August 2005

What book would you hand someone and say, “You HAVE to read this!”? Click on the word Comments and tell us what you are recommending to your students and teachers. Your comments can be anonymous if you wish.


From the Dallas Morning News, August 23, 2005, Texas Living Section, pg 1.

Pig, from Laura Numerollf’s If You Give a Pig a Pancake and the upcoming If You Give a Pig a Party, is looking for a school at which to party. And the lucky school is…the school with the students who wins the “If You Give a Kid a Book” Reading Challenge Contest, sponsored by HarperCollins Children’s Books and Chick-fil-A. To particpate, kids in th United States, ages 10 and younger, log onto http://www.mousecookie or visit a local Chick-fil-A. Books read from August 1 through November 14 are eligible.

From School Library Journal
Facts on File Offered Free of Charge

Laura B. Weiss — 8/23/2005

Looking for a way to stretch your budget? Beginning in early September, Facts On File News Services, as part of its 65th anniversary celebration, is offering libraries and schools free unrestricted access to all of its subscription databases via the database.

The company will also offer free access to FactsforLearning, the elementary and middle school reference database that combines activities and information from World Almanacbooks, Weekly Reader magazine, Funk &Wagnalls, Gareth Stevens curriculum e-reference, and Teacher Created Materials. Media specialists and librarians can also sign up for schoolwide free access to FactsforLearning.

Register at by October 31. The company’s anniversary will also be marked by a special event at the American Association of School Librarians conference in Pittsburgh on October 7, and by other celebrations throughout the 2005–2006 anniversary year.

Copied from ln_net on August 24, 2005
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 21:03:59 -0500
From: Donna Cook
Subject: Re: SEC-Overdue Book Fines

The problem with charging fines is that you HAVE to send out overdue notices religiously if you have fines. It would not be fair to be charging fines on a daily basis if the kids didn’t know about their overdue books in a timely manner. Of course, you’re always going to have kids saying they never saw a notice, but that just means you have to do all you can to be TRY to get them regular notices.
And sending out notices raises the problem of how you’re going to get those notices into the hands of delinquent students. Don’t even start aski ng yourself how you’re going to do that without publishing the titles of books and preserving the privacy of your students. If you send notices to the first period teachers, then you have to depend on them to pass the notices out to the students. You’ll quickly learn which teachers are conscientious and which scrape all your notices into the garbage when they’ve forgotten to pass them out a few days in a row.
So, those are some of the problems. This is how I solved it for my library. I charge a fine, but it doesn’t kick in for 20 days after the due date. It’s called a “grace period” in our circ system. That gives me time to send out about three notices before the fine kicks in–about one a week. (Way better than one notice every day or so. That was driving me and the teachers nuts.) If the kid hasn’t come in and renewed the item, or turned it in in those 20 days after the due date, then the fine if $1.00. It starts at $1.00 and stays $1.00. That is enough to make a point, but not so much as to clobber a student.
The strongest muscle I have for collecting overdue books and fines is that a student at my school cannot be exempt from semester finals if she ha s either. So the week before finals (Dec. and May) I send out overdue notices every day, and the dollars come flowing in. Nearly every kid thinks $1.00 to get out of taking a final is a good deal. One weird thing about smaller fines was that high school kids tended to think small fines were kind of embarrassing. They don’t mind paying $1.00 nearly as much as they copped an attitude about paying a 45 cent fine.
Oh, one other thing about fines: as much as possible, I try to remember to call them “extended use fees.” Someone on LM_NET once wrote that librarians and police were the only people who assess fines. Blockbuster and other “more customer oriented” entities charge fees. I’m not sure that is perfectly true, but I’ve been teaching myself to use the more positive term.

Heard about this book award show coming up in October on NBC stations around the country. They sought nominations from an invited group of librarians and booksellers (subscribers to Publisher Weekly). They have =
set up a website for all to vote for favorite books in 19 categories including children’s illustrated books, children’s chapter books, YA books and graphic novels as well as adult categories. You must register to vote but can opt out of the use of your e-mail address for ads. You can also vote at participating Borders book stores.

From their website:
A new book award program that pairs a populist sensibility with Hollywood-style glitz to bestow the first literary prizes reflecting the tastes of the people who matter most–readers. The Quills celebrates the best books of the year in nineteen popular categories, ranging from romance to biography to graphic novels and beyond.

I recently discovered a website that explores careers other than the traditional ones we generally highlight. This website allows students ages 11-15 to explore various careers in the arts, music, sports, science, technology, medicine, and engineering suited to their personal interests. It includes quizzes to focus on aptitudes, games and puzzles to provide a glimpse of the jobs, and information about necessary education, typical salaries, and the nature of the work.

Resources are being developed for teachers, counselors, after school program instructors, parents, and family and community members with an interest in guiding career aspirations. In the coming weeks lesson plans, activity ideas and other resources on how to incorporate the FunWorks into the classroom, after school and at home will be posted.

It is worth checking out The Fun Works.

I copied the folowing blog post from a site called Librarian in the Middle. Even though blogs might be new territory for you (although I guess you are reading this one!), you may find the links very worthwhile. If follow these links and find an especially good one or two, please make a post in the Comments section of this blog. You can comments anonymously if you want to.

YA Reviews on Blogs

By Robert on YA Author Blogs and Sites

These are blogs I currently have set for feeds. Most are authors, students, librarians, reviewers, or combinations of those. All are avid readers! Some get ARCs or galleys so we can get a heads-up on new stuff. I generally add their recommendations to a consideration file and then compare review journal input. Often, their discussion of a book works well when kids ask about a book I haven’t read.

Most also post about other aspects of their lives, conferences, discussions with other authors, resources they use, etc. Setting up feeds in a news (RSS) reader makes it easy to skim parts you may not be as interested in.

Book Moot Occasional reviews; book news, author pieces. Good lists of YA author sites and blogs and other YA literature resources.

The Goddess of YA Literature “…professor of children’s and YA literature in a Library Science department…” Brief impressions of recently read (and she is a prolific reader!). I think every book mentioned winds up on my order list. And, of course, some are galleys so I’ll have to wait a bit before they get on the shelves.

cynsations Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog. Interviews with authors, news and resources. Thorough reviews.

The YA Novel and Me Author discusses writing and provides reviews.

Kids Lit: Books and More for Kids and Teens Public library director’s blog with reviews of books, magazines. Also good links to news and activities of interest.

Young Adult (& Kid’s) Books Central Blog Offers longer, well-written reviews as well as author interviews and bios. Also has reader submitted reviews.

Muller in the Middle Descriptions of books read by Frederick Muller, a middle school librarian. Lots of reading being done here. Searchable.

Orange Splot Librarian’s reviews of YA, mostly fantasy. Good insights.

Chicken Spaghetti Newer site. Has pointed out some promising books I hadn’t heard about elsewhere. Also has links to awards, events, and sundry other stuff.

Original Content Gail Gauthier’s blog talks about YA and Child Lit issues, publishing and offers good critical analysis of new books. I like that she talks about what doesn’t work in the writing

Richie’s Picks: Great Books for Children and Young Adults Long reviews, with short section of book included. Detailed analysis and insights. No feed, but posts to Child_Lit.

Scholar’s Blog Good reviews and analysis. Focus is on fantasy.

The Lady Rona: A Youth Literature Chronicle Good reviews as well as analysis of classics as well as new books.

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