Kidlit Blogging Part 1 definitely brought up some interesting points. Then Mark Blevis and Andrea Ross (Godparents of the kidlit podcast all thanks to their site Just One More Book) spoke on Podcasting 101. They taped the whole thing and will be putting it up on their site any day now, so I won’t go too much into it. Here’s what I took away from the session, personally:
Linux is pronounced "linn-ex". Who knew?
I really need to go to Creative Commons to license my podcasts.
Flickr is apparently searchable. I’ll be damned.
You can "comment" on a podcast if that podcast has left a voice feedback telephone number.
There was a split at this point, as the authors (of which there were many) and the bloggers split into Blogging for Authors and Cybils Forum groupings respectively. I spent most of the Cybils Forum listening to Liz Burns, wishing I could speak as well as she could. For example, Liz made the point that in terms of online literary awards (specifically of the blogish persuasion) adult bloggers are less organized than their kidlit equivalents. Liz also quoted someone she knew saying, "The plural of anecdote is not evidence." I intend to casually work this sentence into my day-to-day conversations from here on in.
While the authors were away we discussed the possibility of naming this group the Kidlit Blogger Association or KBA. You might want to say KLBA but that sounds like a radio station more than anything else. I was all for the name until Ellen Klages reminded us that there are people in this world for whom the term ‘kidlit’ is offensive. I had forgotten this. One of my favorite pieces of literary criticism is Kiddie Lit: The Cultural Construction of Children’s Literature by Beverly Lyon Clark. The piece makes it very clear that in the world of academia (and publishing too, it seems) "kidlit" or "kiddie lit" is seen as a derogatory stab at the authenticity of any literary consideration of children’s books. If you want to dismiss someone working in the field you label their work "kidlit" and that’s the end of that. To consciously take on the name could come across as empowering by embracing a potential insulting term, but that’s a discussion for another day. I noticed that some of the more scholarly children’s literary bloggers (Read Roger, Educating Alice, Oz and Ends, and The Excelsior File, just to name a few) were not in attendance at the conference, which was a pity, particularly when it came to this debate on the term and its perception in the wider world of youth literature. Thinking about it later, I realized that the term "kidlit" suits the purposes of the online world perfectly. It has two syllables, trips lightly off the tongue, and what else could you call it? Younglit? Youthlit? Totlit? Entlinglit? None of these work half so well.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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