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Release: March 12, 1999

UI hosts conference for school library media specialists

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- More than 275 school library media specialists from all over Iowa will gather at the University of Iowa March 18-20 for the annual Iowa Educational Media Association conference. The conference, titled, "Blueprint for Learning: Setting New Standards for Library Media Programs" will give librarians the opportunity to learn about the best programs statewide as well as set goals for the future.

One of the featured speakers will be Gerald Bracey, a nationally known policy analyst, researcher and author who is known for separating public education myth from reality in his lectures and writings. His periodic "Bracey Report on the Condition of Education" has drawn the attention of national media. His article "Why Can't They Be Like We Were?" now known as "The First Bracey Report," drew the wrath of the Bush administration for Bracey's refutation of statements made in "A Nation at Risk," a national education report commissioned by President Bush.

Bracey has been a research psychologist for the Educational Testing Service, associate director of the Institute for Child Study at Indiana University-Bloomington, and the director of research, evaluation and testing for the Virginia Department of Education. Bracey emphasizes he does not believe schools are perfect. "There are real problems," he says, "but there needs to be a fuller discussion of those problems, and we need to get past the misconceptions.

Also speaking at the conference will be: Ann Weeks, director of the Chicago Public Schools library media program; Karen Hesse, 1999 Newbery award winning author of "Out of the Dust"; Deborah Hopkinson, author of "Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and A Band of Angels"; and Barbara Jansen, library media specialist from Round Rock Texas, author of articles on teaching information literacy.

UI faculty and staff who will present sessions at the conference include: Jim Duncan, Hardin Health Sciences Library; David Eichmann, assistant professor of library and information science; Jean Donham, assistant professor of library and information science; and Carol Hughes, University Libraries.

For further information, contact Jean Donham, 335-5712.