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"Specials" (ie. P.E., music, art, library, etc.) - Page 3

post #41 of 90

personally I find a library in a small school (as some have described) a total waste of money and resources

 

when I was in school, we did not have alloted time for library it was used only when you had free periods and could go on your own, elementary it was only used once a week and the community library was the main source for most students

 

think think it would be far more beneficial to have a community funded library, with larger resources and professional trained staff with all the small community resources in one central location (with volunteers to aid professionals) and the small schools money being spend on professional art and music teachers instead

 

it's all well and good that some parents are allowed to help but there can be a real difference if the schools were able to have less in one area and perhaps a professionals in another

post #42 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

personally I find a library in a small school (as some have described) a total waste of money and resources

 

.....

 

think think it would be far more beneficial to have a community funded library


Most parents do not regularly take their children to the library, so the system you propose would mean LESS access to books by many, many kids --one could argue the children who are already the most at risk would be the ones with less acess.

 

My kids go to a small school. We have a small library. Nearly every book in the library was donated. It still serves a very valuable purpose for kids at the school.

 

A community library is a wonderful thing, and our neighborhood library has awesome resources that our school doesn't. But every kid in the school can go to the library at school every week -- several times a week if they want. Our collection of wonderful books is well used.

 

post #43 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I'm remembering the school I went to when I was a child. We didn't have enough textbooks and the text books we had were in really bad shape, many with pages missing, and were sometimes outdated. When windows broke, cardboard would be duct taped over them, and if you sat near a window you'd freeze. We didn't have enough desks in the rooms and some kids would sit on the radiator covers. The idea that a librarian was the most important thing to spend money on in that situation is ridiculous. Are there no longer schools in that situation?

OMG mama. yikes. that sounds like a school from a developing 'cold' area country. 

 

in my district i am not aware of any school like that. the closest to no 'infrastructure' has been no sidewalks around the school. sometimes cardboard on window is a stop gap arrangement. the poverty is not that low - but low enough that schools do food drives from outside the community to send home food with the kids for their family. 

 

i am sure no one implies a librarian instead of basic infrastructure in cases like yours. its like saying 'let them have cake' when there is no bread. 

 

however i know parts of this country where your school experience is a luxury. 

 

you know its one thing when you hear a statistic or a situation that is out there. but hearing a first person experience like yours leaves one with a heavy heart. 
 

 

post #44 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


Most parents do not regularly take their children to the library, so the system you propose would mean LESS access to books by many, many kids

 

But wouldn't teachers take their classes to the community library during school hours? At least that's what I was envisioning with the suggested merging of school and community libraries.

 

In our town we've had kind of a reverse process. We've never had a community library, just a "reading centre" which has become little more than a mass-market PB exchange. So the school library serves a very strong role in the community. Anyone can have access. Anyone can get borrowing privileges. Free. The major down-side, of course, is that it's closed during the summer. There are avenues for addressing that shortcoming but funding freezes have made that impossible just now.

 

Conversely, our school does not have any weight-lifting equipment or fitness machines. So twice a week the high school gym classes jog over to the community fitness centre and make use of the equipment there.

 

It seems silly for school and community to duplicate each others' expensive services. Integrating community resources within the school makes a lot of sense when numbers are small and when funds are tight.

 

Miranda

post #45 of 90

 

 

Quote:

But wouldn't teachers take their classes to the community library during school hours? At least that's what I was envisioning with the suggested merging of school and community libraries.

 

In our town we've had kind of a reverse process. We've never had a community library, just a "reading centre" which has become little more than a mass-market PB exchange. So the school library serves a very strong role in the community. 

 

 

exactly - in your area it would be BETTER! you would open up access to a wider range of books and ALL could enjoy it---we have "access system" if your state had that it would be far better for your students 

 

http://www.accesspa.state.pa.us/

 

 

 

Quote:
Most parents do not regularly take their children to the library, so the system you propose would mean LESS access to books by many, many kids --one could argue the children who are already the most at risk would be the ones with less access.

