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<<November 2014>>
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Results 26 - 50 of 71,428
26. On the Road - Develop Your Inner Superhero

Image: Pixabay
I'm back in my old stomping grounds on the eastern side of the state where I worked for 22 years presenting a workshop on programming superhero-dom (told you I've been thinking about that alot!).

This workshop is sponsored by the Wisconsin Library Association - it was a donation to their foundation auction and Winnefox Library System snapped it up. It's a great way of giving back to our association and also encouraging everyone to become state and national association members because, you know, together we are stronger!

While it has a superhero theme, the workshop isn't an SLP workshop.

As I mentioned in my last post, while programming isn't all we do, it is certainly the most public and often the most pressured thing we do (from preparation to conflicting demands). Today we looked at strategies to program smarter and more effectively; the importance of balance and how to fairly meet the many needs of our public - and our funders. Creating a zen balance between service to all ages, finding time to recharge and plan, learning to get off the hamster wheel of constant programming and program shares were just some of what we explored.

What you couldn't be there? Drat! Well, there's a 6 week online UW-Madison SLIS course I'm teaching around the concepts in the workshop starting January 26 (registration is now open).

Here are the workshop resources that were shared with my colleagues:

Develop Your Inner Superhero Workshop Pinterest board
My general Pinterest boards  - (boards on different program types and samples)
Pixabay (free images)  
Struckmeyer, Amanda Moss.  DIY Programming and Book Displays: How to Stretch Your Programming without Stretching Your Budget and Staff. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2010.

A *Few * Favorite Programming Blogs:
Jbrary   (great resource list of blogs to explore!)
Mel’s Desk  (great resource list of blogs to explore!)
Kids Library Program Mojo (for a full list of fantastic program idea blogs AND great program idea posts- this is the class crowd-sourced blog from our spring CE course and has a ton of ideas from students!)

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27. Through the Woods: Stories by Emily Carroll, 208pp, RL: MIDDLE GRADE

Sadly, I am reviewing Through the Woods, stories by Emily Carroll a month too late. I bought this book back in July and Adam Gidwitz's  review in the New York Times in which he reminds us the children like to be scared, should have been another nudge to me. But, creepy ghost stories, especially the graphic novel kind, are good all year round, right? With my students clamoring for scary

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28. Guest Post: Sarah Fine, author of Of Metal and Wishes

Please welcome Sarah Fine, author of Of Metal and Wishes, to GreenBeanTeenQueen! Sarah Fine is the author of Of Metal and Wishes.

About the Book: Sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic, housed in a slaughterhouse staffed by the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor. Wen often hears the whisper of a ghost in the slaughterhouse, a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. And after one of the Noor humiliates Wen, the ghost grants an impulsive wish of hers—brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including the outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the ghost. As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen is torn between her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. Will she determine whom to trust before the factory explodes, taking her down with it?

The sequel, Of Dreams and Rust will be available in August 2015. You can find Sarah online at http://sarahfinebooks.com/

