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Blog: YA Sleuth (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Blogs, Dinosaur Moments, Murderati, Add a tag
Blog: Here in the Bonny Glen (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: internet, blogs, Feedly, Google Reader, RSS, Add a tag
Can you see this post? I’m hearing that some folks can’t get my site to load. Has been a problem all day; we’re looking into it. I’m bumping the Ballet Shoes post yet another day until I’m sure the problem (whatever it is) has been resolved.
Meanwhile, noooooo! Google informs us Reader’s days are numbered. Those of us who rely on a good RSS aggregator to make the web manageable are crushed—there’s no better feed reader than Google Reader.
Some alternatives, none of them quite perfect (but I’m confident someone will rise to fill the void):
Feedly—this is probably what I’ll wind up using. Not quite as streamlined as Reader, but it offers many options for customizing the look and function. In “Full Articles” mode, it’s a decent Reader substitute:
(I subscribe to way more book blogs than are visible in that list. I think it only shows the top twelve.)
If you click on the gear icon, you can toggle to different layouts: mosaic, list, magazine-style, etc.
You can export your subscriptions at Google Reader and import them to Feedly, or simply connect Feedly to your Reader account, which is what I did. For now Feedly runs off Reader’s API but it is going to “seamlessly transition” to another source before Reader bites the dust in July.
A Feedly plus is that it has mobile apps as well, with syncing between your desktop, iOS, and Android devices. And if you connect it to your gReader account, it’ll sync with that, too, as long as gReader lasts.
You can share posts from Feedly directly to Facebook, Twitter, G+, Delicious, and other platforms. Diigo isn’t one of the preset share options and I really hope you can add it manually—haven’t figured out how yet but it’s early days—because Diigo is how I share links in my sidebar here. I suppose I could switch back to Delicious if I have to.
Here’s Feedly in “magazine” view:
Other options: Bloglines (what I used before Google Reader came along). NewsBlur (after a certain number of subscriptions, there’s a fee). NetNewsWire for Mac. The Old Reader. Pulp (a paid app for Mac). Flipboard for iOS devices (no good for me, as I need a desktop interface).
What’s your poison?Add a Comment
Blog: Tiny Tips for Library Fun (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: early literacy, blogs, Twitter, Storytime, Networking, Add a tag
Flannel Friday is fast approaching it's second anniversary. As the auspicious day approaches, participants in Flannel Friday are sharing what this movement has meant to them. Sharon over at her blog Rain Makes Applesauce is gathering the posts of participants. All are worth reading.
I myself am not a flannelist anymore. Or a prop-meister. Or a storytime provider. I once was and enjoyed that part of my work more than I can say. But even as a manager, I love and appreciate the efforts in the field of storytime and early literacy and the great places people are taking them. So, though I am not an active participant and really just an observer, let me still share with you what these intrepid folks and their blogs have meant to me and my professional life.
The blogs that participants are encouraged to start have often blossomed well beyond sharing flannel stories and patterns. Many of these new bloggers have expanded their content with thoughts about their work, programs, children's services and issues swirling around youth librarianship. When I celebrated the linkiness of my life a few weeks ago, it was also a homage to FF folks who have jumped into the blogosphere with both feet and enriched my thinking and work life so profoundly.
The FF community also led me fully into the world of Twitter. Many of these bloggers were the first tweeps I followed and chatted with. They have become a community of friends that I rely on and learn from.
I am in awe of the founders of (thank you, thank you) as well as the participants in this amazing grassroots effort. You have affected a sea change in youth librarianship and connectivity.
Big fireworks for you all!
Image: 'Fireworks 04' http://www.flickr.com/photos/53139634@N00/472327992 Found on flickrcc.net
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Blog: Original Content (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: blogs, Marketing, time management for writers, Time Management Tuesday, Add a tag
Once upon a time, long, long, long ago, I worked in an office for three extension professors. I was their lackey, to be perfectly honest, and I always had way more lackey work to do than I had time.
We would have meetings in which one professor or another, or sometimes all three, would get all excited about this project or that, and one professor or another, or sometimes all three, would say things like, "Why don't you get started on that, Gail." We'd all go our separate ways, I'd "get started on that" and never hear about it again.
I've never made any claims to be brilliant, but I'm not stupid, either. Eventually, I learned to guess which projects they were asking me to work on that they would never follow through on, and I just didn't do them. Not because I was a layabout, but because I just couldn't. I had to do all the things that they were going to follow through on, and there was too much of that, as it was. I cannot recall ever running into any problems because I've my decision-making. In fact, I even told one of the professors I did it. What upset him was not that I was doing it, but that I could do it--that they were coming up with plans they weren't following through on and doing so in such a way that I could predict what they weren't going to do.
