Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NJIT Information Night at Newark Public Library-12/10/08

50 Hayes Street, Second Floor
Newark, New Jersey 07103

Please be advised that on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. NJIT has graciously agreed to conduct an information session for our students. This will take place at the Springfield Branch of the Newark Public Library and we encourage YOU to bring and/or send your children.

You will have a chance to ask questions and draft a plan of action if you are interested in NJIT. If you are college bound, you should take advantage of this opportunity. Children of color have traditionally been underrepresented in most of these high paying technology fields.

Please come out on:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 5:00 p.m.

Newark Public Library
50 Hayes Street, second floor
Newark, NJ 07103

Bus Nos. 25, 99, 1, and 31 are all within one block of the library located at 14th Avenue and Jones Street (across from New Horizon, New Community Charter School).

Monday, December 08, 2008

Teaching African American History and TTEA

On Friday, December 5, 2008, the New York Daily News reported the following:

New York teacher binds black students during history lesson on slavery

Friday, December 5th 2008, 4:57 PM

A suburban middle school teacher who bound the hands and feet of two black girls, then made them crawl under desks representing slave ships, has sparked outrage by one of the girl's mother and the local NAACP chapter....Northern Rockland School District Superintendent Brian Monahan said he was having "conversations with our staff on how to deliver effective lessons."

Research in teaching the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans (TTEA) has resulted in the development of several educational websites, with global and multicultural perspectives. One site is from the acclaimed Schomburg Center in New York,it is called In Motion: The African American Migration Experience and is located at
It includes text, photographs and lesson plans (

UNESCO also has an interesting educational website called African Passages, which shows the connection between African, Caribbean and North American cultures.Lesson plans are available at

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Copyright Law and Fair Use

An amusing video created byProfessor Eric Faden of Bucknell University from the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. He created this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles delivered through Disney characters. The Center for Internet and Society (CIS), housed at Stanford Law School and a part of the Law, Science and Technology Program, is at the apex of this evolving area of law.

View it here

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
Distributed on DVD by The Media Education Foundation

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Harvard University relaunches its Usable Knowledge website

Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) has relaunched its Usable Knowledge website aimed at connecting the research of its faculty with educators in the field.

The Usable Knowledge website ( features a diverse set of media – text, video, and audio – to make the leading research of its faculty accessible to educators all over the world.

"The Usable Knowledge website is consistent with the School's commitment to bringing research to our colleagues throughout the education community

Books for Puerto Rico Discovery Day

Puerto Rico Discovery Day is today

Here is a short booklist of library books about Puerto Rico:

Puerto Rico History and Culture
E184.P85.A23 2006 Puerto Ricans in the United States
E184.P85.N44 2004 Boricua Pop: The Latinization of American Culture
E184.P85.S255 2007 Boricua Power: A Political History of Puerto Ricans in the United States

Juv. G 6434s Storyteller’s candle (Biography of Pura Belpre)
Juv. N761a Abuelita’s paradise
Juv. 398.S527 2002 Shake It Morena! and Other folklore from Puerto Rico
Juv. 398.21.M7793 Juan Bobo Goes to Work
Juv. 591.97.S586c 2000 Coqui and his Friends

Friday, November 14, 2008

NJ Tree for Rockefeller Center-Fact and Fiction


HAMILTON, N.J. – The centerpiece of Christmas at New York's Rockefeller Center will be a tree from western New Jersey that its owners call a "miracle."
Workers cut down the 8-ton, 72-foot-tall Norway spruce at the home of the Varanyak family in Hamilton, near a tree nursery they own. It will be erected at Rockefeller Center on Friday, November 14, 2008


(written by a native New jersey author-illustrator team!)
Redbird at Rockefeller Center by Peter Maloney and Felicia Zekauskas.
(Juv.M257r )
Kate is upset when her favorite tree is cut down and sent to Rockefeller Center to be displayed at Christmas, especially because she saw a fledgling in it. The redbird is lonely in the city, and holiday magic brings the bird and Kate's tree back home

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Barack Obama on Libraries and Reading -2005

President-Elect Barack Obama keynoted the opening general session at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 23–29, 2005, while a U.S. senator from Illinois. This article, published in the August 2005 issue of American Libraries, is an adaptation of that speech, which drew record crowds and garnered a standing ovation.

Bound to the Word
Guardians of truth and knowledge, librarians must be thanked for their role as champions of privacy, literacy, independent thinking, and most of all reading.

by Barack Obama

If you open up Scripture, the Gospel according to John, it starts: “In the beginning was the Word.” Although this has a very particular meaning in Scripture, more broadly what it speaks to is the critical importance of language, of writing, of reading, of communication, of books as a means of transmitting culture and binding us together as a people.

More than a building that houses books and data, the library represents a window to a larger world, the place where we’ve always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts that help move the American story forward and the human story forward. That’s the reason why, since ancient antiquity, whenever those who seek power would want to control the human spirit, they have gone after libraries and books. Whether it’s the ransacking of the great library at Alexandria, controlling information during the Middle Ages, book burnings, or the imprisonment of writers in former communist block countries, the idea has been that if we can control the word, if we can control what people hear and what they read and what they comprehend, then we can control and imprison them, or at least imprison their minds.

That’s worth pondering at a time when truth and science are constantly being challenged by political agendas and ideologies, at a time when language is used not to illuminate but, rather, to obfuscate, at a time when there are those who would disallow the teaching of evolution in our schools, where fake science is used to beat back attempts to curb global warming or fund lifesaving research.

At a time when book banning is back in vogue, libraries remind us that truth isn’t about who yells the loudest, but who has the right information.

We are a religious people, Americans are, as am I. But one of the innovations, the genius of America, is recognizing that our faith is not in contradiction with fact and that our liberty depends upon our ability to access the truth.

That’s what libraries are about. At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better. It’s an enormous force for good.

I remember at different junctures in my life feeling lost, feeling adrift, and feeling that somehow walking into a library and seeing those books, seeing human knowledge collected in that fashion, accessible, ready for me, would always lift my spirits. So I’m grateful to be able to acknowledge the importance of librarians and the work that you do. I want to work with you to ensure that libraries continue to be sanctuaries of learning, where we are free to read and consider what we please without the fear that Big Brother may be peering over our shoulders to find out what we’re up to.

Some of you may have heard that I gave a speech last summer at the Democratic convention. It made some news here and there. For some reason, one of the lines people seem to remember has to do with librarians, when I said, “We don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states, or the blue states for that matter.”

What some people may not remember is that for years, librarians have been on the frontlines of this fight for our privacy and our freedom. There have always been dark times in our history where America has strayed from our best ideas. The question has always been: Who will be there to stand up against those forces? One of the groups that has consistently stood up has been librarians. When political groups tried to censor great works of literature, you were the ones who put Huckleberry Finn and Catcher in the Rye back on the shelves, making sure that our access to free thought and free information was protected. Ever since we’ve had to worry about our own government looking over our shoulders in that library, you’ve been there to stand up and speak out on our privacy issues. You’re full-time defenders of the most fundamental liberty that we possess. For that, you deserve our gratitude.

But you also deserve our protection. That’s why I’ve been working with Republicans and Democrats to make sure that we have a Patriot Act that helps us track down terrorists without trampling on our civil liberties. This is an issue that Washington always tries to make into an either-or proposition. Either we protect our people from terror or we protect our most cherished principles. But I don’t believe in either-or. I believe in both ends. I think we can do both. I think when we pose the choice as either-or, it is asking too little of us and it assumes too little about America. I believe we can harness new technologies and a new toughness to find terrorists before they strike, while still protecting the very freedoms we’re fighting for in the first place.

I know that some librarians have been subject to FBI or other law enforcement orders, asking for reading records. I hope we can pass a provision just like the one that the House of Representatives passed overwhelmingly that would require federal agents to get these kinds of search warrants from a real judge in a real court just like everyone else does.

In the Senate, the bipartisan bill that we’re working on known as the Safe Act will prevent the federal government from freely rifling through emails and library records without obtaining such a warrant. Giving law enforcement the tools they need to investigate suspicious activity is one thing, but doing it without the approval of our judicial system seriously jeopardizes the rights of all Americans and the ideals Americans stand for. We’re not going to stand for it. We need to roll that provision back.