I highly doubt that. I live in a major city with a high number of at risk children. The teacher's PUSH the use of community libraries. You simply have no choice once the school day is over.

 

 

areas that are needing to cut are cutting school libraries and the only choice is community based

 

community libraries really can be  far better in most cases - in our state you can access ANY book within the state, you are unable to do so at the public school level, also many students in public school have no time within the school day to even go as needed and the school libraries close when school does, community libraries are open on weekends as well as nights (thus are used more)

 

most schools in my area (and all have real librarians) do not compare to the community systems and often children go without parents 

 

my area has hugh donations for the community libraries (death giving, fund raising, plus annual appeals), we had ANOTHER (had several this year alone) of used book fairs- $4.00 a bag and 50+ books---the school systems can't do that- the access doesn't compare

post #46 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

exactly - in your area it would be BETTER! you would open up access to a wider range of books and ALL could enjoy it---we have "access system" if your state had that it would be far better for your students 


Well, the school has a publicly-funded building with plenty of available space. An community-based library would require the building of a whole other (redundant) publicly-funded space. We are a village of 600 in the middle of nowhere. We don't need new public buildings: we need to be able to fully and properly utilize the ones that already exist. The best solution would be to get the school "Community School" designation, which gives them funding and staffing to operate as a community resource. Empty classrooms used during the day, classrooms, gym, kitchen and shop available for community use after school, on weekends and during holidays, library available and staffed full-time. 

 

Miranda

post #47 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post





Honestly, only the bolded sounds like something a librarian specifically would be best suited for over another teacher, and one librarian could do that for a number of school. Librarians are an asset, but if you have to choose between 35-40 kids in a class or a librarian for each school, I don't see how smaller class size wouldn't win out. "Working closely with teachers" and "working with reading instructors" aren't even specific tasks. I think school funding problems are horrible and I wish choices didn't have to be made, but most schools just don't have money for a dedicated librarian anymore. Our school no longer has a librarian, but made that sacrifice to keep having small class sizes, and I'm glad that's the choice they made.

 

 



School librarians *are* teachers that also have another subject specialty. "Working with teachers" varies based on what teachers need. Standard "working with" would including a brief meeting to discuss projects assigned to students, length of paper or form of presentation, acceptable references, and learning goals. The students would then meet with the librarian would help them choose subject (if variable), and select relevant materials. Part of the instruction might include using print resources (TOC, indices, looking for bias, judging credentials of author) and learning to search effectively. These are *critical* skill for higher education. 

 

A school librarian "works with reading instructors" in the same way. They are *critical* to reading success in schools with underserved populations with unengaged parents. Many parents do not read to their kids, take them to the library, and buy them books. Many parents are not engaged in the learning process and aren't really interested in finding the inner spark to master literacy.

 

It is a terrible thing that librarians are becoming a luxury because they make the most difference for students that the least.

post #48 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

personally I find a library in a small school (as some have described) a total waste of money and resources

 

so it would be better to have no school library???

 

when I was in school, we did not have alloted time for library it was used only when you had free periods and could go on your own, 

 

I wish elementary kids could go on their own to the school library - but the school library is only open one day a week here, and the kids must be accompanied by teachers at all times.  I have fond memories of escaping recess by going to the library instead, lol.

 

think think it would be far more beneficial to have a community funded library, with larger resources and professional trained staff with all the small community resources in one central location (with volunteers to aid professionals) and the small schools money being spend on professional art and music teachers instead

 

Small public schools are often in low population areas - with, you guessed it - small community libraries!  Community libraries, particularly in smaller areas, are not a substitute for a school library.  

 

1.  kids often live rurally, there is no public transportation, and are at the will of their parents to bring them to the library.  I would posit that only about 10% of the population I serve (I work in a small rural library) can get to the library by foot or bike.  

 

2.  small community libraries have low open hours.

