Children's minister raises doubts over age-banding

Authors campaigning against age ranging on children's books have found an unexpected ally in children's minister Ed Balls, who has raised doubts about the scheme and advised parents to seek expert guidance instead of relying on cover labels.

New Award: Roald Dahl Funny Prize for the Most Hilarious Children's Authors

Roald Dahl never won a children's book prize in his lifetime, but today he has gone one better, as the shortlists for a literary prize bearing his name are announced.

Founded by the children's laureate Michael Rosen, the Roald Dahl Funny prize celebrates honours the most hilarious children's authors. The inaugural winners will receive £2,500 - a slightly more serious prize than the Gloucester Old Spot pig handed over to winners of the Wodehouse prize for adult comic fiction.

Rosen founded the prize to boost the profile of humorous books as part of his campaign to put the fun back into children's reading. More from Guardian UK.

Brooklyn Public Library Throws Back to School Bash

Shout-out from the BPL's Nate Hill: On Monday, September first (Labor Day), the <a href="">Brooklyn Public Library </a> and <a href="">Habana Outpost Eco-Eatery </a> will together throw a Back to School Bash to prepare kids for the upcoming school year.

Another Reason To Get A Library Card

There are lots of reasons to have a valid and up to date library card, but here's one you might not have thought of...

In keeping with National Library Card Sign Up Month, the local independent bookstore La Vieille Maison des Livres announces a free book giveaway. Bring your new (dated September 2008) library card and receive a free children's book. This offer is open to all new library sign ups by children of Union County (PA) in grades 1-6.

Hopefully Mom & Dad will also shop around and find something to their liking at the bookshop and keep their dollars in the community.

Teach the Children Well and From an Early Age

It completely makes sense, but does it happen at school systems around the country? And do parents follow through?

On September first, the Arlington (TX) Public Library is launching a campaign to get library cards into the hands of the estimated 50,000 children who attend pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

Students who attend schools in the city limits will receive an application to take home to their parents. Once the application is signed, children can receive their card at the library or through the mail, Libraries Director Cary Siegfried said. More from the Star-Telegram.

Boy Borrows Mature Manga, Parents Complain

And here we go again.

An Oregon man is shocked, yes, shocked and apalled that his 12 year old son was allowed to check out adult oriented manga at the Multnomah County Library.

"If you have an adult section, you should enforce it," Rezabek said. "He's 12 years old. They say right on the cover of all these books: 'mature, ages 18 plus.'"

The library responded to his concerns that all books are available to everyone and that it's the responsibility of the parents to monitor what their child is reading.

Rezabek says he may consult an attorney on the matter. As we all know, suing is the answer to everything.

More from KPTV by way of Anime News Network by way of my friend David.

Bad Sewer Lines Closes Childrens Dept.

The Palm Beach Post reports that repairs on an improperly placed sewage line in a new 34,000-square-foot library will result in the closure of the Hagen Ranch Road Library's Childrens Department for several weeks.

More authors reject children's book age bands

More authors reject children's book age bands: The debate over moves to brand children's books with age bands has arisen once again, this time at the Edinburgh Book Festival, with authors saying that it is a marketing ploy that "oversteps the mark".

The Kids Open Dictionary Builder

I just wrote this lovely bit on Download Squad on <a href="">The Kids Open Dictionary Builder</a> project. Yes, my friends, how many things can you spot wrong with that name? I've pretty much said my piece in the article, but I'd love to know how you all feel. Let it out!

Radical Rebels: An Exhibition of Radical Children's Literature

Wow, an absolutely amazing exhibition from the Special Collections Research Center of the Syracuse University Library, highlighted in the current issue of the Librarians' Internet Index ( "The selection of titles features biographies of radical activists, as well as the Young World Books series issued by International Publishers, an organ of the Communist Party of the United States of America.

SSA's Popular Baby Names Site

The Social Security Administration hosts a website that lists popular baby names by year. You can also search for your name, or look at names by state, or decade. I discovered this site thanks to Gov Gab, a government blog.

The Debate Over Rating Video Games... In The UK

As gaming in libraries becomes more of a commonplace and less of a radical notion, librarians will be forced to deal with the same kinds of issues they encountered when libraries began to carry movies.

When libraries started stocking VHS cassettes, there was a huge debate over R rated movies. Should libraries stock such films even though many R rated movies garner Academy Awards and other film acclaims? Now the rating issue isn't over R, it's M for Mature. Should a library carry a game or not simply based off its rating? Grand Theft Auto IV is rated M but received accolades throughout the entire gaming world. How reliable is the rating? Do we check it out to minors? And the list goes on.

We've had our share of trouble with game ratings here in the States, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the good folks over in the United Kingdom are slogging through similar problems.

More from the Beeb.

Kids and Librarians Alike Go for Brainfuse

Since community schools have had to be very frugal due to budget cuts, tutoring, homework help and summer school are usually the first things to go.

But Nancy Schram, library division manager for the Thousand Oaks (CA) Library wrote a grant that allowed the library to purchase the Brainfuse program and students who enjoyed it through the school year are now utilizing it through the summer too.

Does it substitute for summer school? Perhaps it's more fun...more from the Ventura County Star.

Giving Away Used Books To a Good Home

David Mazor started his "Reader to Reader" program by trying to determine which town in which state was the poorest; then he called up the school librarian there and offered free books. This was eight years ago, and according to the Christian Science Monitor, the program based on the campus of Amherst College is still going strong and benefiting thousands of students across the U.S.

New Volume on the History of Children's Books

Scripps News reports: From the publication of the lesson-filled "New-England Primer" to the midnight bookstore parties for the latest "Harry Potter" volume, children's books have provided a valuable -- and fascinating -- window into American culture.

That's the premise of "Minders of Make-Believe" (Houghton Mifflin, $28), the newest book by children's-book historian Leonard S. Marcus. In this highly readable book aimed at adults, Marcus details the rise (and, often, the fall) of major U.S. children's-book publishers, as well as the key role played by librarians in the 20th century in determining what American children should read.

Dolly Parton Takes Her Imagination Library Program to the U.K.

Bromley Central Library staffer Ian Dodds has been personally picked by the one and only Dolly Parton as one of four children's literature selectors for the UK division of her Imagination Library.

The Bromley Times reports: Mr. Dodds said the star spoke very movingly to the audience in the O2 Arena in South-Easton London about her father, telling them he was the most intelligent man she knew but that he had never learnt to read.

He said: "She told us she decided when she had money that's what she wanted to do with it, make reading accessible for all. I am very passionate about that and have spent my whole career promoting the joys of reading. "I'm not sure people are aware of just how much she has done for literacy in the USA but her scheme is in 40 States and that's quite amazing" said Dodds.

How the Google generation thinks differently

Those Darn Kids Today: This year, researchers at University College London reported the results of a five-year study into the “Google Generation”. When they examined the behaviour of those logging on to the websites of journals, e-books and other sources of written information, they found widespread evidence of “skimming activity”. Users viewed no more than three pages before “bouncing out”.

Board lets parents decide if children should read 'The Giver'

The Nashua Telegraph - Nashua,NH Reports Elementary school teachers in Nashua must now notify parents if they are going to use an award-winning science-fiction book called "The Giver" in their classrooms.

The school board made the decision Monday night, by a 7-1 vote, after a two-hour hearing.

A review of the book's use in city schools was initiated after a parent, Jodi Gould, said her fourth-grade daughter was "very bothered and upset" by some of the book's themes of suicide and euthanasia.

a difficult time, a difficult task

At there is an entry titled "a difficult time, a difficult task"

It opens with: I work occasionally as a fill-in librarian at a local public library that serves a community of about 5,000 people. This is the community I am moving to next month, up the road from where I live now, and while technically it puts me out of the “rural” designation, it’s still pretty rural. Last week and the week before there was a horrible tragedy that rocked the whole community. Short form: a local girl Brooke Bennett, went missing and her body was discovered a few days ago. The most likely suspect at this point is an uncle who is on the state sex offender list.

First off let me say that I’m quoting from news stories only. Our official staff position is “no comment” and I’m sticking to that. Here is why this is a library issue.

Full entry here.

Rowling blow to plans to age-band books

Bad News For plans to make all children’s books carry age guidance were in tatters last night as JK Rowling came out in opposition to the move.

The support of the Edinburgh-based Harry Potter creator was welcomed by authors determined to sabotage moves to introduce age-banding on all children’s titles by the autumn.


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