I am Malala, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Terrorism

I am in the middle of reading I am Malala, in which Malala Yousafzai tells her story of being shot by the Taliban. She tells of when the Taliban first came to Swat, which is the tribal region she is from in Pakistan, and how they took control of everything. They were terrorizing everyone and it reminded me of the Nazis.

During my time reading Malala’s book I also read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the book their is a new teacher  who wants control. Her ways reminded me of the Taliban and the Nazis.

It is interesting that no matter who or where they are people who want power follow the same cycle.

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Response to ‘Office Hours’: The Livelong Day

In response to Michael Stephen’s column “The Livelong Day“. I noted that information literacy teaching needs to start before college if we want students to graduate the skills they need for a lifetime:


It is interesting that students graduating from universities and colleges are not equipped with the information literacy skills they need once they graduate, but it is not surprising. When I took my searching classes in the Library Technician Program at Seneca College I had this aha! moments when I finally learned how to find the information that I needed. I kept wondering “why did someone not teach me  this before?”

I think that to lack of information literacy skills in university and college graduates goes back to the K-12 level where the disconnect between the library and the classroom starts. Some teachers have the assumption that students should just naturally know how to search and evaluate resources. This is not true!

Classroom teachers, university and college professors and (school/academic/public) librarians need to start to bridge the gaps between the ‘traditional’ teachers and the librarians who know how to teach the information literacy skills which will serve students for a life time.

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The Strange Library

Since my decision to read more of the world I’ve spent time at several books stores looking at literature from different countries. About a week ago I come across interesting book call The Strange Library by Japanese author Murakami. And indeed the whole book is strange. The book is a quick read and has interesting plates from different archives. After finishing the book I thought too myself “How strange: I wonder if all Japanese books are like this or just this one?”

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Glorified Nature

Thinking back to my post about Last Child in the Woods and how the book glorifies nature. While I do believe that nature is valuable and it is important to take time in nature there is another side of nature that we do not always think about: the truth that we can enjoy nature because at the end of the day we go back to our warm comfortable homes with electricity and running water.

This is not the case of everybody. In Roughing it in the Bush Susanna Moody wrote about how she left the wealth and privilege in England to settle in the backwoods of Upper Canada. While at first Moody saw beauty in nature, she soon came to realize the harsh realities of her new home. Water did not come from a well, but from the creek. There was no house on their property, so it needed to be built. Comfort was not easily come by. Moody wrote that eventually she came to love Canada, but did not at first.

I stand by my belief that nature is something that we should value and not fear, but at the same time we need to be sure that we do not glorify it too much. I for one, would not like to live in a time and place where people lived in the forest with few creature comforts and few companions other than black flies and mosquitoes.

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NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

While reading through NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman I come across a section where he talks about a group of people with autism, who like people in the deaf community, want to be identified as being autistic instead of being called people with autism, because autism is not something that one should be ashamed about, nor something that you can separate from a person. They want autism to be seen as something that is a strength and not a deficit.

This idea brought me back to when I was training to be a library technician. We were told that a person is always a person first. They are not their disability. There for we should say: a person who is blind, not a blind person; a person with diabetes, not a diabetic; etc.

Reading about the autistic people in Silberman’s book made me rethink how we should approach how we refer to people. Is it really possible for a person to be separated from their disability? If we call someone a blind person or a diabetic or autistic are we really implying that they are only their disability or medical condition?

I do not have the answers to this questions they are only thoughts, but they are something as librarians and a as society as a whole need to consider.

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