LRC Blog : School Library News from the KPRDSB Learning Resources Centre
Updated: 6/18/2004; 1:12:52 PM.


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Thursday, May 20, 2004
Recently added to LII...
Literature for Children. A digitized "collection of the treasures of children's literature published largely in the United States and Great Britain from before 1850 to beyond 1950." Features more than 550 titles by almost 300 authors. Browsable by author or title; searchable by keyword, author, title, and subject. Also includes a section on color in literature for children and color management strategies for reproduction of children's literature. From the State University System of Florida. [Librarians' Index to the Internet]
4:06:07 PM    comment []  

Press release from Ontario Coalition for school libraries
Literacy and school libraries -- the big disconnect

Ontario's new education budget overlooks the fundamental importance
of teacher-librarians and school libraries

May 19, 2004: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  In spite of the stated goals of
increasing student literacy and improving student achievement, the new
Ontario education budget does not address school libraries and
teacher-librarians.  The Ontario Coalition for School Libraries (OCSL)
urges the Minister of Education to recognize the important role of the
teacher-librarian on student literacy and success, to reinvest in
school libraries, and revitalize these essential components of a strong
public education system.

School libraries and teacher-librarians have been especially hard hit
by chronic education under-funding. Staffing by qualified
teacher-librarians has been reduced or eliminated in Ontario's
elementary and secondary schools; if there is a teacher-librarian, the
role is often part-time, or spread over several schools.  Student
access to school libraries is restricted, with many school libraries
closed during part of the day, or left unattended.  Budgets for new
books for the school library are frequently reallocated for other
purposes, Canadian content is declining, and existing library resources
are not being maintained.

Research and experience consistently demonstrate that well-stocked and
professionally staffed school libraries are strongly linked to
information literacy skills, student achievement, aptitude and interest
in reading, success at the post-secondary level, and Canadian cultural
identity.   The continued decline of Ontario's school libraries and the
erosion of the role of the teacher-librarian have seriously compromised
these education fundamentals.

The new education budget allocates funds for training many more
literacy specialists -- but makes no connections between literacy needs
and school libraries.  Although the link between libraries and literacy
would seem to be obvious and irrefutable, the OCSL notes that while
past education funding was being directed to literacy programs and
literacy coordinators, school libraries were being neglected and
allowed to decline.  In fact, Ontario's existing literacy programs are
not utilizing and are even duplicating the resources of the school
library and the teacher-librarian.

The OCSL directs education decision makers to The Crisis in Canada’s
School Libraries: The Case for Reform and Reinvestment by Dr. Ken
Haycock.  This important research report assesses the impact of school
libraries and teacher-librarians on student achievement, summarizing
decades of research that consistently and overwhelmingly support the
case for revitalizing school libraries.  The Crisis in Canada's School
Libraries is available on a number of websites, including the
Association of Canadian Publishers: under ACP

Ontario's education budget has the stated goal "to make Ontario's
system of primary and secondary education among the best in the
world."  A key to that goal is reinvestment in the proven value of a
strong school library and qualified teacher-librarian.  The OSCL urges
the Minister of Education to re-establish and refocus policies and
standards for school libraries and teacher-librarians, and reverse
years of inattention and neglect.

The recently-formed Ontario Coalition for School Libraries, a volunteer
organization working to heighten public, media, and government
attention to the far-reaching consequences of the decline in school
libraries, is a provincial member of the Canadian Coalition for School

For more information, please contact:

Liz Kerr, Co-Chair, Ontario Coalition for School Libraries   (905)

Catherine Mitchell, Co-Chair, Ontario Coalition for School Libraries
(416) 598-4786 ext. 224

1:04:11 PM    comment []  

© Copyright 2004 Johan Ragetli.

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