Category Archives: News

Publisher Permission Details for Virtual Story-times during the Coronavirus Crisis

This list will be updated as I find more publisher positions on virtual story-times

Scholastic: https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=scholastic-temporarily-revises-policy-for-online-read-alouds-coronavirus-copyright

Candlewick: https://twitter.com/Candlewick/status/1240645865301295107 (applies to Walker Books US as well)

Little Brown Young Readers: https://www.lbyr.com/little-brown-young-readers/lbyr-blog/lbyr-book-sharing-permission-statement/

Penguin Random House: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/penguin-random-house-temporary-open-license/

Simon & Schuster: https://www.simonandschuster.com/p/online-read-aloud-guidelines

Macmillan: https://us.macmillan.com/macmillan-content-use-guidelines/

Abrams: https://www.abramsbooks.com/abramskidspermission/

HarperCollins Childrens Books: https://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/?detailStory=harpercollins-childrens-books-outlines-online-reading-policy-coronavirus-covid19

Lerner Books: https://rights-permissions.lernerbooks.com/

Boyd Mills & Kane: https://boydsmillsandkane.com/permissions2020/

Lee & Low Books: https://blog.leeandlow.com/2020/03/20/lee-low-guidelines-for-virtual-book-read-alouds-during-covid-19/

Quirk Books: https://www.quirkbooks.com/post/want-read-quirk-books-kids-online-while-social-distancing-heres-how

UK Publishers

Hachette Children’s Books: https://twitter.com/PiersTorday/status/1241493636069670917

Walker Books UK: http://www.walker.co.uk/UserFiles/file/2020/Storytime,%20Reading%20and%20Virtual%20Book%20Promotion%20Guidelines_COVID-19.pdf

JK Rowling Harry Potter temporary open licence: https://www.jkrowling.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/TBP-Temporary-Open-Licence-Schools-2.pdf

Chicken House:

These are challenging times for all of us and we are particularly sensitive to the needs of children to continue their learning and to reap the many benefits that literature brings them. We at Chicken House and Scholastic are in full support of providing a wide range of online learning activities for kids during this time of school closures.
We have been moved by the numerous requests we’ve received from people across the country who are trying to address these needs by posting readings of books online for children to access. We want to support you in your efforts and ask that if you choose to read your book online to your students you follow these guidelines:
• At the beginning of your video, please state that you are presenting your reading “with permission from Chicken House books.”
• You post your reading through your school’s platform or another closed group or platform with limited access for your students. Should this not be possible please let me know.
• Since we view this as a way to compensate for the closure of schools, please delete your video or disable access no later than 5pm 30th April 2020.
By posting a reading, you are agreeing to abide by the above terms.

Usborne Books: https://faqs.usborne.com/article/83-id-like-to-make-a-recording-of-an-usborne-book

Faber Children’s: https://www.faber.co.uk/blog/a-message-from-our-faber-childrens-publisher/

Little Tiger Group: http://littletiger.co.uk/tiger-blog/little-tiger-group-permissions-policy-for-online-book-readings

Quirk Books: https://www.quirkbooks.com/post/want-read-quirk-books-kids-online-while-social-distancing-heres-how

Macmillan: https://www.panmacmillan.com/panmac/macmillan-content-use-guidelines

Australia

Books Create Australia, the collaboration between the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA), the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has announced a special arrangement for library storytimes during the COVID-19 outbreak.

For the duration of the pandemic, virtual story-times will be sanctioned by an industry agreement. It is the policy of the Boards of the APA and ASA that their members suspend any requirements for copyright permission to be sought, in order to allow libraries to make recordings or livestream storytimes so children aren’t denied this important and much-loved service.

https://www.alia.org.au/news/21007/book-industry-partners-come-agreement-copyright

Canada

 The Association of Canadian Publishers has formed the Read Aloud Canadian Books Program with Access Copyright.

The Program will allow, on a temporary basis, a waiver of licence fees related to the reading of all or part of select books from participating publishers and posting of the video recording online.

https://accesscopyright.ca/read-aloud/

Ireland

LIBRARIES, IRISH PUBLISHERS AND IRISH WRITERS TEAM UP FOR VIRTUAL LIBRARY STORYTIMES

  • Bring the magic of storytime into your home with online resources from your library
  • ‘Spring Into Storytime’ and celebrate reading great Irish writing for young people

https://www.librariesireland.ie/services/right-to-read/spring-into-storytime

16 Years a CILIP Member

Having lived in the US nor for 18+ months has given me some distance and useful perspective on the goings on in UK Libraries. What I have seen has disturbed me; from CILIP’s lack of  support of library workers striking in Bromley, to their uncritical stance on Dominic Cummings (and related online responses to library workers that protested this) as well as the Memorandum of Agreement with Sharjah Public Libraries in the United Arab Emirates, to mention just a few of the issues that have caused my disquiet. I signed open letters, spoke to colleagues, made my views known online but eventually the issues mounted up and became too much for me

As of today I am no longer a member of CILIP.

