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Library

Bringing young people and books together in the school and public library.

Field Notes: Loud in the Library: Creating Social Activists at School

The library after school is a place for families. Photo: Liz Phipps Soeiro.

I am the librarian in an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It’s a city of socioeconomic extremes, but dedicated to the mission of equity in public education; every classroom in each of the twelve public elementary schools maintains a 60/40 ratio between paid and free lunch students. In addition to being the home of Harvard […]

Ramona in the 21st-Century Library

Beth McIntyre, Madison County (WI) Public librarian, shows off her Ramona Quimby Q tattoo.

“‘Oh, did people write that in those days, too?’ Beezus was surprised, because she had thought this was something very new to write in an autograph album…” (Beezus and Ramona) Sometimes a book becomes quickly dated, and sometimes it easily crosses decades or generations. Beezus finds this is also true for autograph albums, and she […]

Jacqueline Woodson, why are you so poet?

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When the Cambridge Public Library announced that Brown Girl Dreaming would be this year’s Cambridge Reads book I was beyond thrilled. Now Jacqueline Woodson and I would be best friends! I’d say, Jacqueline, you are my hero, thank you for your perspective, your advocacy and for creating windows and mirrors for my students! Then she […]

Little library

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On my way home the other day I saw a Little Free Library in the flesh. So cute! Has anyone else seen, used, or implemented one?

What’s a children’s librarian to do?

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Twice in the past week I’ve been asked to opine publicly about the future of books and libraries for children, first at the NYLA conference in White Plains and then at the investiture of Eileen Abels as the new dean of the Simmons GSLIS. I had far fewer answers than questions, which I present to […]

In which we check in with current Caldecott committee member Travis Jonker

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Time for a reality check, everybody! Robin, Lolly, and I have been immersed in our mock Caldecott world, but in fact there is an actual 2014 Caldecott committee out there ;), feverishly preparing for their closed-door marathon sessions at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, which begins on January 24. Travis Jonker — Michigan elementary-school librarian; author of the 100 Scope […]

Five Questions for Julie Roach

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Cambridge Public Library youth services manager (and Horn Book reviewer) Julie Roach will be discussing library services for preschool children at our Fostering Lifelong Learners event (free; you should come) at CPL on April 25th. I asked her to share some of her thoughts on serving this (very) particular audience. (I think her answer to […]

Foreign Correspondence: New House on the Block: Private Children’s Libraries in China

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After Taotao, a Chinese preschooler, paid a first visit to the public Capital Library in Beijing in 2010, the boy’s mother posted an entry to her blog: “There are not many picture books in the library. More are for older kids. The hardest part for me to accept is that many books were rather beaten-up. […]

No Joke! Humor and Culture in Middle-Grade Books

Right Ho, Jeeves

When I was a child, growing up in the various parts of India to which my father’s job took us, books were my friends, and I liked them funny. I discovered my grandfather’s P. G. Wodehouse collection at the age of eleven and was at once enchanted by the amiable lunacy of fictional worlds like […]

What Makes a Good YA Dystopian Novel?

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Dystopias are characterized as a society that is a counter-utopia, a repressed, controlled, restricted system with multiple social controls put into place via government, military, or a powerful authority figure. Issues of surveillance and invasive technologies are often key, as is a consistent emphasis that this is not a place where you’d want to live. […]