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.

The Library at Pooh Corner

The story goes back 35 years. In the 1980s, I had a gruesome copy-editing job at E. P. Dutton, the American publishers of the “Winnie-the-Pooh” books. One of my colleagues was a crusty septuagenarian named Elliot Graham, whose title was director of publicity emeritus. Elliot was the shepherd of the original Pooh stuffed animals — Pooh, Tigger, Kanga, Piglet and Eeyore — which were kept in a glass case in the Dutton lobby on 2 Park Avenue.

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Better Together...Cats and Christmas Trees

If you're craving a dose of've got it in the bag! New from Hachette/Little Brown is Vicki Myron's sequel about the beloved library feline "Dewey's Christmas at the Library". From the publisher: The holiday season is in full swing in Spencer (IA) -- the lights are twinkling, the wreaths are hung, and Christmas bells are ringing. Inside the library, Dewey longs to be part of the holiday fun and after a series of silly misadventures, Dewey finds a way to add his own special touch to his beloved Christmas tree -- and the results are Dew-rific! A wonderful way to celebrate the season with everyone's favorite library cat. On the other hand, if you would enjoy a NON-library cat's Christmas tree investigation (from Simon's Cat)...check this out: And then there's the cat named Shadow over at Erie Looking Productions: Hiding Kitty #1

New Kids Books for Connecticut Library

County Times GOSHEN, CT—The Goshen Public Library has received a grant from the Libri Foundation of Eugene, Ore., a nonprofit organization that donates new children’s books to small public libraries across the country through its Books to Children program.

The Libri Foundation has been serving public libraries for 18 years, and supports the concept that children who learn to enjoy reading at an early age continue to read throughout their lives, according to a press release from the library.

Library Director Barker Steinmayer said the foundation contacted the library because it had received a grant three years ago, and libraries are eligible for the grants every three years.

“When I approached the [Friends of the Library] to see if they were going to match the grant, they were excited about doing that, and we have a number of excellent nonfiction and fiction books that have been circulating,” said Ms. Barker Steinmayer.

According to the release, the library received 83 books worth more than $1,400. The library’s friends group contributed $300.

Don't Cut Our School Librarians!

Article from by Carole Ashbridge, who has been a school librarian for 35 years and is active in state and national library associations.

Super Public/Middle School Librarian

Super-librarian' figures out secret to getting kids to read

Librarian Cynthia Dobrez uses e-readers, bibliotherapy, and her own intuition in her middle school library in Michigan.

Beautiful New Brooklyn School Library, With No Librarian

From the NYTimes: The shelves were stocked with books. The maple benches were grouped like shin-high honeycombs across the beeswax-colored floor. The Book Hive at P.S. 9 and M.S. 571’s joint facility on Underhill Avenue seemed to have everything. Everything, that is, except a librarian.

After years of planning, The Book Hive opened on Nov. 12, only to promptly shut its doors. The library, which services two Prospect Heights schools sharing the same building, will remain inactive until the schools hire a librarian, a daunting task in the age of slashed budgets and shared services.

“That’s what is so surprising about this whole thing,” said parent Karen Fein, 42. “I mean they were willing to get a half a million dollars to construct this library and outfit it beautifully, and now we don’t have a librarian.”

The Book Hive was constructed with $500,000 in city funding obtained through the offices of Borough President Marty Markowitz and Councilwoman Letitia James. The staff went to work, converting a neglected temporary classroom back into a library.

New Stonewall Award for Childrens Books

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.


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