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The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, children’s literature experts, publishers, education and library school faculty members, and other adults committed to improving and ensuring the future of the nation through exemplary library service to children, their families, and others who work with children.
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26. #alaac15 When I Worry for No Reason @ ALA

The Pride Parade really made me a Nervous Nelly today!

Okay, we have known it for a while that ALA also coincided with San Francisco’s pride parade. And this made me incredibly nervous. I am a planner and when I can’t plan for things it makes me uneasy. But I was so surprised on how easy it was -at least for me- to get from all my ALA plans and more importantly back to my across market street hotel! Thank you BART stations for easily making me walk UNDER Market Street!

All my worry was for nothing! It was less of a big deal and more of an interesting walk through a parade of color and happiness. How often do you get to do that?!

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27. #alaac15 Prescription for Reading Success

I attended the session “Early Learning in the Library: Tools, Partnerships, and Promising Practices” and was enthralled with the information presented by the guest speakers, who were grantees in the IMLS program. Since 2013, IMLS has funded $8.5 million in early learning projects in communities nationwide.

One of the most interesimls_rx_pad_imgting? A partnership that is brewing with the national organization Reach Out and Read. Pediatricians in the Reach Out and Read network routinely distribute books to babies during well visits – but the IMLS partnership looks to have pediatricians “prescribe” a visit to the library as well, so young families are encouraged to continue to read and share books with their young ones. Click here for more information, and to view the contents of the “Prescription for Success” toolkit.


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28. Sunday at #alaac15

What a great day at the Annual Conference! Some of the highlights of my day included:

  • Because we have a children’s librarian position open in my library, early in the day I made my way over to the Convention Center for the ALA JobLIST Placement Center’s Open House/Job Fair. It was a well attended event and I had the opportunity to talk with a dozen job seekers. What a great opportunity for job seekers and libraries needing librarians of all types to connect!
  • Babies Need Words Every Day: Bridging the Word Gap as a Community offered a panel discussion about the importance & support methods which could be used to enhance the exposure of children to language; this was preceded by a presentation about Too Small to Fail. They shared information about how to motivate behavior change among adult caregivers for children, and the need to shift cultural norms about the early literacy importance of talking, reading, and singing to babies and toddlers. Several ways this can be done include having trusted members of the community, such as pediatricians and children’s librarians, speak to (and model for) parents & grandparents about the importance of talking, reading, and singing to their kids. Too Small to Fail’s open source information – which is intended to enhance existing efforts in libraries and communities around the country – is available at talkingisteaching.org. Their work will continue to evolve based on ongoing research.
  • Stopping in at the Children’s Notable Book Discussions left me with a reading list of “must reads,” serendipitous meetings with old colleagues & friends was pleasant , and watching snippets of the Gay Pride parade as I walked back to my hotel brought tears to my eyes. (It was just so JOYFUL!!!)

And now it’s time to get ready for the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder celebration which will take place later tonight. It’s been a great day in San Francisco!

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29. #alasf2015 Babies Need Words Every Day

I attended the Babies Need Words Every Day workshop this afternoon. The Babies Need Words Every Day program is designed to help parents and caregivers understand the importance of talking to their babies.

The workshop offered attendees a chance to learn more about this initiative and ways other communities are already creating partnerships with local agencies to get the word out in hopes of increasing children’s exposure to language.

Go to here for more information. There you will find downloadable posters, book list brochures, and soon a media kit.

Sing those nursery rhymes!



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30. #alaac15 From my one moment of non- chaos on the Exhibit Floor

I am always overloaded on the exhibits’ floor. Look! Over here is Books. And over there is a cool new product that could perhaps change my life! There are authors and galleys and exciting deals-oh my! I have a limited about of room in the extra suitcase I brought empty( yes I did that). But it so wonderful to see and actually read what is coming next. There are so many passionate people here- librarians, vendors and publishers alike. I love the excitement of finding something great that really is special. I hope to find many of those today and tomorrow!

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31. Artist’s Alley at #alaac15 is Amazing!

The Artist’s Alley is one of my favorite areas of the exhibit hall.  While there, I met many artists and writers of popular graphic novels.   On this aisle are items for readers of all ages.  Here is a virtual tour of some of what I saw.  There were free comic books featuring

G-MAN by Chris Giarrusso. Matt Phelan had teachers’ guides for his fantastic graphic novels. Kip Noschese was sharing his work in Otto & the Grand Prix Bees. First Comics was there with Tales of the S.S. Junky Star.  You can read a review of it here.  I picked up an advanced reader’s copy of The Creeps: Night of the Frankenfrogs by Chris Schweizer.  I met the artists and writers of Teen Boat, Oddly Normal, Kid Beowulf, The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, A Brief History of Everyday Objects, Princeless and Graphic Classics Vol. 22.  The last thing I did was pick up a copy of the  CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook for 2015.  I had a great time.  I hope you enjoy the virtual tour, and browsing the selections.  


