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By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | July 23, 2013
It seems an odd time for books to be flying off a school's library's shelves, but at Halstead Academy, Ethan Pranke and Noah Neverdon can't resist. Asked about popular children's book author Dan Gutman, the two rising fifth-graders retrieved several entries from the author's "My Weird School Daze" series, spread them on a table and offered colorful synopses of such works as "Mrs. Dole Is Out of Control" and "Officer Spence Makes No Sense. " The two aren't in summer school or a school-based camp, but they are among many Baltimore County who take advantage of schools that keep their libraries open during the summer break to encourage youngsters to keep reading.
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NEWS
Colin Campbell and The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2014
Michael Middleton calls poverty Baltimore's biggest enemy. The $1.1 billion plan to overhaul the city's schools is fine, he told Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and new superintendent Gregory Thornton, but the economic issues facing families need to be addressed first. The city's problems "won't be fixed by brick and mortar," the Cherry Hill Community Coalition representative said. "That's where I disagree with you," the mayor replied, adding that even the city's poorest areas produce good students, who desperately need a place to succeed.
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NEWS
By Rafael Alvarez | September 28, 1990
A three-day conference set up to direct the future of Maryland's libraries ended in Towson this week with a loud call to finance elementary and high school libraries at basic levels already defined by state law.In all, five resolutions were passed Tuesday by 202 delegates to rTC the Maryland Governor's Conference on Libraries.Among the resolutions, to be presented to Gov. William Donald Schaefer by Nov. 1, were ones asking the governor to budget money to either create or improve libraries for the thousands of people who live in state institutions; to appoint a task force to establish a statewide plan to preserve decaying library collections; to find money to better market library services; and to find a more equitable way to distribute state aid to public libraries.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | July 23, 2013
It seems an odd time for books to be flying off a school's library's shelves, but at Halstead Academy, Ethan Pranke and Noah Neverdon can't resist. Asked about popular children's book author Dan Gutman, the two rising fifth-graders retrieved several entries from the author's "My Weird School Daze" series, spread them on a table and offered colorful synopses of such works as "Mrs. Dole Is Out of Control" and "Officer Spence Makes No Sense. " The two aren't in summer school or a school-based camp, but they are among many Baltimore County who take advantage of schools that keep their libraries open during the summer break to encourage youngsters to keep reading.
NEWS
By Anne Haddad and Anne Haddad,Staff Writer | January 10, 1994
One book talks about roasting, toasting, stewing and chewing slugs.And an irreverent parody by the late Roald Dahl has an uncharming prince call Cinderella a "dirty slut," after he has lopped off the heads of her two stepsisters.Each book has been challenged by a Carroll County parent as inappropriate for elementary school libraries, although both books have been in use for about 10 years in the county, since they were published.The Roald Dahl book has been pulled from the half-dozen Carroll school libraries that carried it, and "Slugs" could follow it if the school board agrees with the parent, who will make his case at a meeting Wednesday.
NEWS
October 18, 2000
HOWARD COUNTY once built a school with a wondrous, state-of-the-art library. One parent, a librarian herself in a neighboring county, marveled at the learning resources that awaited her children. But then her fifth-grader began to report what went on in the library. Instead of letting the kids explore the riches on the shelves, the librarian read them storybooks. It happens all the time in Maryland: Wasted resources and uninspired instruction make librarians seem unimportant and even expendable to other educators.
NEWS
September 16, 2000
IF YOU WANT to help put books on school library shelves, dig into your pockets, not your old boxes of books. For libraries to once again become learning centers in public schools, their books must support what's being taught in the classroom. A pile of donated books simply cannot satisfy that essential requirement. We've heard of plans under way for book drives in response to our recent editorial on the sorry state of Baltimore City public school libraries. Such drives represent the best of intentions, and they certainly have a role in promoting literacy.
NEWS
September 1, 2000
THIS IS WHAT a trip to the school library means to Lashawna, a third-grader at Belmont Elementary in West Baltimore: a chance to watch videos, play hand games and do her hair. Reading? She looks forward to that, too. But her choices are pretty limited. The shelves in the library are full of books up to 50 years old and encyclopedias from the 1970s. Learning? There's not much time for that. Her class visits the library just twice a month for less than an hour. The most ambitious lesson offered by the retired teacher filling in as librarian is identifying the parts of a book.
NEWS
By GINA DAVIS and GINA DAVIS,SUN REPORTER | December 7, 2005
An award-winning book about an overweight girl who doesn't fit in at school or with her family apparently doesn't fit in at Carroll County school libraries: The district's superintendent ordered the novel stripped from the shelves. Students at Winters Mill High in Westminster have begun a petition drive to get the book, The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things, returned to the libraries. Superintendent Charles I. Ecker said he found the language and sexual references in Carolyn Mackler's book, a top choice nationally among teenage readers, inapproriate.
