December 2005

“The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” begins with “The Blitz” of London. Many British families, extremely worried over their children’s safety during WWII, sent their sons and daughters to the countryside – just as the Pensieve children were sent in the book. Linking to original sources from Britain’s Imperial War Museum, and other national archives, this primary-resources teaching/learning/reading tool provides historical background to help today’s students understand what children in Britain (and elsewhere) endured during the war. The impact on British children, during WWII, begins at chapter four. The website is free to all educators, schools and libraries. Simply request an academic membership at its main URL which provides a link to the sign-up form.

Carole Bos, Grand Valley State University, Dean’s Advisory Board


Dear Texas Campus School Librarians,

The Texas Library Association (TLA) is collecting data on school librarians’ activities. As part of our efforts to describe the importance of school librarians and school library programs to state leaders (particularly as the debate about the “65% rule” continues), TLA wants to assess the time campus librarians spend in an “average day” conducting various instructional and support activities.


The survey is short with only about a dozen “click on” answers, although there is room for extended comments at the end of the survey if you would like to offer additional information. The survey is divided into several sections. The primary sections deal with instructional time spent with full classes (and individual students in full classes);
instructional time spent with students on a one-to-one basis; time spent providing students and teachers with feedback and evaluation; and time spent on library operations.

The questions are designed to give us a sense of an average day. If you conduct collection development once a week for one hour and 15 minutes, then in an average workday, you would conduct 15 minutes of collection development. Also, please note that the total time of all the activities when added up should equal how long you work in an average day. So, you cannot “multitask” and assign one hour, for example, to two different categories.

Thank you, in advance, for taking a few minutes to provide us with this invaluable information. Final results will be posted on TLA’s website.


Go to> and click on the “TEKS Related Survey:>
Direct Instructional Activities (Campus Librarians Only).” It is the second item under Get Involved.

Gloria Meraz
Director of Communications
Texas Library Association

With Narnia on everyone’s “Things To Do List” this weekend, I thought this educators guide with lesson plans would be useful for cross discipline instruction.>

Source:SLJ Blog, December 9, 2005>

Oprah’s new contest for high school students

Could Oprah have the kind of impact she’s had on motivating adult readers with her book club with the students we know and love? She’s just announced an essay contest for “high school students across America.”

On January 16, the Oprah Show will reveal the next book club reading and it will announce an essay contest based on that book. “Then, based on their essays, a panel of learned judges will select 50 high school students. Each finalist, along with one designated parent or guardian, will receive a trip to a special Oprah Show taping in late February.” Oprah’s site will offer study materials for teachers, parents, and students. The deadline for essay entries will be February 6.

I am looking forward to this opportunity to promote high school reading and I cannot wait to hear about which book Oprah chooses. She promises it will be “mandatory reading for every human being on the planet.” Wouldn’t it be interesting if the book were already on our reading lists and in our curricula?

Source: Joyce Valenza’s NeverEndingSearch Blog, December 10, 2005>

If you happen to be out in Palisade, one of Colorado’s most robust wine-making regions, you might want to check out Verso Cellars, run by Linda Cummings, who left her 20-plus year career as the former director of the Denver Public Library. Rocky Mountiain News Reporter Penny Parker has a brief interview. “We have one of the most orderly vineyards in Palisade,” she said, laughing. “You can stand down one row of our vineyard and see a straight line. Our little vines line up just like books on a shelf.”
Cumming, who lives with her family in Winter Park, will open the winery’s first wine-tasting room in Cooper Creek Square on U.S. 40 on Monday. Along with the Verso Cab, they’ll pour other select wines from Colorado vintners

Source: LISNews, December 9, 2005

Follow this URL to see a graph of the 20 largest public libraries and what they charge for a book two weeks overdue. After you click on the link, don’t be impatient. It takes a while to load.
Source: LISNews, December 10, 2005 writes “In a year filled with political wrangling, natural disasters and pop culture Filibuster. Refugee. Tsunami. Each was among the dictionary publisher’s 10 most frequently looked-up words among some 7 million users of its online site.

But topping the list is a word that some say gives insight into the country’s collective concern about its values: Integrity.

Source: LISNews, December 10, 2005

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