Children

Children's Author Has A Librarian to Thank

Michael Buckley is the author of the popular children's books series "Sisters Grimm" and "N.E.R.D.S."

As he described his diverse life's journey at the eighth James V. Brown Library Author Gala in Williamsport PA, he finished with a serious message about the importance of the school librarian's impact on his impressionable young mind and how libraries are the "secret to America."

"It was like a lightning bolt," he said, of the inspirational spark provided to him by the librarian at the school in Akron, Ohio. He called her the single most important impetus behind his searching out other books, using his inherent comedic skills and eventually becoming a children's book author.

"She changed me overnight," he said, describing himself as a reluctant reader as a child who was force fed books such as "The Yearling" and "Little House on the Prairie," which were noteworthy works, but didn't help to invigorate his page-turning.

The librarian gave him a copy of "The Mouse and the Motorcycle: by Beverly Cleary, and it was anything but grueling.

The book was funny, full of adventure and most importantly - it was pointless.

"I thought, 'maybe there's another book like this,' " he said. He said he literally became a reader overnight.

Story from the Sun Gazette.

Skokie Librarian Shares Experience as Newbery Judge

Holly Jin was honored to be chosen.

Part of Jin's job is to pick out picture books for the Skokie (IL) Library and to read to children so it was assumed that she would be ideal for Caldecott. Even the person who nominated her told the American Library Association Jin would be great for the Caldecott Committee.

"When I got the e-mail that said, 'Congratulations, you're on the ballot,' it didn't say Caldecott, it said Newbery," Jin recounted about her surprise. Once that surprise wore off, however, she contemplated the possibility of being on Newbery even if more work would be involved.

"I don't get paid to do this, it's all volunteer, and I still have to work at my job full-time" she recently told gifted fifth-grade students at Skokie's Fairview South Elementary School. "But I thought to myself that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Fifteen people get to change a person's life."

We Want Our Librarian!

LIBRARY chiefs have been labelled “meanies” by children over plans to move a popular librarian in a London suburb from leading a reading group to a basement sorting job.

Youngsters gathered outside the Heath Library in Keats Grove yesterday (Wednesday) to demand that Paula Rundell is kept on in the same role.

It is understood Ms Rundell, who has barely missed a single Rhyme Time reading morning in 11 years, was told by library bosses last week she would be moved to a role at Swiss Cottage Library where she will be tasked with sorting through stock. The move comes into effect next week.

The switch is part of changes that will see around two-thirds of library staff across the borough being moved to different libraries. Report from the Camden News Journal.

Sometimes It Only Takes a Dollar

The first time proved to be the charm for the Scottsboro Alabama Public Library. With the help of librarian Karen Chambers in Woodville, Scottsboro Public Library Director Nancy Gregory applied for a grant.
“I wouldn’t even had known about it if it wasn’t for Karen,” said Gregory.

Gregory’s application paid off as she learned earlier this week the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded a $3,000 summer reading grant to the Scottsboro Public Library.

“We are very excited,” said Gregory. “It’s just amazing that they are sending us that much money.”

Dollar General Chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling said the summer reading grant aims to help libraries and nonprofit organizations with the implementation or expansion of summer reading programs.

“The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is inspired by the work Scottsboro Public Library is doing to help children continue their education and improve their literacy skills during the summer,” said Dreiling.

Story from The Daily Sentinel.

Laura Numeroff (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...) Talks About Her First Library Card

In “Readers Reflect” author Numeroff reflects on receiving her first library card (photo of the author below).

I remember getting my first library card, not believing that there were so many books to choose from that I could bring home , read tall of them, bring them back and then takc out more again! Unfortunately, this was in the 60s and the library I went to only let you take out six at a time! I very quickly became a voracious. Some of my favorites were anything by Beverly Cleary, Lois Lenski, and, Marguerite Henry. But, the two books that made the biggest impact were STUART LITTLE, and, ELOISE!

The stories excited me so much that I tried to write my own book. The first one was about a horse called Trixie who went shopping in Macy’s. When I was 9, I KNEW I was going to be a children’s book writer, but didn’t think about paying rent! After I graduated from Pratt Insitute in Brooklyn, NY, I went to San Francisco for two weeks and stayed for seven years! In that time, I registered with a temp agency, got MediCal, got fired from a myriad of part time jobs, and, managed to write and illustrate nine books. I got $500,oo for my first advance!

Rose Zertuche-Treviño, Champion of Latino Children's Literature

Rose Zertuche-Treviño, a librarian who devoted her career to helping improve the lives of children, died on April 30 in Houston, TX. She was 58 reports SLJ.

Treviño spent her last seven years as the youth services coordinator for the Houston Public Library, a system that serves one of the biggest Spanish-speaking populations in the country. She retired in October 2009 and moved back to San Antonio, where she was born and raised.

“How fitting that Rose died on April 30th, El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/ Book Day),” says her friend and colleague Oralia Garza de Cortes, a Latino children's literature consultant. “She loved her work and devoted her life to making sure all children had access to great literature and particularly to programs where children could enjoy and connect to the literature.”

The granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, Treviño grew up poor. Her father worked in a cotton field as a child and went on to hold two jobs to support his family, while his wife worked four jobs. Treviño’s first language was Spanish and only learned to speak English when she entered kindergarten. It was also that year that her mother first took her to a public library—and the five-year-old decided on her career path. “Not everyone figures out what they want to be at such a young age,” says her son Steven Treviño, 33. “And she got to do more than she thought she would ever do.”

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.

Prize Winning Photo Reflects The Joy of Reading

From The Item, BISHOPVILLE SC - For the third time in four years, the Lee County Public Library has won top honors in the State Library's Annual Photo Contest: Day in the Life of South Carolina Libraries.

Librarian Elizabeth Snyder-Powell's photo of Head Librarian Dawn Ellen reading to 18-month-old T. J. Brown captured the award for the best overall photo.

The library also won the Best Humorous Photo Award with Snyder-Powell's photo of a youngster asleep in the library.

Californians Want Their School Libraries OPEN

WALNUT CREEK — Librarians from Walnut Creek, Concord, Castro Valley and San Jose joined members of the California PTA today at Foothill Middle School to denounce education cuts that are shutting school libraries.

Because of cuts in the Mt. Diablo district, most middle schools libraries are open two days a week and closed three days. But Foothill parents raised about $17,000 to keep their librarian on-site for a third day and to pay for a library aide who staffs the facility from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the other two days.

California ranks 51st in the nation in its ratio of librarians to students, with one school librarian per 5,124 students compared to the national average of one to 916 students, according to a 2006-07 report from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Read more at education writer Theresa Harrington's On Assignment blog at www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment.

Trouble for RIF

Changes in the way the federal government plans to allocate money to increase and improve literacy pose a severe threat to one of the country’s best-known nonprofit groups, Reading Is Fundamental.

Known commonly as RIF, the organization, which provides free books to needy children and has been promoted in memorable public service announcements by celebrities like Carol Burnett and Shaquille O’Neal, stands to lose all of its federal financing, which accounts for roughly 75 percent of its annual revenues.

“We are looking at having to completely reinvent ourselves,” said Carol Rasco, chief executive of RIF, which has received an annual grant from the Department of Education for 34 years.

Story from the New York Times.

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