Thursday, 22 May 2014

National Simultaneous Storytime – Too Many Elephants in this house by Ursula Dubosarsky Pictures By Andrew Joyner.

Observation was made of the National Simultaneous Storytime event that was run by the TAFE Sydney St George College Library that was run for the children attending the childcare centre attached to the college, Kameruka Cottage. For this event the staff first read the book to the children using the powerpoint provided by ALIA who organised the event. This was followed by the staff reading the actual book with the children. The staff then sang Ten Grey Elephants Balancing with the children while the children balanced on the string that had been set up on the floor. Part of the story was about the boy making a cardboard house for the elephants to live in, therefore as part of the activity a cardboard elephant house was made for the children to play in and pretend to be elephants. The final thing that the children did before returning to the centre was to have a look at the artworks that were displayed in the library that had been done by the children about elephants balancing on a piece of string. While this technically not a book award the aim of the National Simultaneous Storytime is to draw attention to notable books and to encourage wide reading in all ages. (National Similtaneous Storytime, n.d.). The repetition of the story through it being read twice as well as reinforcement through the singing and other activities that were carried out assists to reinforce the idea of pleasure that can be brought by reading. This idea of reinforcement is also reiterated in the blog by Cox, (n.d.) who states that by learning through repetition which can help people later in life to learn new skills as well. So by giving children skills to repeat and reinforce new skills then they can be set for life and reach their full potential not only in the love of reading or in whatever they put their mind to.
Cox, M. (n.d.). Repetition + Reinforcement = Retention. Business is child’s play. Retrieved from
National Simultaneous Storytime (n.d.). Retrieved from

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Library services for children and young people: challenges and opportunities in the digital age. Edited by Carolynn Rankin and Avril Bock.

This book provides an excellent background for library staff and policy makers as they create services for children and young adults. The primary focus of the book is provision of services for 6 – 18 year olds, and it looks at service provision in both school and public libraries. The book also looks at how school and public libraries, in the same community, can work together to provide complementary services through consulting with each other and thus meeting all needs of users. The book also looks at the different formats of resources that are available to be used and encourages staff to use these to provide services as the technological advances in society today will be continued to be picked by today’s children who will be tomorrows adults and leaders. By encouraging use of the different technologies such as ebooks and e audiobooks children can become aware of new technologies which are used in libraries they can see how libraries evolve to stay relevant. In this way the young people can pass on the importance of libraries to future generations. The book also talks about the different types of reading that young people do be that in the form of a physical book or other types of reading materials such as magazines and newspapers or electronic texts such as blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, and ebooks. The book states that it is important to encourage all these different types of reading, in children, as this is the way that they read and it will help to encourage a love of reading. While the book is primarily focused on the UK the ideas and suggestions in the book are relevant for an international audience as it has sections focussing on the United States and Australia and people from other places around the world can adapt the ideas to suit their needs and culture. (Rankin & Boyd, 2012) The idea of books and technology, particularly e books, being beneficial is taken up by (Leith, 2011) where the fact that using such technology is great for children as it encourages interaction with what they are reading. This is helpful because children have grown up interacting with the technological world around them through things such as computer and console games. Through using interactive e books then the children can take the next step to the love of reading and enjoying physical books. Through reading this book I learnt that encouraging reading in whatever format it comes in is important so that readers can make the step from one format to another and thus diversify their reading habits. By encouraging what is seen as simple reading the love of reading can develop and a new generation of readers will be born.

Leith, S. (2011, October 23). Don’t fear the Reader: how technology can benefit children’s books. New technology, far from tempting kids away from books, promises to add a new dimension to reading. The Observer. London.
Rankin, C., & Boyd, A. (2012). Library services for children and young people : challenges and opportunities in the digital age. London: Facet.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

