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1. ALSC Member of the Month – Angela Hubbard

Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just a few questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Angela Hubbard.

Photo courtesy of Angela Hubbard

Photo courtesy of Angela Hubbard

1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

I’ve been with the ALSC office since May, which seems like just yesterday, and I am thrilled to be to go-to person on the ALSC team for projects and partnerships. In addition to sharing information with our partner organizations, I promote our members’ Día activities throughout the year and manage grant opportunities like Curiosity Creates.

2. Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

My background is in elementary teaching and early childhood advocacy, and I have always been amazed by librarians’ ability to—simply put—do SO much for such a broad range of people. ALSC seemed like the perfect fit because of my passion for education and my desire to make sure that all children have the opportunity to experience the joy of wandering through row upon row of books in the welcoming setting of their local library.

3. Would you rather bring a lunch from home or eat out at lunch?

Oh, from home, hands down. First off, I eat little tidbits of things throughout the day… a yogurt here, a few grapes there… so I pack a lot in my lunch. I also LOVE to garden, so right now everything we make at home is packed with fresh tomatoes or zucchini. There’s nothing tastier than food made fresh from the garden, in my book.

4. E-books or Print?

I am still very much a print person. I don’t knock e-readers for others, but I remember what I read much better when there is actual page turning involved. I also like that I can give (print) books to friends after I’ve read them. Have they added that function to e-readers yet… digital re-gifting?

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I’m going to go with something completely within the realm of possibility… I would have the superpower of making the subway train run express to and from the station of my choosing. Ahhh what a glorious commute that would be!

6. What’s your favorite season?

Photo courtesy of Angela Hubbard

Photo courtesy of Angela Hubbard

Summer is my favorite, although we really only have two here in Chicago, so that’s not a very difficult choice! Since summer is filled with streetfests, playing sports and gardening, it beats shoveling crusted over snow any day!

Did I mention that I love gardening?

7. What do you love most about working in the ALSC office?

Working in the ASLC office allows me an opportunity to hear about some of the awe-inspiring work our members are doing all over the country. I especially love getting the chance to know our members through their committee work and figuring out ways to amplify their impact.

8. What’s your favorite form of exercise?

I prefer to exercise by playing team sports. Volleyball is my favorite, followed by softball and dodgeball. Yes, we actually have adult dodgeball leagues in Chicago… because Chicago is awesome and you should move here.

9. Favorite age of kids to work with?

This is a tough one because each age has its charm, but I would have to say the three to five year old range is my favorite to work with. I love how quickly they grow and make connections at that age. I haven’t worked with children under three yet, but I’m sure the rapid development is even more amazing in the birth to three range.

10. What do you think libraries will look like fifty years from now?

I’m sure technology will change some content formats and delivery systems, and perhaps the architecture will have entered a new era, but fundamentally I think the library will still look as magical as it always has. There will be an enormous amount of information available and people of all walks and stages of life will be tucked into reading nooks here and there, asking an occasional question to the librarian who probably remembers them from the last time they were in and suggests something else they might find interesting.

*********************************************************************************

Thanks, Angela! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature!

Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our ALSC Monthly Profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send your name and email address to alscblog@gmail.com; we’ll see what we can do.

The post ALSC Member of the Month – Angela Hubbard appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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2. Vintage Book Trailer Contest

 

BOOK TRAILER NINJAS AND RARE BIRD BOOKS HOST FIRST EVER VINTAGE BOOK TRAILER CONTEST

Book Trailer Ninjas and Rare Bird Books invite filmmakers to enter the first of its kind vintage book trailer contest. Entry is free and filmmakers may enter multiple times.

 

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Entrants will choose one novel from Rare Bird Books’ library or any book available in the public domain. Participants will then create and edit a vintage book trailer based on the chosen novel and submit the trailer by no later than November 30, 2015.

Author Peter Straub will be judging the contest. The first-prize winner will receive $500, as well as a paid three-trailer mission with the ninjas. Runner-up will receive $250 and a paid two-trailer mission. Third-place winner will receive $250 and a paid one-trailer mission.

 

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Filmmakers can visit Archive.org for available footage. Examples of successful vintage book trailers are viewable on the Book Trailer Ninja’s website.

Participants may enter the vintage book trailer contest here. Contact:
headninja@booktrailer.ninja 

 

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3. Bring Out Your Dead (Reviews!): Today’s Feature – Wings by William Loizeaux

Leaving one library system to enter another can give one a sense of
déjà vu.  At least when it comes to weeding the books.

Back when the Donnell Central Children’s Room across the street from the MOMA had to weed down its books to fit in the new location on 42nd Street, we did some EXTREME WEEDING (I’m using capital letters to emphasize the extremity of the situation).  A lot of oldies but goodies fell by the wayside.  Then I moved to the Evanston Public Library system.  They are undergoing a big weeding project in their children’s room and lo and behold many of the titles I weeded back in the day were there on the carts, ready to be weeded yet again.

