Joint TSLAC/TEA Study of the Needs of Public School Libraries

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Survey Comments

Timestamp: 2/5/2008


Name: Debby Reiling


School: Hamlet &Wolflin Elementaries


Library: debby.reiling@amaisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: I checked TEA for all but one area for the section that asked about which agency would best govern the requirements/expectations of Texas School Libraries. I checked TEA for all but one section because shortcuts and modifications can be used on the local district level. However, state requirements are followed by ALL districts vs. leaving the fulfillment of requirements up to the local districts. Realistically, some of the sections would be better left to the local districts, but there needs to be state accountability by the district to TEA for the requirements and compliance.

Timestamp: 2/6/2008


Name: Jeanne Martinez


School:  


Library: jeannefm@email.com


Comments and Suggestions: The databases funding question is not an "either or" question. The collaboration (or combining) of funds from both agencies for TexShare databases seems to be a good solution (to me anyway). I hope that approach continues into the future.

Timestamp: 2/6/2008


Name: Linda G. Holt


School: Rock Prairie Elementary


Library: lholt@csisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: The state standards in place are very good. However, without adequate funding they cannot be enforced. And without enforcement, they are useless. Both TEA and the legislature share responsibility for this fault, and both should solve the problem of inequitable library services across the state. If the standards for libraries were pursued within school districts with as much vigor as the standards for the TAKS are, we would find that achievement in all areas would rise. But only enforcement and funding can make this happen.

Timestamp: 2/7/2008


Name: Denys Branham


School: Nikki Rowe High School, McAllen TX


Library: dbranham@cur.mcallen.isd.tenet.edu


Comments and Suggestions: Choosing eight items on the first page of the survey was difficult. Every item is important to our mission.

Timestamp: 2/7/2008


Name:  


School:  


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: Public Schools should help students to develop, at the primary level, a love for libraries through reading books and other interesting programs, i.e., programs with incentives and outcomes that pique their interest. Continuing through third grade, students should be guided through early stages of research skills integrating, library usage skills with core curriculum subject matter. This should continually be developed. In order for our students to become lifetime library users and successful in taking library resources to the limit. Both teacher and librarian must involve themselves in guiding our students through this process.

Timestamp: 2/7/2008


Name: Cheryle M. Greene


School: John F. Kennedy Learning Ctr


Library: cgreen@dallasisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: Texas elementary school libraries need regularly updated computers so that we can use the electronic databases that are needed for research and the life long learning skills for the 21st century. The District has not updated the computers in my library since we opened in 1996. I have had to purchase new computers with book fair money and going to classes to receive a computer. Yet we have had 2 computer lab updates

Timestamp: 2/7/2008


Name: Sandra Cappello


School: Hernandez Elementary in Dallas, TX.


Library: scappello@dallasisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: I think that elementary schools in Texas need at least a part time clerk. This is especially true in large urban districts where parent volunteers are scarce. Also, students in large urban areas are more likely to be at risk for failing TAKS. This means that teachers are unwilling to permit students out of class to help in the library to shelve books etc... It also means that librarians are burdened with shelving books themselves, thus not allowing ample time for planning and collaboration with teachers which is so important in school libraries.

Timestamp: 2/8/2008 10:07:00 AM


Name: Jo A Reed


School: Scroggins Elementary School


Library: jreed2@houstonisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: I was not able to complete the survey because I believe that all of the needs are extremely critical and I couldn't select eight that were more critical.

Timestamp: 2/11/2008


Name: Mary Faye Randolph


School: Paredes Middle School


Library: mrandolp@austinisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: Some (most) of the needs listed would be met if the existing school library standards were mandatory for schools to meet in order to be designated "acceptable", "recognized", or "exemplary". Schools and school districts didn't start pushing kids on standardized tests until the outcomes were used to rate schools. It will be the same with school libraries. It's not something we should be proud of as educators, but it's a simple fact of life.

Timestamp: 2/11/2008


Name: Rodgers Dalton


School: JFK H.S.


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: I hear wonderful things about the State Library, but school libraries are in schools, and schools interact with TEA. It makes no sense to align school libraries with TSL when school boards and administrators are aligned with TEA. As far as the difficulty of selecting 8 items on the survey - that's a common way to get you to set priorities. Yes, all of them are important (otherwise they wouldn't be on the list), but the information that's needed is which are the highest priority. Why don't you rank them all from 1- 17, and check the first 8. You could also send in your ranked list to the steering committee so they can see how you think about all of the issues. You're not contributing anything if you just don't answer.

