Sunday Morning Reads

Good Morning!

Baolai 027

What a beautiful, cool morning! It seems more like fall with three weeks of school already under our belt and football games under way.  This cool weather is time to get a read on.

Last night, I made good progress reading Closing the global acheivement gap. While it is interesting reading what can and should be done to create 21st century schools, it just gives me more reason to be frustrated by what I see. I’m not a decision maker.

While I have a plethera of YA to read (Secret Keeper is on deck!) I’m considering purchasing Webbers Rules of thumb which I read about on Chris Brogan’s blog.

Hey Jude hasn’t posted anything lately but came back on line to give a post that is timely to me. With the year just beginning, I have to look at where the media center has been and where it should be going.  New building administration of course affects the direction. The media center isn’t my vision, it has to be a collective vision to work. Jude’s post begins with

What types of media, access, and support do cutting-edge media centers and school libraries offer students? How are teacher librarians and library media specialists leading the charge to help students master 21st century literacies?

I’m looking forward to reading the article she linkes to in ASCD Express.

I’ve been following Bowllan’s WAR postings and was really moved by Ari’s postings this week. I asked my own children to comment on their experiences with racism and got all three of them as well as one son by another mother, to take the time to give thoughtful comments. I am so proud of my children! Today, Bowllan’s blog (which is house in the School Libraryl Journal site) reviews Beat the Black Kids by Asadah Kirkland. It looks like I’ve found another must read!

This past week, I’ve found myself drawn to the stories, speeches, images and memories of Edward Kennedy. I’m sure it’s because I grew up in the Kennedy mystique, observing the blessings and tragedies of the powerful family that really seems to only want our attention when absolutely necessary. They seem like such an all American family, how can we not want to watch? And, how can we not want to watch, to observe and to say good-bye to someone who did so much for the country on a micro and macro level? I usually avoid these overdone news stories, getting burned out on the second or third day on someone who for some reason is made to seem larger than life, impossible to have been so godlike. But, with Kennedy, we got the good and bad. We got the little personal touches that were never meant to be to be spoken aloud. The one that touched me the most, no doubt was how this man who fought so that billions of dollars could be appropriated for education would spend a couple of hours each month visiting classrooms reading with elementary students. He’s given me ideas of what I can be doing in my media center. He’s reminded me how important my friends and family should be to me. What more can we do with our lives than to leave a positive influence even when we’re gone?

Need more? Don’t forget Susan’s Sunday Salon!

So let’s go out there and make it a good week!

Architecture Scholarship

In case you know any interested Students

Syracuse University has 10 Full Rides for African American Men and Women Interested in Studying Architecture.

Mark Robbins, Dean of Syracuse University’s School of Architecture is desperately seeking young men and women of color interested in pursuing a five year professional degree in Architecture. He says he’s deeply committed to bringing diversity to his field and has scholarship money set aside to fully cover education costs for 10 students. He says that Hispanic enrollment in the school has increased substantially, but it’s been challenging to attract Blacks.

Syracuse University School of Architecture has a great reputation and this could be a terrific opportunity for someone. Please circulate the information to everyone you know.

Contact: Mark Robbins, Dean, School of Architecture (315) 443-2256
http://soa.syr. edu/index. php
School of Architecture
Syracuse University
201 Slocum Hall
Syracuse , NY 13244-1250
(315) 443-2256

Why can’t we…

If you haven’t been follow Amy Bowllan’s SLJ series on Writers and Racism, you really should.  It had been quite interesting to read how so many people have experience racism, yet still kept on doing what they needed/wanted to do. Today, it was almost painful to read how Ari (our favorite teenage blogger at Reading in Color) has experience racism and how it led her to create her blog. I’ve never taken the time to ask my own children about their experiences with race (though it was interesting to hear my oldest son mention he felt more racism in Chicago than in little W. Lafayette, IN). It’s one of those conversations I don’t want to have, but need to. Don’t get me wrong, if there had been issues when they were young children, I would have known. But, I wouldn’t know about the occurrences in their more recent years. It hurt to read what happened to Ari, it would hurt and anger to know what my children have faced. Do you get that our children still face hatred, abuse, pain simply because of the color of their skin??  I want opportunities for my children. A better world filled with peace. I think I’ll contact my children, see if I can get them to post something here.

Read what Ari said!


Today, we’re taking a peek at Countdown by Ben Mikaelson.

First sentence: Bitter wind from Crazy Peak tugged at the sagebrush as fourteen-year old Elliot Schroeder coarxed his big buckskin horse back toward the ranch.

and a little peek further under:

“I’m fourteen years old,” Elliot replied. “I’m the first Junior Astrounaut in space. How old are you?”

“I have also live fourteenyears.” Vincent spoke to Sambeke. “It he really up in the sky?”

