April 15, 2014

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SLJ to Publish Dedicated Issue on Diversity

SLJ's April 2009 cover. Illustration by Gene Luen Yang.

This May, SLJ will dedicate an entire issue of the magazine to the topic of diversity in various forms.

‘Cultural Competence’ Is Essential to Serve Teens

‘Cultural Competence’ Is Essential to Serve Teens

With a society that’s growing increasingly diverse, librarians should proactively integrate cultural aspects of “diverse linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic groups” into programs and services.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

‘Talk Story,’ Sharing American Indian and Asian American Culture at the Library


Grants are available to fund library programming around American Indian and Asian American literature and culture. But hurry, the deadline for applications is February 15.

Diversity 101: Addressing the Need for Diversity in Materials for Kids | ALA Midwinter 2014

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In a lively ALA Midwinter panel moderated by Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein, three children’s book editors, one librarian and the Children’s Book Council’s Diversity Group discussed ways to promote diversity in the content of books for young people.

ALSC Awards 15 Grants to Libraries for Día Family Book Clubs


The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded mini-grants to 15 libraries to start Día Family Book Clubs and incorporate Día literacy activities into their existing programs throughout the year.

Broadening Cultural Literacy with LGBTQ Content for YA | AASL 2013


Of the numerous concurrent sessions at the American Association of School Librarians’ National Conference focusing on strategies for creating culturally diverse collections and serving the needs of all kids, “Queer Library Alliance Goes to School,” was a memorable one.

SLJ Diversity: A Roundup of Kid Lit, YA, and Features | Resources

diverse books

SLJ has compiled an expansive page of diversity resources—including materials on people of color, non-American cultures, LGBTQ issues, and disability—to help librarians better serve children and teens. From author interviews to collection development tools and from blogs to news coverage, these articles and reviews aim to give insight into issues that are becoming more relevant for kids each day.

LGBTQ Diversity: Building a Collection for Independent Readers


Being able to easily locate LGBTQ-friendly materials for children is an important task for librarians seeking to support their diverse reading communities. Kids must be given opportunities to explore literature from multiple points of view, yet it’s sometimes challenging to meet this need, especially for grades 3–5.

Welcoming Schools Project Offers Anti-Bullying Resources for Educators


Welcoming Schools—a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that provides tools and lessons to educators to stop bias and bullying in schools—is releasing a new short film and related materials for educators and parents. The film spotlights teachers in the classroom generating open conversations with students about the impact of bullying and the power of students to stop it.

Embracing Diversity in YA Lit


From social media to publishing industry-led initiatives, the call for diversity in children’s and young adult literature has steadily grown into a loud roar in the past months. As part of School Library Journal’s SummerTeen virtual conference, the “Embracing Diversity” panel featuring Karen Arthurton, Jonathan Friesen, James Klise, and Amanda Sun, led to a lively and ongoing conversation about the importance of not only publishing books for kids by and about diverse people, but also getting them in the hands of readers. SLJ spoke to industry professionals who are raising awareness on the need for different perspectives in young adult books, and compiled a list of resources to find these titles.

First Book’s “Stories for All Project” Lobbies for Kid Lit Diversity

Stories for All group photo

First Book has made significant strides this summer toward its new goal of dramatically expanding the market for diversity in children’s literature, its president and CEO Kyle Zimmer tells School Library Journal. Through its unprecedented launch this spring of “The Stories for All Project” and the project’s successful, gradual implementation over the past few months, First Book is now poised to lobby publishers and influence the kid lit industry like never before, Zimmer says.

Int’l Latino Book Awards Recognize Top Children’s Titles


Nearly 200 authors were recognized on May 30, 2013, at the 15th International Latino Book Awards ceremony, which was held at the Instituto Cervantes in New York City during BookExpo America. The largest awards in the US celebrating achievements in Latino literature, the event is presented by Latino Literacy Now in partnership with Las Comadres para las Americas and the Instituto Cervantes. See which titles were honored in the Children, Youth, and Young Adult categories.

Islam in the Classroom


Published in SLJ’s October 2010 print issue, but still relevant today, the following article highlights resources that classroom teachers, librarians, and parents can use to broaden children’s worldview and prompt discussions about current events and news.

Picture Book About Islam Ignites Twitter Battle


Children’s book author and former teacher Kate Messner has always had a passion for sharing books with kids, so when she recommended Hena Khan’s Golden Domes and Silver Lanternsto her Twitter followers for its portrayal of Islam, she did not expect the backlash she received. A few days after the original message, someone who does not follow her on Twitter replied with the below, continuing an intense multiday exchange with her about what he believes to be “the real Islam.”

Navajo Nation’s Poet Laureate; No-Sugar Challenge; South Asia Book Awards | News Bites

luci tapahonso

Luci Tapahonso has been appointed the Navajo Nation’s first Poet Laureate. Arte Público Press launches a A Day without Sugar initiative to combat child obesity. The winners of the South Asia Book Awards and the Marion Vannett Ridgway Award were announced.

Pictures of the Week: Bankstreet Students Debate Diversity; Elizabeth Eulberg at TEDxTeen 2013


Students at the Bankstreet School discuss diversity and book covers with editors from Knopf; author Elizabeth Eulberg reunites with a fan at TEDXTeen.

Twelve Libraries Apply & Win Día Mini-Grants: Here’s How

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As dwindling funds and looming budget cuts reach many of the nation’s public libraries, 12 institutions received $5,000 mini-grants to support programming in their diverse communities. ALSC recently gifted these Día Family Book Club Program awards to expand El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día) into an ongoing yearlong celebration. The winning libraries give SLJ some insights into how they garnered the much-needed funds.

Kid Lit Authors Discuss Diversity at NYPL


How should librarians, publishers, and authors approach diversity in children’s books? Authors Sofia Quintero and Zetta Elliott and editor Connie Hsu joined a recent panel at the NYPL, moderated by Betsy Bird, to discuss these issues and more.

Review: Permanent Record

Permanent Record by Leslie Stella. Amazon Children’s Publishing. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Bud Hess is starting a new school: Magnificat Academy. The official story is to give him a better education than he was getting in public school. The real story is a bit more complicated. It has to do with [...]

Pick of the Day: We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart (Audiobook)

Close up of Statue of Liberty

We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart. By Walter Dean Myers. CD. 33:51 min. with hardcover book. Live Oak Media. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4301-1112-2. $29.95.
Gr 3 Up–The sweeping scope of Myers’s free verse poems (HarperCollins, 2011) is captured beautifully and interpreted dramatically on this CD by a diverse cast of narrators. This eminently patriotic book celebrates free expression and attempts to paint with word pictures the depth and breadth of the varied American experience. Rarely are all ethnicities given voice [...]