 

3.  Community libraries do not have the same mandate as school libraries, nor is our entire collection devouted to kids. In my small library it is about 1/3.  Furthermore, small libraries are often very limited in staff members.  In my library there is one staff member - me - plus my supervisor drops in for about 2 hours once a week.  I have a soft spot for children and do a decent job with that demographic - but not all librarians do.  I would say about 1/4 of the systems 20 employees are excellent in creating a kids friendly environment, 1/2 are OK, and 1/4 are not good with kids.  

 

 

it's all well and good that some parents are allowed to help but there can be a real difference if the schools were able to have less in one area and perhaps a professionals in another

 

I would take a volunteer run school library over no library - any day.  My community library does have class visits - I would say about 90% of my job is checking in and out books, helping kids find books, and doing storytime with the younger kids.  About 10% is a bit more involved - showing teachers and older kids how to use our electronic resources, collaborating with teachers to bring in stuff they might use in the classroom, etc.  

 

I do think most of what I do with the school kids could be done by a well trained, committed volunteer. (Will the library police arrest me for this statement, I wonder  hide.gif).  I am always in favour of employees over volunteers - volunteers are often not long term, and it takes a while to do this job well:  to know the kids, know the community, know the collection.  I also like to employ people - and libraries, both school and community, are good uses of our taxes, as far as I am concerned.  But if the reality of it came down to library with primarily staffed by volunteers or no library - I would go with volunteers every time.  

 

 


Kathy

 


Edited by purslaine - 12/8/11 at 11:28am
post #49 of 90

 

 

Quote:
so it would be better to have no library???

 

I never said that. you must have trouble following how duplicating the money gets less services in the long run----what I was saying

 

and you must not have read the things I posted - in my state this is inaccurate - 

Quote:
 Community libraries do not have the same mandate as school libraries, nor is our entire collection devouted to kids

 

my community libraries are far better and can obtain from the entire state - no comparison to the public school system - schools are extremely limited as to their funding and can not maintain the materials the state can- you are not able in (my state) to request material from other schools, each district is on their own, each public school (in my state) also has no state mandate as for a requirement to even have a library or an art program, kindergarden is also not a mandate here, they also do not have funding (even at the best schools) to be open past school hours, this greatly limits the use

 

you obviously can not see the reasoning behind this (as with my post)

 

 

Quote:
It seems silly for school and community to duplicate each others' expensive services. Integrating community resources within the school makes a lot of sense when numbers are small and when funds are tight.

certainly does seem crazy to me!

 

that money could be spent for other programs

 

 

 

doesn't seem like this poster has public transportation let alone even enough services that most areas have

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

exactly - in your area it would be BETTER! you would open up access to a wider range of books and ALL could enjoy it---we have "access system" if your state had that it would be far better for your students 


 

 

Quote:
Well, the school has a publicly-funded building with plenty of available space. An community-based library would require the building of a whole other (redundant) publicly-funded space. We are a village of 600 in the middle of nowhere. We don't need new public buildings: we need to be able to fully and properly utilize the ones that already exist. The best solution would be to get the school "Community School" designation, which gives them funding and staffing to operate as a community resource. Empty classrooms used during the day, classrooms, gym, kitchen and shop available for community use after school, on weekends and during holidays, library available and staffed full-time. 

 

it's really sad your area doesn't view the school as the community and share what little resources you have and use them together--that's how things use to function years ago in my area- schools were open most every night for civic meeting and re-opened on weekend for community events- shared because they could not afford any other places

post #50 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

it's really sad your area doesn't view the school as the community and share what little resources you have and use them together--that's how things use to function years ago in my area- schools were open most every night for civic meeting and re-opened on weekend for community events- shared because they could not afford any other places


Actually, our area does view the school as the community and resources are shared as much as possible. I can walk into the school and ask to use space a couple of afternoons or evenings a week for the entire school year for a homeschool group event, a musical ensemble, a set of community meetings, pick-up badminton nights, and there's no problem and no charge.

 

The problem is that the government does not see fit to fund the school such that it can remain open, staffed and cleaned year-round, even during the summer months when the school-children are not there. And union rules prevent volunteers from taking on custodial duties. I wrote about our school & community integration in a blog post several years ago.

