The 2022 co-sponsored ALA/USBBY program will be held at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference on Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Washington D.C., from 1-2 pm. The program is titled “Celebrate Indigenous Storytelling: Books from across the Northern Border” and will be held in the Washington Convention Center, Room 149A-B. Save the program now in the online Conference Scheduler!
Program Description: Join the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) as we celebrate indigenous storytelling! Hear from Inuit author Monica Ittusardjuat, as well as the co-founding authors of Inhabit Media, an Inuit-owned, independent Canadian publishing company. USBBY, an affiliate of ALA, serves as the U.S. National Section of the International Board on Books for Young People, which was founded to promote international understanding and good will through books for children and adolescents.
As members of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) prepare for the upcoming IBBY Regional Conference, taking place on March 4-6, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee, we have kept a close eye on the actions by Tennessee’s McMinn County Board of Education, who voted unanimously to remove Art Spiegelman’s Maus from its eighth-grade language arts curriculum.
One of the key aims of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) and its US National Section, the USBBY, is “to give children everywhere the opportunity to have access to books with high literary and artistic standards”, and the critically acclaimed Maus—which broke artistic and intellectual ground with its non-fiction account of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, and mental health struggles—is exactly the kind of work that should be accessible to students and educators. As such, we condemn the actions of McMinn County Board of Education for the decision, and invite them to join us at our Regional Conference in March.
All attendees of the conference will be given a free copy of Jella Lepman’s autobiography, A Bridge of Children’s Books. Lepman, a Jewish journalist, author, and translator who returned to Germany mere months after the end of the Second World War to found the International Youth Library, which led to the establishing of IBBY, was a woman with a deep understanding of how to speak to children about the same difficult issues that seem to intimidate the McMinn County Board of Education. We would be happy to share the methods that she—and USBBY—have found so successful for the last 70 years. None of them, of course, involve the censoring or banning of literature.
In-person conferences are back and there’s no better way to ease into the new reality than with the 14th IBBY Regional conference coming up in Nashville. The Briley Lecture will be delivered by Yuyi Morales on Saturday evening, Jacqueline Woodson will (finally) receive her Hans Christian Andersen Author medal, capping off each day of general sessions and more than a dozen breakout sessions on the music of words and the power of books for children.
The IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Regional Conference typically has around 200 attendees and is characterized by the opportunities for interaction with authors and colleagues interested in the world of children’s books. Vanderbilt University is this year’s host and requires proof of vaccination and masks while the timing of the gathering coincides with the university’s Spring break, making social distancing simpler.
Audiobook fans will revel in the “Music of Words: Taking Own Voices to the Next Level” featuring Traci Sorell, who wrote and produced the audiobook of her award-winning We Are Still Here, plus Audie and Earphones winner Dion Graham, and Michele Cobb, the Executive Director of the Audio Publishers Association, who is a regular speaker on the topic at book fairs around the world.
The Children’s Book Council is sponsoring “International Publishing: The Many Paths to North America.” This inspiring panel will feature CBC members Angus Killick of Red Comet Press, Christopher Lloyd of What on Earth Books/Britannica Books plus Emma Raddatz of Elsewhere Editions and John Mackey of Italbooks.
Additional General Sessions include a program with USBBY author nominees Linda Sue Park and Jacqueline Woodson for the Hans Christian Andersen award, a conversation between HCA Illustrator winner Roger Mello and Junko Yokota, educational sessions about the work of Jane Kurtz’ (USBBY’s nominee for the IBBY IRead Reading Promoter Award) “Ready Set Read” initiative for Ethiopian children, and the nonprofit I’m Your Neighbor Books. An All-Conference Read with the new graphic novel of Ruta Sepetys’ Between Shades of Gray will include a conversation with Ruta, educator Scot Smith (who chaired the recent YALSA Symposium) and Ingram’s Nicole Robinson Hamilton.
