Children

Tracking Down the Forgotten Book Title

Christian Science Monitor's guest blogger Rebekah Denn is trying to remember a book she read as a child, hoping to pass it on to her young son who is laid up with a broken arm.

It was a faraway book memory, where I could almost see the book’s jacket – was it plain, with an outline of a baseball player at bat? – but couldn’t remember the title, author, or character’s name.

I called in the big guns, asking “Book Lust” author and Seattle uber-librarian Nancy Pearl if the book rang any bells in her encyclopedic mental library. She referred me to a completely delightful resource, an online site, Loganberry Books where readers try to match books with titles based on similarly vague, fragmented memories. And then, before I could even enter my posting there, I got a reply from Laurie Amster-Burton, a Seattle Public Schools librarian who loves a surprising number of the same children’s books I do. She didn’t know this one herself, and the inquiries she sent to librarian friends came up blank, but she managed to sleuth it out online. She sent me a message yesterday that the book is “There Are Two Kinds of Terrible,” by Peggy Mann, published in 1977. The protagonist’s name is Robbie.

The Family that Reads Together…. (aka What’s in it for ME?)

We often talk about the benefits of reading aloud to our children -- but we usually focus on the benefits to the children. Today, let’s reflect on the ways reading aloud to our children benefits ourselves as parents, our families and our relationships with each other.

Read-Aloud Idol
I’m no ham and I rarely attempt read-aloud theatrics, accents or voices, but boy-oh-boy do I love the rush I get when I have my young audience shrieking with laughter, swooning, raving and begging for more. Sure, all I’m doing is reading the printed word, the real genius is the author, but I’m the main act at our house and I bask in the glow of my appreciative and enthusiastic audience. Childhood is short -- I treasure the precious moments when reading aloud makes me a star in the eyes of my children.

Cuddle Time -- Read More

One Country (New Zealand), One Story (a Kiwi Tale)

Cross-legged and hushed, 146 children waited for South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop to sit in his throne-like chair and read to them.

The pupils from Hawera and Mokoia Primary schools and other guests had gathered at Hawera Library to hear the mayor read to them as part of New Zealand's Biggest Storytime at Hawera Library.

At 10.30am yesterday special guests in libraries across the country simultaneously read Itiiti's Gift, written by Kiwi author Melanie Drewery.

Librarian Kaye Lally told the eager listeners they were taking part in something really special.

"There are lots of children listening to the same story all over New Zealand." Story about storytime during New Zealand Library Week from Stuff NZ.

Summer's Coming to a Close @ Your Library

Florida youth have not spent the entire summer at the seaside; in fact, many of them have been participating in summer reading programs!

From the Foster Folly News, an update on the Summer Reading Program at the Chipley Library. Childrens librarian Zedra Hawkins said 18 preschoolers, 114 elementary school students, 68 students from the middle schools, and 31 high school students participated in this year's summer reading program. More than 536 book reviews were entered for drawings for prizes.

Zoning Board tries to stop children's room addition to library in wealthy area of NY

Featured on boing boing: Rich NY town tries to shut down children's library because poor kids might use it

The boing boing comments are interesting too!

Lebanese Librarians Publish Book to Encourage Children to Read

BEIRUT, LEBANON: The Monnot Public Library just celebrated its first anniversary; a year dedicated to the promotion of reading among children. A textbook was released for the occasion, intended for librarians and teachers, “99 Recipes to Spice Up the Taste of Reading” (in Arabic I presume?).

The book aims at sharing a librarian’s experience with students. “I quickly realized that the sole presence of books wasn’t enough to get the pupils to read. The librarian plays a crucial role, [they are] the indispensable link between books and children,” explained Nawal Traboulsi, one of the authors.

But at first, it was difficult for her to find her place in the school’s hierarchy. “Librarians don’t have a defined role. They are neither teachers nor parents. Their relation with children is fundamentally different.”

Budget Cuts Bite

Another story on budget cuts, this time in Macon County NC; (scroll halfway down...)

Fontana Regional Library made a request from the town’s non-profit funding pool in the amount of $12,000 for the library system’s Reading Rover Bookmobile service. Since 1999, the Reading Rover Bookmobile has developed pre-literacy skills by bringing monthly story time programs and materials to toddlers and preschoolers at child care locations.

Librarian Karen Wallace said this is the first time funds have been requested from the town specifically for the Reading Rover. The program costs around $475 per day to run 200 days per year. Historically, the program has been funded through grants which have disappeared, she said.

Alderman Bob Scott said that reading is very important and the future of Franklin is the children. “I think it is an excellent program,” he said of the Reading Rover, adding that many countries in war have little educational opportunities for their young people. Scott asked if the Reading Rover could take the place of ice cream trucks and cruise the neighborhoods during the summer months, offering reading materials to the youth of Franklin.

Do you think the Reading Rover could replace the tempting melody of the ice cream truck? Interesting idea...not sure it's plausible.

Why My Kids Do Not Participate in Summer Reading Programs

Treatise from a homeschooling mother on why her children DO NOT participate in summer reading programs at libraries.

Sara McGrath states, "My children have participated in various bookstore and library events, but I have never enrolled them in a summer reading program. For the same reasons that I don't endorse cash rewards for grades, I don't support incentive programs for reading."

Guess her kids aren't going to see some poor librarian dye her hair green or get buried in jello.

'Early Literacy on the Go' Kits Help Win Award for Bernardsville (NJ) Library

Bernardsville Public Library was recognized at the State House in Trenton by Senate Resolution as a winner of the New Jersey State Library's contest on Best Practices in Early Childhood Literacy. Youth Services Librarian Michaele Casey and Library Director Karen Brodsky were on hand to receive the honor and a check for $500. At the ceremony, the library was cited for its "dedication and commitment to the early reader experiences of preschool children in its community." Only four New Jersey libraries were so honored.

Early Literacy on the Go Kits, developed by Ms. Casey and her staff, were key to winning the award. The kits, in colorful boxes, contain books, toys, sound recordings and information on how to practice early literacy. The acronym SHELLS (Start Helping Early Literacy Learners Succeed) was created to help direct parents, teachers and caregivers to the importance of early literacy. My Central Jersey has the story.

Books, Libraries, Kids

Stories about K-12 libraries that are cutting budgets may be old news to librarians, but Mark Bauerlein, a blogger for The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Brainstorm" blog, has greater concerns. He's annoyed that schools at all levels now spend $8 for technology and only $5 for books. But he says that ultimately the budget cuts for these libraries won't be the real death of reading. According to Bauerlein, "Kids just don’t read books as much as they used to. The diversion menu is larger, with lots of screen tools and toys to fill their leisure hours. Books are cheaper, and free when checked out of the library, and they have more educational value than screen hours, but no matter. Kids like technology, and printed pages appear oh so bland and boring." You just can't beat technology. Read more at:
http://chronicle.com/review/brainstorm/bauerlein/books-libraries-kids

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