Libraries reach out

By William Hageman, Tribune Newspapers
3:57 p.m. CST, March 11, 2010

A child is never too young to visit the library.

To hear Thom Barthelmess and Marisa Conner tell it, you should stop off on the way home from the maternity ward.

"I believe that library visits can begin right away. And by right away I mean as soon as the child has arrived in the world," said Barthelmess, president of the Association for Library Service to Children, a 4,000-member division of the American Library Association. "One of the biggest areas of public library development is programming for babies."

Conner, youth services coordinator for the Baltimore County Public Library, is all over that. She's organizing a conference called "Active Learning Environments for Children" at the Public Library Association's annual meeting this month in Portland, Ore. She also has launched Storyville (, an interactive early-literacy learning center for kids 5 and younger.

"Reading is a bonding experience between parent and child and early literacy behaviors (such as vocabulary, comprehension, etc.) are developed from a very early age," Conner wrote in an e-mail.

A study in School Library Journal in 2008 suggested the promotion of early literacy resulted in higher reading scores in elementary school. The study ( found that of states in the top half of reading scores, 82 percent also ranked in the top half on circulation of children's library materials.

Conner pointed out other ways libraries are targeting young visitors: children's arts and cultural programs, enhanced children's spaces, children's computers with age-appropriate games "and, of course, lots and lots of books."

These programs aim to be a baby's introduction not only to the library but to books and literacy, Barthelmess said, helping kids "with what we call early literacy, which is everything a child needs to know about reading before she learns to read, things like understanding that letters exist, and that words exist, and that words are built up on the page with letters.

"We know that for kids to take the next step and become avid and fluid readers they need to know all this stuff," he said. "And a library is a great place for all that knowledge to happen."

Because most kids don't start school until age 5, there are few free resources for them and their parents, Conner says.

Today's public libraries see serving young children and their caregivers as one of our primary goals," she said, "promoting early literacy and a lifelong love of reading and learning, providing parents with the resources they need."

Is children's book writing for me?

Everyone has the potential to be a children’s writer. We’ve all been children. A lot of us are still kids at heart. Furthermore, you probably know (or are) a parent figure and have some insight into parental concerns. This gives you the knowledge to make an interesting children’s book.

Be Original

In a genre with such a rich history, it is easy to get wrapped up in clichés. Talking animals and fairy princesses are great, but strive for originality in your story. Make your tale different from the many other children’s books available. Ideas could come from researching hot topics in publishing for your age group. For example, multicultural books are very popular right now.
Foster originality by thinking back to when you were a child. Try to remember your thoughts and feelings when your imagination ran free. What type of book would you have liked to read? What type of book would you have written? It may also be helpful to look up some information on child psychology. Researching children’s thinking may help you find some interesting topics that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

Avoid Talking Down

You probably remember very simplistic children’s books from when you were younger. Today’s children’s books aren’t the same. The stories told now are sophisticated and creative, encouraging readers to imagine a world or situation they’d never thought about before. Today’s youths have access to so much information and entertainment that it takes more to hold their attention.
Don’t assume that your audience can’t follow a somewhat complex story. The purpose of a children’s book is not only to entertain, but also to bridge the gap between childhood and the adult world. Use rich language that will initiate learning and curiosity. A story will be more entertaining and worthwhile if it challenges your reader to think and ask questions. Remember, children want to learn.

Get Input

Share your work with children you know, as well as parents, teachers, and childcare professionals. Listen to their ideas, and use their constructive criticism. Chances are, they have good ideas that you haven’t thought of yet. Be open to advice and welcome new perspectives. Your willingness to learn and grow will make your children’s book the best it can be.
Also, don’t overlook editing. Many children’s writers make the mistake of assuming that children’s books don’t need editing, because of the simplified writing style. There’s always room for improvement, so the more sets of eyes that see your writing, the better.


Deadline: 5th of every month - Writers' Forum Ongoing Short Story Competition
Prizes range from a minimum 1st prize £300, 2nd prize £150 and 3rd prize £100 with an annual trophy and a cheque for £1,000 for the best story of the year. The competition is open to all nationalities but entries must be in English.

Deadline: 15th of every month - Writers' Forum Ongoing Poetry Competition
Poets are invited to enter their unpublished poems for a competition to be held in each issue of Writers' Forum. There will be a first prize of £100 and three runner-up prizes all published in the magazine.'

Deadline: March 1, 2010 - The Tawani Foundation Pritzker Military Library Literature Award
The Pritzker Military Library Literature Award honors authors that have made a significant contribution to the understanding of American military history. Entries can by academic, non-fiction, fiction or any combination of the three. The submitted work must be written in English. Winners recieve $100,000 as a cash prize.

Deadline: March 10, 2010 - Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Self-published authors can enter in one or more of the sixty categories in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Entries must be written in English and have a 2009 or 2010 copyright. Winners recieve a cash prize, national exposure and possible representation by a leading literary agent.

