Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sonoma County voters consider tax for library

In northern California, the Sonoma County Library has my solidarity as voters consider a 1/8-percent sales tax in the November election. As related by Christi Warren writing for the Press Democrat, the library commission unanimously voted to place the tax on the November ballot. Citing figures from library director Brett W. Lear, the article states that if voters approve the measure, it could add about $10 million annually to the library’s $17 million budget. This library supporter, formerly a volunteer in a three-county cooperative system between Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino County libraries, wishes it every success.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

‘Very small library branch on wheels’

Book cabinet atop bicycle trailer, open to display cabinet shelves filled with books
Image credit: L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
At Biking Librarians, a public Facebook group, Peter Rudrud posted news of what is essentially a “very small library branch on wheels,” a custom-built trailer pulled by a bicycle, holding about 100 items.

I would love to see more library systems create their own equivalents of the BookBike at L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, Wis.

“The BookBike gives librarians a new way to connect with residents of all ages, showcase the library’s digital content, provide an unexpected library experience, and give a fresh perspective of the public library.”

Also posted to Librarian on a Bicycle

‘6Rs of Bullying Prevention’

Cover image, 'The 6Rs of Bullying Prevention' by Micele Borba, Ed.D. Images in circular cut-outs show children interacting with each other in friendly and inclusive ways
The latest reading in my ongoing focus upon resources to combat bullying is, The 6Rs of Bullying Prevention by Michele Borba, Ed.D (Free Spirit Publishing, August 2016).

This book belongs in every school’s staff-resources collection. Its value is incalculable if it spares one child from bullying and years of post-trauma, but I actually believe it has the potential to transform entire schools.

The “6Rs of Bullying Prevention” are:

1. Rules -- Establish an anti-bullying policy and expectations for respect
2. Recognize -- Teach stakeholders how to recognize bullying
3. Report -- Create procedures to report bullying
4. Respond -- Teach student witnesses how to respond to bullying
5. Refuse -- Help targets refuse provocation and cope with victimization, and
6. Replace -- Help students replace aggression with acceptable skills

Borba describes the 6Rs as a “process,” not a “program,” moreover it’s ongoing and involves an entire school community. Because it’s not a program in itself, it can be integrated with programs already in place at the school.

Bullying prevention “aims to change a culture of cruelty to one of kindness” (location 417 in a digital advance reading copy). Success is measured by “positive and lasting change in student behavior and attitude” (417, 418).

As a person bullied in childhood who hopes to spare others from suffering the same trauma, I found much of practical benefit in The 6Rs of Bullying Prevention.

I’m especially grateful for insights it affords in my professional capacity: a school library paraprofessional who works directly with students and hopes to guide and model for them, respectful and inclusive behaviors. I will look with keen interest over this book’s several lists of books at varying levels of readership: great resources in themselves for building a library collection.

Personal reflection in response to this book:
Bullying and ‘zero tolerance’

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinion expressed is my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bullying and ‘zero tolerance’

Cartoon illustration: Adults direct types of bullying toward Cynthia Parkhill's Bitstrips avatar. A woman stares at her from around the corner. One man talks behind his hand to a listener, who has a shocked look on his face. A woman with a disbelieving expression looks at her computer while a woman in the desk next to her looks over. The caption reads, "Bullying survivor: What I imagine is happening."
Cartoon image created with Bitstrips
A keyword search on the phrase “zero tolerance,” performed July 22, 2016, returned 14 usages in reference to bullying among writings on my blog.