, during, and after school use. Add a cart of laptops to use when needed by teachers in classrooms. Also, The educational publishers are hard at work developing electronic readers (like Kindle, Nook, etc.) to replace textbooks - this will happen sooner than we think - now the "Library" is in your backpack

  • For the love of reading... that is why we need libraries that are full of books. Having a digital reader is okay for those who can afford it and the price of the digital version of the book.

    But, and there is always a but, not all books are available in digital version, not all students can read print on the screen without going cross eyed, not all families can afford a digital reader for each of their children, and for gosh sake, who but a librarian can teach the love of reading with different titles of books at their fingertips.

    A good librarian knows authors and the types of books they write. A good librarian knows the different rating scales used to level books and helps the student to find a book within his/her level. And yes, a good librarian is on top of the newest trends and technology.

  • In reply to ladyfair:

    Librarians can be even more important than they traditionally have been in the school setting if they embrace the possibilities!

    Digital books are already cheaper than real books. The cost of readers is already cheaper than most college textbooks.
    The text book publishers will give them away for free and recoup their minimal wholesale cost(probably $20-$30)with the sale of content.

    Regarding "going cross eyed", the text size is adjustable!
    My 83 year old mom-in-law loves her new Kindle. Lightweight on her arthritic hands and easy on the eyes.

    Everything you, correctly, mention which makes librarians so valuable can be integrated into the school setting without the need for physical books and a traditional library.

  • In reply to ladyfair:

    Old Dogs

    I must admit most of my job has been helping with research lately.
    But I must never forget for a second that the real job of all librarians
    is to instill a love of reading in our kids, books first, everything else second.

  • In reply to ladyfair:

    Not quite on topic but shows where books are headed very quickly. Sent to me by a friend in the k-12 educational publishing industry:

    "As sales in the traditional trade segments plunged in September, e-book sales jumped 158.1%, according to the monthly sales estimates released by the Association of American Publishers. Sales for the 14 publishers that reported e-book sales hit $39.9 million in the month, and were up 188.4% in the first nine months of the year to $304.6 million. In contrast, sales in the three adult trade segments, adult hardcover, trade paperback and mass market paperback, all fell by more than double digits with the adult hardcover segment experiencing the biggest decline with sales down 40.4% at the 17 publisher who reported sales to the AAP of $180.3 million. The only other segment to post a significant sales gain in September was downloadable audio with sales from the nine reporting companies up 73.7%, to $7.7 million. Sales of audio CDs fell 42.6%, to $11.6 million, in the month at the 22 reporting companies."

  • In reply to ladyfair:

    Have you ever seen the look on a child's face when they receive a new book? It is priceless! My 6th grade students actually asked for "books" as a reward!!! Yes, technology is wonderful, but there is nothing like curling up with a good book. Kids are attracted to a book through its cover, pictures, synopsis on the back of the book...

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