Deadline: March 20, 2010 - IPPY Book Awards
The 2010 IPPU Book Awards are accepting entries for books with 2009 and 2010 copyrights or release dates. Categories include 67 subject national awards and regional awards for 8 U.S. and 2 Canadian regions.

Deadline: March 31, 2010 - National Indie Excellence Awards
The Indie Excellence Book Awards have issued a call for entries for the 2010 award competition. Entry is open to self-published books with publication dates from 2007 to 2010. Entrants must pay a fee of $65 and submit one copy of the book per category.

CHildren's Book: Apocalypse Now

Teens turn to dystopian novels
By Karen Springen -- Publishers Weekly, 2/15/2010 12:00:00 AM
Sure, teens are still reading about vampires, but end-of-the-world scenarios are bigger than ever.

Happily ever after? Not so much. Ruth Leopold, 15, of Wilton, Maine, loves dystopian books like The Hunger Games (teens fighting to the death in a televised, government-sponsored game), Gone (kids trying to survive in an adult-free world) and Life As We Knew It (an asteroid hits the moon and wreaks havoc on the Earth's weather). “I like the fantasy in it—and thinking about how it would be if I were in the future in those places,” she says. She imagines hanging out with Katniss, the 16-year-old heroine of The Hunger Games. “Sometimes I even have dreams that I'm in that world,” she says. But in the end, she is glad she's not: the gloomy tales make her feel lucky she lives “a good life with my family and everything I need.”

Like Leopold, hundreds of thousands of today's teens are reading future-as-a-nightmare novels—and not just the 1984 and Brave New World classics required by their teachers. Publishers will be releasing dozens of new dystopian titles over the next few years. Among the scenarios: no more gas, no more water, viruses run amok, genetic manipulation gone awry, totalitarian leaders, reality TV gone too far, and so on.

Why now? Newspaper headlines about swine flu, terrorism, global warming, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are inspiring authors—and making kids feel uneasy. Some publishers also point to publicity surrounding December 21, 2012, the end of the 5,126-year Mayan calendar—supposedly an apocalyptic sign.

Still, most editors and authors credit lingering unease from the World Trade Center attacks. “After 9/11, it seemed people started thinking about the destruction of the world,” says Karen Grove, who edited Susan Beth Pfeffer's This World We Live In, the April 2010 release that will end the trilogy that started in 2006 with Life As We Knew It. “Then we got hit with New Orleans and earthquakes.”

Uncertainty plays a role, too. “There's so much mystery about what the future will hold,” says Lauri Hornik, president and publisher of Dial Books for Young Readers and Dutton Children's Books, publisher ofthis season's Incarceron and the upcoming book Matched.

Mom, Could You Please Stop Tweeting?

Lauren Barack -- School Library Journal, 2/22/2010

Parents and teachers may be hard-pressed to get teens off social networking sites. Problem is, Mom, Dad, and the school librarian and teacher are nearly twice as likely to be using Facebook or Twitter than any K–12 student.
So says a new study from Pingdom, a Swedish-based Web-monitoring firm, which examined Google’s Ad Planner data from 19 of the nation’s most popular social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Friendster, and even Ning. Their findings? It might be Dad who can’t refrain from updating his friends, rather than Junior.
Adults between the ages of 35 and 44 made up 25 percent of all users of these sites—nearly double the 15 percent of all children up to 17 years old who chat away online. But don’t assume that number increases as teens hit college, as only nine percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 spend any time on social networking sites. And the age group that connects with friends online the least? Those 65 years old and up, just three percent of the user base. At least for now.
"Although we can’t say how this will change over time, at the moment the older generations are for one reason or another (tech savvy, interest, etc.) not using social networking sites to a large extent," say the authors of the study. "It is also noteworthy that social media isn’t dominated by the youngest, often most tech-savvy generations, but rather by what has to be referred to as middle-aged people (although at the youngest end of the spectrum.)"
However, that’s not to say that Mom and Dad are frequenting the same sites as their children—or that a high school junior is likely to bump up against their school librarian on Ning. In fact, 64 percent of Twitter users and 61 percent of Facebook users clock in at 35 years old and up.
So where do teens crop up the most? On Bebo, a relative newcomer to the social networking group, founded in 2005, with 44 percent of its users aged 17 and younger.
Yet, with Pingdom’s study putting Bebo’s average user at 28 years old, it’s likely the days of Bebo being a teen favorite are quickly coming to an end. Where they will congregate online next, Pingdom can’t predict.

Bibliotecas virtuais - Navegando em mares ágeis e eficientes ou Naufragando em um mar de informações?


