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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Just your average everyday “New York Public Library girl materials dilettante”

Okay!  So I’m a little out of practice when it comes to these news items and looking at some of the stuff I’ve accumulated in the last month, a good swath of it is out of date.  Here’s what I have that’s current then.

Not long ago the good people at the Women’s National Book Association called me up and wondered if I’d be willing to participate in a kind of panel discussion with some female children’s author/illustrators . . . from Kazakhstan.  Twist!  Naturally I said yes indeed.  I mean, how often do you come across that kind of an offer?  Publishing Perspectives wrote up the meeting here.  No pictures of me except a nice glimpse of my left arm.  Publishers Weekly also wrote it up here but my favorite recounting is from what must be a translated site at How to Be Published which refers to me as a “New York Public Library girl materials dilettante”.  If I were a tattoo kind of gal, I would make that my standard.

  • Two news items regarding good leftist cartoonists/children’s authors of the past.  The first is this fine cartoon tribute to Syd Hoff in Tablet by Sarah Lazarovic.  Thanks to Marjorie Ingall for that link.  The second regards one Mr. Crockett Johnson.  As you might recall he will be featured in a dual biography with Ruth Krauss by the multi-talented Phil Nel this coming fall.  The magnificent title is Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature.  And then there’s the drop dead gorgeous book jacket by Chris Ware.  Phil pointed out that not only is Ware drawing in the style of Crockett, he’s also doing a Sendak here, a Mary Blair there, etc.  It’s also one of the sexier Ruth Krauss images I’ve seen.  Cannot wait to get my grubby mitts on that one.

  • Not a New Blog Alert BUT . . . it might as well be for all that I’ve paid attention to it.  When I write a review on this site I puff myself a little and feel smart because I’m capable of linking to other reviews.  Big whoop.  When the good folks at The Classroom Bookshelf review a book they don’t just review it.  They interview the author via video, provide countless useful links, and generally make the book as useful and accessible to teachers as humanly possible.  It just puts me to shame.  They’re off for the summer (teachers, y’know) but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a bit of jaw-dropping in by seeing what they accomplished so far.  Dear Lord, I stand amazed.
  • Some more me stuff.  First and foremost, SummerTeen is on the horizon!  Now I don’t usually do a lot of YA related fare (gotta economize my focus . . . which now that I’ve written it doesn’t make a single drop of sense) but in this case I made an exception.  SLJ asked if I wanted to conduct a panel of YA authors and when I saw the line-up I simply couldn’t say no.  I mean, we’re talking about folks like A.S. King (Everybody Sees the Ants, anyone?), Jackie Morse Kessler (you gotta love a gal who has a series out called Riders of the Apocalypse), and big timer Maggie Stiefvater (Scorpio Races and so much more).  SummerTeen is a virtual conference, which means you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home.  And when else can you have the chance to potentially see me muck-up something in a technological fashion?  Worth the price of admission right there.
  • In other news I apparently wrote the cover story for SLJ this month.  I didn’t know it would be the cover article or anything when I typed it up, so that was a nice surprise.  It’s called Roll Call: Want to work with kids in a public library? Here’s the inside scoop, which is a touch misleading since I talk about all kinds of libraries for kids (not just the public sphere).  Also, it’s sort of meant for those folks who have already committed to the profession and are in library school right now.  I tried not to be too dour, but the economy is not great folks.  Not great at all.  On a lighter note, Giselle Potter did the illustrations for the piece.  I’ve always loved her work but by a quirk of fate the only book of hers I’ve ever reviewed on this site was . . . um . . . well it was Sugar Would Not Eat It.  Not one of my favorites, I’m afraid.  So maybe it’s just a cheeky coincidence but I was hugely amused to see that Ms. Potter worked in the cover of Sugar into one of her images.  It’s not immediately obvious, but it’s there.  I sorta love her for doing that if it was on purpose.
  • Recently I decided that I needed to know what the best children’s book apps for 2012 were.  I review them on occasion but I’m so sporadic that I don’t trust me as far as I can throw me.  Who do I trust?  Mary Ann Scheuer.  When folks ask me who to recommend when it comes to app knowledge, I point them to Great Kids Books (Mary Ann’s blog) and the articles she writes.  On Nerdy Book Club she wrote the piece Great apps for all book lovers to enjoy, which is invaluable.  She also wrote two great pieces on her own blog relatively recently.  Check out this one on nonfiction apps and this one on great apps in general for all your app-related needs.  Thanks, Mary Ann!
  • Daily Image:

Author Beth Fama clued me onto this amazing little site recently. My t-shirt collection is a hodgepodge of shirts given to me as gifts over the years.  I’m too lazy to shop, but even my eyes perked up when I saw the literary cover tees on display here.  Lots of children’s amongst the adult (though was that really the original Outsiders cover and, if so, can we see it republished please?).

Thanks to Beth Fama for the link!

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Gosh, Betsy, thanks for the shout-out! I’ll ask the press to send a copy directly to your “grubby mitts.” 🙂 And I couldn’t be more pleased with Chris Ware’s cover. The only down-side is that, for all subsequent books of mine, I’ll think, “Well, it’s not a bad cover. But this designer is no Chris Ware….”

  2. ChrisinNY says:

    I happen to know an aspiring librarian who I thought might find your article useful! Hope she reads it (even if it came from mom….)

  3. Good article (I will say that in our county library system, we’ve had to close some positions when staff retired or left–we’ve been able to reopen one youth service position, but our assistant librarian position has been closed ever since the previous AL retired three or four years ago). If you’re able to relocate for a job, your job outlook may be decent. If you’re looking for a position in your immediate area and are not able to relocate, you have a much tougher situation. It’s rough out there–recent graduates have my sympathies.