deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
The Happy Nappy Bookseller has been running this great series profiling Latino authors of MG/YA books. The series started when she did some research and discovered only 16 MG/YA books published this year in the United States by Latino authors: "More Latino Authors Please/ necesitamos mas autores Latinos". The jumping off point for each of these profiles is the blog post "Authentic Latino voices" by Mayra Lazara Dole, author of Down to the Bone.

"Authentic Latino voices" touches on two issues: one is the question of authenticity and opportunity for authors and editors with a Latino background, which is often raised and for which there are plenty of intelligent arguments on every side of the issue. But the core of Mayra Lazara Dole's post, which I've seen far less often, is about the lack of representation in literature of the diversity of Latino experience:

Latino cultures are as distinct and diverse as ants (which, by the way, have over 280 species). All Spanish-speaking folks don’t share the same culture, heritage, dialect, or culinary traditions.

Also from the Happy Nappy Bookseller, how did I not know about Nerds Heart YA? The contest has the aim of showcasing books that had not received as much publicity as the big hitter books of 2009. This year, the contest focused on diversity, which they defined as books which feature characters, or are penned by authors, who fall within the following categories:
  • Person(s) of Color (POC)
  • GLBT
  • Disability/Mental Illness
  • Religious Lifestyle
  • Lower Socioeconomic Status

I love the idea of making sure we hear about the books that aren't quite so much featured in the echo chamber, even though most of the echo chamber books were also fabulous.

Philip Nel, over at Nine Kinds of Pie, writes about how "Book banners hurt young people". Nel looks at the list of frequently banned and challenged books and notices that most of them depict difficulties faced by children and teens. Nel points out Children in vulnerable populations need to read books that help them make sense of their experiences. On Nel's mind, as on everyone's right now, is the suicide rate of queer teens, but his point is more general.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has been challenged in Oregon and temporarily removed from Crook County School District classrooms. I might be willing to extend a tiny bit of slack to the parent who thought mention of masturbation as normal was inappropriate in a book assigned to his 14-year-old son (although, really, what does he think his son is doing at night when the door is closed?), if he hadn't followed up with "I don't think it should be for anybody," he said. "I think it's trash. I don't think a 50-year-old ought to read it." I'm not too impressed with the school board chairman, either, who said about the book, "Personally, as a father, I felt it was inappropriate."
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
Why isn't the library blogosphere abuzz over the to-be-deported librarian (or library employee; the new stories are inconsistent but seem to imply a library employee) Marxavi Angel Martinez? 23-year-old Martinez has been married for two years, works in a library, is attending college, has a 15-month-old son, and plans to become a kindergarten teacher. She didn't criminally race across the border in hopes of stealing jobs from hard working Americans -- that is, unless as a three-year-old she decided to swim the Rio Grande.

You know, at some level it disgusts me that the main defense of Martinez I've seen in the news is, effectively, she had a skilled-labor job and white friends ("To go after productive citizens who have been our neighbors and friends for years? It's insane"), but if that's what it takes to make people realize that undocumented immigrants are also human beings, fine, I will take it. Although what the heck is up with this news story? "Alamance County ? Thousands of people use the internet at libraries around the Triad everyday, but it might not be the safest place. Sheriff Deputies in Alamance County arrested Marxavi Angel Martinez earlier this week. Martinez was employed by the county library system. She is facing federal charges for alleging aggravated identity theft, false claim to U.S. citizenship, social security fraud and fraudulent or misrepresentation of a material fact. This comes less than 24-hours after MySpace had security breach. ... Can the internet be trusted?"

Also, note to self: NEVER read the reader comments on immigration stories in the news. I simply don't have enough Sanity Watchers points to go around.

In more entertaining crazy news, LibraryThing has gotten a warning from Google AdSense for the "adult or mature content" in -- wait for it -- Library of Congress Subject Headings.
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