A abordagem sobre a evolução da natureza das bibliotecas, observando que o impulso para mover menos recursos utilizados para armazenamento no formato livro papel, começa a tornar-se uma realidade mundial, demonstra ser uma transição tão importante quanto da passagem do texto manuscrito para o texto impresso.
Dados apurados junto á universidades apontam para um custo de R$8,00 reais a cada ano para manter um livro em uma prateleira enquanto livros armazenados de forma eletrônica geram um custo de R$1,60 ano.
A teconologia coloca-se como um catalisador importante para as bibliotecas, uma vez que faz emergir novas necessidades e altera paradigmas solidificados através dos séculos. O fator maior dessa transição é a condição de que a informação apresenta-se cada vez mais desprendida do objeto fisico que a contem; fato expresso com sabedoria quando Browning definiu o fenômeno como “Biblioteca sem paredes para livros sem páginas”.
O fato é vivenciado diariamente através da explosão no uso de E-books e Kindles e redefinem o que virá a ser no Terceiro Milênio, a informação e a comunicação.
Um relatório divulgado pela Kaiser Family Foundation sobre o uso de midias pela Geração M,
(Uso de meios de comunicaçõ total), mostrou que alunos na faixa etária entre 8-para-18 anos,
estão consumindo midia digital mais do que nunca e naturalmente forçam a utilização dos mesmos meios por professores.
Em 2004, o tempo gasto na utilização de meios eletrônicos por alunos para acessar informações e completar suas tarefas escolares, era de 6 horas e 21 minutos e ao final de 2009, o numero registrado foi de 7 horas e 38 minutos por dia, enquanto a média impressa caiu de 43 minutos por dia em 2004, para 38 minutos em 2009.
Outro fator prepoderante é a mudança de interpretação dos conceitos de “TEMPO E LUGAR”, visto que com a Biblioteca Virtual, o “LOCAL” onde o documento se encontra deixa de ser importante e a virtualização permite que o acesso ao objeto de necessidade seja de imediato.
As condições citadas alteram e permanecerão alterando através dos anos, o comportamento de alunos e professores, a cada momento, irresistivelmente, mais e mais inseridos no contexto do universo acadêmico informatizado.
Por outro lado, como todo processo de transição entre o sepultamento de uma prática secular e a adaptação completa de um novo paradigma, levantam-se questões como:
A – O acesso á informação On-line não significa que seja de forma gratuita
B – A criação de depósitos digitais, requer uma estrutura que garanta que os registros estarão sempre disponíveis e atualizados
C – A eliminação gradual de livrarias em detrimento ao uso de catálogos disponibilizados na forma de E-books
D – A adaptação conceitual do desaparecimento da palavra “emprestado”, visto que os livros estarão disponiveis á todos, todo o tempo
E – Confiabilidade das informações a serem acessadas, visto que eletrônicamente as informações podem ser alteradas ou manipuladas com relativa facilidade
Em resumo, a transição do paradigma de propriedade da informação para o de acesso irrestrito implica em uma mudança institucional inevitável, no qual professores, que são os maiores direcionadores do uso dessas informações devem ser parte ativa, sob pena de que esses podem vir a tornar-se simples navegantes á assistir á morte do livro, antes que tenham á disposição processos de acesso á informação do qual mantiveram-se á margem de opinar ou efetivamente participar.