 

Miranda

post #51 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

 


 

 

 

it's really sad your area doesn't view the school as the community and share what little resources you have and use them together--that's how things use to function years ago in my area- schools were open most every night for civic meeting and re-opened on weekend for community events- shared because they could not afford any other places


I tried to quote you but it did not work.

 

You seem really combative.

 

I was trying to say that in my area community libraries ( and I work in one - I should know!) are not a good replacement for school libraries.  

 

If your area has lovely,  well funded community libraries with numerous open hours and great public transportation to get to them - great.  Not everyone does.

 

In theory I somewhat agree with you.  Duplicating services is silly.  The reality is, though, that due to differing mandates, policies, practicalities and just plain bureaucracy most community libraries are not going to take over the job of a school library because the Ministry of Education has not seen fit to put money into the school library.  We do work closely with schools - but working closely with is not the same as taking over from.   

 

Many schools do not bring kids to public libraries - they do not have the time with their full curriculums or the libraries are too far away. Not every parent can or chooses to get their kid to a community library.   The vast majority of kids go to school.  It makes sense if you want most kids to have a library experience to put some funding there.

 

 

 

 


Edited by purslaine - 12/9/11 at 5:18am
post #52 of 90
Quote:

Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
 

 

1.  kids often live rurally, there is no public transportation, and are at the will of their parents to bring them to the library.  I would posit that only about 10% of the population I serve (I work in a small rural library) can get to the library by foot or bike.  

 

2.  small community libraries have low open hours.

 

3.  Community libraries do not have the same mandate as school libraries, nor is our entire collection devouted to kids. In my small library it is about 1/3.  Furthermore, small libraries are often very limited in staff members.  In my library there is one staff member - me - plus my supervisor drops in for about 2 hours once a week.  I have a soft spot for children and do a decent job with that demographic - but not all librarians do.  I would say about 1/4 of the systems 20 employees are excellent in creating a kids friendly environment, 1/2 are OK, and 1/4 are not good with kids


Kathy

 



re: 1 Both libraries and schools tend to be central in rural areas. Meaning that they're close together. Meaning that it is easy for the 4th grade class to walk the 5 blocks to the library three times a week. In our community the distance is about one block.

 

re: 2 & 3 If the community library also served the role of the school library, funding and volunteer priorities would shift in its direction. Hours tend to be low because utilization is low. If there are going to be 30 children there for three hours a day, and if all those children's parents now have a vested interest in supporting the community library, if the school now no longer has to spend $10K a year on acquisitions, the community library stands to be much better funded and staffed.

 

 

 

Quote:
Small public schools are often in low population areas - with, you guessed it - small community libraries!

 

Exactly! So rather than having two small underfunded understaffed libraries, why not have one larger, better-staffed, better-funded facility?

 

Miranda

post #53 of 90

 

 

 

 

Exactly! So rather than having two small underfunded understaffed libraries, why not have one larger, better-staffed, better-funded facility?

 

Miranda



You are welcome to come talk to both the CAO of the library who reports to the board of our large township, and the school board.  I will put you up and feed you and we can discuss music and teenagers  orngbiggrin.gif


Edited by purslaine - 12/8/11 at 9:00am
post #54 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post



re: 1 Both libraries and schools tend to be central in rural areas. Meaning that they're close together. Meaning that it is easy for the 4th grade class to walk the 5 blocks to the library three times a week. In our community the distance is about one block.

 

In my area the libraries hours overlap the school hours only on Wednesday mornings.  classes come every week, but each class only visits the library every 3 weeks.  It is better than most branches, and it took a lot of work on behalf of myself, some community members and teachers to arrange.  To a degree we are at the whim of the principal - the school I work with has a library friendly principal- but some (at least half) of all schools that have been approached by different branches have declined.  Usually it is too much of a hassle to get them there or they claim their curriculum is too full.