Predicting what we're not going to do is something we should be doing for ourselves.
A case in point: Last year I had this exciting plan to start an environmental blog to help market the Saving the Planet & Stuff eBook. It was going to be set-up as if it were the official blog of The Earth's Wife, the environmental magazine in the book, and it was going to be written in the voice of Walt Marcello, one of the characters. He is not a stereotypical environmentalist, and he has a strong voice with a push-the-envelope sense of humor. I was going to have him comment on environmentally-related news stories and there would be a blog roll of environmental websites. It would be easy, I thought, because I wouldn't update more than once a week or so, and, because I would be using recent news stories for content, I wouldn't have to do much research. It was going to be marvelous. People would love it. I would have lots of readers, and, as a result, sell lots of eBooks.
Well, fortunately it took us longer than expected to publish STP&S, giving me time to become more rational about that plan. First off, the likelihood of any new blog getting much attention these days isn't very great, forget about it developing a big following. Just as there are more books being published than the market can bear, there are more blogs being published than blog readers can read. There's way, way too much competition now in almost every subject. So that would be a big strike against that project. In addition, I already spend a lot of time on this blog, more than most writers do. (I don't consider myself a writer who has a blog. I am a writer and a blogger.) Updating nearly every day with sometimes short essay-length material is a lot. In addition, I'm already maintaining a second blog at Goodreads. (I just discovered I can link to my individual blog posts there from outside, though you may have to belong to Goodreads to read them. Don't know about that.) That blog is only updated 2 or 3 times a month, but still, I am already maintaining two blogs.
A third blog would take up valuable time and energy without providing me with much benefit, since I couldn't seriously expect many more readers. This was definitely a case where I could predict that I either wasn't going to follow through with this project, or I was going to follow through in a poor manner. I decided not to do it.
However, some of what I wanted to do with that new blog I can do here, which is why you can now see an Environmental Sites & Author Blogs section on my blog roll. Once a week I'll be doing environmental posts that fit in in some way with writing and/or reading. We'll see if this has much impact on the marketing of Saving the Planet & Stuff. At the very least, it will be far, far more time and energy efficient for me than starting and maintaining an entirely separate blog.
So maybe what this Time Management Tuesday post should have been called is Know What You're Just Not Going To Do, Don't Do It, And Do Something Else Instead.
Four children's literature blogs combine to form a superblog on Facebook.
Blog: Tiny Tips for Library Fun (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: women; gender; powerlessness, blogs, feminism, Add a tag
On this the first day of Women's History month, the issues of gender and power are much on my mind.
Hi Miss Julie just wrote one of the most powerful posts I have read on the issue of the politics of this power and how woman are pushed towards silence. She turns a burning light on this in particular in her own life and then in relation to the world of children's work within librarianship.
This post links directly with her earlier post on recognition and youth work. For those in youth work who read this earlier post's comments section, it was stunning how utterly and completely some of the comments missed and blew past the point of her post. Dear Abby advice on how to "put yourself out there" wasn't where Julie's post was going. My read was she was calling out the larger world of librarianship for the disregard and disrespect for the marvelous and powerful work youth librarians are doing (although one commenter insisted that youth librarians don't really do anything innovative...oh, why yes, that *is* the sound of my teeth grinding).
There have been some ugly bullying of women bloggers, FBers and tweeters in the recent past - most swirl around the picayune-ness; the paltry-ness; the unimportance of our concerns - from Arcgate to our observations on how we appropriate cultural touchpoints. It's ok to provide book recommendations for another librarian's offspring but shut-up will you in the world of politics and opinion. Smile and be nice.
It is the subtle and not so subtle pushing women back and down - and in youth work, where our clientele is devalued because of their powerlessness in the larger society, we work under the burden of powerlessness by association in the eyes of some in our profession. Is it reflective of the larger society that so devalues women by insisting our little minds can't handle our own decisions on our lady parts? That continues to put roadblocks to upward mobility and insists that we need to be uber people that parent, work, achieve, clean, and look fetching and smile, smile , smile all the time? Um, yes.
The discussions on blogs and twitter have been painful and eye-opening. Here are some of the links that have particularly made me think deeply and know I - and many other women and youth library workers - are not entirely nuts in thinking "What the deuce is going on with our colleagues?" I thank Kelly Jensen and Sophie Brookover for some of these links.
