Submitted by birdie on August 25, 2010 - 11:05am
Iowa City, IA — The hold shelves Tuesday at the Iowa City Public Library were peppered with the pale blue spine of "Mockingjay," the third and supposedly final installment in "The Hunger Games" blockbuster trilogy of young-adult novels by Suzanne Collins. Katniss Everdeen, 16, is the protagonist in a dystopian future version of North America known as Panem. It's a harsh dictatorship, where children from 12 blighted districts battle each other to the death in an annual reality-TV game show, to the delight of the pampered citizens.
I spent part of my summer reading the first two installments in the series, 2008's "The Hunger Games" and last year's "Catching Fire."
I think I'm OK revealing that, because I've learned I'm hardly alone among allegedly mature readers.
Jason Paulios, 32, the librarian in the young adults' corner here in the Iowa City library, tallied a "mind-boggling" 93 holds for "Mockingjay," released Tuesday.
Glen Rock, NJ - on Monday the library hosted its first-ever sleepover party, in conjunction with the release of "Mockingjay," Suzanne Collins' newest book in the "Hunger Games" series.
Nancy Pearl's twitter feed: Mockingjay: triumphant finale: painfully sad,many deaths,hard decisions;same courageous Katniss. Made me want to reread 1&2 in the series.
Submitted by birdie on August 23, 2010 - 9:12am
UPDATE According to the Houston Observer, the scheduled festival has BEEN CANCELLED in its entirely, due to the number of participants who have chosen not to attend.
The Teen Lit Fest in Humble is a huge deal for renowned writers of young adult fiction and the kids they're writing for. Which is why it's a huge deal that half of the authors have dropped out of the January 2011 festival.
It all started when an Humble ISD librarian complained to some influential parents about New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, who was scheduled to appear at the festival. (Hopkins writes about cheery subjects like drug addiction, suicide, and religious intolerance.) Houston Press reports.
Those parents then allegedly bent the ear of Superintendent Guy Sconzo, who ordered another librarian to uninvite Hopkins -- even though she had already appeared at two of the festivals Humble-area high schools, without causing any of the teenagers to slit their wrists, become pregnant, or turn to prostitution to subsidize chronic substance-abuse problems.
When fellow writer and invitee Pete Hautman heard about it, he decided to drop out of the festival, and, according to his blog three more writers have dropped out -- Melissa de la Cruz, Tara Lynn Childs and Matt de la Pena.
Submitted by birdie on August 20, 2010 - 9:54am
Critics of a decision to pull a gay-themed book from two local libraries will stage a protest this weekend -- by reading aloud from the controversial work.
Sunday's free show at a Cinnaminson theater marks the South Jersey debut of a theater group that supports the book, "Revolutionary Voices" an anthology of first-person pieces by gay youths.
Brandon Monokian, a 23-year-old actor-director from Passaic County, formed the group after the book was ordered removed in May from the library at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly. That decision followed a citizen's complaint over the book's sexual content. "Revolutionary Voices," which won an award when it was published in 1990, also was removed this spring from the Burlington County Library.
"This book is a valuable resource to youths who might have questions about their lives, and the fact that a small group of people could have it banned is upsetting," said Monokian, a Lumberton native and a 2005 graduate of Rancocas Valley.
Here's an editorial from the South Brunswick Post in response to the book having been removed from both school and public libraries.
Submitted by birdie on June 29, 2010 - 4:11pm
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson is a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek story that had me laughing out loud right from the beginning. It’s a fast paced book that creates a fascinating world, but doesn’t get bogged down with too many details. It’s similar to Harry Potter in that Alcatraz is an orphan who is unaware of his special power and the whole secret world he is from. The thing that sets it apart is that Alcatraz narrates the book as if he is writing it and often speaks directly to the reader—with hysterical results.
Read more: ALCATRAZ VERUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS by Brandon Sanderson | Daemon's Books http://www.daemonsbooks.com/2010/06/29/alcatraz-verus-the-evil-librarians-by-brandon-sanders...
Submitted by shelfcheck on June 18, 2010 - 9:28pm
An avid reader who co-authors a book review blog, The Naughty Book Kitties, 15-yr-old Brent wrote a guest post at Pinched Nerves that has received thousands of views since it was posted on June 15th and linked by The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan the same day.
The post, titled Gay teen blogger/book reviewer takes librarians to task over LGBT lit, describes Brent's disappointing encounters with librarians and libraries (and awareness that not all librarians are like those he's encountered), what he'd like to see in a well-rounded GLBTQ YA book collection (hint: not just coming-out narratives), and how crucial books with gay teen characters have been to his development as a proud gay teen.
Don't miss the good discussion in the comments left on the post--many by librarians and a few by YA authors, including Ellen Hopkins and Michael Grant.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on June 2, 2010 - 10:22am
Hundreds of eager high school students packed the halls of the Parkway
Central Library on May 19th for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s
11th annual Youth Empowerment Summit (YES). With keynote from
acclaimed poet and educator Sonia Sanchez, the all-day event included
workshops on college and career transition issues, an Information Fair
with participants representing colleges and employers, and of course
plenty of refreshments.
