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Catholic School Board Could Turn Libraries Into “Tech Zones”

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Windsor-Essex Catholic School BoardLast month the Catholic School Board in Windsor, Ont., decided to eliminate all of its libraries and librarians. Paul Picard, the director of the school board, recently changed that decision, saying the libraries just need to be “retooled.”

They wanted to get rid of the libraries to save money, since the school board in Windsor was hit hard by the recession.

The goal was to make libraries less book-centered, instead putting the books into classrooms throughout the school and making the library a tech zone. The library would become a ‘learning commons area’ and would not need to be a quiet place for reading. The libraries would be a place for research and digital literacy.

Many students affected by the decision to get rid of the libraries were angry and they protested. Michael Lajoie, a 15-year-old student, made a Facebook grouWindsor-Essex Catholic School Board logop, trying to get other students to stand up for what they believe is right.

“At first kids weren’t taking it so seriously, but when they started to realize that librarians were getting laid off, especially at their own schools, they actually took a lot of interest in it,” says Lajoie.

In and around Windsor there were also student protests at several high schools on May 16 as students left class and walked up and down the street asking to have their libraries back.

The school board is having meetings to solve the problem and to come up with other ways to manage their money problems.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Why do you agree/disagree with the decision to replace libraries with tech zones? Would you be in favour of turning the library at your school into a tech zone?

Reading Prompt
How have computers changed the way people use libraries?

Primary
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Junior & Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature:Hyphens ( – )
A hyphen is a dash that can be used in many different ways. Sometimes writers use hyphens to connect a group of words that describe a person, place, or thing (noun). For example, in the phrase “15 years old,” there are no hyphens. But, when these words describe a noun, a hyphen is placed between each word, i.e., “a 15-year-old student.”

Place hyphens where they belong in the sentences below.

1. The hard boiled egg is ready to eat.

2. If she has a 28 year old car, she probably should get a new one.

3. The red hot Canucks could win the Stanley Cup!

4. The Flintstones were a stone age family.