NEWS
October 6, 2000
IF YOU SET OUT to climb a mountain and realized you didn't pack enough food, would you go ahead anyway? Probably not. But that's how the State Board of Education and state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick are approaching their annual fund-seeking trip to Annapolis. By their map, they're already well on the way. And they've chosen to leave public school libraries behind, despite libraries' key role in nourishing learning. What a wasted opportunity. Granted, the proposed 2001 education budget is already tight with worthy programs like academic intervention and all-day kindergarten.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | June 22, 2012
Dorothy Acker and her 12-year-old daughter, Audrey, regularly search for new books at the Elkridge library - on a recent trip they were looking for titles on Audrey's middle-school summer reading list. The Elkridge library is closest to their home, but it has some drawbacks. "The library smells musty. It's kind of grungy inside," Dorothy Acker said. Many patrons feel that the library, like Elkridge, has long been neglected. The community has won some recent victories - fighting off a proposed rail transfer facility and securing money for new schools and a park - but residents maintain a touch of indignation when they talk about their neighbors in Ellicott City and Columbia.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | April 10, 2011
Residents of Baltimore's suburbs could see another year of reduced services, as counties continue to feel pressure on two key sources of revenue: state aid and property taxes. The fiscal strain could mean reduced library hours in Anne Arundel, more crowded classrooms in Baltimore County and economies like reusing old furniture in a new Carroll County school. County employees, meanwhile, are facing more pay freezes, furloughs and, for some, perhaps layoffs. "Fiscal year 2012 is the most serious and difficult challenge the county has faced during my tenure," said Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold, a Republican in office since December 2006.
NEWS
By John-John Williams IV | john-john.williams@baltsun.com | March 26, 2010
Brehms Lane Elementary School, which has a high percentage of low-income students, has struggled to update its library with books and equipment. All that will change this morning when the Northeast Baltimore school officially receives news that it has been picked for a Target School Library Makeover, which will bring thousands of dollars' worth of new books, furniture and equipment into the school's reading and research area. In addition to the library's receiving 2,000 new books, computers, furniture, shelves and carpet, each student will get seven new books to take home.
NEWS
By John Fritze and John Fritze,Sun reporter | February 5, 2008
Baltimore should borrow millions to build and renovate schools, libraries and parks, and create a department to oversee the construction, Mayor Sheila Dixon said yesterday during her second State of the City address. Speaking in the ornate City Council chamber to an audience of local and state officials, Dixon said she would ask voters to approve an additional $27 million in borrowing for city construction projects and to create a Department of General Services to supervise the work. She made her proposal for improved city facilities as Baltimore faces a potential economic downturn that could threaten not only the coming year's budget but also the long-term ability of the city to pay for critical services such as public safety.
NEWS
By Michael Corbin | November 28, 2007
A new National Endowment for the Arts study links drops in test scores and limited academic achievement to a decline in time spent reading. This self-evident finding offers a clear challenge to all educational reformers across Maryland and particularly in Baltimore, with its shamefully deficient school library system. If we are to take the report seriously, every school should have a library, and each library should have a trained librarian and be filled with books and opportunities to read.
NEWS
By NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON and NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON,SUN REPORTER | March 8, 2006
After 20 years of writing children's books, Annapolis resident Priscilla Cummings might have a breakout young adult novel on her hands. Her 2004 book Red Kayak has been generating a buzz in library circles. Voice of Youth Advocates, a magazine for librarians, called the book "a gem." The New York Public Library put it on its 2005 list of notable books for teens. Now the American Library Association has placed the book on its 2006 list of Best Books for Young Adults. Cummings said she is delighted with the recognition.
NEWS
By Robert A. Erlandson and Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF | December 22, 1996
Froggy is back -- this time on parole.The "gangster" version of the folk tale "Froggy Went A-Courtin' " is no longer banned from Baltimore County elementary school libraries but will be accessible only to parents and teachers to read with children.School Superintendent Anthony G. Marchione accepted a recommendation Friday to overturn the ban on children's author Kevin O'Malley's satirical version of the Froggy story, which ends with the amphibian in a cell wearing prison stripes.The recommendation, from Phyllis Bailey, associate superintendent for educational support services, includes changing the procedure for reviewing books that are the subject complaints.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,SUN STAFF | May 10, 2001
Baltimore's public schools are planning a four-year, $60 million effort to transform understaffed libraries with too few books into true centers of reading and research. There are fewer than 60 certified librarians in the city's 182 schools. Schools have on average 4,880 books, about a third the number the state says is the standard, and often there are no computers with Internet access. Administrators want every child to have access to a good school library, where there are books to read for pleasure and information that complements what they are learning in class.
NEWS
By NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON and NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON,SUN REPORTER | March 8, 2006
After 20 years of writing children's books, Annapolis resident Priscilla Cummings might have a breakout young adult novel on her hands. Her 2004 book Red Kayak has been generating a buzz in library circles. Voice of Youth Advocates, a magazine for librarians, called the book "a gem." The New York Public Library put the book on its 2005 list of notable books for teens. Now the American Library Association has placed the book on its 2006 list of Best Books for Young Adults. Cummings said she is delighted with the recognition.
NEWS
By GINA DAVIS and GINA DAVIS,SUN REPORTER | February 12, 2006
The title alone makes some adults squirm. But Carolyn Mackler's The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, a novel about an overweight girl struggling to come to terms with her poor self-image and self-worth, has a message that resonates with teens. Those squirming adults and reading teens were at the heart of a recent debate over book banning in Carroll County that mirrors a passionate national argument: Are profanity and sex appropriate literary tools to reach worldly teenage readers, or should books containing such material be barred from school libraries?
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