Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Día! El día de los niños – El día de los libros – Children’s Book Day

selection of books celebrating diversity

Día! is upon us! So, you’re reading this and thinking OMG, this is not so LOL when Día! is upon us!  Don’t panic!  There’s still time left to make this a meaningful Día!   Sure, you may have somehow missed out on REFORMA’s March 31st deadline for applying for its Día! grants, but with a little planning, and some great resources, you can do this! Do YOU Día? But, I hear you say, Jonathan, I’m not Hispanic and I don’t speak Spanish above the “hola me llamo [insert name]” level.  Let’s review what Día is all about! El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a celebration every day of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of ALL linguistic and cultural backgrounds.  Thus, you see that it’s not just about Spanish speakers.  Indeed, I…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Teens and Tweens: Large Print Makes a Difference!

tween teen large print

Vision Thing Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and netbooks have all revolutionized the world for every age group.  For tweens and teens, the effects of hours of utilizing these devices has made a real impact on their vision.  The impact on literacy levels has also been noted.  Dr. Ralph Chu remarks on one condition called dry eye disease (DED), saying that, “you see (DED) commonly in people who are in their 50’s & 60’s, but now with children who are using their smartphones a lot, we’re seeing this more and more.”So, let’s read up on how large print can make all the difference in this vision thing! Large Print and Learning Believe it or not, larger print has some wonderful advantages, not just for staving off myopia.  Struggling readers can benefit significantly from larger print materials.  Tween and teen reluctant readers may want to read, but may be finding it difficult.  For tween/teen…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month: Guided by our Leaders

Hispanic Heritage Month Continues! First, though, I always like to explain the “why”.  Why, Jonathan must we celebrate this every year? Here’s a quote for you that encapsulates the “why” the best, IMHO: Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year.  More than a time to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans, this is a time to celebrate the continued inclusion of diverse materials into your everyday programming.  Inclusion does not have to be like hiding the pill.  As a matter of fact, it should never feel forced.  If it does not feel genuine to you, it will come across that way to your audience.  So, how to proceed?  Where do you seek inspiration or than this amazing blog? Inspiration from Leaders The 2018 Estela & Raúl Mora Award winners were announced just a few days ago.  What better way to explore your options than to draw inspiration…

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Global Children’s Libraries, Literacy, and Programs: ALSC On the Road in Athens, Greece

When Jella Lepman initiated the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), she did so for the purpose of creating a dynamic venue for the international exchange of ideas around children’s literature and literacy. Just a day ago, I returned from the 36th IBBY International Congress in Athens, Greece where ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter and I engaged with librarians, book creators, researchers, and educators from around the globe. With a theme of “East Meets West Around Children’s Books and Fairy Tales,” the congress was an amazing opportunity to learn about numerous children’s books and literacy programs from colleagues in Asia, Europe, and beyond. Día @ IBBY During the three-day conference, we shared a poster about ALSC’s Día initiative, describing the benefits for libraries and classrooms, numerous success stories, and plethora of online programming resources and book lists. The poster, which focused on promoting diversity, inclusion, and advocacy with Día,…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Strong Dose of Back to School

Summer Reading is Over! So, pat yourself on the back!  It’s been a long road to hoe, but you’re just the Joe to hoe it.  It’s time to don the oven mitts and grab the red hot throat of back-to-school!  You’re going to need a strong dose of resources to help this season’s batch of students succeed this fall, winter – and beyond! National Library of Medicine No, I’m not going to ask you to visit the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for remedies for your upcoming stresses.  This month, we’re talking about their AMAZING resources for kids!  They’ve got something for every age group and every electronic device.  So let’s getting digging! Free Stuff! So, let’s start with the cool NLM swag.  Bet you never thought you’d hear that in the same sentence. Visit NLM’s Educational and Printed Materials section of their site to order posters, trifolds, bookmarks, and…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Serving Children in Crisis

Proactive Response In a recent NPR article, Vicky Smith of Kirkus Reviews pointed out that in the face of the global immigrant and refugee crisis, “It is a real desire on the part of authors, illustrators and publishers to respond to the crisis in a way that is proactive and helpful.”  In reality, the aim of youth services librarians is precisely the same. Our occupation combats and seeks to ameliorate illiteracy, and act as a social equalizer.  What is more, we seek to provide a proactive response to social issues in the only way we know how. If you find yourself confronted with the question of “why”, here’s your response, put best by Flying Eye Books (of Nobrow Press): “In the wake of the cruelties happening to immigrant children all over the globe, but most recently in the US with children coming across the Mexican border, many of us are shocked. The…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Children in Crisis: Literacy brings Hope

Supporting Detained Children It’s little wonder that on ALSC’s listserv that the topic of supporting children caught up in a web of immigration policy came up.  Frankly, it’s in the youth services librarian’s DNA.  We do all we can every day for every child who walks through our library’s doors.  And for those we encounter in our outreach efforts, we do that much more.  It is not an unreasonable leap that librarians nationwide would want to get library materials and services to detained children. Why Literacy Behind Bars is so Important Before we delve into efforts by REFORMA and other non-profits and NGOs, the question that you need to be ready for is simply “why?” If children are being detained, whatever the circumstance, literacy is integral – key – to their chances for success. Here’s your top-5 why’s and ALL of these are about kids right here: 2/3 of students…