Diversity in Libraries Wanted

I received the following in an email from the Association for Research Librarians (ARL). Please, feel free to copy or link to this post.

ARL is accepting applications for the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW), a program designed to recruit master of library and information science (MLIS) students from traditionally underrepresented ethnic and racial minority groups into careers in research libraries and archives. The IRDW includes a stipend in support of MLIS education of up to $10,000 over two years, leadership and career development training, a site visit to the Michigan State University Libraries, financial support for skills development, and a formal mentorship program.

The IRDW is funded by ARL member libraries. This program reflects the commitment of ARL members to create a diverse research library workforce that will better meet the challenges of changing demographics in higher education and the emphasis of global perspectives in the academy.

Program Goal and Objectives

The ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce seeks to:
  • Attract MLIS students from underrepresented groups to careers in research libraries and archives
  • Strengthen participants’ leadership and job searching skills via a Leadership Symposium held during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting
  • Develop a network of peers and mentors who will guide and nurture the career development of the participants
Candidates from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Applicant Criteria

Successful applicants will meet the following criteria:
  • Identify as an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority, based on the categories outlined by the US Census Bureau or Statistics Canada
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the US, Canada, or Puerto Rico
  • Be accepted into an ALA-accredited MLIS program
  • Have a strong interest in pursuing a career in a research library or archive

To Apply

All applicants are required to submit the following materials by 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time onWednesday, May 13, 2015:
  • Online application form
  • Résumé
  • A 400-word (maximum) essay describing what attracts you to a career in a research library
  • Two letters of reference
  • Official undergraduate and graduate school transcripts including your last academic semester completed
  • Copy of an official letter of acceptance from an ALA-accredited library/information science program
For more information about the program, visit the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW) website.

Librarians-Part 2

Librarians who choose to make a difference address issues such as net neutrality, the Patriot Act, freedom of information and workplace discrimination. We identify information trends in their nascent stages. I get that we’re called a dying profession. Because we’re information workers and because the nature of information constantly changes, the job of working with information will constantly change. If you don’t understand the core of the profession, if you think we just catalog books and read all day, then you’ll think the profession is dying.

IMG_4315My issues are diversity and literacy.

When I started this blog, I developed the tagline “Promoting literacy in teens of color one book at a time” and I addressed financial, computer, information and reading literacy. These, and other literacies are so important for success, the ability to navigate the world on our own terms.

I’ve been working on an article for the past few weeks that touches upon both metaliteracy and critical literacy. Yesterday, working on a completely different project, I found myself again digging into critical literacy and it really began to feel like I found where I belonged. This is a literacy that branches from critical pedagogy and the works of Paulo Friere. I’ve talked about this recently, about reading text to understand the power dynamics that are present: why did the author make the choices she did in writing these piece and who does it empower? Critical literacy should kick in no matter what we’re watching or looking at. Information is indeed power and that power is conveyed through direct and indirect messages. How librarians teach web searching, evaluating articles, presenting information or any information related skill should consider critical literacy if we want our teens to maintain our democratic way of life. All teens need to be empowered by uncovering all the messages being conveyed to them and they need to realize the responsibility that comes with that empowerment.

As an example, I want to share experiences I’ve had in doctor’s offices. Typically, when we go to the doctor’s office, she asks a list of routine questions, runs a few tests related to our particular ache or pain and tells us how the ache or pain will be treated. Even in a doctor’s office we need to use our critical literacy skills! Let’s disrupt the concept that the doctor is the sole source of information on health! A few years ago, I had a doctor who actually printed out and shared current research with me. We then discussed possible treatments. She spoiled me for all other doctors! I, who at one time would never question authority, will now ask ‘why’ or ‘how’ or ‘what other treatments?’. Did you ever watch House or Grey’s Anatomy? Though their medical practices are farfetched, they do related that doctors don’t always have the correct answer. I’m beginning to like the look I get that says ‘how dare you question me’. Yes, me, this little, old, black woman will question you.

I think about doctors because earlier this week, I visited a new eye doctor who kept given me me a hard time because my eyesight is so bad. I had to remind him about the practice of putting drops of silver nitrate in baby’s eyes in the 1950s and his entire demeanor changed. He talked about how horrid this practice was and I’m certain he had to have realized why my eyesight is so bad. From that point on, he told me more about my eyes than anyone had ever told me before.

Information is power! I love being a librarian!

Librarians–Part 1

What a surprise to see CrazyQuiltEdi mentioned in School Library Journal! Thanks for the recognition!