Breakout sessions will provide opportunities for deep dives into topics such as the USBBY’s Outstanding International Books List, Anne Sibley O’Brien’s work on Diverse Bookfinder, an educational session on Dolly Parton and the Imagination Library, “Freedom Songs in International Children’s Literature,” and many more.
The conference concludes with Christopher Lloyd providing a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of It’s Up to Us: Building a Brighter Future for Nature, People & Planet (What on Earth Books) that features the art of 33 illustrators from around the world including Raul Colon, Peter Sis, Poonam Mistry, Le Yuying, Sydney Smith, and Leah Marie Dorion.
Pre- and post-conference activities include guided tours of the new National Museum of African American Music, the Parthenon (featuring one of the tallest indoor statues in the world), and the Nashville Public Library, whose tour will wrap up with a performance of “Ellingtown” by the world famous Thomas Tichenor marionettes.
A silent auction will feature art, signed books, and more with the proceeds benefiting the many ongoing projects of USBBY and IBBY, including the funding of our twinning partners—chapters that are supported by USBBY—in Lebanon, Haiti, and Palestine. A follow-up “Closing Act” virtual conference (an included event for registered attendees of the Nashville conference) will be held on May 14 with sessions from the IBBY chapters in Canada and Mexico.
The conference schedule is available at https://www.usbby.org/regional-conference.html and the deadline for registration is February 18.
Please contact the conference program chair, Ellen Myrick, at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments and feedback and follow usbby at @usbby_books on Instagram, @usbby on Twitter, and on Facebook at @usbby.
Join us for the USBBY Annual Membership meeting on Saturday, November 6 at Noon Eastern Time. Hear updates on the IBBY Regional Conference, March 4-6, 2022 in Nashville. Learn about publishing international translated children’s books with a special program by publisher Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Editor Emilie Robert Wong of Enchanted Lion. The program is free, but registration is required. Click here to receive the Zoom link.
The United States Board on Books for Young People has nominated Jane Kurtz for the IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award. The IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award, established by the Shenzhen iRead Foundation and IBBY, “encourages a real commitment to the cause of reading promotion in the hope of spreading this dedication to others around the globe.” It honors “outstanding individuals who are working to promote the expansion and development of children’s reading.“ Jane Kurtz works to improve the literacy of children, the culture around literacy, and the infrastructure supporting literacy development in Ethiopia and around the globe.
Jane grew up in rural Ethiopia and is uniquely positioned to understand the need for grassroots efforts anchored in Ethiopia with multi-pronged approaches to promoting literacy. With a network of relationships to enable the success of these efforts, she has created over 100 bilingual books and developed connections at organizational and governmental levels in Ethiopia, including establishing libraries, speaking at conferences, and recruiting local authors.
Jane’s work with literacy addresses the challenges of multiple official languages; lack of books reflecting Ethiopian culture, history, and landscape; obstacles in the translation, publication, and distribution process; and insufficient professional opportunities for educators and librarians. Jane partners with Ethiopia Reads and Open Hearts Big Dreams, using Ready Set Go Books to create an innovative pathway for book creation, translation, distribution, and use that addresses these issues. In addition to her work in literacy, she is a successful author of global picturebooks, speaker at global conferences, and mentor for emerging authors. Her vision has opened the lens for reading promotion as an inspiration for other projects around the world.
Committee members who compiled the nomination material that was submitted to IBBY are Committee Chair Kathy G. Short, Susan Corapi, and Meredith Davis. For additional information, contact the United States Board on Books for Young People at: email@example.com.
unaccompanied minors update; may 2021
original post; april, 2021
Dear Members and friends of USBBY,
The REFORMA Children in Crisis project has been addressing the needs of asylum seeking children arriving at the southern U.S. border since 2014 when long-time USBBY member Oralia Garza de Cortes and Lucia Gonzalez founded the group.
Several years ago, the USBBY Executive Director had the experience of traveling to the Brownsville area with several others from REFORMA and IBBY to witness the plight of these children and to deliver books in Spanish so they would have something to bring them some comfort and joy. Our visit was both enlightening and heartbreaking!