Sambeke pointed up. “He is so far up that he floats like a hawk on the wind.”

Vincent kept shaking his head even as Sambeke motioned for him to speak agian. “Elliot,” Vincent blurted. “If you are in a spacecraft, they you are a spaceboy. I do not think that is possible.”

Elliot chuckled. “It’s hard to beleieve, but that’s where I am. Where exactly are you? Over.”

“What I mean is, where in Kenya are you?”

Vincent spoke more confidently. “Spaceboy Elliot, I am only one day’s walk from Tanzania.”

“In the Narok district,” Sambeke whispered.

“In the Narok district,” Vincent added. “Over.”

“Roger. What nationality are you?”

Vincent looked to Sambeke and whispered, “What does he mean, nationality?”

“He wants to know what culture you are.”

“What do you mean culture?” Vincent pleaded, feeling as if he had no brain.

“Tell him you are Maasai,” Sambeke instructed.

“Spaceboy Elliot, I am Maasia. What are you? Over.”

“I’m American, but my parents are part German and part Danish, over.”

“how can that be? Are their feet German and their eares Danish? You must look funny. I am all Maasia and nothing else.”

As close to Free as it gets!!! A Chance to be Librarian!




The Indiana State Library (ISL) and Indiana University School of Library and Information Science (IU SLIS) are NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for the third cohort of Master of Library Science (MLS) Diversity Fellows. The application period is June 15 – August 28, 2009.

  • LLID presents an opportunity for racially/ethnically diverse applicants to receive an MLS education. Successful applicants will commit to work a minimum of two years in Indiana libraries.


  • A fellowship application must be submitted by August 28, 2009
  • The application process includes submission of an essay
  • Two letters of recommendation must be submitted by August 28, 2009
  • Candidates who are required by SLIS to take the GRE must have scores reported to SLIS prior to October 30, 2009
  • Candidates must be accepted at IU SLIS by October 30, 2009



  • Two of the ten fellows may come from outside of Indiana
  • Finalists may be contacted for follow-up interviews


  • Tuition for the MLS program (up to 36 hours) completed within 16 months
  • Stipends up to $15,000.00 may be used to cover room, board, books, travel, insurance and other personal expenses
  • Some Orientation expenses may be covered up to $500.00
  • Access to a professional mentor for guidance and resource sharing
  • An opportunity to compile a professional portfolio based on the fellowship experience
  • An opportunity to bond with a cohort of 10 MLS Diversity Fellows
  • An opportunity to attend and participate in
    • A Spring Forum, Diversity Forum, library related conferences and workshops,  volunteer and other activities scheduled by the fellowship program

Successful candidates are required to

  • Read, sign, and commit to the I-LLID Fellowship Agreement
  • Attend an Orientation Session in Indianapolis on November 18-19, 2009
  • Begin classes full time with the spring 2010 semester
  • Take 9 credit hours per semesters through spring 2011
  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 GPA scale

Applicants are encouraged to consider taking S401 before the spring 2010 or request a waiver to eliminate this required undergraduate course.

For more information: Marcia Smith-Woodard, Indiana’s-LLID Project Director

Indiana State Library, 140 North Senate Indianapolis, IN  46204

(317) 232-3719         (800) 451-6028        FAX (317) 232-0002

Sunday Morning Reads


One little article has been burning up my email account this week. After reading about a bus driver who was placed on leave for refusing to drive his bus because of an advertising sign, my son sent out an email asking “anybody see issues with this”?

K asked “why are they advertising faith”?

R responded “the bus is publicly funded (tax payers) much like a public school.  you cant put any religious advertising in a school, so why a bus? . . . so here is the issue as i see it.  it started with using separation of church and state to remove God from schools and that was done.  Now we’re in some odd post modern state where as long as the issue doesnt involve God or is anti-god then its ok.”

and D responded with “where i take issue is the fact that faith and religion… this entire occurence is nonsense!  in this instance, someone SHOULD have been able to foresee that there will quite possibly be an individual with whom this doesn’t sit so well.”

According to the FreeThoughtAction blog, the ads are sponsored by Iowa’s Atheists and Freethinkers so that atheists in Iowa know that they are not alone.

So, do you see any issues with this?

book review: 14 Cows for America

title: 14 Cows for America

author: Carmen Agra Deedy

illustrator: Thomas Gonzales

14 Cows for America is a picture book that tells a very unique true story of 11 September.

This is the story of Kimeli’s journey home after the tragedy in New York. Kimeli is studying in America on a scholarship and travels home for a visit. The people of his village want to know all about his life where he lives and, he has to tell them about the events he experienced in New York City when it was attacked. After hearing what happened, villagers are moved towant to do something for the American people and then decide to donate 14 of their most prized possessions, cows to the US.

What did I think of this book?  My review is on The PicnicBasket. Be sure to scroll down because it’s not the only review!