Wednesday, October 24, 2018

An Author Book Signing Event : Philadelphia BIG 5 by Martin Earl Smith

Book will be for sale!

In the "City of Brotherly Love," there are few things taken as seriously as local bragging rights. In a city that lives and dies with its sports heroes, basketball is no exception. This volume traces the lore and history behind Philadelphia's Big 5, an informal basketball league that features five of the area's most prestigious colleges: LaSalle University, Temple University, Saint Joseph's University, Villanova University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Formed in 1955, the Big 5 pulls teams from the Ivy League, the Big East, the American Athletic Conference, and, in the case of both LaSalle and Saint Joseph's, the Atlantic 10. With a round-robin format, each team plays the other once and best record takes home the trophy. In a sport that has become a nationwide sensation, the spirit of Philadelphia lives on, led by the most loyal and passionate fans in the world.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Meet Your Library Staff

Meet Your Library Staff: Marvin DeBose Sr. - Haverford Library Branch Manager & Adult Teen Librarian
By Administrator  Tue, September 18, 2018
In our ongoing series of blog posts highlighting our awesome staff throughout the Free Library of Philadelphia, today we take some time to speak with Marvin DeBose - Haverford Library Branch Manager & Adult Teen Librarian.
Marvin has been on the "In the Margins Book Review & Award Committee (ALA-ASCLA - LSYC)" for four years. The committee's mission is to seek out and highlight fiction and nonfiction titles (Pre-K through adult level) of high-interest appeal to boys or girls, ages 9-21, who may fit into one or all of the following categories:
  • Multicultural (primarily African American, Latino, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+)
  • Street culture
  • Restrictive custody
  • Reluctant readers
He is also a sought after speaker on the genre of Street Lit and Teen & Adult Programming, and reviews books and discuss library-related events on his personal blog,

What is your role with the Free Library of Philadelphia?
I serve as the Branch Manager & Adult Teen Librarian at Haverford Library at 56th & Haverford Avenue inWest Philly. I have worked at the Free Library since 2004, first as a Library Trainee through the “Growing our Own” program where I was able to receive my Master Degree at Clarion University. Before coming to the Free Library, I worked with inner city youth at Philadelphia Department of Recreation. In total, I have been employed by the City of Philadelphia for over 21 years.

What do you wish more people knew about the library where you work?
Our staff really takes pride in brainstorming program ideas to better serve the needs of our community.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?
Working with seniors in the community, because they have a great deal of knowledge and wisdom to offer. Many times, the Seniors are forgotten at the library but they are some of our most involved patrons. I really enjoy creating programs catered to them such as the Jazz, Chat & Chew, Senior Read Too Book Club, Urban Gardening, and my most successful program Philly Bop Dance Class.
What are you currently reading/watching?
I’m currently reading Philadelphia Politics from the Bottom Up – The Life of William McMullen by Harry C. Silcox, which discusses 19th century Philadelphia and an influential Irish politician who represented poor neighborhoods in South Philly. As far as television, I’m watching the new season of the Starz series, Power.
Where’s your favorite place to read in Philly?
I love to read on my patio at my house or in my car; it has to be outside and somewhere quiet where I can concentrate.

Do you have a favorite librarian or other Free Library staff member at your neighborhood library you think we should shine a spotlight on? Let us know in the comments!
Marvin DeBose - Haverford Library Branch Manager & Adult Teen Librarian
Marvin DeBose - Haverford Library Branch Manager & Adult Teen Librarian
Marvin dancing with a patron during one of his popular and well-attended Philly Bop Dance Classes.
Marvin dancing with a patron during one of his popular and well-attended Philly Bop Dance Classes.
Marvin poses for a pic with Solomon Jones and one of his best-selling books.
Marvin poses for a pic with Solomon Jones and one of his best-selling books.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Jarell Christopher Seay - Love and Laughter Foundation Back To School Community Fest.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The In the Margins Book Awards 2018

2018 In The Margins Press Release

Contact:  2018 Co-chairs:  Dale Clark or Susan McNair, In the Margins Book Award and Committee

Burnaby, BC – The In the Margins Book Awards Committee is excited to present the 2018 Top Fiction, Non-Fiction and Advocacy Awards for youth who are marginalized, on the streets, incarcerated, drug-addicted or struggle with combinations of these issues. The committee is comprised of librarians who currently work or have recently worked with youth in these challenging circumstances. Not only do we read and discuss the multitude of books that we consider, but have the unique experience of having young adults assisting us in selecting the books by reading and sharing their opinions with us. With all of the enthusiasm comments that these young people make, we have created a reading list that is unlike many others.
The fall of 2016 and 2017 brought an abundance of quality books appealing to the reading needs and wants of marginalized young adults along with books addressing the myriad of social issues faced by these youth. While this complicated our task of selecting the best books to recommend, it did lead to many passionate discussions, and all of us were thrilled by the number of meaningful books that filled our reading boxes.
We used our mission statement as our guide when deciding which books we would honor as our Top Ten. Mission Statement: To seek out and highlight fiction and non-fiction titles (Pre-K through adult) of high-interest appeal to youth, ages 9-21, that reflect marginalized and/or street culture with a preference for marginalized books (books that are self-published or from small independent publishers).