We Don't Need No Education

Library Journal

It's not a good time to be in the education business, which to some extent most librarians are. The subjects librarians teach may vary, from "information literacy" to "Hulu," but being in the information business also means being in the education business.
The education business is floundering. Public libraries are closing or cutting back hours and services. Public schools are getting rid of their school librarians and whatever remains of art, music, or languages they once had. Outside of rich suburbs, public schools themselves seem in decline. Rich private universities are firing people left and right. Public universities seem doomed, with the best of them, the Michigans and the Berkeleys, becoming more like privates than publics.
The immediate reason is obvious: funding cuts. Because of the recession and the decline in tax revenue, states and communities have less money to spend, and they're cutting back on inessentials like education. For those who follow these things, the latest recessionary cuts are just a harsher example of a long trend.
A lot of librarians like to keep up with trends, but not the painful ones. States have been cutting or freezing education budgets for a long time, and state financing of public education has declined as a percentage of public university budgets almost everywhere. Thus, they have to raise tuition to keep going.
This creates a vicious circle of its own. Universities raise tuition, which means the lower classes are excluded as only middle or upper-middle and above can afford a college education. When universities start getting expensive, parents and students want more for their money than books, classrooms, and computers. Thus we get expensive athletic centers and fancier cafeterias and dormitories. Offering undergraduates a spa experience drives up costs even further.
All this means it's also a bad time to need an education, especially if you can't afford an an extra $20-50,000 a year for college and your community won't fund a decent library.
It's especially ironic because we hear from politicians - sometimes the same politicians who cut education budgets - that America needs a highly educated workforce to compete globally in the next century. I'm not exactly sure what it would mean to "compete globally," but that's the sort of verbiage they use. Right now we're competing globally by enticing engineers and scientists from other countries to settle in the United States and enjoy our rich cultural heritage of reality TV and Wal-Mart.
One can only come to the conclusion that Americans really don't want education, at least not for the majority. Education isn't considered a public good. I guess if roads and bridges aren't public goods, then education isn't likely to be. Infrastructure, apparently, is a dirty word, whether physical or intellectual. The last bridge and the last public library might collapse at the same moment.
Come now, you might say! Of course we consider education a public good. We have public schools and public universities and public libraries! But slapping the name "public" on something without funding it adequately doesn't really count. According to the Supreme Court, money is speech, and states and communities have spoken very clearly about their commitment to education as a public good.
And what can librarians do about it? Probably nothing at all, because those of us in education are the least American of all. We don't sacrifice everything for profits. We help people without expecting tips. We don't hustle people, or at least most of us don't. We don't scourge the poor. We believe there are values beyond the bottom line and actually live by those values. What could be more unAmerican than that?
It seems unlikely that Americans in general will listen to the concerns of people so obviously out of tune with American society, especially when the concerns expressed my so many are so trivial.
The twopointopians and oneohonions who dominate the librarian public sphere rarely address serious issues or branch out beyond the world of shiny new toys to consider the fundamental issue. They want to get people into libraries, but that's not the problem; they just think it's the problem.
People are coming to libraries. More than ever, if you believe the ALA. (I know, I know.) They're coming to look for jobs and get Internet access and books and DVDs and newspapers they can no longer afford. Those services might turn out to be more relevant than shiny toys.
People might also come to the library to use shiny tools as well as the books and DVDs, but shiny tools won't save a library without funding. I'm hoping ALA lobbying will have more success if it looks like they're trying to bolster public libraries rather support Internet porn for children.
The commonwealth requires the education of the people as the safeguard of order and liberty. That's all the people, or at least all of them who can meet the challange. Libraries are a part of the public education system, and their future is tied to the success of that system, not Twitter.
On the bright side, if the public education system collapses, it's not like everyone in America will be worse off. To paraphrase Jesus, the rich we will always have with us. Or maybe none of us will be worse off, and it's just that the meds aren't working or I had too much chocolate on Valentine's Day and I'm feeling gloomy, so I'll end on an American note.

Have a nice day!

Create Your Children’s Book Marketing Plan


Children rarely enjoy listening to smooth jazz, reading the newspaper, and going out for coffee with friends. They aren’t overwhelmed with bill payments, frustrated with politics, or eager to expand their career. Children are different from adults, and marketing children’s books is quite different from marketing any other book genre.

Picture book or young adult?
There are many subgenres in the children’s genre. Generally, these subgenres are split up by age or reading level. Understanding how your book fits within these subgenres will make it easier to reach the children who will enjoy your book most.

•Children ages four to eight are beginning readers or early readers. These books are short and contain only easy-to-read words.
•If your book features many illustrations and pictures, it would be classified as a picture book. Picture books are read by children ages three to eight. These are the books parents read to children at bedtime, until the children learn to read and begin reading the books themselves.
•First chapter books, generally read by children ages six to nine, feature fewer pictures and longer stories than picture books. These chapter books may feature many very short chapters rather than fewer very long chapters.
•Children ages eight to twelve read middle-grade books, which have difficult words, complex structure, and some mature content.
•Young adult novels, with the most mature content and the hardest reading-difficulty in the children’s book genre, are read by teenagers.
What are other authors doing?
The children’s book industry isn’t as gentle as it seems. It takes ambition and dedication to compete with other children’s authors. Spend time online, in a bookstore, or at the library to see what your competitors are doing right. How do other authors interact with children? Do other young adult authors use social media? How do authors of first chapter books use their Web site? In the marketing world, knowledge can give you the power to surpass competition.

Are you award worthy?
Not every book can call itself “award-winning,” which is what makes the title so alluring. Parents are especially attracted to award-winning books, as it ensures that their child will read something of quality. But you won’t have to win the Newbery Award to receive such an honor. In truth, there are many book awards and competitions that self-published authors can enter. Some awards allow entries only from authors who are self-published or independently-published. In most competitions, winners receive stickers that they can put on their book and are allowed to feature the title of the award on their cover or in the book description.

Who can help?
Local contacts can be allies to any author. For children’s book authors, they are especially important. Network with bookstores, libraries, and schools. As many children are excited to meet authors, book readings and signings are an excellent way to have direct contact with your target audience. A local bookstore may host a reading and signing for you and local children. You can also have such an event, along with a workshop or discussion, at a library. Talk with a local school about delivering a speech or seminar. At a school, you can talk with kids about being a writer. Consult with local groups and clubs for children and parents—either church-based, school-based, or otherwise—about giving a talk or signing books. AuthorHouse recently launched new children’s marketing opportunities. Who makes the purchase?

