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Jose Alvarez

Live Curious, Go Beyond the Answer

Mr. Alvarez is from Venezuela, he has been working in Libraries for over a decade now and is still perplexed at the possibilities that digital content can offer to research and literacy. He  still reads more in print though, and usually tells people that "I  don't see how one trend can't coexist with the other". He is looking forward to share an interactive platform that can be accessed 24/7 by our entire community.

Areas of expertise: Open Ed. Resources / Database Research

    Twitter Handle: @AsfmHub


Reviews from our Professional Collection

posted Apr 28, 2016, 8:18 AM by Jose Alvarez   [ updated Oct 20, 2016, 8:59 AM ]

Are you an strategic teacher? Do you think athletes are born or made? Paul Revere's "midnight ride" was also done at the same time and with the same results by a fella by the name William Dawes, why is it that nobody knows who he is? Check out our reviews, even better, check out the books! We want to invite you to explore our professional collection and share your favorite reads with our learning community.  

Want more? take a look at the entire collection

Is less really more? Or how did I mercilessly weeded the Library collection in order to boost our check-out numbers P1

posted Apr 6, 2016, 8:54 AM by Jose Alvarez   [ updated Apr 15, 2016, 11:42 AM ]

This is an experiment, backed by a hunch, and some research or course. The hypothesis is simple, by discarding material that has not been checked out in a while I will have enough space to display the existing material that is of current interest + the new incoming material.  Good all standard wedding procedures right? wrong. I am not trying to trim

here, I am burning to the soil.

When I first arrive at the international school I currently work at 6 years ago the collection was on her way to being "exemplary" in both age and size of the collection according to the Texas Library Association; this standards selected due to our proximity to this State I presume. The Age standard will evidence that the overall age of our collection would be no older than 10 years while  the size will refer to the number of copies available to patrons, which is 17 per person. For two years I order and weeded, systematically discarding and replacing, until the magic numbers were reached. There was only one issue, my patrons were now reading less.

So for two years I continued the tradition of keeping my shelves stacked with new titles, replacing old and damaged copies for newer editions, displaying an exemplary collection and promoting it through school & community activities. Lots and lots of those. I mean, every month we were either organizing reading/writing  based competitions or hosted literary events. We invited authors, we did book talks and movie clubs. We had contest, prizes, meals, costumes, games; and we were sure that if we got tem in the library they would find something to take home with them. We were wrong.   

Haiku Academic Research class available online

posted Jan 29, 2016, 9:26 AM by Jose Alvarez   [ updated Jan 29, 2016, 9:30 AM by Cory Austen ]

Haiku Academic Research is a class specifically designed to help students use academically approved research tools and avoid plagiarism. The haiku class includes videos, examples and links to online research and MLA formatting, there are also contact links for 24/7 online help. This Class is divided in 4 different pages:

- Destiny Catalog Research

- EBSCO Database Research

- MLA Citation Made Easy

- MLA In-Text Citation

This class is meant to be a comprehensive support guide for students, it is by no means finished. I will keep including pertinent content based on needs so suggestion are highly encouraged. 

If you are a student simply sign in to your account and in your portal page you will find the class under EXTRAS.

If you are a teacher Click on the LIBRARY category next to MY CLASSES and you will be able to use the Resource.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at

Tyrone and the story of the first Banned Book Week

posted Oct 2, 2015, 11:16 AM by Jose Alvarez   [ updated Oct 2, 2015, 1:53 PM ]

What do Maya Angelou, Anne Frank and Doris Day have in common? Well, Tyrone (our mischievous  book challenger) has poster of all three of them in his bedroom. And that is because they where the original "Three Prisoners", a display of chained books that the American Booksellers Association use to gain attention to the spreading practice of banning books in the United States of America. That was 1982 in Anaheim California, September. Thousands of editors, authors, publishers and booksellers where shocked by this unprecedented gesture of repression, the birth of a stand. The first list compiled in 1983 had 404 titles in it.  Last year still over 300 books where reported, and more troublesome perhaps is the fact that an estimated 70 or 80% of challenged or banned books never gets reported. So celebrate your freedom of choice, read a banned book. 

Maya Angelou / I know Why the Caged Bird Sings "It preaches bitterness and hatred against whites"

Anne Frank / The Diary of Anne Frank "A real Downer"

Doris Day /  Doris Day: Her own Story  "The content is shocking in light of Miss Day's All-American Image"

Top ten frequently challenged books lists of the 21st century

Tyrone Moves On, from Children's Books to Graphic Novels / Banned Book Week day IV

posted Sep 30, 2015, 9:00 AM by Jose Alvarez   [ updated Oct 1, 2015, 1:24 PM by Brian Hamm ]

The graphic novel genre has evolve from a few frames on the Sunday's paper to an evocative format that is as descriptive and poetic as the best pen.  Have you heard the expression "A picture is worth a thousand words"? If you agree with it you may want to explore or 741.5 shelve (Dewey's Classification Number), We have currently over 1500 titles in our school, making our collection the most extensive and general in all Mexico (Yes, we did check those facts).

