Monday, August 24, 2015

Steve Silberman slams ‘Autism Speaks’

People on the autism spectrum are the ones “most often sidelined or excluded” from public discussions of their condition. For author Steve Silberman, the organization “Autism Speaks” is a case in point. In his Los Angeles Times op/ed, Silberman argues that this organization, which sets “the global scientific agenda” on autism, needs to listen to, and truly serve the needs of, autistic people and their families.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Friends of the Medford Library book shop reopens

Two-panel image, Friends of Medford Library bookstore interior. In the left frame foreground, three women are grouped at a counter with shelves of books behind them. The right frame shows shelves of books with store hours superimposed over the image. Monday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday: Closed, Friday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday: Closed.
Source of image: Friends of the Medford Library
One of the ways I volunteer in support of local libraries is by publicizing “Friends” group activities. From Friends of the Medford Library comes word that its book shop remodel is complete and the shop is now open inside the Medford library, 205 S. Central, Suite 107 in Medford, Oregon.

“With the additional space you have many more books to choose from, including lots of Good As New books.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 24 and visitors during the day will receive a gift certificate for a free book, up to $2 in value, to use during the month of September. Learn more from Friends of the Medford Library’s latest eNewsletter.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

‘Accessing the Future,’ disability-themed SF

Book cover, Accessing the Future edited by Kathryn Allan and Djibril al-Ayad. Image depicts a brown-skinned, brown-haired woman in a space suit floating weightless in space above a blue and white planet.
As a library professional, it matters to me that resources in the collection validate the experiences and reflect the diversity that exists among its readership. Science fiction, like other genres of storytelling, needs to advance this aim.

For this reason, Accessing the Future (, 2015), is a vitally important addition to the diverse library collection. Edited by Kathryn Allan and Djibril al-Ayad, Accessing the Future explores issues of disability, accommodation and accessibility through speculative fiction and art. Its contributors provide unique and valuable perspectives in which characters with disabilities navigate future societies.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Children understand more than they articulate

“We underestimate our kids all the time, about what they hear and what they understand, based on what they can articulate.” At Mama Be Good, Brenda Rothman shares her child Jack’s understanding of a woman forced to give up her seat on a plane because the gate agent and a flight attendant insisted that her wheelchair “wouldn’t fit.”

Sunday, August 2, 2015

‘Racebending’ challenges literature’s ‘default’ race

Artist's depiction of 'Harry Potter' character Hermione Granger with brown skin, brown eyes and hair in black ringlets
Hermione Granger, via
How do you envision the characters in a book when no description is explicitly given? Do you “by default” attribute white race? Who you are and how you answer reveals whether or not your identity is “mirrored” by the literature you read. At Huffington Post, Zeba Blay highlights “racebending” — where fan artists portray Harry Potter characters as black and other non-white ethnicities.

(Social sharing credit to We Need Diverse Books)

Related posts, showcasing more revolutionary art:
Authors’ books get ‘Coverflip’ treatment
Cosplay ≠ Consent
Hawkeye Initiative: Male superhero duplicates women’s awkward poses