Posted on 13 June 2010 Sunday

My daughter was home this weekend. She kicked the heck out of my contemplative lifestyle (i.e., boring routine) and got the dust out! I really was doing just fine (well, I thought so!) but sometimes, I guess we just need some fresh air, something to add a little diversity and to  mix things up for us!

A summer Sunday post should be about lightweight summer reading, mindless days in the shade and random trips and excursions.  Well, that’s not what we’re having here today. I spent too much of yesterday catching up on blog posts and I just have to react a little. Some of it was fun and informational, so let’s start there.

Bloggiesta is an event that my radar completely missed, as did most of the bloggers I follow. I think MawsBooks organized it and participants spent hours and hours professionalizing their blogs. I was taking too much time trying to get to the information source, but Helen and Bookworming have done a nice job of listing some of the things they’ve accomplished and trust me, it goes deeper than changing the theme and updating the colors. It may be worth the effort to join the Bloggiesta mini challenge which will have you updating and critiquing your blog monthly. If you want the information you’re providing to be taken seriously, do consider participating in this community. If you take blogging seriously and just want some focus, do an annual review.

Many thanks to Nathalie for featuring me on her fabulous blog! What an honor!

Someone I follow linked to this crap in a positive way. I wish I knew who it was so I could unfollow you.  If you can get passed the bigoted remarks at the beginning of the article, you’ll find Miller suggesting nonsense like one way to besuccessful in dating someone of Indian origin is to have a favorite Bollywood movie to discuss with them. That’s like saying if you want to date a Black person, have a favorite Tyler Perry movie. If you need that kind of advice, maybe you’re not ready. If you’re willing to get to know someone of any ethnicity, then get to know what they value as an individual then maybe you’ll be OK.

Many, many people linked to the Elephant in the Room. It’s good to see someone White following Zetta’s lead. Maybe the powers that be will at least see what Bleumle is saying.  Kudos to the wonderful artists who illustrated the cause of opening the gates to more books for children of color by authors of color. Bleumle ended her article with what different groups can do to increase the demand for POC books for children and teens (as if there isn’t already a great demand!) She gave little space to libraries and really should have taken that group to task. I used to think libraries were the most liberal group of people on the planet, but we’re not! Organized through the ALA, there is a huge, focused push for diversity issues and bringing all voices to the table.

Please understand how critical this voice is in demanding books for our children, books that reflect who they are and who they will become. Librarians are the gatekeepers of the culture. Now, I’m sure you’re imagining huge stacks of books at the public library, right? Librarians collect, organize and locate information for museums, video and music libraries, corporate libraries, private collections, social service agencies and even Google and CNN.  Any organization worth its bricks has a library with information about itself and its industry. Librarians can choose what information to collect and where to put it.  Librarians index books, catalog them and locate them for readers. This is probably detailed enough for a separate post, so maybe I’ll work on a longer post later. Much later, I have several workshops in my immediate future.

Along the same lines this week, were many links to HungerMountain’s flipside feature on book covers. While the featured distinguished authors Mitali Perkins and Tanita Davis disagreeing on whether faces should be on covers of YA books, to me this is a moot issue. The real issue is what’s

Did you judge her by her cover?

Did you judge her by her cover?

between the covers and the lack of stories for children of color and by authors of color. Publishers have book covers down to a science: readers can tell just by glancing whether a book is romance, urban fiction or speculative. Twilight has created a new design in covers that indicates ‘vampires’. We will always know what’s in a book based on the cover! We adults have to get over our childhood issues and realize that this really is a new age. We’re in a place where teens have been empowered. Their tastes dictate what they want and publishers have to stop trying to force feed them. Teens attitudes about race and sexual preference are not quite the same as ours, and would be even more different, more advanced, if publishers would open those rusty old gates. This generation doesn’t want to hear us say “When I was young…” and we’ve raised them not to listen to what they don’t want to hear. If they don’t have stories that reflect their world, they will find ways to tell them on their own.

The Flipside pieces and the elephant are both ways to indirectly address the issue. How long must we wait?!

Well, don’t wait for me to do a lot of posting this week, I’ll be busy! What I need to do is jump on board the Bloggiesta challenge so I can find ways to prevent the typos! If I could only how learn to proof my own writing!!

Here’s hoping the dust gets kicked out of your week!

A Library Without a Librarian

A library without a librarian is like

A beehive without bees

A tree without leaves

A brownie without chocolate

A forest without trees

A head without a brain

A book without words

An ocean without water

A bird without wings

A zebra without stripes

A tailor without clothes

A barber without scissors

Blood without iron

A bank without money

A fish without gills

A turtle without a shell

All these things are bad, but a

library without a librarian is worse.

Written by members of the Rescue Our Librarians Club at La Escuela Fratney.

Posted in: Sunday Reads