Hearts and Minds in Play

October 8, 2010

What makes younger library users, past or present, so interesting to researchers? At the Library History Seminar XII, September 10–12, many scholarly papers focused on youth services. The ideas in circulation at the Madison conference suggested that two factors ignite academic interest—censorship and new technology. Forces of change make young people visible in the library, … Continue reading Hearts and Minds in Play


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It’s Not Monkey Business

August 9, 2010

If by vocation or avocation you’ve come to cherish children’s literature, you’ve no doubt encountered some skepticism about this particular passion. For too many people, children’s books simply don’t merit serious consideration. As Seth Lerer aptly observes in his award-winning Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter, “For a long time, what … Continue reading It’s Not Monkey Business


What Came Home from D.C.

July 8, 2010

The last thing I did before checking my suitcase at Washington National Airport was to tuck the pink steno pad in which I’d been scribbling all conference long into the front pocket of my suitcase. Well before the end of my trip, I had tired of lugging and protecting the accoutrements of conference life, so … Continue reading What Came Home from D.C.


My Artful Diversion

May 27, 2010

One rainy day in May, I gathered my umbrella and ventured into the Massachusetts countryside. My destination was not the charming farms nor the region’s myriad historic towns; instead, I went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, which resides on quiet West Bay Road in Amherst. The museum itself was quiet, too, … Continue reading My Artful Diversion


Chalkboard Heroine

April 20, 2010

One might reasonably think I’m beyond having a favorite teacher. Having turned in all my assignments and completed my formal education years ago, such a declaration might seem a tad unnecessary. A note on author Nikki Grimes’s Facebook page, though, called my attention to Teacher Appreciation Day, recognized early each May. Her words, to say … Continue reading Chalkboard Heroine


The Pixelated Campus

March 9, 2010

"There is no frigate like a book,” Emily Dickinson wrote long ago, “to take us lands away.” Only the foolhardy would quibble with her eloquent, 19th-century paean to the written word, and librarians aplenty support reading as a vehicle for escape and learning alike. Yet in the current century, more and more librarians themselves opt … Continue reading The Pixelated Campus


Stirring Up Inspiration

February 4, 2010

It’s been one of those winters when I’ve wondered if one really feeds a cold (achoo!) and starves a fever, experimenting with soups that require no further icy treks to the grocery store (achoo!). Coincidentally I had already made arrangements for my history students to see titles that include the 1964 Seventeen Cookbook in the … Continue reading Stirring Up Inspiration


Some of My Favorite Reads

December 29, 2009

What’s your favorite book? If you’re like me, that’s a tough question. There’s the one that captures the mood you’re in, the one that pulls you out of the mood you’ve been in, the one with those charming turns of phrase, the one with the cunning plot turns, the one with the better-than-you’d-hoped-for ending, and … Continue reading Some of My Favorite Reads


Redeeming Our Relevance

October 27, 2009

A friend and I have an ongoing disagreement about teens and libraries, which runs something like this: I notice the latest study showing that adolescents don't turn to libraries to meet their information needs, and I utter dismayed comments about all the wonderful resources intended for younger library users. My friend begs to differ, usually … Continue reading Redeeming Our Relevance