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Denise Hill

Love Your Librarian!

August 04, 2014
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The Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award encourages library users to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, and college librarians. Administered by the American Library Association, with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York Times Company, the program seeks nominations that describe how a librarian is improving the lives of people in a school, campus, or community.

Up to ten winners will be selected to receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque, and a $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York hosted by the New York Times.

Each nominee must be a librarian with a master's degree from an ALA-accredited program in library and information studies or a master's degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Nominees must currently be working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university, or at an accredited K-12 school.

Nominators of public librarians must be public library users. Nominators of librarians in college, community college, or university libraries must be users of those libraries (e.g., students, faculty, or staff members). Nominators of school library media specialists must be library users (e.g., students, teachers, school administrators or staff members, or parents or caregivers of children at schools where the school library media specialist works).

Nominations will run through September 12, 2014.
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Awesome Tapes from Africa is exactly as it proclaims. Ethnomusicologist and DJ Brian Shimkovitz curates this collection of hundreds of cassette tape recordings from various regions of Africa dating back to the 70s. Shimkovitz recently contributed a mix-tape of popular 50s Egyptian music for New Directions Books in celebration of the US release of Stealth by Sonallah Ibrahim, Egyptian activist and novelist.

Motion collage artist and poet Nathaniel Whitcomb had already created a mini-animated trailer to celebrate the book: "Inspired by vintage View Masters, Whitcomb flips through photos taken by Don Church of 1950s Cairo to let the viewer 'peek in with care' to Ibrahim's childhood world. Accompanying the animation is music by the great 20th century Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum."

New Directions also interviewed Shimovitz about his work with Awesome Tapes from Africa, his creation of a mix tape ins
pired by Stealth, and the future new label created for ATFA.
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"The International Dialects of English Archive [IDEA] was created in 1997 as the first online archive of primary-source recordings of English dialects and accents as heard around the world." Founded by Paul Meier, IDEA was originally started as a way to help actors practice character speech, but has become popular for any number of other uses. Dialects can be selected from a global mapping image or from drop-down menus. Each recording provides background information of each speaker - age, place of birth, date of birth, occupation, ethnicity, level of education - as the information is available. IDEA accepts submissions; full guidelines are available on the site.

IDEA also has a Special Collections section which includes General American ("Comma Gets a Cure" recordings), Holocaust Survivors, Native Americans, Oral Histories (native speakers talking about the places they live), Phonetic Transcriptions, Play Names & Terms (sound files of native speakers pronouncing place names, people names, and idioms from well-known plays often produced in the theatre), Received Pronunciation ("Comma Gets a Cure" recordings from British speech professionals), and Speech and Voice Disorders (a short essay by Joanna Cazden discussing the use of disability speech characteristics in oral productions).
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The American Indian Youth Literature Awards are presented every two years by the American Indian Library Association, an affiliate of the American Library Association. The awards were established as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians.

This year's winners:

Picture Book Award
Caribou Song by Tomson Highway (author) and John Rombough (illustrator)
Published by Fifth House, 2012

Middle School Award
How I became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story by Tim Tingle
Published by The Roadrunner Press, 2013

Middle School Honor Book
Danny Blackgoat, Navajo Prisoner by Time Tingle
Published by 7th Generation, 2013

Young Adult Award
Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac
Published by Tu Books, 2013

Young Adult Honor Book
If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013

AILA was founded in 1979 in conjunction with the White House Pre-Conference on Indian Library and Information Services on or near Reservations. At the time, there was increasing awareness that library services for Native Americans were inadequate. Individuals as well as the government began to organize to remedy the situation.

Membership is open to individuals (with student discount) as well as institutions.

[All information from the AILA website.]

