Friday, February 20, 2015

Cannabis Pharmacy--a Book Your Library Needs...

Book Review!

Cannabis Pharmacy By Michael Backes

Michael Backes has done a great service by producing this wonderful book on medical cannabis.

His book covers a nice portion of material on cannabis and related subjects.  It is often hard to get all this material in one book.

Cannabis as medicine has a long history of usage.  

Here are the contents:

Contents of book.  Click image to enlarge.

This wonderful resource is broken into logical chunks of information for readers who want to learn about medical cannabis.  

Mr. Backes gives a great historical and social perspective on cannabis that is well-researched and is put in terms that the average reader can understand.

Adverse side effects are covered and explicated.

He then goes on to describe what makes the particular varieties of cannabis and shows a large sample of strains that have been developed by breeders.

Varieties of medical cannabis

He explains in detail the history, genetics and different types of cannabis strains and how they can be used to treat medical conditions. 

Strains of cannabis explained.

His notes and citations of different strains are profusely explained and the medical uses are broken out in handy little highlights.  

Disorders and other illnesses that can be treated with cannabis.
The notes and bibliography of this book are worth looking and and owning.  He even includes a handy glossary to help readers understand cannabis technical language.  

Book includes great notes.

I highly recommend this book for public libraries in states where cannabis is either medically legal, or recreational use is legal.  It would also be a nice addition to an academic library.  His writing is clear, cogent and to the point.  If you are looking for a primer on medical cannabis for your patrons--this book fits the bill nicely.  After July people will not need a medical cannabis card to purchase cannabis in Oregon.  I would anticipate that libraries will be getting questions on cannabis and also will be asked for resources.  Start building your collection now.  My local library is on it--that is where I found this book.  

Max with book from public library.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Article on Microagressions in Academic LIS

Racial Microaggressions in Academic Libraries: Results of a Survey of Minority and Non-minority Librarians


There is relatively little literature on racism within the profession of academic librarianship. To investigate academic librarians' experiences of racism, this research project uses the framework of racial microaggressions, which are subtle, denigrating messages directed toward people of color. According to the results of an online survey, some librarians of color have had racial microaggressions directed at them by their colleagues. Non-minority librarians, however, are unlikely to recognize these disparaging exchanges.


  • Academic libraries;
  • Racism;
  • Diversity;
  • Racial microaggressions

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Memories From a 10 Year Old

The glass comes between our love.

My hand reaches for the father that is gone.

"No touching allowed!" 

Orange jumpsuits?--they have been putting us in those things long before Guantanamo.

A long row of desperate communication to my left and to my right.

I pick up the industrial black transceiver so we can talk.

‪#‎Jail‬ ‪#‎NewJimCrow‬

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


[We welcome this week's guest post from Da` Lyberri-Ann]

By: Da’ Lyberri-ann

So another Midwinter has passed and like red carpet season, our new literary award winners have been announced with great fanfare. Facebook was filled with selfies and group pictures of committee members proud of a year’s hard work and accomplishments. As a librarian I should feel giddy and excited. New books are winning awards for outstanding literature in many different categories. As a children’s librarian I should be pulling out rolls of golden stickers to note these books of honor and proudly promoting them to my community. But I am not excited or proud. I’m upset. Disappointed. Dare I say “pissed off?”. Why? it is because again I see that although #blacklivesmatter for sound bites in the news, it doesn’t result in actual change.  

At the risk of pointing out the pink elephant in the room I’ll tell you why: The Caldecott committee didn’t have any people of disadvantaged minority status. Or to be blunt: No Blacks, No Hispanics, No Native Americans served on the Caldecott this year. Again.

[There were two people of color on this year's Caldecott Committee: The chair, Junko Yakota and Lucia Acosta]. 

And to be honest I am sick of it! 20 people on the committee: 16 women, 4 men, one of Asian ancestry, and .. thats it. 19 white folks and one token Asian! WTF!!!! A committee that is supposed to find the best picture books in the nation didn’t have a single Hispanic! For crying out F****in’ loud, how hard is it to find a Hispanic children’s librarian in a country with over 30% of its population Hispanic?

Honestly how hard is it to find a Black children’s librarian to serve on  this committee? Now I know the excuses and they are bulls****. Minority ALA members pay dues, they are  active in the organization but are repeatedly blackballed, and denied access to the very committees that will result in a change in ALA structure.  When was the last time a book about a Black or Hispanic child won the Caldecott? ….. I’ll wait. ( you had to google it, admit it) And that proves my point.

Black and Brown.jpg

It is not enough that the CSK (Coretta Scot King) award exists. If #blacklivesreallymatter and #brownlivesmatter we need to acknowledge in mainstream awards that the stories of their lives are significant. It’s like a Black musician being happy their album won the BET awards. It’s all well and good be acknowledged by your own, but true change happens when your music crosses into the mainstream and wins a Grammy.  I know what some of you are thinking: Viva Frida was honored! And a that book about the slave poet in 2011… it was honored too. It is significant that the books are acknowledged right?

