Sunday, April 24, 2005

More from the Ladies' Sewing Circle and Book Burning Society

Eric Carle's Draw Me A Star Seems to freak some parents and librarians out because there are flesh colored outlines of the human form in it. If anyone knows Eric Carle's work, it is obvious that the pieces are artistically rendered, and not offensive at all. Again, a librarian seeking help with the book goes to the LSCBBS, only to be told,

"I think the poetry is really more mature than elementary. IMHO."

What is wrong with these people?!!

Our Own Worst Enemy

Now that I have a little free time on my hands, I've been going back over the listserv emails that I haven't had a chance to get to in the past could weeks. What I have seem on a particular listserv for School Library Media Specialists both surprised and disgusted me.

In almost every conversation where a popular book is brought up, some women who call themselves librarians swat it down as unacceptable for whatever age group is suggested. For example, a librarian/teacher sought help with discussion for a sixth grade class for Lois Lowry's The Giver, another woman wrote a long-winded diatribe about using such a dark, dangerous novel with such "young" children. She said the book was better for High School Students!

Now there is another poor naive librarian asking for help with A Series of Unfortunate events, and the vultures have resurfaced, screaming foul play at having fourth graders.. fourth graders! Read the series.

Some of the more lamentable comments can be found below:

"I know that these books are extremely popular, but I personally took
exception to parts of The Bad Beginning. My position has been that it's
a great series for individual kids, but not a whole class project or
read-aloud due to the controversial issues. I know this isn't what you
asked but I wanted to add my two cents..."

"I have a real problem with this 'one size fits all' approach to
books that has been mentioned in a few other posts. First, not everyone
will have the ability to read these books (they are at 1-2 levels above
4th grade level), nor be even interested in reading them. "

"Don't get me wrong, I would love to have this kind
of program available for students, but unless you are fortunate enough
to have a very elite group of 4th graders this will probably do more
harm than good!"

"Although I don't push the series until 5th grade, I have to say I am surprised that anyone thought "the objectionable" parts were handled well in the movie. Am I the only one who found the movie more objectionable?"

Heaven help us, only children who have been thoroughly tested for to make sure they are mature should be let near Lemony Snicket!

Classes ended last week, hurrah! I also finished a truly wretched take-home exam. I hope I didn't fail.

Due to the three inches of snow outside my window, I am not going to comment on the lovely spring weather, but I will say that working Saturday morning at the library, even after a late night of "school's out" celebration, was very satisfying. I found ghost stories for a girl that wasn't expecting me to understand her interests, helps several little boys find new chapter book series' to read, and working on my new Storytime poster, which hangs on the story room door and advertises the times and dates. This year its a Spring wildlife theme, with three types of wildflowers: hepatica, snake-head fritillary, and spring beauties. I added ants and a ladybug, as well as several butterflies for insect life, and for animals I placed a fat bull frog on a rock, a mouse sniffing around the flowers and a deer drinking from the stream. In the corner by the cattails, I put a nest with a couple of colorful eggs that blend into the their surroundings so you don't see them immediately. I will try to post a picture at some point, or at least a link to one..