In addition to the line about federal agents poking around in our libraries, there was another line in my speech that got a lot of attention, and it’s a line that I’d like to amplify this afternoon. At one point in the speech, I mentioned that the people I’ve met all across Illinois know that government can’t solve all their problems. And I mentioned that if you go into the inner city of Chicago, parents will tell you that parents have to parent. Children can’t achieve unless they raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.

To some, that was perceived as speaking solely to the black community. I’m here to suggest that I was speaking to a basic principle, a worry, a challenge, a concern that applies to all of America. Because I believe that if we want to give our children the best possible chance in life, if we want to open the doors of opportunity while they’re young and teach them the skills they’ll need to succeed later on, then one of our greater responsibilities as citizens, as educators and as parents is to insure that every American child can read and read well. That’s because literacy is the most basic currency of the knowledge economy that we’re living in today.

The need to read

Only a few generations ago it was possible to enter into the workforce with a positive attitude, a strong back, willing to work, and it didn’t matter if you were a high school dropout, you could go in to that factory or work on a farm and still hope to find a job that would allow you to pay the bills and raise a family.

That economy is long gone. And it’s not coming back. As revolutions in technology and communications began breaking down barriers between countries and connecting people all over the world, new jobs and industries that require more skill and knowledge have come to dominate the economy.

Whether it’s software design or computer engineering or financial analysis, corporations can locate these jobs anywhere in the world, anywhere that there’s an internet connection. As countries like China and India continue to modernize their economies and educate their children longer and better, the competition American workers face will grow more intense, the necessary skills more demanding. These new jobs are not simply about working hard, they’re about what you know and how fast you can learn what you don’t know. They require innovative thinking, detailed comprehension, and superior communication.

But before our children can even walk into an interview for one of these jobs, before they can even fill out an application or earn the required college degree, they have to be able to pick up a book and read it and understand it. Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible, from complex word problems and the meaning of our history to scientific discovery and technological proficiency. And by the way, it’s what’s required to make us true citizens.

In a knowledge economy where this kind of knowledge is necessary for survival, how can we send our children out into the world if they’re only reading at a 4th-grade level? How can we do it? I don’t know. But we do. Day after day, year after year. Right now, one out of every five adults in the United States cannot read a simple story to their child. During the last 20 years or so, over 10 million Americans reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. These literacy problems start well before high school. In 2000, only 32% of all 4th graders tested as reading-proficient.

The story gets worse when you take race into consideration and income into consideration. Children from low-income families score 27 points below the average reading level while students from wealthy families score 15 points above the average. While only one in 12 white 17-year-olds has the ability to pick up the newspaper and understand the science section, for Hispanics, the number jumps to one in 50; for African-Americans, it’s one in 100.
In this new economy, teaching our kids just enough so that they can get through Dick and Jane is not going to cut it. Over the next 10 years, the average literacy required for all American occupations is projected to rise by 14%.

It’s not enough just to recognize the words on the page anymore. The kind of literacy necessary for the 21st century requires detailed understanding and complex comprehension. And, yet, every year we pass more children through schools or watch as more drop out. These are kids who will pore through the help-wanted section and cross off job after job that requires skills they don’t have. Others will have to take that help wanted section over to somebody sitting next to them and find the courage to ask, “Will you read this for me?”

We have to change our whole mindset as a nation. We’re living in the 21st-century knowledge economy; but our schools, our homes, and our culture are still based around 20th-century and in some cases 19th-century expectations.

The government has a critical role to play in this endeavor of upgrading our children’s skills. This is not the place for me to lay out a long education reform agenda, but I can say that it doesn’t make sense if we have a school system designed for agrarian America and its transition into the industrial age, where we have schools in Chicago that let high school students out at 1:30 because there’s not enough money to keep them there any longer, where teachers continue to be underpaid, where we are not restructuring these schools and financing them sufficiently to make sure that our children are going to be able to compete in this global economy.

There is a lot of work to do on the part of government to make sure that we have a first-class educational system, but government alone is not going to solve the problem. If we are going to start setting high standards and inspirational examples for our children to follow, then all of us have to be engaged.

There is plenty that needs to be done to improve our schools and reform education, but this is not an issue in which we can just look to some experts in Washington to solve the problem. We’re going to have to start at home. We’re going to have to start with parents. And we’re going to have to start in libraries. We know the children who start kindergarten with awareness of language and basic letter sounds become better readers and face fewer challenges in the years ahead. We know the more reading material kids are exposed to at home, the better they score with reading tests throughout their lives. So we have to make investments in family literacy programs and early childhood education so that kids aren’t left behind and are not already behind the day they arrive at school.

We have to get books into our children’s hands early and often. I know this is easier said than done, oftentimes. Parents today still have the toughest job in the world. And no one ever thanks parents for doing it. Not even your kids. Maybe especially your kids, as I’m learning.
Most of you are working longer and harder than ever, juggling job and family responsibilities, trying to be everywhere at once. When you’re at home, you might try to get your kids to read, but you’re competing with other by-products of the technology revolution, TVs and DVDs and video games, things they have to have in every room of the house. Children eight to 18 spend three hours a day watching television; they spend 43 minutes a day reading.

Our kids aren’t just seeing these temptations at home, they’re seeing them everywhere, whether it’s their friend’s house or the people they see on television or a general culture that glorifies anti-intellectualism so that we have a president who brags about getting C’s. That message trickles down to our kids. It’s too easy for children to put down a book and turn their attention elsewhere. And it’s too easy for the rest of us to make excuses for it. You know, pretending if we put a baby in front of a DVD that’s “educational,” then we’re doing our jobs. If we let a 12-year-old skip reading as long as he’s playing a “wholesome” video game, then we’re doing okay, that as long as he’s watching PBS at night instead of having a good conversation about a book with his parents, that somehow we’re doing our job.

We know that’s not what our children need. We know that’s not what’s best for them. And so as parents, we have to find the time and the energy to step in and help our children love reading. We can read to them, talk to them about what they’re reading, and make time for this by turning off the television set ourselves.

Libraries are a critical tool to help parents do this. Knowing the constraints that parents face from a busy schedule and TV culture, we have to think outside the box, to dream big, like we always have in America about how we’re going to get books into the hands of our children.
Right now, children come home from their first doctor’s appointment with an extra bottle of formula. They should come home with their first library card or their first copy of Good Night Moon.

I have memorized Good Night Moon, by the way: “In the great green room there was a telephone….” I love that book.

It sould be as easy to get a book as it is to rent a DVD or pick up McDonald’s. What if instead of a toy in every Happy Meal there was a book?

Libraries have a special role to play in our knowledge economy. Your institutions have been and should be a place where parents and children come to read together and learn together. We should take our kids there more.

We should make sure our politicians aren’t closing libraries down because they had to spend a few extra bucks on tax cuts for folks who don’t need them and weren’t even asking for them.

Opening doors

Each of you has a role to play. You can keep on getting more children to walk through your doors by building on the ideas that so many of you are already pursuing: book clubs and contests, homework help, and advertising your services throughout the community.
In the years ahead, this is our challenge, and this has to be our responsibility. As a librarian or a parent, every one of you can probably remember the look on a child’s face after finishing their first book.

During the campaign last year, I was asked by a reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times if she could interview me about the nature of my religious faith. It was an interesting proposition. I sat down with the reporter, who asked me some very pointed questions about the nature of my faith, how it had evolved. Then the reporter asked me a surprising question. She asked me, “Do you believe in heaven? And what’s your conception of it?”

I told her, you know, I don’t presume to know what lies beyond, but I do know that when I sit down with my six-year-old and my three-year-old at night and I’m reading a book to them and then I tuck them in to go to sleep, that’s a little piece of heaven that I hang onto.

That was about a year ago, and what’s interesting now is watching my six-soon-to-be-seven-year-old reading on her own now. My four-year old will still sit in my lap, but my seven year old, she lies on the table and on her own. She’s got the book in front of her. She’s kind of face down, propped up. And I say, “Do you want me to read to you?” “No, Daddy, I’m all right,” she says, and there’s a little heartbreak that takes place there.