Were I still living in the UK I may have made the decision to remain a member and attempt to effect organizational change (using my white male privilege & fairly large social media presence to be vocal) from within.

I will always be grateful to CILIP for the opportunities it afforded me, from working on the London Committee of the Youth Libraries Group (two years as chair) to being a Judge for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals as well as sitting on the National Committee for the School Libraries Group. Not to mention the training events I attended (& in some cases ran) but I decided that I could no longer in good conscience remain a member. I will not criticize friends and colleagues that retain their membership.

I will continue to support and cheer on CILIP front-line initiatives from the side-lines, including the CKG Medals and #GreatSchoolLibraries and others for I believe now, as I did then, that the best of CILIP is to be found in the work done by the special interest groups (and I belonged to some of the best of those).

Empathy Day

Society faces an empathy crisis. But research shows that 98% of us can improve our empathy skills and that in books we have a hugely practical tool. This collection can play a powerful role in helping raise a generation of empathic citizens, story by story.

Miranda McKearney, EmpathyLab’s founder

The 2020 #ReadforEmpathy Book Collections from @EmpathyLabUK are announced today and feature 50 superb books; 33 for 4-11 year olds and 17 for 12-16 year olds. 

All the books from both the primary and secondary collections

Some illuminate the experience of people from a range of cultures or life circumstances. Others help children explore emotions, so they can understand how other people feel. Several reflect stories of our time, such as the refugee experience, or coping with anxiety. All are engaging and thought provoking.

The collections are available to order from Peters via https://www.peters.co.uk/empathy2020 or can be purchased from your local independent bookshop. Click https://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch to find your nearest shop.

Each collection has its own Read for Empathy Guide with a synopsis of all of the books, top tips for sharing stories and more information about #EmpathyDay which is on 9 June 2020. 

Teachers, librarians, parents – download your FREE guides by visiting https://www.empathylab.uk/2020-read-for-empathy-collections

Missouri’s Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act versus the Library Bill of Rights

The Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act being brought forward by Representative Ben Baker falls foul of most of the rights laid out in the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights

Particularly:

Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves.

Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

…resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

and

A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

The Library Bill of Rights is laid out below:

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

The full Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act can be accessed here.

The personal or religious beliefs of a small group of individuals should have no place in dictating what can be accessed or done by a community as a whole. This move by Representative Baker further blurs the separation of church and state.

In a news post he is quoted as saying: The main thing is I want to be able to take my kids to a library and make sure they’re in a safe environment, and that they’re not gonna be exposed to something that is objectionable materialUnfortunately, there are some libraries in the state of Missouri that have done this. And that’s a problem.

Access to information does not make a person unsafe, limiting their access to accurate information does that!

Views on what constitutes appropriate materials may vary widely from library to library.

If parents are concerned what their children are reading (and many are) then they should be active participants in their lives and be willing to have discussions on puberty, sex & sexuality and more. If young people are unable to have those types of discussions with their parents or guardians then they will go looking to find the information on their own and their library will be one of the safer and more accurate places for them to find information.

If parents and care-givers would rather legislate that option away from children in their care then they will go looking for information in places where accurate and truthful information may not be available.

The Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act will force library staff to act in loco parentis, as gatekeepers (a role that we have been trying to get rid of for years), young readers going through puberty, questioning their sexuality, trying to find information for class assignments or those that are just curious will be unable to access the information they require if the group overseeing the library collection takes a narrow view on what is appropriate for young readers.

If this act is passed then Libraries that fall foul of it will lose access to federal funds and Library staff that provide access to proscribed materials will face a fine or jail time.

You can find out more information about this developing story and how to make your views heard at Bookriot, EveryLibrary, PEN and The Guardian.

Visit this page for a list of interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/interpretations

Representative Ben Baker is “Thinking of the Children” with the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act

I read a blog post last night (https://rturner229.blogspot.com/2020/01/ben-baker-files-parental-oversight-of.html)

It details the machinations of Ben Baker the GOP Representative for Newton County in the Missouri House of Representatives who is trying to get public libraries to age restrict materials that could be considered objectionable.

