Queens Library program aims to reduce fines, increase reading

This was reported on the NYLINE discussion list by JoAnne King of Queens Library:

Queens Library's "Read Away Your Fines" program helps young customers
restore borrowing privileges when their library accounts have been
frozen due to fines and fees. It's not amnesty; it's "Read Away Your

To learn more, go to

ABC News, where the story was covered this week.


Words of caution Parents, librarians often at odds over books for teens

The Kalamazoo Gazette has an article on the gritty topics explored in today's young-adult literature that have made those books more popular among teenagers and more controversial for parents. Some librarians say they pick teen books based on reviews and the awards the books have won, without worrying about parental objections -- a stance endorsed by the American Library Association.

Still, librarians try to address parental concerns in other ways.

How to Challenge a Book

Anonymous Patron writes "How to challenge a book: The Richmond (VA)Times Dispatch has a suprisingly long look at Henrico County schools policies on books. The Richmond, Hanover County and Chesterfield County school systems offer parents procedures to challenge books and other reading material. In most cases, school officials say, the challenges are handled at the school level before progressing to a school-system committee.Before challenging a work, they say, parents should read it entirely and try not to impose their own views on what children read. "The greatest gift they could give their child is to give them to the freedom to think," she said, "and the only way they can do that is to give them the freedom to read.""


Libraries attract latchkey kids with activities, programs

The Post and Courier (Charleston,SC) has a report on the main branch of the Charleston County Library and their "latchkey" children that flood in after school. Some do their homework, like Christina Brown, 12, who on a recent day sat on the steps to finish her French while waiting for her father, and Brittany Latten, also a sixth-grader, who researched a social studies project on a computer in the children's area.

Others, such as fifth-grade pals Louisa Hopkins and Sophie Greene, gather in a group outside to pass the time.

Coached on safety issues, the youngsters mainly keep to themselves and stay in groups. They know exactly what time to expect their rides home.

Libraries aren't day-care centers

The Fort Wayne News Sentinel Looks At the staffers at the Allen County Public Library who are expressing concerns for the safety of children left alone, sometimes even without a way to get home. Security staff recorded an estimated 81 incidences last year systemwide in which a child was left unattended for several hours or was at the library at closing time without a parent or a way home. John Hidy, security services manager for the library system, said, to his recollection, that represents a slight increase from previous years though he doesn't have any numbers before 2005.

The library branch is a great resource, but as with any public place, predators can hang out,he said. We're very fortunate that we haven't had any serious incidents.

Reinventing libraries in CA

Reinventing libraries is an article from the Sacramento Bee that takes a look at the innovations in school libraries that set stage for online research but also bring uncertainties. The Rio Linda Union School District is expanding their libraries, and they say it's a bold investment in libraries, particularly as library programs from other districts sometimes face the chopping block when budgets tighten.Rio Linda Union's library media centers may be steps ahead of other districts' programs, but Rio Linda is still wrestling with the debate familiar to other districts over how best to integrate online education with book learning.

25,000 books for the kids in NSW

Some Good News for the kids down in New South Wales. Truck loads of new books are to be delivered to NSW schools thanks to a joint fund-raising effort to put more than 25,000 books into their libraries.

About $190,000 has been raised for the Premier's Reading Challenge Books for Schools fund by donations from The Sun-Herald and the NSW Department of Education and Training.

Not a single shop sells only children's books

A Report AT Ha'aretz Daily says Egypt's children can buy the affordable old books distributed by the governmental publishing house Dar Al Maaref, written over 50 years ago. "But they are so out of date and written in a language children find difficult to understand," complained Abul Magd in an interview with the Egyptian monthly, "Egypt Today." Children's literature is a painful subject that comes up each time a book fair is held in Egypt - and is dropped just as quickly. Thus, for example, only one session will be devoted to the subject of children's literature and its distribution problems in Arab countries, among the dozens of other discussions that will be held in the context of the fair.

Knitting and Mancala Bring Kids to Libraries

Just in case you're finding that budget stretched too tight to pay for some Xbox 360s, here's a pair of news articles about children attending library events featuring classic games and knitting sessions. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Library 2.0.


Newberry, Caldecott Winners Announced by ALA

ALA Announces 2006 Newbery, Caldecott Winners
Here is a list of the winners of the 2006 John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals, along with other award winners and honor books, announced today at the 2006 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio.


Newbery Medal:
Criss Cross, by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins)

Newbery Honor Books:
Whittington, by Alan Armstrong, illustrated by S.D. Schindler (Random House)
Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Scholastic Nonfiction, an imprint of Scholastic)
Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
Show Way, by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott (G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Caldecott Medal:
The Hello, Goodbye Window, illustrated by Chris Raschka, written by Norton Juster (Michael di Capua Books, an imprint of Hyperion Books for Children)

Caldecott Honor Books:
Rosa, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Nikki Giovanni (Henry Holt and Company)
Zen Shorts, written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic Press)
Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride, written and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman (An Anne Schwartz Book from Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster)
Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, illustrated by Beckie Prange, written by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin Company)


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