 

re: 2 & 3 If the community library also served the role of the school library, funding and volunteer priorities would shift in its direction. Hours tend to be low because utilization is low. If there are going to be 30 children there for three hours a day, and if all those children's parents now have a vested interest in supporting the community library, if the school now no longer has to spend $10K a year on acquisitions, the community library stands to be much better funded and staffed.

 

This is somewhat true.  My branch has good circ stats partly due to school kids.  Yet, as stated above, schools often do not want to use the libraries.  The whole thing is a bit of a vicious circle - for libraries in this area to adequately welcome schools into he library we would (ideally) need:

 

a) a bigger space

b) stronger kids collection

c) some extra staff

d) more daytime open hours.

 

all of this costs money.  The municipality is unlikely to shell out money for libraries without proof of some kind of return on investment (higher circulation).  As stated above - not all or even most schools in this area want to do class visits.  The logistics are just too tricky.

 

In any event, I think I may have misrepresented my position in earlier posts.  I love class visits.  Most branches in this system would welcome class visits in order to increase stats and promote a  community based literacy resource.  Most teachers want to come to the library.  Logistics of open hours, distance and full curriculums make this tricky.  

 

 



 

post #55 of 90

with many candidates wanting to get rid of the Dept of Ed all together, I can see no improvement of the "arts" in any near future here (in the US) I am at least grateful that we (in some US states) do see the needs of the whole community over those of just public school students and value the community based programs that serve public and HS students even if it is not as funded as some would like

 

certain areas here (from those who have posted) I am so glad I live where I do

 

and I see very little few who want their taxes increased to fund public school programs- I see a major outcry for doing away (again in my area) for all programs except for football


Edited by serenbat - 12/8/11 at 9:48am
post #56 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

think think it would be far more beneficial to have a community funded library, with larger resources and professional trained staff with all the small community resources in one central location (with volunteers to aid professionals) and the small schools money being spend on professional art and music teachers instead

 

it's all well and good that some parents are allowed to help but there can be a real difference if the schools were able to have less in one area and perhaps a professionals in another

The public libraries in New York City serve the school system.  While there may be a limited availability of books in individual schools, the public libraries provide the bulk of library services (my DH is a libraian in the Brooklyn system).  This system works, in my opinion, because of several factors:  (1) the library system here is huge (Brooklyn itself has over 50 branches); (2) there is a library within walking distance of most people (thus making it easy to acess the library); and (3) the library systems and schools have close relationships which allow the libraries (budget permitting) to provide the books required for curriculum and to also provide programs that the schools would not provide either due to space or budget constrictions. 

 

A community library situation would not have worked in the town I grew up in because it was so rural.  We rarely went to our public library unless my mom and dad had to be in town for some reason.  Our schools, though, had great libraries with professional librarians.  The main thing that I took away from having a school libarian was the ability to do good research.  She was really effective in teaching us that. 

 

 

post #57 of 90

I have a friend who is a librarian in the NYC- I also know the difference between the job of a regular teacher and that of one that holds a degree in library science winky.gif

 

makes a big difference when money is spend correctly, more to go around

post #58 of 90


I'm finding it really interesting to read about how schools and libraries work together (or don't) in different areas. We live in a very sprawling, mid-sized western town. It's legal to own a horse anywhere in the city limits, and lots and lots of the properties are larger enough for that. Walking from one place to another, however, doesn't work. It's kinda of a pain in the butt to drive around too -- everything is very spread out, but there isn't a highway. It's just stop lights as far as the eye can see.

 

My kids school was built outside of the city limits and has an animal center with goats and chickens, a green house, etc. It's great in many ways, but getting back and forth from the community library isn't on the list. Different groups of kids are taken there for different reasons over the course of the school year, but isn't realistic for every child every week. It's a trek.

 

Our school library is small and staffed by volunteers, but it means that kids have easy access to high interest books.

 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

You simply have no choice once the school day is over.