Over these years there has been an ebb and flow of activity as the arrival of children has fluctuated and as the U.S. national policy has changed. Today, the situation is dire as more refugee children arrive at our border every day to seek asylum and a better life from natural disasters and life-threatening conditions in their home countries.
They need your help! Please make a donation today!
REFORMA now faces an extreme challenge as it attempts to send books to both sides of the border for the rapidly rising number of arriving children and families.
USBBY/IBBY, along with REFORMA, is seeking donations to the IBBY/REFORMA Project so that Spanish and bilingual Spanish/English books can be purchased for the children. These books will be shipped to the various shelters, and transportation points where the children are passing through and anywhere else where children are arriving.
Donations may be in the form of money or books!
To donate funds, please visit the USBBY donation page and select IBBY/REFORMA Project from the Select Donation Fund menu.
To donate books directly, or if you are a distributor/publisher/bookstore, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate this option.
Each day the situation at the border for the Central American children worsens. The goal of Children in Crisis is to make this situation a little more bearable by providing books to as many children as possible.
Thanks for your past support. We hope you will help give our current asylum-seeking youth the gift of books in their home language that can provide solace and comfort in this time of crisis and fear.
V. Ellis Vance, USBBY Executive Director Evelyn B. Freeman, USBBY President
Dear Reading Enthusiasts,
The USBBY Committee for the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award is soliciting names of programs to be considered for USBBY’s nomination for the 2022 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award. The Award is given biennially to a group or institution, which by their outstanding activities are judged by an international Jury to be making a lasting contribution to book promotion programs for children and young people. The prize-winning organization will receive a diploma and a sum of $10,000, which is generously given by the Asahi Shimbun Newspaper Company of Japan. Each National Section of IBBY is invited to nominate 1 or 2 programs for the Award.
If you know of a program worthy of consideration for this prestigious Award, or if you would like further information, please email:
Dr. Elizabeth Poe, Chair of the USBBY IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award Committee, at email@example.com.
Along with the name of the organization, please include its website, a brief justification for the program’s worthiness for consideration, and your contact information.
Due date for all program suggestions is April 1, 2021.
Thanks for helping recognize deserving reading promotion programs,
The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) and TeachingBooks are pleased to announce a new partnership. Nick Glass, founder of TeachingBooks and a longtime USBBY member, is sharing a complimentary personal license with each USBBY member. TeachingBooks will display annotations of international children’s and young adult books on its website, written by USBBY members.
USBBY President, Evelyn B. Freeman, said, “A personal license to TeachingBooks is an amazing benefit for USBBY members that has a monetary value of $125. We are very grateful to Nick Glass for his generosity.”
“We all love children’s and young adult books, so it is satisfying to give access to this digital library of meaningful book and author connections to all USBBY members,” shared Nick Glass. “USBBY has created an easy system for each member to get access, and once it is set up, just look up a favorite book and enjoy interviews, performances, discussion questions, and so much more. And to include USBBY’s marvelously crafted annotations on TeachingBooks is a fabulous addition.”
About USBBY: The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) is one of the 81 national sections of the International Board on Books for Young People, based in Basel, Switzerland. The organization’s mission is to promote international peace and understanding through children’s and young adult books. To learn more about USBBY: http://www.usbby.org
About TeachingBooks: TeachingBooks is a “one-stop-shop” of 230,000+ vetted digital materials that bring to life children’s and young adult books. USBBY members will find resources for all Outstanding International Books, as well as special collections including a Diverse Books Toolkit, Library Programming and Collection Analysis Tools, Hands-Free Book Browsing, Virtual Teaching Ideas, and more. For more information, see: http://www.TeachingBooks.net/About
The United States Board on Books for Young People
The U.S. National Section of International Board on Books for Young People
Building Bridges Through Children's and Young Adult Books
Center for Teaching through Children´s Books
National Louis University
1000 Capitol Drive
Wheeling, IL 60090
V. Ellis Vance, Executive Director Executive.Director@usbby.org
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