Tag Archive: schools


Remember a long time a go when you spent the day at the library learning how to find books and getting aquatinted with the card catalog system? There was a time when the one computer in the library was used to find books and to locate useful resources for a book report or for that big science project you had to do. Then came the Internet and it made its way into the library system. First it was a great way to see what other libraries had and a way for librarians to keep tabs on new books and where to send people if they needed a specific book. So for a while the librarian needed to know basic computer skills and how to read the card system. Welcome to the new library age.

Librarians face a new job. On top of their traditional roles, many are required to help students use computers aside from finding books. Powerpoint presentations fill the classrooms as students are well versed in the computer world, therefore librarians spend a lot of their time showing students how to use the information they have gathered as part of their presentations. Other programs that are used on a normal basis include word ( a typing program) as well as the Internet itself.

For new students, the Internet is a house-hold name, but many many do not have access to a computer or have never ventured into the digital world. Here the librarian must be well versed in the language of Google and similar search engines so they can help that 3rd grader find resources outside of the library for their book report. Many books on the shelves have outdated material or not enough material, so going online helps expands on resources. Librarians around the nation and around the world are 

“part of a growing cadre of 21st-century multimedia specialists who help guide students through the digital ocean of information that confronts them on a daily basis. These new librarians believe that literacy includes, but also exceeds, books.”

The Internet is like an ocean- if you don’t know how to search properly, you can drown in the abundance of useful and not-so-useful material. Knowing how to navigate these waters is a critical skill that goes beyond the classroom and is used everyday- including at work. Knowing this, librarians, like teachers make up lesson plans to help students better understand how to use the Internet in a way that will get them the information that thy are looking for and how to pick out information that is false or irrelevant. Far gone are the days of “just re-shelving a book,” as stated by Ms. Rosalia, the school librarian at Public School 225, a combined elementary and middle school in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. The responsibilities of  the new digital librarian parallel that of many school teachers.

Yet with the economy the way that it is and with the tendency of schools to cut back, librarians are one of the first to be cut out of the school system.

“Mesa, the largest school district in Arizona, began phasing out certified librarians from most of its schools last year. In Spokane, Wash., the school district cut back the hours of its librarians in 2007, prompting an outcry among local parents. More than 90 percent of American public schools have libraries, according to federal statistics, but less than two-thirds employ full-time certified librarians.”

Parents, teachers, school administrators are all well aware that librarians are a crucial part to the educational system. However a non-certified librarian in the end cost less. More and more schools are cutting back. That means that a certified librarians are becoming rare at an alarming rate. 

The Internet is part of everyday life. If you step into a classroom, whether elementary or college level, many teachers use the Internet as an aid in the classroom. Not having these skills can impair a students chance of excelling or getting the job they want.

Librarians are faced with a new challenge in this digital age. Is it as important to be certified or knowing how to harness the powers of the computer? Schools are meant to educate. Teachers are certified in order to provide the best quality of that education. A school can not function properly without the right resources. Cutting back on these resources such as knowledgeable librarians can have serious implications to the students. How does a school rightfully decide to cut back on librarians, when now more than ever, they go beyond indexing books and keeping the shelves tidy?

Watch the NY Times video related to the article quoted in this blog!

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Last week, Mario Picayo went to the Virgin Islands to present his book, A caribbean Journey from A to Y (read and Discover what happened to the Z). You can read the press release at our website. Besides spending a lot of time in the sun and enjoying the wonderful weather and sites the Virgin Islands has to offer, Mario Picayo was busy presenting his book to schools in the area. The schools included, Lockhart Elementary School, J Antonio Jarvis Elementary School, and the Joseph Sibilly School. Author Mario Picayo was invited by Office of Cultural Education to present the book at the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts gathering. As part of  author Mario Picayo’s visit to the Virgin Islands, the Department of Cultural Education has donated one copy of A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) to each elementary school library in the Territory- making this a very successful event and visit. You can read an artilce about this event from the St. Thomas Source. On Saturday May 24th, there was also Book signing at the Dockside Bookshop – Havensight Mall. Individuals had the chance to meet with author Mario Picayo as well as get a copy of the book signed.

 

We are very glad at Editorial Campana that the event went so well. We are also in the process of finshing our study guide version of A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover what happened to the Z). We hope that educators and parents will use this resource to enhance children’s knowledge of the Caribbean. This title has had major success- just recently the Americas Award Recognized A Caribbean Journey From A to Y.

Since 1989, the Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents has been working to promote the Latino culture and its people.  The center was established by Dr. Isabel Schon and hopes to answer one of many questions including:

How do we motivate reluctant and struggling Spanish-speaking and Latino children and adolescents to become readers?”

Editorial Campana and Campanita (publisher of My Brain Won’t Float Away/Mi cerebro no va a salir flotando) are also promoting Latino culture and its people. There is a great need for reading material that caters to the many Hispanics living in the United States. Yet aside from libraries and schools, there is still more English literature readily available when you walk into a book store. Making sure that children and adolescents have access to books not only gives them the opportunity to read and learn, but can help them stay out of trouble and encourages positive behavior. Editorial Campana publishes literature in English and Spanish written by Latin@s that dare to challenge the literary canon, conventional social thinking, and that believe in culture as patrimony for everyone. The Barahona Center targets children and adolescents and strives to accomplish the following:

You can read the full article here

The Barahona Center and Editorial Campana are two examples of how we need to make sure that Latino’s have access to reading materials- especially literature that Latinos can relate to.

 

 

What is the most popular language in public libraries currently? The answer may surprise you. According to a recent article (posted by School Library Journal, Críticas, on April 4th, 2008), “About 21 million people in the United States speak limited or no English.” This number is up 50% more than it was a decade ago, according to Críticas.

What is the reason for this, and if this is the case, why aren’t there more #1 bestsellers in Spanish? At the least, we should be seeing higher rankings. It would make sense that with this new trend, Editorial Campana and similar organizations should start seeing their books in more and more libraries. This does not seem to be the case for sales though. When you go to stores such as Amazon and Barnes&Nobles, the ratings of Spanish books have not pushed them to top spots in “general book” selling statistics. Maybe this just means that more people want to read books in Spanish, but don’t want to buy them. As well, Spanish language books may be starting to overflow from library shelves due to the following findings from the same article:

“Libraries reported that the most successful programs and services for non-English speakers were English as a Second Language (ESL), language-specific materials and collections, computer use and computer classes, story time, and special programs.”

This new trend may help libraries better serve the people they hope to help. By realizing that more non-English related literature is needed, librarians will start to emphasize the need for literature that the public wants.  This idea was emphasized by that of the A.L.A. ( The American Library Association)-

“These study findings can provide a venue for developing better and more precise materials, services and programs for those linguistically isolated. Librarians can better predict what specific language materials and services may be required to optimally serve non-English speaking group” (Click here to read the full article)

If this new trend holds true, the next step would be finding out how to get individuals to by books in Spanish as well, thus increasing their overall popularity.

Did you know that over 1,350 schools in 37 states now offer the Bible as a textbook? And that, approximately 190,000 students have already been taught from the Bible while using it as school credit? This was news to me folks. Any thoughts, comments?

 

 

William Manley