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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

SLJ Teen Live Virtual Conference

I LOVE, love, LoVe virtual conferences! Any day I can learn in my PJs is the BEST learning for me. It's made me productive enough to do a summer post!

In conjunction with my role as a Coretta Scott King blogger for ALA, I will focus my post on the wonderful Jason Reynolds and how his book, Miles Morales: Spider-Man has hooked reluctant readers! Please enjoy!

Spoiler Alert: Spider-Man is no longer Peter Parker; he’s now Miles Morales! (a moment of silence, please.)

I hate to be snitch, but it’s all Jason Reynolds’ fault...kinda. His words created such a believable connection that the new Spider-Man is a half black, half Puerto Rican 16 y/o from Brooklyn. I half expected Zendaya (from the summer blockbuster Spider-Man Homecoming) to step out of the book!

Today, the School of Library Journal held a live, young adult literature, virtual conference--SJL Teen Live!--and let’s just say, Mr. Reynolds shined a spotlight on the essence of connecting with reluctant readers (RR) via his latest book, Miles Morales: Spider-Man. The timing of it couldn’t be more perfect!

According to recent studies, young men and women read less than 12 minutes per day. I know. Stifle the tragic screams of your inner librarian and do NOT worry. With great reading power, comes great responsibility. Jason has answered the call as the new and diverse “Uncle Ben” from the Spider-Man series!

One reason why Miles Morales/Jason Reynolds connects with reluctant readers is because of the character’s voice. “I tried to create someone you want to hang-out with, not someone stagnant or authoritative,” says Jason during the virtual conference. Without missing a beat, he continued that “words need to feel real to the kids. The language must be contemporary. Use their voice, as it’s vital. That’s the magic for reluctant readers.”

In fact, after listening to him, I must say that he has so much #blackboymagic exuding throughout his graphic novel, that he can turn reluctant readers into avid readers! I'm not saying he’s biblical, but he gets RRs. Trust me, I’m a librarian.

No one  else could take Marvel’s best known superhero, give him a 2.0 upgrade in cultural relevancy and soften the transformation with enough depth to make an otherwise adverse adolescent wonder, “Hey, this guy sounds like me!”

The keepsake moment arrived when Jason answered the question, what questions do you want asked about Miles Morales? He took the traditional stance of “I want kids to notice the new things that have arrived now that Spider-Man is of a different culture. Notice how he behaves when he takes the mask off. Pay attention to the layers and cultural perspectives of the book.”

However, I believe the best quote from Jason was his nod to a truth that has withheld the test of time: “Comic books have always addressed the tougher discussions of society. I want questions/discussions to stem from that.”

After all, as an avid comic book hero fan, I can attest that (1) Captain America was created as a force against Nazi Germany; (2) Wonder Woman birthed a renaissance in feminism; and (3) Superman tackled corporate greed vs the little man, as well as refugee plights--Superman is an immigrant from Krypton!

Therefore, why not entice those “reluctant readers” with a likeable hero, who looks like them, speaks with a slang they’re familiar with and they can discuss the issues the hero faces with their friends?

In a world cloudy with websites, wouldn’t it be ultimate and amazing to have Miles Morales: Spider-Man coming home with your son blabbering away about some cause he wants to tackle in order to change the world? *Only a true nerd will end their post by referencing all of the Spider-Man series!*

Friday, May 19, 2017


Full of gratitude sums up my feelings at the moment! I'm happy to share that I'm officially a contributing author to the American Library Associations' Coretta Scott King Blog!

Monday, April 24, 2017

2017 TLA: Owning Your Library Profession

Here's a recap of last week in tweets and pics. Please enjoy!
Texas Bluebonnet Award Committee newest members, which I did take my place as the new member on the 2017-2020 program committee.
TBA's Author's Speed Dating Recap
General Session began a welcome from San Antonio mayor, Mrs. Ivy Taylor and concluded with the "digital englightenment" revelation from Cory Doctorow. In addition to this tweet, few other "AHA Moments" were these nuggets of insight:
1. Devices should always obey their owners.
2. Security facts should always be legal to disclose.

3. Saying we don't need librarians because we have the internet, is like saying we don't need doctors because we all have the plague.
4. LIBRARIES are the secret clubhouses of the resistance!"

**Forgive me for the bolded, increased font of that final apropos quote.

Nevertheless, another beloved moment from TLA was meeting/speaking with Bernadette Stanis about her latest book The Last Night, A Caregivers Journey Through Transition and Beyond and her foundation Remembering the Good Times
Listen to the statistics on what Diabetes 3 from Bernadette...

Bernadette Stanis on Alzheimer's from AwakenLibrarian on Vimeo.

Here's a lovely book review regarding The Last Night, A Caregivers Journey Through Transition and Beyond.

However, one of the defining moments occurred when I met Victoria Jamieson, author of Roller Girl, Texas Bluebonnet Award Luncheon!

How COOL is it that San Antonio's own "Alamo City Roller Girls" arrived on skates? I feel a program idea brewing...
Overall, I absolutely enjoyed this conference!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Color Me a Princess Tea!

Without further adieu, I must inform you that I just had the ABSOLUTE BEST DAY in the library. Yesterday, we broke through the mirage of the "stereotypical" princess. We took the "rescue me" mentality up a notch, removed the prince and added the vitamin of EMPOWERMENT into the mix. Come on this journey with me, as yesterday changed my perspective in the best way possible!

"Color Me a Princess Tea" short movie from AwakenLibrarian on Vimeo.

We had a panel of distinguished guests:
Rashika Robinson (biology major, baker/entrepreneur)
Miss Katy Teen 2017 Sydney Felton (17 y/o dancer, student and motivational speaker)
Tina B. (engineer, poet, musician)
Courtnie Penson (Freed-Montrose Librarian, social worker, doctoral canidate)
April Carson and Rhonda James (YWCA Houston Community Outreach and Director of Programs)
Sybil Moss (educator, pagent organizer, motivational coach)

The ultimate goal: Make yourself the heroine in your life with your light!

To kick off the festivities, I wrote these young princesses a poem about them, their neighborhood and their own beauty beneath the crown..

4th Ward Crown & The Hate U Give excerpt from AwakenLibrarian on Vimeo.

This, by far, was my best program event ever!The speakers were phenomenal women in their own right!

Because I fervently believe in practicing what I preach, I challenged the young ladies to finish the following "sentence stems" regarding themselves. You saw a snippet early in the shortie film from a young lady, but I also had a vulnerable moment...

I Love...I Forgive...I Will... from AwakenLibrarian on Vimeo.

and here's a few more moments...
To conclude, the best moment of the day happened when these young women RUSHED down to the library to begin the festivities! Enjoy these photo slide and know this...
To Mr. Miller, Jeremiah, Gregory and Antonio, THANK YOU for being the silent princes (and King-Miller) that I needed to film and arrange! We're all one happy, EMPOWERED family!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Clever Children's Bookmarks

I came across this video on Facebook that demonstrated how to make a Despicable Me-Minion bookmark! I'm going to try it out with my kiddos in the library! Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Dr. Seuss' Birthday!

Today's a fun day in the library! It's Dr. Seuss' birthday and we had a parade, watched my favorite Dr. Seuss story, The Sneetches, we did some finger puppet "make believe" and then played a game of Seuss Charades! Enjoy!

GLEC #DrSeussDay Celebration! from AwakenLibrarian on Vimeo.