5/20/2018 - First Post
My Favorite Book Fair
One of my favorite book fairs is the African American Children's Book Fair held annually in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in February. This event has been around for the past twenty-six years. I attended the one held in February of 2017. It was exciting and cold, standing outside of the Community College of Philadelphia's gymnasium, waiting for the annual event to begin. Some of the illustrators and authors were available to discuss their work and to sign their books for their fans/customers. Children, especially, could see and talk to African American illustrators and authors and consider these professions as a career choice. The books for sale were for ages preschool through young adult. I purchased a few books while I was in attendance. There were volunteers assisting customers find what they wanted. For more information about this event which promotes literacy in the community, the website address is: http://theafricanamericanchildrensbookproject.org/ .
5/27/2018 - Second Post
Print versus Electronic
I prefer e-books when I am reading for leisure, because I can read a book via my cell phone or use my e-reader [Kindle] and it can be downloaded in a matter of minutes. But, I do not prefer electronic textbooks, because the e-reader or cell phone must be charged before a textbook can be read. If one is pressed for time, waiting until an electronic device is charged before an academic assignment can be completed is unacceptable. I prefer printed textbooks, because I can access the information, highlight important points and complete an assignment on time.
E-books are not appropriate for young children, because they need to first understand how to read in the traditional way. They need to be able to learn how to read from left to right, turn pages from right to left, and decode words. E-books have more features than traditional books such as reducing or increasing the size of the font, a dictionary to define words, pagination can be up and down or right to left, the pages can be lighted or dimmed and thousands of books can be stored on one file. These features should be mastered after a child can read independently.
I do have to admit that the printed book be it a novel or a textbook, regardless of how much room they consume on my book shelves are my preference.
6/10/2018 - Third Post
Summer Reading for the Very Young
The school year is coming to an end, so will your young ones be reading? Sometimes children’s reading levels dip during the summer months, if they stop reading. Usually, public libraries offer summer reading programs to maintain/improve their reading levels gained during the school year.
Reading quality books is another concern. Finding quality books written by or about African Americans is also a challenge to keep the young ones interested in reading. Children’s books should be relatable, accurate [non-fiction titles], and interesting to the reader. They should also contain illustrations in their image which are authentic, positive and that help tell the story.
The link listed below is a blog of my top 100 books for ages from birth through eight years old. It also contains my commentary on the topic of literature for African American children and how it affects their literacy rate. My blog “Top 100 Children’s Books” website address is: https://jacquelinesmall.wixsite.com/mysite-1top100books . For example, in 2017 out of 3,700 books published by U.S. Children’s Book Publishers, only 122 books were written or illustrated by African Americans, and 340 were about African Americans. (CCBC, 2018) So, what this means is that most of the books written or illustrated about African Americans were written or illustrated by someone other than African Americans. This means that others are telling our stories.
What can we do?
Increase the number of black- owned publishing companies and publish more children’s books by black authors/writers/illustrators who are more than capable of telling our stories in fiction and non-fiction genres.
Parents should be advocating/demanding more diversity in the children’s books and reading texts available in their children’s classrooms, school libraries and public libraries. Parents should also participate in their local PTAs. [Parent-Teacher Associations.] The website address is:
Patronize black - publishers. Read this article regarding black – owned publishing companies. The website address is:
Black – Owned Book Publishers. (2016). In Urbanebooks.com's website online. Top 7 – Black Owned Book Publishers That You Should Know About.
CCBC. (2018). In CCBC's website online.
Retrieved from http://ccbc.educati6on.wisc.edu/books/pcstats.asp
PTA. (2018). In Parent - Teachers Association's website online.
Retrieved from https://www.pta.org/
Small, J. T. (2018). In Top 100 Children's Books website online.
Retrieved from https://jacquelinesmall.wixsite.com/mysite-1top100books
8/15/2020 – Forth Entry
Jacqueline T. Small
Researching topics is very time consuming especially if you do not know how. Young people are inundated with writing assignments which require research; some young people access library databases and others surf the net. I just completed a graduate course in Information Literacy Instruction this summer of 2020. I enrolled in this course for two reasons: to maintain my certification as a public librarian professional and because I was interested in learning how to teach information literacy skills. This course focuses on teaching information literacy skills to patrons, students, faculty and staff at public, academic, special, and school libraries.
I am sharing my Power Point Instructional Video that I created for my final project in the course. Teaching Research Skills to Young Adults [ages 12-17], but it can be useful to anyone who needs some research tips. I also created a learning resource; a Pathfinder – A Smorgasbord of Some Reliable Websites. A pathfinder is a list of data to decrease the researcher’s time in searching for reliable information. This pathfinder is a list of some reliable websites covering various subject matter. When you click on the Power Point Presentation, click on "slide show" then click on "begin" .
Power Point Presentation – Teaching Research Skills to Young Adults
Pathfinder – A Smorgasbord of Some Reliable Websites
10/7/2020 – Fifth Post
Giving Back to the Community
Jacqueline T. Small
On September 27, 2020, I held a small “Grab-N-Go Bags” event in front of my house for children and teens. I promoted it by just hanging a sign in front of my house which stated “GRAB-N-GO Bags, Halloween Pandemic Treat, Sunday, September 27, 2020, From: 10:00am Until They Are Gone!” I purchased school supplies, art supplies, activity books, laptop whiteboards, dry erase markers, whiteboard erasers, coloring books, calculators, face masks and black literature [picture books to YA novels] and sorted them by age group. I placed the materials in large Ziplock bags with handles, that I purchased online. Altogether, I assembled eighteen bags to distribute. I placed them in four 120-quart plastic containers and labeled each according to age group and gender. The grab bags were created for ages 3-5 [1bag], 4-8 [2 bags], 6-9 [1 bag], 8-12 [8 bags] and 12-17 [ 6 bags] years of age. The event was scheduled to begin at 10:00am, but I placed the four containers on my pavement at about 9:00am. They moved very slowly, but by 2:30pm, all four containers were empty including the two boxes of hand sanitizer that I placed between each pair of plastic containers. The plastic containers were placed about six feet apart and labeled by age group and gender. The Grab Bags themselves were labeled by age group, gender and all the contents were listed on the outside of the bag. The grab bags were transparent, so the items could be seen without opening the bags. A parent or child walking pass them could easily just grab a bag according to the child’s age group and gender, “GRAB-N-GO”. Social distancing was stressed in writing on the lids of the containers, including not to open the bags.
Since Halloween was not recommended this year by the CDC, I decided to move my event up to September. It was originally supposed to be a Halloween project, but it was adjusted.
I wanted to give back in a different way. By assembling a special bag of treats with fun stuff as well as educational stuff for kids, I think it is the best way to give back during these stressful times. Imagine how children/teens feel about their future with a Pandemic, that does not seem to be disappearing.