The Ignite Session videos are up! Imagine being alloted 20 PowerPoint slides that changed every 15 seconds to tell your story. Angie Manfredi presented “20 Kids/Teens Titles to Diversify Your Collection Today”. My session was “The Kids Are Not All White.” (these links will not work on iPads or iPhones)

Don’t miss Nikki Grimes’ Five Question Interview in HornBook.

Lyn Miller Lachmann blogs at Pirate Tree, a blog that focuses on social justice. She recentl wrote a post for Diversity in Kidlit about how humor is written that involves young people with autism.

Respect extends to when one of us tells you something is not funny. Do your homework. If you’re not on the spectrum, don’t assume you know our perspective because you have a niece, a nephew, or even a child on the spectrum. Get several people on the spectrum to read your work and point out potential problems. And when someone identifies a problem, don’t argue. Listen.

Celebrate National Library Week! Libraries across the country are planning events this week to celebrate another year of service to our communities. You know we don’t just wear buns and check out books any more. Nope!

Amy Cheney doesn’t just work diligently to find books her incarcerated teens will read. She is an advocate for them!

Meg Medina doesn’t just gather information to improve the literacy of teens in her school; she writes to tell their story.

K.C. Boyd does more than most librarians to keep urban lit in her school, but she also fights to keep her school library open another year.

Sarah Hannah Gómez doesn’t just love reading YA with her teens; she makes sure diversity is address on the bookshelf and in the workplace.

Librarians I’ve met from all over the country hustle to get books their budgets cannot buy, put their careers on the line because their patrons need/want LGBTQ. Librarians are innovators who are finding ways to publish books written by their teen patrons, teach them financial literacy or how to fill out a job application.

There are the dynamic young ones coming up like Sujei Lugo and Evelyn Alford.

Satia Orange. Nancy Tolson. Pura Belpré. Kathleen de la Peña McCook.

Debbie Reese. Need I say more?

We’ve got a lot to celebrate, don’t we?

review: Moose Boosh

A+Moose+Boosh+coverTitle: A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food
Author: Erik-Shabazz Larkin
Date: Readers to Eaters; 2014

I don’t think anyone actually plays with their food in A Moose Boosh. There is a young person with a pet cabbage that disappears but, no one sits and plays with the food in their plate. A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food uses the catchy phrase “where there is food, there will be laughter (and crumbs)”. I can’t simply call this a book of poems when it’s actually a creative print project that combines photos, graphics and poems to deliver rather political statements about the food (and pseudo-food) that we ingest. Through these antics, author Eric-Shabazz Larkin celebrates food as a source of nutrition, comfort and family ties. While the plate is indifferent to what it serves, Harlem suffers as a food desert and it’s not easy to eat with braces. While food is a valued commodity, we don’t have to like all of it, particularly chitterlings or beets.

No More Beets

I’d sooner lick the plate
than eat more beets.
I’d sooner kiss the dog
than eat more beets.
I’d rake the lawn
and clean the gutters
for our whole street.
I’d sooner do anything
than eat more beets.

What is a moose boosh? Pick up Buy the book and look inside the cover. (hint: Try use your French.) This delightful book would be an excellent addition to classroom libraries, particularly those that learn about the food cycle, gardening, urban poverty or food issues or with students who enjoy humorous poetry.

I received my copy of the book at ALA Midwinter from publisher of Readers to Eaters, Philip Lee. Readers to Eaters was founded in 2009 “to promote food literacy from the ground up. We want children and families to have a better understanding of what and how we eat.” source
A Moose Boosh is a delightful volume of poems and images that gets young people to think serious about food in fun ways.

Saturday Trailer: Rogue

What better day for a book trailer than a Saturday? Rogue is the second book in Julia Kagawa’s latest series, Talon.
A description of the world of Talon from Julie’s website:


And now, in Rogue, A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

Release Date: 28 April

Springing Baseball On YA!

I really enjoyed A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie Peanut Johnson by Michelle Green and thought I’d follow up with a few more baseball books.

The Indianapolis ABC’s history of a premier team in the Negro Leagues by Paul Debono The Indianapolis ABCs were formed around the turn of the century, playing company teams from around the city; they soon played other teams in Indiana, including some white teams. Their emergence coincided with the remarkable growth of black baseball, and by 1916 the ABCs won their first major championship. (adult crossover)

The Laura Line by Crystal Allen Tween readers who loved the warmth and humor Crystal Allen brought to How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy will find the same winning combination in her new middle-grade novel, The Laura Line. Ages 8-12

Thirteen-year-old Laura Dyson wants two things in life: to be accepted by her classmates and to be noticed by ultra-cute baseball star Troy Bailey. But everyone at school makes fun of her for being overweight, and Troy won’t give her a second glance.

