Thursday, January 23, 2020

Teen/Tween Thursday: Black Eyed Susan Awards

Black-Eyed Susan Awards

group of teens cheering

Contributed by LaShawn Myles, Youth Services Librarian

The Black-Eyed Susan Award honors outstanding picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels.  Each year 15 picture books, 10 chapter books, and 10 graphic novels are nominated for the award.  Students in the state of Maryland vote for the winning book in each category.

How it Works

Students may cast one vote for the book they consider to be the most outstanding book in each of the categories. All votes from schools across the state of Maryland are submitted to the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award committee to be tallied in order to determine the winners. The winning authors and/or illustrators receive an award engraved with the book title, the year, and the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award logo. Authors, illustrators, and publishers recognize the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award as an honor bestowed by Maryland student readers. 

Voting Ends: April 25, 2020

Where to Vote

With your school’s librarian or you can submit your vote here: 


  1. To participate, students must read, or have read to them, a minimum of 4 of the 15 picture books nominated. Based on the premise that picture books are for everybody, there are no grade level restrictions.
  2. To participate in Grades 4 through 6, students must read, or have read to them, a minimum of two of the nominated books.
  3. To participate in Grades 6 through 9, students must read, or have read to them, a minimum of two of the nominated books.
  4. To participate at the high school level, students must read a minimum of three of the nominated books.

Picture Book

  • Ben-Barak, Idan – Do Not Lick This Book: *It’s Full of Germs
  • de la Pena, Matt – Carmela Full of Wishes DB092621   BR022483
  • Doerrfeld, Cori – The Rabbit Listened
  • Fogliano, Julie – A House That Once Was
  • Higgins, Ryan T – We Don’t Eat Our Classmates! DBC16370   BR022390
  • Kerascoet – I Walk with Vanessa: a Story About a Simple Act of Kindness
  • Le, Minh – Drawn Together
  • Lilly, Elizabeth – Geraldine BR022615
  • Messner, Kate – The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs
  • Montgomery, Sy – Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home
  • Pimentel, Annette Bay – Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon
  • Rex, Adam – Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
  • Wade Stef – A Place for Pluto
  • Wallace, Sandra Neil – Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery DB090207
  • Woodson, Jacqueline – The Day You Begin BR022673
  • Grades 4-6
  • Auxier, Jonathan – Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster DB093737
  • Bowling, Dusti – 24 Hours in Nowhere DB093527
  • Connor, Leslie – The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle DB092524   BR022555
  • Creech, Sharon – Saving Winslow DB094323
  • Fleming, Candace – Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen
  • Magoon, Kekla – The Season of Styx Malone DB092720
  • Mass, Wendy & Rebecca Stead – Bob DB090947
  • Oppel, Kenneth – Inkling  DB092960
  • Swanson, Matthew & Robbi Behr – The Real McCoys  
  • Yang, Kelly – Front Desk DB091215

Grades 6-9

  • Alexander, Kwame – Rebound   DB092794
  • Dee, Barbara – Halfway Normal  DBC16283
  • Greenwald, Tommy – Game Changer DB095657
  • Hood, Susan – Lifeboat 12
  • Key, Watt – Deep Water
  • McAnulty, Stacy – The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl DB090950
  • Rhodes, Jewell Parker – Ghost Boys DB090875  BR022276
  • Saeed, Aisha – Amal Unbound DB091665
  • Stone, Tamara Ireland – Click’d  DB091551
  • Swanson, James L. – Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin  DB090082   BR022191

High School

  • Benway, Robin – Far from the Tree  DB089587
  • Donne, Alexa – Brightly Burning  DB091433
  • Johnson, Maureen – Truly Devious DB090251
  • Krosoczka, Jarrett – Hey, Kiddo  
  • Mathieu, Jennifer – Moxie  DB090111
  • McGhee, Alison – What I Leave Behind DB091162
  • Ribay, Randy – After the Shot Drops DB091542   BR022401
  • Slater, Dashka – The 57 Bus DB089757   BR022221
  • Zappia, Francesca – Eliza and Her Monsters  DB090014
  • Zoboi, Ibi Aanu – Pride  DB093056

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Tech Tips: Alexa Skills

Tech Tips: Alexa Skills

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Specialist

alexa show 10

Alexa now has a skill that will allow specific Echo devices to identify products that you hold in your hand, such as “a can of sweet peas” or “green beans.” The skill called Show and Tell is only available on the Echo Show 10. Consumers need to be aware that there are other versions of the Echo Show, but the Show and Tell feature does not presently work on those models. You will also need a little practice learning to hold products within the camera range to get adequate feedback from the device.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Marylandia: Update

Marylandia Collection: Update

Contributed by Mary Ramos, Assistant Director

Marylandia Boiler Plate

The Marylandia Collection is produced by the LBPH Recording Studio. This collection includes books by Maryland authors and select regional authors and books of particular interest to Marylanders.  The Marylandia Collection is available for download through Braille & Audio Reading Download (BARD).  