Angela Chadbourne

Youth Services Librarian

Santa Clarita Public Library

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32. Scholastic Literary Event #alaac15

1435514698140Jennifer A. Nielsen reads from her book, A Night Divided with help from fellow authors, Alex Gino (George) and Edwidge Danticat (Untwine).

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33. Caldecott & Newbery & Wilder speeches

I know that lots of folks don’t have a ticket to the banquet tonight. Many times I’ve not gone to the banquet. But in case you didn’t know, you can go in later and listen to the award speeches. Around 8:30, you can come in and sit in the back and see the awards bestowed and hear the acceptance speeches. Details HERE!  Now, why on earth, you might ask, would I make my way over to a hotel, at 8;30 at night, and sit in the back of a big room to listen to a couple of folks talk? Here’s why: Last night I got to hang out with Dan Santat. Bring your tissues, folks. As a member of the 2015 Caldecott Committee, the heartfelt appreciation from Dan is so evident. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say tonight. And I really do expect that Kwame Alexander is going to wow us as well. And you’ll get to hear Donald Crews. How can you not go?

So if you love books, if you know in your heart that sharing books with children is the best thing we can do for our world, then come share in the love that will be swirling around in that room tonight.

See you there!

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34. What’s a preview like at #alaac15?

Granted, this one was fancier than most!


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35. Listening in on Notable Children’s Books #alaac15

Yesterday, I had a random free hour in my day (what?) and I decided to stop by the Notable Children’s Books discussion. It was so inspiring to hear such intelligent, funny and thoughtful librarians critiquing some of the most interesting books of the year. If you’re at ALA, I would recommend listening in on their discussion. They meet from 1-4 today and 1-4 tomorrow in room 3022 W at the Moscone Center. If you’re at home, just go read Sidewalk Flowers (by Jon Arno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith). Then read it again and talk to all your favorite people about it. This will get you closer to replicating the Notable’s experience!

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36. Giving Every Child a Fighting Chance #alaac15

There was hardly a dry eye in the audience following Saturday’s screening of the new PBS documentary, The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation. This illuminating film featured moving testimonials from families living in poverty or just barely getting by due to the high cost of quality childcare. The film included facts about the critical brain development that occurs during ages 0-5, and how many children in struggling families are missing out on access to stimulating and education-rich environments and opportunities. Instead, stress (in the form of cortisol) is passed on from parent to child, which leaves a lasting imprint on the child’s development and functioning. This stress follows him or her into adulthood…setting the scene for a cycle that can continue for generations.

Clocking in at about an hour, the documentary was extremely powerful and will provoke libraries–and anyone who cares about nurturing a nation of strong, smart, and independent children–to carefully consider ways we can work together as a community to level the playing field for all children. As the film points out, that moment almost came in 1971, when Congress passed a bill for universal childcare and developmental services for young children. Unfortunately, Nixon vetoed it. Imagine the ways this country may be different today had those services been available for all these decades. Isn’t it time for that change to happen now?

Resources at the panel included:

The Raising of America Web site – Features clips from the documentary series, resources, and ways to take action. The documentary DVD was released in June 2015 and will air on public television soon (time TBD).

For Our Babies – A national movement focusing on efforts to support children age 0-3. A book, For Our Babies: Ending the Invisible Neglect of America’s Infants by J. Ronald Lally, is available and a suggested book club choice and conversation-starter.

Early Learning 2.0 with Families: Enriching Library Services for Families – Co-presenter, the California State Library, offered information on the ELF (Early Learning with Families) initiative. Through ELF, California libraries may receive training and resources to support family-friendly and developmentally appropriate services to aid families with children ages 0-5.

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37. #alaac15 My Committee Time

Committed to Committee Work

When you go to Annual while on a committee, that is your priority. This year as I sit in super secret meetings I can help but think about the time and effort that goes into ALA Annual! There are tons of committee meetings in tons of spaces all over the Moscone area. The planning must be intense. As I sit here on break from my first committee meeting, I think of everything else happening at ALA right now. There are other committee meetings. People are swarming the exhibits. Librarians are conducting programs and board meetings. It is such a well- oiled machine that is moving 20,000+ librarians around the very busy city of San Francisco this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing more of the conference after my meeting, but it is so nice to be in an environment that is planned out and full of happy people.

