December 16, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Help for Hurricane Hit Libraries; Leap into Science | News Bites

LIBRARIES IN THE CARIBBEAN UP FOR ‘ADOPTION’

In the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the American Library Association (ALA) has partnered with REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and Spanish Speakers, on an Adopt a Library Program to assist with relief efforts.

“The Adopt a Library Program…is essential to the recovery, restoration, and advancement of libraries of all sizes and all types in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and across the Caribbean. We must support our colleagues who are striving to sustain access to information for the people in their communities,” says Jim Neal, ALA president.

Adoptive libraries and organizations can raise funds; donate books, supplies and equipment; and offer advice and volunteers.

“Our colleagues need encouragement and [to] know that we care,” says Tess Tobin, REFORMA president. For more information, email Nick Sweig.

FREE ‘AMERICAN GIRL’ BOOKS FOR NYC KIDS

Any child or teen with a New York Public Library (NYPL) card, or who signs up for one, is eligible to take home and keep one of 100,000 “American Girl” books until supplies run out.

In addition to the $1 million worth of books, which tell stories of girls throughout different eras of U.S. history, American Girl also donated one doll to every NYPL children’s room and a set of books to each branch to be placed in circulation. Families can find nearby branches at nypl.org/locations.

DEADLINE TO REPRESENT YOUR STATE AS A “LEAP INTO SCIENCE” INSTITUTION DRAWS NEAR

Libraries are invited to team up with the Franklin Institute Science Museum, the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the Institute for Learning Innovation to advance science and literacy education for underserved families. Leap into Science, a series of curriculum and training resources, integrates science activities with books for children, ages three to 10.

Five states, each represented by a team of two or three institutions, will be selected to take part in the three-year project, for which the ALA serves on the advisory board. The application deadline is December 11, 2017.

DIGITAL LITERACY RESOURCES AVAILABLE FREE TO EDUCATORS

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project is offering K–12 lessons aligned with Common Core State Standards, organized by grade level.

In 2015, the Pew Research Center found that more than 90 percent of teens access the Internet daily, with a quarter of those saying they’re online almost constantly. Thus, “There is a growing demand among teachers for resources that help them prepare students to recognize ‘fake news’ and engage in social media communities responsibly,” says Maureen Costello, Teaching Tolerance director.

The digital literacy lessons consist of short informational videos and self-guided tools, including checklists, handouts, and vocabulary lists, for both students and educators. Teachers can get these classroom materials at no cost at Tolerance.org.

VIDEO CONTEST TO EMPHASIZE PERKS OF A MANUFACTURING CAREER

Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. is launching a statewide “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video competition. First executed in Pennsylvania, the competition has been successful in several other states as well.

The competition involves area high schools being matched with local manufacturers to learn about that company’s operations and staff to discover all the “cool” things a career in manufacturing offers. Student teams and industry partners then collaborate on the creation of a video around a theme. The competition gets underway in January 2018 and culminates with a reception in May for four regional honorees, at which the grand statewide winner will be announced. To learn how schools can participate, email Calvin Brown.

2018’S TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS BEING SELECTED

Publisher submissions are being accepted through March 9, 2018, for the 2018 SEE-IT Award, given annually by EBSCO Information Services, in partnership with the Children’s Book Council. The award highlights outstanding titles and new authors in the youth graphic novel genre. The resultant list can be a resource for school and public librarians seeking new titles to add their collections. Nine librarian jurors will evaluate the submitted works. Finalists will be announced in April 2018. The winner will be announced in June at ALA Annual in New Orleans.

LETTERS TO AUTHORS TO BE JUDGED IN CENTER FOR THE BOOK CONTEST

The Letters About Literature program has kicked off its 25th annual competition. Students in grades four through 12 are invited to submit letters they have written to authors, describing how their books have affected them. To date, the contest, which is run by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, has allowed more than one million students to express in writing how a book changed their worldview. For instructions for entering and the various deadlines for each state, visit read.gov/letters.

EZRA JACK KEATS BOOK AWARD PRIZE MONEY TRIPLES

The amount of the check that comes with the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award has been raised from $1,000 to $3,000, effective with the 32nd annual award, to be bestowed on April 12, 2018, at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The award recognizes a writer and an illustrator early in their careers for outstanding work. Past winners include Bryan Collier and Sophie Blackall.

“We’re proud to increase the amount of the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award to bring greater recognition to these talented artists. Children’s picture books are critically important to a forward-looking culture, and we need to support authors and illustrators whose work reflects the wonderful diversity of our society,” says Deborah Pope, executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

Submission guidelines can be found at Ezra-jack-keats.org.

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