In most cases, it is the parent who ultimately buys the book. Especially for books targeted to younger children, it is important to remember their parents in your marketing plan. Create a strong press release and send it to local media. Coverage by the radio, newspaper, and broadcast news will give you and your book more attention as well as make you more credible. Another good way to market to parents is to create an author Web site. On your site, talk to parents about the benefits of your book, why children love it, and what makes it stand out from other books. Use your site to announce media appearances, book signings, and other events. This will also increase your credibility as a writer.

As a children’s author, you know what makes children such an enjoyable audience. Prove to children and parents alike that your book is something they should be excited to read.


O quarto, envolto em trevas e irrealidades que pareciam carregar um horrível propósito, tendo como única e eventual fonte de luz os reflexos prateados dos relâmpagos, cortando a noite como se fossem espadas flamejantes junto com a chuva, que se tornara tão intensa que pareciam as lágrimas de mil anjos, começou a girar e girou, velozmente, uma, duas, três vezes, dando a entender que estava se desprendendo da estrutura do hotel, quase me fazendo perder o equilíbrio e cair pela enorme abertura onde momentos antes existira uma janela.

Senti-me erguido no ar, girando no mesmo ritmo que o quarto, até que nuvens escuras começaram a ocupar o lugar de meu raciocínio, apagando todos os pensamentos, anestesiando minha mente e alma até que um único grito, como se fosse uma estrela solitária em busca do brilho perdido, cintilou entre meus dentes:


A pergunta, tão solitária quanto eu, mais parecendo ser um grito de dor do que um questionamento teve a mesma duração do que um engolir de uma fração de pavor e voltando a tapar a boca para não vomitar, impregnado de pânico irracional, olhando sem acreditar, para as paredes que estampavam horrendas rachaduras, como se estivessem sendo rasgadas em lenta agonia, deixando escorrer a água da chuva respingadas das asas douradas de seres alados que voavam em meio as crenças e misticismos, corri de volta para a cama, tentando escapar da noite que sorrindo malevolamente ameaçava tragar-me.

Contudo a meio caminho de meu ilusório refugio escorreguei e caí no chão encharcado e o vento soprou em meu rosto, cegando-me com páginas de técnicas de tradução para iniciantes. Sem respirar, em agonia extrema, afastei-as com um gesto de mão e tentei levantar, mas minhas pernas tremiam demais, recusando-se a sustentar o peso do corpo.

O novo estrondo, prolongando meus pensamentos de inquietação, como se estivesse revelando a verdadeira natureza da interpretação, soou com tamanha intensidade que me pareceu que o barulho estrondoso estava acontecendo dentro de mim e não lá fora.

Senti o chão começar a rachar aos meus pés e ouvi os azulejos do banheiro se descolando, então o ar se encheu, repentinamente, como se fossem setas incendiárias cintilando em meio á batalha e o som das palavras, soltas, perdidas, forçaram-me a reunir cada partícula ainda restante de esperança e cambalear para cima da cama, mas quando me virei e olhei, com o coração cheio de temor, dentro das sombras negras da noite até então escondidas sob a luz do luar, antes que minha mente pudesse entender o que meus olhos estavam mostrando, deparei-me com dedos imensos e acinzentados, flutuando ao meu redor, ‘coreografando palavras no ar’, corajosamente arriscando formar um contexto ‘lógico com significado coerente’, como se fosse o próprio Beo Wulf digladiando contra a última página, desbotada e ressecada de um antigo livro, tantas e tantas vezes, lido e relido, mas nunca inteiramente traduzido.

Por momentos, que meu cérebro se recusou a dimensionar, o conteúdo do ‘livro’, envolto no mais profundo secretismo, foi ‘narrado’ em minha mente e o conto de que no inicio dos tempos professores, linguistas e estudantes viviam sob a mesma árvore acadêmica e partilhavam o mesmo vazio em seus corações.

Um vazio que nenhuma posse, estudo ou conhecimento podia preencher, criou imagens com tal intensidade que me foi impossível não acompanhá-las.

Sentindo a força de cada palavra, eu ‘escutei’ a lenda de que um dia, o homem sonhou em comunicar-se com todos os seres do planeta com perfeição e entendimento e para que tal vontade se tornasse realidade, da dolorosa neblina que encobria o mundo das letras, numa era negra, povoada de equívocas interpretações, emergiu um ser mágico industrável, capaz de preencher o coração do conflito e igualar a paixão com a tarefa.

Além das montanhas sombrias do desconhecimento, nas calamidades das trevas das traduções contraditórias, sob o mesmo céu, onde as letras achavam-se a superfície do abismo, sem envolver-se em sentimentos de dúvidas ou erros de interpretação, independente de espaço e tempo, acima do destino e acaso, ele fez única as diferentes linguagens existentes até mesmo nos cantos mais remotos do mundo onde os dialetos imperavam.

