Gearing Up for February

2016 started with a leap and a bound! I’ve gotten several projects underway and I’m sure I’ll continue to be less of a presence on social networking. I’ve just completed my 4th pre-tenure year which means my work needs to be a little more intentional. I never thought I’d stay put quite this long, but my position is growing into something I truly enjoy so, here I am. And, I’m not that far from the airport.

In being more intentional, I hope to pay more attention to my blog. I’m not on a book selection committee, so I can write reviews and interview authors again. I’ve got “a few” books I’ve not reviewed here before and can post about those until I get 2016 books to read. I’m also doing occasional picture books since I do select them for my university library.

In the immediate future, I’ll be running a short series on genres in young adult literature. I’ve connected with experts to give a brief background on short stories, essays, series fiction and more. I hope you enjoy it.

For the month of February, African American Heritage Month, I’ll be covering ‘enslavement’ with peaks at books, websites, DVDs and more that are intended for children.

Next Saturday, I’ll be part of a panel at the Center for Teaching through Children’s Books’ Critical Engagement Through Social Media Conference. My panel, “Managing Internet Culture” will be moderated by Dr. Robert Muller and includes Laura Beltchenko, Darcy Proctor and William Teale. I’m praying for no snow in the Chicago area next weekend!

This month’s #LargeFears conversation will be about AfroLatinos in history, where are they? Special guests will be Sofia Quintero (@sofiaQuintero), Robert Trujillo (@RobertTres)  and  Torrey Maldonado (@TorreyMaldonado). Guinevere and Libertad Thomas (@DosTwinjas) and I will be hosting the third #LargeFears conversation.

I’m also continuing to work with the Digital Public Library Of America on The Open eBooks Initiative that was announced by President Obama at a ConnectED event in mid 2015. The team of librarian’s I’m working with are selecting ebooks that will be made freely available to low income youth across the country. As we continue to select books for the project it is becoming more aware to others just how few books there are feature marginalized children. I’m proud to be part of a program that is actually doing the work to find books that relate to the intended audience.

Coming up toward the end of the month, I’m organizing an African American Read-In Chain for my library. I’ve coordinated with a few colleagues across campus to select readers and readings for the event. I hope we’re able to advertise it well and have way more students in attendance than we anticipate. It’s our first Read In, so no matter how big or small the number, I just hope everyone who shows up has a good time.

There will be another We Are the People Summer Reading list this summer and I’m working with Sujei Lugo, Lyn Miller Lachmann, Natalie Mvondo, Debbie Reese, Tad Tandracki, Sarah Park Dahlen and Ed Spicer on that project. This is such an amazing group of people to work with! We’re still a few months away from launching the list and will gladly accept suggestions. I can tell you that we’re moving away from the FaceBook page to a website that should be easier to locate and use.

Well, those are the highlights of my month and the reasons why I won’t be Tweeting and FaceBooking quite so much.