Young Adults

Banned Book To Be Read at Show in New Jersey

Critics of a decision to pull a gay-themed book from two local libraries will stage a protest this weekend -- by reading aloud from the controversial work.

Sunday's free show at a Cinnaminson theater marks the South Jersey debut of a theater group that supports the book, "Revolutionary Voices" an anthology of first-person pieces by gay youths.

Brandon Monokian, a 23-year-old actor-director from Passaic County, formed the group after the book was ordered removed in May from the library at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly. That decision followed a citizen's complaint over the book's sexual content. "Revolutionary Voices," which won an award when it was published in 1990, also was removed this spring from the Burlington County Library.

"This book is a valuable resource to youths who might have questions about their lives, and the fact that a small group of people could have it banned is upsetting," said Monokian, a Lumberton native and a 2005 graduate of Rancocas Valley.

Here's an editorial from the South Brunswick Post in response to the book having been removed from both school and public libraries.

Evil Librarians, Oh My!

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson is a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek story that had me laughing out loud right from the beginning. It’s a fast paced book that creates a fascinating world, but doesn’t get bogged down with too many details. It’s similar to Harry Potter in that Alcatraz is an orphan who is unaware of his special power and the whole secret world he is from. The thing that sets it apart is that Alcatraz narrates the book as if he is writing it and often speaks directly to the reader—with hysterical results.

Read more: ALCATRAZ VERUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS by Brandon Sanderson | Daemon's Books http://www.daemonsbooks.com/2010/06/29/alcatraz-verus-the-evil-librarians-by-brandon-sanders...

15-yr-old Gay Book Blogger Has Something to Say to Librarians

An avid reader who co-authors a book review blog, The Naughty Book Kitties, 15-yr-old Brent wrote a guest post at Pinched Nerves that has received thousands of views since it was posted on June 15th and linked by The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan the same day.

The post, titled Gay teen blogger/book reviewer takes librarians to task over LGBT lit, describes Brent's disappointing encounters with librarians and libraries (and awareness that not all librarians are like those he's encountered), what he'd like to see in a well-rounded GLBTQ YA book collection (hint: not just coming-out narratives), and how crucial books with gay teen characters have been to his development as a proud gay teen.

Don't miss the good discussion in the comments left on the post--many by librarians and a few by YA authors, including Ellen Hopkins and Michael Grant.

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Free Library of Philadelphia Youth Empowerment Summit

Hundreds of eager high school students packed the halls of the Parkway
Central Library on May 19th for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s
11th annual Youth Empowerment Summit (YES). With keynote from
acclaimed poet and educator Sonia Sanchez, the all-day event included
workshops on college and career transition issues, an Information Fair
with participants representing colleges and employers, and of course
plenty of refreshments.

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Queens Teens Love Manga, but Their Passion Is Jeopardized by Funding Cuts

They come from all over the ethnic patchwork of this neighborhood of modest-to-fancy brick houses and square green lawns in the borough of Queens, New York: East Asian, South Asian, Caribbean, African-American, Jewish. (Only one speaks Japanese at home.) But at the library, they identify as otaku — Japanese slang for manga aficionados — and their divisions run purely along manga lines. Fans of shonen action manga challenge partisans of romantic shojo; experts debate the merits of series like Full Metal Alchemist, Death Note and Fruits Basket. Readers pool their knowledge to puzzle out magic spells, ninja moves and warrior codes that dominate the manga universe.

Manga clubs have coalesced in libraries in various Queens neighborhoods — Flushing, Jamaica, Long Island City — and the genre has colonized young-adult rooms in libraries around the country.

Now, librarians write books and journal articles to figure out how to tap into this powerful vein of interest that seizes early adolescents just at the age when they are most likely to drift away from libraries.

The manga mania, like so much else in the city during the recession, is threatened by budget cuts. Beginning in July, proposed cuts would reduce library staff by more than one-third and opening hours by nearly half, library officials say. Thirty-four community libraries would be open only two or three days a week. New York Times reports.

Teaching Children and Young Adults How to Choose Privacy

It's becoming ever more critical day by day; today marks the beginning of Choose Privacy Week (School Library Journal).

“The point of Choose Privacy is to spark a nationwide dialogue of what privacy means to us, and what the privacy laws are today in the digital space,” says Angela Maycock, assistant director for ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

For children, protecting those rights is even more critical as young students often aren’t sophisticated enough to grasp what is appropriate behavior on the Web. School librarians can play a crucial role in helping to steer children towards tools they can use to protect themselves, say experts.

“Certainly we know young people are intuitively and naturally interested in social networking and other tools online,” says Maycock. “And so school librarians play a really important and critical part in this effort as they’re a starting gate in learning how to access information, and do it responsibly and safely.”

Yet how school librarians approach these lessons can vary, especially depending on a student’s age. A kindergartener may have a different understanding of cookies than a junior in high school and so teaching tools often need to start with very rudimentary examples and behavior models.

Young Potter Fan Raises Money for Hull Library

HULL, MA - Calliope Pina Parker is a sixth-grader who reads as many as 10 books a week and favors Harry Potter. She dresses as Potter characters for Halloween, plays Potter trivia with friends, and regularly revisits the series - all seven books and 4,167 pages.

Calliope is also an avid user of libraries, borrowing from across the region and frequenting branches throughout the South Shore on her way to and from school, ballet, and karate practice. So it came as a particular blow when budget cuts in Hull not only sheared the local library’s funding and hours but also cost the town its state certification last month.

“Now people from Hull can’t go to any other library,’’ said Calliope, whose card is no longer welcome at many other certified libraries.

Wanting to do something about it, the 11-year-old organized an all-day reading of the J.K. Rowling book that started it all, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.’’ Yesterday’s readathon and bake sale, with wizardly cupcakes and “magic wand’’ frosted pretzel rods, raised awareness about the library’s circumstances and collected money for the nonprofit Friends of the Hull Public Library.

Library site a hot new social media hangout for teens

Library site a hot new social media hangout for teens
"Our goal is to draw students in so that they're comfortable hanging out in the library, and then get them to engage with the workshops and technology in the space," Neal said. "We're seeing more and more students who were hanging out, participating in workshops and on the social network. It's been great to see their interests develop."

Students enrolled in workshops may check out digital still cameras or Flip high-definition video cameras for a week at a time to work on special projects.

In Orlando PL, No Over 18s Allowed in YA Department

Blogger Sarah N. Fisk, an author of young adult novels, questions the Orlando Public Library's policy on keeping adults out of the YA section of the library.

She wrote a letter to the library expressing her unhappiness with the policy, and received this response in return.

What are your thoughts and what is your library's policy on this issue?

Stitching for Literacy

I've spent a good part of the last day at the first annual Bookmark Collector's Virtual Convention BMCVC, where one of the presenters was Jen Funk Weber, who has created a program called Needle and ThREAD, Stitching for Literacy.
shown here
-a two-sided bookmark based on the old chicken/frog joke-

From her website: "In an effort to promote both literacy and needlework, Funk & Weber Designs is designing bookmarks. A minimum of 10% of profits from sales of Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy bookmark patterns will be donated to libraries, schools, and/or literacy programs." Sounds like a wonderful program to be shared in libraries.

Check out her Bookmark Challenge Kit.

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