March 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for July 2011

Straight to the source: Here are a few 9/11 resources to help you get started…

America Responds
PBS created this website immediately following the 9/11 attacks and now maintains it as an archive of related resources, analysis, and discussion. The site also offers very useful links to PBS content on a wide variety of 9/11 topics and themes. Users will find episodes of Frontline and other TV programs, relevant transcripts from Washington Week, first-person accounts, resources for parents, and lesson plans for teachers.

Newseum: “Today’s Front Pages”
On its website, the […]

Comic Relief: Thirty-nine graphic novels that kids can’t resist

Welcome to those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. And what better way for kids to while away the hours than with comics? Let’s face it, comics are flat-out fun, and with their fabulous stories, colorful characters, and wacky humor, even reluctant readers find them tough to resist.

In recent years, comics have become bigger than ever. Now, well-established publishers like First Second are offering graphic novels, such as the Printz Award–winning American Born Chinese and […]

Intergalactic Travel: Across the Universe | Focus On

When it’s time to get away from the daily routines, there’s just nothing like taking a vacation—real or virtual—to rest, relax, and recharge. Whether the travel takes place in our physical world or that of our imaginations, some of us prefer sticking to familiar places and experiences, while more venturesome sorts go down less-traveled roads in search of exotic natural wonders or meetings with new peoples and cultures.

The least-traveled roads of all, at least […]

The Baby with the Bathwater | Editorial

Change is needed, but so too are values

In “Radical Change”, Margaret Tice argues that one of the traditional leadership positions in children’s services—the children’s coordinator in a public library system—is under attack.

A good coordinator does a whole lot more than order up some professional development courses. She helps shape the library’s strategic direction, manages and grows excellent library services for children, and collaborates with a range of local partners, stakeholders, and […]

The Power of Words | First Steps

How librarians can help close the vocabulary gap

We’ve never forgotten a story that Micki Freeny, coordinator of youth services at the District of Columbia Public Library, told us about her daughter. Kyle was four years old when she asked a cashier if the mints on the restaurant counter were “complimentary.” “No dear,” replied the woman, “they’re free.” Kyle is now a Harvard-educated attorney who still enjoys meals out with her mom, and […]

Betsy Goes to Bologna: Why attend the world’s largest children’s book fair?

They told me not to go. They said there’d be nothing for me to do. They hinted that while the food was fabulous, the wine extraordinary, and the experience unlike any other, I was, after all, only a children’s librarian. And children’s librarians, for all their charms, do not attend.

So what on earth possessed me to just head off one fine spring morning to Bologna, Italy, for the largest children’s book fair on the globe? Well, […]

Secrets and Lies | Under Cover

Australia’s Craig Silvey tackles racism and hypocrisy in ‘Jasper Jones’

Jasper Jones opens with a horrifying scene—the body of a young girl is found hanging from a tree. Can you set up the story for those who haven’t read it?

It’s set in the summer of 1965 in a rural town in Western Australia. It’s chiefly about two boys who set out to solve a crime on their own because they’re rightly distrustful of the community. One of these boys, […]

Hello Madduh, Hello Faddah | Scales on Censorship

Fielding parents’ complaints about summer reading programs

We just passed out information about our public library’s summer reading program, and a parent has already complained because it excludes 12-year-olds. She thinks this is a form of censorship. What’s your advice?

I assume that your summer reading program is for elementary school children. I hope that there’s a similar program for teens and preteens. My hunch is that even if there’s one for teens, that […]

Wii Have Fun and Learn | The Gaming Life

Video game play can support the curriculum in many exciting ways

What would you do with $10,000? A small group of special education students at Agnes Macphail Public School in Toronto, Ontario, transformed an old sea shanty into a music video to answer that question. With the help of their teacher and teacher-librarian, they entered the Best in Class Fund contest, an annual technology grant awarded by Best Buy Canada for innovative ways of […]

Radical Change: As public libraries reinvent themselves, are we losing our leaders?

I was shocked. It was late 2010, and I’d just heard that New York’s Westchester County Library System had eliminated its coordinator positions for children’s and young adult services. It was the same sinking feeling I’d experienced one year earlier, when my own position as head of children’s programs at the New York Public Library was axed. At that time, I thought that this reorganization was unique to our system. But it seemed drastic for a large, […]