I knew earlier this week that I’d be blogging today so, when I work up, my mind was in composition mode. I was so busy thinking about what I would write that the empty plastic water bottle went into the sink rather than the trash and a fork went into the oatmeal. NPR did straighten out my attention for a while when they discussed new information that is being found regarding Emmett Till’s murder. In the grand scheme of things, his brutal murder didn’t occur that long ago. It was during our modern times when information could be easily recorded and distributed. Records from the trial disappeared ages ago and those who witnessed the courtroom scenes are still being sought after to find out what happened in that room. I remember my time down there in the Delta, visiting those historic sites and meeting people who were there then. I’d love to take students down there. One real difference in being an academic library rather than a school librarian is a diminished access to students.

I have to wonder that if things from that time could disappear so easily, now secure is our information today when we’re encouraged to place our images, music and writings in cloud space that it owned by someone else. We argue debate whether to plan new purchases for print books or ebooks as if personal comfort is the key factor. Who owns those ebooks and journal articles (even after we think we’ve purchased them) and how accessible ebooks will be as platforms change over time are things we really need to question. Granted, ebooks do provide greater accessibility to information for those with reading difficulties.

GoogleReader is gone. Other RSS aggregators disappeared as folk turned to GoogleReader and now, it’s disappearing. Soon, iGoogle, a Google homepage that also serves as an aggregator will be gone, too. iGoogle is very similar to MyYahoo, which still functions. I’ve decided to use Feedly to gather my RSS feeds and I’m finding it a bit clunky and it seems I’ve lost some of my favorite blogs. I need to spend some time finding them again, tweaking the site and creating a display that makes sense to me. At the same time, I’m still wondering about WordPress and blogging. Is there future limited? Well, in this day and age, it certainly is, but just how limited and, what next?

Maybe I’d feel better about the lifespan of WordPress if they sold out to Facebook or Amazon. By the way, today is the last day to get a free LibraryThing account if you’re disappointed in the GoodReads takeover. My LibraryThing account is so old that I don’t remember either the username or password! Something else to add to the ‘to do’ list!

The space between ebooks, Google and Amazon has me wondering about the data, both my personal data and that which becomes available to me,  these giants access. As Marc Aronson states  “There are obviously privacy concerns here, concerns about how we are seeing reading (though reading has been collective at other times in its history, indeed one debate among historians of reading is exactly when reading shifted from being primarily oral to primarily silent), and concerns about overvaluing the now.”

Yet and still, basic Internet access remains a critical issue. To the rescue is Connect2Create, a campaign to get major Internet companies to provide discount service, equipment and training to low income families in need. Mindshift writes “The program offers low-cost devices and Internet service, as well as access to digital literacy training programs around the country, hoping to give access to the estimated 100 million Americans who have no broadband connection at home and another 62 million who don’t use the Internet at all.”

Tarie recently share information on the Bangkok Book Awards: ” Each shortlist includes at least one book by a Thai author and one book by an international author, books set in different parts of Thailand, and at least one book in translation from Thai. You can check out the picture book shortlist here.

From Debbie Reese  “Minnesota Public Radio has a story up today that showcases how Heid Erdrich is using video format for her poetry. The video they have up is STUNNING!”

I visit Anali’s First Amendment for things like this single serving cheesecake (I gain weight just from her yummy photos!) but I end up finding this opportunity to teach writing in Ghana. I would so love to do that, even more than the cheesecake!

I’ll be posting April’s new releases by authors of color this week! One book I’ve previously missed is Justin Scott Parr’s Sage Carrington, 8th Grade Science Slueth. Such a cute book!

I hear we’re expecting a snow and rain mix tomorrow. I really hope this slow to warm spring means fewer and milder spring storms.

I hope you enjoy your week ahead!

Saturday Trailer: Escape to Gold Mountain

What better day for book trailers than a Saturday?

David Wong was so dedicated to sharing the history of Chinese people in North America that he sold his architecture firm and spent the next six months writing Escape to Gold Mountain.

Visit Amazon to take a peek inside or to order your copy!

