For the meantime, allow me to share with you a snippet of the interview. This is with permission from Prof. Igor, of course.
To start off, when you choose a storybook for acquisition, for referral to parents, or recommended reading for kids, or for use in storytelling... Are there any criteria involved? I mean in terms of institutional / environmental concerns? Individual concerns? Thematic drives? Things like that.
Of course there will always be criteria, especially when selecting books for children. The criteria I set for the selection of children’s books vary in terms of context, purpose and function. Form or genre is also important. I think these are my blanket or conceptual criteria: context, purpose, form and function.
Context would be the readers or the intended audience. Purpose is the why of the book. Function is the what is it for of the book. Form is the genre, media, technology or literary trope. The book is, in itself the form, or the technology. So I would further categorize them as picture book, graphic novel, middle grades book, chapter book, YA novel, hybrid books, etc.
Of the four, it is context that is at the top of my list. I value my readers.
Who are my readers? Why am I selecting books for them? Why this book at this particular stage of their development? What is the book for? Of what use is the book in their lives, in general? How will this book matter in their lives? How will it affect them? What are its possible effects or impact? These are some of the questions I ask myself when selecting, recommending and acquiring books for children.
These questions are latched on learned concepts and principles in Reading Education, Developmental Psychology, Media Studies, Information Literacy, a formalist’s stance on selecting and reviewing of literature, and Ranganathan’s 5 Laws of Librarianship, especially laws 1, 2 and 3. Books are for use. Every reader his/her book. Every book its reader.
Lastly, there is CULTURE. CULTURE is everything.
It’s not a criterion, but a bigger concept where in the four criteria fit in and the disciplines merge and combine. It is a great challenge to select and acquire books for kids in communities where reading, book and library culture are very weak.