From the above-mentioned post:

Baker filed the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act to keep impressionable young people from getting their hands on material that deals with sex or anything else that might be considered inappropriate by parents (or Baker).

No public library shall receive any state aid under this section if such library 53 allows minors to access age-inappropriate sexual materials in violation of section 182.821. HB 2044 3 182.821. 

As Library Workers, our job is to bring people and resources together. I can understand School Libraries being more prescriptive in their collection development; but to require Public Libraries to limit access to materials based on the age of readers is not only offensive but also dangerous. It places the decision on what is considered appropriate in the hands of a small group of people (& Representative Baker) who could, quite conceivably have a limited view on what “appropriate” is for readers of different ages.

The threat of losing funding is blatant strong-arming and needs condemnation in the strongest possible terms!

Libraries have made a concerted effort to move away from being gatekeepers and the story of Goodnight Moon at the New York Public Library is a great example of how a book can be kept out of the hands of readers: https://slate.com/culture/2020/01/goodnight-moon-nypl-10-most-checked-out-books.html

Sidelining the views of the majority of parents who will not be involved in the decision-making process sets a dangerous precedent, writing something into law that is best left up to families to decide is sheer overreach – I thought that Republicans were usually the part of small government and limited interference.

The Diverse Book Awards calls for entries from UK-based authors & publishers

Authors and publishers are invited to enter a new book prize, open to fiction books that are traditionally published, self-published and everything in between; from January 13th to May 31st 2020.

The Diverse Book Awards is sponsored by Hashtag BLAK (a new imprint of indie publishing house Hashtag Press focused on diversity and inclusion) and Literally PR (award-winning literary PR and marketing agency).

  • The long-list will be announced in June 2020 (books will be called in at this time for judges to review).
  • The short-list will be announced in September 2020.
  • The winner from each category (YA, Adult & Children’s Fiction) will be announced at a Hashtag BLAK party in London in October 2020.

Abiola Bello, co-director of Hashtag Press and Hashtag BLAK, says: So much more can be done to raise levels of diversity and inclusion in publishing, but The Diverse Book Awards seeks to recognise and celebrate the amazing work that was done in 2019 by authors and publishers. In turn, hopefully more diverse and inclusive books will be published in the coming years.

Authors and publishers can submit any children’s, young adult or adult fiction book published in 2019 that features BAME and/or inclusive main characters.

Each of the three category winners will be awarded a trophy, certificate and a PR campaign organised by boutique agency Literally PR.

Hashtag BLAK is currently only for submissions (www.hashtagblak.co.uk / info@hashtagblak.co.uk) seeking adult and YA fiction from Black British writers. The aim is to publish the first book by the end of 2020, the second in 2021, and then submissions will be open to all under-represented voices. Hashtag BLAK is open to unsolicited / unagented manuscripts.

For complete details on how to enter please visit: https://www.thediversebookawards.co.uk/

BEANO ANNOUNCES MONTHLY CHILDREN’S BOOK CLUB

Beano has today launched “Beano Booktopia” – a new book subscription service for kids offering newly published books across a wide range of authors and genres.

The tailor-made programme will include fiction and non-fiction books specifically chosen by Beano experts based on the individual child’s given interests and reading ability.

Booktopia encourages children to expand their reading horizons with new books that fans of the Beano will love. The books selected for the Booktopia service follow the winning Beano formula that has won over children for three generations by combining spot-on humour, captivating stories, relatable characters and amazing visual storytelling.

How Booktopia works

1.       Pick a plan

Choose one of Beano Booktopia subscriptions with a book arriving every month for either 3, 6, 12 or 24 months – starting from £24.99f5f

2.       Name a kid

Name the lucky kid who will become part of Beano’s Booktopia club

3.       Booktopia quiz

Children answer a few simple questions outlining their interests. What do they love? Fact or fiction? Adventure or mystery? Books with pictures as well as text?

4.       The adventure begins

Beano masterminds hand-pick a book a month to match each kid’s passions and reading ability

Multiple studies have shown that children who read for enjoyment do significantly better at school than their peers and make more progress in maths, vocabulary and spelling, making reading for pleasure one of the most effective ways of helping children to reach their full potential.

Emma Scott, CEO of Beano Studios, said: “Beano has been making kids laugh for over 80 years whilst all the while secretly helping them on the first crucial step on their reading journey. Thousands of parents tell us “Beano is the only thing my kids will read” and we’re constantly awed by the British creative icons who credit the Beano with getting them reading, writing, drawing and even standing up on stage! Beano Booktopia offers kids a monthly chance to immerse themselves independently in amazing stories with the Beano seal of approval to help launch a lifetime love of reading.”