But back to committee work–

So far I have spent hours going over material for this committee and we are still accepting applications until October 31. All this time going over and over what I think is the best of the best is now being challenged by other people who think about things differently. Annual isn’t the down and dirty committee meetings; we are saving those for Midwinter in snowy Boston. But Annual is the time to meet fully with my committee and work together. Hours and hours ( and hours and hours) I have spent working on going over material and now there are other people who have been doing the same stuff. People who understand that this has taken over part of my life because it is taken over part of their lives too.

I’m sure we will disagree and spend time going over and over the merits of material. I am sure that we will do it again at Midwinter. But just thinking about the time- the commitment- that goes into being a member on a book award committee is really mind blowing. There are tons of librarians doing the same thing we are- picking the best of the best. This whole year process will lead us to a lovely list of book winners come January 11 and I, for one, cannot wait to see what we all choose.

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38. Going out tonight? #alaac15

My friend, Susan, and I went to four evening events tonight and they were all inspiring and unique.  The first one was a birthday party for Stink.  Did you know he is 10 years old?  Meghan McDonald was there signing a couple of Stink books along side some beautiful cupcakes, chips, salsa, guacamol, soft prezels and ice cream!  It was quite the party!  Came with party hats and all.

Next up was the Penguin Book event with 4 illustrators.  All I have to say is, “Wow.”  If you haven’t already read, “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt dela Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson, go and get it now.  Judy Schachner has a new book out called, “Dewy Bob” about a cute raccoon.  Wow!  “Night Animals”by Gianna Marino is a gorgeous book about animals in the night who are afraid of the nocturnal.  It is beautiful and uses black in a very extraordinary way.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the place when Loren Long spoke about how “Little Tree” came to be.  This book tells the story of a little tree that has a hard time letting go.  We can all relate to this either by thinking of sending our kids to kindergarten, driving for the first time, college or in my case, sleep away camp. You won’t be disappointed if yourself a copy when it comes out.

Susan and I headed up to the “We Need Diverse Books.” We had fun seeing friends and chatting with authors.

Finally, we went to see Ashley Bryant honored at a dessert party.  He recited poems by Langston Hughes with a couple of them done responsively.  It was beautiful and a great way to end the evening.





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39. Random Radness @ #alaac15

A funny thing happened at the Metreon food court…some friends and I were admiring a woman’s Rad American Women A-Z (City Lights Publishers) tote bag. We just couldn’t resist going up to her and asking “Where did you get that amazing bag?” She said, “I have a family connection.” A few minutes later, Rad American’s illustrator, Miriam Klein Stahl, walked up to us and we were introduced. In a Wayne’s World type moment, we all felt “not worthy!” Ms. Stahl was super gracious and nice, and gave us a stack of Patti Smith stickers. Just goes to show that ALA Annual is always full of surprising and lovely random moments….

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40. Bookmobile author lunch #alaac15

One of my favorite things about ALA is hearing authors talk about what they love. And they love books! Saturdays at ALA are all about Bookmobiles– my favorite! This year I went to the Bookmobile author lunch because not only do I love bookmobiles, but Mac Barnett was the special guest. He’s charismatic, endearing, and funny. A perfect speaker. He’s not only passionate about libraries and librarians, but he works with a non profit group to provide access of writing programs for youth. The front of all the 826 buildings (in Brooklyn, LA, Oakland) is a novelty shop with kid friendly themes like pirate booty, time travel goods, and superhero loot!

What kid wouldn’t want to enter? I know I did. He understands and aims to cultivate the innate curiosity of children. He spoke about his own childhood obsession with secret doors, and there are plenty of silly secrets in these spaces for children.
The best secret of all is that adults are there who want to listen to what they have to say, and will give them the tools needed to explore their dream writing/ creative projects. That information is powerful. And it should be a secret!

After the lunch Mac and his collaborative bestie, Jon Klassen signed their books.

Going to a more private and paid event like this can afford you one on one time with hot authors. ALA can get pricey, but this experience was worth it. BTW- if you’ve never read any Mac Barnett– I recommend Count the Monkeys or Guess Who? Both are hysterical reads for kids and adults!

Amy Steinbauer, Early Childhood Outreach Librarian from Beaumont, CA. Follow her @Merbrarian.