They are the same books because they were well reviewed in their time, maybe even garnering a couple awards here and there, but they didn’t have staying power. The elusive art of writing a book that stays in hearts and minds not just for a couple years but for decades on end is impossible to teach.

With these thoughts tooling about my brain I went over to my wiki of reviews (I need to update it with my recent reviews, but that’s neither here nor there) and looked at some of the old titles there.  I started posting my reviews when I started my blog way back in 2006, though I’d been writing them on Amazon for a couple years before that point.  And the books that were the cream of the crop since ’06 . . . well, some of them just don’t get mentioned by much of anyone anymore.  Remember Fortune Cookies by A. Bitterman or The Mailbox by Audrey Shafer?  Some of you do.  Others, not so much.

So here’s a bizarre idea for a series. I’m going to revisit an old review of an out-of-print book once in a while.  Not with any real hope of getting it republished.  More, just to shine a light on the fact that the sheer number of titles published in a given year often leads to hidden gems that stay that way.  Hidden.  And today’s lucky little number is . . .

Wings by William Loizeaux

Originally published in 2006, the book got a nice round roster of favorable reviews.

  • Booklist said of the art, “Shaded pencil drawings illustrate this graceful story with sensitivity and subtlety.”
  • SLJ said, “the story is both realistic and tender.”
  • Said Horn Book Guide, “The writing is deft, and the bird lore authentic.”
  • PW Annex said, “Bowman’s pleasing halftone illustrations augment the narrative’s emotional impact. “

It didn’t garner any stars but everyone seemed to really enjoy it.  It was author William Loizeaux’s first novel for children and he would later go on to write the also charming Clarence Cochran, A Human Boy.  I liked it very much and it would appear on NYPL’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing list.  And so, just because I enjoyed it, here is my old review for Wings, by William Loizeaux.

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In a February 8, 2006 edition of Christian Science Monitor, author William Loizeaux offered these thoughts on the “elastic” nature of the personal memoir: “memoir is the creation of a mind remembering. The writer recalls and reflects on the past and evidence gathered about that past. Usually, the more evidence the better, but as any memoirist will tell you, remembering is always a tricky business.” With memory such a tricky beast and literary scapegoats like James Frey to draw attention to the facts surrounding a person’s past, it’s seems safest to do as William Loizeaux has done and fictionalize an important moment in one’s past instead. You cannot be held responsible for what is and is not true when you produce fiction. Instead, if you happen to mention after the fact that such n’ so in the book really did happen to you, you’ll meet someone delighted with this startling piece of evidence. And that certainly beats the complete stranger that may take you to task over whether or not you really did, say, comb your hair counterclockwise on the 15th of November. Loizeaux, however, has gone even farther and has turned a small moment from his childhood into a children’s book. It could have been awful or patronizing or puffed up with self-regard. It could have been, but it isn’t. Instead, it’s a misleadingly simple tale of a boy and his mockingbird. A tale worth remembering.

Nick found the bird standing in the center of the street looking like nothing so much as a circular ball of feathers. As it turned out, it was a baby mockingbird, alone and abandoned by its parents. After naming the little creature Marcy, Nick comes to care for the bird with a little help from his mother and his best friend Mate. Once she has thrived under his care, Marcy is able to offer Nick a great deal of comfort. She listens to his problems, whether they involve how his father died in the Korean War or the man who’s currently courting his mother. The book follows the two friends as they experience a whole summer together. But when a family trip means that Marcy and Nick must separate, the boy must learn how to let go of something he loves, even if that means losing it along the way.

Children’s librarians tend to eye adult authors that have crossed over into the world of kiddie lit with a wary skeptical eye. Adult novelists, after all, have proved time and time again that they are not always able to produce a believable title for children. Such writing often requires an entirely different set of muscles, and too often you’ll see these authors either going too far and creating something faux-childish or not far enough, creating a book of laughable complexity. Allow me to set your mind at rest in the case of Mr. Loizeaux. With an ease that is sure to infuriate his frustrated adult-authorial brethren, Loizeaux’s “Wings” reads as if it was written by a man who has been penning children’s books for years. He doesn’t speak down to his readers or insult their intelligence. His adult books have been described as having a “luminous clarity” and that same clarity is what makes him such a perfect children’s book writer. Nothing in “Wings” feels simplified. Just simple.

Nostalgia, should anyone ask, is very big right now. Peruse your local bookstore and you’ll see title after title set in 1950s or early 60s American. Sometimes this is because the author looks back on the political situation of the U.S. at that time and can draw parallels to the current administration. Sometimes it’s because they see the post-war era as a “simpler” time and they want to return to that moment, warts and all. But the impetus for Loizeaux to set his book then is neither of these. Rather, this is his story of what happened to him, personally, when he was growing up in the early 60s. The time period is not the focus here. It’s important to the story, sure, but it’s also incidental. Throw in some iPods and this book could just as easily take place today. But it didn’t. It took place in 1960, so that’s when it’s set.

