Thursday, February 14, 2008

February is Black History Month

Here are two great Black History resources for high-school students:

Library and Archives Canada presents Under a Northern Star, a virtual exhibition of accounts of early Canadian settlers whose lives represent true and successful challenges to racism and slavery. Dr Afua Cooper from the U of T introduces the exhibition: "What is brilliant about these collections is that each one speaks to the historical experience of African Canadians in different parts of the country at different time periods. Moreover, each one tells a story of the important contributions Blacks made to Canada as pioneers, enslaved persons, explorers, citizens and settlers."

BC's Amazing Black Pioneer: Crawford Kilian's book Go Do Some Great Thing: The Black Pioneers of British Columbia tells the stories of Black settlers in British Columbia. Kilian has been revising the book for a new edition. In this The Tyee article he discusses Mifflin Gibbs: "Abolitionist agitator and a worker on the underground railway in Philadelphia. Shoeshine boy, boot merchant, and newspaper publisher in gold-rush San Francisco. First competitor with the Hudson's Bay Company in gold-rush Victoria. Builder of B.C.'s first railway, in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Victoria city councillor and acting mayor. Member of the Yale Conference that framed the terms of B.C.'s entry into Confederation. America's first elected black judge, in Little Rock, Arkansas. U.S. consul in Madagascar in his 70s, and founder of a bank on his return. He died rich in 1915, aged 94." Look for excerpts from the revised edition in upcoming issues of The Tyee and check Kilian's Pioneers blog.


Google for Educators

The Education Society -- Alliance of Alberta Education, Alberta Teachers' Federation, U of A Faculty of Education, Telus

eScrapbooking -- Here are some great electronic, educational, experiential, engaging strategies that combine photos, memorabilia, poetry, narrative, quotes, stories, and more. Sample projects included on the site.

Ever read Mental Floss? Try this online blog, Fun with Venn and Euler


CLA Copyright Press Conference - This 8-minute video press conference features Don Butcher, Executive Director, Canadian Library Association, who speaks up for the rights of average Canadian users which are ignored by the proposed new copyright legislation influenced by the Hollywood lobbyists and the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Writer/Illustrator Ian Wallace will be in town and is available for full or half days of readings on May 6, 7, and 8. Contact Meredyth or me for more information.

Julie Burtinshaw: In an email earlier this week, Rennie wrote, "If you would like a name for a terrific upper intermediate, early high school author visit, try out Julie Burtinshaw, a local author/presenter. She is very interactive with the students and well prepared. Some titles by her: Adrift, Dead Reckoning, The Freedom of Jenny, and a new one coming out for high school students called The Perfect Cut. You can contact her at or #604-878-7144." Or try her blog. Karen C adds, "The Freedom of Jenny ... is based on the migration of an African American family to California, then Victoria and then the Gulf Islands prior to and into the Civil War."
Serendipity 2008 First Nations Writers at the Longhouse

A Celebration of First Nations Writers and Illustrators of Children's Books
Saturday, February 23, 2008. 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
First Nations Longhouse, 1985 WEST MALL , UBC.
Registration, coffee and book sales 7:30-8:30 a.m. Program begins at 8:30 a.m.
For more information go to VCLR website --
This year, come to hear Leo Yerxa, author and illustrator of Last Leaf, First Snowflake to Fall , A Fish Tale, and Ancient Thunder; Richard Van Camp, author of A Man Called Raven and What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses?; Diane Silvey, author of The Kids Book of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada; Julie Flett, illustrator of Zoe and the Fawn and The Moccasins; Earl Einarson, author of The Moccasins; and Nicola I. Campbell, author of Shi-Shi-Etko.

TL Studio

Monday February 18 - Come jing and blog with us! Online registration -- or just come.

VPL "Speak Up 2008 Series: My Virtual World"
Tuesdays Feb. 19, 26, March 4, 11 at 7:00pm, VPL Central Branch.

The "Speak Up" website is not yet functioning, but you can find details by looking at the VPL Current Events Calendar. Here are the topics: Feb. 19: On-line Privacy; Feb. 26: Gaming; Mar. 4: Information Online; Mar. 11: Social impacts of our Virtual World.

TOC Training for Horizon and Library Operations - March 4 and 5 (2 parts)
Tell TOCs to sign up now online for this two-part training: Mar 4, Room 100 (Lab), VSB - Horizon Training; Mar 5, Moberly School Library - Library Operations.
They will need to attend both to get priority call-out for school libraries. Thanks, Denise and Gwen, for agreeing to present with David and me.

Spring Weeding - Feb 28, March 6 (2 parts)
See you at Dickens for two workshops, Thursday, February 28, and a week later on Thursday, March 6. Online registration.

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