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September 4, 1987
Thank you for your timely response to the revelation of the deplorable state of most California school libraries ("Short Rations for School Libraries," Editorial, Aug. 19). While serving on the California Library Service Board from 1980-1982, I had no luck in persuading the administration of the state Department of Education to undertake a survey of the conditions under which school libraries were then operating. My personal sampling indicated that many volunteers were staffing even secondary school libraries with grossly inadequate collections.
February 26, 2014
Re "Some libraries too quiet," Feb. 24 Imagine a city where at every school there is a fully staffed library bustling with students throughout the day. Imagine even extending the school library's hours so students, staff and parents can make use of it beyond the school day. Monica Ratliff, a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District's Board of Education, is correct to lead an exploration of what has happened to L.A.'s school libraries....
April 28, 1996
I was dismayed to read in the April 21 Times article ("School Libraries Shelved Amid Neglect") that today's California school libraries are some of the most derelict in our country. Because of budget restrictions, our children faced similar conditions at Germain Street Elementary School library 25 years ago--no staff librarian, most often the library [was] closed, books sent for repair to LAUSD headquarters went into a black hole and were not seen again, federally funded books were not fully circulated, book cards [were]
December 18, 2013 | Jenny Deam
As she does every day, Kay Cates asked her 10-year-old son how his school day went. He shrugged. "We did math. We did reading. We had a lockdown," the Boulder fourth-grader replied. She froze. When pressed, the boy matter-of-factly explained the protocol he has rehearsed since kindergarten: "We hid so in case a man with a gun came he can't find us. " That was Dec. 4. Nine days later, across the Denver metro area in Centennial, a man with a gun came to Arapahoe High School.
March 27, 1991
In 1986 the main branch of the Los Angeles Public Library was the victim of an extensive fire which forced its closing. It will not really be open for "business as usual" until 1993. That will make it seven years--the proverbial seven years of bad luck--seven long years of denying the public access to its community's main store of learning and literary pleasure. Arson is a criminal offense. Monetary loss resulting from arson can be figured, if one wants to assess damages. Denial of usage loss, however, cannot be measured.
October 13, 1994 | MAIA DAVIS
Both serious runners and the not-so-serious will hit the road in downtown Ventura later this month for a race to benefit local school libraries. Called the Roads Scholars Race, the event will be held Oct. 23, with the first race to start at 8 a.m. In addition to competitive runners, the race is expected to draw many students, including a group of middle-school children who plan to dress as a centipede.
October 18, 2000 | ROBERTO J. MANZANO
At Tarzana Elementary School, workers have weeded out about 2,500 outdated books, some of them torn, some published as far back as the 1930s. Now there are about 2,000 new books, plus a cadre of volunteers who will help students choose from among the volumes. New plants and posters were also placed in the library by the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles, which will provide the library with a computerized system and volunteers.
September 30, 2013 | By Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers
It's back-to-school time and parents' worries abound. Will the new teacher be any good? Will my child have friends in the new class? Will budget cuts limit the offerings in art, music or sports? There's one worry that's universal: Are my kids safe after school? The combination of shorter school days and the lack of after-school child care creates a mismatch for many full-time employed parents, especially mothers. Imagine that you have a child whose school day ends at 2 p.m. but you don't get home until 6 p.m. or later.
September 24, 2013 | By David Zucchino
ASHEBORO, N.C. - If a county could blush, Randolph County just might. The school board in this largely rural county, to the embarrassment of many residents, voted last week to ban Ralph Ellison's iconic novel of African American angst, "Invisible Man. " In a 5-2 vote, the board barred the book from all school libraries in the county after the mother of an 11th-grader complained that the novel was "too much for teenagers. " But confronted by an angry backlash and concerns that the ban had shamed the county, the board backed down and scheduled a special meeting Wednesday in order to reconsider the book's status.
September 19, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Ralph Ellison's novel "Invisible Man" has been banned from school libraries in Randolph County, N.C. The book is considered by many to be an masterful novel dealing with race in America. “I didn't find any literary value,” said school board member Gary Mason before the board voted 5-2 to ban the book.  Ellison's "Invisible Man" won the National Book Award in 1953. In 1965, a national poll of book critics deemed it the greatest American novel written since World War II. The book was brought before the board by a parent who lodged a 12-page complaint, Asheboro's Courier-Tribune reports . She found the book's contents inappropriate for her child, an 11th grader, citing its lack of innocence, its language and sexual content.
December 14, 2011 | By Anthony York and Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento and Los Angeles -- Gov. Jerry Brown announced nearly $1 billion in new state budget cuts, slashing spending on higher education and eliminating funding for free school-bus service but avoiding the deeper reductions to public schools that many had feared. Services for the disabled, money for public libraries and funding for state prisons will also be pared. Most of the cuts, announced Tuesday, will take effect Jan. 1. The reductions were built into the budget that Brown and lawmakers approved in June, set to kick in if revenue did not reach the optimistic level they had assumed.
September 14, 2011 | Steve Lopez
It's September, a time to remind children that we care about them and have high hopes and all that. So what's going on in Los Angeles Unified? The school district is dumping 227 of its 430 elementary school library aides and cutting the hours of another 193 aides in half. Welcome back to school, kids. At Burton Elementary in Panorama City on Tuesday morning, library aide Mary Bates was wondering whether to fight, pack up her belongings for a transfer to her fourth school in two years, or have a good cry. "I can't tell you how many kids have told me they'll miss me," Bates said under a sign that reads "Books Can Take You Anywhere.
June 20, 2010 | Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
A group of children manned a lemonade stand on a Santa Monica street corner Saturday morning, waving posters urging passersby to buy a beverage and a cookie and help "Save Our Teachers." A woman pulled up in an SUV, ordered five cookies and handed over a $100 bill. She told the youngsters to give her only $50 in change. The gesture, met with cheers and applause, gave a generous boost to Project Lemon-Aid — a fundraising initiative inspired by students and aimed at helping offset budget cuts to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
March 21, 2010 | By Sara Scribner
The current generation of kindergartners to 12th graders -- those born between 1991 and 2004 -- has no memory of a time before Google. But although these students are far more tech savvy than their parents and are perpetually connected to the Internet, they know a lot less than they think. And worse, they don't know what they don't know. As a librarian in the Pasadena Unified School District, I teach students research skills. But I've just been pink-slipped, along with five other middle school and high school librarians, and only a parcel tax on the city's May ballot can save the district's libraries.
February 8, 2009
Re "School board swears off a profane novel," Feb. 4 The article about the Newman Crows Landing Board of Education reminded me of a brouhaha in Southern California in the early 1960s. It was about a book called "Dictionary of American Slang" that was discovered in school libraries. As I recall, The Times ran articles about the organized opposition, as well as hysterical letters from readers. Families were so concerned about the "dirty words" contained in the book that they formed action groups to have it banned from school libraries.
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