From the OC Register: In California, as we plod through this not-so-great recession, there are two kinds of education-related cost cuts in play – the sexy kind and the not-so-sexy kind.
Any reduction in spending that might crank up the number of kids in a third-grade classroom, for example, is easy for parents and other tax payers to understand. Same for cuts that wipe out arts classes or PE or, the latest craze, several school days a year.
Teacher Librarian Marie Slim dresses the part of “rock star” during her “Read Like a Rock Star” 2009 book fair at Troy High School to raise funds for new books.
All those cuts, popular or not, attract attention and debate. In short, they’re sexy.
But farther down on the radar is another kind of cost cutting – the one that wipes out the often stereotyped resource known as the school librarian.
We all know the images of the school librarian. She shushes. She shelves. She sits, quietly, behind a desk. Dewey Decimal anyone?
But head into Orange County’s school libraries and you’ll discover what [this OC Register reporter] found: passionate, dedicated, tech-savvy teacher librarians.
(GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — City National Bank today announced that it is now accepting applications for grants to support literacy-based projects at public and private elementary, middle and high schools in California, Nevada and New York.
Educators interested in applying for a literacy grant can access an online application by visiting www.readingisthewayup.org/literacy.asp. Any full-time teacher, librarian or administrator at schools in counties where City National has offices is eligible to apply. California counties include Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura. The Nevada counties are Carson City, Clark, Douglas and Washoe.
Approximately 100 grants totaling up to $75,000 may be awarded. Grants will provide up to $500 for the recipients to create, augment or expand literacy projects that are judged to be creative and engaging, and that may help improve student achievement.
More details here.
Libraries across the country are struggling to remain relevant and productive in an increasingly digital society. Stanford University has decreased their engineering library by 85 percent, with the majority of books now available to students online. The D.C. Public Library offers downloadable versions of books, audiobooks, music, and videos via OverDrive. And the New York Public Library recently ran a promotion rewarding loyal patrons who check in using Foursquare — the first person to reach 25 check-ins was rewarded with NYPL schwag.
Other libraries have simply struggled to stay afloat following drastic budget cuts. In March, the Charlotte Mecklenberg Library Board of Trustees voted to close 12 branches and lay off nearly 150 employees. Eventually a compromise was reached to keep the branches open, but hours of operation and staff salaries were slashed. In Jersey City, N.J., three branches that were slated to close last week have managed to hold on a bit longer, though they’re basically on life support.
A handful of ailing libraries nationwide have even turned to private firms like Library Systems & Services to help with running their operations — a hugely controversial move among library loyalists.
Here in the Lowcountry (SC) hours have been chopped and nearly 20 percent of the staff positions are vacant thanks to a budget shortfall totaling over $700,000. Charleston City Paper