Kelly over at Stacked
Kristin at Action Librarian
Ingrid at Magpie Librarian
Nicolas at information.games
Justin at Beerbrarian
Me (I know this is so self-regarding)
There are more posts out there on the issues of women and librarianship, power and gender. Please share and let's keep this conversation going. These are issues of long standing, my friends, and battles that have been going on since long before I was a SLIS student and young librarian decades ago (I'll share those stories another day). I am just discouraged that 40 years later, we see the same poor behaviors.
Gender matters. Being supportive matters. Making sure there is an interlocutor between brain and mouth or fingertips matters. Let's get started on supporting each other and celebrating the work we all do on behalf of varied clienteles. Nobody is better than anybody. We are all in this together. Like that.
Image: 'The Hidden Beauty!' http://www.flickr.com/photos/44345361@N06/5929570738 Found on flickrcc.net
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Blog: Tiny Tips for Library Fun (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: blogs, collaboration, Innovation, Add a tag
I ran across an extraordinary post....
How many times lately have I been tweeting or doing blog posts about some amazing thing I've read from Youth Services bloggers I follow? So much of what I read takes me to places of discovery that I have never been before. And it clearly inspires my blogging and TTFLF's content.
This post is completely happening because I was blown away by Amy Koester's Peer Sourcing post at Show Me Librarian. In the post she acknowledges the power of collaboration and learning from others to build the scaffolding to new programming and thinking paradigms in her work. As I've said before, everything comes from somewhere - whether hatched in our brain or sparked by something we read or hear or collaborate on.
When I started blogging five years ago, there were mostly kidlit blogs - lots of reviews of and thoughts about children and teen books. Only a handful of bloggers shared programs, initiatives and opinions on youth services. And that was what I was really after.
As the years have gone on, more youth people have joined the conversation. From robust posts at ALSC, YALSA, and the Hub to individual bloggers inspired by Flannel Fridays or a desire to share their professional journeys in working with youth, I now have over 100 blogs that I follow. They are ripe with opinions, storytime ideas; teen program mojo; cool initiatives and more. Who knew?
I agree with Amy that we learn from others in a way that informs and improves our work. This is really a shout-out to all the youth services bloggers for putting it out there and sharing. I learn every day and in every way from you all. You all make me a better librarian. And you inform what I write about here.
Really, I am so lucky! Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Teaching Authors (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: blogs, young writers, Esther Hershenhorn, Add a tag
There I was, out and about at the 2013 Colorado Chapter IRA Heroes in Literacy Conference in Denver, sharing with teachers proven ways to seed and feed their Young Authors, when a workshop presenter shared a proven way with me I knew I’d quickly share with you.
Please meet Deanna Duray’s Little School Third Graders, digital citizens with the handle Fervent Learners!
Their classroom was one of seven (out of 127 applicants!) in Jefferson County, Colorado to receive on January 14th an iPad 1:1 Grant from the local Karl Friedman Family Foundation.
I emailed Deanna Duray to ask what she loves best about her third graders blogging.
Having an authentic audience was on the top of her list.
“It gives us the opportunity to reach outside of our classroom walls and show our families and others how we are growing as writers. Just this last week our class blogged about the upcoming state testing and what it takes to be a FERVENT test taker. I shared our blog link with one of our 6th grade teachers and her students replied back. I love how blogging gives students a wider audience!"
As for her fervent bloggers and what they love best?
“I love that you can comment on other people's blogs!” wrote Micaela. “I love how I can blog from home!” commented Jovanni.
Kayla loved how “you can express your feelings to all the people that will be reading your blog.”
Kyle loved how “you can change font and write what you want to write.”
Click on Fervent Learners.
Explore the Blogroll.
Scroll the Blog Directory.
Choose a post and share your comments!
If you’re a classroom teacher, consider introducing this opportunity to your students.
If you’re a writer, especially of children’s books, consider each Fervent Learner post a mini-lesson on Voice.
And, thank you, Deanna Duray and Fervent Learners, for sharing your experience and expertise.
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Blog: inspiration from vintage kids books and timeless modern graphic design (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Found design, blogs, Add a tag
If you’re looking for a fresh dose of web design inspiration, I highly recommend siteInspire. Recently redeveloped, the site features over 2700 examples of web and interactive design each hand picked by the guys at Howells-Studio.
