March 18, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Library Opening $2M Teen Learning Lab; Winners of Censorship Essay Contest; PBS Productivity Tools | News Bites


112013alscThe Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is now accepting mini-grant applications through October 17 for libraries through its Día (Diversity in Action) initiative. The mini-grants will be used to carry out “Building STEAM with Día” programs in libraries, which will focus on bringing culturally diverse and appropriate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities to communities. Up to 20 mini-grants will be given out at $1,500 each. Recipients will also be invited to attend ALSC’s Diversity Forum, which will be held at the American Library Association Midwinter meeting on January 30, 2015 in Chicago. Find out more information about the grant requirements and application.

NCACThe National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) announced the winners of its essay contest about Emily M. Danforth’s novel, The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Harper Collins, 2012). The contest invited Delaware high school students to write a 250−500 word essay explaining what they felt school board members should know about the book, about a Montana girl who is sent to a camp to “cure” kids of homosexuality, before deciding whether it should be removed from a school’s reading list. The first place winner, Hannah Lowe, received a $250 cash prize, with the second and third place prize winners receiving $150 and $100, respectively. Read more about the winning essays.

Capstone has launched an Interactive eBook Matching Grant Program in order to help U.S. schools expand their digital resources. Schools can apply through the publisher to receive a matching grant toward the purchase of Capstone Interactive eBooks. Applications are being accepted through October 31. Awardees will be notified on a rolling basis, with all applicants notified no later than November 7. Learn more about the program.


CartoonNetworkPenguin Books for Young Readers announced the launch of its Cartoon Network imprint. Debuting next summer, Cartoon Network Books will include titles tied to existing and future Cartoon Network-owned shows and will serve as a launch pad for new content. Learn more about it.

PBS LearningMedia has unveiled a new suite of teacher tools, a student website, and Spanish-language content designed to support teachers and students as they settle into the new school year. New productivity tools include a Lesson Builder, a Storyboard tool, and a Quiz Maker. Students can search for and share their favorite resources, as well as save or download them for later viewing. Find out more about PBS Learning Media’s new offerings.

The mobile education platform Speakaboos has announced partnerships with major distributors, including LeapFrog, Fuhu, Inc., Fingerprint Digital, and OverDrive. Through these partnerships, Speakaboos aims to reach institutional and consumer channels that bring a love of reading to homes, schools, and libraries worldwide. Read more about the partnership.


Memphis Public LibraryThe Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (Memphis, TN) is ramping up to begin construction later this year on its $2 million state-of-the-art Teen Learning Lab, slated for a spring 2015 launch. The free 8,300-square-foot space will include video and audio production labs, editing and mixing stations, a video game zone for playing and creating games, formal and informal learning areas, digital and analog displays, an art studio, a performance stage, and a makerspace—as well as homework and collaboration zones. Learn more about the learning lab.

Gale, provider of library resources and part of Cengage Learning, launched a campaign encouraging library participation in a newly created online community designed to help libraries tell a “strong-value story” around their impact. For every story submitted to My Library Story through February 28, 2015, Gale will donate $1 to an advertising fund used to promote libraries through mainstream media during National Library Week 2015. Read the full press release.

John Coughlan, a founding member of Capstone, announced his retirement after a 25-year career with the publishing house. Read the full press release.