A reviewer would be amiss if they did not happen to mention illustrator Leslie Bowman’s work on this book as well. With a title of this length (138 pages) the question of whether or not to even have an illustrator would have been difficult to figure out in the first place. You don’t want to drive off the older readership that would eschew “baby” books with pictures. On the other hand, if the artist is able to add something to the experience of reading the book, wouldn’t that person be an asset rather than a drain on the book’s reception by children and adults alike? It doesn’t hurt matters any that Ms. Bowman was undoubtedly the perfect artist to place alongside Loizeaux’s prose. Bowman’s work in the children’s book field has been sparse over the years, though not without praise (as with her work on “The Canadian Geese Quilt” by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock). Now, however, it feels as though she’s found the perfect fit. Images that look as if they were done in graphite are drawn in a realistic style. Marcy looks like a real mockingbird, white patched wings and all. The boys who raise and love her are crewcutted and haven’t a trace of cartoonishness to them. For this book, that was essential. I don’t like to consider what the alternatives could have been.

In his Christian Science Monitor article, Mr. Loizeaux had this to say, “At its best, a memoir combines hard research, an engaging narrative, the intimacy of lyric poetry, and the thoughtfulness of an essay.” He was, of course, referring to adult memoirs, but it’s not stretching the truth to say that this applies perfectly to “Wings” as well. You’ve facts on real mockingbirds provided in the back of the book in Loizeaux’s, “A Note On Mockingbirds” (though a source of some sort would not have been out of place). You’ve an interesting story that kids will want to know more about. You’ve the lyric poetry of lines like, “It’s hard to describe just how good this felt: to call something wild from out of the sky, and then to see her with her wings so wide.” And finally you have a sense of the thoughtfulness that went into the creation of the tale. “Wings” also performs the one act a book must fulfill to truly become a classic. It touches adults just as closely as it does children. Anything that can affect a person, regardless of age, is a thing worth remembering. A memorable children’s novel.

Notes On the Cover: Brilliant. Bowman’s a smart cookie and this is exactly the kind of picture that’s going to pull on children’s hands with the force of a strong animal-centric magnet. It also makes it perfectly clear that this is a “boy book”, or at least has a boy in it. Reluctant readers may prefer it for that reason. However you care to look at it, this is how a cover should be done. A nod of the head to Melanie Kroupa.

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4. Jesse Eisenberg to Narrate His Own Audiobook

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5. Compassionate law: Are gay rights ever really a ‘non-issue’?

On his recent visit to Kenya, President Obama addressed the subject of sexual liberty. At a press conference with the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, he spoke affectingly about the cause of gay rights, likening the plight of homosexuals to the anti-slavery and anti-segregation struggles in the United States.

The post Compassionate law: Are gay rights ever really a ‘non-issue’? appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. Marketing 101: The Best Social Media Platforms For Authors

This post is part of an ongoing series at The Open Book answering questions about book marketing and publicity.

One of the questions I get most often from authors—both new and MARKETING 101: The Best Social Media for Authorsexperienced—is, “Which social media platforms do I have to be on?” There are a lot of ways to answer this question but I want to start by addressing the question itself, which is often phrased in exactly this way. The answer is: you don’t have to be on any social media platforms that you don’t want to be on. Social media can help you connect with new readers, raise your discoverability, and sell books, but it can also be a drain on your time, attention, and ideas. Social media is not for everybody, and not every platform is for every writer. So the first thing to do is let go of the guilt and pressure you feel to be on every social media platform that exists, posting content in real time. Almost no authors can pull this off and it’s not worth losing your sanity to attempt it.

With that in mind, the question to ask becomes not “which platforms do I have to be on,” but “which platform(s) would benefit me most to be on, and which are the best fit for me?” When considering where to be on social media, the number one thing you should ask yourself is whether a particular platform will be enjoyable and sustainable to you. Here are some things to consider:

  • How often do I want to post?
  • Realistically, how often will I have time to post?
  • What kind of content do I enjoy posting most? (i.e. do I enjoy curating content by others, creating my own content, or a mix of both)
  • What subjects will I be posting about?
  • How much time will I be able to dedicate to each post?
  • Am I text-driven or image-driven?
  • Do I want a platform that is very interactive or less interactive?

While you could make any platform work for you no matter how you answer the above questions, it helps to find the platform that’s the best fit for you, so social media can become an activity you enjoy instead of a slog or obligation. So, here’s a rundown of some of the most popular social media platforms and a couple things to consider about each:

TWITTER:
Ideal frequency of posts: At least once a day, preferably more
Type of content: Mixture of curation and new created content
Time commitment: Surprisingly high
Interactivity level: Varies, but higher interactivity is recommended

Twitter is a weird social media platform- even though it’s been around for several years now, it can still be hard to describe, and even harder to understand the purpose of. Think of Twitter as the world’s biggest cocktail party, happening online 24/7 without end. It can drive you crazy, but it’s also a great equalizer: where else can you tweet to celebrities and have them answer you directly? Where else can readers and authors come together so seamlessly?