Not signed up for the Grain Edit RSS Feed yet? Give it a try. Its free and yummy.Featured Book: Matte Stephens: Selected Works.
A Huge thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring this week’s RSS Feed!
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Blog: Tiny Tips for Library Fun (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Support for Youth Services, blogs, citation, Add a tag
A recent post from a widely read blog, which will itself remain uncited, described a library's program for kids. It looked fun and had a ton of good ideas. It is a program we have done too. All was well and good until I reached the point in the post where I read about an activity that I had created and originated and blogged widely - and more than once - about. Sadly, I didn't see a link back here. Sigh.
I definitely like to scatter idea seeds - both ones I've thought up and ones I've learned from others. I let them fall where they may. I always hope for fertile soil; for sprouts and gardens to grow that let kids experience something amazing that they couldn't if their youth librarian didn't try something new they heard from me - or discovered on a listserv, blog post, workshop or book .
But truly, as much as I have scattered, I have also gathered from others. I have learned and borrowed and recreated ideas that others have pioneered. Each time I do, I have said, "Hey, I found it here; or this library or librarian was the founding mother or here was the acorn that produced this oak." Everything comes from somewhere and I appreciate the person that hatched the first egg of the idea.
Every time I read a post that describes a program, I love to see where it came from (the writer's mind; another colleague; a chance conversation; an adaptation of an article; like that). It leads me to that first place and adds a colleague and their work to my blog roll, my reading pile or my bookmarks.
I have been mellow about seeing stuff I've created go viral ("Oh, there's my little baby," I coo proudly, "all grown up") even if my hand in it is long gone. I rarely pitch a fit. But, somehow, this time, this missing link bothered me. I will totally get over it. I understand how in this world of Pinterest and links to links to links, things can easily fall between the cracks. But I send out a plea to my sister and brother pinners and bloggers and blog administrators - please remember to ask yourself and your writers to link to original content or at least lay a path that helps others find their way.
After all, everything starts somewhere.
Note: I composed this post last month and scheduled it for next week. But three incredible posts of the last 24 hours moved this up since they touch on aspects of support for each other in what I am writing: Hi Miss Julie's questions about who gets tapped for rock stardom vs. the librarians truly working in the trenches of youth librarianship; Kelly over at Stacked who thoughtfully and reflectively explores how we support each other in our work and blogging; and KM Librarian who thinks about networks and support that matter. All these posts are knock-your-socks-off thoughtful.
Image: '382e nestled in' http://www.flickr.com/photos/25171569@N02/6298805160 Found on flickrcc.net
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Blog: Liz Carmichael's Portal (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Better Blogging, Community, 365 days, 52 weeks, Blogs, postaday, Add a tag
At the end of November, we gave shout-outs to bloggers and artists who participated in month-long projects like NaBloPoMo and NaNoDrawMo. As 2012 comes to a close, we also want to highlight writers and photographers who challenged themselves all year — who posted each day or each week, or have established an ongoing project on their sites.
These bloggers caught our attention:
JUMP FOR JOY! Photo Project
An inspiring international project focused on play, fun, and the positive in our lives, JUMP FOR JOY! presents Eyoälha Baker’s vision of a world united by our expression of joy. Eyoälha has taken nearly all the images on her blog — with the exception of the photos of her. Her jumping subjects are captured in locations around the world: at the beach in Kauai, at a park in Vancouver, or even between city skyscrapers . . . while holding a ninja sword! We love how she showcases the beauty of the human spirit — in mid-air.
A Year of Reading the World
In 2012, writer and editor Ann Morgan planned to read her way around as many of the globe’s 196 independent countries as she could, sampling one book from every nation. The result? Her thoughtful, sophisticated blog, A Year of Reading the World. In each post, she focuses on a particular book and digs into the country’s history and culture. Recent places included Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, and the Maldives.
Kurt Blumenau’s grandfather kept month-to-month calendars — 15 years’ worth! — on which he recorded significant events that affected him, such as the flight of Apollo 17.
These calendars remain in Kurt’s family, and each Monday on his blog, Hope Street, Kurt picks an interesting calendar entry and writes something about it. ”It might be a reflection on my grandfather’s life,” writes Kurt, “or my family’s history and tradition . . . or American life of the 1960s and 1970s . . . or my own life today.”
The blog celebrates his grandfather and family and is a unique, thoughtful project of personal and American history.