Yet, when I watch her, I feel such joy because I know that in each of those books she’s picking up, her potential will be fulfilled. That’s not unique to me. It’s true of all of us who are parents. There’s nothing we want more than to nurture that sense of wonder in our children. To make all those possibilities and all those opportunities real for our children, to have the ability to answer the question: “What can I be when I grow up?” with the answer “Anything I want. Anything I can dream of.”

It’s a hope that’s old as the American story itself. From the moment the first immigrants arrived on these shores, generations of parents worked hard and sacrificed whatever was necessary so that their children could not just have the same chances they had, but could have the chances they never had. Because while we can never assure that our children will be rich or successful, while we can never be positive that they will do better than their parents, America is about making it possible to give them the chance, to give every child the ability to try. Education is the foundation of this opportunity.

The most basic building block that holds that foundation together is the Word. “In the beginning was the Word.”

At the dawn of the 21st century, where knowledge is literally power, where it unlocks the gates of opportunity and success, we all have responsibilities as parents, as librarians, as educators, as politicians, and as citizens to instill in our children a love of reading so that we can give them a chance to fulfill their dreams. That’s what all of you do each and every day, and for that, I am grateful.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NJCU Early Childhood Conference-11/15/08

Early Childhood Professional Development Conference

When: Saturday, November 15, 2008

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Location: New Jersey City University
Gothic Lounge (Hepburn Hall, room 202)

Join us for an early childhood professional development day!
Sessions will include practical strategies presented by experienced teachers.
Conference topics will include:
o Using sign language in the classroom
o Preventing challenging behaviors before they start
o Making science fun
o Teaching self help skills

Professional development certificates will be provided!

Registration Fees includes a light breakfast
Early Registration (before Nov. 12) $20.00
NJCU Students Early Registration $10.00 (student ID required)
General Registration (after Nov. 12) $40.00
NJCU Student General Registration $20.00 (student ID required)

Call Keri Giordano for more information 201-200-3342 /
Registration Form NJCU Student ID # (if applicable): ____________
Name: _______________________________ Phone: _______________________
Address: ________________________________________________________________
Email: __________________________________________________________________

Payment type (check one): □ Check (made payable to New Jersey City University)
□ Cash
□ Credit Card
Total Enclosed: $_____________
Mail or drop off registration form and payment to:
NJCU Children’s Learning Center Hepburn 101
2039 Kennedy Blvd. Jersey City, NJ 07305

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Shulevitz appears at Schomburg 12/2/08

The Office of Children's Programs at The New York Public Library will present the 2008 Anne Carroll Moore Lecture at 9:30 a.m. on December 2 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in the Langston Hughes Auditorium.

Uri Shulevitz will be thehonored guest lecturer and will speak on "My Road to Children’s Books and Why Is the Most Important Picture in a Picture Book Invisible?" Author and illustrator Uri Shulevitz has been writing and illustrating children’s books since 1963. The recipient of many awards and honors, Shulevitz was awarded the Caldecott Medal for The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship and two Caldecott Honor citations for The Treasure and Snow.

Guests are invited to begin the morning with coffee and conversation in the Langston Hughes Atrium. The publication Children’s Books 2008: One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing will be available for all.
In addition to the lecture, there will be a welcome and presentation from the Schomburg Center and selected librarians from the Annual List Committee will introduce featured titles on Children's Books 2008 to staff. The lecture and festivities will last from 9:30 a.m. till 12 noon.

Directions to the Schomburg Center can be found at The Center is easily reached by bus or subway - M7, M102, the number 2 or 3 trains to 135th St.

Please R.S.V.P. by calling the Office of Children's Programs at
212-340-0906 or emailing
Check these books out of the Guarini Library:
Dawn Juv. S5622D
The diamond tree : Jewish tales from around the world Juv.398.2 .S399d
The fool of the world and the flying ship; a Russian tale Juv.398.2 .R212F
The moon in my room Juv.S5622M
One Monday morning Juv.S5622M
Rain rain rivers Juv. S5622r
The second witch Juv.S474S
Snow Juv.S5622S
The twelve dancing princesses Juv.398.21 .G864TW

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

State of Preschool Reports

The National Institute for Early Education Research supports early childhood education initiatives by providing objective, nonpartisan information based on research. It is a joint effort of the Pew Charitable Trusts and Rutgers University.

There have been 5 reports on the State of Preschool in the United States.
All the reports , including the current one (2007) are available at
The site also contains interactive data with data sets, state statistics, and graphs.

Teen Author readings in NYC

October 29 -- Teen Author Reading Night (6-7:30, Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL, 425 6th Ave, at 10th St.)

Katie Finn, Top 8
Lauren Henderson, Kiss Me Kill Me
Christopher Krovatin, Venemous
Wendy Mass, Every Soul a Star
Matthue Roth, Losers
Courtney Sheinmel, My So-Called Family
Elizabeth Scott, Living Dead Girl

December 3 -- Teen Author Reading Night (6-7:30, Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL, 425 6th Ave, at 10th St.)

Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied
Coe Booth, Kendra
Daniel Ehrenhaft, Dirty Laundry
Caroline Hickey, Isabelle’s Boyfriend
Margo Rabb, Cures for Heartbreak
David Van Etten, All That Glitters

Thursday, October 16, 2008

David Weisner, Caldecott author, presents program 10/19/08

Caldecott winner David Wiesner will be speaking at Rutgers University this coming Sunday afternoon, October 19, at 2pm. He will discuss how he came to children’s literature after a childhood spent reading comic books, looking at art, watching monster movies, and endlessly playing in the wilds of suburban New Jersey.

Title: Cover to Cover: Exploring the Limitless Worlds within the Picture Book
Date: October 19, 2008
Time: 2 pm
Location: Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University

Monday, October 06, 2008

New Web Economic Guide for Teachers and Students!

Librarians Mary Flannery Climes and Robert J. Tiess have created a web-based guide to the national and international economies, with links to glossaries, latest financial news, government information and personal finance topics.

The website: The Economy Global Economic Crisis, News, Statistics, Economic Indicators, Credit,Energy, Food, Housing / Mortgages / Subprime, & Related Resources is available at

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Latino Heritage Weekend--Friday–Monday, October 10–13

FREE Admission
Programs open to all ages and are bilingual
(English and Spanish)
Friday, October 10,
1–4 pm
Senior Friday:
Celebrate Latino Heritage with Music and DancePerformance—
Raices: The Roots of Latin MusicGroups welcome;
pre–registration required, please call 973–596–6613.
Join Louis Bauzo and his band for a performance that will have you dancing in the aisles! Explore how music can tell the story of your heritage, stir our memories and bring us joy.

Saturday, October 11
Drop-In Activities
12–1 pm
Storytime in the Galleries
Special guest, Margarita Muniz, Newark’s Deputy Mayor for Community and Neighborhood Engagement, will read Abuela by Arthur Dorros; illustrated by Elisa Kleven, a story of a little girl and her grandmother’s wonderful adventures (English and Spanish).
12–4:30 pm
Create Your Own Clown Face
1 & 3 pm
The Art of Clowning
1–4 pm
Explore Latino Voices in American Art
Explore the emotions you experience when you look at Juana Valdes' work of art, The Deepest Blue.
Create your own work of art using porcelain tiles that tell your story.

Sunday, October 12
noon–4 pm
Family Science Activities
(All programs are bilingual: English and Spanish)

12–1 pm & 3–4 pm
Tours of the Interactive Exhibit Dynamic Earth
Discover the astounding variety and diversity of plants, animals, minerals and rock forms—results of our ever-changing Earth.
1–3 pm
Animal Explorations: Night and Day
Meet LIVE nocturnal creatures that are up and about during the night while we're asleep.

Monday, October 13
12:30–4:30 pm
Heritage Festival: Festival de la Familia II:
Celebrating Our Traditions, Telling Our Stories
Share the story of your heritage and celebrate the diversity and richness of Latino culture.
Enjoy music and dance performances, tours and hands-on art and science workshops and exhibitions designed especially for kids!