Twitter is what you make of it: you can have a minimal presence there and use it mostly for “lurking,” but the truth is that unless you are very, very famous, you will get almost nothing out of Twitter unless you are on it frequently and using it in a very interactive way. Yes, it can be overwhelming and a total time suck, but it can also be a nice break from your other projects and an easy way to key yourself in to important conversations going in within the industry.

Bottom Line: If you want to do it right, Twitter takes a lot of time and attention – but the rewards can be big.

FACEBOOK:
Ideal frequency of posts: once a week minimum
Type of content: More created content than curation
Time commitment: Low-medium
Interactivity level: Medium-high

Remember when Facebook was a novelty? Over the years it’s morphed into something more akin to an Internet staple, right alongside Google. If you’re not on Facebook, you’ve probably been met with shock and awe more than once. If you are already on Facebook, you may think you’ve already got this one in the bag. However, there’s an important distinction that needs to be made here between personal pages and fan pages. As an author and therefore a public figure, you should absolutely have a separate Facebook account for your author persona apart from your personal Facebook account. This allows you to build a following, tweak your privacy settings, and save your family and friends from seeing posts about your book in their feed all the time (unless they want them).

Once you set up a fan page, what you post and how often is up to you. Unlike Twitter which is really pretty useless if you’re not using it frequently, I think there are still benefits to having a Facebook fan page even if you only update it every couple of weeks – it’s a way to allow people to demonstrate that they like you, and allows them to “subscribe” to get updates from you. It won’t let you meet new people as easily as Twitter does, but it can help you build a stronger relationship with your fans, and that’s always a nice thing.

Bottom Line: A little effort can go a long way when it comes to Facebook, so it’s a good place to be.

BLOGGING:
Ideal frequency of posts: Once a week minimum
Type of content: All created content
Time commitment: High
Interactivity level: Low-medium

I don’t technically consider blogs to be a social media platform but they always seem to get tied into this discussion, so I wanted to address them here.  The number one thing to remember about blogs is that they are a LOT OF WORK, and that amount of work never really diminishes. When you start a blog, you are essentially starting the equivalent of a one-woman (or one-man) newspaper and giving yourself the job of creating all new content for it. You may think you have blog ideas aplenty, but will you still want to be writing new posts every week six months down the road?

There are a couple questions you should keep in mind when considering starting a blog: How much extra time do I have to write? Will my blog have a specific theme or focus? A helpful thing to do is to sit down and create a list of 20 blog post ideas, and see where that gets you. If you find this exercise fun and can’t wait to start writing some of your ideas up into posts, a blog might be a good platform for you. But if getting to 20 ideas is a bit of a struggle and you can’t see yourself doing this kind of thing for a couple of hours each week, a blog might not be right for you.

A big thing to keep in mind about blogs is that if you want to get the most out of your blog, the time demands go way past writing the posts themselves. It takes time and effort to build a blog readership, and requires a good deal of marketing. So if you begin a blog, you will also probably want to be on Twitter and/or Facebook so you can use those platforms to share your content – otherwise you’re just putting your great content into the black hole of the Internet.

That’s not to see blogs can’t be worth it. When done well, blogs give you a terrific platform as an author. There’s nothing better than writing a blog post you’re proud of and seeing it reshared in many different places. Blogs can help new readers discover you and can help you connect with readers, reviewers, and other authors. Just have a sense of what you’re signing on for before you start.

Bottom Line: Probably the most demanding of all the social media channels, blogs can offer a lot but should be started with an understanding of the work they will entail.

OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Ah, to go back to the days when you could count the number of social media platforms out there on one hand! The fact that we now have Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Vine, Instagram, and many others only seems to make writers more anxious about where they “need to be.”

When it comes to these more peripheral platforms—and I mean peripheral specifically in the context of online presence for authors—my advice is simple: have fun! Love photography? You might enjoy connecting with readers on Instagram. Love design? You might have fun making Pinterest boards inspired by your books. If you’re intrigued by a platform, try it out – there’s no rule that says you have to stay on it forever (though you should delete your account if you decide it’s not for you, rather than being inactive). Ultimately, all of these platforms are about the same thing: connecting with people. So if you want to be on any of them, make sure that’s what you’re getting out of it in the end, and that you’re enjoying the ride.

More Marketing 101 Posts:
What to Put on Your Author Website
Five Things to Do Before Your Book is Released

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7. Comics Illustrators of the Week :: Gurihiru

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I think this is the 2nd time we’ve honored a pair of illustrators together(the other being Los Bros Hernandez), but for all intents and purposes the Japanese dynamic duo “illustration unit” Gurihiru is “one” illustrator in the way the two works seamlessly together, focusing their particular talents in different skill sets to produce one beautiful picture. The Gurihiru team consists of Naoko Kawano(design, colors, webdesign) and Chifuyu Sasaki (design, pencils, inks). 

Gurihiru is known for their comics work on titles such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Wolverine and Power Pack, and A-babies vs. X-babies, to name a few. Team Gurihiru is also known for producing many dynamic variant covers for comics, including this week’s Silk #7 variant.

