*blows dust off website*
It’s been a while. Sheesh. I’ve been very, very busy doing some really cool stuff that I’ll share with you RIGHT NOW. 🙂
- I was appointed to the 2020 Randolph Caldecott Committee!! **AHHHHH** Anyone who’s been following my blog a while knows how passionate I am about picture books. This is a dream, y’all. And to be APPOINTED?! I’m SO grateful and EXCITED. Thank you ALSC for seeing my hard work and believing that I can do a great job on this committee. I can’t wait to spend 2019 reading and reflecting on EVERY ELIGIBLE PICTURE BOOK PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES! I’m also looking forward to excellent discussions with my committee members! This will mean I can’t blog about any 2019 book with illustrations next year but I hope to blog about older books.
- In July, School Library Journal published our article NATIVE YA: FOUR NATIVE AMERICAN AUTHORS DISCUSS THEIR STORIES AND MESSAGES FOR TEENS. I had the privilege of interviewing Dawn Quigley, Joseph Bruchac, Cynthia Leitich Smith and Eric Gansworth on the topic of Native Young Adult Lit! There’s also a Native YA booklist at the end of the piece, parents, teachers and educators!
- In August I participated in the very first UNDOING KIDLIT RACISM WORKSHOP held at the Penguin Random House building in NYC and facilitated by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. This workshop was the brainchild of several people in the library/publishing community and I’m so glad that I attended. We had two long and powerful days of discussion about race, institutionalized racism and the children’s publishing industry. Participants ranged from librarians to publishers to authors to illustrators to teachers.
- In October I gave a presentation titled Ways to Make Positive Change: Use Your Voice, Make a Change, Strengthen Your Collections at the 2018 Nevada Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada! Thanks to Soraya Silverman for inviting me to submit a proposal. I had a lot of fun! It was my first time in Vegas (it’s very flashy, y’all) and my first time giving a presentation at a conference, alone! This presentation was a re-vamped version of the presentation I created with my colleague/friend Sam Bloom. It went really well! I talked about diversity in publishing, how social media is being used as a way to get problematic books changed/pulled, and gave lots of resources for diverse authors/illustrators, bloggers and websites to follow.
- In the beginning of November, we (The ALSC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force) chose six fellows for the very first ALSC Equity Fellowship! We received over sixty stellar applications and it was tough to narrow them down to just six. We look forward to working with these six library/book people of color who are doing amazing work in their communities and libraries. WE CAN’T WAIT TO HANG OUT WITH YOU at ALA Midwinter in January!! POC all over the country are doing such crucial work for our children & their families and I am so thrilled & excited.
- Also in November, I gave my first workshop/training to the San Francisco Public Library’s children’s librarians & public titled Native Kidlit: Decolonizing Our Libraries. I’m SO thankful to scholar Dr. Debbie Reese for recommending me for this talk and thank you Christy Estrovitz for being super kind and helpful. I learned a lot about myself in the process of creating this workshop. I got the SFPL librarians thinking about how crucial decolonization is in library spaces, especially since libraries, as colonial structures/centers of western knowledge, uphold white supremacy while occupying native land. >_< I stressed the importance of #ownvoices stories, vetting books for racist and stereotypical Native American content, and working with indigenous communities. I was encouraged to see that at the end of my talk, a few librarians jumped right into a discussion about what to do with The Little House on the Prairie series! Everyone was very warm. Thanks for hosting me SFPL, I enjoyed my time in your city. Readers, be sure to check out this article ( “I” Is NOT FOR INDIAN ) from 1991 and think about how you can make your space more inviting to indigenous peoples.
Whew! That’s a lot! ❤
~Thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a nice, warm winter.~