REFORMA Newsletter - Fall 2018 Edition
Madeline Pena

Just in time for JCLC, the newest edition of the REFORMA Newsletter is out! I want to thank the Newsletter / Editorial Team and everyone who contributed content for this wonderful issue.

News Articles
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

The Power of Communication
by: Madeline Pena



It is my honor and my pleasure to serve as your president in a time when there is so much hope and excitement about REFORMA's future. I'm very fortunate to work alongside outstanding REFORMA members who are serving in the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors and who volunteer with committees, task forces, and local chapters. I'm inspired by their professionalism and their efforts to fulfill REFORMA's mission. Read more...

REFORMA Newsletter - ALA Annual 2018 Edition



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.').

Read Mas!