Thanks to the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Book Club, there is a book trailer for Getting the Girl! Love that music…
Many thanks to the James Cook Book Award committee for choosing Another Kind of Cowboy as one of the shortlist titles. The winner was The Last Exit to Normal by Micheal Harmon. Congratulations to the other shortlisted titles:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
No Choirboy: Murder, Violence and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin
Red Glass by Laura Resau
The James Cook Award for diversity in teen literature was created in 2006 in honor of Ohio librarian James Cook. The James Cook Book Award is awarded to the book that promotes and celebrates cultural, ethnic, or social diversity; features a teen as one of the main characters; demonstrates excellence in writing; promotes cultural, ethnic, or social diversity; and has a wide appeal to a teen audience.
The award was going to be announced at the Ohio Library Council Convention and Expo in October, but due to library funding statewide the convention has been cancelled. Call me biased, but it seems that in rough economic times, libraries are more important than ever. More people use the library when money is tight and books, especially free ones, provide a welcome comfort during any crisis.
Here in B.C. our premier, who has previously billed himself as passionately pro-literacy, has plans to slash B.C. library budgets. In fact, BC libraries have not yet received their operating grants for 2009.
Last year I was writer in residence at Vancouver Island Regional Library and at Greater Victoria Public Library. I couldn’t help but notice that librarians and other library staff work unbelievably hard and that libraries are astonishingly busy. I gave writing and publishing workshops in communities all over Vancouver Island and every library I visited was bustling, no matter what time I went. Many librarians seem to have multiple jobs in addition to what you and I might consider “librarian-ing”. Adding budget shortfalls to the pressures they face would be a travesty.
I’ve written my letters and signed petitions. If you care about maintaining access to free books (a key element of any democracy worth its salt), free internet, and the mental, physical and financial health of librarians and library staff, I encourage you to do the same.