Performances(Seating is limited and available on a first come basis.)
1 pm
Dance with Grisel Ponce and Jossue Torres
Enjoy the passion and beauty of Latin Dance—Mambo, Samba, Cha Cha, Meringue and Salsa—by watching great dancers perform, and then receive a dance lesson.
2:30 & 4:15 pm
Gary Nunez and Plena LibreSan Juan, Puerto Rico's multi-grammy nominated 13-piece orchestra Plena Libre is considered the Ambassador of the Puerto Rican/Afro-Rican music Plena and bomba.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Professional Development Opportunities for Educators and Librarians

October 2, 2008
An Evening with Todd Strasser on October 2 to Feature Reading and Workshop by Award-Winning Author

The M. Jerry Weiss Center at New Jersey City University will hold “An Evening with Todd Strasser,” a professional development workshop and reading by the guest author, on Thursday, October 2, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m., in room 202 of Hepburn Hall, 2039 Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City.

Mr. Strasser, whose young adult books include Boot Camp, How I Changed My Life, Mob Princess, Nighttime, The Tardy Boys, Kidnap Kids, Drift-X, Can’t Get There from Here, Give a Boy a Gun, Impact Zone, The Diving Bell and The Accident, CON-fidence, The Wave, and 16 books in the “Help! I'm Trapped…” series, has published more than 100 books. He has also written such movie novelizations as Home Alone, Free Willy, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Jumanji.

Admission, which includes two (2) New Jersey Professional Development hours, is $25.00 or $20.00 for full-time undergraduate students with identification. Parking will be available in NJCU’s West Side Lot for a $6.00 fee.

To register for the program or for further information call Maureen McGuire, NJCU director of development, at (201)200-2196 or e-mail her at

Fall 2008
There is a new Professional Development Institute for Educators at NJCU. The Institute is a collaborative initiative between the College of Education and the Office of Continuing Education. This year, they will be offering 42 workshops for four (4) professional development hours each. These courses will enable K-12 educators to fulfill NJDOE requirements for professional development hours. Tuition for each workshop is $150.00 ( with a 10% discount if three or more teachers from the same school district register together for the workshop)

Of the 42 workshops, 24 will be offered face-to-face on campus every Friday from 9:00am to 2:00pm. The face-to-face workshops will start on October 3rd and the online workshops will begin on October 13th.

The other 18 workshops will be offered online, each lasting one week with participants required to complete four hours worth of work.
Click here for a catalog and more information

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Celebrate Banned Books Week 9/27/08-10/4/08

psst… want a banned book???
The Guarini Library has them!
September 27 - October 4, 2008

most frequently challenged books in 2007:

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received a total of 420 challenges last year. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. According to Judith F. Krug, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, the number of challenges reflects only incidents reported, and for each reported, four or five remain unreported.

The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2007” reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell (Juv. .R523a)
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier (Juv. C811c)
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes (Juv. H513oL)
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman (Juv. P982N)
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain (Juv.C625ahbn)
Reasons: Racism

6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker(PS3573.A425 C6 1982)
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7) "TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle ( We will be getting it!)
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8) "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou (PS3551.N464 Z466 1971B)
Reasons: Sexually Explicit
9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris ( Juv. 612.6.H316IT 1996)Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10) "The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky (Juv.C513p)
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Off the list this year, are two books by author Toni Morrison. "The Bluest Eye" and "Beloved," both challenged for sexual content and offensive language.

most frequently challenged authors of 2007
1) Robert Cormier
2) Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3) Mark Twain
4) Toni Morrison
5) Philip Pullman
6) Kevin Henkes
7) Lois Lowry
8) Chris Crutcher
9) Lauren Myracle
10) Joann Sfar

Check OSCAR on the Guraini Library Home Page to find books by these authors


if there are challenges to books in your library or school!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

JCPL Book Fair in Jersey City 9/13/08

Here's another activity for September!

Bibliophiles, bookworms, book peddlers, and those who love writing and hearing the written word will have an opportunity to indulge themselves with a day of literary delights when Jersey City holds its first annual book festival on Saturday, Sept. 13."

A Tale of Our City" will be held in Van Vorst Park on Montgomery Street, right across the street from the Main Branch of the Jersey City Free Public Library. The library is organizing the event and hopes to make it annual.The festival will be part of a daylong nationwide celebration known as "the Big Read," an initiative of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) that puts a spotlight on encouraging reading and literacy.

The festival is funded by a grant from the NEA.As part of the initiative, free copies of Ray Bradbury's classic sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451 will be handed out to festival attendees who have a valid library card, or who apply for a card during the festival. Members of the Jersey City Theater Company will conduct a public reading of the book.

Sonia Araujo, the assistant library director for the Jersey City Public Library, said last week that so far 12 authors have committed to an appearance at the festival. They will sign and sell their books, as well as read excerpts.Among them are city native and noted historian Thomas Fleming, and Helene Stapinski, an author of several books including the memoir of life in Jersey City, Five Finger Discount.

Source: Hudson Reporter, Ricardo Kaulessar

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Jersey City Readers, Writers Alert

Interested in Hispanic Heritage?
Have you written a book that is about Jersey City?
Are you interested in news about reading, literacy and community events?
Then check out
the JCFPL Daily Read
the new blog from Jersey City Public Library, NOW!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Get ready for September!

Visit the Library!
3rd floor-
Juvenile Books (K-12)
Professional Books (Check OSCAR)
4th floor-
Curriculum Collection for lesson ideas, texts and much more

Interested in creating a wiki?
See this offer from PB Wiki

English/ESL/Reading teachers
Try this interesting site to prepare worksheets and comprehension activities. (registration is necessary)

Don't forget-
September 18, 11-3pm
Study Abroad Fair
Gilligan Student's Union
Office of International Student and Study Abroad
New Jersey City University

Register by September 6th

Study Abroad Fair Registration Form
Thursday, September 18th, 2008


Company __________________________________

Address 1_________________________________

Address 2_________________________________




Web Site (optional)________________________

___YES, I will attend this year’s Study Abroad Fair.

___NO, I will not be able to attend but would like to hear about future events hosted by the Office of International Students and Study Abroad.

Registration forms may be faxed to us at 201-200-2326,
emailed to,
or mailed to the following address
New Jersey City University
2039 Kennedy Boulevard,
Grossnickle Hall, Room 303
Jersey City New Jersey 07305-1597
Phone: 201-200-3022
Fax: 201-200-2326

International Day of Peace
September 21
Read a peace-ful book:
Ain't gonna study war no more : the story of America's peace seekers
Juv. 303.6 .M528a

The Big book for peace
Juv. 810.8 .B592

Can you say peace?

Teach Peace with these books in the Curriculum Collection (4th floor)
I will be your friend : songs and activities for young peacemakers
CMC M1992 .I95 2003

Teaching young children in violent times : building a peaceable classroom
CMC LB3013.32 .L485 2003

War & peace : a guide to literature and new media : grades 4-8
CMC U21.2 .W3446 2007

Banned books Week
September 27 - October 4, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jon Scieszka and more at Newark Public Library 10/22/08

Attention Teachers, Librarians, Parents!

Jon Scieszka, Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, will be the keynote speaker at
Showcasing Information Literacies: New Dimension 2008,
which will be held on Wednesday, October 22,2008,
from 9:30am to 3:30pm,
at the Newark Public Library

Fee: $55 (Parking, a continental breakfast and a hot and cold luncheon buffet will be provided as part of the registration fee.)

Door prizes include a laptop and a Kindle!

The NJ Center for the Book has planned a day of celebration with a focus on literacy, book arts, and poetry in partnership with the Newark Public Library.

The program includes sessons on teaching literacies, the art of storytelling for youth at risk, showcasing how to present Shakespeare in the classroom, instruction in genealogical searching for young people, and, finally, partnering with New Jersey's Public Broadcasting Station in teacher resource training.

For the full program click and registration see
Online registration is available at

Monday, July 21, 2008

Animated West African Folktale screens in Newark

Kirikou and the Sorceress screens at the 2008 Newark Black Film Festival.

Kirikou and the Sorceress is a wonderful animated West African folk tale recounts the story of Kirikou, who seeks to free his village of a terrible curse and to find out why Sorceress Karaba is so mean. (Note : This film is available in the Guarini Library Media Collection - V3061.)

