Children

Closing School Libraries

It's all part of a whole. Cut libraries and librarians at schools, and children will be less comfortable utilizing their local public libraries. Cut libraries and librarians in the public library system, and children and parents will be less likely to use and support their school and community libraries. And so on and so on....

Here's a letter to the editor from a public librarian in Ontario, Canada that sums up the issues:

Closing a school library is not just an issue for schools. Library programs at schools foster a love of reading, and develop information, research literacy and critical thinking skills. They allow kids to learn about their world, and to explore and develop their own interests. The lack of these skills among students will have a big impact on both the public and academic library, as well as on society.

A major Canadian study from People for Education and Queen’s University has found that having a school library improves test scores, and schools with teacher librarians have more positive attitudes toward reading; while schools with no professional librarian have lower reading scores. As school libraries and librarians become fewer, the impact on public libraries and society as a whole will grow.

We will be raising a generation of children who don’t read, leading to a generation of adults who won’t read, and who won’t know how to find information or critically evaluate the information that they do find.

A Censorship Issue


Well, after almost 15 years of having the store, it has happened. A customer asked me to remove a book from my shelves.

This has never happened before. We’ve had people move books they thought were objectionable, but never has someone looked me in the eye and said, “Are you the owner? I want you to remove this book because it makes fun of childhood sexual abuse.” I apologized that she found the book objectionable and gave her a refund.

The book in question is My First Dictionary: Corrupting Young Minds OneWord at a Time by Ross Horsley. Does this book cross the line of good taste? Sometimes, sure it does. But honestly, so do lots of humor books. Parts of the book are laugh-out-loud funny, and parts of it made me cringe. I try to warn customers that sometimes it’s a little bleak. There are some letters about abandonment and parental drinking that seem particularly cruel.

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No Love for "Lovingly Alice" as School District Removes Book

A Paradise Valley, AZ mother is upset that her daughter was subjected to Lovingly Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

"If you looked on the cover, it's just a very young cute girl on the cover," Lockhart said. "My (incoming) second-grader can pick this book up and think, 'This is a cute book.' There needs to be some sort of warning label."

Officials with the Paradise Valley Unified School District have pulled the book from their shelves.

More from AZCentral.

Oak Harbor mom upset over book

From q13fox:

An Oak Harbor mom is upset with a book her fifth-grade daughter brought home from school.

It's called "What's the Big Secret" and is available at many public schools.

"I can't even stand that she had already read this without me even knowing," said Jennifer Swedeoson.

Swedeoson had planned to have "the birds and the bees" talk with her 10-year-old daughter Kaleigh when she reached middle school. But that timeline changed when Kaleigh brought the book home from school yesterday.

"I start flipping through, this is all right, but then it starts talking more about sex and I get into it and it's completely too graphic for her."

"What's the Big Secret" shows how boys and girls are physically different, offers a lesson in reproduction and talks about "different types of touching."

"This is one of the first that definitely caught my eye, talking about masturbation when you are 10 years old," Swedeoson said. "What do you need to read that for? I'm not so upset about the book itself. I think they should be sending home permission slips, making sure parents are aware that the book is there.”

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How a kid's essay contest on "The Future Library" showed me that maybe we AREN'T doomed after all

The Library of the Future
"What does the future of the library look like? It depends on you."
She's right. I couldn't have said it better myself. It doesn't matter if she's talking to kids, adults, patrons, politicians, or librarians. We all need to keep working, keep advocating, keep changing, keep growing. We need to work together to bring libraries into the future.

Teaching the Next Generation

Following up on our story about the injunction against carrying guns in Lansing (MI) Libraries:

The co-founders of Michigan Open Carry Inc. a gun-rights group currently challenging a Capital Area District Library policy that bans guns from the library, have written a children's book titled, "My Parents Open Carry" published by White Feather Press of Hamilton.

Brian Jeffs, a state geologist from Bath Township, and Nathan Nephew, a software developer from DeWitt, told columnist John Schneider the book's message is: "You can't rely on others to protect you. You have a natural right to self-defense. The cops do the best they can, but can't be there all the time."

Fundraiser to Pay Children's Fines

In Spokane, WA a group of civic and literary minded folks are planning a fundraiser to pay off the fines and fees on children's library cards so they can use them again. The local libraries block cards from use if they carry a balance of $10 or more. By paying off these fines, the group raises money for the library and opens up blocked cards so kids can once again borrow books.

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Writer of Redwall Series, Dies at 71

From the NYT

Brian Jacques, Writer of Redwall Series, Dies at 71
By MARGALIT FOX
Published: February 9, 2011

He was a longshoreman and a long-haul trucker; a merchant mariner and a railway fireman; a boxer, a bus driver and a British bobby. But it wasn’t until he became a milkman that Brian Jacques found his métier.......Read more here

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Calling All Filmmakers

Attention children's book fans and amateur filmmakers: Can you make a video that compresses the story of a Newbery Award-winning book into 90 seconds or less?

Author James Kennedy and the New York Public Library are co-sponsoring the 90-Second Newbery Video Contest, which will culminate in "a star-studded 90-Second Newbery Film Festival at the New York Public Library in Fall of 2011," Kennedy wrote on his website. For an entertaining sample, check out the abbreviated version of Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time on the website.

Newbery & Caldecott Medals Awarded at ALA Midwinter

From the LA Times/ Jacket Copy Blog: The American Library Assn. presented its top honors for books for children and young adults at a ceremony in San Diego Monday morning. The highest award, the Newbery Medal, is awarded each year to the most distinguished book for children; it went to "Moon Over Manifest" by Clare Vanderpool. The Caldecott Medal, the top award for illustration, went to the book "A Sick Day for Amos McGee," illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead.

The ALA award medallions, which can be found on the covers of later editions of the winning books, not only signify excellence, they also can mean a longer commercial life for the books, as well as assure they find a place in libraries. Finalists also receive the medallions.

The hour-long ceremony, which began at 7:45 a.m., included the announcement of dozens of awards and finalists before an audience attending the ALA's midwinter conference. The roster of winners was too long to invite the authors, illustrators or publishers to the podium to accept their awards.

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