 

 

.....community libraries really can be  far better in most cases - in our state you can access ANY book within the state, you are unable to do so at the public school level, also many students in public school have no time within the school day to even go as needed and the school libraries close when school does, community libraries are open on weekends as well as nights (thus are used more)

 

most schools in my area (and all have real librarians) do not compare to the community systems and often children go without parents 


 

Parents have a lot of choices when the school day is over -- they can take their kid to piano lessons, or speech therapy, or drop them at the sitters so they can go to work. Or, what is most common where I live, pick them up from after care, make it home by 5:45, make dinner, make sure homework gets done, make sure kid gets bath, attempt to spend a few minutes of quality time together, and then get kid into bed earlier to repeat the cycle the next day. Not all parents can regularly get their kid to the library. Some do, even with challenges because it's important to them. But I've heard from both teachers and librarians in both the city we live in now and places we've lived in the past that the community library see only a fraction of the kids.

 

Having a library in the school that every child spends at least 30 minutes a week raises the chances for some kids that they will be exposed to reading material that they will read on their own.

 

Second, having watched emerging readers in libraries for years now, it's not the size of the collection or the access to other books through a network that gets them reading. It's a book catching their eye -- because it's a graphic novel with a really cool picture on the front, or a book with great photos of insects but very little text, or a book explaining how the special effects were made in a movies they liked. The data base of great books means squat -- the right book being displayed the right way is the key. A well run program by a librarian can also be key in turning on a child to reading. And its the kids who aren't read to at home who have the most to gain from these program.

 

In my city, children don't go to the library alone -- they can't even get there. Nothing is in walking distance, public transit is a joke, and the streets are far, far to crazy to let a child bike on.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

I was trying to say that in my area community libraries ( and I work in one - I should know!) are not a good replacement for school libraries.  

 

If your area has lovely, lovely well funded community libraries with numerous open hours and great public transportation to them - great.

 


I too, think it's cool when it all works together. I'm a little confused with the attitude of "this is how is SHOULD be everywhere."  Everywhere is different. Different things work different places.

 

Our school library is about as small un-funded as they come, but it plays an important role for the students. The community library is lovely, we use it. But it isn't a replacement.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

This system works, in my opinion, because of several factors:  (1) the library system here is huge (Brooklyn itself has over 50 branches); (2) there is a library within walking distance of most people (thus making it easy to acess the library); and (3) the library systems and schools have close relationships which allow the libraries (budget permitting) to provide the books required for curriculum and to also provide programs that the schools would not provide either due to space or budget constrictions. 

 


It sounds like school/library partnerships work best when they are within walking distance.

 

post #59 of 90

you must have misunderstood what I posted - You simply have no choice once the school day is over

 

 

 

Quote:
Parents have a lot of choices when the school day is over -- they can take their kid to piano lessons, or speech therapy, or drop them at the sitters so they can go to work. Or, what is most common where I live, pick them up from after care, make it home by 5:45, make dinner, make sure homework gets done, make sure kid gets bath, attempt to spend a few minute

this seems like apples and oranges- of course parents have choices to do other things 

 

in my area, when the school closes so does it's library - if your child has a research paper or other report you can only use a community library if you need the services of a library- doing a speech therapy really isn't in the same ballpark as to what I referring to  (must not have made it clear in my post  headscratch.gif)


Edited by serenbat - 12/9/11 at 6:01am
post #60 of 90

I know that for my son he had specials once a day, for 50 minutes, art, music, two days of PE and one day of computers.  I didn't know how lucky we are, here in Florida school sizes are capped K-3 at 18, 3-6 at 22 and higher grades at 24.  If a new kid shows up in January and a class has 19, they have to add a teacher.

 

He goes to the library once a week, it has a librarian and its a pretty nice sized library.  The librarian works with the teachers so that she knows what is happening in the class and will read the children a book that is linked to their science or social studies lessons.  Then she helps the kids pick out books and figures out their interests to encourage them to read and find things they will like.  The library is sectioned off into "levels" so she makes sure that the kids pick out books that they can actually read.

 

I am glad that we have a librarian that is so involved with the kids, I think it makes a difference.

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