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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Books Recommendations Focused on Racism and Social Justice

As the state of the world is changing day to day, one thing remains - knowledge and facts are necessary to even begin to understand the ideas of racism and the psychological, as well as physical, effects of it all. There have many book lists put out that focus on race, racism, protests, and challenges for many individuals in today's society. Librarians have been finding posts all over social media for booklists that help kids, teens, and adults understand the issues surrounding racism and we have compiled our list here:

Common Sense Media put out a fantastic list of books on racism and social justice where folks can filter by age. The list is prefaced with this: "When your kids see demonstrations in the street or on the news as a response to racially charged incidents, you can help them understand what's going on by giving them some historical context. Sometimes such actions reflect a healthy democracy. Sometimes they lead to changing laws. Some movements are peaceful, others turn violent. These books tell stories of people's experiences of racism and of those who put their bodies on the line for the cause of equality under the law and social justice."

Epic! - Available through QPS (ask your child's teacher for their login), Epic! is an American kids subscription-based reading and learning platform. It offers access to books and videos for children ages 12 and under. If you search "racism" or "social justice," you will find a number of books in an easier format for younger students. (The National Geographic Kids book about Martin Luther King Jr. sparked some decent conversations between me and my 1st grader.)

Embracerace.org also has a great list of 31 children's books. As stated in the article, "Research from Harvard University suggests that children as young as three years old, when exposed to racism and prejudice, tend to embrace and accept it, even though they might not understand the feelings. By age 5, white children are strongly biased towards whiteness. To counter this bias, experts recommend acknowledging and naming race and racism with children as early and as often as possible. Children’s books are one of the most effective and practical tools for initiating these critical conversations; and they can also be used to model what it means to resist and dismantle oppression.​"

While Bookshop.org is mainly a site for folks to buy books, Brian Lair Books has put together a large list within the site. There is no article but the books they have listed are fantastic for  kids of many ages as well as adults.

1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide is another great resource. From the site: "This resource guide was created in direct response to the multiple requests made by educators, parents and students. Like Marley Dias, so many of you have asked for books with black girls as the main characters. And because of you, we have received thousands of books. Here we are sharing with you the first 1000 titles."

Here's a blog that lists books that centers on Native stories: American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

Here's a list by a school librarian and published children's author. It contains books for all ages.

This list of picture books featuring powerful Black characters was found on Facebook and is from a fellow librarian.

Some of our favorites are listed below:
Brown Girl Dreaming
Something Happened in Our Town - Read aloud on YouTube (picture book)
The 57 Bus
All American Boys
The Hate U Give
I'm Not Dying with You Tonight


As always, make sure you get your e-card (if you don't have it already) to gain free access to eBooks at at Thomas Crane Public Library or Boston Public Library!


Monday, May 25, 2020

Geneaology!


Word Cloud Search Ancestry - Free vector graphic on Pixabay

At the high school level, I (Ms. Coady) had students research their family tree by using the last available census from 1940. I explained the reason why the census exists:
According to the census site, "Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year...The results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets...It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790."
Students then went to the TCPL database site and found the genealogy databases.  Most of them have to be used on site but HeritageQuest Online does not. If you're looking for a fun project to do with your family, check it out! Students whose families didn't come to the US until much later got to research famous figures so if that is the case with your family, check out this page. Have fun exploring!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Dungeons & Dragons with Thomas Crane Library

                                      

Dungeons & Dragons 

with 

Thomas Crane Library Online!

Are you looking for some after school fun?  Join the the Dungeons & Dragons game on Thursdays: May 28th, June 4th and June 11th! Students ages 10-15 can participate!

                          

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Explore Nature LIVE!


If you are like me, you are tired of surfing the web.  Well, look no further!  Explore.org is an entire website full of LIVE webcams in nature. So many awesome live feeds all with sound.   Here is  just a sample list: African wildlife, bears, cat rescues, ocean wildlife, alligators, gorillas, and wildlife sanctuaries. Looking to "explore" further, the site has educational films and lesson plans.



Gorilla enjoying his snack at GRACE Wildlife Center

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

ESCAPE THE ROOM while staying at home!


Thomas Crane Public Library is hosting an event online tomorrow, May 13th at 3:30! Solve online puzzles in thirty minutes to escape the room and stay alive!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

The Boston Public Library has created an extensive list of Asian/Pacific American books for children, teens, and adults.  You can find it all by clicking here!

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. Click here to explore the rich heritage that helped shape the United States.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Library Crossing: All the Horizons

I love libraries. I always have. Even as a kid, the public library was something of a magical place for me: if I could imagine it, the library would be where I found it--or found out more about it. Unsurprisingly, that magic sent me into librarianship as an adult, where I can spread the magic to others.

But right now, the magic is--well, it's harder to access. Libraries are closed to the public for the time being, so we can't browse, or suggest titles to nearby readers, or even just interact with other information- or recreation-seekers. And what is a librarian without her library?

Tina Chenoweth didn't want to answer that question. She's the Young Adult Services Manager at the Baxter-Patrick James Island branch of Charleston County Public Library in South Carolina, but she's also the librarian of their virtual branch--set up in the latest release of Nintendo's popular Animal Crossing franchise.

For the uninitiated, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game in which your character moves to a tropical island, and .... that's it. You catch bugs and fish and pick fruit and trade those things in for items like furniture, wallpaper, and other goods to decorate your pretend home and island. It's a quiet, peaceful, somewhat meditative game--a perfect setting for a library.

And what a library it is! In this article published a few weeks back, she explains that most of the decor--book-themed wallpaper, bookcases, study equipment--was donated by patrons "visiting" the island using a special friend code. While the library started small (a main room and a smaller children's room off the back) has expanded to include a staff break room, a study room, makerspace, and more. In true resource-sharing library fashion, outside the building there are areas for visitors to donate spare crafting "recipes" and found fossils and pick up ones they don't already have. On one of my visits, they were even running a library program--finding certain objects around the island and reporting back for an in-game prize.

Screencap of virtual library, main room

screen cap of children's room

screencap of virtual library's makerspace

Screencap of virtual library's staff lounge

The Animal Crossing version of the BPJI Library is staffed by two librarians, who are both happy to answer questions, give suggestions, and otherwise interact with whoever comes to their island. And if we can't go to a real library, I'm glad there's a welcoming place for me to pretend.

Animal Crossing players can visit the BPJI island using the library’s Nintendo Switch friend code, 0912-2261-5044