Thursday, May 28, 2009

Support NJ Public Libraries-YOU DID IT!

New Jersey Public Libraries face drastic cuts, please read below

From the New Jersey Library Association:

As you know, Senator Brian Stack (D-Hudson and mayor Union City) has introduced
S. 2775 which would reduce the minimum funding for municipal libraries to 1/6 mil from 1/3 mil of the equalized valuation of the real property. This is very devastating legislation.

NJLA ( New Jersey Library Association, activated its legislative alert system through Capwiz ( a service which allows you to send a message directly to your state senator).

The alert is at:

So far approximately 1900 messages have been sent but we still need more. If you have not sent your message please do so today.

We urge you to also forward this message other library supporters.. Many of you have Facebook pages so please forward this to your contacts.

If you have had a response from your local Senator to your email, please let me know. For example, Senator Marcia Karrow has already said she would not support the bill. It is important that we know what the legislators are saying.

Senator Stack represents District 33. The two Assemblypersons in this District have now signed onto the A3753 ( the Assembly bill).They are Assemblyman Ruben Ramos and Assemblywoman Caridad Rodriguez. We don’t believe that the addition of these sponsors means that there is widespread support in the Assembly for this legislation.

The library community, however, must do everything it can to see that this bill does not more forward. Get involved. Attend the NJLA Public Policy Forum on June 5 ( see below).

Check out the ( on the front of our website). On Friday, had an article entitled “Towns fill budget gaps with surplus library funds.” On Sunday, the Record also had an extremely supportive editorial against S2775.

A message from the NJ State Librarian Norma Blake regarding the NJ State budget. “Last week the NJ State Library received from the Office of Management and Budget another directive to give suggestions as to where they can take an additional $1,606,000 from the library FY2010 budget, bringing our total projected cut to $3,564,000. The suggestions were very difficult to make. However, we have tried to spread the budget cuts across a number of areas of the library budget, including cuts to the State Library, to minimize the impact on any one program. There is no guarantee that the Office of Management and Budget who makes the cut will follow our suggestions or will allow us to make transfers among budget lines. I will write again as soon as OMB makes their final decision. We have every reason to believe, based on the revenue projects, that this may not be the last library budget cut FY2010. Sincerely, Norma E. Blake, State Librarian, New Jersey State Library.”


I am very happy to forward the message we received from JoAnne Serrano, president of the library board of Hoboken Library. JoAnne was contacted by Senator Stack’s office on Friday. They indicated he will “withdraw” S2775 as soon as possible.

This is absolutely wonderful news. We have removed the “capwiz” legislative alert from out website. Over 2200 messages were sent to legislators regarding S2775 through this site.

We also want to thank the NJ State Library which called public libraries to encourage them to contact their legislators regarding this bill.

This has been an outstanding advocacy effort by the entire library community. I particularly want to thank the library community of Hoboken who are represented by Senator Stack in District 33. The entire library board led by Board President Joanne Serrano, Library Director Lina Podles and the Friends of the Hoboken Library all contacted Senator Stack’s office and told them how detrimental this bill would be for the entire library community.

This demonstrates that local advocacy efforts coupled with electronic resources such as “capwiz” can make our library message known in Trenton.

We certainly hope this is the end of the efforts to reduce library funding to 1/6 mil. Assemblyman Prieto, sponsor of the bill (A3753) on the Assembly side, has told us he will not go forward with the legislation.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ezra Jack Keats Snowy Day stamp in 2012?-How you can help

THE SNOWY DAY by Ezra Jack Keats 50th Anniversary in 2012

Help Create a U.S. Postage Stamp to Celebrate!

From the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation:

The U.S. Postage Stamp Citizen's Advisory Committee, the group that decides what subjects are chosen for our country's commemorative postage stamps, is considering
celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the publishing of THE SNOWY DAY by Ezra Jack Keats. This book is not just an American classic beloved by generations of children and parents around the world; it is also the book that broke the color barrier in mainstream American children's book publishing.

It takes three years for the subject of a postage stamp to be considered, accepted
and developed. The fiftieth anniversary of THE SNOWY DAY is in 2012. Help us gather
signatures to send to the Citizen's Advisory Committee to let them know how welcome
this stamp would be to families and educators across the country. Help us show the world that Ezra's character Peter, playing in the snow, a character they recognize and treasure, is as valued here as it is abroad.

To support the creation of THE SNOWY DAY 50th Anniversary Commemorative Stamp visit
the website of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation( add your name to the Support the Stamp list. Tell your friends, your students, your teachers and your parents to add their names to our petition. Names will not be used for any other reason than for THE SNOWY DAY Stamp Petition, nor will they be shared or sold to any other entity. Help make 2012 a celebration of American children in all their diversity!

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation funds literacy and arts programming in public schools,
public libraries, parks, museums and universities across the country to enhance the joy of learning and teaching for all generations of learners.

Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
450 14th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11215

Monday, May 18, 2009

Virtual manipulatives

Math Instructor's Alert!

Do you need manipulatives for mathematics instruction?

