A Nation Without School Libraries pictorially shows the loss of school libraries and certified librarians on a map and includes a description of conditions facing libraries across the country. This may be dated. My guess is there are even more libraries that have closed.
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is under the umbrella of the American Library Association and advocates excellence, facilitates change, and develops leaders in the school library field. AASL works to ensure that all members of the school library field collaborate to:
- provide leadership in the total education program
- participate as active partners in the teaching/learning process
- connect learners with ideas and information, and
- prepare students for life-long learning, informed decision-making, a love of reading, and the use of information technologies.
Libraries in general, and school libraries specifically, are critical to a democratic society. Children and teens who have access to good libraries have been found to do better on tests! The website has sections for parents, administrators, and students to advocate for library services and to provide up-to-date problems school libraries are facing in today’s society.
The American Library Association (ALA) chose the motto “The best reading, for the largest number, at the least cost.” (Adopted 1892; reinstated by the ALA Council, 1988). The ALA strives “To provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” Library information is provided along with discussion about funding problems. Advocacy opportunities are presented and additional resources are introduced regarding adult literacy, early literacy, and English for non-native speakers.
A family literacy section is created through the American Indian Library Association and the Asian/Pacific American Libraries Association which highlights sharing cultures.
Children’s Book Council (CBC) “is the national nonprofit trade association of children’s book publishers, dedicated to supporting and informing the industry and fostering literacy.” They care about all children learning to read. This site is a great way to see what’s new in children’s books and they provide titles for a wide range of topics.
The Children’s Literature Network (CLN) is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in children’s and teen literature. It is full of useful information for parents, teachers and librarians and those interested in writing for children and teens. It provides descriptions of new books and activities, and announces author events. Librarians provide book lists and recommendations.
Decoding Dyslexia is a network of parent-led grassroots movements across the country concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia within the public schools. They aim to raise dyslexia awareness, empower families to support their children and inform policy-makers on best practices to identify and support students with dyslexia. They advocate for the following policy goals: A universal definition and understanding of “dyslexia” in the state education code.
- Mandatory teacher training on dyslexia, its warning signs and appropriate intervention strategies
- Mandatory early screening tests for dyslexia
- Mandatory dyslexia remediation programs, which can be accessed by both general and special education populations.
- Access to appropriate “assistive technologies” in the public school setting for students with dyslexia
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, since 1996, has sought to put books into the hands of preschool children. Communities that sign on must pay for books and mailing and promote the program. Children are registered and their information entered into a database. The Dollywood Foundation “manages the system to deliver the books to the home.” The program is found in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Elementary Library Routines provides a place to share ideas concerning library budgeting and programs that might assist those managing school libraries and/or parents, teachers, and citizens concerned about school libraries.
The Great Raven. Sue Bursztynski blogs about book reviews including science fiction. I like that she is from Australia. She is a frequent commenter on blog posts, comparing notes and informing us as to what’s happening in that country when it comes to school reform. She provides another valuable perspective that is worth watching.
Jen Robinson’s Book Page is an up-to-date blog surrounding Kid Lit that provides interesting reviews of books children like. She includes new books that are about teaching and instruction.
Jim Trelease’s Home Page claims its goal is to help children “make books into friends not enemies” and it goes a long way to meet that goal. While Jim retired in 2008 from public speaking, his website is full of book reviews and articles that emphasize good reading for children. And many of his lectures about literacy are accessible on the website.
Ken Goodman’s Morning Post is from Ken Goodman whose work in the area of whole language and reading process is a huge part of what reading instruction should be all about. He and his wife Yetta have contributed much, not just to reading, but to education and public schools. His blog quote is “Educare: To bring forth and lead out that which is within!” For years Ken Goodman has defended teachers and their professionalism, believing in their capability to teach this most important subject. Dr. Goodman’s blogs are timely and to the point, and the picture of the rainbow over Tucson should provide all of us with hope. I always learn something new from Dr. Goodman.
Reading Rainbow is still a sore spot with me. During PBS and its heyday with children broadcasting it was one of the best, but now there is still a website to wander around in attempt to recapture something of the old program. You can get a free App and I guess that is better than nothing. And there are some links here to help you with your child’s reading. Perhaps they will bring this program back one of these days.
Russ on Reading covers much fine information about literacy instruction, but he also writes serious posts in support of teachers and public schools. Always on target.
Stephen Krashen is professor emeritus at the University of Southern California. He has published many books and much research in the area of language, reading and second-language acquisition. His website provides a wealth of articles and books covering a wide variety of subjects in literacy and writing. He has been a staunch supporter of “free voluntary reading” for children and he has written widely about his support of libraries.
Turtle Learning is a blog with wonderful articles highlighting diversity. I am also listing it under the heading of social studies. Joan Kramer is a retired educator and has two other blogs including the Los Angeles School School Library Association Blog and Gerardo Corrales Bribri Artist. Joan is a tremendous voice for America’s students–a true activist.
Free Voluntary Reading by Stephen D. Krashen
In Defense of Children: When Politics, Profit, and Education Collide by Elaine M. Garan
Learning to Read: The Great Debate by Jean S. Chall
On Reading by Kenneth Goodman
Reading For Profit: How the Bottom Line Leaves Kids Behind Edited by Bess Altwerger
Reading Lessons: The Debate over Literacy by Gerald Coles
Resisting Reading Mandates: How to Triumph with the Truth by Elaine Garan
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
Reading the Naked Truth: Literacy, Legislation, and Lies by Gerald Coles
The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research by Stephen D. Krashen
More Story S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r-s: Activities to Expand Children’s Favorite Books by Shirley C. Raines and Robert J. Canady
Stretchers: Activities to Expand Children’s Favorite Books by Shirley C. Raines and Robert J. Canady
Story S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r-s® for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos: Experiences, Activities, and Games for Popular Children’s Books by Shirley Raines, Karen Miller, Leah Curry-Rood and Kathy Dobbs
Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap by Richard L. Allington and Anne McGill-Franzin
Summer Reading: Program and Evidence by Fay H. Shin and Stephen D. Krashen
The Truth About Dibels: What It Is-What It Does by Kenneth S. Goodman
What Really Matters for Struggling Readers: Designing Research-Based Programs by Richard L. Allington
What’s Whole in Whole Language in the 21st Century? by Ken Goodman
The Whole Language Catalog by Kenneth Goodman, Lois Bridges Bird and Yetta Goodman