For the benefit of future generations...
It's a Book...by Lane Smith, Macmillan Children's. The author writes about it here:
Unlike Grandpa (me), today's kids are whip smart and tech savvy. I know eventually everything will be digital and kids won't even know from a regular old book book and that's fine. Truthfully? The reason I made the book? Certainly not to "throw down the gauntlet" as one critic has stated. Naw, I just thought digital vs. traditional made for a funny premise. No heavy message, I'm only in it for the laffs.
From the Chicago Tribune: It was a warm and sunny day outside, but Xavier Parker, 10, was deep into a computer game at Thurgood Marshall Public Library when his father walked in and told the boy he was about to go to a store.
"Stay in here," Xavier's father, Jimmy Giles, said, leaving the boy in charge of his 6- and 8-year-old brothers. "Don't go anywhere until I come back and get you."
Giles is a single father and he doesn't like his boys roaming their Englewood neighborhood or playing outside because it's not safe, he said. So nearly every day the boys walk to the library and sometimes stay there for hours. "They love it here," he said. "They don't want to leave."
Many of these children spend the day at the library without the guidance of a parent, said Susan Neuman, professor of educational studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who is writing a book on public libraries and education. As a result, some librarians have developed informal regimens and systems for managing the daily influx of unsupervised kids. More from The Chicago Tribune.
Putting Their Braille Skills To The Test
Nation’s Top Blind Students To Compete In Unique Academic Competition
(Los Angeles)—It has been nearly 200 years since Louis Braille created a system of raised dot writing for blind people. Many people see the little dots as something of a novelty. But for thousands of blind and visually impaired children who use those dots to connect themselves to the darkened world around them, braille is their passport to success. This underrated literacy issue is finally coming to the forefront of discussion because of a national academic competition that seeks to draw braille out of the shadows and into the public consciousness. On Saturday, June 26, the top blind students from across the United States and Canada will be coming to Los Angeles to put their knowledge of the braille code to the test in the only national academic competition for blind students in the country—The National Braille Challenge®. This year marks the 10th anniversary of this groundbreaking event.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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, 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the video embedded above (via MediaBistro), a two-and-a-half year old girl gets her first experience with an iPad. The video gives us a glimpse of how the next generation of readers will read--reminding publishers that this generation will take interactivity for granted.
Here's more from Telstar Logistics' YouTube account: "A fascinating UI experiment. My daughter likes playing with my iPhone, but this was her very first encounter with an iPad. As you'll see, she took right to it... although she too wonders why it doesn't have a camera!"
What do you think? Anybody else sharing their iPads with kids? (Via Kim Werker)
From School Library Journal: Q & A by recently laid-off librarian Sara Scribner, a (former) school librarian for the Pasadena Unified School District.
Scribner had recently penned a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece, "Saving the Google Students" which went viral and talked about how critical media specialists are in this digital age. We asked Scribner how her students—and society—would fare if librarians didn't exist.
When will you know if your position is terminated?
Right now, Pasadena has a parcel tax measure that is going up for a vote throughout the month of April and early May. It has to pass by a large margin, something like two-thirds of the people voting need to say yes to it. On May 5, we should know if it has passed or not. The word is that the librarians will go if it doesn't pass and that they will be saved if it does pass. That's the district speaking. What will happen in the end is anyone's guess. We might not know for sure until we leave for summer break, or even later.
What would the fate be of school libraries in Pasadena without librarians?
No one is willing to discuss what will happen if all of the district librarians are laid off. Since our school will be going through a major renovation next year, I'm going to guess that the library will be "mothballed." Lights out. No librarian. No books. No media lab.
Young Learners Need Librarians, Not Just Google
In the libraries of old, the Dewey Decimal System got you started on research. But there is no card catalog 2.0. To use the Internet as a library you need new research skills: the ability to pick out reliable sources from an overwhelming heap of misinformation, to find relevant material amid an infinite array of options, to navigate the shifting ethics of creative commons and intellectual property rights and to present conclusions in a manner that engages modern audiences.
From The Star: Toronto Public Library is pulling its part-time librarian from the Reading Room at the Hospital for Sick Children.
"We’re worried, but we understand that Toronto Public Library has been hit with a budget that doesn’t allow them to continue their services across the city at the same level,” says Dr. Bruce Ferguson, the hospital’s director of community health systems. “The first thing we (will) do is talk about how we can maintain services for patients and families.”
Sick Kids is one of three Toronto hospitals losing its part-time library staff because of city budget constraints.
The reading room has a collection of 13,500 materials that includes books, CDs and curriculum material that supports schoolchildren from kindergarten to Grade 12. Some Toronto public board teachers work permanently in the hospital, holding classes for students of the psychiatric ward, epilepsy patients, and kids in the substance-abuse program. Teachers also school patients who are at the hospital for more than five days to ensure they don’t fall behind.
“The Toronto Public Library is an incredibly valuable contributor and we will miss that librarian,” said Ferguson. “But we will sit down with our partners and the woman’s auxiliary and volunteer services and figure out how they’ll cope without the part-time staff member.”
Shelf Awareness children's editor Jennifer M. Brown is working with Readeo's CEO and founder Coby Neuenschwander to launch the new service, which promotes shared reading over the Internet.
Readeo (try it for free) allows two people who are separated geographically (such as a grandparent and grandchild or a military parent and his or her child) to share books together in real time while connected in a BookChat (in which they can see each other via a video connection). On the screen, they see the same digitized picture book and turn the pages together.
Readeo is launching with well-known titles from four publishing partners: Blue Apple Books, Candlewick Press, Chronicle Books, and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. In her role as editor on the site, Brown works with Readeo's publishing partners to select the titles she believes best enhance the read-aloud experience.
Submitted by birdie on February 10, 2010 - 12:26pm
Dewey was a great one, but he will not be the only cat to be remembered in a book. Such a fellow was Plymouth U.K.'s Casper, who sadly was run over by a car while crossing the road to queue up for his daily bus ride last month.
Casper was an amazing cat who fancied himself a daily commuter. His life on the buses came to international attention last year. It turned out that for four years he had been riding the no 3 bus, passing the Devon city's historic dockyard and naval base, en route. He tended to curl up on a seat or sometimes purr around fellow passengers' legs, all the way to the final stop, stay on and make the return journey. Drivers got used to letting him off at the correct stop.
Owner Susan Finden, 65, said she would be donating any money she makes from the book to animal charities. She said: 'It's lovely to think he will go on in memories - and with this book his story will live on forever. The book will be published by Simon & Schuster next summer.