Sketches From Memory
We admire the sketch-a-day regimen of comic artist Chuck Cottrell. Chuck posts simple sketches to mini comic strips, mostly in black and white (with some random yet effective bursts of color). We recommend you dive in, as he lets readers in to his personal world — including sharing stories of married life — in a fun, candid way.
Ian Spagnolo Photography
Outdoor landscapes. Dramatic long exposure shots of the sea. Light painting sessions. Follow photographer Ian Spagnolo‘s “365 Project” to sample his work, especially if you enjoy seeing a photographer play around with exposure, light, and other elements. Ian is from Coffs Harbour, a coastal city in New South Wales, Australia, which means he certainly won’t run out of stunning subject matter to shoot.
52 Brand New
For 2012, the personable blogger behind 52 Brand New promised to try 52 new experiences with her children, from tasting new cuisines to attending a family yoga class to collecting rocks. In each “new experience,” she includes playful Polaroid-style images and links to other experiences her family has undertaken, as well as external resources offering ideas for family activities. 52 Brand New is a fresh, creative take on a parenting blog.
A daily photoblog, Instamatic Gratification succeeds because of its simple and focused approach: one image per day. (We also love the daily quotes that accompany each photograph.) In January 2010, Caryn launched the blog and successfully posted 365 images in that first year. In 2011, she wasn’t quite as diligent, so this year, she decided to challenge herself once again. She writes: “I’ve come to realize that, for me anyway, quantity (or rather the consistency of daily practice) is the surest and most direct route to quality.” We totally agree!
Dar’s 52 Mondays Blog
Dar’s “52 Mondays” project compiles photographs as well as her thoughts on nature, art, education, creativity, and more — a space in which she can share her ideas in one place. We appreciate her weekly dedication to “make Mondays more marvelous,” and think her approach is inspiring.
Since the New Year is just around the corner, we encourage you to start your own 365-day or 52-week project in January. If you have big, exciting plans for your site in 2013, let us know in the comments.
Happy New Year!
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Blog: Kid Lit Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Middle Grade, 5stars, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Guest Post, relationships, friendships, middle grade books, forgiveness, blogging, gossip, Romeo & Juliet, Karen Pokras Toz, Grand Daisy Press, Deana Riddle, bullys, Internet, advice, blogs, book blog tours, redemption, school plays, soccer, advice columnist, diary entries, harris family, Add a tag
GUEST POST by DOUGLAS “DOOGLE” HARRIS 5 Stars Millicent Marie is NOT My Name Karen Pokras Toz Grand Daisy Press No. Pages: 150 Ages: 8 to 12 .................. .................. ................. Back Cover: Twelve-year-old Millicent Marie does not like her name. After all, she was named for a woman who died more than fifty years ago [...]Add a Comment
What a fast year - hard to believe it's already time to celebrate such an argh-picious occasion! When I looked back last year, it was with amazement and surprise at how the blog has grown. Only a year later, and the pageviews for the blog have gone up over to 83,000 views (from 32,000 over the first four years!). That astounds me.
Thank mateys for sticking with the blog and being part of my library family online. It means the world. Now back to plank-walking!
Image: 'AAAAR2D2' http://www.flickr.com/photos/95492938@N00/3519678477 Found on flickrcc.net Display Comments Add a Comment
Kelly over at Stacked recently wrote a post on authenticity and blogging that perked me up. She spends time exploring why we blog, how to be true to yourself and your voice and how to let the outside clamor stay outside while you follow your own path. Putting pressure on yourself about how you blog, how frequently or what your content is leads away from authenticity.
Her thoughts resonate with me. I have heard many bloggers over the last few months feeling publicly bad about not blogging enough or feeling like they are being neglectful. I always chalk this up to the pressure of summer reading months. No matter how swell things are, these months are very intense and take the creative juice right out of you. It's tempting to put just anything up on the blog to let people know you aren't dead - yet.
But I find that lack of posts from bloggers I follow doesn't bother me. I know life happens. And when they return with a post it is often thoughtful and something they feel passionate about - it is authentic in a way that those who post frequently rarely reach.
I tell myself that as I go through dry periods too (sometimes I must speak sternly to me). I write what I care about. I write what I believe in. But there is a special children's librarian muse who simply must visit me first. The blog waits for me to hear the muse and write. And I hope my readers will as well.
Image: 'Incognito' http://www.flickr.com/photos/22074118@N00/997415862 Found on flickrcc.net Add a Comment
The "Meter Maids" give ways to improve your rhyming manuscripts.
Some things to think about before you hire someone to set up a blog for you.
