Link of the Week: Barbershop Books

Barbershop Books “is a community-based program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops across America.”

Barbershop Books is the first program from the Reading Holiday Project, a nonprofit literacy organization that aims to transform the reading experience for young boys. Barbershop Books pairs the natural and significant culture of a barbershop in black communities with culturally relevant and age appropriate literature to increase out-of-school reading time among young black boys.

Alvin Irby

According to the statistics from the Department of Education found by Barbershop Books, “more than 85% of America’s black male 4th grade students are not proficient in reading.” Barbershop Books heeds this challenge by providing reading material for young black boys outside of the classroom.

During its 2nd annual Why Reading Matters conference on June 15, the National Book Foundation awarded its annual $10,000 Innovations in Reading Prize to Alvin Irby, the founder of Barbershop Books. Irby, during a breakout session at the conference, “offered a combination of formal educational pedagogy and personal anecdotes in a very funny presentation that encourages teachers and parents to think about how they present books to kids.”

Link of the Week: Cave Canem to Receive NBF Literarian Award

 

This week’s link takes a look at how the National Book Foundation (NBF) has announced that they will be honoring  Cave Canem with Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at this year’s National Book Award Ceremony.

Cave Canem is a non-profit center located in Brooklyn, NY that commits itself to supporting and encouraging black poets and literary writers. logoAccording to NBF’s website, the Literarian Award is given to “an individual for outstanding service to the American literary community, whose life and work exemplify the goals of the National Book Foundation to expand the audience for literature and to enhance the cultural value of literature in America.” This will be the first time this award was given to an organization and not an individual person.

The NBF is a non-profit organization that made it their mission to bring more attention and appreciation to great literary writers, poets, and works in America. The National Book Award Ceremony is something the NBF describes as being for books what the Oscars are for movies. The ceremony will be held on November 16 in New York, New York.

Ursula Le Guin: Distinguished Contributor to American Literature and Creator of Worlds

As a writer of science fiction and fantasy novels, Ursula Le Guin has a mind capable of imagining entire societies that do not exist outside of the covers of her books. Her novels have had a heavy influence on conversations about gender and have opened conversations about the alternative points of view that surround us on a daily basis. How different could society be if taking on the alternative view was practiced, if it was the status quo when it comes to handling problematic situations? These are the kind of conversations that Le Guin has made possible through her fantastical narratives, and for such contributions, she was awarded with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 2014 National Book Awards, which took place on November 19th.

Below is a link to her acceptance speech, which is well worth the six minutes of viewing time. ursula_leguin

Click Here for the acceptance speech

Not only has she been a very visible person in the scifi/fantasty genre, she has also been verbal about the situation with Amazon, authors, and the problem of publishing these days. In an interview with Salon , Le Guin speaks about writing outside the “good vs. evil” plot in fantasy, and her thoughts on the hold that Amazon has on the publishing industry.

Link of the Week: National Book Foundation Introduces Summer BookUp in NYC

Discovering a love for reading is one of the most memorable experiences about growing up. Learning all about the adventures of Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, and the Hungry Catepillar, is something that brings a smile to my face to this day.

With the increasing popularity of digital devices and platforms, it is more important than ever that we help to ensure that children of all ages continue to uncover their own love for reading. Whether with a physical book or an e-book, reading is something that can only enhance a person’s life. Once a child reaches middle school, it is sometimes difficult to continue that love of reading, especially with all the homework, chores, and friend-time a thirteen-year-old has! When school is out for the summer, homework is often replaced with video games. I know I was guilty.

Thankfully, BookUp, an after school reading program sponsored by the National Book Foundation, has introduced a summer reading program for middle school students. The summer program is part of a partnership with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development.

Created in 2007, BookUp is a series of extracurricular reading groups led by published authors who also have teaching experience. Instructors have included Elisha Miranda, John Murillo, and Elsa Ulen.

Leslie Shipman, assistant director of the National Book Foundation, said, “At the end of the summer, each BookUp participant will have their own free personal library of 10 age-appropriate books. Our students will cherish and benefit from that resource and their summer BookUp experience for years to come.”

In conjunction with the Department of Youth and Community Development, BookUp is currently running ten summer programs that serve over 200 students throughout New York City. Ultimately, BookUp hopes “to create new approaches to developing life-long readers that can be adapted in after school programs across the country.”

Learn more about the BookUp summer reading program on Publishers Weekly.

The Young to Publishing Group Presents: National Book Awards House Party!

The National Book Awards are among the nation’s preeminent literary prizes, and one of the most important events on the literary calendar. In an effort to expand the audience and accessibility of the awards, the Association of American Publisher’s Young to Publishing Group (YPG) has partnered with the National Book Foundation to secure exclusive live feed of the awards ceremony.

The inaugural House Party: A Celebration of the National Book Awards will take place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday November 17 at Random House at 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

The event will be designed and produced by Jes Gordon of properFUN, and feature DJ Lars, an open bar and hors d’oeuvres, and a charity auction to benefit Literacy Partners. For more information about Literacy Partners, check out our auction page. The browser-based album editing company Pixable will be present to curate event photos and instantly create videos and slideshows to be shared across social media platforms. Robert Redd, the world’s first literary product company, will host an interactive literary game held throughout the party based on the legend of Robert Redd. The company will provide signature knit shirts to the winners. Other event sponsors include Rent the Runway, Macaron, Nine Cakes and Archie Grand.

Purchase your tickets now for the early bird price of $30! Tickets will be $40 after November 1st. The party is open to all book lovers regardless of AAP affiliation.

About the Young to Publishing Group:

The Young to Publishing Group strives to give entry-level employees a chance to build a community outside of their own publishing house and to educate themselves about the industry as a whole. YPG is an initiative of the Association of American Publishers (AAP).