The annual event is planned by the teens it attracts, and previous summits have featured “hip-hop intellectual” Dr.
Submitted by birdie on May 17, 2010 - 10:57am
They come from all over the ethnic patchwork of this neighborhood of modest-to-fancy brick houses and square green lawns in the borough of Queens, New York: East Asian, South Asian, Caribbean, African-American, Jewish. (Only one speaks Japanese at home.) But at the library, they identify as otaku — Japanese slang for manga aficionados — and their divisions run purely along manga lines. Fans of shonen action manga challenge partisans of romantic shojo; experts debate the merits of series like Full Metal Alchemist, Death Note and Fruits Basket. Readers pool their knowledge to puzzle out magic spells, ninja moves and warrior codes that dominate the manga universe.
Manga clubs have coalesced in libraries in various Queens neighborhoods — Flushing, Jamaica, Long Island City — and the genre has colonized young-adult rooms in libraries around the country.
Now, librarians write books and journal articles to figure out how to tap into this powerful vein of interest that seizes early adolescents just at the age when they are most likely to drift away from libraries.
The manga mania, like so much else in the city during the recession, is threatened by budget cuts. Beginning in July, proposed cuts would reduce library staff by more than one-third and opening hours by nearly half, library officials say. Thirty-four community libraries would be open only two or three days a week. New York Times reports.
Submitted by birdie on May 3, 2010 - 11:02am
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.
Submitted by birdie on March 8, 2010 - 10:43am
HULL, MA - Calliope Pina Parker is a sixth-grader who reads as many as 10 books a week and favors Harry Potter. She dresses as Potter characters for Halloween, plays Potter trivia with friends, and regularly revisits the series - all seven books and 4,167 pages.
Calliope is also an avid user of libraries, borrowing from across the region and frequenting branches throughout the South Shore on her way to and from school, ballet, and karate practice. So it came as a particular blow when budget cuts in Hull not only sheared the local library’s funding and hours but also cost the town its state certification last month.
“Now people from Hull can’t go to any other library,’’ said Calliope, whose card is no longer welcome at many other certified libraries.
Wanting to do something about it, the 11-year-old organized an all-day reading of the J.K. Rowling book that started it all, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.’’ Yesterday’s readathon and bake sale, with wizardly cupcakes and “magic wand’’ frosted pretzel rods, raised awareness about the library’s circumstances and collected money for the nonprofit Friends of the Hull Public Library.
Submitted by Blake on March 8, 2010 - 9:57am
Library site a hot new social media hangout for teens
"Our goal is to draw students in so that they're comfortable hanging out in the library, and then get them to engage with the workshops and technology in the space," Neal said. "We're seeing more and more students who were hanging out, participating in workshops and on the social network. It's been great to see their interests develop."
Students enrolled in workshops may check out digital still cameras or Flip high-definition video cameras for a week at a time to work on special projects.
Submitted by birdie on March 2, 2010 - 12:18pm
Blogger Sarah N. Fisk, an author of young adult novels, questions the Orlando Public Library's policy on keeping adults out of the YA section of the library.
She wrote a letter to the library expressing her unhappiness with the policy, and received this response in return.
What are your thoughts and what is your library's policy on this issue?
Submitted by birdie on February 20, 2010 - 11:17pm
I've spent a good part of the last day at the first annual Bookmark Collector's Virtual Convention BMCVC, where one of the presenters was Jen Funk Weber, who has created a program called Needle and ThREAD, Stitching for Literacy.
-a two-sided bookmark based on the old chicken/frog joke-
From her website: "In an effort to promote both literacy and needlework, Funk & Weber Designs is designing bookmarks. A minimum of 10% of profits from sales of Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy bookmark patterns will be donated to libraries, schools, and/or literacy programs." Sounds like a wonderful program to be shared in libraries.
Check out her Bookmark Challenge Kit.
Submitted by birdie on February 18, 2010 - 1:41pm
A citizen of the Fond du Lac School District has added more books to a list she wants banned from the schools.
The school district has scheduled a reconsideration hearing for 6:30 p.m. today at Fond du Lac High School to hear public comment on Ann Wentworth's request to have the book "One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies" by Sonya Sones taken off the shelves of Fond du Lac school libraries.
The popular young adult book is being challenged by Wentworth as inappropriate for students of middle school age. In addition, Wentworth is asking the district to review the following six library books at Theisen Middle School:
# "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares.
# "The Second Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Girls in Pants "The Third Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Get Well Soon" by Julie Halpern.
# "What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya Sones.
Several interested persons have signed up to speak at Thursday's hearing. The district reconsideration committee will be asked to begin scheduling dates to review the other six books in question. Each book will be considered individually, according to the Fond du Lac School District.
Fond du Lac Reporter has the story.
Submitted by birdie on February 14, 2010 - 8:35pm
After a Room for Debate discussion last week, “Do School Libraries Need Books?” the comments from readers included some first-hand views from students. This follow-up column includes excerpts of their observations on how studying has changed, how they use libraries (if at all) and how to use the space differently.