Blog: YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Blogs, New Librarians, Prof. Development, Research, Teen Services, Youth Participation, beauty, Collaboration, education, environment, Fashion, going green, green, Hair, Hairstyles, harassment, hegemony, library school, Movies, ody image, oprah winfrey, schools, science, scientists, seed libraries, self esteemb, self image, STEM, Students, teachers, television, Add a tag
Even if you don’t work in a school media center, I’m guessing your life still tends to run on an academic schedule when you work with teens. So welcome to the new school year! Here’s what I think might be interesting, useful, or intriguing to you and your patrons this month.
- If your teens are interested in what’s new in the going green movement, have them look more globally to see what’s going on. In coastal Ecuador, young people from farming families are heading up efforts to save, cultivate, and redistribute heirloom seeds to revitalize the environment and help farmers prosper. Part of an organization called FOCCAHL, 20-year-old Cesar Guale Vasquez travels throughout nearby areas collecting seeds from farmers and also hosts swapping events so that farmers can trade seeds with each other in order to have more vibrant and diverse crops. Now take that for inspiration and add to it your own library’s resources on climate change, farming, and nutrition and plan an interesting program that combines science with activism and see what your advisory board wants to do with it. Many libraries now are creating their own seed libraries, and whether they’re for wildflowers or corn, they can be a great way to bring communities together, get young people to work with older people, and freshen up your local environment while doing your small part to keep the world cleaner and greener.
Matthews, J. (2012). Ecuador’s seed savior. World Ark, May 2012: 10-15.
- At the beginning of the school year, many teens are interested in refining or experimenting with their personal style. There is generally no shortage of mainstream fashion and beauty advice in the magazines and books you have in your collection already, but there might be a population you’re missing, and they’re getting bigger and more vocal. While the natural hair trend has been growing for years, the recent O Magazine cover presenting Oprah Winfrey with her hair relaxer-free has sparked a lot of talk. The social news web is blowing up with discussions of hegemony (the prevalence of hair relaxers in the African American community has been linked to unrealistic standards of white beauty), harassment (nearly everyone with natural curls, regardless of race, has experienced strangers touching their hair without asking first), and self image (who decides what’s beautiful, and is it more important to do what you think is pretty on you or to make a political statement with your hair?). Take a look at the reports of the Oprah cover at Sociological Images and Jezebel (it’s worth taking a look at the comments, too, but they’re probably NSFW and can get heated), and then consider hosting a discussion club or making a display of books on beauty. If you’re not sure where to start, I suggest Naturally Curly, one of the premiere websites (with social components, news, and shopping) for natural hair of all textures.
- STEM, STEM, STEM. Everybody wants students to engage with science, technology, engineering and math. Federal money is pumped into it. Grants support it. But do teens and tweens care for it? In a study of middle school students, researchers analyzed both boys’ and girls’ wishful identification with scientists on television shows to see what factors influenced positive feelings (possibly indicating an interest in pursuing a science career or hobby). They found that boys were more likely to identify with male scientists and girls with female scientists, which is unsurprising. What was more interesting is that the genre of the television show affected the positive feelings. Scientist characters on dramas were more likely to elicit wishful identification than those on cartoons or educational programs. What can you do with this information? Plenty. For your next film screening, try a drama or documentary that presents scientists in a good light, like Cool It, And the Band Played On, or Einstein and Eddington. If you want to take a crack at those who think that being good at science or math makes you a loser, connect STEM with the things teens already love, like working out, YouTube, and the Web by taking a look at the 35 fittest people in tech, videos by Vi Hart, who turns mathematical concepts and history into snarky audiovisual narratives, or how-tos at Lifehacker.
Steinke, J., et al. (2011). Gender Differences in Adolescents’ Wishful Identification With Scientist Characters on Television. Science Communication, 34(2): 163-199.
- Whether you’re in library school or you’ve been working for years, you might find Hack Library School’s new starter kit series interesting, especially their post on services to children. Anyone want to volunteer to write the starter kit for youth services? On a related note, Teen Librarian Toolbox has a post on what to do about all that stuff they don’t teach you in library school (I’m taking notes).
