Category Archives: Other

Buy an iPad app from Auryn & Support LWB’s work in Guatemala

Twenty-seven of my fellow Librarians Without Borders (LWB)  members are currently on the ground in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala,  participating in a service learning trip at the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy.

I was thrilled to learn that LWB is being sponsored by Auryn, a digital publisher of interactive children’s books for the iPad.

From April 22nd – May 3rd,  Auryn will donate $1 of each app sold to Librarians Without Borders!

Auryn has been praised for their visionary work in the mobile kids book app market.  Their work includes Teddy’s Day, Teddy’s Night, Bunny Fun: Head Shoulder’s Knees and Toes and my personal favourite, The Little Mermaid. Please consider purchasing one of these apps and help support the work of LWB during this promotional period.

You can learn more about LWB and the Asturias project here. Also, be sure to follow the group’s progress at Asturias on the Guatemala Trip Blog.


Join LWB! Call for Executive and Board of Directors Nominations

As some of you may know, I’m involved with an awesome socially-minded organization called Librarians Without Borders.

Librarians without Borders is now accepting nominations for our 2011 Executive team and Board of Directors. For more information, including job descriptions and details for applying, visit our  Volunteer page.

By the way, I’ll be speaking about recent Librarians Without Borders service projects in Costa Rica and Guatemala at the 2011 Canadian Library Association conference in Halifax this May!

Call for Papers: Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults

YALSA has issued a call for papers for their brand new Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, which is launching this November.

The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults is an online open-access, peer-reviewed journal launching this November. The purpose of Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practices to support young adult library services.

This is exciting news for those of us who study and/or work in teen library services. I’m thrilled to see a new space for us to share our research and experience within the scholarly body of literature.


If you’re wondering why the blog has been so quiet lately, it’s because I’m in the process of moving and preparing for a new job. My things are stored in various places (storage unit, parents’ basement, the new apartment) at the moment, which is a bit of a nightmare. I’ve been moving boxes and shopping for things for the new place over the last week or so. I won’t be moving my furniture in until next weekend, though. Have you ever tried to rent a truck for the Labour Day weekend? I don’t recommend it, unless its absolutely necessary. Also, my movers  (a.k.a. my brother and his friend) certainly weren’t going to give up their last long weekend of the summer to help me move.

This works out just fine, since I have not started my new job yet. I was supposed to start last week, but my vulnerable sector police check did not arrive on time. It’s still not here and I’m getting kind of anxious about it. The last time I got one for Peel Region, it arrived in less than 10 days (and I believe there was an option to pay to get it faster). In York Region, I had to pay $40 and was told it would take “2-3 weeks.” It’s been almost 4 weeks now. I guess maybe there’s a larger volume of searches this time of year with people starting new jobs in schools and day cares, etc. Also, I know the process has changed slightly since the last time I submitted a vulnerable records search.  I just hope it doesn’t take too much longer to clear me. My new job won’t be “official” until the form arrives.

My First Blog Award

Yay! Erin Explores YA has received its’ first award!
Thank you to Katie at The Crescive Library for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award.

If you have received this award: 
  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award
  2. Share 7 things about yourself
  3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
  4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

Seven things about me:

  1. I’m a newly minted librarian. I graduated with my MLIS in June.
  2. In April, I helped build a school library in a rural village in Costa Rica with Librarians Without Borders. Best. Experience. Ever.  I want to do it again!
  3. I don’t like most condiments. Ketchup, bleh! Mustard, eww! Relish, yuck!
  4. I frequently attract weirdos while taking public transit.
  5. I need at least one cup of coffee in the morning to be able to function.
  6. Panada bears are my favourite animal. They’re so roly poly and cute!
  7. I’m 28 and just got my driver’s license a few weeks ago. Don’t be like me kids.
15 fantastic blogs I’ve discovered recently:
  1. Voracious YAppetite
  2. Libraries and Young Adults
  3. Word for Teens
  4. The LibraiYAn
  5. Purple Polka
  6. 21 Pages
  7. Shelf Elf
  8. The Roaring 20s
  9. librarian by day
  10. Librarified
  11. That Blog Belongs to Emily Brown
  12. Reading and Rooibos
  13. Miss Shortskirt
  14. Librarian Pirate
  15. Books in Transit Blog

Airlift to LA

Canadian author Helaine Becker is spearheading a campaign that will see Canadian books fill the shelves of needy school libraries in the Los Angeles area.

School libraries across North America are in dire straits. In the worst shape of all are schools in the United States in poor districts. Not only have teacher-librarians virtually disappeared from them, but so have the books. Shelves are literally empty; books that are on the shelves are woefully out of date and simply a disgrace. For some children, the school library is the only place they will ever see, touch or read a book. How can we expect to cultivate a love of learning in kids who realize from the get-go that separate is not equal, and despite Brown vs. the Bd. of Education, separation (of rich and poor, lucky and unlucky) is the norm across our continent? How can we teach them that they can really be part of the North American dream, and not just the walking talking nightmare of a society gone wrong?

In an attempt to draw attention to the sad state that many school libraries have fallen to, Helaine Becker is collecting books by Canadian authors and publishers to send to some of the most poorly served school libraries in Los Angeles. Helaine has partnered with  NPR columnist Sandra Tsing-Loh and Rebecca Constantino, founder of Access Books, which organizes book drives and funding for underserviced school libraries.

It’s important to point out that conditions here in Canada are far from perfect. There are plenty of school libraries here that also suffer from neglect. The hope is that this gesture will bring much needed attention to the need for stronger support of school library programs on both sides of the border.

Please visit Helaine Becker’s blog or the Airlift to LA Facebook group for more information on this initiative and how you can help. In addition to books, money is needed to cover the cost of shipping the books from Toronto to L.A..

2 New Reports on Teens & Technology

Today, I came across this press release on CNW about a Canadian pilot study of teens and their use of Web 2.0 technologies. While researchers were not surprised to find that teens are really good at using Web 2.0, they were surprised to discover the unique and innovative ways in which they use it—ways which the creators of these tools had probably never thought of.  According to Natalia Sinitskaya, a PhD candidate in Education at York University,

“That goes counter to the popular expectation that teenagers don’t know what they are doing…the ability to use Web 2.0 tools is a new form of literacy, and as adolescents learn to manipulate them, their communication will move away from plain writing to a new form of multi-dimensional communication.”

This Canadian research comes at the heels of a major report to the U.S. congress on media literacy. On June 4, 2010, the Online Safety and Technology Working Group released its final report entitled, “Youth Safety on a Living Internet.”  In a similar vein as the Canadian study, the report concludes that we must “start thinking about young people as active participants—true citizens—in an increasingly interactive online environment where young people are just as likely to create content as to consume it.”

The report cautions against scare tactics and argues that filtering and/or  blocking access to social networks is not in students’ best interest.  “There is some evidence that social networks can be protective in helping to shape and reinforce positive norms,” the report says.  It’s a lengthy report, but well worth reading in its entirety.

Studies like these are strongly urging for a shift in the way we think about youth and technology.  Both of these reports point to young people’s need to understand that they’re stakeholders in their own well-being online and for lessons that make more meaningful connections between what is learnt in an educational setting and what they need to know to engage and participate effectively in the real world.

I also highly recommend checking out a new report released by the Ontario School Library Association entitled, “ Together for Learning: School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons.”