This weekend ALA President Barbara Stripling sent out an email announcing a joint statement that the BCALA and the ALA cooaboratively developed and was then endorsed by the other ethnic affiliates, AILA, APALA, CALA and REFORMA. Stripling will be appointing a Special Presidential Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to develop strategic atction ideas.
In response to BCALA’s concern regarding holding the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, the ALA Executive Board thoroughly explored the options for moving the conference. ALA started by clarifying the facts underlying conference site selection, the implications of trying to move the Orlando conference, and the prevalence of Stand Your Ground laws across the United States. The contracts for Orlando were negotiated originally in 2000; the Stand Your Ground law in Florida became effective on October 1, 2005. Cancelling the hotel and convention center contracts would result in a minimum fine of $814,000. Conferences as large as ALA must be scheduled for specific sites and contracts signed at least 7–10 years in advance. At this late date, it would be highly unlikely that ALA would be able to find another site with availability during our window of late June/early July 2016.
Most troubling is the growing prevalence of Stand Your Ground laws. Twenty-two states have laws that allow for that self-defense provision to be asserted (as of August 2013). An additional 21 states have enacted laws that allow for self-defense within one’s home (called Castle Doctrines). However, each state has implemented and applied the Stand Your Ground laws differently, and it is the interpretation and application of the Stand Your Ground Law in the Zimmerman and Dunn cases, as well as the Marissa Alexander case, that has heightened the urgency for discussion and action.
With that information in hand, our ALA’s Executive Committee and BCALA’s Executive Board decided that the best way to respond to the Florida situation is by turning it into an opportunity to educate, build awareness, and advocate for equitable treatment, inclusion, and respect for diversity.
Congratulations to Nahoko Uehashi (Japan) on winning the 2014 Hans Christian Anderson Author award.
According to the IBBY jury chaired by María Jesús Gil of Spain, “Uehashi tells stories that are replete with imagination, culture and the beauty of a sophisticated process and form. Her literary subjects are based on ancient Japanese mythology and science-fiction fantasy that are deeply rooted in human reality.”
Congratulations to Roger Mello (Brazil) for winning the 2014 Hans Christian Anderson Illustrator award.
An illustrator, writer and playwright, Roger Mello has illustrated more than one hundred titles, having also provided the text for twenty of them. He works as an illustrator for five different publishing houses and he is also the author of several theatre plays.
The awards were announced at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy. This event first began in 1963 and has become a premier event for children’s publishers around the world. A few trends seemed to develop at the Book Fair this year. There was a growing number of Chinese picture books that originating in China, indicating that imported books to the country will no longer dominate the market. The L.A. Times reports that this year’s Fair had strong interests in middle grade fiction in general and in contemporary realism for YAs.
Marvel Comics announced a female Muslim superhero in November and School Library Journal (SLJ) posted a very informative interview with the creator of the character. While Ms. Marvel is the first American Muslim female character to have her own series, she’s not the first Muslim super hero.
- Sim Baz, Lebanese American who took over for the Green Lantern “In his debut issue, Baz, who is Lebanese, is watching the events of 9/11 unfold on his TV as a 10-year-old, and dealing with the aftermath that Muslims faced in America. And his first major obstacle isn’t a conventional super-villain, but “a federal agent who deems him a terrorist.” (Marvel)
- Dust, a young Afghan woman whose mutant ability to manipulate sand and dust has been part of the popular X-Men books. (Marvel)
- Nightrunner, a young Muslim hero of Algerian descent, is part of the global network of crime fighters set up by Batman alter ego Bruce Wayne. (DC Comics)
- The 99 created by Naif Al-Mutawa, developed a 6 issue crossover with DC Comics in 2010.
- Dust, aka Sooraya Qadir, is an Afghanistan-born Sunni Muslim who, when kidnapped by slave traders, uses her mutant power to turn herself into a sand-like substance to flay them alive. (Marvel)
I’m not much into Comics, never read much beyond Richie Rich and Archie. In fact, I wouldn’t have realized Stan Lee’s pattern of same first letter for first and last name if it wasn’t for Raj on Big Bang Theory (video). I was pleasantly surprised to find out how diverse comics are.
I think if I could have super human abilities, I’d be able to speak, read and understand all languages. Or maybe never gain excessive weight no matter what I eat. What about you?
I have a busy week coming up with visitors to the library from Thailand, high schoolers coming to learn about scholarly research and the beginning of the garden season. Wishing you all the super abilities you need to shine this week!