Guest Blogger

STEAM-ing on Saturdays

Recently, I’ve been trying to work new programming into my repertoire here at my branch. Afterschool programming isn’t always an option, so I looked to Saturdays. I work every other Saturday at my branch, and find for some reason, kids seem to be more inclined to participate in a program on Saturdays. Usually during the week, I have to encourage kids away from the computers with snacks – on Saturdays, the same kids are the first through the door. I think it has something to do with the fact that they don’t have the stress of school that day, but I’m not sure.

ALA Midwinter 2015

How I Spent the Past Two Days of #alamw15

For the past two days I haven’t been live blogging.  Why? Because, I’ve been in award deliberations.  This year, I had the honor of serving on the GLBT-RT’s Stonewall Book Award Committee.   Starting last March, I began to receive a whole slew of books- ranging from Children’s/Young Adult, to Non-Fiction, to Literature, and was tasked (along with other committee members) to highlight books that held merit.  The award is the first, and most enduring award honoring the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience. This evening, we announced the Literature and Non-Fiction award and honor books- tomorrow morning we announce the winners in the Children’s/Young Adult category. Literature Winner: Prelude to a Bruise by Saeed Jones Literature Honor: The Two Hotels Francfort by David Leavitt Literature Honor: Bitter Eden by Tatamkhulu Afrika Literature Honor: Frog Music by Emma Donoghue Literature Honor: My Real Children by Jo Walton Non-Fiction Winner: Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Muslims by Scott…

ALA Midwinter 2015

ASCLA & Toon Books: Françoise Mouly on the Importance of Comics

Hello again, #alamw15 followers. Françoise Mouly just gave a very brief presentation on the importance of comics historically and now.  As she pointed out, comics are accessible to those of all literacy levels; for centuries pictures were the communication tools of the illiterate.  Françoise pointed out how the medium can be used in different ways.  Artists, such as Shaun Tan, have told entire stories without words (i.e. The Arrival), while those like Brian Selznick integrate the illustrations into their works, making them a vital aspect of the story (i.e. The Invention of Hugo Cabaret). The final point, and real highlight was a quote Françoise shared from her husband, Art Spiegelman- “good comics can be a gateway drug to literacy”. Good food for thought!

ALA Midwinter 2015

ASCLA & Toon Books: Gene Yang on the Importance of Comics in Education

Greetings from the Hilton at #alamw15- I’m currently listening to a panel of artists talk about the importance of Comics in Visual Literacy. Hosted by Françoise Mouly, publisher and editorial director of Toon Books (and yes, from RAW Magazine and New Yorker fame), the first person to present was Batman himself, Gene Luen Yang. Yes, Gene is Batman- by day he is a teacher and by night he is a cartoonist! So who better to talk about the roll comics can play in education than someone who does both?  After hearing about Gene’s process, we heard about Gene’s Master’s Thesis about the role comics can play in education (online info about that can be found here).  Gene shared with us how when he was a long-term substitute teacher for an Algebra 2, he found supplementing his lesson plans for substitutes and the lectures themselves with comic versions of the day’s lesson…