Monday, November 17, 2014

Blogs by library professionals

Cynthia M. Parkhill's Bitstrips cartoon avatar stands at library table that is covered with books.
Cartoon avatar puts me in good standing among library bloggers
Comic avatars seem to be a frequent practice among public and school library bloggers that I examined for an assignment this week in LIBT 210, School Library/Media Center Operations. So with my Bitstrips comic avatar, I fit right in with the writers of these four blogs.

The Daring Librarian

“Hello Sweetie!” The author, Gwyneth Jones, uses a cartoon avatar reminiscent of River Song (“Doctor Who” series character), complete with TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space). That in itself is enough to earn a place in my round-up of blogs helpful to school library/media center professionals.

In the Oct. 18 installment, eighth-grader Stephannie J. discusses teen celebrities’ participation in a movement to stop texting and driving. The post embeds a YouTube video, “Youtubers Stand Up to Texting and Driving - #X.”

In addition to her sagacity in making “Doctor Who” cultural references, Jones was honored by Library Journal among its 2011 Movers and Shakers-Innovators. EdTech honored “The Daring Librarian” among its 2013 and 2014 Must-Read K-12 I.T. Blogs. From her homepage, one can follow the link “Library Edublog,” to read a daring middle-school library blog.

“Good Comics for Kids”

Published by School Library Journal at, “Good Comics for Kids” aims to provide “both breadth and depth” in its coverage of comics for readers from birth to age 16 (About “Good Comics for Kids”). The Nov. 17 installment offered an insightful interview with Raul Gonzalez, illustrator for Lowriders in Space written by Cathy Camper.

In the interview, “Raul the Third” talks about his choice of media, black, blue and red Bic pens: “I decided to use these materials because as a young child dreaming of becoming an artist I did not have art supplies so I had to make do with what I did have. Like the characters in our book we used the materials at hand to make our dreams come true.”

Mighty Little Librarian

Tiffany “Librarian Tiff” Whitehead seems very knowledgeable about emerging technology in the school library/media center setting. She also writes entertainingly.

The Nov. 5 installment concerns construction of a LEGO Wall as part of planning a makerspace. It includes photos at various stages of construction, which really energize the text.

Whitehead was honored as a 2014 “Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal magazine. She was also a runner-up in the Edublog 2012 award, Best Library/Librarian Blog.

“Read Roger”

Among the Horn Book blogs, “Read Roger” is written by Roger Sutton, Horn Book editor-in-chief. His biography states that he previously worked as a children’s and young adult librarian.

In the Nov. 14 installment, Sutton speaks to the practice of reviewers identifying a character’s race in books where ethnicity makes no difference to the plot. Sutton explains that the purpose of this practice is to catch the interest of buyers who are looking for stories about non-white protagonists.

Sutton highlights the challenge of awkward prose: “European-American Roger was walking his dog before work one day when he was abducted by aliens.” “Our main character, a white boy named Roger, was walking his dog one day …”

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