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41. Surf’s Up with Kwame Alexander


Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander and his lovely daughter have some fun in support of his upcoming picture book, Surf’s Up at #alaac15.

Great fun, and champagne, too!

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42. Listening in at Notable Recordings at #alaac15

This afternoon, I got the chance to do something I have long wanted to do at an ALA Conference: I sat in on the Children’s Notable Recordings Committee meeting. Anyone is welcome to sit in and listen to the meetings as this committee discuss the nominated children’s recordings.

The entire list of titles that the Committee will be discussing during the Annual Conference can be found online.

Like Notable Books, the Notable Recordings discussion follows the CCBC Discussion Guidelines by introducing the book first, sharking positive comments, and then sharing concerns and criticisms. As the introduction, a committee member had determined a clip from the recording to be played for the entire committee. This might be part of a track on a music CD or a portion of an audiobook. It seems like committee members tried to choose a portion that would reflect strengths of the book (i.e. a particular song they liked, a section of the audiobook that shows off the narrator’s skills at voicing characters, etc.). As an observed, I appreciated the clips as samples of some of the audiobooks being published this year. I want to seek out some of these recordings to listen to the whole thing!

In addition to the story, committee members must consider:

  • Narration, including the skills of the narrator and any flaws (such as audible breath sounds)
  • Sound effects and music included on audiobooks – are they the appropriate volume? Do they match the tone and illustrations of the book?
  • Page turning signals (on picture book audiobooks) – do they leave enough time for a child to take in what’s on the page? Do they leave too much time?
  • Liner notes – do they include lyrics? Do they include background information about music from around the world?

These are all items I gleaned from about an hour of sitting in on the discussion. I know there is much more that goes into their consideration of children’s recordings. This is a really meaningful discussion to tune into, especially since many committee members have listened to these recordings multiple times and made copious notes for items to discuss.

If you have any interest in improving your skills at evaluating recordings or want to keep up with what’s new in children’s music and audiobooks, stop in at a Children’s Notable Recordings Committee meeting!

— Abby Johnson, Youth Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN

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43. Celebrating at #alaac15

This conference is all about the parties!

See, having served on the 2015 Newbery Committee, the past few conferences have been all about work. At the 2015 Midwinter Meeting, my committee was locked in a room together most of the time and many of us departed for home soon after the award announcements were made.

At this Annual Conference, we get the chance to come together again to celebrate all the hard work we did this past year. And it has been a blast (with more to come!).

Photo by Abby Johnson

Photo by Abby Johnson


Last night, Penguin (publisher of Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming) and Abrams (publisher of Cece Bell’s El Deafo) invited the 2015 Newbery Committee for a celebration of our Newbery Honor winners. As you can see above, they provided copies of the winning books for us and we had the opportunity for the authors to sign them. We were given a fabulous meal and the chance to chat with many of the folks – authors, editors, marketers – who are involved in the lives of these books.

The celebrations will go on for the rest of the weekend! Tonight, the Committee has been invited to a dinner celebrating 2015 Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander and, of course, the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder Banquet will take place on Sunday.

As it was said last night, “We are all part of these books’ stories.” It’s been such an honor for me to serve on the Newbery Committee. It’s time to celebrate.

— Abby Johnson, Youth Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN

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44. Recognizing Our Amazing Live Bloggers #alaac15

2015 Annual ALSC Live Bloggers

A big thank you to all of my colleagues who have already had the opportunity to post about the conference so far. There’s been so many good posts! This is my first and I just wanted to acknowledge how hard these people work. Live blogging is a great way to spread the lessons of the conference far and wide.

This was the first year that our blog manager, Mary Voors has convened a live blog meet up at today’s Leadership & ALSC program. The picture above shows a good portion of those individuals. What a great crew! I look forward to reading all of their great posts throughout the rest of the conference!

Photo courtesy of ALSC

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45. Kids Comics Have Arrived session at #alaac15

What an awesome session with Cece Bell (El Deafo), Jennifer Hold (Babymouse and Squish) and Matt Maihack (Cleopatra in Space)! Hope you can read my handwriting!


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46. #alaac15 One miracle moment after another

I walked into the Harper Collins breakfast this morning and stood in line for the galleys. After loading up my bag with way too many great books…never can resist a good book… I headed to the buffet line and found myself talking with strangers and soon-to-be new friends. I did the nametag check to see if I knew them…nope… so I asked the husband if he is an author and he said no…he’s married to an author…and that author turned out to be Rita Garcia-Williams…YES… I WAS standing there getting my eggs and honeydew with THE RITA GARCIA-WILLIAMS..and she was telling me all about the new book she is working on …a high-low… with another plot line that just gives you goosebumps… she is such a gift to the world of children and books.