Timestamp: 2/11/2008


Name:  


School:  


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: I have no earthly idea what you want me to comment about.

Timestamp: 2/11/2008


Name: Jeanne Martinez


School:  


Library: jeannefm@email.com


Comments and Suggestions: Another thought...this one regarding professional development. One important source for this are the regional service centers. Not all ESC's offer pro-dev for school librarians...while some have a pretty program of offerings. To get the ESC to respond to this need, school districts need to repeatedly notify their ESC that they are looking to them for that service. There are some pro-dev programs that the State library offers that serves school librarians...in limited areas of school library programming.

Timestamp: 2/12/2008


Name: Connie Garnett


School: Lamar High School


Library: cgarnett@lcisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: Libraries Should be more connected for sharing and borrowing. Why should a school district have 20 copies of one title. It is a waste of tax money. Libraries are the backbone, foundation if you will, of our society. School libraries should be open to parents as well as students. The technology should be cutting edge and they should be open for use after the school day is over.

Timestamp: 2/12/2008


Name: Susan Kees


School: Dulles Elementary


Library: susan.kees@fortbend.k12.tx.us


Comments and Suggestions: -I could not get questions 1.9-1.18 to work.

Timestamp: 2/12/2008


Name:  


School:  


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: It is difficult to keep up with the needs of my nonfiction collection with a limited budget. Our Board of Education did approve a stipend of $15 per student that did help a lot with this year's book order. The computers in our library facility are outdated and I am afraid that concerns always seem to work their way back to funding and the priorities of the district.

Timestamp: 2/12/2008


Name:  


School:  


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: SUSAN: 1.9 to 1.18 didn't work because you had checked 1.1 to 1.8, and therefore used up your eight votes. Once you check 8 boxes, the survey "grays" out the remaining choices.

Timestamp: 2/13/2008


Name: TASLA Member


School: North Texas


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: I strongly agree with the comment about aligning school libraries with TEA, and not TSLAC. I also can't see the logic of giving TSLAC the responsibility for school libraries if school boards and administrators are aligned with TEA. Look how awkward it is with that arrangements for library standards - TSLAC does all the work and our administrators say "Interesting, but they're not something TEA requires."

Timestamp: 2/18/2008


Name: SHIRLEY PATRICK


School: Canton JH


Library: slpatric@ednet10.net


Comments and Suggestions: The survey was very cumbersome to work with. There was a lot of scrolling down and back to read and mark. I would have been nick to be able to print it off and read it before you answered it.

Timestamp: 2/20/2008


Name: Dr. Rosenid Hernández-Badía


School: Skyline Center Media Center


Library: rbadia@dallasisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: I want to participate. Thanks,

Timestamp: 2/20/2008


Name: Dr. Rosenid Hernández-Badía


School: Skyline Center


Library: rbadia@dallasisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: Thank you for the opportunity.

Timestamp: 2/20/2008


Name: Wendy Allen


School: Elementary Librarian Ingleside ISD


Library: wendy.allen@iisd.us


Comments and Suggestions: I wish the state would develop a standard formula for all districts to use for library funding. One that the state would hold districts accountable for. With three campuses and three different principals, I find myself always having to justify why I need money to buy books. In my opinion, this should be a "no-brainer". In addition, the library budget is usually the first one the principal looks at to cut. Since the library standards are just "standards", no one really takes the document seriously. The standards should be law. I would also like to see that the state demands that each library has a certified librarian and an assistant. I am the librarian for three campuses. My assistants and I do a great job with the limited time I have split between the three. However, I could develop an awesome program that truly serves the needs of my students, teachers and parents. Thank you for the opportunity to submit my opinions. :)

Timestamp: 2/20/2008


Name: Wendy Allen


School: Elementary Librarian Ingleside ISD


Library: wendy.allen@iisd.us


Comments and Suggestions: I wish the state would develop a standard formula for all districts to use for library funding. One that the state would hold districts accountable for. With three campuses and three different principals, I find myself always having to justify why I need money to buy books. In my opinion, this should be a "no-brainer". In addition, the library budget is usually the first one the principal looks at to cut. Since the library standards are just "standards", no one really takes the document seriously. The standards should be law. I would also like to see that the state demands that each library has a certified librarian and an assistant. I am the librarian for three campuses. My assistants and I do a great job with the limited time I have split between the three. However, I could develop an awesome program that truly serves the needs of my students, teachers and parents. Thank you for the opportunity to submit my opinions. :)

Timestamp: 2/21/2008


Name: Catherine Rall


School:  


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: Our library is the heart of our school. It provides the opportunity to obtain books. The librarian supplies technical and resource support that couldn't be obtained in any other way. She is an encouragement to students to find and read books.