July 31| 1 pm NJ STATE MUSEUM
70 minutes

For more information visit

Newark Public School students particpate in an opera

Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 8 pm,a free production of Emmett Till: The Opera will take place at Science Theatre, (Science Park High School), 260 Norfolk Street in Newark, NJ.

Trilogy: An Opera Company has commissioned celebrated composer Charles Lloyd, Jr. to create an opera about young Emmett Till whose brutal murder in 1955 in the Mississippi Delta came to symbolize the start of the Civil Rights movement in America.Trilogy: AOC will re-enact this tragic American story with the hope of stimulating new and helpful discussions about a still-divided America.

Students from Newark Public Schools will participate in the production as the Greek Chorus. These youngsters have been chosen to particpate as part of a youth mentoring program and have been exposed to various aspects of the creative process. Also performing is the Longar Ensemble Orchestra and the Songs of Solomon Choir.

The performance features tenor Robert Mack as Emmett; soprano Diana Solomon-Glover as Mamie; soprano Lori Maribol as Willie Mae; mezzo soprano Alteouise Devaughn as Alma; soprano Sheila Jackson as Mary; baritone Raemond Martin as Mose Wright; tenor Derrick Alton as Uncle Crosby; baritone Richard Hobson as the reporter; Anthony Chisholm as Mr. Mobley and Kevin Maynor as A. A. Raynor.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Harlem Book Fair 2008

The 10th HARLEM BOOK FAIR Anniversary Celebration & Gala
Harlem, New York
in association with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Events from July 18 - 20, 2008
West 135th Street from Malcolm X Blvd.
to Frederick Douglass Blvd.

The programs of the 10th Anniversary Gala and Celebration of the Harlem Book Fair will begin on Friday, July 18th and conclude on Sunday, July 20th at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The outdoor festival will be held on Saturday, July 19, from 11 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on West 135th Street between Lenox Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

Authors from around the world, literature discussions and more!


Moderator: Irene Smalls
Panelists: Linda Trice (Kenya's Word); Troy Johnson (Founder of; Bernette Ford, Publisher ColorBridge Books; Eric Velasquez (Illustrator); Janet Hubert (J.G. and the B.C. Kids)

Facilitator: Jerry Craft (Mamasboyz)
Learn how to draw comics. What’s the story behind Iron Man? What’s the story behind The Hulk? Comic books and graphic novels are often the first access to reading for our youth. This workshop creates access to creative self-expression and enhances self-esteem

Moderator: Clara Villarosa (Founder, Hue-Man Bookstore)

Panelists: Rita Garcia-Williams (No Laughter Here); Jaira Placide (Fresh Girl); Jennifer Burton (Topeka Heights)

See the events at

Monday, July 07, 2008

An Important Library program for Teens-7/9/08- Maplewood

Free and open to the public.
Wednesday,July 9,6:00 pm in Memorial Hall

Meet actor Michael B.Jordan from the HBO Series,The Wire

Michael B. Jordan, former cast member of the HBO Series The Wire will discuss the impact of the show on teenagers and adults in regard to drug trafficking, drug addiction, and drug prevention. Jordan will also discuss the difference between reality and the fictional depiction of selling drugs.

This program is co-sponsored by Maplewood Memorial Library and the Maplewood Municipal Alliance; Sponsor of Anti Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Programs for the Township of Maplewood.

Maplewood Memorial Library
51 Baker St. Maplewood

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Top Ten Youth Biographies-2008

Top 10 Biographies for Youth: 2008.
First published June 1, 2008 (Booklist
Cooper, Ilene (author).

Note: Some of these books are in the Guarini Library Collection or are available for review at the Weiss Center!)

This year’s top 10 biographies for youth spotlights saints and strong men, patriots and pianists, showing how diverse the world of children’s biography has become. These books were chosen from titles reviewed in Booklist during the past 12 months.

As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March toward Freedom. By Richard Michelson. Illus. by Raul Colón. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375633359). Gr. 1–4.

This powerful, well-crafted picture book about the partnership between two great civil rights leaders follows King and Polish rabbi Heschel from boyhoods fraught with prejudice to the 1965 march in Selma, Alabama.

Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote. By Tanya Lee Stone. Illus. by Rebecca Gibbon. Holt, $16.95 (9780805079036). Gr. 1–3.

This short, incisive picture-book biography introduces Stanton and what she accomplished, beginning with her shocking realization that the law treated women unfairly. The child-pleasing artwork makes this highly accessible.

Frida: Viva la vida! Long Live Life! By Carmen T. Bernier-Grand. Illus. by Frida Kahlo. Marshall Cavendish, $18.99 (9780761253369). Gr. 7–12.

Using lyrical free-verse poems, Bernier-Grand brings readers into the life of artist Kahlo. Each well-produced painting by Kahlo is paired with an original poem that expertly extends the imagery so evident in the art.

George Washington Carver. By Tonya Bolden. illus. Abrams, $18.95 (9780810993662). Gr. 3–6.

Bolden’s strong writing finds a worthy subject in the slave-born scientist Carver, but she never shies away from directly and indirectly addressing criticisms of Carver for his lack of political activism. Photos and reproductions of Carver’s paintings help make this a standout.

The Many Rides of Paul Revere. By James Cross Giblin. illus. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780439572903). Gr. 4–7.

Giblin’s attractive, large-format book looks at Revere’s life and his role in the American Revolution, in many cases setting the record straight. Salient facts and intriguing details combine effectively with period portraits, narrative paintings, engravings, and maps.

Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum. By Robert Andrew Parker. Illus. by the author. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (9780375839658). Gr. 2–4.

Parker contributes both words and pictures in this heartfelt portrait of jazz great Art Tatum. The vibrant scenes contrast crowds of dancers and musicians in a swirl of animated motion with scenes of the nearly blind Tatum, set against moody, abstract, shifting colors.

The Real Benedict Arnold. By Jim Murphy. illus. Clarion, $20 (9780395776094). Gr. 7–10.

Murphy has a difficult task—getting past rumors and folktales to present Arnold in a fair and honest way—and he does it meticulously. While never going beyond his sources, he still manages to offer a fascinating look at a man whose name has become synonymous with traitor.

The Secret World of Hildegard. By Jonah Winter. Illus. by Jeanette Winter. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (9780439507394). Gr. 1–4.

A medieval visionary might not seem the topic for an early-level biography, but with elegant simplicity, this mother-son team introduce Hildegard, squeezing out the essence of her life, and making her story accessible to young children. A small jewel.

Strong Man: The Story of Charles Atlas
In this winning picture book, McCarthy separates fact from fiction as he tells the story of Atlas, the original 98-pound weakling who transformed himself into a world-famous strong man.

The Wall: Growing Up behind the Iron Curtain . By Peter Sís. Illus. by the author. Farrar/Frances Foster, $18 (9780374347017). Gr. 7–10.

This autobiographical picture book is an artistic account of Sís’ coming-of-age in Prague during the cold war. The remarkable art expresses the interplay between Communist restrictions and Western influences (Booklist’s 2007 Top of the List winner for youth nonfiction).

A site for digitally connected teachers

PBS Teachers Connect
PBS Teachers Connect is an online community of teachers exchanging ideas, resources and instructional strategies on the integration of digital media and technology. Educators can search more than 3,000 standards-based classroom activities, lesson plans, interactive resources and other materials on the PBS Teachers Web site, then easily bookmark, annotate, share and manage their tagged content within the PBS Teachers Connect community. Many of the resources feature PBS'award-winning programming and content, including on-demand streaming video from select PBS programs.

PBS Teachers Connect started on July 1, 2008 and is an offshoot of the PBS Teachers
web portal to the wide-ranging multimedia instructional resources and professional development services PBS offers preK-12 educators.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Updates-Booklists,Teaching and Books and Dinosaurs!