You can check out more of Gurihiru’s art, including some of their game art design and animation work, on their website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

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8. Poetry Seven Write Found Poems

I haven't quite decided how I feel about found poems. I did a lot of reading while trying to find just the right source. I tried mining historical documents, but the language was already embellished in many ways and while I tried to create something new, using such beautiful language felt like a bit of a cheat. Ultimately I decided to look for plainer language and perused cookbooks, travel brochures, and classic educational works.

The pieces I'm sharing today are made from highly redacted text. After retyping and justifying each excerpt, I blacked out sections until I had my poems. You will need to click on the images to enlarge and read them. (Just in case you are wondering how to read these, scan from left to right, top to bottom.)

When I posted the poems to the Padlet that Laura created for this month's efforts, I realized that together they actually told a story, so that's the way I'm sharing them here. The first two poems were created from excerpts of the book How We Think, written in 1933 by John Dewey. (Poem 1 from p. 10-11. Poem 2 from p. 109.) The third poem was created from the introduction and directions found in a recipe by Jamie Oliver. That recipe is Monkfish Wrapped In Banana Leaves With Ginger, Cilantro, Chile, And Coconut Milk

WHEN KINDRED SPIRITS MEET
(a short story told in found poems)

A man ...
finds his love ... 
 and sparks fly.
Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2015. All rights reserved.

You can read the found poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below. 

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Linda at Teacher Dance. Happy poetry Friday friends! 

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9. Kenneth Branagh to Direct the Artemis Fowl Movie

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10. Health inequalities: what is to be done?

The research literature on health inequalities (health differences between different social groups) is growing almost every day. Within this burgeoning literature, it is generally agreed that the UK’s health inequalities (like those in many other advanced, capitalist economies) are substantial.

The post Health inequalities: what is to be done? appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. Chicken Soup for the Soul Movie to be Released in 2016

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12. Between the stacks – Episode 26 – The Oxford Comment

Aside from announcing the start of another academic semester, September also marks an essential, if lesser-known, holiday celebrated since 1987: Library Card Sign-up Month. Once a year, the American Library Association (ALA)—working in conjunction with public libraries across the country—makes an effort to spotlight the essential services provided by libraries now and throughout history. But what, exactly, are the origins of the American public library? Moreover, at a time when government services are being pared down by state lawmakers, how have public libraries survived (and even thrived) in a time of economic downturn?

In this month’s episode, Sara Levine, Multimedia Producer for Oxford University Press, sat down to chat with Wayne A. Wiegand, author of Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library, New York City Librarian Emma Carbone, and Kyle Cassidy, creator of Alexandria Still Burns, a project featuring interviews with over one hundred librarians across America. From Benjamin Franklin’s Library Company of Philadelphia to the safe haven the Sweet Auburn Branch provided to African Americans, we explore America’s love affair with the public library, tracing its evolution alongside political, technological, and demographic shifts and its adaptation to our digital era.

Image Credit: “New York Public Library” by draelab. CC BY NC 2.0 via Flickr.

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13. Eric Litwin and Tom Lichtenheld Ink Three-Book Deal With Scholastic

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14. Stephen King Themed Crossword in The Guardian

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15. YALSAblog Tweets of the Week - September 4, 2015

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between September 4 and September 11 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.

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16. Pick of the Week for WORK and This Week’s Topic

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Happy Illustration Friday!

We’re ready to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Eunbi, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of WORK. Thanks to everyone who participated with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and more. We love seeing it all!

You can see a gallery of ALL the entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:

OLD

Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the public Gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

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17. It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass + Giveaway (US/Canada)

Hi, everyone!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE CRESSWELL PLOT by Eliza Wass, releasing June 7, 2016 from Disney Hyperion. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Eliza:

 
We all have our story. Something that is unique only to us.
 
It isn’t always a happy story.
 
At least not all the time, but it’s personal, vibrant, heart-beating alive. And it’s scary to share.
 
The Cresswell Plot is that story for me. It was inspired by feelings of powerlessness, of being controlled, of fear, but also by laughter, lust and finding the strength inside to overcome any obstacle, even when you are fighting alone.
 
I wrote this book for people who feel alone, who question things, who stand up for what they believe in, no matter how powerful the opposition.
 
It’s just a book, but it’s about something that’s more than a book. It’s about standing up and telling YOUR story, whether it’s happy, sad or life-changing.
 
Thank you to Maria E. Elias for bringing this story such an exciting cover.
 
~ Eliza Wass (THE CRESSWELL PLOT, Disney Hyperion)
 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_CreswellPlot_final.jpg

*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Eliza's giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

THE CRESSWELL PLOT

by Eliza Wass
Release date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
ISBN: 978-1-4847-3034-0
 
 
About the Book
 
The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.
 
Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Casper, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.
 
Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice. 
 
Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.
 

b2ap3_thumbnail_ELIZAWASS6.jpgAbout the Author

Eliza Wass is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She has thousands of friends, all of whom either come in a dust jacket or post obsessively on Twitter. Eliza spent seven years in London with the most amazing man in the world, her late husband Alan Wass of Alan Wass and the Tourniquet, who inspired her to pursue her dreams and live every day of her life. Visit her website at www.elizawass.com and follow her on Twitter @lovefaithmagic.
 

Twitter | Web | Tumblr | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details

One winner will receive a signed ARC of THE CRESSWELL PLOT (when available). 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway:

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18. Baby Cries Every Time Book Ends: VIDEO

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19. Iowa Children’s Barber Exchanges Cuts For Stories

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20. Scholastic Education Hires Three New Executives

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21. Comic: Picture Book Restaurant

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22. Four myths about the status of women in the early church

There is a good deal of historical evidence for women’s leadership in the early church. But the references are often brief, and they’re scattered across centuries and locations. Two interpretations of the evidence have been common in the last forty years.

The post Four myths about the status of women in the early church appeared first on OUPblog.

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23. Shakespeare Gets Remixed For a New App

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24. Dear Totally Clueless Nonfiction Author Me

In this series of posts, my fellow TeachingAuthors and I are writing letters to our earlier selves a la Dear Teen Me.  As I’ve thought about what to write, it is clear to me that the contents of such a letter would vary greatly depending on the phase of life I considered.   A letter to my teen self would be very different from a letter to my newlywed self, or to my busy young mother self, or my empty nester self, or my newly-divorced-after-being-married-my-whole-adult-life self. 


So the best approach for this assignment is to write a letter to the young woman I was years ago that decided to write a nonfiction book.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I had no idea where to start doing it.  And I had no idea how to finish doing it.   

But that didn't stop me.  

And I succeeded. 

So a letter to myself back then as I began what would become a long journey would go something like this:

Dear Carla,

You might not know what you are doing right now, but you will figure it out as you go. 

Trust your instincts as a researcher and as a storyteller. 

Think outside the box. 

Be fearless.

Don’t expect so much of yourself. 


From Your future self.


As I read back over this letter, I realize things haven’t changed all that much after all.  I still need to remember these things today.   

So maybe this is a letter to my past self, my present self, and my future self. 


Carla Killough McClafferty

Book cover of my first nonfiction book for young readers.
THE HEAD BONE'S CONNECTED TO THE NECK BONE: THE WEIRD, WACKY AND WONDERFUL X-RAY.
Published by FSG.


See the Dear Me letters of JoAnn Early Macken and Esther Hershenhorn. 




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25. Collaboration for Learning: Notes from the Public Libraries & STEM Conference

I was recently able to represent ALSC at the Public Libraries & STEM Conference in Denver, CO. The conference was kept very small–around 160 people total–and thus was very concentrated, with plenty to learn from and discuss with colleagues from libraries, STEM organizations, and other institutions with missions for informal learning. And while the small size necessary means that the participant pool was limited, the takeaways weren’t. I particularly want to share with you one of my major takeaways: the library as a single element in a larger learning ecosystem.

Note: I tried visual note taking at this conference. Since my handwriting isn’t always great, I’m transcribing text in the captions of images.

Here’s what I learned and have been itching to share:

Public Libraries & STEM Conference (Image by Amy Koester)

Public Libraries & STEM Conference; Denver, CO, Aug. 20-22, 2015 (Image by Amy Koester)

Help define a new 21st Century vision of STEM in public libraries. (Image by Amy Koester)

Help define a new 21st Century vision of STEM in public libraries. (Image by Amy Koester)

There were several goals of the Public Libraries & STEM Conference, but one in particular resonated with me immediately: to figure out what STEM/STEAM in public libraries could/should look like in our age of technology and innovation. What is the library’s role now, and what should it be? It’s within our collective power to create a framework for STEM in public libraries.

Collaboration as a System of Collective Impact (FSG) From individual orgs with individual goals & pathways to collaboration of goals and pathways (Image by Amy Koester)

Collaboration as a System of Collective Impact (FSG) From individual orgs with individual goals & pathways to collaboration of goals and pathways (Image by Amy Koester)

That said, while we, libraries, can certainly make some decisions and create some practices around this (or any other) topic, it’s imperative that we recognize that we are NOT the only institutions with a vested interest in STEM learning and experiences. Yet if we think of ourselves as wholly separate from other organizations even when  they possess similar goals to our own, we’re muddying the waters. Or, rather, as Marsha Semmel (formerly at IMLS) shared from an organization called FSG, each individual organization is moving in its own direction. It’s a little bit of chaos, no matter how well intentioned. But when we collaborate, however–and this is meaningful collaboration, in which we set a common goal and common pathways to achieve it–we can actually accomplish meaningful progress and change.

Progress moves at the speed of trust." Collectively see, learn, do. (Image by Amy Koester)

“Progress moves at the speed of trust.” Collectively see, learn, do. (Image by Amy Koester)

An integral part of meaningful collaboration: trust, said Marsha Semmel. If we observe together, learn together, and act together out of a trust that we truly are working toward a shared goal, we can accomplish transformative change much more quickly than independently, or even working parallel to one another.