Por incontáveis gerações...

Justice Department Says It Still Has Problems with Revised Google Settlement

By Jim Miliot -- Publishers Weekly, 2/4/2010 6:33:00 PM

The Department of Justice dealt a serious blow Thursday evening to the chances that the Google Book Search settlement will gain court approval later this month when it found that the revised agreement still raises class certification, copyright and antitrust issues. The DOJ said that despite “good faith” efforts to modify the agreement, “the amended settlement agreement suffers from the same core problem as the original agreement: it is an attempt to use the class action mechanism to implement forward-looking business arrangements that go far beyond the dispute before the court in this litigation."
The DOJ said it remains committed to working with all stakeholders to fashion a settlement it could support, but there is no chance that the parties--the AAP, Authors Guild, and Google--have the time or inclination to make changes before the final fairness hearing set for February 18, and there is no expectation that a delay to the hearing date will be asked for. A prepared statement from the AAP, Authors Guild, and Google tried to make the most of the opinion, saying that the filing “recognizes the progress made with the revised settlement, and it once again reinforces the value the agreement can provide in unlocking access to millions of books in the U.S. We look forward to Judge Chin’s review of the statement of interest from the Department and the comments from the many supporters who have filed submissions with the court in the last months.”
While the DOJ said the revised agreement did limit the scope of the settlement, the changes “do not fully resolve the United States’ concerns.” Among those concerns is the DOJ’s belief that the amended agreement “still confers significant and possibly anticompetitive advantages on Google as a single entity, thereby enabling the company to be the only competitor in the digital marketplace with the rights to distribute and otherwise exploit a vast array of works in multiple formats.”

Gêneros didáticos

Existem várias formas de lecionar. Não é a mesma coisa, por exemplo, dar aulas ao longo de um semestre, ao longo de um ano, e proferir palestras de duas horas. Uma aula particular é diferente da entrevista concedida diante de um público de 100, 200 pessoas, ou mais. Ministrar uma oficina requer atitudes específicas, que se mostrarão inadequadas em outras circunstâncias; uma aula a distância possui suas próprias características.
Tais gêneros didáticos vão entrar (ou não) em sintonia com o estilo de cada professor. Um professor expansivo terá mais facilidade na palestra multitudinária, e terá de ser mais intimista quando for contratado para dar aulas particulares. Aquele que, mais introspectivo, se sente como peixe fora d’água num estúdio de TV (e precisa aprender a respirar fora d’água), poderá nadar de braçadas na criação de um livro didático.
Palestra de duas horas, para número superior a 400 pessoas, com direito a telão e PowerPoint, progride bem e conclui-se bem se o palestrante mantém o ritmo, passeia “dentro” do tema, combinando conceitos e exemplos, informações e metáforas, pequenas histórias e rápidas indicações de leitura, chistes e recomendações, ironias e “broncas”, perguntas retóricas e apresentação de músicas. Palestrante é um professor no palco.
Já uma aula particular permite o diálogo, a busca ombro a ombro de enfoques novos, quase em clima de confidência. Neste caso, há também subgêneros, dependendo da faixa etária do aluno. O aluno adolescente terá melhor desempenho se a aula trouxer variedade temática. O aluno mais velho provavelmente espera (e cobra) focalização concentrada no assunto previsto, informação madura, objetividade máxima.
O professor no ambiente da internet, em chats, por e-mails, usando a webcam e outros recursos, terá de sintonizar-se com a linguagem da Idade Mídia, teclar com rapidez, plugar-se a qualquer hora do dia ou da noite.
Mesa-redonda também ensina. Mas tem de haver divergências, bate-papo animado e bate-boca. O público necessita ver um certo atrito entre os participantes, ou então o debate se transforma em reunião de comadres, muitas sedas rasgadas, perda de tempo. É redonda essa mesa porque “rolam” opiniões provocadoras.
Oficina, etimologicamente, é opus facere, ou seja, ocasião para fazer uma obra, fazer algo em grupo. O professor trabalha menos para que o trabalho seja melhor. Aprende-se à medida que todos se empenham.
Aulas convencionais não podem ser convencionais. Queixam-se muitos professores da falta de disciplina de suas turmas, da falta de respeito, da baixa motivação, da ínfima participação. Acreditam que o desinteresse dos alunos nada tenha a ver com aulas desinteressantes, entediantes. Não acredito em aulas sem condimento artístico. O argumento de autoridade perdeu autoridade. A velha aula era nova em outras eras. Novos tempos, novas aulas.
Aperfeiçoamento docente implica exercitar-se didaticamente. Que nós, professores, descubramos as possibilidades e limitações que cada um desses gêneros oferece.
Texto de Gabriel Perissé ( publicado originalmente na revista Profissão Mestre de novembro de 2008.

ABC-ABA Merger Update

This article originally appeared in PW's Children's Bookshelf.

