Kate Messner’s Wish

“When we quietly censor books that deal with tough issues like heroin addiction or books like Alex Gino’s GEORGE, which is a wonderful story about a transgender fourth grader, we are hurting kids. Because no matter where we teach, we have students who are living these stories. When we say, “This book is inappropriate,” we’re telling those children, “Your situation…your family…your life is inappropriate.” This is harmful. It directly hurts children. And that’s not what we do.”

Ogilvy Graphic Notetakers

Memes and Gifs and Fair Use, Oh My!

As librarians, we need to take a queue from social culture and use it to advance our profession by looking at what attracts people in today’s world and creating that attraction focusing on libraries. The way we share information is continuously changing. Think about how information was exchanged ten years ago….emails, online searches, Youtube. These are all still relevant sources but the way we receive information has changed, and it’s all done within the parameters of fair use by using small clips or images and transforming them into a completely new product.

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In the news: Australia

There is an interesting situation developing in Australia with potential to directly affect Australian authors, publishing, and readers. The Australian government is looking to possibly repeal the ‘parallel importation restrictions’. The PIRs are part of the country’s Copyright Act and prohibit imports by booksellers when an Australian publisher has acquired exclusive rights and publishes the title within 30 days of original overseas publication.

Be Who You are

A Statement from Disinvited Author, Phil Bildner

There’s an empathy portion of my school visit presentations. We talk about characters who are different than us. Look different. Believe different things. Dress differently. Because when we read, we develop a better understanding of the human experience. I booktalked George to fourth graders at six schools and to a combined assembly of third and fifth graders at another. I shared with the kids the book’s most basic and beautiful message. Be who you are.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

A Matter of Context: Challenged Books

With the recent publication of ALA’s Top 10 Challenged Books list, we saw some recurring titles, as well as new entries. Returning to the list is, Looking for Alaska by John Green, often challenged for its offensive language, sexually explicit scenes, and claims that it is generally unsuited for the age group. Since its publication in 2005, and despite its popularity with critics and readers, plus a laundry list of accolades (i.e. Winner, 2006 Michael L. Printz Award, 2005 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, A Kirkus Best Book of 2005, and many more), the novel continues its reign as one of the most popular banned books.