STEM Learning Ecosystem: P-12 Education, Family, Out-of-School Programs, Higher Education Institutions, Business Community, and STEM-rich Institutions as spokes around the Learner - Ellen Lettvin (Image by Amy Koester)

STEM Learning Ecosystem: P-12 Education, Family, Out-of-School Programs, Higher Education Institutions, Business Community, and STEM-rich Institutions as spokes around the Learner – Ellen Lettvin (Image by Amy Koester)

Part of developing that trust is recognizing that we as libraries are a single aspect of a larger learning ecosystem. When it comes to STEM learning for youth, we fit into a larger puzzle of groups and individuals supporting students. Ellen Lettvin, of the U.S. Department of Education, emphasized some of those other players in this ecosystem, including students’ families; their schools; their out-of-school programs and activities; community businesses; institutions of higher education; and STEM-rich institutions, of which libraries may be one.

Out of school experiences are increasingly central to the public's STEM learning. (Image by Amy Koester)

Out of school experiences are increasingly central to the public’s STEM learning. (Image by Amy Koester)

Why do we need to recognize that we’re part of a larger learning ecosystem? John Falk, from Oregon State University, has researched this very topic, and has oodles of evidence supporting the fact that all of those experiences that youth–any age person, really–have out of formal school contexts are more and more important to overall STEM learning. Schooling isn’t sufficient in and of itself.

Learning is continuous and cumulative. (Image by Amy Koester)

Learning is continuous and cumulative. (Image by Amy Koester)

That’s because, says Falk, learning is continuous and cumulative. It happens all the time, and it constantly builds on what a learner already knows. There is no place or situation that is not ripe for learning. As such, if the library is a place people spend time, the library is necessarily a learning place.

Libraries are hubs & hosts of STEM. (Image by Amy Koester)

Libraries as hubs & hosts of STEM. (Image by Amy Koester)

Now, we know this. We know that libraries are institutions of learning. But in what capacity? Are we mostly places of individual discovery? Of information support? What if we really embraced that concept of library as learning place to its fullest extent and intentionally and proactively support the public who use us? We could be intentional hubs and hosts of STEM learning–or, truly, any type of learning that our communities need.

R. David Lankes: "The power of libraries is not in being a space for X, it is in being a space to facilitate connections between community members and local organizations that are experts in X." (Image by Amy Koester)

R. David Lankes: “The power of libraries is not in being a space for X, it is in being a space to facilitate connections between community members and local organizations that are experts in X.” (Image by Amy Koester)

David Lankes, from Syracuse University, was careful to emphasize, however, that our being hubs and hosts of STEM learning does NOT necessitate that we ourselves be the be-all, end-all experts. Should you tap staff expertise and interests in creating STEM programs and services? Absolutely. But remember that whole bit about collaboration for collective impact? Here’s where it really comes in. There’s a very legitimate school of thought that says that libraries’ best role in supporting STEM learning, across the board, is to meaningfully collaborate with organizations who are unequivocal experts in STEM so that we can connect our patrons directly to the experts. We are mediators, introducers. That makes our capacity so much greater than it could ever be on our own.

Partnerships help us develop more and more programs and to bring those programs to the people we are targeting." -Sharon Cox, Queens Library Discovery Center (Image by Amy Koester)

“Partnerships help us develop more and more programs and to bring those programs to the people we are targeting.” -Sharon Cox, Queens Library Discovery Center (Image by Amy Koester)

This sentiment was echoed by Sharon Cox, from the Queens Library Discovery Center. It’s an entire library dedicated to children’s STEM learning and exploration, and even with that mission, focus, and staff expertise, they add huge value to what they are able to bring to their community through partnership with organizations who are expert in STEM and whose goals align with the library’s. As libraries, we’ve always thought of ourselves as the people who connect our public to the resources they need. This type of collaboration means that the definition of “resources” our public requires may very well include organizations other than our own.

Do what you do best, and link to the rest." -L. Rainie; Libraries should NOT be trying to do everything. (Image by Amy Koester)

“Do what you do best, and link to the rest.” -L. Rainie; Libraries should NOT be trying to do everything. (Image by Amy Koester)

Or, in other words, we continue to do what we do best and then connect our patrons to the rest of what they way. That was the overarching sentiment from Lee Rainie from Pew Research Center–that libraries are strongest not because they can do everything, but because they can connect you to people and organizations who can.

