Newsletter: January 2023

THe January issue of the TeenLibrarian Newsletter is now available


After a fairly fallow year in 2022, the TeenLibrarian Newsletter returns and will hopefully be more regular this year!

This newsletter contains a link to the amazing Dark is Rising podcast – a must listen for any fans of Susan Cooper’s phenomenal series and a perfect introduction for anyone who has not yet discovered this amazing work of literature for young readers.

For anyone working in a primary setting there is a link to study looking to explore elementary/primary teachers’ awareness of children’s authors, so if you are one or know of any please pass this on to them as there is also a chance to win a set of books by the award-winning Mini Grey.

America comics fans will be excited to discover that the absolutely amazing weekly comic The Phoenix is now available in the US, speaking personally as a long-time fan (all the way back to The DFC) I am thrilled as I will get to introduce the comics to my daughter who is at just the right age, seriously this comic is as near to perfect for all ages as anything I have yet read!

I have brought back my joke in a mug passive program that went on hiatus for obvious reasons for a few years and am sharing the resources I put together to offer this in my library. Also available is a link to my downloadable calendar of events throughout the year, covering most days with at least one special day that can be used to set up book lists or library displays.

A link to the UK Holocaust Memorial Day Trust for people looking for resources about or around the Holocaust is also included as is a link to my Crafty Scotsman Craft Activity for anyone wanting a light activity for Burns Night.

Lastly there are links for those wishing to put together activities and displays for the UK LGBTQ History Month or the US Black History Month.

For those of you new to this newsletter please do go and check out its parent site for 16 years worth of news, reviews and library-related resources.

On December 19 2022 the BBC World Service released the first episode of a podcast adaptation of Susan Cooper’s classic novel The Dark is Rising. between December 21st & 31st 11 more episodes covering the entirety of the story were released.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper was adapted by Simon McBurney and Robert Macfarlane for the BBC World Service and can be accessed from wherever you get your podcasts or directly from the BBC here:

Broadening the Bookshelf
If you teach primary school students aged 4-11 or work with teachers that do, Teacher-Librarian Chris Baker is looking for people to participate in a study exploring elementary/primary teachers’ awareness of children’s authors.

To find out more information and participate in the survey you can follow this link:
Barrington Stoke Catalogue 2023 
Barrington Stoke is one of my favourite UK publishers and is probably the one I miss the most living and working in the US as I do now.

If you work in the UK or somewhere you can easily order their books then this 2023 catalogue will definitely be of interest:

I am pretty sure that most (if not all) of my UK subscribers are aware of the The Phoenix comic but those of you who are based in the US may be interested in finding out more seeing as the Phoenix is now available to subscribers over here!

The Phoenix is a weekly magazine for 7–14 year olds that’s packed with incredible comics, drawing guides, and plenty more that inspires kids to get reading, writing, and drawing!  You can sign up for a six issues for $1 subscription to find out if you or the small people in your life and work would like to sign up for a longer stretch (and trust me you will).

Many of their most popular strips have been collected as graphic novels and are available in US libraries. These include Corpse Talk (also available as an animated web series), Bunny vs MonkeyMega Robo Bros and more!

To find out more you can follow this link:
Programming Idea: Jokes in a Mug
A passive programme that I have found to be very successful is setting out a mug containing jokes on the service desk.

It has been attracting library patrons of all ages and has a dedicated band of followers who now come in on a regular basis just to pick up a joke.

If you are interested in testing it out, all you need is a mug/cup and a discrete sign advertising hat is on offer. You can collect a range of jokes and reuse them as statistically people would grab a different joke each time.For those of you who may not have the time to hunt down jokes suitable for all ages I have a selection available to download below.
Space and science fiction jokes
One Liners
Display Calendar
If anyone is searching for a simple annual calendar of special days and observances I have compiled one that can be downloaded here:
Holocaust Memorial Day 
The UK-based Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has made resources available that can be used to educate library users in schools as well as public libraries about the Holocaust and other genocides that have occurred across the world.
These resources can be accessed here:
Burns Night
For those of us who are Scottish (or have Scottish ancestry) Burns night is a celebration of all things Scottish around the life and works of the national poet of Scotland Rabbie Burns.

I put together a Crafty Scotsman Craft Activity for Burns Night or just any time you would like to colour in and dress up a burly Scotsman in a range of exciting outfts:

February Resources
In the UK February is recognized as LGBTQ+ History Month, one of the resources I have available for download on my site is a collection of posters celebrating LGBTQ+ authors. These can be downloaded here:

In the US Black History Month is celebrated, some of the resources I have put together include:
I hope that 2023 will be kind to us all and remember that even though the world can sometimes feel cold and unfeeling, the work we do is an antidote that for all the people we serve and we can be the same for each other.

You are always welcome to reach out to say hi and/or share whatever you have been working on!

Thank you for reading and I hope you stick around!


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