Fantasy/SciFi alert

The encountering enchantment website on fantasy, science fiction and speculative fiction has been updated with new titles

Language Arts/Literacy/Librarian Educators Alert:
BOOK SMARTS is a new open access ("free-to-read") journal that offers brief, informative discussion of books on critical issues in education.
The Spring 2008 Issue of BOOK SMARTS is available at

Included in this issue:
* Harrison, L. E. (2006). The Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can
Change a Culture and Save It from Itself. NY: Oxford
University Press.
Reviewed by Edward M. Olivos, University of Oregon

* Glass, Gene V. (2008) Fertilizers, Pills, and Magnetic Strips: The
Fate of Public Education in America. Charlotte, NC: Information
Age Publishing, Inc.

* Ohanian, Susan. (2008). When Childhood Collides with NCLB.
Brandon, VT: Vermont Society for the Study of Education, Inc.

* Meiners, E. R. (2007). Right to Be Hostile: Schools, Prisons, and
the Making of Public Enemies. London & NY: Routledge.

* Norton, Bonny & Toohey, Kelleen (Eds.) (2004) Critical Pedagogies
and Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Danny and the Dinosaur fans
It's the 50th anniversary of the pub.llication of Danny and the Dinosaur

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Great Websites for Kids!

The Association for Library Service to Children has just updated its Great Websites for Kids. Websites can be searched or browsed by subject.

See it at

Monday, June 09, 2008

Help School Libraries in NJ!

Take Action Now to Advance School Libraries!

A draft of new School Reform Program regulations includes the following requirement:

N.J.A.C. 6A:XX-1.1 Standards-based instruction

(g) All school districts shall provide library-media services in each school building, including a certified school library media specialist and access to computers, district-approved instructional software, appropriate books including novels, anthologies and other reference materials, and supplemental materials that motivate students to read in and out of school and to conduct research.

NJASL needs your help to ensure that this requirement for school libraries is retained in the School Funding Reform Regulations.

Write to Commissioner Lucille E. Davy in support of this proposed requirement

Urge your colleagues to send letters to Commissioner Davy in support of retaining this requirement

Help all members of your school community (students, parents, staff, administrators) to write in support of this requirement

Letters should be sent to:
Lucille E. Davy, Commissioner
Department of Education
100 River View Plaza
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625

Monday, May 19, 2008

Teacher Job Fairs


Here are upcoming teacher's job fairs!! MARK YOUR CALENDARS and spread the word to friends, colleagues, college graduates, and all and sundry!!!

WEDNESDAY, May 21, 2008
1:00--5:30 PM--CAS Building
1000 Morris Avenue, Union, New Jersey

2. PATERSON PUBLIC SCHOOLS TEACHER JOB FAIR (For directions and details, go
3:30--5:30 PM
The New Roberto Clemente School
582-506 Market Street
Paterson, New Jersey
(Entrance and parking on Pennington Street) Positions available-- BILINGUAL/ESL MATH & SCIENCE SPECIAL ED/CHILD STUDY TEAM

3. FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SCHOOLS (Somerset County) TEACHER RECRUITMENT FAIR--For high school and middle school candidates in all academic content areas starting September 1, 2008.

Interested applicants must email resumes for pre-screening to:

Directions to Franklin High School--
SATURDAY, May 31, 2008
9:00 AM--1:00 PM
Franklin High School
500 Elizabeth Avenue
Somerset, New Jersey 08873

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Teen Reading Events in NYC- May-August

May 7 -- Teen Author Reading Night (6-7:30, Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL, 425 6th Ave, at 10th St.)

Tara Altebrando, What Happens Here
Libba Bray, Up All Night
Erin Haft, Meet Me at the Boardwalk
Cheryl Klam, The Pretty One
Nico Medina, Fat Hoochie Prom Queen
David Levithan, David Ozanich, and Chris Van Etten (aka David Van Etten), Likely Story
Lizabeth Zindel, The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies

May 8 – UP ALL NIGHT reading/party with Libba Bray, Peter Abrahams, Sarah Weeks, Patricia McCormick, and David Levithan (Books of Wonder,18 W. 18th st.
New York, NY 11373(212) 989-3270; 5-7 PM)

May 16 – LIKELY STORY reading with David Levithan, Chris Van Etten, and David Ozanich (aka David Van Etten) (7:30pm, B&N Greenwich Village, 138 W. 10th St. New York, NY (betw. Greenwich Ave. & Waverly Place) )

May 19 – Prom reading with Brian Sloan, Nico Medina, Jeanny Le Ny, and David Levithan (6:30pm, Borders at Time Warner Center, on Columbus Circle)

June 1 – HOW TO BE BAD reading with E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle (Books of Wonder,Books of Wonder,18 W. 18th St. New York, NY 11373(212) 989-3270 1-3PM)

June 25 -- Teen Author Reading Night (6-7:30, Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL, 425
6th Ave, at 10th St.)

Susanne Colasanti, Take Me There
John Coy, Box Out
Sarah Beth Durst, Out of the Wild
Daphne Grab, Alive and Well in Prague, New York
E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and a stand-in for Lauren Myracle, How to Be Bad
Randi Reisfeld, Rehab
Rachel Vail, Lucky

Aug 13 -- Teen Author Reading Night (6-7:30, Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL, 425 6th Ave, at 10th St.)

Nora Baskin, All We Know of Love
Matt de la Pena, Mexican Whiteboy
Donna Freitas, Possibilities of Sainthood
Lauren McLaughlin, Cycler
Lauren Mechling, Dream Girl
Margo Rabb, Cure for Heartbreak
Martin Wilson, What They Always Tell Us

LAPTOP RAFFLE at the Family Technology Fair for Grades 3-8

5th Annual "Families in Technology Day"
Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA)
New Jersey Chapter and New Jersey Institute of Technology's Educational Opportunity Program

Along With the Corporate Sponsorship Of:

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)


Our 5th Annual "Families in Technology Day"


Saturday May 31st 2008 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm New Jersey Institute of Technology Kupfrian Hall University Heights, Newark, NJ 07102

Technology Workshops for All Ages
Informative Lectures & Cultural Entertainment & Other Giveaways ...and Continental Breakfast & Lunch!

For Students (Grades 3-12) Accompanied By Their Parents

FREE LAPTOPS will be raffled to students submitting a paragraph on how they can benefit from the use of a laptop. Paragraph must consist of a minimum of 4-5 sentences. Originality, sincerity and good grammar is important. Paragraphs may be emailed or mailed to:

BDPA - New Jersey Chapter
P.O. Box 25192
Newark, New Jersey 07101 or


All entries MUST be received by May 23, 2008.

For Event Registration, Call: 1(888)203-5073.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Free Comic Book Day- Saturday 5/3/08

Saturday May 3rd, 2008

What is Free Comic Book Day?
Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free* to anyone who comes into their stores.

See for more information

Free Comic Book Day Store Locator:

Each retailer will decide the guidelines for receiving comics

For those near Elizabeth New Jersey:
Free Comic Book Day at Elizabeth Public Library
Saturday, May 3, from 12:30 – 4:30 pm in the Main Library Auditorium

A high quality program with free comics…
Ample parking, directions and information at:
A day full of hands-on learning for long-time manga fans and anyone newly interested. A program well worth the trip.
Mangafest will feature experts in manga and Japanese culture

Mangafest will offer a rich experience of the craft of manga (the Japanese word for comics). Mangafest will feature a hands-on, manga workshop for teens and panel discussions that cover Japanese culture and careers in comics. Customary comic book giveaways, Japanese snacks and autographed books will accompany the day’s events. Guest speakers include Misako Takashima (aka Misako Rocks!) author of Biker Girl and Rock and Roll Love, Ali Kokmen, Del Rey Manga Marketing Director and Janna Morishma, Director or Diamond Kids Group, Diamond Comic Book Distributors. During the drawing workshop for teens, there will be a special Q&A session for adults. The program is free and open to all parents, teachers and students. Please call Kimberly Paone, Supervising Librarian, Teen Services Department for more information at 908-354-6060, x-7235.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rev. Wright, Critical Thinking, Summarizing, and Media Representations

Rev. Jeremiah Wright made a speech to the National Press Club today in which he considered "critical thinking", sound bites (summarizing), media representations, liberation theology and Dr James Cone (a recent visitor who addressed our NJCU community)and made references to the Langston Hughes poem, I am the darker brother, and Carter G. Woodson's book, Mis-Education of the Negro among others.

