November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

President Obama’s Call to Halt Teacher Layoffs Leaves School Librarians Out

President Obama’s weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday focused on the critical role that education plays in our country’s future—and the need for Congress to pass his proposed jobs bill to help states prevent teacher layoffs and rehire them. But he made no mention of school librarians.

SLJ SummerTeen 2012: Keynote Speaker Caroline Cooney

Caroline Cooney fans will be pleased to know that the YA author has finished her fifth “Janie” book—a short story called Janie Face to Face.

“I can’t tell you how astonishing it is to me that I have written five books about this girl and this boy, about their families and their friends, who do not exist in real life, but are so large in my heart and my history,” says Cooney, the keynote speaker at Thursday’s SLJ SummerTeen, a daylong online event featuring the hottest names in YA lit. “The fifth book poured out, as if I had known all along what really happened to Janie Johnson and [her boyfriend] Reeve Shields.”

HarperCollins Stands By Berenstain Bears Chick-fil-A Promo

Activist groups are turning up the heat on HarperCollins—but the publisher isn’t bowing to pressure to sever ties with the anti-gay fast food chain Chick-fil-A.

Representatives from CREDO Action, SumofUs.org, and Faithful America on Tuesday delivered petitions signed by more than 80,000 people urging HarperCollins to pull several Berenstain Bears titles being distributed through a kids’ meal promotion that started this month.

Libraries Should Boost Gaming Collections to Attract More Kids, Study Says

Libraries should consider beefing up their gaming collections as a way to keep kids and teens coming, says a new study examining patron use and preferences.

Tad Hills Talks About Rocket Writes a Story

SLJ caught up with author-illustrator Tad Hills about Rocket Writes a Story (Random, 2012), which follows a loveable dog as he tries to write his own book, and is the sequel to the bestselling picture book How Rocket Learned to Read (Random, 2010).

Michigan ACLU, Students File ‘Right to Read’ Lawsuit

Some kids in Michigan are literally fighting for their right to read. The state’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently filed a class-action suit on behalf of eight students in the Highland Park School District who don’t read at grade level.

Oregon District Keeps School Libraries Open to Prevent Summer Slide

Seven Title I media centers throughout the district continue to keep their doors open two hours each week, and local kids are welcome to read, check out books, or attend read-alouds. Although it’s not a new concept, it’s the first time Salem-Keizer has kept summer hours—and so far, kids seem to be enjoying it, says Stephen Cox, the district’s library media program specialist.

DOE Finally Opens Federal School Library Grant Application Process

Talk about lousy timing. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) began accepting applications last week for the new Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program—at a time when most school librarians are off on their summer breaks.

Study: Teacher Support for Common Core Standards Growing; Public Awareness Still Lags

Although 46 states and Washington, DC, have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), less than a quarter of the general public knows about the academic standards for K-12 education that are designed to prepare students for college and the workforce, says a recent poll by a nonprofit education reform organization.

Cyndi Lauper’s Youth Homelessness Awareness Project Reaches Out to Librarians

Grammy Award-winning artist Cyndi Lauper wants to put an end to homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens (LGBT)—and she’s hoping her new Forty to None Project will raise enough awareness about the problem to make a difference.

DC Mayor Signs Law Requiring Youth Anti-Bullying Policies in Libraries, Other City Agencies

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray on Friday signed a bill that requires public libraries, schools, recreation centers, and other city agencies that work with young people to adopt and implement antibullying policies.

ALA Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution Supporting School Libraries| ALA Annual 2012

Drafted by the Special Presidential Task Force on School Libraries, the resolution was “formed out of necessity” in response to the ongoing budget cuts and school librarian layoffs, says Sara Kelly Johns (right), the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Division Councilor and a media specialist at New York’s Lake Placid Middle/High School, who last Friday proposed the resolution at an ALA membership meeting, where it also passed unanimously.

Kindle for iPad Now Supports Children’s Books, Graphic Novels

Amazon’s iPad and Cloud Reader apps now support more than 1,000 children’s books, comic books, and graphic novels in full color. Titles include Ian Falconer’s Olivia (Atheneum, 2000), Donald Crews’s Freight Train (Greenwillow, 1993), the popular “Sesame Street” and “Curious George” series, Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” series, and comics featuring DC superheroes such as Batman, […]

Chicago Building Its First Joint High School/Public Library from the Ground Up

Chicago’s taking the partnership between public and school libraries to the next level—it’s building its first public library as part of a school.

Friends, Fans Bid Sendak Farewell at NYC Memorial Service

More than 500 people gathered in New York City yesterday for a morning of stories, music, and video clips to celebrate the life of artist and children’s book author Maurice Sendak, who died May 7 in Danbury, CT, following complications from a recent stroke.

Interview: Second Lady Jill Biden Talks About Her New Picture Book

Inspired by real family events, and told through the eyes of her granddaughter Natalie, Second Lady Jill Biden’s Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops (S & S, 2012) tells the story of what life was like when her son Beau was deployed to Iraq for a year.

Ray Bradbury, Science-Fiction Writer and Library Fan, Dies at 91

An ardent library fan, Bradbury said he wrote Fahrenheit 451 (Ballantine, 1953) on a typewriter in the basement of UCLA’s Powell Library and that his original intention in writing the book was to show his great love for books and libraries. The dystopian novel, about a future society in which books are outlawed, ranked number 69 on the American Library Association’s Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009.

Interview: School Librarian, Robin Levin, Wins Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Robin Levin is in the news again. This time it’s for being the first school librarian to win the Arch Coal Foundation Teacher Achievement Award, which this year recognized 10 teachers in Wyoming for their leadership and contribution to K-12 education.

SLJ’s 2012 Day of Dialog: Stellar Debuts

Palacio and three other first-time children’s book authors spoke at the “Stellar Debuts: Celebrating new and noteworthy arrivals to the publishing scene” panel during SLJ’s Day of Dialog on June 4 at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center.

SLJ’s 2012 Day of Dialog: Walter Dean Myers Vows to Close the Reading Gap

Our nation faces a huge reading gap—but most people are unwilling to talk about it because the bulk of illiterate kids are minority and poor, says Walter Dean Myers.