Monday, March 21, 2011

A Letter to our Senator

Dear Senator,

As your constituent and a school librarian, I am writing to ask you to reject the governor's budget proposal, which will allow school districts to use Library Materials Aid to purchase textbooks and software.

Currently, school districts receive $6.25 per pupil in Library Materials Aid towards the funding of books, magazines, and on-line materials for the school library. In many high-needs school districts, this $6.25 per pupil is the only money available to purchase reading materials for students. These funds are meant to be the minimum amount spent on these library materials, especially since the $6.25 only represents 25-30% of the real cost of a book.

Research studies conducted by nineteen U.S. states on their public school systems all concluded that: a professionally-staffed and well-stocked school library has a positive impact on student academic achievement. The most recent study conducted by Syracuse University, for example, revealed that students in New York state schools with a quality library program scored 10 points higher on the 4th grade ELA exam in contrast to those students in schools without a quality library program. Based on the results of these studies, it stands to reason that all available state funding designated for purchases for the school libraries should neither be compromised nor diluted by the state.

If, however, school districts are allowed to use Library Materials Aid for other purposes, students will lose out on access to quality reading materials, especially those in high-needs districts, where books are in short supply at both school and home.

For many economically disadvantaged students, exposure to the books in their school's library may be the only opportunity to select their own books to read for pleasure, research and to increase their knowledge in any given area. By maintaining a well-stocked library, my belief is that students will begin to value their school library and develop and appreciation for reading that will last a lifetime.

Please reject the governor's attempt to merge Library Materials Aid with Text Book and Computer Software Aid, as it will result in a diminished access to books in our schools, especially those serving low-income communities.

Shari Stack, Mepham High School Librarian

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

There's an APP for That!

Search Our Gale Databases From Your Mobile Device!

After a one-time log-in (password provided by Ms. Stack, your school’s media specialist), AccessMyLibrary School Edition mobile app supplies you with free, unlimited access to your school library's Gale online resources -- anytime, anywhere! Download this free app from the app store. There is an app available for Andriod, and one for the iPhone, iTouch and iPad. Your one-time login provides access until the end of the current school year.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Before Hollywood Ruins Them

Check out these books that are coming to a theater near you:

In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.

Ninety-year-old Jacob Jankowski finds himself haunted by memories of his past in the circus and the freaks, exotic animals, and other people he encountered as a performer.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

Librarians, authors, adults, teens, and children from all over the globe will celebrate the power of words and stories today during the annual World Read Aloud Day.

Sponsored by the New York-based literacy organization LitWorld, participants are asked to read with loved ones and friends to help reach a goal of 774 million minutes of reading to honor the 774 million people worldwide who are illiterate.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mix and Mash @ your library!

Learn Create Share at Your Library March 6 – 12! Libraries are chock-full of tech toys like CDs, DVDs and Flip Video Cameras, and they're a great place to get connected to homework help, research resources, gaming, music, the Web and more. Stop by our school library or visit our Web site during Teen Tech Week today.