REFORMA Newsletter - ALA Annual 2018 Edition
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President's Column
Chapter Updates
Adult Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews
Young Adult Book Reviews
Letter From the Editor
La Opinion
Teaching Adolescents How to Evaluate Online Resources

An essential part of online research is the ability to critically evaluate information. This includes the ability to read and evaluate its level of accuracy, reliability and bias. When we recently assessed 770 seventh graders in two states to study these areas, the results definitely got our attention. Unfortunately, over 70 percent of their responses suggested that:

  • Middle school students are more concerned with content relevance than with credibility.
  • They rarely attend to source features such as author, venue or publication type to evaluate reliability and author perspective.
  • When they do refer to source features in their explanations, their judgments are often vague, superficial and lack reasoned justification.

Other studies highlight similar shortcomings of high school and college students in these areas. From my perspective, the problem is not likely to go away without intervention during regular content area instruction.

So, what can you do to more explicitly teach adolescents how to evaluate the quality of online information?

1. Dimensions of Critical Evaluation

First, talk with students about the multiple dimensions of critical evaluation. Making reasoned judgments about the overall quality of information on a website benefits from clear definitions and discussion of these dimensions:

  • Relevance: the information's level of importance to a particular reading purpose or explicitly stated need for that information
  • Accuracy: the extent to which information contains factual and updated details that can be verified by consulting alternative and/or primary sources
  • Bias/Perspective: the position or slant toward which an author shapes information
  • Reliability: the information's level of trustworthiness based on information about the author and the publishing body

Read the Full Report.

The Importance of Diversity


For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/08/2014


Joanna Ison
Program Officer for Projects & Partnerships
Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

CHICAGO – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announces the release of a new white paper, “The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children” written for ALSC by Jamie Campbell Naidoo, PhD, and adopted by the ALSC Board of Directors on April 5,2014.

The white paper explores the critical role libraries play in helping children make cross-cultural connections and develop skills necessary to function in a culturally pluralistic society.  The paper calls for libraries to include diversity in programming and materials for children as an important piece in meeting the informational and recreational needs of their community.

“It is more important than ever that our public libraries ensure access to high quality children’s materials and programming that reflects our plurality,” said Starr LaTronica, ALSC president. “This paper examines the need for children to grow up reading books that not only reflect a mirror to their own culture but also allow for a window into the cultures of others.”

At the end of the paper the reader will find a comprehensive list of diversity resources, online collection development resources, awards for culturally diverse children’s literature, multicultural children’s program resources and more.

ALSC encourages librarians to print and share this resource with their colleagues and community. The paper can be accessed and downloaded from the ALSC website at:

About ALSC
ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC visit

Our Sponsors
Women Are Like Chickens
by: Judith Falzon



A fun, frothy, at times, bittersweet novel of Chicana womanhood. Sisters Alex and Lea and their friends live with brio and angst in a close-knit California community. The two sisters are born and reared in the family's restaurant business. As mere teenagers they are thrust into ownership of the restaurant. Happily and improbably they are wildly successful. Their restaurant becomes a destination for California foodies (a clientele their mother dismisses as 'los otros.').

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Candidate for National REFORMA Chapter Representative
by: Monica Lopez



My name is Monica Lopez and I would like your vote for REFORMA Chapter Representative for the following areas: Washington, Orange County, Puerto Rico, Northwest, Heartland, California Gold, and Bibliotecas para la Gente. I am an active member of the Orange County Chapter in California; one of REFORMA's founding Chapters.

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KNOWLEDGE RIVER, Awarded FY 14 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program
by: Gina Macaluso



Knowledge River is pleased to announce that it has been selected as one of the 23 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian (LB21) grants totaling $7,437,595 given by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Recipients are matching these awards with $3,614,714 in non-federal funds.

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3rd Annual Latino Literacy Roundtable A Success
by: Patricia Montiel-Overall, Ph.D.



The 3rd Annual Latino Literacy Roundtable was another successful event. The event was held on March 14, 2014 at the Arizona Historical Society. Members of the Tucson community joined faculty from the University of Arizona, students, and parents to discuss Digital Literacy.

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Yuyi Morales, Meg Medina win Pura Belpre Awards
by: Macey Morales



Yuyi Morales, illustrator of "Nino Wrestles the World," and Meg Medina, author of "Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass," are the 2014 winners of the Pura Belpre Illustrator Award and Author Award, honoring Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children's books.

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Viva La Tradicion
by: Camila Alire



Viva La Tradicion- Premio Hilos Culturales 2000-2012 is a pictorial/biographical book that illustrates an important part of a living American heritage- the Hispanos in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. It offers a unique insight and understanding of an artistic genre that is little known beyond the upper Rio Grande region.

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Chapter Representative Nominee Statement of Purpose
by: Rene Bue



In 1996, Rene Bue graduated from UW-Madison with a BS double major in Psychology and Latin American Iberian Studies. She also received a certificate in Chicano Studies. At that time, she never imagined she would be working in a library.

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