B4CSlIuCMAEKxe1.jpg large.jpg
2009 Newberry Honor Book

Not anymore.  I am sick of books about minorities earning second place. I am sick of the message that they are good enough for CSK but not for Caldecott. I am sick of the message that the stories are not worthy of a mainstream audience.  And until I see consistent Black and Brown faces on the committees I will not see this change. So I won’t be  supporting this racist situation by marketing the Caldecott winners to my Black and Brown library users. #Blackbooksmatter.

belpre_medal.jpg  CSK_gold_watermark.jpg

Pura Belpré
2015 Author Award Winner
I Lived on Butterfly Hill, written by Marjorie Agosín, illustrated by Lee White and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
Pura Belpré
2015 Illustrator Award Winner
Viva Frida, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards
2015 Author Award Winner
medium_020115 ALA Midwinter411179 (1).JPG
“brown girl dreaming” published by Nancy Paulson Books, published by the Penguin Group, Penguin Group (USA) LLC

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards

2015 Illustrator Award Winner

020115 ALA Midwinter411170_1_0.JPG

“Firebird” written by Copeland and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, published by the Penguin Group, Penguin Group USA

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lowriders In Space (Book Review)

How do we get kids to read--especially those that appear to not be interested in reading? 


 The answer is:  find relevant material that the reader can empathize with and that the reader can understand.  

Back cover of book

An adventure making something out of the best of what you have is something ANY kid can empathize with, but the subject matter is most definitely something young Chicanos can relate to and understand.  Cars, space, excitement and fun make this dynamic story a great read young readers.  

This is not to stereotype young Chicanos, we are far more diverse than lowriders, but many of us grew up in Lowrider Culture and love and understand this culture.  

The language and characters are fantastic, but rooted in Chicanismo.  

Cathy Camper and Raul The Third have developed friendly, characters who speak much of the vernacular I grew up with as a 3rd generation Chicano in CA.  

The artwork is done in a beautiful blue, red and black ink that is reminiscent of ballpoint drawings.  

Panel from book

2nd and 3rd generation Chicanos (Mexican-Americans) sometimes have a hard time finding reading material that meets the above criteria.   

We can readily find books addressing immigration on one hand, and on the other books on gangs.  

Chicanos are far more diverse than these categories and I love that Cathy Camper and Raul The Third have picked up on this and given us: Lowriders in Space!

Panel from book

Lowriders in Space is fantasy, but it is also culturally relevant and fun for young readers.  

I would recommend it for 4th grade and up.  

One of the interesting things about this book is that it has a glossary that breaks down chicano Spanish.  This is not only handy, but is also fun.

Panel from book

For an adventure that both boys and girls can relate to and enjoy check out Lowriders in Space.  

This book would make a great addition to a personal, an elementary, middle school, high school, and college libraries as well as any good public library.  

Book Cover

Hurry and read this volume--another is on the way.

Age Range: 8 - 12 years

Grade Level: 3 - 7

Series: Lowriders

Paperback: 112 pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books (November 4, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1452128693

ISBN-13: 978-1452128696

Price:  $9.99

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Lowrider Literacies and Fluencies* 10 Point Program 2015

Lowrider Literacies and Fluencies* 10 Point Program 2015

1. Technology: We demand free access to technology and technology instruction, training and applications that meets our community needs.

2. Mechanics: We demand free access to mechanical technology and instruction. By this we mean we want motor vehicle, heavy equipment and other mechanical training and access that meet our community needs.

3. Reading: We demand free access to books that meet our needs. By needs, we mean: Cultural, Political, HIstorical, Language, Social, Psychological, and Health needs. We also demand books in a variety of formats.

4. Writing: We demand free access to writing and publishing technologies as well as the instruction to become fluent with them, and the ability to apply them to our needs.

5. Critical Political Analysis: We demand free access to critical political science analysis instruction, training and applications of this critical thinking to our needs.

6. Social Community Literacy: We demand free access to instruction, training and the application of social and community service and self-development based on our needs.

7. Human Development Health: We demand free access to instruction, training and the application of sound human development principled based on our needs and applied to our communities. 

8. Logic: We demand free access to instruction, training and the application of logical analysis and fluency for community members in both informal and formal logic.

9. Self-Defense: We demand free access to instruction, training and the application of self-defense principles, techniques, weapon training, tactical training and the history of self-defense based on our needs.

10. Ends: Educational sell-determination that leads to political self-determination is the goal of all the preceding literacy points.

*Any marginalized individual or group that seeks to mitigate oppressive forces on their community can apply Lowrider Literacy and Fluencies. One need not own a lowrider, nor be Latino.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

ALA Task Force Seeks Your Input on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion was created in the spring of 2014 by then ALA President, Barbara Stripling.  The Task Force is currently in the information-gathering phase.  To aid with information gathering, it has launched a series of short surveys to be conducted at times to coincide with the ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences through 2016.  These surveys are designed to help understand the culture of the association, the profession, and our communities with respect to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The first survey presents the Task Force created definitions of equity, diversity, and inclusion and asks individuals to consider ALA’s current alignment to those definitions.  The survey can be accessed at and responses will be collected through February 16, 2015.  ALA members and nonmembers are encouraged to participate.  The final, analyzed results of the survey will be reported on by April 2015 via the Task Force's ALA Connect community and distributed through various ALA channels.
Please take a few minutes to answer the survey, which should take no more than 7 minutes to complete. “Embracing and celebrating diversity, and creating a more inclusive profession have been long-standing goals of the American Library Association.  With your help, we hope to ensure these values are upheld,” said Task Force co-chairs Trevor A. Dawes and Martin L. Garnar.
The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s charge is to develop a plan and strategic actions to build more equity, diversity, and inclusion among our members, the field of librarianship, and our communities.  The most important Task Force outcome is the public and honest conversation generated by its plan and recommended actions.  The final Task Force report will include recommendations for ensuring that a continuing focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion is embedded throughout the ALA organization.
Questions about the survey can be sent to the Task Force at  Should technical issues arise, please contact the ALA Office for Diversity at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5048.


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