The complete video of Wright's address is here:
and here

An interesting lesson could be created for middle or high school students in which:

A. Students view the video (it is in six segments)over a period of six days,
B. Students summarize or outline the main points of each segment,
C. Students view the print and video reports created by newspapers and television media.
D. Students compare and contrast their summaries to those of the established media.
E. Students could then examine the accounts for multiple perspectives, bias and subjective language
F. An open-ended discussion of their findings could be the culminating activity.

Some books in the CMC collection that may be of interest are :

Media today : interpreting newspapers, magazines, radios, TV, movies and the Internet (Text 384 .M489)

U.S.-Japan relations : the view from both sides of the Pacific. Part II, The media in U.S.- Japan relations : a look at stereotypes (CMC E183.8.J3 M84 1994)

Students could also take a look at the many theorists, historical events and personages, and literary works that Wright mentioned.

Curricular Units at the Yale National Initiative

The Yale National Initiative to Strengthen Teaching in Public Schools has an online database of currilum units created by its annual teacher institute participants. It includes units from everything on global warming to Latino culturs.
Take a look at

Monday, April 21, 2008

Calling Young Writers and Artists!

I am pleased to announce that the second online issue (Fairy Tales & Fantasy) of Launch Pad has now been published. The issue is accessible on the magazine web site. In this issue, you will meet a genie who loves to work out at the gym, some uninvited guests, fairies that light up the stars, an evil magician, and two brave fairies on a quest to save their village from the dragon. The stories and artwork are superb, and I know you will enjoy reading these outstanding creative works.

Stories and Art about the Ocean, Summer Fun and Mysteries are needed!
Launch Pad still needs contributors. We are looking for works for our upcoming issues about the Ocean, Summer Fun (hiking, camping, summer sports, vacations, etc.) and Mysteries. If you are a teacher, librarian, or parent, please encourage young people to submit their work! We still have space in all of our upcoming 2008 issues, and Launch Pad especially needs young artists. I would welcome any comments that you might like to share about the second issue. Please feel free to forward or post this announcement on listservs, blogs, Facebook, or other resources. Enjoy the magazine!

All the Best,

Paul Kelsey
Editor and Publisher
Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

National Library Week, April 13-19

National Library Week (NLW) begins on April 13th!
NLW also celebrates its 50th anniversary
Books about libraries and reading will be on display at the Guarini Library!

Julie Andrews, Julie Andrews,Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2008 (April 13-19),delivers a message just for you about NLW!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Jersey Boy Wins Pulitzer!

Junot Diaz, Dominican -born, short story writere and novelist from New Jersey won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (PS3554 .I259 B75 2007).

For information on the Pulitzers and other book awards see, The Library Blog

The third of five children, Junot Diaz was born in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, and spent his early childhood living with his family in a neighborhood of that city called Barrio XXI. In 1975, when he was seven years old, he immigrated to London Terrace, New Jersey (a suburb of Perth Amboy), which sheltered a large population of recent Hispanic immigrants from the Caribbean. His father abandoned the family soon afterward, leaving Junot and his older brother Rafa in the care of their mother, who spoke little English. Known to family and friends as "Yunior" (the name of a character often found in his short stories), Diaz exhibited early on a talent for writing and storytelling. Somini Sengupta wrote in the New York Times (September 15, 1996) that "Mr. Diaz began writing when he was broken hearted"; his first sustained effort at writing occurred when, as a sophomore in high school, he wrote long letters to Rafa, who was hospitalized at the time for leukemia.

After high school, Diaz entered Kean College, in Union, New Jersey, then transferred to Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he earned a bachelor's degree in literature and history. He continued his studies in the graduate program in creative writing at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. To support himself while in college, he worked at a variety of odd jobs, including dishwashing, steelworking, and delivering pool tables; after college, he clerked for a pharmaceutical firm in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Diaz told Alexandra Lange for New York (September 16, 1996) that Toni Morrison was a major influence on him during his college years, largely because of "her ability to evoke a community and not to do it with a circus atmosphere like 'See us--we are brown' or 'See us--we are interesting.'"

Diaz's first big break came in 1995 when he sent a story called "Mr. Delightful" to Story magazine, which is deluged with an average of 300 submissions a week. Story's editor, Lois Rosenthal, was so impressed that she called Diaz at once to purchase the manuscript. She published several of his short stories and recommended him to a literary agent, Nicole Aragi, who was similarly captivated. After Rosenthal arranged for Diaz to read to an overflow crowd at KGB, a trendy bar in the East Village section of New York City, book editors began to seek exclusive rights to his works. At a subsequent auction for rights to publish his work, The New Yorker bought two stories, and Riverhead Books, an imprint of G. P. Putnam, agreed to publish a collection of his stories; that collection was issued in 1996 under the title Drown (PS3554.I259 D76 1996 ).
~Biography Reference Bank

Monday, April 07, 2008

The History of Comics and Graphic Novels-4/30/08

Union Middlesex Association of School Librarians
invites you to our spring meeting

The History of Comics and Graphic Novels

Join us for an interactive presentation by Jack C. Harris,
a former writer and editor for DC Comics, and current
faculty member at the School of Visual Arts

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
4:30 pm Meeting
Followed by dinner and presentation

Dunellen Hotel
120 No. Washington Ave
Dunellen, NJ

Cost $20 includes program and buffet dinner

RSVP: Kim Alongi, msalongi@yahoo. com OR 908.754.4620 x604

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Eric Velasquez, Graphic Novels and MORE

New Jersey Reading Association
Spring Brunch,
April 12, 2008
Mount Prospect School
111 Hansom Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

8:30-9:00: Registration
9:00-9:10: General Assembly Welcome: Dr. Deborah Woo, President, NJRA
9:10-9:50: Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jill Lewis, Promoting Adolescent Literacy
10:00-10:40: Books to Brunch on: Dr. Allan De Fina and Dr. Lace Cassidy
10:45-10:55: Exemplary Reading Program Award
11:10-12:00: Breakout Session One (Grade Level)
12:05-1:05: LUNCH (Enthusiastic Readers; Discussion with Dr. M. Jerry Weiss)
1:10-1:20: M. Jerry Weiss Book Award
1:20-1:50: Eric Velasquez, Author/Illustrator
1:55-2:35: Dr. Barbara Tierney: The Role of Advocacy
2:45-3:25: Breakout Session Two (Topic)

Breakout Session One:
Grade Level (Choose One – Registration On-Site)
Presenter Title
Dr. Beth Asbury Real Reading! Real Writing! Informational Text, 3-6
Denise Callaway Supporting Struggling Readers in the Intermediate Grades
Dr. Heather Casey Considering Content: Literacy Learning Across the Curriculum, 7-12
Tom Chiola and Angela Borgia Student Generated Rubrics in Primary Grades
Susan Esposito Vocabulary Instruction, Grades K-3
Carmen Gordillo Boys and Books
Gail Robinson Vocabulary Instruction, Grades 5-8
Jeff Willamson Creating a Community of Kindergarten Readers and Writers

Breakout Session Two:
Topical (Choose One – Registration On-Site)
Presenter Title
Dr. Janet Ankiel Uncovering Young Authors’ Voices
Dr. Jessica Anspach Writers’ Workshop in Elementary Grades
Brian Kelley Graphic Novels and Other Visual Texts in the Classroom
Iris Klein Poetry: Ideas to Inspire and Equip Young Poets
Laura Porcaro Teaching Authors’ Craft
Dr. Shannon Riley-Ayers Practical Strategies for Vocabulary and Comprehension, K-3
Kris Tucker and Jan Jaffe Strategies for Non-Fiction in the Classroom
Jeanette Widensky Unlocking the Keys to Comprehension

Attendees will receive a certificate for Six (6) Hours of Professional Development.
-------------------------------------------------------------(cut here􀂉
Student $30 􀂉 NJRA Member $60 􀂉 Non-Member $75
Name: _______________________________________________________________________________________
Street: _____________________________________________________
City: ____________________________
Phone Number: ____________________________
E-mail Address: ___________________________________
Faculty Signature (For Students Only)______________________________________________________________
Please make checks payable to NJRA and mail with registration form to:
New Jersey Reading Association
186 Mantoloking Road - Ste 2A
Brick, NJ 08723

See for more details and directions

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Subject is RACE at Library Science Center

The exhibit, " RACE: Are We So Different?" continues at the Liberty Science Center until April 27, 2008.