The Stomach and the Heart

“I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.” Those are the words of Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle, the book that influenced Of Metal and Wishes. Wait, you might be thinking. Isn’t Of Metal and Wishes a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera? What the heck is this nonsense about The Jungle?
Well. My book is a loose retelling of Phantom. But everything about this book—including the Ghost of the factory himself—was heavily influenced by another novel, which has haunted me from the time I first read it as a teenager.
Upton Sinclair began writing The Jungle at the end of 1904 after spending nearly two months in Chicago, studying the lives and travails of immigrant workers toiling away in the heavily industrialized meat-packing industry. There, he had witnessed how the dream of having one’s hard work repaid with some financial security for one’s family was being completely turned upside-down. Instead of work = fair pay, fair treatment, and a path to success, work = danger, risk, and the inescapable trap of debt and defeat. The system was devouring these people—big business controlled everything, profit was king, and worker’s rights? Virtually nonexistent.
It might be tempting to assume that we don’t have these problems in the United States anymore. In so many ways, we’ve come so far, what with unions to protect workers’ rights, and news media that can report on injustice and distribute it quickly and widely. That assumption would be wrong, however. Meatpacking is one of the more dangerous professions one can have in this country—despite improvements made in the first half of the 20th century, partly due to the response to Upton Sinclair’s work. In the last few decades, the meatpacking industry has consolidated into a few powerful entities. And they have a habit of hiring undocumented workers, who carry all the risks on their back in the hope of earning decent money for their families. These people have little legal or economic leverage, so how can they defend themselves when they’re victimized?
Here’s a clip from Food, Inc., which I was watching the night I decided I needed to write Of Metal and Wishes. It’s less than five minutes long, but it will probably make you shake with rage. It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it:
The Jungle is unflinching in its description of the meatpacking plants, and I did my best to give OMAW the same visceral feel. I didn’t want to shy away from hitting the reader “in the stomach.” I did research into how animals are slaughtered in these places, and it is gut-wrenching and horrific. I won’t link to any videos here, but if you go to Youtube and search for video of slaughterhouse machinery, you’ll find plenty of nightmare fuel.
But like Upton Sinclair, my goal wasn’t to make readers focus only on animal cruelty or the unsanitary way meat is sometimes handled before it enters the food supply. My greatest desire was to get readers thinking about those workers, the ones who come from desperate places, willing to offer their muscles and sweat in exchange for a fair wage and a chance to live and provide for the ones they love. The ones who so often get trampled and ignored. I purposely set the story outside of time and history because these issues existed over a hundred years ago, and they still exist now all over the world, including the US.
Of Metal and Wishes is a love story, yes. A sweet, poignant one, I think. But it’s also a story about people without power who struggle to survive and thrive in a system designed to crush them. I hope it hits readers in the heart.

*There are many organizations involved in the fight for justice for undocumented workers, and one of my favorites is the Southern Poverty Law Center, because they also focus on a number of other important social justice issues. If you go to their site you can get more information, and if you are so inclined, contribute to their efforts.

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29. Wearing our Library Hats

I am privileged to coordinate a team of outreach staff who give over 120 storytimes each month in preschool and Head Start classrooms. We also visit babies and toddlers at private and in-home daycares to provide early literacy-based sessions for the kids and model new techniques for their caregivers.

While recently observing a storytime conducted by one of my team members, I was struck by the wrapt attention demonstrated by adults in the room. While my staff is ostensibly providing a single service for a primary audience – preschoolers and their caregivers – they also, though these interactions, stand as advocates for the resources available within our system. In my role, I encourage staff to interact with adults as much as possible and be well versed in their ability to communicate all of the offerings at our libraries – especially those that can empower parents. This advocacy has proven to be effective, as it encourages our citizens to be empathetic to the importance of the library in the lives of kids. This then garners greater possibility for their financial support or support via a vote.

Not only do my team members do this on a professional level, but it carries over to their interactions with people at the grocery store, at church, playing with their own kids at parks, and while socializing at parties. We are ambassadors of the library by spreading the joy of the opportunities available, for free, to all. Everyone in the library family is an advocate, even in their daily activities. That’s the kind of grassroots support that is effective. No matter where we go, we are wearing our library hats!


Robyn Lupa, Coordinator, Kids & Families at the Jefferson County Public Library (Colorado) wrote this post for the Advocacy and Legislation Committee.

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30. Bo at Ballard Creek (2013)

Bo at Ballard Creek. Kirkpatrick Hill. Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. 2013. Henry Holt. 288 pages. [Source: Library]

I loved Bo at Ballard Creek. Did I love, love, love it? I'm not sure. Time will tell. I certainly loved many things about it.

I loved the setting, that it's historical fiction, set in Alaska, set in a small mining town, in the 1920s. I loved the perspective, Bo, the heroine is young adopted girl. For most of the book, she's too young to attend school. So perhaps in the four to six range throughout the book. Readers meet Bo, her two fathers Jack Jackson and Arvid Ivorsen. (One is black. One is Swedish.) Readers meet the whole community: other miners and former miners mostly men, of course, all ages and ethnicities; Eskimo families, and the dance-hall girls. I loved the narration and the amount of detail. I love that the book covers a whole year, if not a little more. So readers see the community in detail throughout the year. One gets a real sense of what was like on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month basis. On ordinary days. On special days. Special days being not just holidays, but, also days where airplanes stop and land, the days when supplies arrive. I love the vignettes of the whole town. I loved the strong sense of family and community in this one. It just felt right from cover to cover. I also loved the illustrations. I'll be honest. It was seeing LeUyen Pham's name that made me pick this one up. That being said, I may have loved her illustrations. But I also LOVED the text itself.

If the book lacks anything, however, it may be a strong plot. Think Little House In the Big Woods. The chapters are strong in description and characterization and little happenings. I loved it. I did. I loved meeting Bo. I loved some of the relationships in the book.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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31. Slice of Life Story Challenge: Every Tuesday!

Join us! Share a story from your life!

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32. No one came to your Sensory Storytime. Now what?

This is not an uncommon situation.  I’ve had many conversations with librarians who share similar stories.  “I did all this research and developed this awesome new Sensory Storytime program…but no one came.  I want to draw new families to the library, but I don’t know how to reach them.  What should I do?”  My response if often much longer than the inquiring librarians ever intended, but that’s because it’s a multifaceted issue.  There are many different things to consider when hosting a program for children with special needs.  So, if no one is coming to your Sensory Storytime at your library, here are a few things you can do:

  • Cultivate Partnerships: Partner with local organizations to help spread the word.  There are many places in your community that serve families with children with special needs, including hospitals, health centers, therapy centers, doctor’s offices, park districts, and museums.  Contact your local chapter of state-wide and national disability related organizational groups.  Consider hosting a special needs resource fair at your library, like Evanston Public Library did just this month, and invite these organizations to present at your library.  Otherwise, ask if you can attend one at a local school or community event.  Many organizations are looking for free recreational opportunities to share with families, and Sensory Storytime would be just the kind of program they might be willing to help promote.
  • Rebrand: To keep a program fresh and appealing to our communities, sometimes we need to repackage and rebrand it. Maybe the name “Sensory Storytime” is not a draw to families.   Consider changing the name to “Special Needs Storytime,” or use more inclusive language like “Storytime for Children of All Abilities.”  Maybe your program is being offered on a day of the week or a time of day that doesn’t work for families in your community.  Switch it up and change the day and time, but don’t forgot to ask families first what works best for them.  Here are also 10 Quick Tips for Marketing to this audience.
  • Focus on Inclusion: The reason your library is receiving low attendance–or none at all–could be because a storytime program specifically for children with special needs doesn’t work for your families.  It can be hard to attend a program for one child, when there are two or three other younger or older children that don’t fit in the correct age bracket for that program.  Consider a more inclusive approach and develop programming that is open to the entire family, including siblings.  There are many benefits to having the family attend as a unit, including the fact that it is a lot easier for families to attend together.
  • Try a Different Program: You could switch gears and focus on developing a completely different program all together.  Perhaps you might want to target a different age group, offering Sensory School-age Programming for older children or Sensory-Friendly Films for the whole family.  You might even want to host a Board Game and Pizza Night for Tweens of All Abilities, like Deerfield Public Library did.  For whatever reason, a storytime program may not be a draw in your community, but there are many other things you at your library can do to offer programming for this audience.

If you have already tried these tips and still aren’t reaching families, perhaps library programming is not what your community wants.  And that’s okay.  Many families with children with special needs are over-scheduled with doctor visits, therapies, parent/teacher conferences about IEPs, and play dates.  Instead, here are some other things your library might want to consider to expand services to families with children with special needs:

  • Focus on Outreach: Instead of trying to invite kids to the library, make trips to the local schools and make visit their classrooms.  Bring Sensory Storytime on the road, or even consider asking if their class would be able to do a community outing to visit the library.  There is a lot you can do to make these visits meaningful.  Here are just a few ideas, including curriculum on life skills teaching manners, as well as some general tips about visiting classrooms.
  • Develop Your Collections: Don’t forget about your library materials!  You can serve the needs of families with children with special needs by developing your existing collections, or creating new ones.  You may want to consider Early Literacy or Sensory Kits, connecting with your local Braille and Talking Book Libraries or ordering more books in braille, offering more hi-lo reading material, or developing your parent/teacher collection to include more books on special needs related topics.  Don’t forget about the Schneider Family Book Award, which recognizes books that highlight the disability experience.  Just as we work to make our programs and services more inclusive and diverse, we shouldn’t forget that our collections should represent and reflect the diversity in our communities as well. 
  • Train Staff:  Even if your library has the best new program or service, it won’t matter if other library staff members in other departments are not committed to serving families inclusively.  This could be a huge deterrent for some families.  Disability Awareness Training is necessary for us in libraries to make our libraries more accessible and friendly for everyone. No matter what your library does to welcome children with special needs–whether it is programming, outreach, services, or collections–it’s important that your entire organization is on board with inclusive customer service.