For more information on Beano Booktopia and to purchase a subscription visit https://beanobooktopia.com/

We Need Diverse Books

You might be aware of the American charity We Need Diverse Books, set up in 2014 by a group of children’s book lovers (mainly writers initially, rallied by Ellen Oh) with the mission to put more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children.

We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
*We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization.

WNDB

Last night Knights Of, a newish and brilliant UK based publisher who are working so hard to improve inclusivity and diversity in publishing, invited Dhonielle Clayton, WNDB co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (an entirely voluntary position) to speak about the feasibility of starting something similar in the UK. The meeting was attended by aspiring and established authors, owners of small independent publishers, people who worked for larger publishers in all stages of book production and promotion, Inclusive Minds ambassadors, and of course some librarians!

We Need Diverse Books pin

The meeting was over in a blink of an eye with so much to talk about. The projects that WNDB manage are amazing:

  • Publishing internship programmes with stipends and mentoring to help break into the “Big 5” American publishers, mainly based in New York.
  • Speaking to marginalised students about publishing as a potential career.
  • Grants/mentoring/retreats for writers.
  • Making it easy for teachers and librarians to find diverse stock for their schools and libraries (and parents/teens themselves to find new titles) by creating the Our Story app, which highlights good books with diverse content from marginalised creators and even provides resources for many of the titles for educators to use.
  • Starting a book award for new books by and about diverse people, The Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, getting thousands of copies of these titles into the hands of children and young people across the country.
  • Fundraising to pay for all of this!

There was lots of discussion about the differences between the US and UK education system, book suppliers, nurturing homegrown talent, the problem of volunteer burnout, how to decide what to target first, what is already being done and by whom, funding, and including everyone. Dhonielle made it clear that their first priority in the US has been to get people from marginalised backgrounds into the publishing industry and actually producing the books, closely followed by getting those books into the hands of children that need to see themselves as heroes in what they’re reading. Afterwards I asked her whether, when talking to students about going into publishing, they discuss also becoming a “gatekeeper”, ie librarian/bookseller, and she said they do but (but) there’s no point having those conversations if these children don’t yet have a passion for books and reading.

A twitter account appeared after the meeting and already has over 500 followers:

So if you think you have something to contribute or want to know more then do get in touch with them, this will be a really exciting project to get involved in!

Live-action Warhammer 40K TV Series

The news popped up this morning on a Whatsapp group in South Africa, my friends were geeking out about the news that Games Workshop and Big Light Productions had landed Frank”The Man in the High Castle” Spotnitz as show-runner and Executive Producer on a forthcoming live-action Warhammer 40K television series.

I have been a fan of the Warhammer 40K Universe for quite some time! Mostly thanks to picking up a copy of Necropolis by Dan Abnett in a charity shop on the Sidcup high street in 2003. After devouring that I hunted down the other Gaunt‘s Ghosts books that were in print back then and then discovered the Eisenhorn trilogy (also by Abnett).

It is around Eisenhorn that the live-action series is being planned.

Now if you don’t know anything about Warhammer, the first thing you should know is:

It is the 41st Millennium. For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor of Mankind has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the master of mankind by the will of the gods and master of a million worlds by the might of His inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the vast Imperium of Man for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day so that He may never truly die…

Eisenhorn is an Inquisitor – one of the people that goes out amongst the stars to meet new species and annihilate them as well as searching for traitors, heretics, mutants, psykers and anyone else who may be an enemy of humanity. It is a big universe and the place is just filled with enemies.

I have high hopes for this series!

You can read the full press release here:

https://www.warhammer-community.com/press_releases/games-workshop-and-frank-spotnitz-to-create-live-action-warhammer-40000-tv-series/

Every Child has the Right to… The Children’s Laureate Charter

By now you should have heard that Cressida “How to Train Your Dragon” Cowell has been appointed as the Waterstones Children’s Laureate for 2019-2021.

Not content to just take up the reins, she has hit the ground running, with the announcement of the Children’s Laureate Charter.

This ambitious list forms the blueprint for her two years as Laureate, and is one that sees her drawing from Pennac’s Rights of the Reader, the campaign to save libraries and from further afield – calling for creative subjects to be retained as well as fighting to save our increasingly imperilled planet.

Championing the rights of young people in literature and beyond is no small task and I am sure that like me you will be supporting and amplifying her efforts in encouraging young people to read and gain agency in their literaery choices and beyond!

Congratulations on becoming Children’s Laureate Cressida! I will support you in any way that I can!