Yesterday, Jonda McNair posted about classic Coretta Scott King (CSK) books on the CSK Blog. McNair pointed out that often when one thinks of a classic book, they do not think of books written by and about African-Americans. Citing an article she wrote in The Reading Teacher in 2010, McNair shares what her criteria for a classic book in African-American literature are- often books can be grouped into three categories: “universal experiences (e.g., death, love, and friendship) from an African American perspective, breakthrough books that are a “first” in some way or break new ground, and literary innovation (e.g., use of language, style, etc.).” At the end of the post, Jonda shares the titles of some CSK winners that meet this criteria, and are what she considers CSK Classics, one of which is a personal favorite, Everett Anderson’s Goodbye. As I sat on the train this morning to work, I thought about classics…
Happy September! Are you revived and rested from Summer Reading? As much as September makes me sad, because it means the end of beach trips, it also makes me really happy. For me, September means back-to-school cannoli and Banned Books Week (BBW).
This year, Boston Public Library initiated its own theme for summer reading, separate from the national one, which is “Summer in the City,” and I’ve had a great time developing fun and dynamic programming that reflects this. One of the great things about Boston is that everywhere you go, there’s some form of public art. Whether it’s the fence of an empty lot decorated by MassArt’s sparc! team and community members, a free concert on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, or the Tony DeMarco statue in the North End, there’s tons of public art- famous and not! I wanted to show kids that art can be everywhere, and that anyone can create it. At the North End Branch, we have a beautiful courtyard garden that our Friends group maintains. I thought it would be great to have the kids create art to share with the library that wouldn’t just be…
This week, I am tasked with the difficulty of saying goodbye to my patrons.
Recently, I began a six-week early literacy program with our local ABCD/Headstart program. (Read more…) Through a generous gift to the Boston Public Library’s Reading Readiness Fund, students all over the city are provided with the opportunity to build their at-home libraries while working on their literary skills in a fun way!
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.
Somedays, I feel like my kiddos look at books like they do vegetables—ick! And somedays, I feel like their parents might, that I have to try to incorporate books in any way possible!
The last time I wrote a blog post for ALSC, I was in graduate school. In my mind, I had an idealized version of librarianship. In my dream world, every day I would come to work, and singing animals would help me put the books away; children would be perfectly behaved; and storytimes would be well attended. Then there was reality.