- If you’ve been trying to find a way to collaborate with nearby schools, see if you can get an advisory group to have a meeting with local teachers (it might be a good idea to make sure that the teachers are not teachers of the teens in your group so as to encourage openness and honesty) and start a dialogue. The topic? Standardized tests. Students may feel like teachers are against them, while teachers probably feel as if it’s administrators who are forcing them to be uncreative. So how do you get all sides to understand each other when schools are still tied to federal standards? For background information, try the journal Rethinking Schools‘ spring 2012 issue, which featured a special section on standardized tests. After a good discussion, maybe everyone can take fun “standardized tests” on personality types, books, or any other fun topics. Then see if students, teachers, and you can work together and form some sort of coalition that bridges the gaps between inside- and outside-of-school education, engagement, and issues. Start a collaborative blog. Take turns hosting book clubs at different places that feel like home to the different stakeholders in your group. What might be an interesting year-long project is to get everyone in the group to develop their ultimate standardized test to replace the ones they’re taking or proctoring in school. What skills do teachers and students think are most important to have before leaving the K-12 system? What topics do people in the real world need to know? Is it better to test knowledge orally? With essays? With student-led, student-designed creative projects? With their perspectives and your skills with information seeking, along with your vast collections, you should be able to create a really interesting partnership. And if you need more inspiration, check out these roundups of education blogs by both students and teachers, both here and here.
What are your plans for this upcoming academic year? As always, your questions, comments and suggestions are welcomed and encouraged!Add a Comment
Blog: Just the Facts, Ma'am (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: blogs, social_media, Add a tag
Thirteen simple tips to make your blog better.
Blog: billkirkwrites (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Some experiences in life make us all the better for having had them, even if we may not believe that to be the case at the time. Often we may not recognize the goodness or richness inherent in an experience until much later, especially the mentally or physically or emotionally challenging ones.
Maybe that delayed learning is the essence of human adaptation in the face of seemingly unbearable pain or change---letting go when it seems no good can come of it or holding on for dear life to all that seems to have meaning. And sometimes both of those sentiments are wrapped up in one event, symbolic gesture, touch or sound. Who hasn't been catapulted decades back at the sound of a few chords from a song or felt tears well up at the sight of a tri-fold American flag presented with the thanks of a grateful nation to a bereaved mother or young widow?
Occasionally we are blessed by the gift of understanding even in the very same moment. Those instant revelations seem to fill our senses to bursting as we struggle to absorb and appreciate the full measure of their meaning on the spot---as a new baby first suckles at its mother's breast or with the exchange of trust when a new driver is given the keys to a car on his or her first solo date.
Perhaps the blessing is surviving those life events to allow understanding to occur in the fullness of time. That is, maybe individual experiences only become more meaningful as we age. Layered one upon another, they seem to make us wiser, stronger, more complete---like the plies and cross plies in plywood or the over-lying layers of fiber glass in a boat hull.
Time allows us to process what has occurred into why it happened in the first place. In those first few proximate moments, the why often remains hidden, sometimes in plain sight. Yet it waits to be discovered when our vision has cleared and we are ready to see.
Blog: Crazy Quilts (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Diversity Issues, Sunday Reads, Technology and Gadgets, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, blogs, comments, diversity, facebook, Pinterest, sunday morning reads, YALSA Hub, Add a tag
Could you take a second to answer this question for me? If you need another option, just leave a comment. Thanks!
One of the main purposes of blogging is to speak what’s on your mind. I don’t expect bloggers to have my same perspective on anything, but if you’re going to put it out there, be willing listen to opinions that may challenge what you say. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, as my mom would say! Recently blogger Jen Doll was criticized for provided an all white listing of outstanding YA girl characters of color. After much criticism, she paused, reflected and shared this.
I was just this morning reading an interesting post on a library blog that took thoughts from outside the library world and did a very interesting job of applying the principles to how libraries should evolve. Well, until I got to this.
My take – Celebrate diversity: How interesting it is to read in Kawasaki’s article that “former teachers make the best salespeople because they ask a lot of questions”. Often times our library patrons forget that those of us working in school libraries are teachers. With the dual qualification of teacher and librarian, we hold a powerful range of skills to engage and assist. Don’t lose sight of it! With the essential support of librarians, library technicians, library assistants and a range of volunteers working hand in hand with teacher librarians, we present our patrons with a very diverse range of talent, knowledge and skill.
While we all certainly all have diverse views on what diversity is, I found this one to be quite limited. So I posted a response which said something like “I was really enjoying this list until I got to the fourth item. If librarians are not able to see the world outside their own race, religion or sexual preference then they’re limiting their effectiveness. Librarians should open the world to those they serve.”