By Judith Rosen -- Publishers Weekly, 2/4/2010 1:20:00 PM

At the Association of Booksellers for Children's board meetings held earlier this week, the organization took one more step closer to a possible merger with the American Booksellers Association, which was first raised close to a year ago.
Although ABC president Elizabeth Bluemle, co-owner of the Flying Pig Book Store in Shelburne, Vt., cautioned that “the task forces still have a significant amount of work to do before bringing any final proposal to the membership,” ABC approached the ABA on Wednesday with specifics toward creating a proposal to bring to the membership. In making ABC a division of the ABA, the proposal takes into account changes in the publishing and bookselling climate, as well as programmatic, staffing, and oversight details as they would exist under the ABA structure.
Since March, task forces for both organizations have met together and individually with their own boards to explore the feasibility of a merger. At the upcoming BEA in New York City, the ABC annual meeting will include a discussion of the proposal. A detailed plan will be presented for a vote in late summer or early fall prior to the 2011 fiscal year.

Book Cheer: A New Column by the AAP Trade Libraries Committee

Michael Rockliff roots for Tom Nolan's Three Chords for Beauty's Sake
By Michael Rockliff -- Library Journal, 2/4/2010
Welcome to the second installment of our new Book Cheer column, the true story of 12 library marketing directors reviewing one another’s titles. “This,” in the words of creator and inaugural contributor Talia Sherer, “is what happens when marketers stop being polite and start getting real.” AAP committee members submit books to a colleague based on his or her tastes, and that colleague here offers up an unbiased take of a favorite read once a month. It’s prepub notice coupled with readers' advisory, but most of all, it's a book cheer, rah-rahs for deserving printed words.—Heather McCormack
Name: Michael Rockliff. To view a sample of Michael’s monthly e-letter featuring news about upcoming books from the Workman family of imprints, stories about the publishing world, libraries internationally, and whatever happens to stick in his fevered brain at that particular moment, contact him at He won’t sign you up unless you ask.

Title: Director of Library Sales and Marketing, Workman Publishing Company

Favorite Genres: Fiction that’s rich in language, music, theater, and early 20th-century humor
All-Time Favorites: Jorge Amado's Gabriella, Clove & Cinnamon; all the Don Camillo books by Giovanni Guareschi; Christopher Morley’s Parnassus on Wheels (the best novel ever on bookselling); absolutely anything that Robert Benchley, Beverley Nichols, John Cheever, and Oscar Levant ever wrote; Erskine Caldwell's God’s Little Acre. The rest of the list would take up the entire column (and more), so we’ll leave it there.
The Winner: When I was growing up, my father and I argued about everything, absolutely everything, including who had the better jazz chops, Benny Goodman or Artie Shaw. Silly, in retrospect, but we felt the issue passionately. Needless to say, I was primed and ready when my copy of Tom Nolan's Three Chords for Beauty's Sake arrived. Putting on Shaw’s exquisite 1954 chamber jazz recordings, I poured a chardonnay and settled in for the evening.

Particularly with Shaw—who is known almost as much for his multiple marriages to some of the most glamorous women of our time as for his musical accomplishments—it would be all too easy to become distracted by the headlines and his notoriously bad behavior and forget that Shaw was ultimately defined by his art. His art, in turn, was defined by his quest for absolute perfection. This, in fact, could well be considered the theme of Three Chords, as Nolan repeatedly returns to this trope both in interviews with those who knew him (for better or for worse; often both) and in his own assessment of the man and the musician.
Readers learn that Shaw could be immensely charming or extremely cruel, with the shift being shockingly abrupt. Friends of long standing, and even family, would find themselves forever shut out, for having said something at which Shaw took umbrage. "Artie was probably the most egocentric person I’ve ever known…. he didn’t have the ability to sort of shift gears, and get out of himself," said his son, Jonathan…,"and that made him a deeply unhappy man."
As Nolan reveals, the same quality that made Shaw impossible to live with also made for some of the most daring and innovative sounds of the swing era. He wasn’t the only bandleader to experiment with strings or classical influences. His friend Claude Thornhill did so to great effect. Paul Whiteman had done it even earlier. The music that Shaw made was immensely more subtle than Whiteman’s, however, and Thornhill made no pretensions to swinging. Shaw's reputation as the Hamlet of jazz was well earned. Nolan has successfully captured this most elusive of swing-era figures: an immensely complicated, contradictory, and, ultimately, confounding individual.

Making a Big Splash with Craig Hatkoff

This article originally appeared in SLJ's Extra Helping.
By Shanti Menon -- School Library Journal, 2/3/2010 2:10:00 PM

Craig Hatkoff’s Winter’s Tail (Scholastic, 2009), the story of a young dolphin with a prosthetic tail, has sparked a Nintendo game, a documentary, and a movie deal with Warner Bros. SLJ caught up with Hatkoff to talk about what it’s like to collaborate with daughters Isabella, 15, and Juliana, 11, and why they create books about animals that overcome tremendous difficulties.
You’re a businessman and a cofounder of the Tribeca Film Festival, as well as a best-selling author. How’d you start writing for kids?