Here is a fun site for students:
National Library of Virtual manipulatives- Utah State University

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Griot & Oral tradition in Africa Film Series 5/29-5/31/09

TC African Diaspora Cine Club
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 West 120th Street - Room 273A Grace Dodge
Train 1 to 116th Street - Walk up four blocks or
Bus M4, M60 or M104 to 120th Street

Photo ID required to enter building

WHAT: FREE Friday screenings and discussions on films from Africa and the African Diaspora. Refreshments will be served.

UPCOMING SCREENING: Friday, May 29, 2009 at 6:00PM

The African continent is a reservoir of traditions, talent and creativity. Griots & Oral Tradition in Africa, one of the most important traditions in Africa: The art of story telling. Great Malian writer and ethnologist Amadou Hampate Ba said "in Africa, when an old man dies, is a library that burns ("En Afrique, quand un viellard meurt, c'est une bibliotehque qui brule"- Unesco 1960). The selection of films in this series is built around that African tradition.


by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, 58min, 1996, Chad/France, documentary, French with English subtitles.

Through testimonies by Peter Brook, Jean-Claude Carriere, Jean-Pierre Guigane, and Sotigui Kouyate himself, Sotigui Kouyate: A Modern Griot dresses the portrait of one of Africa's greatest actor now based in Paris. From Africa to Europe, the film unveils the multiple facets of Sotigui Kouyate, actor, musician and modern.

with Special Event Screening: Discussion & Cocktails
Saturday, May 29 - Sunday, May 31, 2009

at Teachers College, Columbia University 525 West 120th Street

Fri, May 29-273A Grace Dodge FREE Screening
Sat, May 30 273A Grace Dodge (6:00PM Special Event Screening $12 General Admission)
Sat, May 30 273A Grace Dodge
Sun, May 31- 273A Grace Dodge

Griot & Oral Tradition in Africa Film Series Program
is a selection of films that delves into the life and culture of the Griot a.k.a story teller. This films series feature Professor Oyeronke Oyewumi, an award-winning author of "The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses." Professor Oyewumi, born in Nigeria, has garnered a number of research fellowships including, Rockefeller Fellowships, a Presidential Fellowship, and a Ford Foundation grant.

The African Diaspora Film Festival, The Office of the President, Diversity and Community Affairs and the Center for African Education at Teachers College, Columbia University invite you to ADFFs Griot & Oral Tradition in Africa Film Series Program featuring films from Tanzania, Belgium, Chad and Senegal. Come discover the world of The Griot, Friday, May 29 through Sunday, May 31, 2009 at Teachers College, Columbia University. All films are in English or with English subtitles.

Saturday, May 30 2:00PM in Room 273A Grace Dodge

by Dominique Loreau, 76 min, 1994, Belgium, docu-drama in French with English subtitles
Official Selection, African Diaspora Film Festival 1996.

In this film, whose title is a Senegalese proverb, a griot (storyteller) traveling from Dakar to Brussels weaves a tale about African expatriates and offers a candid look at the life of African immigrants in Belgium. With Sotigui-Kouyate - a real life griot - as the story teller.

Saturday, May 30 @ 4:00PM
Sunday, May 31 @ 4:00PM
in Room 273A Grace Dodge

by Andy Jones, 90mins, 2006, Tanzania/UK, documentary in English and Swahili with English subtitles.

An intimate portrait of legendary singer Bi Kidude, probably the oldest singer on the world stage today. A strong woman with a defiant personality that challenges the perception one has about women's behavior in Muslim oriented societies.

Screenings on
Saturday, May 30 @ 4pm and
Sunday, May 31 @ 4pm.

Saturday, May 30@ 6:00PM Special Event $12 Gen Admission

by Angele Diabang Brener, 52 min, 2008, Senegal

Yande Codou Sene (80 years old) is one of the last great singers of polyphonic Serere poetry. This film is an intimate look at a diva who has lived through the history of Senegal at the side of one his greatest near-mythical figures, President-poet Leopold Sedar Senghor. Saturday, May 30 @ 6pm and Sunday, May 31 @ 6pm. Saturday screening followed by discussion with Professor Oyeronke Oyewumi, author of award-winning book The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses and cocktail.
Sunday, May 31 2:00PM in Room 179 Grace Dodge

Special Prize of the Jury: FESPACO 2001, Official Selection Cannes 2001.
by Dani Kouyate, 96mins, 2001, Burkina Faso/France, Epic Drama, Bambara with English subtitles.

Kombi is a poverty-stricken city dominated by a tyrant king. In order to bring back prosperity, the king is advised by his priests to make the traditional human sacrifice of a young virgin to a mystical snake god. Sia, the most beautiful young woman of the village, has been designated. Lieutenant Mamadi, her fiancé, rebels against the decision to perform this ritual and the village becomes divided. Struggles and revelations follow as the characters confront issues of honor, corruption and power.

"A delightful, pointed fable of religious and political extremism that's extra-relevant at present" - Dennis Harvey-VARIETY
Sunday, May 31

See Satruday May 30 @ 4PM screening
Teachers College Students, Faculty and Staff: Free with valid TC ID

Friday, May 29 -6pm FREE Screening

Saturday, May 30 6pm Special Event Screening $12 general admission,
$10 for students & seniors

All other screenings $9 general admission, $7 students & seniors.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact OASID at , (212) 678-3689, (212) 678-3853 TTY, (212) 678-3854 video phone, as early as possible to request reasonable accommodations, such as ASL interpreters, alternate format materials, and a campus map of accessible features.