Cultivate collaboration. Ask: What are our shared interests and goals? -Dale McCreedy, The Franklin Institute, LEAP into Science (Image by Amy Koester)

Cultivate collaboration. Ask: What are our shared interests and goals? -Dale McCreedy, The Franklin Institute, LEAP into Science (Image by Amy Koester)

So if we’re deliberately not doing everything, and we’re also going to best support our patrons’ STEM learning through collaborating with expert STEM learning organizations, how do we collaborate? Dale Creedy, who works at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and is a collaborator with the Free Library of Philadelphia to offer a LEAP into Science program, says that the first step in cultivating collaboration is to reach out to other organizations and straight up have a conversation. Your intent: to identify what, if any, are your shared interests and goals. If you determine that you don’t have sufficient shared interests/goals to merit the time and resources that would go into a formal collaboration, it’s no real loss–you now know more about the organization and can better identify when to direct your patrons to them. But if you do have sufficient overlaps in your interests and goals, the foundation is primed for you to work together. Now you can shift your conversation to what, specifically, your shared goal is, and how you might reach it together.

Collective Impact: How do we serve as part of a solution, as opposed to the solver? -M. Figueroa (Image by Amy Koester)

Collective Impact: How do we serve as part of a solution, as opposed to the solver? -M. Figueroa (Image by Amy Koester)

This type of conversation can actually be a little clumsy for libraries. We tend to think in terms of the library being the sole solver of a problem, rather than just one player in a larger solution–that’s according to Miguel Figueroa from the Center for the Future of Libraries at ALA. Collective impact necessitates that libraries be part of a collective solution, which may require a bit of a mindset shift.

Collaborations: Actively participate in a robust learning ecosystem; Re-envision the library with community input; Bring people to museums, and vice versa -Dr. S. Sampson (Image by Amy Koester)

Collaborations: Actively participate in a robust learning ecosystem; Re-envision the library with community input; Bring people to museums, and vice versa -Dr. S. Sampson (Image by Amy Koester)

So what to do to enact that mindset shift, to form those meaningful collaborations? Dr. Scott Sampson, Vice President of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (and also Dr. Scott the Paleontologist from Dinosaur Train), gave some suggestions in the form of a few progressively-more-involved strategies. Starting small, figure out how to bring people to libraries, and vice versa–that is, how to bring libraries to people. Where are the people in your community who do not come to the library? What spaces do they tend to use? Figure out collaborations with those places to bring the library to them.

Next in the spectrum is re-envisioning the library with the input of the community. We tend to get into a library echo chamber and create new programs and services based on what other libraries are doing or what we think would be appealing to the community. But that’s not the same thing as asking the community what they need the library to be. It could be through surveys, focus groups, inviting a cultural organization to the space… the possibilities are endless, and the results fruitful.

Last on that spectrum is actively participate in a robust learning ecosystem. Sound familiar? It should, and the concept is repeated here because it is so important. When we work on our own, we are limited to reaching the people we personally serve. But when we are part of a larger ecosystem, however, we not only draw on the strengths of fellow elements in the ecosystem but we draw from the people they reach as well. Maybe a person child will just never come to the library; that’s just the reality of their life. But they do go to school and out-of-school activities. So if the library is part of a learning ecosystem that includes that school and those activities–if we collaborate with them–we do reach that child in a fundamental way.

A Collaboration Workbook: 1) Install a collaboration team; 2) Find a common goal; 3) Listen to the community; 4) Generate ideas for collaborative programs; 5) Prioritize and implement programs -Heart of Brooklyn (Image by Amy Koester)

A Collaboration Workbook: 1) Install a collaboration team; 2) Find a common goal; 3) Listen to the community; 4) Generate ideas for collaborative programs; 5) Prioritize and implement programs -Heart of Brooklyn (Image by Amy Koester)

Dr. Sampson’s best suggestion for a model for collaboration comes from the Heart of Brooklyn, a cultural partnership involving the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park, and Prospect Park Zoo. Their method: Install a collaboration team whose first task is to find a common goal that al of the partners can get behind. Then listen to the community; is your goal their goal, too? From there, the partners and the community can generate ideas for collaborative programs and services–these should be in play with one another, building off one another, not simply a list of isolated programs that take place at isolated institutions. With those ideas in mind, it’s time for the collaboration team to prioritize and implement select programs. Obviously there will also need to be some evaluative piece after this implementation, but that’s a bit beyond the main takeaway of this post: collaboration.

What is holding us back is not money. The currency in short supply is collaboration and vision." -Dr. S. Sampson (Image by Amy Koester)

“What is holding us back is not money. The currency in short supply is collaboration and vision.” -Dr. S. Sampson (Image by Amy Koester)

And collaboration is vital for transformative, dynamic support of STEM learning by libraries. Yet many of the smart people at this conference indicated that, right now, collaboration–and the vision of collective impact that can inspire and support it–is in short supply. We need to recognize that libraries need not go it alone when it comes to supporting STEM. That is not to say that we shouldn’t invest in doing some STEM programing and providing relevant services ourselves; it is just to say that we can do so much more when we collaborate with others who also aim to support the STEM learning of our communities.

That vision of what we can do together is huge.

The collective impact we can have when we collaborate meaningfully is massive.

And what, after all, is our overall goal as libraries if not to support our communities in transforming their lives?

The post Collaboration for Learning: Notes from the Public Libraries & STEM Conference appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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