I never intended a career as a children’s book writer, but I’ve always been fascinated by children’s books. I wasn’t a terrific reader; I read slowly. I had a librarian in the fifth grade who really opened my world to books.
My writing career started as a project with my older daughter Juliana when she was getting her tonsils out. We started keeping a notebook to help her through the process, and that became Goodbye, Tonsils (Viking, 2001). And then Isabella, when she was about five, asked me, “Daddy, when are we going to do our book?”
What’s it like working with your daughters?

They’re in charge. They have day jobs, as do I. We have an informal process. Some days they’re wildly interested, other days they have homework, or they want to go out. This is a thing that we do, no more, no less. It’s a family thing. It’s daddy and the girls.
How do you choose your topics?

It has to pass the goosebump test. There has to be a passion about it that they embrace. If they don’t like the story, or the character, then on to the next. There also has to be a job to get done.
What kind of a job?

We started thinking of the series like a toolkit. It provides a way to deal with a difficult subject using a compelling character. They deal with major issues and major traumas, but using animals makes it more accessible to kids. They’re full of teachable moments. The resilience of animals is very inspiring to kids. They can relate to it. And we try not to force a particular point of view, so you can own the story and use it to whatever purpose.
Hatkoff with daughters Isabella (left), 15, and Juliana, 11.

I hear that Winter, who lives at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida, has inspired a lot of people.

Oh, it’s unbelievable. People of all ages and facing all kinds of different challenges. There was a girl who just happened to be at the aquarium. She had hearing aids and was so self-conscious she didn’t want to wear them. But after she saw Winter she said, “If Winter can wear her tail, then I can wear my hearing aids.” So now she’s just blossomed, she wears these bright turquoise hearing aids, they’re almost like jewelry!
There’s even a webcam of Winter.

Not everyone can get to the aquarium, so we’ve got a webcam and we share a lot of these stories on our Web site. We have video clips of people meeting Winter for the first time. This is fundamental to how we think of these books now. These are things you don’t read just once, but over and over and interact with them and get involved. We really try to extend the experience.
How are your books used in the classroom?

We have classroom guides for all our books. There are so many ways to engage. The kids at one school who read Looking for Miza (Scholastic, 2008) held a bake sale and raised $118 to help the mountain gorillas. That’s a lot of cookies. And they decided that they wanted the money to go to the mountain rangers.They were very specific about how it should be used. So another thing that’s come out of these books is kids’ philanthropy, and we’re really trying to encourage that. It’s not just about giving money, but doing good. They can make a drawing, write a poem, turn off the lights when they leave a room.
Tell me about how the Nintendo DS version came about.

We’re interested to see if this can become an educational platform, not just gaming. This is something that’s personally very important to me. Not all kids have an easy time reading. Isabella, my youngest, has trouble decoding. She’s so articulate in every way, you spend five minutes with her and you can’t believe she has any kind of learning disability. She has an amazing memory, she’s incredibly creative. Her right brain dominates, but sequential, linear things are a challenge. But she read part of the audio version for the DS and she just banged it out. And she likes the Winter game.
So the game provides another way for kids to experience the book?

It’ll never replace the book, but we want to encourage kids to experience these characters, these emotions, these stories, in as many ways as we can. It’s an interactive story book with activities and microgames, but it’s really visual and less linear. You listen to the story, you can paint with Winter, assemble her tail. I mean, if a kid is struggling, give them every opportunity to learn in a different way. I did a presentation to a school about Winter and for a brief moment we put up the slide of the DS and the whole gym just started to vibrate. That’s why I get excited about the educational tools that come out of this. I have a child that’s challenged, and I’m personally invested in trying to help in whatever way we can.

What’s the next Hatkoff family project?

We’re coming out with a readers’ series for second graders in 2010, and also our latest big book that will bring us to a new continent—our fourth. I’ll tell you this much—it will be about international cooperation, with a very compelling character and story. We just finished the first draft, and I think it’s going to be great.

Mitch Stewart,

Today, at 5:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Organizing for America is hosting a "Conversation with the President" -- and you won't want to miss it.
President Obama will talk about fighting for change in 2010, and then answer questions from grassroots supporters like you.
You can watch a webcast of the event starting at 5:45 p.m. Eastern Time:
President Obama will review our many accomplishments this past year and address the tough fights ahead of us -- including the 2010 elections, fighting to strengthen the middle class, and finishing the job on health reform.
Then, I'll ask the President some of the questions that OFA supporters like you submitted online.
I hope you can tune in at 5:45 Eastern:



Mitch Stewart