I noticed a lot of conferences tweeting this week but the most prominent on my radar has been #ALA12 meeting in Dallas. Seven short years ago when I entered the library profession, midwinter was a very small conference mainly for committee meetings. My, how it has grown! The conference also hosts the ALA media award winner announcements. This year, they can be following via webstream live on Monday 23 Jan at 8:45 ET. 18 awards announce. . http://www.webcastinc.com/client/ala-webcast/ Or follow via #alayma
The NAACP Image Award nominees were announced today. Justin Torres is mentioned for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author. Lyah LeFlore crossed over from YA to co-write a book in this category. Tayari Jones is nominated for Outstanding Literary Work Fiction for Silver Sparrow, which is often noted for its YA crossover appeal. Reshonda Tate Billingsley, former YA Christian fiction author also was nomimated in this category.
And then there are the Youth Teen Winners. It’s a rather disappointing list that the list throws so many middle grade fiction and nonfiction books into one category of winners. While in other categories, the NAACP is able to embrace the concept of being an organization for people of color by incorporating Latino authors, they don’t in this category. Nominees here are
Eliza’s Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diary by Jerdine Nolan /Author, Shadra Strickland/Illustrator (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing – Paula Wiseman Books);
Jesse Owens: I Always Loved Running by Jeff Burlingame (Enslow Publishers, Inc.)
Kick by Walter Dean Myers AND ROSS WORKMAN(HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
One final thought on these awards. Just a thought, mind you. In my opinion, if the NAACP wants to be seen as a player in the literary world, they have to do more than just give awards. They really ought to address the lack of diversity in the publishing industry, the need for a greater availability for books for all people of color to read and the importance of diversifying hiring throughout the industry. They, more than authors, bloggers or readers, have the clout to really make a difference.
Librarians in Arizona have stepped up to make a difference. Debbie Reese (@debreese) recently tweeted the Porgressive Libarian’s Guild’s Statement on Censorship and the Tucson Unified School District.
Regarding the political aspects of this situation, A.R.S. §15-112 was signed into law in the spring of 2010 on the heels of the state’s anti-immigration law, considered by many to be racist and neocolonial. The law is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. PLG considers A.R.S. §15-112 to have arisen from a climate of racist sentiment among lawmakers in the State of Arizona. This sentiment has been promoted by Judge Kowal in his siding with Department of Education expert witnesses against TUSD and MAS, which placed TUSD “between a rock and a hard place” – either suspend MAS or lose state funding for the entire school district. Given the budgetary problems facing school districts across the nation, TUSD’s decision to sacrifice MAS over funding is understandable, but unacceptable.
TUSD is aware its MAS program did not teach “racial resentment” but historical literacy. It is also is aware there is absolutely nothing in the MAS curriculum that affronts civic values or clashes with classes that teach “ethnic solidarity.” In the face of absurd, draconian laws, the only ethical position to take is one of complete opposition. Today’s capitulation to A.R.S. §15-112 will be tomorrow’s capitulation to the next absurd, racist law enacted by the Arizona legislature. The law should be abolished.
The Progressive Librarians Guild opposes the actions of all officials in the State of Arizona responsible for the passage, enforcement, and/or compliance with A.R.S. §15-112.
Are you on Twitter? I really enjoy losing hours on Twitter. I get so much information there, way more than my blogroll these days which I avoid like crazy to limit my time online. A few of the people I love to follow:
@kishizuka Technology Editor, School Library Journal, mother, second best cook in the house http://www.slj.com
@librarycourtney academic librarian (info lit, advising, technology, diversity), ALA, military brat, social butterfly, NFL fan, shopping, the total package http://librarycourtney.blogspot.com/
@pammoran as an educator I’m for 21st c community learning spaces for all kinds of learners, both adults and young people; comments reflect my personal point of view. http://spacesforlearning.wordpress.com/
@freduagyeman Poet. Writer. Reader. Promotes African Literature. Agricultural Economist.Accra http://freduagyeman.blogspot.com/
@tonnet Education, Translation, Math, Physics, Technology, Social Media, Blogging. http://www.educationandtech.com/
I’m not a real fan of blog posts that list favorite tweets. Retweet it on Twitter, I think! Nonetheless I have one, just one tweet to share this week.
That says it all, my friends. Shall we keep an eye on the ALA?
For 20 years Kiva has been serving the poor in the Phillippines.
For 20 years Candlewick has been publishing books.
20 years ago I was just finishing work on my Teacher Certification. My children were 9,8, and 6 years old. I was doing word processing on an Atari computer and knew absolutely nothing about the Internet. A lot has changed in those 20 years!
Embrace your week with tenderness.