International Children’s Digital Library

International Children's Digital Library. (n.d.) Retrieved from

This is a website which brings together a collection of e books for children. The books that are held in the collection come from all over the world and has stories in languages from all over the world. Many of the stories which are within the collection have been translated from one language to another, so that people speaking different languages can share stories from other cultures. The website is easy for children to navigate because it uses images that are easy to see and understand while reading the books. The home page of the website may be a little hard for younger children to navigate due to the large amount of writing however with guidance from and adult or older child to help them. However as the child becomes familiar with the site they can learn where to click. The aim of the website for younger children would be as a shared experience between child and carer. Older children however can use the site themselves and experience the joy of stories from their home country and around the world. In fact all users who use this website can enjoy stories from around the world. The beauty of this collection of stories is that it allows users to discover new stories from around the world and through this learn about unfamiliar cultures. Just by browsing the different stories that are available users can see what different cultures are represented which can lead to discussions with others around them about different cultures. In this way the children who use this resource can be more aware of the diversity that exists in the world that we live in. Through this awareness that is developed will allow the children to be more accepting of other cultures that exist in the world. Therefore when they come across these other cultures during their lifetimes they can be more accepting of the people from diverse cultures and also encourage others to do the same. As the users continue to become culturally aware through using this resource they will become aware of different races from a young age and therefore be able to learn not to discriminate against race. This will mean that studies like the one by Dulin-Keita, Hannon III, Fernandez, & Cockerham (2011) will not be necessary or the results will change as people become more accepting. Through exploring this website I discovered the range of cultural diversity that exist that is available for children to explore. Through this resource a range of traditional and modern stories will assist in creating an appreciation of diverse cultures. Therefore increasing the acceptance and equity within all peoples around the world.

Dulin-Keita, A., HANNON III, L., FERNANDEZ, J. R., & COCKERHAM, W. C. (2011). The defining moment: children’s conceptualization of race and experiences with racial discrimination. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34(4), 662–682. doi:10.1080/01419870.2011.535906

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Which books are challenged more– classics or contemporary?

This was a study conducted in the USA looking at the lists of books that had been challenged in libraries between the years of 2000 and 2010. In conducting the study the author looked previous research that had been conducted with similar topics including one on the difference between censorhip and selection of books. The librarian use of selection is positive while not misinterpreting the books to make them say what is not the intention. On the other hand censors take words and passages out of the context of the whole work to give the work a different meaning. An example of this is seen in the Banned Books Week (2013) the reporter here has spoken to the authors of frequently challenged books, one of the authors, Jay Ashton, tells of a case where a school was having a meeting about bannin his book about teen suicide, Thirteen Reasons Why. A parent read out a scene out of context. A student then explained to those at the meeting about the context of the passage and so the book was allowed to stay. The article also mentions another work that built upon the selection ideas and said that censoring books gives them a higher status than they would otherwise have. This is because through the process of challenging a work the work becomes canonised through the extra attention given to it. This also states that due to the number of established classics that frequently appear on banned book lists contemporary books that are on these lists are given a greater status than they necessarily deserve.
The study conducted its research through making a list of the most frequently cited reasons for books being banned and then through spreadsheets discovered the number of times each reason was given for each book. Through the spreadsheets that were made the researchers were able to determine whether more classics or contemporary books were challanged, if there was a rise in the number of contemporary books that had been challenged and the similiraties and differences between the challenges of contmeporary books and classics. The results were that 374 contemporary books were and 15 were classic so contemporary books were challenged more. There were 454 complaints against contmeporary books taking into account that there were some challenges for the same books for a different reason the number of challenges has not gone up. The highest number of challenges for bothe categories was for being sexually explicit.
From reading this I learnt that adults particularly parents are very concerned about what children read and what ideas this may give them. I also learnt that young people can have knowledge about what is important to them and teach the adults in their lives about a better way to look at the world. This is relevant to working with children and young adults by making me think about what my ideas are about what is appropriate for children and young adults to be reading. It is also important to educate their parents, caregivers and teachers about the importance of young people being able to make informed decisions about their lives and read a wide variety to expand their minds.
This relates to censorship by looking at the reasons different books have been censored, banned, or challenged and how different books are viewed over time. It also looks at whether banning actually has the desired effect or makes them more desireable to the young people.

Akers, C. G. (2012). Which books are challenged more - classics or contemporary? New Library World, 113(7), 385-395. doi: 
 Banned Books Week: 'Captain Underpants' tops list of challenged books. (2013, September 24). CNN Wire. Retrieved from