Left there and found myself walking along the sidewalk with Deborah Taylor who is getting the Coretta Scott King lifetime achievement award tomorrow morning. She was headed to the Margaret A. Edwards award ceremony where the one and only Sharon Draper was receiving her award.

Headed to the exhibits and found myself being introduced to Louis Sachar at the Random House booth… what does one say to the man who has written a book that has turned so many reluctant readers on to books?

Walked a few steps and was told Nikki Grimes was signing three feet away from me…had to go talk to her…I fell in love with her storytelling when I read Bronx Masquerade a decade ago… and now I hand out her Dyamonde Daniel books three times a week…thank God they are on the shelf.

The chance to meet these amazing human beings is one of the reasons I love coming to the conferences. You get a chance to tell them in person what a difference they make in the lives of so many children. Little miracles all.

It’s just noon…. I wonder what the afternoon will bring?

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47. Sometimes it’s not all about the kids

I’m attending many ALSC sponsored events at #alaac15, but sometimes it’s not all about the kids. This fangirl is joining the throng waiting to hear featured speaker Sarah Vowell!

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48. #alaac15 Storytime from Space… the book is goin’ up!


“What you cannot imagine, you cannot do!” says astronaut, Alvin Drew.

Just had lunch with Andrea Beaty, author of Rosie Revere, Engineer…and…. wait for it….her book is going up to the International Space Station… to be a read-aloud… by an astronaut … and videotaped… YES YES YES…we are about to see astronaut (librarians in space) doing read-alouds in space!!! WOOHOOOO! Book launches around the end of November or early December. AMAZING!!!!  Yep…the book is goin’ up!!!!

Here’s a link to Storytime From Space! http://storytimefromspace.com

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49. Ignite Session at #alaac15

This fast paced session featured a panel of 6 speakers. Each speaker had 5 minutes to present with 25 slides. These slides can be accessed on the conference website. Here’s a quick recap of the presentations from this morning’s session.

What eCommerce Can Teach Us about Discovery: Lessons from SXSWi 2015
Using ideas from other industries and thinking about how they apply to libraries. The example used was fashion.

Not Another Sad Gay Love Story
Terms for gender identities were briefly defined. Notable publishers, authors, and series in LGBTQ lit were listed. Titles mentioned were mostly adult and YA.

Diversity Action Plan
Presented by Jason Low from Lee & Low Books. He talked about the ways Lee & Low is hoping to attract diverse people to get into the publishing industry, as well as how to encourage diverse authors and illustrators.

Here It Is, Your Moment of Zen
A hilarious presentation about the graphic elements of book displays. Jesse talked about the power of communicating through visuals. He encouraged librarians to create displays that are short, timely, funny, and interesting.

Adventures in Preschool Science
Introducing inquisitive preschoolers and their caregivers to STEM at the library is important. It’s also important to teach caregivers to talk about science with their children so that learning continues beyond the library session. Tips on modeling for caregivers on how to ask questions to encourage exploration and critical thinking skills.

Let the Wild Rumpus Begin: Beyond the Library Echo Chamber
An invitation to get out into the community and exchange ideas with patrons to be an Information Enabler. Take your passion out in the community so that the library has a voice and so you can have a deeper conversation about information needs.

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50. #alasf2015 A funny thing happened at the store

There is so much going on at #alasf2015, that a couple of times I’ve had to take a break from all the noise and confusion of the conference. There just is so much happening all at once that at times it is a bit too stimulating.

The first time I took a break I sat in the lovely Yerba Buena Gardens and watched the world go by. The breeze felt great.

The second time was when I got something to eat at Whole Foods. I was checking out and made a comment about visiting from Maine and guess what? My cashier was also from Maine! Not only was she from Maine, but she grew up in the town right next to mine! When I told her where I worked she said her family uses that library all the time. How cool is that?

We chatted a bit about books and reading versus watching movies, gaming and electronic devices. It was really nice and made my experience here at #alasf2015 all the more enjoyable.

It really is a small world.

And, then I met political cartoonist and author, Derf Backderf (My Friend Dahmer) As he drew his autograph in my ARC of his newest book Trapped, we chatted about how drawing can help some people make sense of the world.


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