March 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for February 2009

What Librarians Say About Street Lit

As librarians who work in big cities with teens, we know that kids are crazy about street lit. But as we were researching the genre for our collection-development class at Pratt Institute, in New York, we wondered how other librarians felt about street lit. Is it offered in most libraries across the country? Do teens in rural communities also crave street lit? Do most librarians tend to shelve these titles in the teen section or in the adult section?

To discover […]

A Dirty Little Secret: Self-Censorship

Self-censorship is rampant and lethal

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

When Barry Lyga finished writing his second young adult novel, he knew there’d be trouble. After all, Boy Toy was about a 12-year-old who has sex with a beautiful teacher twice his age, and Lyga expected it to spark letters to local papers, trigger complaints to the school board, and incite some parents to yank it off library shelves.

But none of those things ever happened.

“The book just didn’t get out there,” says […]

That’s Infotainment!: How to Create Your Own Screencasts

Screencasts are ideal for helping users get the most from your library. Here’s how to make your own video tutorials.

The first thing I want to do at the beginning of each new semester is dive into the course material and get my students as excited as I am about what we’ll be studying over the coming months. The last thing I want to do is spend precious time showing them the interactive features of our course Web site. My students […]

World Class: USBBY’s Outstanding International Books for Young People

The latest Outstanding International Books list offers tales that speak to every student

Talk about an international effort. Some of the world’s best children’s book artists got together to help Amnesty International celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ 60th anniversary in We Are All Born Free, one of the 42 titles recommended by the fourth annual United States Board on Books for Young People’s (USBBY) Outstanding International Books committee. This and other titles on our list offer young people the […]

Be Still My Heart: A Shameless Guide to Sweet, Sexy Romance Novels for Teens and Tweens

Illustration by Melinda Beck

In my other life, you know, the fantasy one, I’m a school librarian by day, complete with tortoise-shell glasses and a hot factor of 10. By night, I transform into something akin to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, at which point I spend time saving the world, of course. With February 14 quickly approaching, I’m worried about the strange but interesting suitors lining up to be my valentine (ah, the gorgeous dilemmas I face in my imagination). […]

The Quest for Authenticity | Up for Discussion

A writer reveals how she finds the heart of a story

In my early days as a nonfiction writer, I mostly wrote books that offered straightforward, informed narratives for young readers. Then, as my writing evolved, I delved into subjects that affected me more personally and I began to write a new kind of nonfiction. Of course, nonfiction must always be clear and accurate, but now my main motivation and responsibility is to bring my passion for a topic to the […]

Share Your Story | The Gaming Life

A little marketing goes a long way

Are you really gaming in your library? Or, perhaps, a better question to ask yourself is whether or not you are telling people that you are supporting gaming in your library. It is critical to remember that there is a difference between what you are doing and what others know you are doing. Librarians need to take ownership of the expertise that they possess and the valuable services that they provide.
     But isn’t all […]

Conversations with Dead People | Nonfiction Booktalker

Mysterious deaths always seem to delight

Murder. Mysterious deaths. Mummies. They all add up to a “can’t miss” booktalk. “Delicious death,” as Agatha Christie used to call her favorite subject. Some recent and gloriously illustrated books about historical bodies serve up a tantalizing spread.
     Like Christie, Sibert Award-winner Sally M. Walker knows how to hook a reader. The cover of her Written in Bone: Buried Lives in Jamestown and Colonial Maryland (Carolrhoda, 2009) displays the skeleton of a boy whose life […]

SLJ Self-Censorship Survey

By Debra Lau Whelan

To gain a better understanding of collection development and the issue of self-censorship, School Library Journal recently conducted an anonymous survey, which was emailed to 5,438 of SLJ‘s Extra Helping subscribers on November 18, 2008. The survey closed on December 2, 2008.

The results are based on 654 school libraries responding, and they are broken down as follows: 53 percent elementary school librarians, 37 percent middle school librarians, 30 percent of high school librarians, and 5 percent other. […]