Banned Books, Bezos, and CSK Illustrator Awards Exhibition | NewsBites

An Amazon-inspired network of preschools could be in America's future, and more in NewsBites.

The Eric Carle Museum will highlight Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winners, ALA encourages readers to reach out to the authors of banned books, and Jeff Bezos wants to open preschools—all in this edition of NewsBites.


Dear Banned Book Author

During Banned Books week, Sept. 23 to 29, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom wants readers to reach out to authors whose work has been challenged over the years. The Dear Banned Author Campaign encourages readers to share what the authors’ books have meant to them.

“The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries,” the Dear Banned Books webpage says. “Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there's a public challenge to their books.”

To make it easier for librarians to promote the campaign with their patrons or for readers to take part, the webpage offers resources, including author addresses and Twitter handles, postcards to print, and tips for letting writing, tweeting, and hosting a Dear Banned Author program.


Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Exhibit

The Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA, will present “Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards” from Oct. 21, 2018 to Jan. 27, 2019. The touring exhibition, developed by the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature in Abilene, TX, is the first retrospective of all Coretta Scott King (CSK) Illustrator Award winners and honorees.

Illustrators in the retrospective include George Ford, Ashley Bryan, Leo and Diane Dillon, Tom Feelings, John Steptoe, Jerry Pinkney, Peter Magubane, Brian Pinkney, Bryan Collier, R. Gregory Christie, Pat Cummings, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Javaka Steptoe, E. B. Lewis, Colin Bootman, Christopher Myers, Floyd Cooper, Shane Evans, Baba Diakité, Kadir Nelson, James Ransome, Joe Sam, Synthia St. James, Michele Wood, Kathleen Atkins Wilson, Charles R. Smith, Daniel Minter, Frank Morrison, Nancy Devard, Sean Qualls, Faith Ringgold, Christian Robinson, Benny Andrews, and Reynolds Ruffins.

The Coretta Scott King Author Awards celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. The illustrator award was added four years into the annual presentations. The awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that “demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.”


Bezos Takes On Preschool Education

First book stores, then department stores. Now Amazon is coming for preschools. Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and owner of The Washington Post, and his wife announced this week that the Bezos Day One Fund would commit $2 billion toward helping homeless families and “creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.”

“The Day 1 Academies Fund will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities,” the Twitter announcement said. “We will build an organization to directly operate these preschools. I’m excited about that because it will give us the opportunity to learn, invent, and improve. We’ll use the same set of principles that have driven genuine, intense consumer obsession. The child will be the customer. ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ And lighting that fire early is a giant leg up for any child.”

The Day 1 Families Fund will give annual awards to groups doing “needle-moving work” to provide shelter and food to young families in immediate need.


Getting Creative in Cuyahoga County

Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) in Ohio became the first public library to offer library card holders free access to Creativebug, a subscription-based digital platform that offers creative classes taught by professional artists and design experts.

Creativebug, now part of leading craft and fabric retailer JOANN, employs professional instructors with a range of skills to teach its classes, from quilting and knitting to painting and hosting parties. New classes taught by top artists are released daily, along with downloadable patterns, templates and recipes.

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