January is Braille Literacy Awareness Month in honor of Louis Braille, born January 4, 1809, who originally developed the braille code of reading using raised dots. To celebrate, we are highlighting a newly available braille title, the 2019 Maryland Humanities’ selection for its One Maryland One Book program. This book is also available in digital audio format as DB 92227.
BRL 00003 – What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, by Mona Hanna-Attisha
In 2014, when the state of Michigan shifted the source of its water supply to the Flint River, citizens began complaining about the water quality. After initially believing state officials, the author – a pediatrician – soon realized that she needed undeniable proof to stop the lead poisoning. In this book, Dr. Hanna-Attisha details this fight of her life. Four volumes.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Free Teleconference: 8 Nutrition Tips to Lower Your Cancer Risk

Free Teleconferences Focus on Healthy Living and Financial Literacy

Contributed by Ashley Biggs, Marketing & Outreach Librarian 

Man sitting on bench listing to phone; teleconference series, partnered with UME

The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) and the University of Maryland Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences department are pleased to announce that they will jointly host a yearlong teleconference initiative focused on healthy living and financial literacy.

The Family and Consumer Sciences division of the University of Maryland Extension Office focuses on strengthening families, communities, and the economy by focusing on the importance of food, agriculture, health, and financial education.

Examples of upcoming teleconferences include, but are not limited to:
  • Intuitive Eating: A Non-Diet Approach to Health
  • Cancer Prevention through Nutrition
  • Vitamin D: What You Need to Know
  • Superfoods for the Brain
  • Understanding Your Financial Health

These programs are free and open to the public; however, registration is required. The teleconference number, event materials, and other items will be sent to the email address used at the time of registration. 

Visit for more information. 

The second of these events is:

February 12, 2020; 8 Nutrition Tips to Lower Your Cancer Risk
February is National Cancer Prevention Month! Did you know that every year, nearly 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with some form of cancer? About 20 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the United States are linked to diet, excess weight and inactivity. Eating a healthy diet, including the types of foods and how much you consume, can affect your lifetime risk of developing certain cancers. Join Beverly Jackey, a Registered Dietitian, to learn about the link between diet and cancer, receive some recommendations to lower your cancer risk, and learn how to put these cancer prevention recommendations ‘on your plate.’ Please note, registration is required. to receive the access code, recordings, and any documents pertaining to the call. Register here:

Monday, January 13, 2020

MAT Program: Upcoming Event

MAT Program: Upcoming Event

Contributed by Joseph Beckett, Program Coordinator for MAT

MAT Program boiler plate: girl looking at camera; text states MAT provides accessible college textbooks to Maryland students

The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, the Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and the Maryland Accessible Textbook program is pleased to extend an invitation to:


A hands-on workshop for graduate students, college students, or high school juniors and seniors who plan to attend college.

Date:  January 20th, 2020
Time:  10:00 am – 3:00 pm (lunch provided)
Place:  Meet at the Jernigan Institute, 200 E. Wells St. Baltimore, MD 

This workshop will help students answer such questions as:
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of PDF files, Word files and audio files?
  • What is ePub3 and how can I use it?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Kindle Books?
  • How do I use VitalSource?
…and more

The workshop will be directed by Amy Mason a renowned assistive technology trainer.  Successful students such as Kathryn Webster, President of the National Association of Blind Students will share their experience about obtaining accessible materials.  
Sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind, National Federation of the Blind of Maryland and the Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

RSVP by by calling Qualik Ford 301-312-9813 or email him at

Monday, January 6, 2020

MAT Program: Update

MAT Program: Update

Contributed by Joseph Beckett, Program Coordinator for MAT

MAT Program boiler plate: girl looking at camera; text states MAT provides accessible college textbooks to Maryland students

As the Maryland Accessible Textbook program enters the next the calendar year, its focus, in addition to textbook conversion and accessibility, will turn to technology and consultation to college and university staff interested in methods of applying technology and technological accommodations for student success.

According to the latest data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, of undergraduate students self-reporting a disability, 11% reported having a learning disability. Enrollment statistics also listed by the NCES found that 20.4 million students were expected to attend an American college or university in the fall of 2017, meaning more than 200,000 students entering college have a learning disability.[i] Unfortunately, only 17% of college students with learning disabilities take advantage of learning assistance resources at their school.

In the fiscal year 2017, 14,892 undergraduate students and 1,154 graduate students were registered with their institutions' disability services office as students with disabilities. These students represent 3.5% of all students enrolled in the fiscal year 2017. [ii] This number is steadily increasing as more students are seeking necessary accommodations.

Common Learning Disabilities
  • Dyslexia - Connected to reading abilities
  • Dyscalculia - Associated with difficulties in math
  • Dysgraphia - Resulting in specific learning disabilities in writing
  • Auditory Processing Deficit - Characterized by a struggle to understand and use auditory information
  • Visual Processing Deficit - A weakness in taking on and using visual information
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder - Characterized by high degrees of distraction or hyperactivity

Aforementioned, The Maryland Accessible Textbook program will remain focused on providing services to students with print disabilities but will research and review technology that demonstrates possible multiple applications. We are excited by what we may discover!