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Friday, July 22, 2016

Two webinars about diversity and literature

laptop computer
Image from Pixabay
There has been a lot of discussion on listservs and blogs lately about evaluating books with diversity in mind (most especially Lane Smith's recent book There Is a Tribe of Kids--below is a round-up of recent blog posts and discussions).  I found the following two webinars helpful in thinking about reviewing and examining books, so even though I know it is SUMMER and you all hardly even have time to go to the bathroom, I'm sharing them.

One is a free webinar from ALSC, presented by Debbie Reese, a children's literature researcher and blogger from American Indians in Children's Literature called Collection Development: Children's and Young AdultBooks about Native Americans.

The other is a recording of a webinar from School Library Journal's Diversity Course, the final keynote presentation by Wisconsin's own KT Horning (from the CCBC).  The recording is available here.



*Debbie Reese compiled this list of blog posts (with accompanying comments) about There Is a Tribe of Kids for American Indians in Children's Literature:

Sam Bloom's Reviewing While White: There Is a Tribe of Kids posted on July 8, 2016 (added to this list on July 21, 2016).

Debbie Reese's Reading While White reviews Lane Smith's THERE IS A TRIBE OF KIDS posted on July 9, 2016 (added to this list on July 21, 2016).

Debbie Reese's Lane Smith's new picture book: THERE IS A TRIBE OF KIDS (plus a response to Rosanne Parry) posted on July 14, 2016 (added to this list on July 21, 2016).

Roxanne Feldman's A Tribe of Kindred Souls: A Closer Look at a Double Spread in Lane Smith's THERE IS A TRIBE OF KIDS posted on July 17, 2016 (added to this list on July 21, 2016).

Roger Sutton's Tribal Trials posted on July 18, 2016 (added to this list on July 21, 2016).

Elizabeth Bird's There Is a Tribe of Kids: The Current Debate posted on July 19, 2016 (added to this list on July 21, 2016).

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Talking About Hard Things

Image from Pixabay
I am sure I don't have to enumerate all the the difficult things going on in our country right now, and no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, there are plenty of things that can make your stomach hurt.  I think it is safe to say that all of us are passionately wishing for a more peaceful, prosperous and healthy world for our kids and our communities, though we may disagree about how to get there.

I found a couple of helpful blog posts by Rich Harwood, the founder of the Harwood Institute (which has done work on community engagement with libraries with the Libraries Transforming Communities project).  In the first one, he encourages truly listening, trying hard to understand other perspectives, and reflect the realities of others in our common discourse.  In the second, he recommends starting with paying attention to what our common aspirations for our communities are, allowing room for different issues to rise up (rather than setting out the parameters ahead of time), and doing some concrete things to address them--even if they are small.

I hope we can all keep talking.  And more importantly, listening and caring and doing our best to understand where each other is coming from and opening ourselves to finding common aspirations.  Librarians are a natural place to model civil and caring discourse for kids, teens, and adults!

ALSO:  If you are looking for some techniques for managing challenging conversations, check out the upcoming workshop, scheduled for September 9 in Bloomer!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sesame Street Resource for Veterans and Families


cookie monster greets fans
Image from Pixabay


Sesame Street has developed free resources for veteran families with young kids (ages 2-5 years old), who have recently transitioned out of the military. When a parent transitions out of the military, the whole family transitions. These resources were created to help families navigate changes during this next chapter. There are also free print copies of the My Story, My Big Adventure activity book, which Sesame Street can ship these to you by the box (75 books/box) if you are interested.  Please email veterans@sesame.org to order books, specifying how many boxes you would like.