Quality Resource: CCBlogC

This is not the first time I’ve referenced the CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Center), nor will it be the last; however, this is the first time I’m highlighting CCBlogC.

The CCBlogC is a blog showcasing “Observations about books for children and teens from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center.” It is hosted by the CCBC librarians and is filled with reviews of newly released literature. Check it out if you’re looking to stay informed about great books that have recently been published.

The latest book-of-the-week highlights The Lost Kitten, a picture book; meanwhile, a recent favorite of mine they highlighted the first week of August was The First Rule of Punk, a book for the middle grades (ages 9-12).

Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

When you realize classic books are racist

PBS recently aired a clip of Grace Lin talking about:

What to do when you realize classic books from your childhood are racist 

There are SO many books that fall into this category and many times people don’t even think about it because the book is so familiar and beloved to them.

Next time you’re reading books from your childhood, or even earlier in time, take a critical eye and evaluate the words AND illustrations contained within the story. You have the freedom to read what you choose. Please, please, take the time to discuss the topics within these classic stories with the people in your life.

If you’re interested in more resources of how to talk about these issues please email me, happy reading!

Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: American Indians in Children’s Literature

American Indians in Children’s Literature is a blog that is maintained by the amazing Debbie Reese. Her site is full of highly useful information regarding children’s literature that is by or about American Indians. She started the blog in 2006 and since then has become a go-to source for many librarians and educators when it comes to the evaluation of books including American Indians (or representations of sovereign nations and peoples).

Some highlights of the resources you will find while visiting AICL include:

Plus, I even made her blog back in 2013 thanks to Debbie video-chatting with our Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums (TLAM) class at the Information School @ the University of Wisconsin – Madison with the post, Indigenous Knowledge and Children’s Literature.

Have a wonderful day and happy reading!

Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: The Climate Reality Project

The Climate Reality Project began in 2006 when, “Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore got the world talking about climate change with the Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth. It was just the beginning of a climate revolution, and later that year, he founded The Climate Reality Project to move the conversation forward and turn awareness into action. The Climate Reality Project is a diverse group of passionate individuals who have come together to solve the greatest challenge of our time. We are cultural leaders, organizers, scientists, and storytellers, and we are committed to building a better future together.”

The mission:

To catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society.

The wonderful part about this project is that it completely relies on you, and me! The resources available will assist you in learning what you need to know in order to go out and education your friends, neighbors, classmates, colleagues, elected officials, and anyone else you’re approaching.

You can download the “Truth in Ten” slideshow as well as the “Make it a Reality: Action Kit” at:


Finally, I’ll have a learning guide ready focused on climate very soon, please check back later and speak truth to power!

Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Last weekend I was able to watch An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power complete with a panel afterwards that even included Al Gore himself! I appreciated the story grounded in truth, hope, and possibility, as well as the cinematography of the film itself. We all need to fight like our world depends on it, because it does.

Though this documentary is a follow-up to the 2006 An Inconvenient Truthit is its own story. As in, the prior film is not required viewing before watching this latest installment; however, I would of course recommend both of them to see what has happened in just the last 10 years.

In terms of learning…

Pairing An Inconvenient Sequel (2017) with Before the Flood (2016) would make for some amazing discussions and creative future planning within any middle school, high school, or adult learning group. Both of these documentaries have wonderful resources via their websites (linked below). In addition, I’m working on a learning guide that will incorporate both films that should be ready soon! Please email me if you’re interested in its progress.

Check out these website resources to learn more about our climate and what you can do:

Thanks for reading and happy learning!

Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Wind River

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Wind River complete with a panel after the screening that included Gil Birmingham (actor), Jeremy Renner (actor), Elizabeth Olsen (actor), and Matthew George (producer). I didn’t really know what to think coming into the movie other than the fact that it was from the same writer as Hell or High Water. This was definitely one of the most memorable movies I’ve seen recently and truly hope it receives nominations for Academy awards. Moreover, I couldn’t help but think of the movie Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner as I left the theater. Congrats to writer Taylor Sheridan on integrating so much into one cohesive story line.

One of the central issues within the film is murdered and missing Native women. This is an issue far too few people are even aware of here in the United States but is none the less ever present. Some of the articles  and resources I’ve found helpful include:

In addition, learn a little bit about the Wind River Indian Reservation, the namesake of this film, by starting with their website. And, take a moment to learn about the tribes and native peoples nearest to you.

If you do plan on seeing Wind River, the movie, please take this film’s rating of “R” into consideration. Official Trailer:

Thank you for your readership!

Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Students Rebuild

In December of 2016 I posted about Students Rebuild and wanted to follow up on this thanks to the summer reading theme of Build a Better World in our public libraries.

There are lots of great ways to extend our children and youth’s ideas of what it means to build a better world in our homes, classrooms, and community centers locally. However, if you’re looking for something global…I can think of no better way to extend the theme of building a better world this fall than through participating in the challenges put forth by Students Rebuild.

Students Rebuild is a collaborative program of the Bezos Family Foundation and tackles some of the world’s most difficult problems, issues that one cannot affect alone, through challenges. They believe in coming together to make a collective impact and that every young person should have an opportunity to help others. Not everyone is able to fundraise but everyone is able to create simple, symbolic objects that the foundation matches with funding. They inspire young people worldwide to connect, learn, and take collective action on critical global issues.

The Youth Uplift Challenge was the most recent way for students to give back. For each hand created, the Bezos Family Foundation donated $1.90 (up to $500,000) to Save the Children’s programs in Indonesia and Nicaragua. Some quick facts:

  • 115,000 students took the Youth Uplift Challenge
  • Students from 28 countries participated
  • Over 250,000 hands were created with uplifting notes

The great thing about these challenges is that

Past challenges have included:

  • Healing Classrooms Challenge – students created pinwheels for youth in Syria
  • Flowers for Nepal – students created nonperishable flower garlands for Nepal
  • Literacy Challenge – students created bookmarks for children in Latin America, Africa, and Asia

Make sure to visit the website and sign up for their newsletter to learn what the next challenge will be!


Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: International Children’s Digital Library

Are you looking for a new source for online children’s literature that includes books from many languages?

The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the world’s children in becoming effective members of the global community by making the best in children’s literature available online free of charge.

Read their mission statement to learn more about why they do what they do and check out their “Using the Library” page to learn how to find just what you’re looking for!

Clicking “Read Books” will bring you right into their simple search feature and using the links below will bring you to a few of my favorites, great for projecting for an entire classroom or library 🙂

When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry

I SPY: A book of picture riddles


Remember, use your best judgement to assess the authenticity of the titles included, time period the book was published, and the audience they are intended for. Happy reading!

Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: Center for the Study of Public Domain

Are you interested in learning more about public domain? Check out Duke University’s Center for the Study of Public Domain.

What is public domain anyway?

“The public domain is the realm of material—ideas, images, sounds, discoveries, facts, texts—that is unprotected by intellectual property rights and free for all to use or build upon. Our economy, culture and technology depend on a delicate balance between that which is, and is not, protected by exclusive intellectual property rights. Both the incentives provided by intellectual property and the freedom provided by the public domain are crucial to the balance. But most contemporary attention has gone to the realm of the protected.

The Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School is the first university center in the world devoted to the other side of the picture.  Founded in September of 2002, as part of the school’s wider intellectual property program, its mission is to promote research and scholarship on the contributions of the public domain to speech, culture, science and innovation, to promote debate about the balance needed in our intellectual property system and to translate academic research into public policy solutions. The Center’s Faculty Co-Directors are James Boyle, David Lange, Arti Rai and Jerome Reichman. Its Director is Jennifer Jenkins. The Center is supported in its operation by a generous founding gift and by grants from foundations.” (Website, 25 June 2017)

Best of all (in my opinion of course), this center is home to the ARTS Project that analyzes the effects of intellectual property on cultural production, and is supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. This is the place that publishes comics to teach about aspects of intellectual property including:

Theft: A History of Music

Bound by Law

Enjoy learning more or beginning your learning on public domain!

Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Resource Curation and Learning Guides

Are you, your colleagues, or friends looking to learn about a particular subject? Are you trying to find the best resources for your students for them to do a research assignment?

Sometimes curated lists and learning guides are the best way to go. An open search on your favorite engine (most likely Google) doesn’t always lead to the best items. Why not have you or your students work from a list of links, videos, and additional resources that has been preselected by a librarian? I’m able to make a timeline of events (as shown in the second link below) or simply curate resources for you.

If your school or community has a great librarian, awesome! If not, I’m here to help. Not sure what kinds of things I’m referring to? Check out a few examples. One aimed at students and one aimed at adults.

Scientists Learning Guide

Adult Learning Guide: Gun Violence

Simply email me (katelyn at circulatingknowledge dot com) about your topic of interest and we’ll work out an affordable option to make it happen!

Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez