Iowa Senate Votes down Proposal on Libraries and R-rated movies

From <b><a href="">Radio Iowa News</a></b>: "The Iowa Senate Wednesday voted down a proposal to require libraries which get state funds to restrict loaning R-rated movies to kids under 18-years old. Brad Zahn, a Republican from Urbandale, offered the amendment to an education appropriations bill. . . . The proposed ban was defeated by a vote of 31 to 17."

The Kid's Book on Pot

Well, if you thought the kid's book on plastic surgery was interesting, then perhaps you might want to dig on It's Just A Plant, a new kid's book about marijuana.

The controversial part? It's not anti-pot. Quite the opposite actually. It explains that pot can be a postiive thing, but that it's not for children.

Get Those Kids Outta My Library!

From across the pond comes this opinion piece from one Helen Martin, probably one of the stuffiest people I've ever read. Her problem is, at heart, a simple one. Apparently, they're letting kids come to the library. I mean, what next? Story time?

It seems to me quite unjust that well-behaved, adult library users who have already been subjected to the odious behaviour of little neds ruining their literary oasis, should now have to witness whole swathes of their library being handed over to the very people who should have been banned. "Oooh! You can't ban them!" squeal the do-gooders. "We need to engage them and turn their energies to productive use."

I'm guessing she probably isn't very pro library technology either:

In this new-style library, teenagers can chill out, play computer games, learn to make movies and relax in their own dedicated area. Naturally I have no objection to any of that, except that it should take place somewhere else – perhaps a community centre or a youth club.

The Kid's Book on Plastic Surgery

Children's books are notorious for being challenged by outraged parents because of their content. Harry Potter is anti-Christian, Heather Has Two Mommies is pro-gay, Huckleberry Finn is racist... and so on.

Ah, but here's something new you'll probably see on a list of challenged books someplace. My Beautiful Mommy is a kids guide to what happens when a mother decides that her tummy bulges, her breasts are too small, and her face isn't perfect. Written by a doctor specializing in plastic surgery and featuring a plastic surgeon sporting a Superman style build, it's not hard to see just a tad bit of bias here.

More from Newsweek.

Make Room on the Children's Shelves

More on kids books...announcement from a first-time author, Snoop Dogg, yes, the Snoop Man, that he is writing a series of books.

Rapper Snoop Dogg, - real name Calvin Broadus - is reportedly in the process of creating the "Where's The Cheese" series of urban books.

"Where's The Cheese," which will be illustrated by his cousin Joe Cool, will help city youngsters cope with the problems that can arise in their environment. The series will focus on a character called Lil Mouse and her constant quest for cheese.

Books for Kids

As a kid, borrowing books from a library is wonderful; owning your own books is even better.

The Buffalo News has a story about a successful program in Western NY called Books for Kids (the program extends throughout the state).

Columnist Margaret Sullivan writes: "Two of the best possible gifts for children, I’m convinced, are the love of reading and the presence of books in the home. This is true now, in the Internet Age, every bit as much as it was in the 1970s when I got to know “Hamlet” and “Macbeth” [the author was given a four-volume Collected Works of Shakespeare as a teenager].

In fact, it may be more valuable now than ever, since reading develops a child’s attention span, balancing the effects of the fast-flickering digital world that 21st century children increasingly live in. Seeing my own children — both teenagers now — reading for pleasure has been one of the great satisfactions of motherhood for me. That’s because I know it has helped them, making them better students, more informed citizens and more interesting people. "

Trend Alert! Shower baby with books

I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for the latest trends... A new shower trend, the book shower, aims to stock the new baby's bookcase. The theme is catching on with modern moms, many of whom receive several showers and get plenty of the nuts and bolts of babydom. If only I was a mom, or modern.

Bush Budget Would Eliminate RIF

And who doesn't love RIF? Since 1966, it's been a dynamic program providing books to underprivileged children and encouraging them to read; now its very existence is threatened.