Here's one, from Ari, "Get Me Away From the Screen":
I am an 18 year-old student and I definitely spend large amounts of time on my computer. I don’t watch a ton of TV, but I’ll freely plead guilty to charges of texting, IMing, facebooking and reading the newspaper online (hello, NYTimes.com!). However, at the end of the day, I always pick up my flashlight and book and read for a few minutes before falling asleep. Reading remains one of the few activities that gives me a real break from being in front of a screen, be it computer or TV or iPod or cell phone or camera or … the list goes on. If my best source of novels or textbooks or required reading was routed through an electronic device, my entire life would literally be spent in front of a screen! Is that really what we as a nation want to have happen?
Student commentary from the New York Times.
Submitted by birdie on February 12, 2010 - 9:22am
NYTimes VAIL, Ariz. — Students endure hundreds of hours on yellow buses each year getting to and from school in this desert exurb of Tucson, and stir-crazy teenagers break the monotony by teasing, texting, flirting, shouting, climbing (over seats) and sometimes punching (seats or seatmates).
On buses equipped with Wi-Fi in Vail, Ariz., officials say more homework is getting done, and there's less rowdy behavior. Armando Lagunas finds the bus a place for quiet pursuits, even when he isn't online.
But on this chilly morning, as bus No. 92 rolls down a mountain highway just before dawn, high school students are quiet, typing on laptops. Morning routines have been like this since the fall, when school officials mounted a mobile Internet router to bus No. 92’s sheet-metal frame, enabling students to surf the Web. The students call it the Internet Bus, and what began as a high-tech experiment has had an old-fashioned — and unexpected — result. Wi-Fi access has transformed what was often a boisterous bus ride into a rolling study hall, and behavioral problems have virtually disappeared.
Up Next: Wi-fi access from the bookmobile?
Submitted by birdie on February 9, 2010 - 7:42am
What do inner-city teens want and need in a public library? Boston.com's Lawrence Harmon talks about how teens are using the new Mattapan Branch Library and how he thinks they will remember it when they look back at their childhood.
Not a single teen at the Mattapan library so much as touched a book on the shelves during a recent hour-long visit. Granted it’s the digital age, and several kids were using the computers constructively for homework projects. But there is still something off here: a city builds a $16 million library, designs it in such a brilliant way that kids come streaming through the door, yet can’t staff it adequately to introduce the young people to the full range of library materials.
Less is known in the world of library science about how best to serve teenagers than adults or young children. The teens in Mattapan appeared happy just to spend unstructured time with friends in the comfortable, well-lit space. But how does that experience differ from a clubhouse or community center? Teen librarians make the difference, provided they have adequate time to do their jobs.
The library, a $16.7 million modern building with an airy mixture of wood, glass, and attention-grabbing color, opened last year, despite a budget crisis that has imperiled many city projects, programs, and services.
Submitted by birdie on January 23, 2010 - 12:54pm
Interesting discussion in The Scotsman about how today's children are no longer reading classic novels such as Wind in the Willows, Moby Dick and Oliver Twist. The bestseller lists are dominated by Harry Potter, The Twilight Series and other recent titles.
"Sometimes it can be a little daunting to be given a 600-page classic and told it is a classic if you are a young kid, so maybe it's about how you present books and talk about them."
To get hung up on whether children are reading "the classics", though, is to miss the point, says Ali Bowden, director of Edinburgh's Unesco City of Literature Trust .
"I think the most important thing is that kids read, rather than being overly prescriptive on what they read. "I think the classic novels are still being taught in schools and I suspect most kids are being given contemporary books rather than classics at home. A lot of kids are reading a whole range of books, including classics.
"Nurturing a passion for reading is really important, rather than giving kids a really strict book list."
Submitted by Blake on November 24, 2009 - 6:46am
“Bitch.” “Pimp.” “Candy Licker.” “Snitch.” A few of the more lurid titles offered up by Mission High School students when asked what they were reading outside of class. The librarian explained that such books gain popularity through word-of-mouth. While some pegged as street lit or ghetto fiction are read mostly by African-American females, darker subject matters resonate across ethnic and gender lines.
Submitted by Bearkat on November 12, 2009 - 6:04pm
I function as an "embedded" librarian of sorts as part of my instructional duties, and last week I filled in for a class session. Well, to make a long story short, the assigned classroom was not the regular classroom. The class began at 12:30 and only three students had showed up, I was beginning to panic at 12:40 - was I going to have to do an abbreviated instruction session, reschedule the session for a later date in an already tight semester schedule, etc. Anyway, a few more students came in during the next few minutes but at 12:45 12+ students walked in as a group!
Submitted by Blake on October 26, 2009 - 6:37am
Two Nicholasville librarians are fired for not allowing a kid check out a book. The women say the book contains pornographic material inappropriate for children.
The two women say they were fired last month when they wouldn't let a young girl check out a book from The League of Extraordinary Gentleman series. Now, both women say they're less concerned with their jobs and more concerned with keeping material like this out of children's hands.