Thunderous applause echoed across Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School’s gymnasium as one of their own was surprised with a $25,000 national award October 16 for her efforts in engaging students and boosting literacy skills. Jennifer Gordon, a librarian at the Cambridge school, was named as a recipient of the Milken Educator Award. No one at the school knew who had won the award until the envelope with Gordon’s name was opened. Officials with the Milken Family Foundation said Gordon’s influence in her students’ and colleagues’ lives is what made her stand out.
Boston Herald, Oct. 17
City of Thieves by David Benioff was banned from a Lee County High School in Fort Myers, Florida, after a parent complained of the book being “vulgar.” The book had been randomly assigned to approximately 30 students, and the parents and students had a chance to review the work and express concerns. At the time, no concerns were brought forward, though according to a local news report, some students did ask to exchange City of Thieves for another book.
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Oct. 17
Meghan Ferriter writes: “Big news! We’ll launch a crowdsourcing program at the Library of Congress on October 24. We’re asking everyone to join us as we improve discovery and access across our collections through transcription and tagging. The program is grounded in what we’ve learned through our previous experiences with participatory projects, including image description in Flickr and our newspaper captioning pilot Beyond Words. The venture connects with the FY2019–2023 Strategic Plan and accompanying Digital Strategy.”
Library of Congress: The Signal, Oct. 17
Amanda Pagan writes: “Gothic fiction as a genre was first established with the publication of Horace Walpole’s dark, foreboding The Castle of Otranto in 1764. In the centuries since, gothic fiction has not only flourished, but also branched off into many popular sub-genres. The battle between humanity and unnatural forces of evil (sometimes man-made, sometimes supernatural) within an oppressive, inescapable, and bleak landscape is considered to be the true trademark of a gothic horror novel.”
New York Public Library blogs, Oct. 18
James LaRue writes: “One library decided to give drag queen story time a try. They announced the program through all the usual channels. One of those channels was Facebook. Then, in a matter of days, a group of mothers in the area declared themselves outraged. They made 11 phone calls to the director, who had only been on the job and in the community for a few months. In all of the calls, the moms expressed their strong disapproval of the program, which they viewed as the promotion of sexual deviance. What should the director have done?”
Intellectual Freedom Blog, Oct. 17
Mica Johnson writes: “Growing a middle-school horror collection has been popular with students, but we’ve had to work on defining the parameters of the collection and get to know some of our readers. To help with this aspect we created a Scary Scale ranging from 1 skull being least scary to 5 skulls being the most scary. We’ve also created several sub-genre booklists like sci-fi horror, zombie horror, and historical horror to help students find the right types of scary books within their scary-level comfort zones.”
Knowledge Quest blog, Oct. 18
ALA and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are now accepting applications for the 2019 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries, which recognize libraries for their role in the growth of graphic literature. Beginning this year, the juries from the newly established Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table will select two Growth Grant recipients and one Innovation Grant recipient. The application deadline is January 18.
Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table, Oct. 17