Escape to Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America
a graphic novel (240 pg comic book) written & illustrated by David H.T. Wong.
Release date:  October 6, 2012.

The history of Chinese immigration to Canada and the US over the past 100-plus years has been fraught with sadness and indignity; newcomers to North America encountered discrimination, subjugation, and separation from loved ones. As well, in Canada the Chinese head tax was introduced after the Canadian Parliament passed the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 to discourage Chinese immigrants, while in the US, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act outright banned Chinese immigration to America. Despite such obstacles, these Chinese newcomers persevered in order to create a better life for the generations to come.

Escape to Gold Mountain is the first graphic novel to tell their story: based on historical documents and interviews with elders, this is a vivid history of the Chinese in their search for “Gold Mountain” (the Chinese colloquialism for North America) as seen through the eyes of the Wong family. They traverse the challenges of eking out an existence in their adopted homeland with hope and determination, creating a poignant immigrant’s legacy for their sons and daughters.
“This is a moving book that deserves to be read.” —VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) Magazine

Like Escape to Gold Mountain on FB

David Wong on Twitter




International Librarians Enhancing Access and Development Fellowship Opportunity

iLEAD (International Librarians Enhancing Access and Development) Fellowship Opportunity

The Department of Library and Information Studies (DLIS) at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) invites applications from international students to its iLEAD Fellows Program. An iLEAD Fellow will be an international student taking the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) Program, supported by an International Graduate Assistantship (IGA) (stipend with tuition waivers requiring 20 service hours/week). More information about graduate assistanships can be found at the “Financial Support” tab at:

The iLEAD Fellows Program is one of the Department’s international initiatives form:

The application includes an essay of 750 words or less on applicant’s experience with and plans to enhance library and information access and development in your home country, especially to diverse and underserved communities.

Up to two iLEAD Fellows will be selected from the new incoming international students, starting in Fall 2013, on the basis of demonstrated academic ability, evidence of commitment to enhancing library and information access and development in their home country, and financial need. To be considered for the iLEAD Fellows Program, applicants must submit both a UNCG Graduate School application for admission to the MLIS Program and the Department’s Graduate Assistant Application by the stated deadline.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Lee Shiflett, Director of Graduate Study

Letter from Birmingham Jail: A Worldwide Celebration on April 16

Letter from Birmingham Jail: A Worldwide Celebration on April 16 – An Invitation to Join In!

On April 16th, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. began writing his

“Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the Birmingham Public Library will sponsor a program entitled “Letter from Birmingham Jail: A Worldwide Celebration.” We hope that you will join us.

Participants in this program will host public readings from the “Letter” at various locations around the globe: libraries, museums, schools, universities, churches, synagogues, temples, places where people work,
public parks, bookstores, street corners, coffee shops and anywhere that people want to participate. In addition to people who are participating throughout the Birmingham area and around Alabama, we have participants around the globe, from Israel to China, England to South Africa, Northern Ireland to Somalia. More names are being added each day.

People who participate in the readings can read the full text of the “Letter” or selections from the “Letter,” individually, as a group, or however they want to do this. Groups participating may range from two
people to hundreds of people. Readings can be done at any time of the day on April 16th.

When possible we hope people will video or photograph their readings and send those images to us.

To learn more about the program and register your participation, visit
our web site at

Jim Baggett, Head
Department of Archives and Manuscripts
Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203
205-226-3631 (voice), 205-226-3633 (fax)


One Giant First Step

First Book wanted to improve literacy for all young readers so they developed the Stories for All Project. This special initiative recognizes that children need to have books with characters and stories that are relevant to them.

The Stories for All Project“We are not the first people to complain and worry about this issue. So we knew if we were actually going to make a difference we needed a market-driven solution. In short, we needed to put our money where our mouth is.

Stories For All would purchase $500,000 worth of books from any one publisher for books featuring characters of color. This is where I falter: First Book says the response was overwhelming. I look at the books currently available and wonder who all these publishers could be. I could name a few companies but “overwhelming?”

First Book actually found two companies that published a noteworthy amount of high quality books featuring characters of color and they decided to commit $1 million to the program.

Congratulations to HarperCollins and Lee & Low Books

And, thank you First Book for taking direct aim at addressing why more children are not readers. I hope others will follow your lead, if not in donating large sums that will make a difference, then in actually doing something.

If you work with children from low-income neighborhoods, or know someone who does, sign up with First Book today.

Related articles:

An Interview with Mary Cash and Jason Low

NY Times article about the Award

The First Book blog



In purchasing from both of these companies, not only does First Book more firmly establish their dedication to literacy, but the make thousands more books available.


I know I’ve waited too long to write a blog post when all the tabs with sites I was saving to reference are closed. I took spring break this year, a chance to catch up on a few things as the season is suppose to be changing to the warmer, longer days of spring. The week began with much discussion about Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In. I think women tried to find reason not to connect with Sandberg’s message. For me, it’s been the tiny amount of time I’ve spent in corporate America and the fact that I make every effort to remove myself from leadership and career advancement as possible. I’m an introvert and I prefer to fly off radar.

But, Sandberg’s message was persistent from news shows to talk shows and I kept listening: Lean in, be part of the conversation. I thought about my career as a librarian and the perception of librarians as quiet little women. I’ve worked as a Media Director/Head Librarian in an administrative position where I was not considered part of the administrative team. In academia librarians are sometimes tenured faculty, sometimes not. Even when employed as tenured faculty, there is a separate work calendar for librarians. We’re still marked the first Asian, first Native American… librarians in libraries across the country. That people of color are entering the profession is an important thing, but still counting firsts?

 People like Kirsten Weaver, Wei Cen

Jennifer Himmelreich

Jennifer Himmelreich

and Ana Elisa De Campos Salles (all 2013 ALA Emerging Leaders) are quiet beyond the image too many have of people who work in libraries. They definitely are people who are leaning into discussions about patron driven acquisition of books, open access of information, expanding digital content, freedom of information and what new platforms to incorporate into the library’s collection.  

Next Saturday, I’ll be in Lafayette, Indiana (home of Purdue University) for the Indiana Network of Black Librarian’s spring meeting. While there, we’ll hear from  Clyde Hughes, a freelance journalist with the Lafayette Journal & Courier who will share his insights regarding research, black history, and diversity.  Research remains core to what I do and it will be interesting to hear how other professions address this activity.

I’ve been watching people since Sandberg’s discussion began. It’s one thing to show up at the table, but yet another to lean into the conversation. Leaning in takes courage. I would love to say ‘I’m too old for this’ but aging gives one all the tools necessary to be courageous; not only to make a move, but to know when it is the right move to make. Women couldn’t always afford to consider such an option.

I’ve just noticed that Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo have resurrected the Diversity in YA blog, this time on Tumblr. I noted Tumblr because Google Reader is about to fade away and this means finding a new aggregator for my rss feads. I’m looking at Feedly, but also reframing (I like that word, ‘reframing’) the problem to consider how to follow blogs, if not whether it should even be about blogs. I’ve avoided Google+, but I’m going to explore both it and Tubmlr and decide what I want choices I’ll make.

I’m back to work tomorrow and I’ll jump right into the thick of things! I’m meeting to finalize plans for a program to present materials from the ALA/NEH Muslim Journey Bookshelf to the university community and then to take part in my library’s conversations as we re-invent ourselves. I suppose you could say we’re emerging; We’re reframing; We’re leaning in. I guess we all have to realize at some point that if we want to remain relevant, we can’t just go with the flow; we have to make the opportunity to lean in


“Live where you fear to live. Be notorious.”

Saturday Trailer: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass

What better day for book trailers than a Saturday?


In a fairly recent blog post, Meg Medina describes what inspired her latest book, Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass.  Medina is the author of Aunt Tisa wants a car; The girl who could silence the wind; and Milagros,  and Girl from away. A common theme in her books is women finding their strength.

Yacqui Delgado wants to kick your ass (Candlewick) releases on 26 March.