But a school assignment changes that. Laura is forced to learn the history of the slave shack on her grandmother’s property, and she discovers she comes from a line of strong African-American women. Through understanding her roots, Laura finds the self-esteem she’s been missing.

Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name: My story from First Pitch to Game Changer by Mo’ne Davis In August 2014, Mo’ne Davis became the first female pitcher to win a game in the Little League World Series and the first Little Leaguer to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and a month later she earned a place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. She was thirteen years old. (ages 8-12)

Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki Shorty and his family, along with thousands of Japanese Americans, are sent to an internment camp after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Fighting the heat and dust of the desert, Shorty and his father decide to build a baseball diamond and form a league in order to boost the spirits of the internees. Shorty quickly learns that he is playing not only to win, but to gain dignity and self-respect as well.

Baseball Saved Us is the ultimate rite of passage story. It will appeal again and again to readers who enjoy cheering for the underdog. (ages 6-12)

Home is Everything: The Latino Baseball Story: From the Bario to the Major Leagues by Marcos Breton and Jose Luis Villegas Roberto Clemente, Minnie Minoso, Orlando Cepeda, Miguel Tejada and José Santana. These men are the immortals, the pioneers, the famous, the soon-to-be famous and the forgotten ones. They know that home is everything—home is the barrio where they improvised baseball on unpaved streets and sandlots; home is home plate where the batter stands waiting for the next pitch, where runs are scored and games are won; and home is the magical ballparks of major league baseball where they dream to play. Villegas’ wonderful full-color photographs, with Breton’s companion bilingual text, reveal the essence of the Latino ballplayers’ journey: the struggles, dis-appointments and the sometimes enormous successes. The book features the journey of Miguel Tejada, All-Star shortstop for the Oakland Athletics, from his barrio in the Dominican Republic through his 2002 breakout year. The photographs let us witness the barrios where the dreaming begins, the young dreamers who will never leave their home, the major league facilities where young players learn English and gringo baseball, the forgotten players playing semi-pro in the Bronx and keeping their dreams alive, Latinos struggling through the foreign world of the minor leagues, the major leaguers and the immortals. (ages 12 and up)

Baseball in April and Other Stories by Gary Soto The Mexican American author Gary Soto draws on his own experience of growing up in California’s Central Valley in this finely crafted collection of eleven short stories that reveal big themes in the small events of daily life. Crooked teeth, ponytailed girls, embarrassing grandfathers, imposter Barbies, annoying brothers, Little League tryouts, and karate lessons weave the colorful fabric of Soto’s world. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us. Glossary of Spanish terms included. (ages 8-12)

Awards: ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Booklist Editors’ Choice, Horn Book Fanfare Selection, Judy Lopez Memorial Honor Book, Parenting Magazine’s Reading Magic Award, John and Patricia Beatty Award

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson

The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. It is a perfect mirror for the social and political history of black America in the first half of the twentieth century. But most of all, the story of the Negro Leagues is about hundreds of unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay to do the one thing they loved more than anything else in the world: play ball. (ages 8 and up)

Using an “Everyman” player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. The voice is so authentic, you will feel as if you are sitting on dusty bleachers listening intently to the memories of a man who has known the great ballplayers of that time and shared their experiences. But what makes this book so outstanding are the dozens of full-page and double-page oil paintings-breathtaking in their perspectives, rich in emotion, and created with understanding and affection for these lost heroes of our national game.

April Releases

Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins; Charlesbridge. (ages 8-12)
When a tiger cub escapes from a nature reserve near Neel’s island village, the rangers and villagers hurry to find her before the cub’s anxious mother follows suit and endangers them all. Mr. Gupta, a rich newcomer to the island, is also searching—he wants to sell the cub’s body parts on the black market. Neel and his sister, Rupa, resolve to find the cub first and bring her back to the reserve where she belongs. The hunt for the cub interrupts Neel’s preparations for an exam to win a prestigious scholarship at a boarding school far from home. Neel doesn’t mind—he dreads the exam and would rather stay on his beloved island in the Sunderbans of West Bengal with his family and friends. But through his encounter with the cub, Neil learns that sometimes you have to take risks to preserve what you love. And sometimes you have to sacrifice the present for the chance to improve the future.

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams Garcia; Amistad. (ages 8-12)
Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters, who are about to learn what it’s like to be fish out of water as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime.