This is an accessible interesting interactive exhibit for all ages.

There is a whole section on Race and Schools and some very interesting interviews.

The exhibit is broken into stations in which you can do everything from testing your blood pressure, to seeing how DNA can cross geographical barriers and thinking about school mascots. Visitors are encouraged to contribute their own experiences and reactions. Arrangements can be made for class visits.

See for more information.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Jacqueline Woodson comes to Jersey City 4/10/08

New Jersey City University proudly presents
The 2nd Annual
M. Jerry Weiss Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature Benefit

Ms. Jacqueline Woodson, Author
Recipient of the Newbery Honor Award and the Coretta Scott King Honor Book

Thursday, April 10, 2008
Puccini’s Restaurant
1064 West Side Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey
Cocktails 6:30 p.m.
Dinner 7:30 p.m.
Please RSVP by April 4, 2008
201.200.3196 or


2nd Annual M. Jerry Weiss Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature Benefit
__ Yes! I will attend. __No, I will not be able to attend.

Name(s): ________________________________________________________________________
Address: _____________________ City: ___________________ State: _________ Zip: ________
Telephone: ______________________________ Email: ___________________________________
Cost $125 per person I would like ________ tickets for the dinner.
if you have not already done so, we invite you to make a gift at this time to the M. Jerry Weiss Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. I am making a gift of $_________ .My method of payment is q Personal Check in the amount of $__________________(Checks should be made payable to NJCU Foundation. Write M. Jerry Weiss Center in the memo portion of the check)
Credit Card: __MasterCard   __ Visa
Credit card #: _____________________________________
Exp. Date (MM/YY): ______________
Authorized Signature

Please mail your response to:
New Jersey City University Office of Development H112D
2039 Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07305

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pedrito's World wins Honor!

Pedrito’s World by Arturo O. Martinez, a local Hoboken author,was selected by the Texas Institute of Letters as the best children’s book for 2007.

Founded in 1936, the Texas Institute of Letters is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to stimulate interest in Texas letters and to recognize distinctive literary achievement. Members of the Texas Institute of Letters include Pulitzer Prize authors Cormac McCarthy and Lawrence Wright.

The Texas Institute of Letters awards annual prizes for individual literary works in several categories. Eligibility for awards is generally that the work is done by a resident of Texas or the work is relevant to the state. Pedrito's World was awarded the Friends of the Austin Public Library Award for Best Children's Book.

Recently, the author, Arturo O. Martinez gave a reading at New Jersey City University. The Guarini Library has a copy of the book in its Juvenile Collection (Juv.M3851p). The book has also garnered excellent reviews in The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Book and Booklist.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MJWC has author event in NYC

The M. Jerry Weiss Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature at New Jersey City University extends an Invitation for Librarians, Teachers and Other Supporters of Literacy and Literature to Attend

An Evening with Two CBC- Children’s Choice Authors and How to Become Involved in Children’s Choice Program and Children’s Book Week

Mark Teague
Author and Illustrator of the LARUE series and illustrator of HOW DO DINOSAURS.... Series

Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Author and Illustrator of FIRST THE EGG and DOG AND BEAR

Rebecca Miller of the Children’s Book Council

When: 6:45- 9:00 PM. March 12, 2008
Where: The Scholastic Center
557 Broadway, NY 10012-3962
Cross Streets: Near the intersection of Broadway and Prince St
Subway: D, F to Broadway-Lafayette St; N, R to Prince St.

[NJ Professional Development Hours are available- for information see below]

6:45- 7:00pm Check-In (No walk-ins, Pre-Registrants only)
(Please note all attendees MUST pre-register and bring State Picture ID to enter the event)
7:00- 8:15 Welcome, Author Presentations (Mark Teague, Laura Vaccaro Seeger)
8:15-8:30 Rebecca Miller (Children's Book Council Programs Associate)
“Get Involved! What the Children's Choice program and Children's Book Week can offer you!”
8:30-9:00 Book Signing (Copies of author’s books will be on sale at the Scholastic Bookstore – 20% Educator Discount)


FREE registration:
Phone: Call 201-200-2220 (M. Jerry Weiss Center
Email: (Subject: March 12th event) with name and contact information
Web: Fill in form (Subject: March 12th event) with name and contact information

PDH- New Jersey Professional Development Hours Pre-Registration:
Attendees may pre-register for NJCU New Jersey Professional Development Hours
(1 ½ hours) $30
Call 201-200-3196 to register and pay $30.00 fee (MasterCard/Visa accepted)
Or mail the attached form with a check.
Make check payable to NJCU Foundation with designation in memo for M. J. Weiss Center.

Mailing Address: New Jersey City University
2039 Kennedy Boulevard
Hepburn Hall, Rm 112D
Jersey City, NJ 07305-1597

Professional Development Form
An Evening with Two CBC- Children’s Choice Authors and How to Become Involved in Children’s Choice Program and Children’s Book Week

Program Registration Information Required (PLEASE PRINT)

Date of Program: ________________________________________________

Name of Program: ________________________________________________

Name: ____________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________

E-mail: ____________________________________________________

Telephone: ____________________________________________________

Payment Options

Credit Card:  Visa  MasterCard

Card Number: __________________________________Expiration Date:_______________

Program Fee: $30.00 $_________
Donation to the M. Jerry Weiss Center: $_________
Payment Total $_________

Credit card Payments – Call 201-200-3196 during business hours.
Check payment : Make check payable to NJCU Foundation with designation in memo for M. J. Weiss Center.

Mailing Address: New Jersey City University
2039 Kennedy Boulevard
Hepburn Hall, Rm 112D
Jersey City, NJ 07305-1597


If you have any questions please contact us at ; 201-200-2220




Springfield Avenue branch
50 Hayes Street (14th Avenue)
Newark, New Jersey

4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Confirmed Colleges:

Rutgers-Newark, Bloomfield, University of New Haven, Montclair State University, Seton Hall University, NJIT, Fairleigh-Dickinson University, Felician College, Delaware State University, New Jersey City University, William Paterson University, Ramapo College, Syracuse University, Drexel University, Duke University, St. Peter's College, and lots of others!!!

And check this out:

*Scholarship Applications Available
*Community Service Opportunities
*Registration for FREE SAT Preparation classes *Registration for SAT/ACT tests

There will be on-site college recruitment and application fee waiver opportunities for high school seniors. Please bring two(2) letters of recommendation, personal statement, high school transcripts, SAT scores and parents' 2007 income tax return.

For more information, contact:

Lyndon Brown at 862-368-4261 or
call the Library at 973-733-7736!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

High School English and World LiteratureTeachers Opportunity- Deadline 3/31/08

Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School

Every summer the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University holds a weeklong professional development workshop called Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School for high school English and world literature teachers. Because it is generously funded by the Freeman Foundation, this workshop is offered to participants free of charge, except for a $60 registration fee. The workshop will take place July 13-19, 2008 in Bloomington, Indiana.

Please visit the website at
for information about the workshop, schedules, reading lists, and lesson plans from previous years’ workshops, and to download a PDF application.

This weeklong workshop provides a broad overview of East Asian literature to high school English and world literature teachers. Participants are only responsible for a $60 registration fee (if accepted), two meals a day during the workshop, and travel to and from Bloomington. All other costs will be covered.

Two days each will be devoted to Chinese and Japanese literature and a day and a half to Korean literature. Faculty literature specialists will lead lectures and discussions on the texts that the participants will have read beforehand, and history experts will present on the historical and cultural contexts of the texts. A curriculum consultant—a high school teacher with many years of experience teaching East Asian literature who will discuss practical ways to bring these texts to the classroom will also be available.

At the end of the workshop, participants will complete lesson plans based on one of the works studied. With the completion and acceptance of their lesson plans, their school will receive a $300 book-buying grant. Participants may also take the workshop for three graduate credit hours through Indiana University, offered at the in-state tuition rate.

The application deadline is March 31, 2008 or until the workshop is filled, and admission is rolling. If you should have any questions, please contact Katie Venit at