Sunday, January 28, 2007

Kidlitosphere: Koffee Klatch or Key Klub: Revisited

When Fuse8 shared some of her musings about her Newbery experiences last week, a series of comments appeared in response. Several from an anonymous soul by the initials KT. The gist of KT's comments? That Kidlitosphere bloggers did not have the credentials, gravitas, or ability to articulate a decent criticism necessary to be taken seriously. Understandably, many K-Sphere bloggers launched an immediate defense in a volley of posts. What I found terribly disturbing was how quickly the credentials came whipping out - and how quickly there were phrases that implied that not all kidlit bloggers are worthy of consideration.

I had found the K-Sphere to be a welcoming, messy melange of a variety of people with a wide array of viewpoints and backgrounds - all brought together by a common love of literature written for children and teens. A little nirvana on the web. The implication of it becoming a "resume first - contributions allowed after inspection" universe touched a raw nerve in me and I posted a vitriolic commentary here filled with what one respondent termed "righteous anger".

As a result of that post - now removed and replaced by this one - I heard from several others in the K-Sphere. Suffice it to say that they have restored my faith and then some. I appreciate their kindness and their comments.

So, what's my point here? That the K-Sphere is an amazing place - unique and wonderful - and one that operates by its own set of open-ended "rules". Let's not be bullied into defending the very existence of such a marvelous universe! Let's celebrate instead and continue to keep our welcoming spirit alive. We're here because we share a common love. That's enough, friends, that is more than enough.


Sheila said...

Well said! The kidlitosphere is wonderfully diverse and amazingly egalitarian. I love that I can be involved in this wonderful community and converse with librarians, booksellers, teachers, parents, authors, publishers, and others, all who share a love of children's lit.

Jen Robinson said...

I'm all in favor of celebrating the kidlitosphere. Thanks for your post! And just for the record, I have no credentials to speak of in children's literature - my background is in engineering and software. But I have a strong love of books, and the dedication to post about as often as I can. I also love to visit other children's book blogs, and comment, and all of that. And that's all that's been required to be part of the community. I find it a great place to be.

cloudscome said...

I agree completely. I think anyone who takes the time and trouble to blog about kid's books that they have read and have something to say about is in the "K-sphere" as you called it. I like that term; it sounds cool and is easier to type LOL.

Sonja said...

It never even occurred to me to question anyone's "credentials" in the K-sphere. I was too busy being enthralled by their reviews and excited to read the books they were recommending!