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.
Powerful and humorous, this companion to the award-winning One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven will be enjoyed by fans of the first two books as well as by readers meeting these memorable sisters for the first time.

None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio; Balzer+Bray. (ages 12 -18)
A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she’s intersex . . . and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between. What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant? When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him. But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.” Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia Univesity by Francisco Jiménez; HMH. (ages 14 and up)
In this fourth book in his award-winning memoir series, Francisco Jimenez leaves everything behind in California—a loving family, a devoted girlfriend, and the culture that shaped him— to attend Columbia University in New York City. With few true accounts of the Latino experience in America, Francisco Jimenez’s work comes alive with telling details about the warmth and resiliency of family and the quest for identity against seemingly impossible odds.

Endangered by Lamar Giles; HarperTeen. (ages 12 and up)
The one secret she cares about keeping—her identity—is about to be exposed. Unless Lauren “Panda” Daniels—an anonymous photoblogger who specializes in busting classmates and teachers in compromising positions—plays along with her blackmailer’s little game of Dare or . . . Dare. But when the game turns deadly, Panda doesn’t know what to do. And she may need to step out of the shadows to save herself . . . and everyone else on the Admirer’s hit list.

Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee; Flux. (ages 12 and up)
Carr “the Raptor” Luka is a rising star in the weightless combat sport called zeroboxing. To help him win the championship title, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm—a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the way. But as his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet that’s fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. And when Carr learns of a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he holds dear into jeopardy, they may also spill the violence from the sports arena into the solar system.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir; Razorbill. (ages 12 and up)
LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.
ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier— and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself. (ages 14 and up)

The Way Home Looks Now by Wendy Wan-Long Shang; Scholastic. (ages 8-12)
From the award-winning author of THE GREAT WALL OF LUCY WU comes a beautifully written and poignant story of family and loss, healing and friendship, and the great American pastime, baseball. Twelve-year-old Peter Lee and his family are baseball lovers, who bond over back lot games and talk of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when tragedy strikes, the family flies apart and baseball no longer seems to matter. Is that true? Peter wonders if just maybe the game they love can pull them together and bring them back, safe at home.

Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories by Phuoc Thi Minh Tran illus by Nguyen Dong, THi Hop Nguyen and Dong Nguyen; Tundra. (ages 6-12)
Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories, is a charming collection of fifteen tales as told by prominent storyteller Tran Thi Minh Phuoc. In it, Tran—Minnesota’s first Vietnamese librarian and an active member of the Vietnamese-American community—recounts cherished folktales such as “The Story of Tam and Cam” (the Vietnamese version of Cinderella), “The Jade Rabbit,” and “The Legend of the Mai Flower.” With beautiful illustrations by veteran artists Nguyen Thi Hop and Nguyen Dong, children and adults alike will be enchanted by Tran’s English retellings. Stories in which integrity, hard work and a kind heart triumph over deception, laziness, and greed—as gods, peasants, kings and fools spring to life in legends of bravery and beauty, and fables about nature. (ages 5-14)

Chook Chook: Saving the Farm by Wai Chim; Unversity of Queensland Press. (ages 9-12)
The third book in the Chook Chook series set against the backdrop of rural China
It’s Chinese New Year, and for Mei and her family things are looking grim. It’s been another bad harvest and a disappointing year for their farm. And now, the government is building a major freeway that will rip right through their village and tear their little farm apart. One by one, Mei’s neighbors are convinced to sell their land and despite Ma’s and stepfather Jin’s best efforts to fight, it looks like their farm will be next. What can Mei and her beloved chickens, Little and Lo, do to save their farm and keep the family together? As the deadline for bulldozing draws near, villagers young and old will come to realize that it takes a village to save a farm. (ages 9-12)

The Way Home Looks Now by Sendy Wan-Long Shange; Scholastic. (ages 8-12)
From the award-winning author of THE GREAT WALL OF LUCY WU comes a beautifully written and poignant story of family and loss, healing and friendship, and the great American pastime, baseball.
Twelve-year-old Peter Lee and his family are baseball lovers, who bond over back lot games and talk of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when tragedy strikes, the family flies apart and baseball no longer seems to matter. Is that true? Peter wonders if just maybe the game they love can pull them together and bring them back, safe at home.

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey; Delacorte Press. (ages 12 and up)
For fans of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.
Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.
But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

Rogue (Talon Saga) by Julie Kagawa; Harlequin Teen. (ages 12 and up)
Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can’t forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he’d signed his own death warrant.

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order’s headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember’s own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George. A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?