Archive for the 'skool' Category

federal judge rules on students’ religious rights re: books

Notable federal district decision from a week or so ago concerning a student/parent objection to a book that had homoesexual [well, same-sex couple] characters. The court upheld a lower court dismissal of a lawsuit by a family climaing their religious rights were being violated when kids read books involving “positive portrayals of families headed by same-sex parents and same-sex marriage, including the frequently challenged children’s book, King and King.” The court stated that reading the books is not the same as being “indoctrinated” into affirming the choices the book’s characters make, or are evidencing. It’s an interesting challenge and an interesting, and to my mind positive, response with the upshot being “you do not have the right to not be offended”.

The First Circuit rejected the parents’ indoctrination claims. It held that there is no First Amendment free exercise right to be free from any reference in public elementary schools to the existence of families in which the parents are of different gender combinations. It also held that public schools are not obliged to shield individual students from ideas which potentially are religiously offensive, especially when the school does not require that the student agree with or affirm those ideas, or even participate in discussions about them.

You can read the full opinion here and some backstory on the controversy that sparked these claims here and here. Keep in mind that this book challenge happened in Massachusetts, a state where same sex marriages are legal and where a “1993 state law directed school systems to teach about different kinds of families and the harm of prejudice.”

I like Halifax. aka OMGOMGOMG

This is a photo my sister took of the calendar in the room where I was hanging out with Dalhousie library/info science students at a brown bag lunch. Please note OMG line. Delightful. I had a really good time talking to students and answering question about topics ranging from porn to the USA PATRIOT Act. Thanks to everyone for coming out and saying hello!

Librarian gap? This again?

Apparently University of Missouri-Columbia got a big grant through IMLS to help them train more librarians. Apparently this is because there is a librarian shortage. They are not even trying to bring up numbers to justify this anymore, there are just statements like this

“With only a certain number of accredited programs, we can only graduate so many people a year,” [Professor John] Budd said. “There is a bit of a supply-and-demand inequality.”

Reading the actual grant guidelines is less of an exercise in tooth-gnashery than reading the way it is portrayed in the article.

PhD librarians

People have been writing me over the last few weeks talking about non-MLIS PhDs entering librarianship. It’s way outside of my range of knowledge and not something we come up against in the public library world, so I’d back-burnered it, figured I’d chat with some people at ALA about it. This week Rory has a special edition of Library Juice that contains some back and forth on the JESSE list. Pretty thougtful discussion. [thanks rebecca]

how much has library school really changed?

University of Toronto Library School Annual Examinations, 1934-35.

“We owe the alphabet to the Semites, the vowels to the Greeks and the letter forms as well as the transmission of the alphabet to the Romans.” Discuss this statement.

[thanks bill]

the costs of copyright

Sometimes life in a world of strict copyright enforcement can seem like life in a world of crazy health insurance. My doctor doesn’t know what my health care will cost — keeping me from making informed decisions factoring in cost as one data point — and Harvard professors don’t know what their coursepacks will cost students after copyright fees are figured in. Students make illegal copies because they can’t afford a $500 coursepack. Who suffers? What is learned? [stayfree]

meme continued: what classes would you like to TAKE?

Another voice on the “classes” topic with a different spin what classes would you like to take in library school. John raises a good point, I don’t think I learned the word vendors until I was way out of library school.

what’s the deal with library school enrollment vs. actual JOBS?

Michael McGrorty turns his attention to one of my favorite library topics: the myth of the impending librarian shortage. Worth reading all the way through the comments.

A common complaint among current and former students is that they entered library school with the expectation that jobs would be not merely available, but plentiful.  This information did not rise into the consciousness of thousands of people independently, but came for the most part from the schools themselves, and if not, was certainly not contradicted by them.  Now, when the market is shrunken, the members of that loose cartel continue to accept students and produce graduates at a pace which ignores the reality of the market—because there has never been a penalty for encouraging the dreams of library students, and because, after all, that is their business. 

athletes, here’s the library. library, here are the athletes.

Introducing First-Year Student-Athletes to the Library:The Michigan State University Experience.

…contrary to stereotype the student-athletes had a higher graduation rate than the rest of the student population. Despite this, a program was started for the special population of student-athletes because it was believed that the student-athletes needed more library help due to their extensive athletic schedules. The program was well received and in evaluating the program the student-athletes found the program to be successful. [shelf]

ALA responds to clark atlanta lib school closing on NPR

NPR’s Tavis Smiley talks with ALA president Carol Brey Casiano and Akilah Nasokhere about the impending closing of Clark-Atlanta University’s library school one of only two library schools at historically black universities.