C. S. Lewis Reviews The Hobbit

What a treat to find this authentic review of one of my favorites, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, written by the equally as favored author C.S. Lewis.  Reviewed in the same year The Hobbit was published, Lewis’ poignant reflection on Tolkien’s first novel introducing the characters and story of his later published work The Lord of the Rings trilogy hints at the profundity of the work.

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A world for children: J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: or There and Back Again (London: Allen and Unwin, 1937) The publishers claim that The Hobbit, though very unlike Alice, resembles it in being the work of a professor at play. A more important truth is that both belong to a very small class of… Read More »

Source: C. S. Lewis Reviews The Hobbit

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Audiobooks and the Summer Reading Push | Tech Tidbits | School Library Journal

Audiobooks are just what teens need to combat the summer slide. Teacher librarian Phil Goerner shares the top free resources to offer over the break.

Source: Audiobooks and the Summer Reading Push | Tech Tidbits | School Library Journal

Engage Parents as Partners to Close the Digital Divide | Edutopia

As a homegrown solution, schools aren’t waiting for federal funding. Instead, they are enlisting parents as partners to help close the digital divide.

Read the recent findings of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop: Opportunity for All? Technology and Learning in Low Income Families

Source: Engage Parents as Partners to Close the Digital Divide | Edutopia

Poverty Isn’t Just About Money, Especially for Blacks and Hispanics – The Atlantic

Staying poor isn’t just a matter of having too little money—it’s about a series of unstable circumstances that build upon each other.

Source: Poverty Isn’t Just About Money, Especially for Blacks and Hispanics – The Atlantic

7 Steps for Turning Around Under-Resourced Schools | Edutopia

Steps for creating positive change at under-resourced schools include celebrating existing successes, allowing time to grow for school leadership, including the youth in school decision-making, and networking with other schools for inspiration.

Source: 7 Steps for Turning Around Under-Resourced Schools | Edutopia

Often educators and community members are in a panic to fix a broken system, a panic that is often exacerbated by looming end-of-school-year deadlines.  A running theme throughout this Edutopia article is the importance of giving your educational community time to build the infrastructure of an effective and efficient learning environment.

The Big Plot Twist That Doomed San Diego’s School Libraries – Voice of San Diego

Source: The Big Plot Twist That Doomed San Diego’s School Libraries – Voice of San Diego

After rolling out a grand effort to bring better information services and library resources to area schools, San Diego school libraries have effectively closed their doors to students.  Cuts in funding have limited school districts’ ability to provide staff for school libraries, at best allotting only one day per week access to the library.

What good are top notch resources if they aren’t being used?  Could the San Diego public library system work with the public school district by annexing the school sites and assuming the staffing costs through the public library budget?  Just a thought…

In San Jose, Poor Find Doors to Library Closed – The New York Times

Source: In San Jose, Poor Find Doors to Library Closed – The New York Times

The library, owed $6.8 million in fees for overdue and lost items, prohibits children who can’t pay but need the library the most from borrowing materials or using its computers.

Definitely a concern in both public librarianship and school librarianship: how do we ensure the safe return of materials, yet not penalize those who need the resources and services of the library the most?  Sadly, if a person could afford a $10 book, they would likely just purchase it and avoid the possibility of being sent to collections for late/lost fees.  Likely, those who can’t afford either will just forego the luxury of books, and the joys of life long learning.

In school libraries, will the cost of checking out books that are never returned become so cost prohibitive that school collections become smaller, or policies tightened so materials are not loaned out at all?  When students are penalized for using materials, are they being taught to value those materials or avoid them?  And how can we teach the value of books, and responsibility that comes with borrowing books, without loaning them out?