I thought it would be worthwhile to round-up and share some of the great book lists and discussions I’ve seen centering around good reading for those interested in discussing and thinking about the situation in Ferguson. The bulk of these resources are geared toward children’s and young adult lit, though some posts go a bit beyond than, as well as a bit beyond books. Topics include race, civil rights, social activism, and privilege.
There are countless angles working here, but they are all important and worth thinking and talking about.
I can’t add anything new or thoughtful to this discussion, but what I can do is give space to those who are generating much-needed and valuable resources and elements of conversation. If you know of additional book lists or topical guides worth mentioning, please drop them into the comments/feel free to reblog and add. I’m happy to continue revisiting this.
- Ebony, who tweets @EbonyTeach, put a call out for kidlit about social justice.She’s rounded up the responses on Storify. The titles include picture books through young adult books.
- Left Bank Books in St Louis put together two excellent lists featuring titles across age categories. The first is their book list, which focuses on race in America. The second is their compilation of poetry, articles, and other online work that explores race in America today.
- A Twitter hashtags worth digging into: #FergusonSyllabus. This should offer up an array of readings and discussion topics relating to Ferguson. There’s also a Storify roundup.
- Speaking of syllabi, here’s a massive teaching syllabus with ideas, reading, timelines, and more from a pile of social studies educators.
- Rich in Color pulled together a reading list of social justice and activism in YA lit.
- Lyn Miller-Lachmann talks about two YA titles — one out now and one coming out this fall — and the ways that writers and artists respond to social justice. I’m including this post specifically because I cannot get Kekla Magoon’s forthcoming How it Went Down out of my head these last couple of weeks and hope it shows up on your to-read lists.
- At Book Riot, Brenna Clarke Gray suggests 5 good books about race in America. These are all adult titles, but teen readers who are interested should be able to read and think about them.
- The LA Times built a list called Reading Ferguson: Books on Race, Police, Protest, and US History. The focus is on adult titles.
- School Library Journal has a wealth of suggested reading on protest, non-violent resistance, and Civil Rights.
- This list is limited to 2013, but that makes it no less important or valuable (it keeps it quite current): African American Fiction for Teens. I put together a timeline at Book Riot earlier this year, too, that traced black history in America through YA Lit.
- The Nerdy Book Club has 10 picture books for social activists in the making.
- “Reading Helped Me Overcome A Racist Upbringing" by Susie Rodarme, cuts straight to why reading books on topics like racism, social justice, activism, and more matters so much.
- Though not a booklist, the recommended reading from Lee & Low’s blog is solid. This is a great primer and resource, perhaps, for generating discussion from and beyond the books.
- Amy’s post, “On Ferguson and the Privilege of Looking Away,” doesn’t offer reading, but it does offer immense food for thought on privilege.
I was starting to put together a post on this topic and then thought, “wait, I bet castigator already has something at her blog.” Of course she did! And it’s way more comprehensive than what I was putting together, so, you know. Read it! Use it! Share it!
This Is How We Do It: Instagram
Great news! LibraryLinkNJ is now on Instagram. We will mostly be using it to regram, or share, photos of what member libraries around the state and other exemplar libraries elsewhere are doing, but it will also be useful for documenting our own events, conferences we attend, and libraries that we visit.
Many of our colleagues at libraries around the Garden State have been leading the way. Here’s a list of NJ libraries we’re already following. If your library is on Instagram and we’re not following you yet, let me know!
- Atlantic City Library Teens
- Bernards Township Library
- Bernardsville Library
- Cherry Hill Public Library
- Haddonfield Public Library
- Hamilton Middle School Library
- Hoboken Library
- Kinnelon Public Library
- Library of the Chathams
- Long Branch Public Library
- New Brunswick Free Public Library
- New Jersey State Library
- Nutley Public Library
- Parsippany Public Library
- Paul Robeson Library at Rutgers University-Camden
- Piscataway Public Library
- Princeton Public Library
- Roxbury Public Library
- West Caldwell Public Library
If you’re thinking about launching an Instagram account for your library, there’s an annotated list of the tools making it work for us in the next section. Bear in mind, I’m running all of these apps on my phone. You can view and link to accounts and photos in your browser, but most of the work of Instagram is mobile, so you’ll need a smartphone, tablet or iPod Touch.