Our Top Ten List recognizes books that appeal to and reflect the marginalized youths’ daily lives and many are either self-published or small press books often overlooked by book awards. Our list of fifty-two additional books contains books with the same focus, but also includes titles from major publishers. The ITM Committee is seeking individuals who work with marginalized youth to be part of next year’s committee. Click here for a membership application.
In the Margins Official 2018 Top Ten List:
  1. Beacon Hill Writers. The Day Tajon Got Shot. 230p. Shout Mouse Press. March 2017. PB $14.80. 9780996927451.
  2. drake, rm. Broken Flowers: And Other Stairways to Heaven. 306p. Vintage Wild Publishing. October 2016. PB $15. 97809862791.
  3. Edwards, Peter. The Biker’s Brother. 256p. Annick Press. October 2017. HC $18.95 PB $9.95. 9781554519361.
  4. Goobie, Beth. The Pain Eater. 245p. Second Story Press. September 2016. PB $12.95. 9781772600209.
  5. Kowalski, William. Jumped In. 112p. Orca. April 2017. PB $9.95. 9781459816275.
  6. Medina, Tony with Jennings, John (Illustrator) and Robinson, Stacey (Illustrator). I am Alfonso Jones. 176p. Tu Books. October 2017. PB. $18.95. 9781620142639.
  7. Nelson, Colleen. Blood Brothers. 240p. Dundurn. February 2017. PB. $12.99. 9781459737464.
  8. Paslay, Christopher. White Flight. 260p. Independently published. September 2017. PB $6.99. 9781549803246.
  9. Porinchak, Eve. One Cut. 256 p. Simon Pulse. May 2017. 241p. HC $19.99. PB. $10.99. 9781481481311.
  10. Stinson, Taura, Stacey Debono (Editor), & Adhama Glenn (Illustrator). 182p. 100 Things Every Black Girl Should Know. Eat Write Hear, LCC. September 2017. PB. $25.00. 9780692914830.

Top Picks
Our top pick from the Fiction category is The Day Tajon Got Shot which addresses the current issue of police shootings and resonates very strongly with both our adult and young adult readers. This year, multiple books cover this crucial topic, but this title is unique in that it is authored by ten girls from Beacon House, a non-profit organization with outreach to at-risk children in Washington, DC, with each writing the role of a different character. The book is a riveting multi-layer account of a police shooting and its effect on a community and its residents, both black and white.

One Cut receives our top Non-Fiction award and has been a runaway success with our teen readers. This true crime book relates the story of a 1995 stabbing in California that left one teen dead and four more incarcerated. Along with accounts of the incident and trial, the book discusses failings in the juvenile justice system.
This is the fourth year ITM has presented the Social Justice/Advocacy Award, recognizing a book for adults that call attention to the concerns and needs of marginalized communities and individuals. 

This year’s winner, Juvie Talk, is comprised of excerpts of interviews with incarcerated juveniles from across the country that reminds us that these are our children. Our students in detention facilities are reading and discussing this book with each other, and adults will find it insightful.
Young adults are marginalized in many different ways: incarceration, homelessness, immigration status, addiction, and abuse. We strive to find books that will appeal to these youth and relate to their lives and situations. Like all of us, marginalized youth benefit from reading as an escape from their often harsh realities and also as an aid to help them clarify their problems. Our work with marginalized youth is both trying and rewarding and at its most gratifying when we make a connection with a student through a book. It is our goal that this list will assist you in selecting books that will touch the hearts, minds, and lives of the marginalized youth you serve.

Click here for all 3 sets of lists:

2017 Committee Members:
  • Dale Clark (Co-Chair), Teacher-Librarian Fraser Park Secondary, Burnaby Youth Custody Services, BC, Canada
  • Susan C. McNair (Co-Chair), Librarian Birchwood School, Librarian Birchwood School South Carolina, Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Wini Ashooh, Librarian Teen Specialist Central Rappahannock Regional Library Rappahannock, VA
  • Jeanie Austin, Teen Librarian San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA
  • Sabrina Carnesi, Doctoral Student & Adjunct Professor, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA