All set for Annual? For this month’s Eureka Moments, I tried to tie some research and news to some of the sessions you might want to attend at the conference. And if you’re not able to attend, I hope these items will allow you to participate from afar and to still feel up to date on what’s happening.

  • A 2010 case study in The Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy concluded that “educators cannot expect students to separate their identities from literacy practices” through interviews and observations with two gay teens. The researcher noted how a multigenre research project, rather than the more traditional paper, allowed the teens to explore themselves more fully and integrate their academic study of history and literature with their sexual orientation. The article ends with the researcher imploring schools and educators to become more sensitive to LGBTQ issues and to explore ways to allow students identifying in the spectrum to feel included in traditional classroom topics and texts and to respectfully invite all students to participate together.
    Vetter, A.M. (2010). “‘Cause I’m a G”: Identity Work of a Lesbian Teen in Language Arts. The Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(2), 98-108.
    Related session: Stonewall Awards Presentation, Monday 10:30am’ 
  • Lately, I’ve seen more and more YA books about being deaf or hearing-impaired crop up. Have you heard of Strong Deaf by Lynn McElfresh, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk, or Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John?
    Related session: Bridging Deaf Cultures @ Your Library, Friday 3:00pm.
  • If you’re not familiar with how different types of manga work, take a look at the introduction to the latest issue of The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, with a special section on boys’ love manga. These comics depict male-male relationships but are aimed at a female readership. They tend to be perceived as “fujoshi,” or “rotten,” but the editors and contributing writers note that looking at the readership and fandom of this area of manga allows you to look at gender roles and performativity in many ways.
    Pagliasotti, D., et al. (2013). Editorial: Boys’ Love manga special section. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 4(1), 1-8.
    Related session: Busting the Comics Code: Comics, Censorship, and Librarians, Sunday, 1:00pm.
  • No matter your personal opinion on YA literature (though I can hazard a guess, based on the fact that you’re reading this blog), as a YA librarian, you’re probably interested in the debates around who should read it and why. If not, familiarize yourself with this highly talked-about entry in the New York Times‘s Room for Debate section, this randomly selected blog post against YA, this blog post for YA, and this HuffPo piece on teens who are choosing not to read YA. Maybe this will inspire you to re-think your collection development policy, write an editorial for your local newspaper, or reach out to teachers in your area to tell them about the benefits of reading all types of literature.
    Related session: Conversation Starters: New Adult Fiction: What is it and is it really happening? Monday, 9:15am.
  • For little girls, it’s Disney Princesses. Then, when they grow up, if we learned anything from the movie “Mean Girls,” dressing up becomes a way to show off as much of your body as possible. How can you expand the idea of what cosplay is and what inspiring female icons look like in your library’s girl (well, boys too) patrons? Take a look at this mom, who dressed up her daughter as famous women in history who have never been royalty, consider the stigma of women of color in cosplay by reading this and looking at these, and this Disney remix tumblr with user artwork reflecting a more diverse worldview of potential princesses.
    Related session: FTF Feminist Night at the Movies, Sunday, 8:00pm.

What are the top sessions, posters, and events on your scheduler? See you in Chicago!

About Hannah Gómez

School librarian in Northern California. MA children's literature, MS library and information science (Simmons College). Sometime scholar, sometime reviewer, sometime creative writer, always media-obsessed.

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