Monthly Archives: February 2014

Text-to-speech programs

There are a growing number of online tools to support students in need of literacy support. The Bright Ideas blog from the School Libraries Association of Victoria (SLAV) and the State Library of Victoria (SLV) has published an interesting article in new series from Catherine Hainstock which talks about how text-to-speech programs can support students’ reading online. .
The Bright Ideas blog is often a source of useful information for teacher librarians, and can be subscribed to.

IASL 2014 conference


The 2014 International Association of School Librarianship conference and Research Forum will be held in Moscow, Russia from 25 – 30 August, 2014.


The call for papers for the 43rd Annual Conference of the International Association of School Librarianship, incorporating the 18th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship, has been issued. The conference theme is “School Library in the Knowledge Society: use of cognitive technologies, form creative person”. The deadline for proposal submissions is March 1, 2014. More details may be found on the conference website

Proposals are invited from librarians, principals, teachers, educators, researchers, and others directly involved with the development or management of school libraries. Others who share an interest in advancing the field of school librarianship, including publishers, vendors, authors, illustrators, architects, psychologists, economists, and journalists, are also welcome to submit proposals.


Proposals may be developed around four types of presentations – workshops (90 or 180 minutes), professional papers (20 minutes), research papers (20 minutes) and posters. The proposals should clearly relate to one of the conference sub-themes:

•    School library as a cognitive resource for the development of education

•    New brands of school library: information culture and e-environment in the context of cognitive sciences development

•    School library on the map of cognitive future

•    School library in a rapidly changing world

•    School library as a forming center of personal information culture

•    The world of school libraries’ worlds: searching for harmony, intelligence, technology, culture

•    School librarian – an agent of change in modern educational approaches to teaching

•    New approaches in the all-life learning system of teacher-librarians.

For further information, please check the website or send a message to

Gryphon Award

Battle Bunny, written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Mac Barnett, and published by Simon & Schuster, is the winner of the 2014 Gryphon Award for Children’s Literature.

The Gryphon Award, which includes a $1,000 prize, is given annually by the Center for Children’s Books at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Illinois. This year’s committee was chaired by Deborah Stevenson, director of the Center for Children’s Books, and Kate Quealy-Gainer, assistant editor of the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.

The prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding English language work of fiction or non-fiction for which the primary audience is children in kindergarten through fourth grade, and which best exemplifies those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers. With a core of regular committee members, the award has become a way to contribute to an ongoing conversation about literature for inexperienced readers and to draw attention to the literature that offers, in many different ways, originality, accessibility, and high quality for that audience.

“Battle Bunny is both a sendup of saccharine period picture books and a tribute to kid invention,” said Stevenson. “The story follows young Alex’s savage textual and illustrative transformation of a treacly bunny tale into a saga of a thwarted attempt at world rabbit domination.”

“As funny and subversive as it is, the book is also an exercise in the technical skills in reading and writing,” said Quealy-Gainer. “When Alex changes ‘birthday’ into ‘battle’ and revises the various commas and exclamation marks, readers find themselves practicing literacy skills even as they giggle over Battle Bunny’s antics.”

Three Gryphon Honors also were named:

Year of the Jungle (Scholastic), written by Suzanne Collins and illustrated by James Proimos, includes cartoonish illustrations that lend both accessibility and emotional heft to this subtle but poignant tale of a young girl’s difficulty dealing with her father’s absence in the Vietnam War.

Lulu and the Dog From the Sea (Whitman), written by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont, hits all the right notes from its high-spirited heroine to its breezy sentence structure to its kid-friendly plot, making this tale of pet rescue one to recommend.

Like Bug Juice on a Burger (Amulet/Abrams), written by Julie Sternberg and illustrated by Matthew Cordell, is a compassionate, pragmatic look at young Eleanor’s struggle to adjust at summer camp, and Sternberg’s ragged right prose perfectly captures the girl’s tentative but heartfelt voice.

The Gryphon Award was established in 2004 as a way to focus attention on transitional reading, “which includes a variety of wonderful books that meet children where they are and encourage them to stretch a little farther at a key stage in their development as readers,” Stevenson said.

The award committee consists of members drawn from the youth services faculty of GSLIS, the editorial staff of the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, public and school librarians, and the library and education community at large.

The award is sponsored by the Center for Children’s Books and funded by the Center for Children’s Books Gryphon Fund. Income from the fund supports the annual Gryphon Lecture as well as the Gryphon Award for children’s literature.

Gifts may be made to the fund by contacting Diana Stroud in the GSLIS Office of Advancement at 217-244-9577.

Open Knowledge Repository

The World Bank has relaunched of its open access repository “Open Knowledge Repository – OKR” with a new, cutting-edge mobile friendly interface as well as a few additional enhancements. Please find below a copy of the announcement also available here:

The most significant aspect of the announcement is that The World Bank, in collaboration with @Mire that supported the development of the OKR, released elements of the new responsive design under an open-source license. We hope this contribution to the community will benefit any institution running a repository on DSpace that wishes to provide a better user experience on mobile devices.

Library of Congress Literacy Awards

Dear Friends of Literacy, Books, and Reading,

The Library of Congress Center for the Book is pleased to announce that the 2014 Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program is now accepting applications. Through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, the Literacy Awards honor organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in the United States and abroad. The three winners will be announced at the National Book Festival on August 30, 2014. This will be followed in October by an awards ceremony and formal presentations by the winners at the Library of Congress.

The prizes are:

The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) will be awarded to an organization that has made outstanding and measurable contributions in increasing literacy levels and has demonstrated exceptional and sustained depth and breadth in its commitment to the advancement of literacy. The organization will meet the highest standards of excellence in its operations and services.  This award may be given to any organization based either inside or outside the United States.

The American Prize ($50,000) will be awarded to an organization that has made a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels or the national awareness of the importance of literacy. This award may be given to any organization that is based in the United States.

The International Prize ($50,000) will be awarded to an organization or national entity that has made a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels. This award may be given to any organization that is based in a country outside the United States.

The program is accepting applications from now until the March 31, 2014, deadline. Visit to download the application and find further instructions. We hope that you will share this information with any groups that might be interested and consider either applying on behalf of your own organization or nominating another group.

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program is administered by the Center for the Book. Please contact us at should you have any questions.