I say my response was something like that because my response was deleted! The only ones that remained were responses that praised the author for such a nice post. Talk about lacking diversity, about limited perspective! I cannot assume any ethnic or religious identity on this person, but I can clearly see someone who is controlling and limiting what could be a dynamic and engaging conversation. It really felt like the hand of someone who feels rather entitled and maintains a rather limited view of how immensely diverse the work really is.
Then, there’s the issue of deleting comments. I’ve done that quite sparingly. Most notably, when I kept going back and forth with someone who disagreed with me because I didn’t like a book. I’ve also deleted comments when I’ve posted a grant or scholarship and someone thought I was providing the funding. Other than that (and spam), I provide an open mic.Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Picture Book Junkies (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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One of the blogs I always enjoy visiting belongs to the talented Lynne Chapman. Her blog is filled with tons of valuable information. Like this post, for example, where she explains a little about how she designs her spreads.
Go have a look at her blog and website which is filled with super cute art and many videos, really fun stuff!
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Look on the left column on Lee Wind's blog for a list of books with gay teen themes and/or characters.
Blog: Audiobook Blog - Audiobooker, by Mary Burkey - Booklist Online (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Blogs, June is Audiobook Month, Narrators, Video, Add a tag
Get the inside scoop from two pro narrators sharing interviews for #JIAM June is Audiobook Month. Narrator Karen White will be posting her interviews with industry insiders on her Home Cooked Books blog, beginning with this chat with Blackstone Audio’s Tanya Perez. Narrator Robert Fass will be posting a video each day on his YouTube channel. I’m featuring his interview with AudioGo’s Michele Cobb, president of the Audio Publishers Association below. I hope to meet up with Karen, Robert and Michele at today’s Audiobook Publishers Association Annual Conference or at tomorrow’s Audies Award Gala. Keep tuned updates on all things Audies from NYC!Add a Comment
Blog: Audiobook Blog - Audiobooker, by Mary Burkey - Booklist Online (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Audiobooks, Blogs, Digital media, Library programing, Narrators, News you can use, Production, Video, Add a tag
What’s happening in the audiobook world? Here’s a round-up of interesting links…
I am totally inspired by the Contra Costa County (CA) Public Library’s “Snap & Go” project to bring library services to mobile phones, winner of the 2012 John Cotton Dana Public Relations Award. When I saw this promotion on the library’s website…
Now on WestCAT buses: Snap & Go QR Technology
Powered by WestCAT and the Contra Costa County Library
Listen to over 600 audiobook titles on the bus with the Contra Costa County Library’s Snap & Go mobile library access. Wirelessly download audiobooks directly to your cell phone for FREE. It’s a great way to pass time on the bus.
Easy as 1-2-3
1) Download a free QR code reader to your phone fromsnapngo.ccclib.org (1x only)
2) Scan the code from a library poster on Tri Delta Transit buses or wherever you see it posted.
3) Select an audiobook to download and enjoy the ride!
I immediately thought about how to make this happen in my school library,
stole shared the idea and brainstormed with my public library partner George Morrison. We’re dreaming up ways to pilot this idea on school buses this fall, with the tag line “Stuck on a Bus?” How about QR codes for links to audiobooks of required classroom reads? Bookmarks with QR codes to a genre list of top teen audiobooks or list of always-available classics in both eBook and audio format? What a great project to tweak and tailor to your population – find out more in this article.
The National Endowment for the Arts has released the newest batch of ” “The Big Read” classic titles for adults and teens. The 31 titles each include a “Learn More” tab for an introductory Preface, a Reader’s Guide, Teacher’s Guide and an awesome Audio Guide for each title. The approximately 30 minute Audio Guide is perfect to expand a listener’s appreciation of a book, to add to your library website or for teachers to add to a novel unit. The Big Read will highlight a different audio guide about a Big Read book and author every 2 weeks. You can subscribe the podcast using iTunes, or any other podcatching tool.
“To Prep Or Not to Prep? That Is The Question” is the title of Grammy Award-winning audiobook producer/director Paul Ruben’s newest blog post on the positives & pitfalls of narrators preparing a book for recording. If you’d like an insider’s view of the art & craft of audiobook production, you can’t get much better than the revealing posts in Ruben’s blog.
NPR’s Press-Play Poetry website is the perfect antidote for listeners with heat-induced short attention spans. The newest post of audible poetry is “Summer Song” by William Carlos Williams, along with the poem’s text and background information.
Another audio production insider, Allan Toving of Tantor Audio, has “Tantorious,” an audio blog where you can download and listenAdd a Comment
Five things to consider before you pull the plug on your blog.
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