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In the Ottawa Poetry Newsletter feature On Writing #33, Marthe Reed comments on the changing landscape and environmental destruction of the birdfoot delta of the Louisiana coastline. Reed, who spent just over a decade in south Lousiana before moving to Syracuse, speaks to the impact we, including herself, have on the natural world around us. She confronts this in a form of "documentary poetry," which she says: "allows me, an outsider, to write my way into this beautiful, vanishing world without anger, without falling prey to the temptation to preach. Documentary poetics allows grief into the poem without bathos or sentimentality or feigned authority." Her poem in image "wasted" appears in the column, including painstakingly detailed tracing of the landscape in which to embed her text. Lines like "fecal coliform (sewage)," "chlorine, metal complexing agents," and "ammonia 17B-estradiol" seep out into the waterway space on the page, just as in real life. The combination of her personal narrative, environmental research, and this resulting work have a lasting impact on the reader, just as I'm sure she hopes to do, answering her own question: "Is it possible to bring urgency to the back page news item, the flickering story on the nightly news?"
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Novelist Jeff VandeZande writing at the
Roethke House in Saginaw, MI
The NewPages Guide to Writing Conferences & Workshops is an extensive list of writing conferences, writing workshops, writing retreats, writing centers, residencies, symposiums, plus book & literary festivals. And easy-to-use listing by state with dates included.
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United Nations declared July 12, 2013 Malala Day to honor the fifteen-year-old education rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Malala Yousafzai. Every Day is Malala Day is a photography picture book created by Rosemary McCarny, leader of the Plan International Canada Team. The images are of young women from around the globe, each either labeled by country on the page or in the photo credits in the back. The text comes from letters written to Malala from youth around the world, and famously begins: "Dear Malala - We have never met before, but I feel like I know you. I have never seen you before, but I've heard your voice. To girls like me, you are a leader who encourages us. And you are a friend." A video of the letters that inspired the book can be seen here.

The book is designated by the publisher for ages 5-8, which I would say is in regards to presentation and language reading level. The text discusses the shooting, how bullets are used to "silence girls" but that they are not the only means: early marriage, poverty, discrimination, violence are all named in the book, each with its own symbolic photographic subject. The full color photography on each page is rich - visually and culturally. The compositions are simple, but the message and emotional impact of each is strong.

The book ends, of course, with words of hope, courage, and empowerment. Also included in the book is an excerpt from the speech Malala gave on July 12 to the UN. I think it would be great to share this with young children, since the message is one that should begin at an early age for all if there is going to be any hope of changing attitudes across cultures.

The book was published by Second Story Press in conjunction with McCarny and Plan International, a charity organization started in 1937 to end global poverty. Because I Am A Girl is Plan's global initiative to end gender inequliaty, promote girls' rights and lift young girls out of poverty. October 11, 2012 marked the first international Day of the Girl which continues its campaign to ensure girls around the globe receive a minimum of nine years of quality education.
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This seems worthy of reposting as we head full swing into vacation season:

American Life in Poetry: Column 425

If we haven’t done it ourselves, we’ve known people who have, it seems: taken a vacation mostly to photograph a vacation, not really looking at what’s there, but seeing everything through the viewfinder with the idea of looking at it when they get home. Wendell Berry of Kentucky, one of our most distinguished poets, captures this perfectly.

The Vacation

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2012 by Wendell Berry, whose most recent book of poems is New Collected Poems, Counterpoint, 2012. Poem reprinted from New Collected Poems, Counterpoint, 2012, and used with permission of Wendell Berry and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2013 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
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I love those little "Free Little Libraries" I see in people's neighborhoods. If you don't know what these are (yet), it's a structure of some kind where people can put books to give them away for free and others can take books for free - or borrow them to read and return with no system for checking in and out. I first saw one while visiting New Orleans and was happy to leave behind the book I had brought to read on the plane. Again, at a conference in Madison, Wisconsin, there was one in the neighborhood nearby the hotel where I was staying. I walked past it each morning, and though I didn't have any books to give away that time, I made some folded blank books and left them behind to share with others. In my own neighborhood, I want to try a free library, but unfortunately, where we live - so close to a bar district - our own yard, fence, neighborhood signs - are often the target of post-2 a.m. revelers. Alas, I've been hesitant to build and put out something that would make such a tempting target. However, I am impressed with and admire those who can do this, which is why I was so upset to read about the plight of Spencer Collins whose free little library was shut down by the due to an ordinance that prohibits free-standing structures on people's properties in Leawood County, Missouri. After petitioning the council, Spencer will be able to have his library back. Although the article says "temporarily" (ending October 20), I would hope that this becomes something the county, and any others like it with such ordinances, will look to make a permanent exception. For as often as I am distraught and depressed by the news that surrounds us every day, it only takes something like this for me to feel hope. Cheers to Spencer and all the other Free Little Library Curator!
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Élan, the international student literary magazine and a publication of the Creative Writing department at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, has published the winners of their annual writing and art contest in the 2014 issue now available online (Issuu). The Élan contest finalists are:

Winner: Diana Augustine Finalists: Delaney Sandlin, Kiersten Mercado, Nervo Arreguin, Rebecca Miles (featured on cover)

Winner: Aletheia Wang Finalists: Gina Olson, Grace Green, Tatiana Saleh, Steven Adams

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