June 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for August 2007

Song of Myself: Interview with Sherman Alexie | Under Cover

Sherman Alexie’s first YA novel, ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian’

You were born with hydrocephalus (water on the brain), and you grew up poor on the Spokane Indian Reservation with alcoholic parents. How did you learn to read by the time you were three?

Partly it was because my dad was a major genre reader. He read a lot of, like, The Executioner and The Punisher and a lot of Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour. He was way into […]

A Classic Argument | Teenage Riot

It’s crucial for kids to read good stuff, but there’s also a place for fluff

I can’t tell you how many high school students come to my library to check out Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front (Little, Brown, 1929) the day before their assignments are due. What’s it going to take for teachers to realize that assigning teens classic literature that they have a hard time relating to won’t instill an appreciation for literature and a love […]

The Big Three: Next Generation Video Consoles | The Gaming Life

The next generation of video consoles are here and many librarians and media specialists might not be sure which system will give their library the most bang for the buck. Nintendo’s Wii, the Xbox 360 Elite from Microsoft, and Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3) recently debuted in North America. Which system is right for your library?

To make an informed decision, consider several factors. Who does your library serve? Can a new gaming system bring together a more diverse segment of library […]

A Storyteller’s Lament: Sharing Literature Orally | Up for Discussion

A librarian looks at the rights and wrongs of sharing literature orally

More opportunities equal more responsibilities” is a simple explanation of copyright. As a librarian, I can read or tell stories to children in the library or as part of a school visit. Fair use also permits me to tell stories in classrooms where I teach graduate students. Responsibilities change when I’m hired as a storyteller—then acting ethically means seeking permission. However, Catch-22’s abound.

It is frustrating, at best, to learn […]

Divided We Fall | Consider the Source

The schism in our nation’s schools is threatening a lot more than literacy

I recently attended a town meeting on improving high schools in my home state of New Jersey. A panel informed us that the questions on the High School Proficiency Test—the exam our students must pass to graduate—aren’t any tougher than those asked of seventh graders in other countries. A teacher jumped up, disputing that claim. Even if she was right, I’ve observed vast differences among students in our […]