Wednesday, March 21, 2007

PBS Program on Deaf History and Deaf Education on TV tonight!

Something of interest for those concerned with special education!

The PBS film documentary "Through Deaf Eyes" will be shown today, Wednesday, March 21 at 9:00 ET (Please check local listings)

Filmmakers say this documentary is the first comprehensive film on deaf history. Karen Kenton, the film's executive producer, said "We wanted to broaden people's concept of what is normal." "There's (not just) one way of being deaf." The film tells a variety of stories and touches some of the most fundamental issues, facing the deaf community, including how technology contributed to social change for deaf people and the arguments on how deaf children should be educated.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Banned Book #1 Bestseller

The Newbery Medal Honor book, "The Power of Lucky" which has garnered criticism because it contained the word "scrotum", is now listed as #1 in the Sunday New York Times Book Children's Review Best Sellers List. Several school and public libraries were reported as not having the book in their collections due to the controversy over the presence of the word "scrotum" in the text

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fire Safety

In the last few weeks, there have been several tragic fires in the news. It is a good time to remind students and their families of the importance of fires safety.

The Education Services Collection has some useful educational materials:

Let's have fun with fire safety
Text 614.84 .L651

Learn not to burn curriculum : a firesafety education program of the National Fire Protection Association for school children
CMC TH9120 .N35 1987

The Smoke detectives [videorecording]
CMC TH9503 .S66 1990

Friday, March 02, 2007

Newbery Medal Book banned!

The Newbery Medal Honor book, "The Power of Lucky" was the subject of a page one article in the February 18, 2007 edition of the Sunday New York Times. The book has caused an uproar because it's 10 year old main character is fascinated by the word "scrotum".

The article reports that a handful of school libraries in the West, South and Northeast will not be stocking it . The American Library Association has issued a statement supporting the book and the rights of families to choose reading for their members. "Decisions about what materials are suitable for particular children should be made by the people who know them best - their parents or guardians. "

Librarians may seem to be nineteenth century "Miss Grundy's" in issues such as this, but I would also consider that this is not wholly about censorship. School libraries should have a Materials Selection Policy which incorporates a procedure for challenges of materials. If the procedure is followed without incident and publicity, all goes well. Unfortunately often times, challenges are followed by a great amount of controversy and publicity. This can translate into a very real lack of support for library budgets that are on the election ballot, and or the dismissal of librarians or teachers.

Sadly, in the real world , most people will not choose controversy or loss of employment in the preservation of intellectual freedom.