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Welcome to the March issue of the Teen Librarian Newsletter!

February has been a busy month for me - I launched my twice monthly Monday evening Stories from Around the World for children, tweens & teens, starting with Folktales from Southern Africa and Tales of Anansi and other Tricksters. So far they have been well-received, in March I will be reading tales from the Arabian nights.

For those of you with an interest in British, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) Authors in the UK, I have finally reorganised my BAME lists and broken them down into Teen/YA, Middle Grade, Children's, Poetry and Picture Book authors & illustrators. These can be found on the blog here:

This month I took the momentous (for me) decision to cancel my CILIP membership in protest of their uncritical stance on Dominic Cummings and a number of other missteps. You can read about my reasons in 16 Years a CILIP Member, also on the blog. It was not a decision I made lightly as it effectively ended my chartership journey, but for me it was the only decision I could make.

My leaving CILIP will have no impact of the blog or newsletter, I will still share news and events from relevant special interest groups (mainly the Youth & School Libraries Groups) and the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals. I still believe in the work done by these and other groups, my main unhappiness is with the parent organisation.

Heading into the newsletter, I wanted to start with the British Library's latest online resource - Discovering Children's Books. There are hundreds of links for those interested in the history of children's books as well as resources to allow teachers and librarians to run creative activities. One of my favourite articles on the site is about Reflecting on Black Presence in Children's Books by Farrah Serroukh & Karen Sands O'Connor. Professor Sands-O'Connor is also one of the co-authors along with Darren Chetty of Beyond the Secret Garden - a series of articles on how BAME voices are represented in children's literature.

If you are in the UK then you need to book time on the 5th March for the first episode of the BBC adaptation of Malorie Blackman's Noughts + Crosses - I am so excited about this and will be on tenterhooks until I discover when it is being shown in the US!

Sticking with TV for a moment I was excited to discover that there is a TV adaptation of Love, Simon (called Love, Victor) the movie based on Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda coming out this summer. My excitement was tempered by the news that Disney had decided that it did not fit in with the 'family-friendly' tone of their Disney+ streaming channel.

Moving away from a reason not to trust near-omnipotent mega-corporations I also wanted to flag up the news that the Smithsonian has made millions of their images freely available to use and remix.

The Carnegie Trust has released a report on the value of Hackathons in Public Libraries which I highly recommend as it makes for interesting reading.

With the Coronavirus spreading around the world and there being a lack of information specifically about the CORVID-19 virus I have put together several links to reliable, accurate and up-to-date downloadable information that can be used for information displays in libraries.

Lastly, Mat Tobin, Lecturer in Primary English & Children's Literature at the Oxford Brookes University has organised a Children's Literature Conference on the 9th March that looks like it will be amazing!

The British Library: Discovering Children's Books

Explore centuries of stories, poems and illustrations with Discovering Children’s Books, a free online resource for children, teachers and book-lovers of all ages.

The site explores the history and rich variety of children’s literature, drawing on inspiring material from medieval fables to contemporary picture books.

There is a gallery of activities to spark children’s creativity and inspire their own stories, poems, illustrations and more. 

Access the full site here:

Beyond the Secret Garden

Darren Chetty and Karen Sands-O’Connor wrote a series of articles for Books for Keeps magazine on how Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic voices have been represented in the (UK) national story of children’s literature, and how change can be brought about.

You can access the archive of articles here:

Noughts + Crosses

The TV adaptation of Malorie Blackman's best-selling YA novel Noughts & Crosses is finally coming to BBC 1 on March 5th.

As yet I do not know when it will be released in the US, but I am still incredibly excited about this!

Read more about it here:

If you live in or within striking distance of London, you may be interested in knowing that the Tottenham Court Road Waterstones will be hosting the Black Girls Book Club Noughts + Crosses event on Thursday March 12th:

Watch the trailer here: 

First love in a dangerous, alternate world - Noughts + Crosses: Trailer - BBC

Simon versus the Homophobic decision-making process

The Walt Disney Corporation has decided that the Love, Victor a TV series based on the film Love, Simon  which in turn is based on the best-selling YA novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is not "family friendly" and will no longer be shown on their streaming service.

Apparently Disney felt many issues explored on the show, including alcohol use and sexual exploration, would not fit in with the family-friendly content on Disney Plus 

Current news indicates that they have moved it to their Hulu streaming channel.

More details are available here:

Smithsonian Open Access

You can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.

Engage. Respond. Innovate. The Value of Hackathons in Public Libraries

Engage. Respond. Innovate. explores how library services in the UK could use an alternative methodology: a hackathon, as an opportunity to start to meet some of their wider organisational ambitions, to engage with the public, respond to evolving needs and innovate services.

The full report can be downloaded here:

Coronavirus Covid-19 Resources for Displays

Due to the newness of the COVID-19 virus there is a lack of printed material available for libraries to put together information displays for our patrons. Below is a list of links to scientific organisations around the world that provide trusted medical information that can be used for displays. There is a wealth of information online, many of these have downloadable materials that can be used for educational purposes.

Post Script

Well done the extra day in February did not even slow us down! We can take on March by working together and remembering that even if we may feel isolated we are working together in Libraries across the world! Making people's lives better just by doing the work that we love!

Have a great month and I am around if anyone would like to share or just vent!

See you again in April!
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