March 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for July 2009

Library Expansion in Posh NY Hood Goes On

A year after SLJ reported on the contentious dispute over a proposal to add a children’s room to the East Hampton Library in New York, the kids of the posh summer community are no closer to seeing it become a reality.

Library Director Dennis Fabiszak has said that the East Hampton Village Board of Zoning Appeals has expressed concern that an expanded children’s collection would lead to more library usage by those who live in the less affluent areas of Springs […]

Block Party: Legos in the Library

Nothing attracts boys like a Lego club

Go ahead, say it. Toys don’t belong in the library. That’s probably what some of you still think. But my library outside Philadelphia was having such a hard time attracting boys who had outgrown storytime that we decided to try something new. So we started a Lego club.

Photo by Molly Carroll

Since our June 2008 kickoff, we’ve been amazed by how many kids show up for our program just to play with these colorful […]

Upper West Side Story: An Interview with Rebecca Stead | Under Cover

Rebecca Stead’s stellar new novel, When You Reach Me, is mysterious, funny, and fresh

Twelve-year-old Miranda is receiving mysterious notes, one of which says, “I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.” To make matters worse, the sender seems to know exactly what’s going to happen before it occurs. How did you come up with the idea for When You Reach Me?

The idea came from an article in the New York Times about a guy who was walking […]

Have No Fear: Don’t Be Frightened by Book Challenges—Be Prepared | Scales on Censorship

Don’t be frightened by book challenges—be prepared

I live in fear that someone will challenge one of our books. I’m not very confident about dealing with censorship because I didn’t have a single course about it in library school. Now that I’m an elementary school librarian, I feel that my library school failed me. Where can I go for help?

I don’t know very many library schools that offer a course that deals exclusively with intellectual freedom issues. Most deal with this […]

Model Behavior: Children (and Adults) Often Learn Best by Seeing and Doing | First Steps

Children (and adults) often learn best by seeing and doing

Watching our Commander-in-Chief read Where the Wild Things Are (HarperCollins, 1964) at the White House Easter Egg Roll gave us chills, even though we had to experience it vicariously on YouTube. We had often heard the new president suggest to parents that they “turn off the TV and read to your child.” Now he was modeling just how to do that. And he did a pretty darn good job of it.

Modeling […]

Tough Love: An Open Letter to Kids’ Book Publishers

Dear Publishers:

I’m a school librarian. During the past 30 years, I’ve worked with children and young adults from ages 3 to 18 (not to mention teachers, families, administrators, lecturers, and visiting authors), and I’ve read a lot of books. Because there are so many kids’ books being published these days, I’m not expecting total perfection. Still, there are many things I wish publishers would do differently, things that could make your books much better. Here are my top 10 suggestions.

KT the Magnificent: An Interview with Kathleen T. Horning

Kathleen T. Horning is one of the most influential librarians you’ll ever meet—and one of the kindest

It’s been a heck of a year for Kathleen T. Horning. In January, Horning (known affectionately to friends and colleagues as K. T.) was tapped to deliver the 2010 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, joining a list of past presenters that includes children’s book greats Maurice Sendak, Philip Pullman, and Kevin Henkes, a friend and fellow resident of Madison, WI. In April, the American […]

It’s a Mad, Mad Wordle: For a new take on text, try this fun word cloud generator

A Wordle of Features, Columns, and departments in SLJ’s July Issue

Nation. New. Common. Generation. These are among the most frequently used words spoken by President Barack Obama in his January 2009 inauguration speech as seen in a fascinating visual display called a Wordle.

It’s simple, really. Just feed text of your choosing into the free online application Wordle, and with one keystroke you’ll have a graphic representation of your content, sized according to frequency of use. It’s “a picture’s worth […]

Future City Competition | The Gaming Life

A hands-on challenge incorporating SimCity 4 with engineering skills

Novo Mondum, a city of the future near Reykjavik, Iceland, constructed by students from Bexley Middle School in Ohio, won the grand prize at the 2009 National Engineers Week Future City Competition™, sponsored in part by the National Engineers Week Foundation. Initially, more than 30,000 students from 1,100 middle schools entered the competition. After qualifying rounds in each of 38 regions across the country, one middle school from each area competed in […]