What are your ideas for welcoming families to your Sensory Storytime programs?  Feel free to share below!

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33. Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers

Finding Ruby StarlingAs someone who bears almost no resemblance to any members of my (awesome) family, I am fascinated by siblings who look alike, and by people who ‘look’ Irish or German or like they come from some other country. I’ve always wanted to find out that I look like someone.

Ruth Quayle isn’t really expecting to find out that she looks like anyone — she just using FaceTrace, an Internet bot that searches for pictures that match her own. What she doesn’t expect to find are several pictures of someone who looks exactly like her, but ISN’T her. The mystery girl is Ruby Starling, who lives in England, and, since Ruth is adopted, just might be Ruth’s identical twin sister.

Ruby isn’t sure who this crazy person sending her emails is, and her mother has DEFINITELY never mentioned that she gave away one of her babies. But her artist mother is kind of flighty . . . and Ruby’s birth DID take place in America . . . and maybe Ruby and Ruth really ARE identical twins!

Finding Ruby Starling is one of the most engaging, heart-warming — and HILARIOUS — books that I’ve read all year. Written entirely in the form of emails, letters and Tumblr posts, the book perfectly delineates the two girls’ separate lives, and shows how similar — and how different — they are. Ruth’s best friend Jedgar, with whom she makes YouTube horror movies, is contrasted with Ruby’s older, fashionable friend Fiona. Ruth’s zany-yet-loving parents (a paleontologist and a heart-surgeon) are contrasted with Ruby’s artist/sculptor mother, and her recently deceased, very English Nan.

Very few books can make you laugh uproariously while still touching your heart, but this book succeeds perfectly. It is, as Ruth would say, Totes Amazeballs!

Posted by: Sarah

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34. New Pens

So this is off topic from books, but because most book lovers are also writers at heart (even if it's just journals or list making) and writers love pens I have to share my new pens with you!
There are the prettiest, best pens I have had in a long time.  I first saw them on instagram and quickly tracked down a place I could buy them (pengems.com).  And now look-- I have five of them! You get free ink refills with each one you order.  They come in black ink but if you ask when you order they will send you blue ink refills.  So I have some in blue and some in black!
Look how nicely they match my notebooks!

The other day I brought one out to use at school and a girl commented on it.  So then I pulled out all five and I had a whole row of middle school girls gasp at their loveliness!  I am going to have keep an eye on them so none of them disappear from my desk.  (Actually right now I tote them back and forth because I don't want to leave them at school).

You can buy your own pen gems here:  pengems.com

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35. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

This is a sweet tale about a girl who finds a box of yarn and proceeds to knit for all the townsfolk. An evil archduke covets her box of yarn and steals it, only to find out that the box is empty. He curses the girl, but she gets the box back and continues to knit. There's a message to the story: it's the kindness of the girl's heart that enables her to knit with no yarn. The message is subtle though, and doesn't overwhelm the whimsy of the story. The illustrator, Jon Klassen, even includes his bear from I Want My Hat Back (wearing a sweater). Extra Yarn is a simple story with illustrations that give the book an instant classic feel.

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36. Put Me in the Story giveaway!

One of my very first memories is unloading the entire Berenstain Bears shelf at the library into our book bag to take home. The librarian didn't say a word and despite the length and wordiness of each book, my mom and I sprawled out on the living room floor and read every single one over and over. It was hours of reading, without a single complaint from my mom about spending so much time in the land of that bear family, and an awesome memory was implanted.

Many of my memories of growing up include books and the reading lifestyle I created for myself. Books make amazing memories and they're instantly what I go to when needing to buy gifts -- as do most of you! Finding that special book for each child on my list is my favorite part of shopping during the holidays.

When Sourcebooks contacted me about hosting this contest for Put Me In a Story, I jumped on it. Personalized books make that gift even more special, as it's obvious you were thinking exactly of that particular child when you chose it. Books were such a treasured position in my own childhood, that I really wanted to help one of you make a great memory with your own kids. They have a huge range of titles for you to chose from and below you could win one of 50 copies or a $500 shopping spree!

I had the chance to chose a book to be personalized and because a very special little girl in our lives is having a birthday soon, Doc McStuffins: A Knight in Sticky Armor  is being personalized just for her! I know she's going to love it.

Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win! All winners will be chosen on December 6th. If you choose to Tweet about this contest, be sure to use #BookMagic! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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37. Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty

Madame Chapeau lives in what seems to be Paris and makes hats for other people. Madame herself is a sad eyed, but fashionable young woman. Every year on a special day she goes out in her finest hat and matching outfit. But this year things go wrong and she loses her hat to a bird. The rest of the story is about Madame Chapeau looking for her hat while others offer theirs. She refuses their kind offers until a girl gives her a hat she knit specially for her.
The clever rhyming and unique illustrations make this a great book, particularly for kids who like fashion.

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38. App of the Week: Fragment

Fragment LogoName: Fragment
Cost: $1.99
Platform: iOS and Android

My previous App of the Week post discussed Matter, an app for creating otherworldly images. This time, I took a look at Fragment, another app from the same company, Pixite. As with Matter, this is an app that is aimed at making your pictures look beautiful and yet alien. You can import any image from your device and make it into a magical view through a prism that looks professionally done and completely transforms your original picture.

When you first open Fragment, you are given the option to start creating your first fragmented image or to view the “Inspiration” gallery to see how others have used the app. I found the images in the gallery to be particularly useful in seeing how the app could be used since some of the possibilities would not have immediately occurred to me without these examples. When you decide to “fragment” an image, you will have the option to import any image stored on your device, take a new photo with your device, or use one of the “Community Photos,” which have been contributed by other users for free use by anyone. Once you have selected an image, you can start adding effects to it. First, you will need to decide the aspect ratio you wish to use for the image. You can then move on to adding effects. When you purchase the basic app for $1.99, you have access to the two classics volumes, though there are four additional collections that you can purchase if you want to try additional effects after you have given it a try. Each of the two collections included in the basic version of the app includes over twenty different options for shapes or styles of fragments and each of those can be resized, aligned at different angles, and shifted on the image for an almost limitless number of combinations. In addition, the app allows you to change the underlying image by altering the light level, contrast, blur levels, and saturation of the image. You can test out as many variations as you like before making your final selection for each of the settings.

Once you are happy with your image, you can save it, share it via Instagram, share it via text message, Twitter, or email, send it to one of the other image apps on your device with two taps, or “refragment” it, which will take you back to the editing features. If you have other apps by Pixite on your device, Fragment also makes it easy to move your image from one app to the other for further editing if you want to add multiple effects to a single image. Whether you have used any of Pixite’s other apps or not, Fragment is an intuitive app that allows you to make fun and very unusual looking images that will really stand apart from the average online picture. If you enjoy taking, editing, and sharing images, it is worth checking out.

Have a suggestion for App of the Week? Let us know. And find more great Apps in the YALSA Blog’s App of the Week Archive.

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39. SPIC-AND-SPAN! by Monica Kulling

Spic-And-Span!: Lillian Gilbreth’s Wonder Kitchen By Monica Kulling; Illustrated by David Parkins Tundra Books. 2014 ISBN: 9781770493803 Grades 4-6 To evaluate this title for review, the publisher sent me a copy of the book. Candian author, Kulling, adds a new title in Tundra’s Great Idea series. Spic-And-Span! looks at the life of efficiency expert, industrial engineer, and

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40. Getting Unstuck

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." -Jack London

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41. Stand There! She Shouted (2014)

Stand There! She Shouted: The Invincible Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. 2014. Candlewick. 80 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Stand There! She Shouted is a biography of Julia Margaret Cameron, a noted photographer of the nineteenth century. From birth to death, details of her life are highlighted for young readers. She was born in India, raised in France, recuperated from an illness in Cape Town, South Africa, where she met her future husband, Charles Hay Cameron. The book does spend some time on her personal life: daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother. But it also spends plenty of time on her hobby/career as a photographer. How she learned about photography. Her first camera. Her first photographs. Her first failures. Her first successes. Who she photographed and why. Her favorite techniques and unique style. (She liked the subject to be slightly out of focus. She liked the softness.) How many photographs she took--3,000. One thing the book did really well was focus on how her sitters or posers felt. Did they like posing for her? How did they describe the experience? I liked these accounts of her work.

The book is illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. I love his work. I do. But. I wish there had been more photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron.

Favorite quotes:
She selected her sitters carefully. In a letter to a friend, she said that there were three reasons she photographed: "great beauty--great celebrity--and great friendship." (58)
As a photographer, she was ruthless. Children, her favorite subject, feared her. Julia Margaret lurked by the door, ready to stop a passing child for hours of posing. Edith Bradley Ellison recalled that the children of Freshwater "loved" her but "fled from her." When they saw her, they'd call out, "She's coming! She'll catch one of us!" And when Julia Margaret caught them, she bribed them with candy to pose. (46)

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Folktales are a wonderful way to introduce kids to the world around them. The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale by Lucine Kasbarian http://buff.ly/1mEnB7G #bookreview #kidlit CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWS - THE GREEDY SPARROW; An Armenian Tale by Lucine Kasbarian

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43. Slice of Life Story Challenge: Every Tuesday!

Join us! Share a story from your life!

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44. Getting Unstuck

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." -Jack London

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45. San Francisco is calling!

ALSA and Baker and Taylor are proud to support the continuing education endeavors of librarians across the country. They offer not one, not two, but three great scholarships to help YALSA members who have never attended ALA Annual the opportunity to do so. And it is a wonderful opportunity. I was lucky enough to win in 2011 and be able to attend Annual in New Orleans. It was a very satisfying experience and allowed me to connect with my teen librarian colleagues and YALSA members in a way I never had via the online environments of list-servs and websites. That one conference gave me the confidence to continue to volunteer for YALSA committees and taskforces, Since 2011, I have had the opportunity to help YALSA’s strategic goals by serving on several different process and selection committees and it has been incredibly rewarding.

The criteria for these grants are pretty simple and available on the website. To paraphrase: you need to be a member of ALA/YALSA, one to ten years experience working with teens (for the Baker and Taylor scholarships only), and you have never attended an ALA Annual conference. For the Broderick scholarship (which is open to MLIS students), you must be currently enrolled in ALA accredited graduate MLIS program. The deadline for applying is December 1. Still not convinced that attending Annual is worth it? Here is what some of the previous years winners have to say.

Julia Hutchins, winner of the Broderick Student scholarship says:

Last year when I was asked to participate in a program at the ALA Annual Conference I was hesitant to say yes, knowing my library could never afford to send me all the way to Las Vegas for this opportunity. I applied for every scholarship and funding opportunity I could find. Amazingly, I won a YALSA scholarship to attend. I had just finished my MLIS from Florida State University the month before the conference. What better way to celebrate finishing library school than at a conference with more than 10,000 of my peers? Not only did YALSA’s scholarship make it possible for me to participate in the “Programs Gone Wrong” panel, but to attend many informative events such as a technology petting zoo and collection development panels. I also met numerous authors and was even able to get autographed books for Summer Reading prizes for teens at my library. The teen who won the autographed copy of The Book Thief will treasure it for years to come. Author Markus Zusak even wrote “Congratulations” inside the cover.   

Heather Schubert, a winner in 2012, states:

I was the recipient of two ALA awards/grants that allotted me the opportunity to attend ALA for the first time. The ALA events I was invited to and the people that I met because of these awards have broadened my horizons as a librarian. I was able to meet librarians from all over the country, whom I still collaborate with to this day. 

Susan Smallsreed, another 2012 recipient says:

Thanks to the YALSA Baker & Taylor Scholarship, I attended my first and only ALA Annual Conference in sunny Anaheim in June of 2012.  Without the grant, I could not have afforded to attend a pre-conference, workshops, all the award banquets, several author events (Libba Bray and Kazo Kibuishi!) and the orgy of the exhibit room floor (Can you say “swag”?) Oh! And don’t forget the great YALSA happy hour and membership meeting  It was an amazing opportunity to completely indulge in my library geek-i-ness.  Thank you, YALSA and Baker & Taylor! 

Finally, Juanita Lamalipour, a 2013 recipient says: I also learned of many new career opportunities available throughout the country.

YALSA and Baker and Taylor and the Broderick scholarship for students are the perfect opportunities to kick your YALSA membership into gear. Apply today! Applications due by December.

Sarah Wethern is a youth librarian in Minnesota and is the current chair for the 2015 YALSA Conference Travel Scholarships jury. She is greatly assisted by four hardworking and dedicated librarians across the country.

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46. Press Release Fun: Spend an Evening with Brian Floca (for free!)

BrianFloca 300x199 Press Release Fun: Spend an Evening with Brian Floca (for free!)Free Lecture
An Evening with Brian Floca
Saturday, December 6, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Uris Center for Education, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Join award-winning author and illustrator Brian Floca, this year’s recipient of the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal for Locomotive, for a presentation about his creative journey, his work in various formats, and exciting upcoming projects. Meet the artist and explore the Museum until it closes at 9:00 p.m.

Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of picture books Locomotive, Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11LightshipThe Racecar Alphabet, and Five Trucks. He has illustrated the Poppy Stories series by Avi; Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan; Kate Messner’s Marty McGuire novels; and Lynne Cox’s just published Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas. In addition to the Randolph Caldecott Medal, his books have received four Robert F. Sibert Honor awards, an Orbis Pictus Award, an Orbis Pictus Honor, a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators, and have twice been selected for The New York Times‘ annual 10 Best Illustrated Books list. Brian was born and raised in Temple, Texas. He graduated from Brown University and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Locomotive will be available for purchase in the Uris Center Met Store. Mr. Floca will be signing books after the presentation.

This event is free with Museum admission, but registration is required. Please RSVP. Preregistration is not required for the book-signing portion of this program.

Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Direct any questions to nolen.library@metmuseum.org.

This event is made possible by the Friends of Watson Library at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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47. Introduction to the YALSA Research Committee

There are tons of committees, task forces and areas to work in YALSA. Everyone knows about the book award committees and some of the major task force, but there are a lot of smaller, less glamorous and flashy committees that are a part of YALSA as well. Did you know that YALSA has a Research Committee? Well, I didn’t either, until I decided to volunteer for YALSA and became a member of the research committee, which I currently chair. So what is the research committee? What exactly do we do?

The Research Committee has actually been around since 1968. The Research Committee’s purpose is “To stimulate, encourage, guide, and direct the research needs of the field of young adult library services, and to regularly compile abstracts, disseminate research findings, update YALSA’s Research Agenda as needed and to liaise with ALA’s Committee on Research & Statistics.”[1] So what does that entail? Well for starters, the Research Committee developed the YALSA National Research Agenda, which helps guide the direction and express needed research to “help guarantee that librarians serving young adults are able to provide the best service possible as well as advocate for funding and support in order to ensure that teens are served effectively by their libraries.”[2] The Research Committee also keeps this document up-to-date, which is one of this year’s current tasks. We are using The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action to ensure that the Research Agenda is up-to-date and on track.

The research committee works to disperse information through the YALSA wiki and monitors YALSA’s Network for Research on Libraries and Teens, and contributes to the YALSA blog. The committee often holds research forums at Mid-Winter conferences as well. Last year, we worked to determine if there was a need for a new Harris poll. We examined what research was currently out there and available to librarians and researchers, and brought our findings to the board to help them decide if a poll might be necessary.

Of course this is just a brief overview of what the committee has worked on, there have been many more tasks and projects. The Research Committee works to develop and improve library services for teens by helping to bridge the gap between existing research and applying that information to teen library services to help ensure their needs are being addressed. So when you decide to you fill out your volunteer form, consider signing on to help the Research Committee.


[1]Research Committee.” American Library Association.6 Oct. 2014.

[2]YALSA National Research Agenda.” American Library Association . 6 Oct. 2014.

Stephanie Barta is the Young Adult Librarian at Westerly Public Library.  She is a member of the 2015 Morris Award Committee and Chair of the YALSA Research Committee.

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48. Belches, Burps, and Farts - Oh My! by Artie Bennett, illustrated by Pranas T. Naujokaitis

Belches, Burps, and Farts - Oh My! by Artie Bennett and illustrated by Pranas T. Naujokaitis is a fantastic way to get kids interested in science and biology and nonfiction in general. Both the subject matter and the illustrations in Belches, Burps, and Farts - Oh My! are funny and fun, with Bennett's rhyming couplets adding to this seriously silly look at something we all do everyday.

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49. Read-alike Fiction for Ages 9-12

Sometimes when you've just finished reading a good book you're desperate to find something just as great.  
That's when read-alikes come in handy.  Read-alikes are suggestions for readers who enjoy the works of a particular author and would like to have recommendations of other authors that write in a similar style or genre.  
Here's a few suggestions and don't forget to ask your librarian for more titles!
If you like...
Ivy and Bean by Anne Barrows try Friends for Keeps by Julie Bowe
(True BFFs in funny and upbeat stories)
Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan try Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
(Action-packed fantasy and mythology)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney try Timmy Failure by Stephen Pastis
(Humorous stories of middle school kids facing challenges of school, home and friends)
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau try The Roar by Emma Clayton
(Fast-paced survival stories set in troubled future worlds)


Posted by:  Miss Rosemarie

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50. Fusenews: “If ‘1984’ or ‘The Trial’ had been a children’s book, Mr Messy would be it”

  • Sheridan 300x225 Fusenews: If ‘1984’ or ‘The Trial’ had been a children’s book, Mr Messy would be itRecently I’ve grown rather fascinated with the academic children’s collections of the world.  The rare book collections in particular.  With that in mind, what do you do if you’re an institution that specializes in archived materials, and yet you still want to engage young readers in some capacity?  Enter Teaching the untouchable, a great article by Dana Sheridan at the Cotsen Collection of Princeton University.  Written for College and Research Libraries News the piece really delves deep into how to best conduct rare book programs with real honest-to-goodness children.  Great stuff.
  • Whatcha up to tonight?  Got big Tuesday night plans?  No?  Excellent since there’s to be a Twitter chat between Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children’s Literature and brilliant librarian Allie Jane Bruce at 9:00 p.m.  Just go to #SupportWNDB.  Be there or be square.
  • So cool.  Over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Jules got cartooned up.  I would love it if that became a regular thing at her site.  Everyone should cartoonify her when interviewed.
  • Jules also tackled a recent re-illustrated title that will have librarians everywhere just shaking their heads, trying desperately to figure out where to put the darn thing in their collections.  If you’re familiar with the 2001 picture book Jim’s Lion by Russell Hoban then you’ll have a hard time looking at its new incarnation without blanching.  It’s one of the most innovative children’s books of the year but a psychological nightmare that would actually pair magnificently with Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls, if nothing else.  Jules has the scoop.  Well played, she.

logo kidlittv 300x160 Fusenews: If ‘1984’ or ‘The Trial’ had been a children’s book, Mr Messy would be itWow.  Just, wow.  Kidlit TV is live, people, and boy does it look fancy.  I mean just LOOK at that site!  Someone put their heart and soul into it, that’s for sure.  Makes me feel like a bit of a slacker, if I’m going to be honest.  Boy howdy.

I am always very pleased with folks take public review sites like Amazon or Goodreads and use them to have a bit of fun.  One Hamilton Richardson evidently must have sat through one Mr. Men book too many and the result is a series of thoroughly enjoyable “reviews” that are all distinctive in their own little ways.  Thanks to Steve for the link.

  • Sometimes you just don’t know if the name you see on a series is a real person or not.  Take R.A. Montgomery, for example.  Recently he passed away in his Vermont home, and if his moniker is ringing a couple bells that might be because he’s the fellow behind the Choose Your Own Adventure series.  Like any good child of the 80s I devoured my own fair share of CYOA titles back in the day, perfecting the art of sticking all my digits in between the pages so that the moment I chose poorly I could instantly retrace my steps.  There’s a metaphor lurking in that statement somewhere, I’d wager. Thanks to Mom for the link.
  • Daily Image:

Christmas is on the horizon and you know what that means?  Time to start trying to figure out what to purchase for the children’s literature-obsessed person in your life.  Want an early idea?  I know it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet but I just discovered that that Children’s Book Council sells their old Children’s Book Week posters in a variety of different forms, dating back to 1921.  Everyone from N.C. Wyeth to the most recent one by Robin Preiss Glasser.  Here are some of my own personal favorites:

1950 childrens book week posters Fusenews: If ‘1984’ or ‘The Trial’ had been a children’s book, Mr Messy would be it

1968 childrens book week posters Fusenews: If ‘1984’ or ‘The Trial’ had been a children’s book, Mr Messy would be it

1969 childrens book week posters Fusenews: If ‘1984’ or ‘The Trial’ had been a children’s book, Mr Messy would be it

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2 Comments on Fusenews: “If ‘1984’ or ‘The Trial’ had been a children’s book, Mr Messy would be it”, last added: 11/19/2014
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