31 January 2007

Children's Library of the Future?

We don't need libraries anymore? Right?

Thank goodness that not everyone is so narrowsighted as to think that children only need spacious classrooms, computers and the internet to develop their creative talents, and foster a thirst for enquiry and knowledge.

I suggest that good 'future' thinking is what is really needed, and as usual (when it comes to design) the scandanavians are right into it!

Imagine a children´s library where movements activate the room and elements in the library, and where imagination is stimulated by sound, images and light. And at the same time it is possible to place oneself in isolation and become deeply absorbed.

How do we create a physical and virtual sensation of being inside and outside, of being both alone and part of a social group?

Here we have an entire conference devoted to this theme - The Children's Interactive Library - with presentations available for download in pdf form. Amongst these papers you may find ideas and inspiration for tackling the "learning spaces" agenda that we began to discuss in 2007.

Let's keep the focus clear - libraries do have a valuable place in our schools and communities!

We know that the information society is changing, and that the way children look for information and the way they use information is changing.

The question is whether we as libraries are also keeping pace with the change and if so; is it in the right direction and in what way are we involving children – with their different talents - in this proces ?

Innovation is what it is really about!

How are we going to go about this?

29 January 2007

23 Things Aus-Style

Try to get in on this SirsiDynix Institute Webinar which is being presented by staff of Yarra Plenty Library in Victoria at the special time of 12.30pm Sydney time on Tuesday 6th February. As these online events usually happen at about 3 am our time, this is a great opportunity, although during lunch isn't the best time to get away from the library crowd in schools. If you can get relieved for an hour it does add up to very cheap PD. Otherwise wait for the podcast version which should come up over the following week.

Why would I bother? I hear you ask. Lynette, Denise and Christine put it best:

Yarra Plenty Regional Library in Melbourne Australia enthusiastically took up the fabulous PLCMC 23 Things program in October, and our staff has engaged with alacrity and creativity. We know that libraries have to change, and we are opening up possibilities for our staff and our users.

We will talk about why we decided to implement Learning 2.0, how our staff experienced it, and how this has equipped us to get bold in our thinking about social networking. We'll discuss the 4 themes for our Library worker 2.0 staff development program in 2007 - getting information, enabling learning, creating content and celebrating culture; and how we are encouraging an environment of lifelong learning within the organization. (SirsiDynix Institute)

This is an idea with lots of potential for all school staff and one whose time may just have come - and in time for FOL 5 program submissions?

28 January 2007

2007 Printz Award for Young Adult Literature

This most recent of the major US awards is proving a great showcase for Australian authors. After the success of Markus Zusak and Margo Lanagan last year with Honors for The Messenger (US title:I am the Messenger) and Black Juice, Zusak has done it again with The Book Thief. This time he is joined by Sonya Hartnett in Honor status for Surrender. Very well earned kudos for both authors, and interesting that both books were published as adult titles in Australia.

Although I admit to not being a particular fan of The Book Thief, I know I am in the minority with that opinion (and must admit that parts of the book resonate with me still). The Book Thief also won a hard fought battle to take out both the Jhunt Award and The Karen Sue Simonetti Cover Art Award. The Jhunt is a survivor-like contest run each year by the very active YA discussion list Adbooks.

Not to be too parochial, let’s acknowledge the actual winner of the Printz which is an interesting first as it is a graphic novel: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. This is also the next discussion book for Adbooks and I was thrilled to find it at Dymocks’ Macquarie Centre yesterday after ringing around half a dozen stores within cooee of my home. Have just started and am hooked. The blog at Manhasset Library TeenZone has a nice cover picture and annotation. Gene Yang is also a teacher and has a passion for using comics in education.

2007 Newbery Medal Winner

Just in case you haven't heard (and have a manuscript of your own in the bottom drawer) :
a librarian has won the Newbery award for children's literature this year.

The 2007 Newbery Medal winner is The Higher Power of Lucky written by Susan Patron, illustrated by Matt Phelan, published by Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson.

In “The Higher Power of Lucky,” Patron takes us to the California desert community of Hard Pan (population 43). Ten-year-old Lucky Trimble eavesdrops on 12-step program meetings from her hiding place behind Hard Pan’s Found Object Wind Chime Museum & Visitor Center. Eccentric characters and quirky details spice up Lucky’s life just as her guardian Brigitte’s fresh parsley embellishes her French cuisine.

“‘Lucky’ is a perfectly nuanced blend of adventure, survival (emotional and physical) and hilarious character study... as well as a blueprint for a self-examined life,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Jeri Kladder. “Through Lucky’s experiences, we are reminded that children support one another just as needy adults do.”

Here's an excerpt from "Patron and Wiesner Discuss their Award-Winning Books"

This story originally appeared in Children's Bookshelf on January 25, 2007 by Diane Roback, Children's Bookshelf -- Publishers Weekly, 1/25/2007

Some old habits die hard. Susan Patron, a Los Angeles librarian who served on the Caldecott committee back in 1988, remembered that "the call" to the winner was traditionally placed on Sunday night, in advance of the Monday morning announcements. "We all have that little hope—you dream about it,"she said, of her Newbery chances for The Higher Power of Lucky
[Atheneum/Jackson) . However, since she was under the impression that the call came on Sunday, when the phone didn't ring, she thought, "It's OK, I'm moving on.".........

As juvenile materials collection development manager for the Los Angeles Public Library, Patron says she's very accustomed to trying to gauge the possible award winners each year, to have them in stock for library patrons.

"Lucky was not among the books being buzzed about, not on any mock Newbery lists," she says. "It didn't make a splash. I truly did not expect anything. So it was a great shock."

She's been a librarian for 34 years, and says the award is especially meaningful to her because it was given by her peers.

From Martha Baker
Bibliothek / Library - Salem International College - Kurt-Hahn-Str. 1 -
D-88662 Ɯberlingen - Germany

25 January 2007

Share your files anywhere, anytime!

In November 2006 I wrote about Box.net - our Web 2.0 sanity box - providing free storage, and linking of resources for blogs, myspace etc. We have a link in the right-hand navitation bar to quickly create your own space.

Mashable writes that now they’ve created a new Box.net widget , which adds even more functionality.

The Flash-based widget allows you to share all kinds of files: anything on your computer, plus music, photos and videos. Many of these file types can be viewed in the widget itself: you can view a photo, for instance, or play an MP3.

You can also transfer files between widgets: visit the MySpace page of ex-Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh and you can copy his music to your own widget, or just download it. (ohh, copyright.....)

Click on the image below and take a closer look at the widget!

24 January 2007

Literary Award Winners

The American Library Association announced on 22 January the literary award winners for books and videos for children and young adults. These include the Newbery and Caldecott awards.

The list can be found at the following:
American Library Association announces literary award winners