Info: (212) 864-1760

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ten Most Challenged Books in 2008

The Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) of the American Library Association has released:

The 10 most challenged books of 2008

And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (Juv.R523a)
Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman(Juv. P982)
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, violence

TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle (Juv.M9975)
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz (Juv.398.4 .S399S)
Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, violence

Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya (Juv.PS3551.N27 B6)
Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, violence

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (Juv.C513p)
Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group

Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar (Juv..V9489w)
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Uncle Bobby's Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen (Juv.B8217u)
Reasons: homosexuality, unsuited to age group

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (PS3608 .O832 K58 2005)
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper (Juv.H2934f)
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

The most frequently challenged authors of 2008
Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson (Juv.R523)
Philip Pullman (Juv.P982)
Lauren Myracle (Juv.M9975)
Jim Pipe
Alvin Schwartz
Chris Crutcher (Juv.C957)
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Juv.N333)
Rudolfo Anaya (PS3551.N27, Juv.923.31 .C512A)
Stephen Chbosky (Juv.C513p)
Cecily Von Ziegesar (Juv.V9489w)

Check OSCAR, the Online catalog for works by these authors!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Transformations Journal is seeking submissions

The peer reviewed journal, Transformations:The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy is seeking submissions.

Guest Editor: Edward Ramsamy

The editors of Transformations seek articles (5,000 – 10,000 words), media reviews (books, film, video, performance, art, music, etc. – 3,000 to 5,000 words), and photo-essays that explore nation in a variety of pedagogical contexts and from all disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Topics might include:
• Defining, defending, crossing national borders;
• Conceptualizing and contesting ideas of nation in the classroom;
• Courses on Im/migration and/or emigration;
• Pedagogical approaches to nation, identity, citizenship, and language;
• Globalization, economics and labor;
• Diaspora, transnationalism, exile;
• Nations, states, nation-states;
• Colonialism, post-colonialism and nation;
• Nation and communities;
• Nation, race-ethnicity, religion, class, gender, and sexuality;
• National conflict and cooperation;
• Nationalism, patriotism, xenophobia in the classroom;
• Articulating and representing cultural identities;
• Teaching indigeneity and sovereignty.

Deadline: June 30th, 2009

Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary forum for pedagogical scholarship exploring intersections of identities, power, and social justice.

The journal features a range of approaches — from theoretical articles to creative and experimental accounts of pedagogical innovations from teachers and scholars from all areas of education.

Send submissions or inquiries in MLA format (6th ed.) as attachments in MS Word or Rich Text format to: Jacqueline Ellis and Edvige Giunta, Editors,

send a hard copy to Transformations, New Jersey City University, Hepburn Hall Room 309, 2039 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07305. Author(s) name and contact information should be included on a SEPARATE page. For submission guidelines go to:

Published semi-annually by New Jersey City University

Monday, May 04, 2009

Teacher jobs and job sites

Job-seeker Links
From NJEA (New Jersey Education Association) links

From NJCU (New Jersey City University)

NJ.COM- Newspaper classified advertisements

School Spring

Chat with YA author Susan Beth Pfeffer tonight!

Join One Book New Jersey at 7:30 tonight for a discussion Life as We Knew It with award-winning author Susan Beth Pfeffer!

Life as We Knew It is the teen selection of OBNJ this year, as voted on by the public. It was also recently awarded as winner of the Garden State Teen Book Award (Grade 6-8 category), as voted on by teen readers across New Jersey.

Logging into the chat is free and easy and all are welcome. Go to anytime between 7:30 and 8:30 tonight to join us!

For more information, go to!

More info:
Life as We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer
ISBN: 9780152061548
Proceeds from orders through Amazon support NJLA.

When an asteroid hits the moon, it causes a change in the moon's orbit and unleashes a series of world-wide disasters, including tsunamis, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes. This story is told from the perspective of Miranda, a sixteen-year-old girl in living in a rural Northeastern Pennsylvania town. In one night everything changes; even though she is far enough away from the major destruction, her life will never be the same. Gone are the everyday routines of school, crushes, and friendships. Instead, Miranda needs to worry about food, sickness, and taking care of her family, while trying to deal with overwhelming fear. Through her journal, Miranda is free to express her worries, desires, and hope.

Susan Beth Pfeffer is an award-winning author who has received much acclaim, including for her work on a series for younger readers, Portraits of Little Women, and the recognition of A Year Without Michael as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. To date she has had 75 books published, her most recent work being the dead & the gone, the companion novel to Life as We Knew It. The author says she decided to be a writer when she was in first grade, and her first book, Just Morgan, was published in 1970. Ms. Pfeffer was born in New York City and today lives in Wallkill, NY.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Saturday, May 2nd is Free Comic Book Day!
Check for participating stores near you at the
Free Comic Bok Day website
Just enter your zip code to get a list of stores and check for signings by comic book artists!