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With the proliferation of big-budget superhero movies, it’s easy to forget about the pulpy comic books on which the characters are based. But it seems many people have: sales of comics are way down. As fanboys have become fanmen, publishers are desperate to find new — and younger — readers.
So this month, DC Comics — the home of Superman, Batman, and dozens of others — is overhauling its entire lineup of superheroes. They’re called the “New 52.” All the old classic storylines have been thrown out the window. Clark Kent and Lois Lane? No longer married. And that’s just the tip of the Kryptonite.
“I think they’re just throwing a lot of stuff at the wall to see what sticks,” says Tom Adams, owner of Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn.
He tells Kurt Andersen that while the reboot has boosted sales considerably, he still worries about the long term trends. “I think [DC] should be writing comics that are a little more geared toward the smart 12 year old,” Adams says, “as opposed to the smart 20-45 year old who’s reading [the same] comics that he’s been reading for years.”
This was a piece on Studio 360 on NPR
From The Millions, an excellent article by Steve Himmer:
One recent morning, my almost four year old daughter started crying out of the blue. I asked her what was wrong, and she wailed, “I don’t have a library card!” So with a proud paternal bibliophile’s heart swollen in my chest, I strapped her into her car seat and we set off for the library in search of a library card and — at her request — in search of Tintin books like those I’d told her were my favorite stories at the library when I was young.
We went first to the branch library in our end of town, a small, round building with walls almost entirely of glass. All those windows, and the books behind them, make it look pretty inviting, and we parked our car in the lot and I held my daughter’s hand as she skipped to the door, bubbling over with excitement. Unfortunately, it was closed; I’d known municipal budget cuts had reduced the hours of all library branches, but I’d thought that only meant it was closed on Fridays. Instead, it meant this branch — and all others, apart from the main library downtown — were open only a couple of hours four afternoons through the week. No mornings, no evenings, no weekends. -- Read More
Researchers suspect that bright outdoor light helps children’s developing eyes maintain the correct distance between the lens and the retina — which keeps vision in focus. Dim indoor lighting doesn’t seem to provide the same kind of feedback. As a result, when children spend too many hours inside, their eyes fail to grow correctly and the distance between the lens and retina becomes too long, causing far-away objects to look blurry.
This leads us to a recommendation that may satisfy tiger and soccer moms alike: if your child is going to stick his nose in a book this summer, get him to do it outdoors.
I’m not sure what angers me more about the recent article by Meghan Gurdon in the Wall Street Journal about the coarseness, violence, and overall lack of quality in young adult books today: her insistence that any books that give teens a look at reality is bad for them or can even promote destructive and infectious behavior, or the list of “Books We Can Recommend for Young Adult Readers” on the side of article, broken down into books for boys and girls.
Full article: http://www.closedstacks.com/?p=3336
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) recently recognized author Lauren Myracle, school librarian Dee Ann Venuto, and 19-year-old college student Jordan Allen for fighting against censorship in schools.
NCAC's annual "Celebration of Free Speech and Its Defenders" ceremony in New York City brought together more than 150 authors, publishers, and First Amendment advocates to celebrate the work of the 36-year-old organization.
Venuto, a media specialist at the Rancocoas Valley High School in Mount Holly, NJ, was honored for her efforts to keep a list of gay-themed books on her library shelves. The titles Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology (Alyson, 2000) edited by Amy Sonnie.
Venuto followed her district's materials review policy, which outlines the steps that must be taken when library materials or other instructional material are questioned, when a local grassroots organization called the 9/12 Group challenged the books, drawing media attention.
Venuto says she's grateful to NCAC for spreading the word about the challenge and for the professional and personal support they gave her.
Librarian Cynthia Dobrez uses e-readers, bibliotherapy, and her own intuition in her middle school library in Michigan.
The American Library Association on Monday announced it has added another prize to its Stonewall Book Awards.
The Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature Award will recognize an English-language children's book “of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience.”
“Children's books regarding the LGBT experience are critical tools in teaching tolerance, acceptance and the importance of diversity,” Roberta Stevens, president of ALA, said in a statement.
“Our nation is one of diverse cultures and lifestyles and it is important for parents, educators and librarians to have access to quality children's books that represent a spectrum of cultures,” she added.
In making its announcement, the group cited figures by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that show 14 million children are being raised by a gay or lesbian parent and the latest Census data which estimates that more than 56 percent of gay households have at least one child under the age of 18.
Additional coverage in the NYTimes.
CALGARY, ALBERTA - An "inappropriate" relationship between a junior high school librarian and a student continued even after court-imposed orders forbade contact, police alleged Thursday.
The librarian, identified by QMI Agency sources as Agnes Kooy, reported to be in her late 40s, was charged this summer following a complaint brought forth by the parents of a 15-year-old boy who police say had entered into the "ongoing" relationship that began earlier in the school year.
Ted Flitton, a spokesman for the Calgary Board of Education, would not reveal the school in question, citing privacy legislation.
"What I can tell you is when Calgary Police Service told us in July that they had laid charges, we took immediate steps to have her removed from the school and all schools, and with a view to her not returning to work," Flitton said.
Police said the alleged relationship, consensual but illegal due to the boy's age, was brought to their attention by the family as well as the school.
"After remedies weren't satisfied through some sort of intervention with the parents and the school, they went to the police," Staff Sgt. Mark Hatchette told CTV.
Lamar (TX) High School’s library is in the midst of an overhaul that is shifting around more than the books. The project is redefining how the study space will be used and how students will access the information resources it holds.
More specifically, the conversion under way means fewer physical books on the shelves (and fewer shelves), but more equipment on site for tapping into the books, periodicals and research tools available in electronic formats.
As explained by Principal James McSwain, the project includes:
Laptop computers (100 now and hopefully 100 more to follow) that can be checked out for use only in the new center and accessible only by a student ID code that also connects to the new Lamar portal, “Sky Drive.”
Longer hours of operation, (6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) to increase access to the new computer equipment and online information for students who might not have other study venues or research tools.
Space for peer tutoring and teacher-led tutorials, and
A small coffee bar that also serves healthy snacks for studying. Students in the culinary division of Lamar’s magnet program in business management will run the new amenity.