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A new junior-high-school textbook on Nebraska's history is being rewritten to include fairer treatment of blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians.

The book, Nebraska Studies, was published last fall by the Nebraska State Department of Education. Because it was the first new account of the state's history to be published in more than 10 years, it was eagerly anticipated by history teachers.

"Nebraska schools have needed a book written at the 8th-grade level and this was it," said Ann Irvine, educational equity administrator for the Lincoln Public Schools.

But social-studies teachers in Lincoln complained that the book made almost no mention of blacks or Hispanics and provided a "white ethnocentric" view of Indians. The teachers commented that the book was "hurtful to kids" and said, "'We can't use this,"' according to Ms. Irvine.

Following an evaluation of the book by members of Lincoln's Multicultural Community Advisory Committee, the committee, with the state education department's consent, contracted several authors representing ethnic groups to rewrite sections of the book, according Ms. Irvine. The district will pay for the authors' work, she said.

"Our philosophy is that we will seek to prepare all students to be citizens committed to recognizing the dignity and worth of human beings, regardless of wealth and economic status, and affirming the differences and similarities of race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sex, age, mental, physical, and linguistic abilities," Ms. Irvine said.

The revised version of Nebraska Studies will be published in January.

The American Association of School Libraries and Encyclopaedia Britannica have established an awards program to recognize excellence and innovation in the media programs of school libraries.

The National School Library Program of the Year awards will recognize public and private schools and districts. Three prizes of $2,500 each will be presented each year, beginning in 1984, for programs in individual schools or districts with under 15,000 students, in medium-sized schools or districts with 15,000 to 49,000 students, and in large school districts of 50,000 or more students, according to the library association.

"At a time when the nation's educational community is facing many complex problems, it is vital that school-library media centers--a far cry from the old school libraries we knew as children--receive recognition for the significant impact they have today on the teaching and learning of students," said Judith King, president of the association.

Applications, which are due by Dec. 1, 1983, are available from the American Association of School Libraries, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

A consultant who specializes in motivating people brings "the power of positive thinking" to children in a new series of books based on the premise that positive thinking improves their learning abilities. Art Fettig, a professional speaker in Battle Creek, Mich., has written The Three Robots and Remembering to help parents and teachers teach preschool- to 3rd-grade children that they can overcome problems, control feelings, and achieve what they want to if they put their minds to it.

"If we could get back to the children and teach them positive living concepts, ... we could start people on the right track," Mr. Fettig said. He added that the books are as much for parents as they are for children, stressing the importance of "teach[ing] the parents so that [they will be] models for their children in the way they act."

Inspired by The Little Engine That Could, the two books will be joined by a third, The Three Robots and the Sand Storm, to be published in November. A parent/teacher activity book will be finished early next year, Mr. Fettig said.

Information about the books, which are published by Mr. Fettig's organization, Growth Unlimited Inc., and which are also available on casette tapes, can be obtained by writing Mr. Fettig at 31 East Avenue South, Battle Creek, Mich. 49017, or by calling (616) 965-2229.

The first issue of a magazine about the bicentennial of the United States Constitution--to be celebrated Sept. 17, 1987--was published last month. Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the magazine will attempt to "forge a link between scholars of the Constitution and the people who will be planning programs for the public and for the schools in observance of this historical occasion," said Sheilah Mann, executive editor.

The monthly magazine, this Constitution: A Bicentennial Chronicle, is published by Project '87 of the American Historical Association and the American Political Science Association.

Each issue will contain three sections. The first includes articles written by Constitutional specialists. The September issue has articles on common questions about the Constitution, 18th-century American Constitutionalism, and the centennial of the historic document.

The second part will highlight components of the Constitution and offer explanations of their context and analyses of their importance. The September issue features a look at the preamble.

The final section will provide resources for those planning bicentennial programs, including information on projects by colleges, museums, libraries, state and national archives, government agencies, and private civic and educational groups throughout the country. It will also have information on funding sources.

For more information about this Constitution, write to Ms. Mann at 1527 New Hampshire Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

In light of the boom in information technology, the Graduate School of Library and Information Science of the University of California at Los Angeles and the California State Library will feature "Libraries and the Information Economy of California" as the theme of their March 1984 joint conference.

Representatives of the library community and the information industry and state policymakers are invited to attend the conference to learn more about the development of information as an economic resource. During the meeting, six specialists will present papers on information policy.

"Studies show that more than 50 percent of the workforce today is engaged in information-related activities," said Robert M. Hayes, dean of the graduate school. "Productivity is directly related to investment in information resources and services."

Funds for the conference are being provided by a $75,000 grant from the California State Library. The Center for the Study of Evaluation at ucla's Graduate School of Education is a cosponsor.--ab

Vol. 03, Issue 08

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