Was I the last collection development librarian stuck to my desk in our collection development office? In case I’m not, I’m here to give the call to action: get out from behind your desk! I made this a priority this year and it’s completely changed how I was managing our collection.
Recently, HBO adapted Roald Dahl’s 1983 novel The Witches into a film. This isn’t the first time the extremely popular novel has been adapted – it was first made into a film in 1990, and has also been turned into a radio play and an opera. It’s also a novel that’s built upon a framework of antisemitism. Dahl and Antisemitism A brief summary of The Witches, if, like me, you never read it as a child: a young boy discovers that his grandmother’s stories about witches are true. He stumbles upon a large gathering of them, lead by the Grand High Witch. So far, so fine. The problems begin when you examine the way Dahl describes these witches, and how they align with antisemitic stereotypes: The witches are described as powerful, extremely wealthy, and lurking in society, secretly passing as “normal” women. This is built upon the antisemitic, and completely…
I saw a social media post about a yard decorated for Halloween with simply the numbers 2020; the homeowners said that was the scariest thing they could imagine. 2020 has been a year….sometimes feeling like a century! For this reason and so many, many others, I’m looking ahead to 2021. The coming year also holds the promise of some great Coming Soon titles. However, I couldn’t resist looking back and sharing a few favorites from this year as well. The bright spotlight they deserve may have been dimmed by this year’s events.
In November 2018, I wrote a blog post for ALSC that shared a list of diverse booklists and blogs; resources that could help us as librarians build the best collections for our communities, and went beyond what is typically highlighted outside the Youth Media Awards each year. I thought it was time to update that list. Those of you who read the initial post years ago will see that all of the original sites are still there. If they’ve ceased publication or are no longer updated, I have made note of it. I didn’t remove anyone, as their archives may be of use to someone building a collection, or creating a bibliography. As with last time, if something is missing, please add it in the comments- I will update the list as comments are made. Additionally, please let me know if you think a resource should not be on this…
According to the CDC, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys will experience sexual abuse at some point in childhood. A statistic like that takes your breath away. The last thing we want to think about when we’re helping a child find their next favorite book is whether they’ve experienced some form of sexual abuse or harassment. We can’t tell just by looking if the kids who come into our library have experienced abuse, but we can make sure we have the resources we need to help them.
Nearly every October our library is asked by our local Educare group to provide a book-focused training for early childhood care providers to go hand-in-hand with Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Day. As in years past, this week I pulled a large stack of new books that provide early literacy experiences and work well in a childcare environment. Unlike years past, I presented from my home to attendees in their homes, over Zoom. While we couldn’t pass the books around like we normally do, attendees commented on how important it was for them to get to see new titles, especially in this year of CARES Act applications, extra cleaning procedures and heightened uncertainty.
Like so many libraries back in March, we pivoted to provide virtual programming, including live and pre-recorded storytimes. As the months wore on, though, we wanted to offer something something new AND empower our families to read, sing, play, talk, and write together without waiting for the next video or Zoom session. Thus, Storytime-to-Go was born!
It brought me such joy to hear from and see some of you at the first ever virtual ALSC Institute. I attended some amazing sessions and appreciated connecting via the forums and chats with participants. During the Friday session, ALSC staffer Elly and I hosted a networking discussion called “How You Doin’?” The conversations were rich, and I am left still imagining solutions on a few topics.