November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for May 2006

MySpace Can Be Our Space | Soapbox

Let’s turn the infamous networking site into a teachable moment

I’m sure that the headlines and their dire warnings about cyberstalkers help sell papers and convince TV viewers to stay tuned to hear about the latest threat to their children, but this whole MySpace ban needs to stop.

After all, the social networking Web site that is all the rage among teens, is, as Kevin Poulsen explained in a February 2006 Wired magazine article, TheirSpace not OurSpace. Adults just don’t get it. […]

Howdy, Partner | First Steps

Community alliances can help you reach the next generation of readers

The first day of kindergarten has been called the “starting gate,” the day all children begin learning what they need for academic and future success. In reality, the starting gate is about five years earlier—at birth. Regrettably, by the time many children reach kindergarten, they are already far behind.

In 2002, the Economic Policy Institute’s report Inequality at the Starting Gate concluded that “disadvantaged children start kindergarten with significantly lower […]

Hip Chick, Cool Cat | Under Cover

Artist Sara Varon talks about her first children’s book—a sweet wordless wonder

Chicken and Cat is a good-hearted tale of two friends—a chicken who lives in New York City and a country cat who pays him a visit. Is the story autobiographical?

It’s totally autobiographical. The story not only takes place in my Brooklyn neighborhood, that’s my subway station that they go to, and Chicken lives in my building. Actually, it’s my street number, but I drew a building down the […]

Letting Go | Teenage Riot

Putting teens in charge of their own programming is the key to success

We plan the programs, buy the books, and direct the services. But isn’t it time to give teens more power and control over their library experience? “For teens, by teens, with teens” has been young adult librarians’ longstanding mantra—but chances are that your library programs don’t include any direct teen input. The Young Adult Library Services Association says youth participation can have a dramatic impact on library programming. […]

The ‘Criss Cross’ Conundrum | Up for Discussion

A look at the real-life implications of a “high” Newbery or a “low” Printz

When I read the first line of Lynne Rae Perkins’s Criss Cross (Greenwillow, 2005)–“She wished something would happen”–I was enchanted. By the end of the first chapter, “The Catch,” I was sure I was reading an award winner. But the catch that I thought of as I continued to read was, which award?

Was Criss Cross a “high” Newbery candidate, meaning the John Newbery Award committee members thought […]

Camp Library | What Works

Sleepovers can form a lasting relationship between kids and the library

Sleepovers can be fun, but imagine the excitement of having one at the public library? Our Brownie Sleepover program started 10 years ago when two local Brownie leaders approached Mary Kennedy, the former head of children’s services, to ask if she could help second graders earn their “Be a Reader” patch.

After getting approval from the board, Kennedy launched the program as a way to create a special bond between young […]

School Library 2.0

A group of students from Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, MI, is sitting down to a discussion of Elie Wiesel’s Night (Hill & Wang, 1960). It’s a fairly typical exercise—the Nobel Laureate’s haunting memoir of the Holocaust has been widely read in high schools (long before being tapped for Oprah’s book club earlier this year).

Not so typical is the discussion itself. It will take place entirely online, in the form of a blog. Margaret Lincoln, a librarian at Lakeview, […]