April 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for April 2009

Washington Makes School Library History

The Washington Moms have helped make history again. For the first time, media specialists and library materials are now officially part of the state’s definition of basic education for “prototypical” schools.

After months of wrangling, Washington lawmakers late last night passed the basic education reform bill, which includes a permanent line item for school library materials—and an allocation of funds to pay for a certified librarian in every K–12 school by 2018.

From left: Denette Hill, Lisa Layera Brunkan, Susan McBurney, and Marcelo Layera, the mastermind […]

Straight Talk on Race: Challenging the Stereotypes in Kids’ Books

As a teenager, I lived in two worlds: the traditional Bengali heritage inside our home and the contemporary California of my suburban peers.

Sometimes the gap between those two worlds seemed huge. Apple pie? Didn’t taste it till I got to college. Our kitchen smelled of mustard-seed oil, turmeric, and cardamom. Bikinis? No way. A one-piece bathing suit felt too revealing (and still does). My mother never showed her legs in public, even when she eventually shelved her sarees in favor […]

School Library Journal’s Spending Survey 2009

Illustration by Tom LaBaff.

It’s been a Dickens of a year for school librarians—the best of times and the worst of times. Although our nation’s economy has gone down in flames, we’re hoping that the new administration will turn things around. School Library Journal’s (SLJ) survey of school expenditures and collections arrives at a time when many media specialists are thinking about ways to improve their programs. To use a cliché, they’re busy turning lemons into lemonade. Although our data […]

For the Love of Art: The Road to Fame Was Long and Hard for Some of the Best Artists | Nonfiction Booktalker

The words “starving” and “artist” are a too-familiar pair. Some creators are willing to suffer whatever it takes. But the grit and sweat that challenge artists also make them fascinating, compelling, and unforgettable. Children in grades 2–5 will be charmed and intrigued by a trio of stunning author biographies.

Kathleen Krull’s The Road to Oz: Twists, Turns, Bumps, and Triumphs in the Life of L. Frank Baum (Knopf, 2008) tells the story of one of America’s most beloved writers. Baum grew […]

2009 ALSC Notable Videos and Recordings for Children & Great Interactive Software for Kids

The Notable Children’s Videos, Recordings, and Great Interactive Software for Kids lists are compiled annually by committees of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). These lists were released in January 2009 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, CO. The items on these lists, intended for children 14 years of age and younger, were selected based on their originality, creativity, and suitability for children.


2009 Notable Children’s Videos Committee: Kathy […]

Jazz: Dig It! | Focus On

“Then, like a chef stirring dinner in a pot, he put it all together and dished it out hot: ‘Zop. TING! Zop-a doom baby. SWISH-zapa BOOM-zapa, ZEE-zah Ooooo!’” Matthew Gollub’s Jazz Fly knows that the secret to cool jazz is a hot mix of sounds that get an audience on its feet, moving and grooving along. Mixing some unexpected jazz into the curriculum beyond music class engages students on a visceral level, appealing to their creative side with its syncopated […]

2009 YALSA Fabulous Films & Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced its 2009 annual lists of Fabulous Films for Young Adults and Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults ages 12 to 18. The titles were released in January 2009 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, CO. The film list offers 16 titles based on the theme “Coming of Age Around the World.” The audiobook titles, chosen from items released during the previous two years, represent […]

Gamers Are Readers | The Gaming Life

Capitalize on the popularity of video games

Libraries across the country are jumping on the gaming bandwagon, and some librarians are thrilled with this revolution. We grew up playing video games. Although these games were not nearly as impressive as the ones available today, we still spent countless hours playing the original Super Mario Brothers—and we still grew up to be librarians. Video games did not rot our brains. But that begs the question: What do video games have to do […]