Fusenews: Worth it, if only for the clock
Hi, folks. Haven’t done one of these in a while. Let’s see what there is to see.
If I’m feeling nostalgic for NYC this week there’s little wonder. Whether it’s an article on many library branches’ secret apartments (I visited 8-10 of them in my day and someday a clever photographer should do a series on them) or New York Magazine’s (justifiable) kvetching over the new Donnell, it’s like I’m there again.
Speaking of kvetching, this article about My Little Free Library War is amusing. When I was leaving the aforementioned NYC I found I had too many books. The solution? Daily trips to the local Little Free Library. I’d fill them up one day and then come back the next with more. I don’t care what anyone did with them. That box was like Mary Poppins’ carpetbag.
As for my current town, how cute is this? Our downtown is doing a Where’s Waldo / Where’s Warhol scavenger hunt. It all begins at the wonderful bookstore Bookends and Beginnings and goes from there.
This next piece is fantastic and I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. A British children’s literature blogger comes to America. Walks into a Barnes and Noble. Immediately she is struck by the massive differences between how a major British chain (like Waterstones) sells children’s books vs. how and American chain (B&N) does it. She writes up the differences in the post Picture book differences between the main bookshop chains in the US and UK – Paeony Lewis. What struck me as particularly interesting is the emphasis the author makes on how American bookstores don’t promote and sell paperbacks to the same degree that the British stores do. As a result, our books are more expensive. What are the greater repercussions of this? Fantastic read.
I got the following message from ALA last week and figured this was a good place to share. Ahem:
Now is the Best Time to Help Dr. Carla Hayden Become Librarian of Congress
The American Library Association (ALA) is urging the library community to contact their U.S. senators (before they adjourn next week) to encourage them to confirm Dr. Carla Hayden to become the next Librarian of Congress. This is the first time in more than 60 years that a librarian is poised to take on this role. ALA offers these talking points. Visit the ALA Legislative Action Center to email your senators, contact them on Twitter, or for information on calling your senators.
There’s been a lot of talk about Ms. J.K. Rowling in the news lately. Specifically, in terms of the international magic schools she’s been introducing. I feel inadequate to speak about them, and fortunately I don’t have to. Monica Edinger has written a great piece called J.K. Rowling’s Unfortunate Attempts at Globalization. A lot of people have focused solely and squarely on the references to Native Americans in the American school. Monica sheds additional light on the African, Japanese, and Brazilian ones, for which I am VERY grateful.
By the way, having problems with J.K. Rowling in this vein is hardly new. You can read Farah Mendelsohn’s academic paper Crowning the King: Harry Potter and the Construction of Authority from 2001 right now, if you like.
By the way, if you missed Jules Danielson’s interview with Evan Turk over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, turn right around, leave this blog, and go over there. The art . . . the art . . .
For a while there I enjoyed a little Reading Too Much Into Picture Books series before my Fuse 8 TV interviews. Very much along the same lines is the recent Salon piece Pat the Bunny Is Kind of Twisted and Other Lessons I Learned from Picture Books. It’s not the same three tropes garbled over and over again. There’s a lot of smart stuff being said here. Enjoy!
Wait, what . . . The Mazza Museum has a summer conference? Why was I not informed? *clap clap* My chariot! The first day is July 18th. There’s still time!
There are many reasons to listen to the NYPL podcast The Librarian Is In. Reason #24601: Check out this simply adorable photograph of a young Lois Duncan.
Hey there! What Nibling just won herself a 2016 South Asia Book Award? Would that be Mitali Perkins for her absolutely fantastic Tiger Boy? Dang right it would! Go, Mitali, go!
Because my day job requires me to keep up with adult literature I read a lot of Publishers Weekly (that sounded like a very earnest television or radio ad for PW, by the way). The other day I was reading its articles on what Brexit is going to mean for the literary world, and I briefly toyed with the notion of doing a blog post on what it would mean for the children’s literary world. I decided not to pursue this idea since I know next to nothing about the topic and while that normally wouldn’t stop me, Phil Nel did it best anyway. Check out his piece Children’s Lit VS Brexit.
Curious about the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award? Want to know more about it? Interested in reading an interview with a woman who would visit Anne Carroll Moore in the library as a child? You can get all that and more with this interview with this year’s BGHB committee chair Joanna Rudge Long.
Um… so this one has nothing to do with children’s books and everything to do with my own childhood. Basically, if you’ve been waiting for an article to justify Lady Elaine Fairchilde as the feminist icon she truly was, your prayers have been answered. Extra Bonus: Check out the perhaps indeed legit comment from Lady Aberline. Or read my piece on the new Lady Elaine. Clearly this is a trope in my life.
Just want to give a shout-out to Christine Inzer, the self-published teen graphic novelist whose book Halfway Home was reviewed here in 2014. Christine got herself a real publisher and her new book just earned a stellar review from Publishers Weekly. Yay, Christine!
New Podcast Alert: In case you are unfamiliar with it, The Writing Barn is the brainchild of Owner & Creative Director, Bethany Hegedus, and offers writers “ways of deepening their process and perfecting their craft, whether they travel cross-town or across the country to our retreat and workshop venue”. Now Bethany has created Porchlight, a podcast that interviews the Barn’s guests as well as folks in the world at large. You know I’ll be listening.
Best. Library. Clock. Ever.
Seriously, I want to do this with picture books. If not in my library then in my home. I should solicit the right titles, though. Hmmm…
Filed under: Fusenews
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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