News from Youth Services Category: Non-fiction

Black History Month: Inventors and Scientists

February is Black History month*, and all month long we’ll have displays about Black excellence in a variety of areas. First up we have Scientists and Inventors! You can come into the library and check out items from the display or go to our reading recommendations page and place a hold!

image of a display of books on the theme of Black Scientists and Inventors
close up of the book Mr. Crum's Potato Predicament

I particularly love the book Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament, the story of how George Crum invented the potato chip to satisfy a restaurant patron who couldn’t get a fried potato that was thin and crispy enough for his taste!

* “Black History Month, also called African American History Month,  monthlong commemoration of African American history and achievement that takes place each February in the United States. It was begun in 1976.

The idea for a Black History Month was first conceived by the historian Carter G. Woodson and members of his Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History). Together they organized a Negro History Week, beginning in February 1926. They selected the month of February for this celebration because it was close to the birthdays of U.S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln, who had been responsible for the Emancipation Proclamation, and the African American orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.”

“Black History Month.” Britannica Library, Encyclopædia Britannica, 8 Feb. 2021. library.eb.com/levels/referencecenter/article/Black-History-Month/475396. Accessed 31 Jan. 2022.

Diverse Books for Your Classroom

We recently held a program titled Diverse Books to Share With Your Classroom for educators in our community. Thousands of books are published every year, making it hard sometimes to keep with all the great new titles that could be used in classrooms. Library staff are happy to help by narrowing down the choices and sharing the best of the best with teachers.

We have booklists and curriculum resources for you to keep and use and share with your colleagues. Clicking that link will automatically download a zip file with all the resources.

This program was actually suggested to us by a member of the school community. If you have any other ideas for ways we can support you in your teaching, please get in touch and let us know!

The Tulsa Race Massacre

This spring marks 100 years since the thriving Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sometimes called Black Wall Street, was burned down and many of its residents were killed in what became known as the Tulsa Race Massacre. While this is not an easy subject to discuss with children, acknowledging and learning from this violence in our history is important for all Americans to grapple with. These books are best shared and discussed with older children.

The New York Times has also published an interactive article that shows 3D renderings of what the Greenwood District likely looked like before it was destroyed. Survivors of the massacre also testified in Washington D.C. about what it was like to live through such an experience.

snapshot of books about the Tulsa race massacre