Timestamp: 2/22/2008


Name: Kerry Zavaleta


School: Memorial High School, McAllen


Library: kzavaleta@cur.mcallen.isd.tenet.edu


Comments and Suggestions: We have done many of these surveys and still there is no enforcement of the standards. Much talk, no action. I would like to blame NCLB, but the problem has existed for many years. Fortunately, school librarians, libraries, and library programs will continue to impact our students in many positive ways.

Timestamp: 2/23/2008


Name: Jeanne Martinez


School:  


Library: jeannefm@email.com


Comments and Suggestions: I mentioned this at the ETAC meeting yesterday and wanted to document the thought in this forum. I'd like for TEA to find a permanent source for the $2.5m designated for electronic resources to enhance the educational experience of all Texas students. Having permanent/guaranteed access to electronic resources for ALL Texas students helps to prepare ALL Texas students for academic life beyond K-12. We know that students will have access to databases through public libraries. Those students that go on to college life will surely have access to databases. What is not for sure is that K-12 students will have that same access/experience/education...unless they go to school in districts that value this type of resource and will pay for access regardless of state funding. The problem for me is that this will not happen across the board, for EVERY student unless the state/TEA provides at least minimum access to electronic resources. Maybe we can tie this to college prep efforts? I suggest that it come from funds designated for textbooks. Don't electronic resources serve as an updated source for textbook materials? They certainly are supplementary materials in many content areas. I don't know, but, I truly believe it's of critical importance that we find someway to make this access as "expected" as textbooks are in K-12 schools.

Timestamp: 2/25/2008


Name: Rita Baca


School: Pleasanton High School


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: Technology funding for computers in the library is essential. As students do research and search for information, a slow computer is a deterrent to their task. If we are to encourage, teach and support the TEKS and technology standards, we need to have computers that are compatible with usage. Districts have a difficult time providing adequate funding for new computers in the libraries. Our replacement cycle is way behind any standard - yet many students depend on the library as a place to have the proper 'tools' in order to be successful.

Timestamp: 2/26/2008


Name: Patricia Parliman


School: Tomball Elementary


Library: patriciaparliman@tomballisd.net


Comments and Suggestions: Our library is very well equipped with books for all our ages of students. there is a great variety. I am so pleased with the staff. They also do a great job of storytelling, research and enriching our students lives with literature.

Timestamp: 2/27/2008


Name: Sharon Williams


School: Shaw Elementary


Library: smwilliams@mesquiteisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: field

Timestamp: 2/27/2008


Name: Sharon Williams


School: Shaw Elementary


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: Our library is always busy with students doing research, checking out books, learning technology, or listening to stories being read. On the rare occasions when no students are in the library, planning and preparation is taking place for future lessons.

Timestamp: 2/27/2008


Name: C. Huggins


School: Centervile Jr./Sr. High School


Library: chuggins@centerville.k12.tx.us


Comments and Suggestions: I agree with many of the posts. How does a person determine the most critical aspects of a well-functioning library? All are important. However, I think that the key factor that everything else hinges on is the quality of the professional hired as librarian/media specialist. I believe that TEA must be the governing factor (upholding TSL standards) and should ensure that only highly qualified individuals hold positions in public school libraries. When that happens, then other decisions are more likely able to be competently handled at a local basis. All public school teachers answer to TEA, and since certified librarians are already part of that group, it makes sense for them to look to TEA for guidance and instruction.

Timestamp: 2/27/2008


Name:  


School:  


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: I will be glad to fill out the survey. Why do you need the comment page before the survey page appears?

Timestamp: 2/28/2008


Name:  


School:  


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: I agree with the comment that the library is the heart of the school. A well run and fully funded library can have an incredible impact upon the students, staff, and surrounding community members. Too many school libraries in Texas fail to meet the "acceptable" level defined in the TEA library standards. Something needs to be done to ensure that all of our school libraries meet the "acceptable" level. We need to offer all Texas children the opportunity to learn and grow as readers and lifelong learners by supplying all schools with excellent libraries to support that growth. I am an elementary school librarian and I enjoy my position as it allows me to share my love of books and learning with the children. Young children are eager to learn new things and get so excited about good stories and quality books. I am discouraged by the inability of many administrators and politicians to recognize what a positive impact a high quality library program could have upon our children. My position, like many other elementary school librarians in Texas, is primarily seen as an ancillary position at our school. I cannot collaborate with the teachers during their planning time because I am the one watching their children during their planning time. Our library is scheduled with one forty-five minute class after another throughout the school week. I have no open times to invite classes, students, or teachers to the library to carry out special projects, lessons, or research because our library is always scheduled to provide some teacher with his or her planning time. Our library is not open before or after school. Our computers are few and mostly outdated. I do receive some funds for books, but it is not enough to meet the needs of our school. I lack the funds to order the books our teachers and children want and need. The books in our collection are on average over twenty years old. I do not have an aide or other volunteers to help in the library. I know the children are developing a love of books and reading. I teach what skills I can in the time allotted. Still I think how much better our library could be and how much more our children could achieve if we had the funds and staffing. It is such a waste of potential learning. Hopefully the state will address the need to improve school libraries soon. Children who learn to read are better educated and better able to support themselves and improve their community. It is beneficial to everybody to improve our libraries.

Timestamp: 2/28/2008


Name:  


School:  


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: I think more people should be in the library to help the children. More and more tech is changing and sometimes they are short handed and some children leave without being helped.

Timestamp: 2/28/2008


Name: Nancy Turner


School: Hays CISD


Library: turnern@hayscisd.net


Comments and Suggestions: Providing the option to rank the importance of the items would provide a more accurate scale of importance, revealing a picture that would be much more useful. For example, I know that research continues to point to the importance of collaboration, yet I was not able to indicate that without eliminating the basic fundamental library program components such as materials, facilities, technology &library staffing. We know that there has been a big push to connect with the community, extend hours, etc, but how can we rank that as important without leaving out the very basic fundamental library components? Will this survey of program components really tell you what is critical, important, nice to have &unneeded? I agree with many of the comments on which organization should oversee the school library programs. If TEA is the identified organization, we should press for equitable support through positions that could provide area wide training session, support through consulting, program audits, etc at every Education Service Center. ESC 20 has proven how effective they can be, given adequate support. (managing the k-12 databases--great job!!) Let me know when it's time to testify! : )

Timestamp: 2/29/2008


Name: Susan Touchstone


School: Vidor High School


Library: stouch@vidorisd.org


Comments and Suggestions: Until TEA and the legislature are willing to make library standards LAW and fund these standards, many school library problems will remain. Also, school administrators must be educated about these standards and what librarians do.

Timestamp: 2/29/2008


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Comments and Suggestions: 5

Timestamp: 2/29/2008


Name: Member of TASL


School: Region 10


Library:  


Comments and Suggestions: I'm so sick of the whining of school librarians. The standards we have are not good enough. We have to make them "LAW." And if we ever got them in law, that would not be good enough. It'd have to be a capital crime punishable by death! And we'd have to enforce it if any AP even thought of asking us to sit in a lunchroom or watch a crosswalk. By Gosh - that would be so very disrespectful of our profession. Don't they know that we are more IMPORTANT than anyone, including the nurses or counselors. After all, they are just health and welfare professionals... And, of course we MUST have funding that is permanent and guaranteed. Let's overlook the fact that no public service has this absolute guarantee. We're worth it because we do such great work. Why, why, why won't "they" recognize this... With the pitiful "Oh, poor me" attitude of school librarians, I wonder why either the State Library or the Education Agency would want anything to do with us. OK, I've had my rant. I'm leaving for the weekend...

Timestamp: 3/20/2008


Name:  


School:  


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Comments and Suggestions: I think we all know the problems...but will we see any results of this survey? I hope it isn't just a wasted effort. Thank you.

Timestamp: 3/25/2008


Name: D. Kyral


School: Fred booth Elem. San Benito, Tx.


Library: dkyral@sbcisd.net


Comments and Suggestions: I think the standards are fine the way they are (as a guide). I would hope that all schools would try to meet a least the minimums. The only help that I think anyone could provide from the outside is a set minimum of the campus budget(%). Any other "enforcement " might cause more trouble than good. Every school has different needs. I do many jobs to earn my salary. Technology is one that librarians are taking the lead in and keeps me busy. I also repair audiovisual equipment, electronics (saves a lot of money and time for our campus), and GT enrichment. Oh yeah, library instruction, RIF, book fairs, TAKS testing, bus duty, special event projects and presentations, book purchasing and cat. That is the life of a librarian, and I like it (most of the time).

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Page last modified: March 2, 2011