The NewsDemon Blog
June 24th, 2010
After summer is over, many students across the country may have a hard time to find help at their libraries. Based on a survey this past spring, the American Association of School Administrators project that 19% of all of the nation school districts will have fewer librarians next school year.
As many states face severe budget cuts, the loss of librarian jobs are on the chopping block for some in order to save on costs. Administrators across the country have viewed libraries as luxuries rather than a haven for those to read, learn and research. Since only a few states have any laws to mandate libraries or librarians, layoffs seem as a minor inconvenience to some observers. Those that share this view neglect the importance and significance they are in fundamental learning and technology.
Unlike the overflowing bookshelves of wealthier families, 61 percent of low-income families own no age-appropriate books, according to a 2009 study commissioned by Jumpstart on “America’s Early Childhood Literacy Gap.”
Recently, the FCC promoted and had begun to deliver free broadband to libraries to help. Since early last year, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups began and continues to provide free Usenet access to librarians and libraries as well to help.
Unfortunately, some jobs will be lost and although the total damage seems small, it has been a slow trickling down process that further negatively impacts these great learning centers.
Dedicated newsgroups to libraries and librarians have long been a discussion forum for library enthusiasts who’ve shared concern of the impact this will make. “Information literacy is just so important for kids to be more successful in college,” said Livingston, 66, who worked in the Sammamish High School library for about a decade. “The kids are being hurt.”
September 26th, 2009
On many arts and literature newsgroups, the main topic of discussion this week is all about the ALA’s Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event which celebrates the freedom to read and the importance of the United States First Amendment. Always held during the last week of September, BBW highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship. This form and attempt of censorship is something very familiar as well with many newsgroups on USENET.
Launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, BBW was created primarily by bookstores and libraries, headed by The American Library Association.
More than a thousand books have been challenged since then. People have challenged books that they say are too offensive for one reason or another: sex, violence, profanity, slang, racial or religion for the most part. Their targets range from books that explore the latest problems to classic and beloved works of American literature.
Some of the mainstream titles that have been banned are:
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
- Forever – Judy Blume
- The Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
- In The Night Kitchen – Maurice Sendak
- Beloved – Toni Morrison
Others include: “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “Charlotte’s Web.” “The Sun Also Rises.” “As I Lay Dying.” “Kim.” “Winnie-the-Pooh.”
Over the years, groups and communities have taken it upon themselves to determine what books are worthy of being stacked on library shelves and what should be kept from the public. Many libraries and bookstores have answered back that access to such works, no matter what their content, is one of the precious traditions that should be defended.
In response, The American Library Association’s designated an annual Banned Books Week – now in its 28th year – to answer this cause. Many books challenged by communities as being inappropriate for public dissemination or that were targeted for banning have survived because of BBW as it brings librarians, teachers, booksellers and the media to rally and create public opposition to such moves.
Much like the freedoms of USENET, intellectual freedom, while not an explicit freedom guaranteed by the United States First Amendment, sits at the heart of our democracy; it is the freedom to access information and express ideas—even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular. Banned Books Week stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.
March 18th, 2009
Education is a fundamental factor in an individual’s prosperity, happiness, contribution to society, and impact on the future. Usenet newsgroups recognizes the vital role teachers play in education and the betterment of our culture.
In support of educators, many Education Newsgroups follow some simple principles:
1. To allow educators to contribute to the content and community that exists on newsgroups
2. To utilize the Usenet to harness the collective intellect and wisdom of the worldwide teaching community
Many special topic education related newsgroups have been formed to contribute to education policy through research and debate on the current issues, structures and expectations at all levels of education.
The mission for many of these newsgroups is to define the changing forces that are shaping how people learn, work, and live in our contemporary world, and to demonstrate how individuals and educational institutions can apply new knowledge to thrive in the future. From College Newsgroups to Home Schooling Newsgroups, you can find a newsgroup dedicated to almost every grade and form of education.
Teachers are a great asset to society and deserve a great community to discuss, share and contribute, and thus, education newsgroups proceeded to create an online environment which places the needs of individual teachers at the forefront. With dedicated newsgroups on subjects such as English Newsgroups and Science Newsgroups by example demonstrate the variety of scholarly topics that these actively involved community newsgroups cover.
Teacher-created newsgroups are designed to help teachers find online resources more quickly and easily to find lesson plans, thematic units, teacher tips and discussion groups for teachers
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