According to Kevin Howell of Publishers Weekly, RIF's CEO and president Carol Rasco tells us that if Bush’s budget is approved, 4.6 million children will not receive 16 million free books in 2009. RIF has been funded by Congress and six Administrations without interruption since 1975. It is the oldest and largest children’s and family nonprofit literacy organization in the U.S.

Here's the website to take action on this issue: RIF Support.


Safer Children in a Digital World: the report of the Byron Review

On 6th September 2007, the Prime Minister asked Dr. Tanya Byron to conduct an independent review looking at the risks to children from exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games. Her Review is about the needs of children and young people. It is about preserving their right to take the risks that form an inherent part of their development by enabling them to play video games and surf the net in a safe and informed way.

By listening to children and young people and putting them at the heart of this Review - and by replacing emotion with evidence - she hopes she has provided some very necessary focus to what is a very necessary debate. PDF versions of the Full Report, Annexes and supporting documentation are available.

Family Friendly Libraries Gives Award

The press release found in this post was suggested in whole. After searching I could not find something that I could link to out there.

Library Plans Online Story Time

I know that there are quite a few parents who can't bring kids to story time simply because they're at work when the library holds story time.

Perhaps others might make use of an idea being tried by the Gadsen Public Library. They're planning to make story time into a webcast available online and also on public television.

More from The Gadsden Times.

Magical Pictures

At first, it may seem strange to direct library folks to a set of fantasy pictures featuring odd scientists, wizards, and strange beasts. Yet not only are they beautiful images, all of them are set within libraries just as fantastic as the characters in them.

Children's websites

I put out the call last week on PubYac for children's staff who work on content for library websites for children. I wanted to talk with other people who face the same challenges I do, perhaps exchanging ideas, tips, and tricks.
I got 3 responses. The listserv is for Youth and Children's librarians and I find it hard to believe that there are only 4 of us. I've decided I'll have to expand my call. So I've started blogging here. Probably I'll post something on Web4Lib. We are probably a fairly small group. But that is all the more reason to talk.

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Choose Your Own Adventure Map

Australian Toddlers given free book in literacy bid

Good News For Some Youngsters In Australia: Victorian toddlers will be given a free book when they turn two in an effort to improve childhood literacy.

The $2.1 million Young Readers' Program, funded by the State Government, will give parents visiting Victoria's maternal and child health centres a book for their toddler. A literacy pack with a rhyme booklet and information on libraries will also be given to parents of four-month-old babies.

Experts say the initiative will raise basic education

A Celebration of the Work of William Steig

The Jewish Museum in New York City is presently hosting an exhibit of the works of artist William Steig “From The New Yorker to Shrek: The Art of William Steig”.

Many of best known works were his illustrations for children's books but amazingly, his career writing children’s books did not begin until he was 60 years old. He died at 95 in 2003, working up until the end. More from today's New York Times.

Kids, Books, and Photos

Gather a kid or two, design some cover art, and take a photo.

Oh yes, and you'll want to create a small, but incredibly cool, optical illusion.

And you wind up with some fun and lively photographs reminding us how books can change and enhance the lives of children.

Blind kids in the UK 'lose out over books'

The BBC Reports Blind and partially-sighted children face long delays in getting the school books they need, a charity has warned.
The RNIB said few books were published in braille or large print, meaning pupils with sight loss were missing out both educationally and socially.

Forbidden Children’s Books Under The Spotlight in NZ

Out of Reach – the forbidden bookshelf is a new thought-provoking event organised by Wellington City Libraries and the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA). A week-long series of readings, displays and a celebrity debate will focus on the theme of banned, restricted or sanitised children's books. Out of Reach runs from 23 February to 1 March.

Show your doodle on Google

Google announces the <a href="">Doodle 4 Google</a> competition (really? a competition?) for U.S. students in grades K-12 design a doodle for the Google homepage. Now, get this: "So gather those art supplies. All it takes to enter is a drawing <strong>on paper</strong> using your favorite medium (crayons, markers, colored pencils, whatever!) -- and encourage your kids to enrich us all with their imaginative vision. We look forward to seeing the creative doodles that are submitted!


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