Our favorite grumpy, self-proclaimed literary erudite & moral police may get his Ban freak on as he explores some of the frequently challenged titles that he insist on calling "comics".

Blankets by Craig Thompson

• Location of key challenge: The public library in Marshall, Missouri

• Reason challenged: Obscene images

Bone by Jeff Smith


• Location of key challenge: Independent School District 196 in Rosemount, Minnesota

• Reason challenged: Promotion of smoking and drinking

In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

• Location of key challenge: Various

• Reason challenged: Nudity

• Location of key challenge: Pasadena Public Library in Pasadena, California

• Reason challenged: Anti-ethnic and unsuited for age group

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

• Location of key challenge: Various

• Reason challenged: Profanity, violent content

Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon

• Location of key challenge: Various

• Reason challenged: Sexual content

Sandman by Neil Gaiman and various artists

• Location of key challenge: Various

• Reason challenged: Anti-family themes, offensive language, and unsuited for age group

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

• Location of key challenge: Various

• Reason challenged: Unsuited to age group

Want to find more?

Banned Book Week 2015 / The Case Against Uncle Shelby

posted Sep 30, 2015, 8:55 AM by Jose Alvarez   [ updated Sep 30, 2015, 9:03 AM ]

Shel Silverstein, an American performer, cartoonist and writer  translated in over 30 languages has long been under the hateful scrutiny of seriously (no sense of humor) concern parents that weight heavily on "vile, morbid, profanity filled poetry that subliminally glorifies Satan, suicide, cannibalism and clearly portrait an anti-parent agenda".  

For those of us who want to swing in giving trees, who seek a light in the attic that never dims and know that the sidewalk only ends to begins again. By the way, did you know that song from Johnny Cash called "A Boy name Sue" ? it's a cover, yup, now you know from who.

A Light in the Attic 

Challenged obviously for

1985 "Encourage children to break dishes so they won't have to dry them"

1986 "Behavior abusive to women and children, suicide as a way to manipulate parents, mockery of god"

1987 "idealizes death"

1989 "Very vile"

1992 "Morbid"

1993 "Promotes horror and violence"

1996 "Dreary, and negative"


1986 In anticipation of parents complains

1989 "Exposing children to the horrors of suicide in the poem "Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony"

1992 Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony strikes again 

Where the Sidewalks Ends

Challenged obviously for

1983 "Anti Christian and parental and School authorities" 

1986 "Glorifies Satan"

1987 "Contains sexual situations"

1993 "Someone ate a baby"


1986 Upon the recommendation of a review committee

1989 "Bad taste"

1990 Inappropriate for young readers

The Giving Tree

1988 Locked away at the Boulder Public Library because the LIBRARIAN considered it SEXIST. Believe it or not.

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009... How many have you read?

posted Sep 29, 2015, 9:40 AM by Jose Alvarez   [ updated Sep 29, 2015, 9:54 AM by Brian Hamm ]

Find out where you at and help spread the freedom of choice

At Least 10: They where at home in the Shelve

20some: Mischievous Reader

Between 20 and 50: Cultivated Revolutionary

More than 50: Dangerously Open Minded Scholar 

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling

2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell

5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz

8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman

9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers

12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey

14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

16. Forever, by Judy Blume

17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous

19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

20. King and King, by Linda de Haan

21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar

23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry

24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak

25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan

26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison

27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier

28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson

29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney

30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier

31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones

32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya

33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson

34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler

35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison

36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris

38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles

39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane

40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank

41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher

42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi

43. Blubber, by Judy Blume

44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher

45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly

46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey

48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez

49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey

50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan

52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson

53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco

54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole

55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green

56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester

57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause

58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going

59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes

60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle

62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard

63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney

64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park

65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien

66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor

67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham

68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez

69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen

71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park

72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison

73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras

74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold

75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry

76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving

77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert

78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein

79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss

80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck

81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright

82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill

83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds

84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins

85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher

86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick

87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume

88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger

90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle

91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George

92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar

93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard

94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine

95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix

96. Grendel, by John Gardner

97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende

98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte

99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume

100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

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