Over at Medal on My Mind, we’ve been hard at work sifting through all the titles eligible for the Stonewall Book Award this year. I created a Goodreads list of 2018 LGBTQIA+ children’s and YA lit to track all the titles. Then I decided it would be fun to embark on a little research project and concurrently track the number of those books that receive starred reviews. I’m no statistician, but it’s been super interesting to see how our choices for Stonewall compare with what the journals rank highest. Not to mention the types of stories, the kinds of identities, and the authors who are prized most.
I’m sure you probably felt the same way but, boy, was this summer busy! So far, fall is forecasting a similar frenzy. But I’m a bit more optimistic that I’ll inch closer to some semblance of work/life balance without Summer Reading looming overhead. Though, to be honest, it’s still there because I’m already in the midst of planning next year’s Summer Reading. Out of sight, but certainly not out of mind…
Have you ever had the opportunity to take your dream job but then turned it down? I did recently. I turned down an opportunity to be our system’s Early Literacy Librarian, and I’ve been grappling with that choice ever since (hence the above photo). The short story is that I’m switching gears on this blog to focus on school-age programming. Read on for the long version.
I have been awfully quiet these last few months. Ever since the ALSC Forum on Social Justice Practice in Youth Librarianship (ALSC members: watch the archive if you missed it), I’ve been reflecting on my own social justice practice. This included reflecting on the purpose of this blog.
A couple months ago, I wrote a post about performative allyship as it relates to storytime—specifically, my own storytimes. I conducted a diversity audit of the books I used during storytimes at my branch and realized that I was failing as an ally and social justice advocate. I decided to make a change and resolved “to read at least one book featuring characters of color or another marginalized identity in every storytime I lead.”
A year ago, I left my AmeriCorps position at an inclusive preschool and child development center for my first true librarian gig. My time with AmeriCorps was one of the most rewarding, confusing, challenging, and life-changing years in my life. For a moment, I thought I would ditch librarianship altogether to become a preschool teacher. Instead, my experiences kindled the special passion I have for early literacy in my library work.