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SB 95 Passes Senate

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Friday, October 21, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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The State Senate passed SB-95 today (see previous blog post about this issue) without amending it to delete the provision that removes the 25 percent limit on computer purchases with Common School Fund dollars. The vote was 17-16 along straight party lines. Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) offered an amendment to remove the Common School Fund part of the bill, and she said that she had been contacted by library media specialists asking for the amendment. Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), who authored the bill, spoke against the amendment saying that school districts need flexibility with the funds and seemed to believe that digital resources could not be purchased with Common School Fund money. The amendment failed on a voice vote.SB-95 will now be sent to the Assembly.  There already is an Assembly companion bill, AB-130, in the Committee on Education. That committee failed to pass the bill when it voted in...

Yet Another Measure Threatens the Common School Fund

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Thursday, October 20, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Senate Bill 95, a school reform bill, threatens the Common School Fund by eliminating the current 25 percent limit on the amount of CSF money that may be used to purchase school library computers and related software.The full Senate is scheduled to vote on this bill at 11:00 a.m. today, Thursday, October 20.Please contact your senator right away and request an amendment to SB-95 that would remove the provisions in the bill that relate to the Common School Fund.  Thank you for your help!Points to raise:The common school fund is the major source of school library resources, both print and electronic. These resources are critical to a quality education for our students to prepare them for work and college.It is important to uphold the constitutional intent of the Common School Fund for its intended purposes. School libraries in Wisconsin continue to be a cornerstone of a strong educational system. Direct them to...

Common School Fund Threatened: Contact Legislators!

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Friday, October 14, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Legislation related to nursing home regulation, introducedas companion bills AB-302 and SB-212, will reduce funding available to theschool libraries, if passed. The Wisconsin Educational Media & TechnologyAssociation (WEMTA) says the legislation could cost the Common School Fund(CSF) at least $1.5 million per year because it diverts fines and forfeitureson nursing homes from the CSF. The Assembly Committee on Aging and Long Term Care will vote on AB-302 onThursday, October 20, at 9:00 a.m. in room 400 Northeast of the State Capitol.The Senate Committee will meet that same date and time in room 330 Southwest.If the bills are approved by committee, they go straight tothe full Assembly and Senate.It is very important to reach out to legislatorsin both the Assembly and Senate, and if you are represented by someone on thecommittees who vote on October 20, your call is essential.Assembly Committee members are as follows: RepresentativesDan Knodl (R-Germantown, District 24), Warren Petryk (R-Elva,...

Unbolt the chairs, but build the library

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Thursday, September 22, 2011 in Libraries in the News
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In a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, the superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools was quoted as saying unbolting chairs from the floor is the biggest change he's seen in schools' physical spaces, but "I wouldn't build another library."  Mary Wepking, School Library Media Coordinator at UW-Milwaukee SOIS, responded with this letter:Dr. Thornton:This letter is in response to your statement, with respect to MPS facility planning, "I wouldn't build another library." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/10/11). The purpose of this letter is to inform you that this is an educationally destructive decision. Over 20 state-wide studies have been done that make a strong correlation between the presence of a funded & staffed school library and increased student academic achievement. Here are the findings of the Wisconsin study:  http://dpi.wi.gov/imt/pdf/SLMP3.pdf . You and your administration need to be aware of this research.Increasing technology integration may have some educational benefit; school librarians in well-funded and expertly...

Potential Change to Common School Fund Spending Raises Concerns

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Friday, May 13, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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A bill touted as a K-12 "mandate relief" includes changes in the way Common School Funds can be spent. The bill (SB 95) eliminates the current 25 percent limit on the amount of money a school library receives from the Common School Fund to purchase school library computers and related software. In other words, the entire CSF allocation could be used to purchase devices rather than the information resources needed for student learning; e.g., the school librarian is required by administration to purchase new computers but then cannot afford to purchase access to research databases.The Assembly Education and Senate Education Committees will hold a joint hearing on the draft bill next Monday, May 16, 10:00 a.m. in Room 411-S State Capitol. If your legislator is a member of one of these committees, please call him or her to to voice your concerns.Edited May 17:A Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article published May 16 summarized...

ALA Issues State Fact Sheets

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 in American Library Association (ALA)
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The American Library Association has issued State Fact Sheets on LSTA funding, Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (LSL) and public library data. Formatted for printing and sharing, these handy fact sheets can be used for library users, elected officials and other stakeholders who may need help understanding the variety and importance of these library programs. Thanks, ALA!...

Madison Elementary School Library Gets Facelift

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 in Libraries in the News
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Ralph Waldo Elementary Library in Madison received 2,000 new books, new, eco-friendly technology, lighting, flooring and furniture, according to a Channel3000 report. An organization called Heart of America partnered with Target Stores and the Madison Public School District to do the renovation....

WLA 2009: Canoe the Open Content Rapids

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on Thursday, October 22, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive
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Canoe the Open Content RapidsDorothea Salo, UW System Digital Content Group http://www.slideshare.net/cavlec/canoe-the-open-content-rapids [under Creative Commons Attribution license] InstructionDigital storytelling - copyright issues over pulling from files found on Google Images - sets a bad example Scholarship reasons to provide copyright education, provide proper information sources Different from country to country Instructors tend to violate copyright, as well as avoid activities that are probably fine CopyrightLimited monopoly over original works that are fixed in a tangible medium (includes stuff on Internet) It's in the Constitution - not about making money, about promoting "progress of science and the useful arts" Life of author + 70 years; 95 years corporate entities OK to copy for scholarship, parody/satire, library preservation, classroom use; limited copying for other reasons = "fair use" You can: a) sell in whole/part, b) give it away for free, c) license it for free/paymentFaculty generally fall into (b) without realizing it -...

Sheboygan School District to cut 11 library media specialist positions

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Monday, June 08, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive
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In a May 14 letter to families and staff, the Sheboygan Area School District announced the school board's decision to reduce the number of school library media specialists from 16 to 5. The remaining positions include one at each high school, one at the middle school level and two at the elementary level. The letter also announced plans for a meeting of staff, including the "core group" of media specialists, to meet during the summer to develop a plan for teaching essential library skills at each level.A letter to the editor from Jo Ann Carr, director of the Center for Instructional Materials and Computing at UW-Madison and president of the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association, appeared May 29 in the Sheboygan Press. Carr outlines the essential skills and important role that licensed media specialists bring to the school setting, including work with teachers in planning curriculum, knowledge of a range...