Instagram - this is the main app, of course, and I’ve connected the LibraryLinkNJ Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook Page to it. We can cross-post directly to Facebook and Tumblr. Twitter is activated only as a back-up, because of the next piece of the puzzle:
IFTTT - IFTTT stands for If This, Then That, which is a free service where you set up algorithms called recipes. Each recipe is based on the idea that IF you take a specific action in one connected app, THEN that triggers another action in another app. Because Twitter won’t post images from Instagram as images (it only posts them as links, which force people to click out of Twitter, which is annoying), I set up a workaround through IFTTT so that when I post an image to Instagram tagged #tw, IFTTT shares that post to Twitter with an embedded image, not a link out to Instagram. People are more likely to see our photos this way. This is a Set It And Forget It feature. I just have to remember to use #tw when posting photos!
Repost - Unlike Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr, Instagram doesn’t have a native sharing feature, so to share photos from other accounts, I need to use a third-party app to share other libraries’ photos. Repost is free & easy to use.
I’m fortunate to have two devices available to me - one for work and one of my own, so I don’t have to log in and out of Instagram every day. Before I hit on this right-for-us strategy of using Instagram primarily to share what other libraries are doing, I occasionally would share my own Instagrams with the LibraryLinkNJ Tumblr and Facebook Page. If your library doesn’t have a dedicated device for their social presence, and you’d like to give it a whirl using your own device, these instructions should help you connect your Facebook Page to your account.
Here’s how I decide what to regram: I scroll through all our follows on Repost, or just search the #tumblarians, #libraries, or #librarians hashtags there. When I choose an image to post, Repost automatically takes me back to Instagram & I can post from there, adding filters, if desired. (I don’t add filters over whatever filters are already there, because I want to honor the original poster’s aesthetic choices.) I then update the caption to highlight why I’m regramming the image.
You can’t schedule Instagram posts like you can on FB, Twitter & Tumblr. This inflexibility is a little bit annoying, but it also makes for spontaneity, and of course, that’s why we have the hashtag #latergram (you know, for photos you post, well, later). We haven’t posted any videos to Instagram yet, but I’m sure that’s something we’ll get to.
We hope you enjoy what we’re posting! For now, we are following libraries and other learning-related nonprofits. If you are using Instagram as an individual, but mostly on behalf of your library, let me know so we don’t miss out on your great photos!
Can’t help but smile at this. Good for you, young man.
UGA football player Malcolm Mitchell loves reading. After growing up not being super-interested in reading, he has grown to love it and is happy to try pretty much any book. In this video (which will be the most charming, heart-warming thing you see all week, guaranteed), you’ll see him talk about how he came to join a local book club in Athens, where he is the only male, and where most members are older than his mom. Librarians & booklovers nationwide, rejoice, as false dichotomies are smashed and we enjoy this reminder to imagine others complexly.
Thanks to Deadspin for bringing this delightful story to our attention.
May we suggest that the americanlibraryassoc consider booking Mr. Mitchell posthaste for a READ poster?
Loving how @burlingame_library used Instagram to highlight their outreach work with the local business community to ensure awareness that they’re open during renovations. #tw OP: —- Construction on the Upper Level begins today. Over thirty flyers were placed in the windows of businesses along Burlingame Avenue and Broadway informing Burlingame residents that the library will still be open during the entire #renovation! Stay tuned for more pictures and updates on the work being done on the Upper Level. #burlingame #burlingameave #broadway #flyers #construction #library #olof #librarylife #burlingamelibrary
Authoritative Ebola Resources from The National Network of Libraries of Medicine
This hit my inbox earlier today. Handy for debunking myths & allaying anxieties! Thanks to Missy Harvey at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR), Health Sciences Library System, University of Pittsburgh.
Authoritative Ebola Information
Ebola has been an important topic in the news. You may be getting questions from those you serve, or have questions yourself. So we have compiled these resources to help:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Topics / Resources: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/
- Questions and Answers on Ebola: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/guinea/qa.html
World Health Organization
National Library of Medicine (NLM) MedlinePlus Resource Guides
- English: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hemorrhagicfevers.html
- Spanish: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/hemorrhagicfevers.html
NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC)
- Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health: http://tinyurl.com/m9ad4jt
U.S. Joint Commission
- Recommendations for U.S. Hospitals Treating Ebola Patients: http://tinyurl.com/kjr84o4
Is your library pushing boundaries, thinking outside the box, and stepping outside the lines? Join the organizations across the United States and Canada that have signed up to host a series of events and campaigns in September to promote the innovation happening in libraries
NJ Libraries, we know you are all over this. Get involved today!
OUTSIDE THE LINES is a weeklong celebration to reconnect you with the creativity, technology, discovery and all of the fun and unexpected experiences happening in libraries today – think: 3D printers, ebooks, woodworking classes, personal job search help, laptop checkouts, biz incubators, seed libraries, recording studios…the list goes on.