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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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New month, new displays in the Children’s Room! My librarian A put up an awesome bulletin board after Summer Reading Club wound down and I just changed out our book displays, so I wanted to show y’all what we’ve done.
First, the bulletin board:
A does amazing bulletin board for us, getting lots of inspiration from Pinterest and from the programs and activities we have going on in the Children’s Room. With the election coming up, she wanted to feature related books in our collection. The release of Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) was a great excuse to feature Bad Kitty, already a popular character with our kids. We’ve been stocking up on election books because it’s sure to be a popular topic as we get closer to November’s Presidential election. Consider featuring some of the following:
- The Election Book: The People Pick a President (Revised Edition) by Carolyn Jackson (Scholastic, 2012)
- The Election Day Disaster by Ron Roy (Random House, 2008)
- Nikki & Deja: Election Madness by Karen English (Clarion Books, 2011)
- President of the Whole Fifth Grade by Sherri Winston (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010)
- See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House (Revised Edition)by Susan E. Goodman (Bloomsbury, 2012)
- Today on Election Day by Catherine Stier (Albert Whitman & Co., 2012)
- Vote for Me! by Ben Clanton (Kids Can Press, 2012)
In addition to our new bulletin board, I changed our book displays out last week.
I put up Guys Read, one of my favorite displays because I think it can be tricky for boys (and parents) to find books that interest them (especially if they don’t think they like to read). Of course, there’s nothing saying that girls can’t be interested in these books, too, but I hope a bold GUYS READ sign will attract boys to browse there:
Some of my favorite books to include in a Guys Read display include:
- Face to Face with Sharks by David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2009)
- Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker (Chronicle Books, 2011)
- Guy Write: What Every Guy Writer Needs to Know by Ralph Fletcher (Henry Holt, 2012)
- Hi, Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold (Scholastic, 2005)
- How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Vordak the Incomprehensible (written by Scott Seegert, Egmont USA, 2011)
- The Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka
- The Truth About Poop by Susan E. Goodman (Penguin, 2004)
And I happen to have three staff members (in a team of six!) who have birthdays in September (and the son of one of my librarians in late August), so I had to do a birthday display!
Consider displaying some of the following:
Those are our September book displays in the Children’s Room! What book displays do you have up right now? Any unique display themes to share?
– Abby Johnson, Children’s Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN
While attending my state library association’s annual conference this past year, I met a fascinating children’s librarian who spoke very passionately… about her ukulele. She told me I could pick one up and immediately make music. I was skeptical. I’ve always wanted to be musical, but have always sort of failed. I do not have a lovely singing voice (despite many dramatic years in high school show choir). I’ve dabbled in playing instruments –cello, guitar, clarinet, accordion – without mastering a single one. But this lady was convinced, and almost had me convinced, that I could be a ukulele superstar.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I went home, bought myself a ukulele, and haven’t put it down since! I believe that making music can be one of the most empowering of all human experiences. If you can learn even 2 or 3 chords on a ukulele, you can play a literal multitude of recognizable tunes. And if you’ve spent a lifetime telling yourself you’re not musical, only to be easily proven wrong by a little piece of wood with strings? Well, what else have you been wrong about? What else can you do or be, that you’ve been telling yourself you just “can’t” or “aren’t?” You could fly a plane! Or get a black belt in Tae Kwon Do! You could do anything! Or you could at least try. That is the lesson the little ukulele taught me.
I began quietly proselytizing to my friends about the power of the ukulele, and soon I’d converted 2 more librarians to playing the uke. We recently started meeting regularly to play music, drink tea, and talk shop, which has got me thinking a lot about libraries and music, and why they make sense together. I’m not a scientist, but I have read extensively about music and its effect on the brain. I’d like to speak now, in general terms, about how (and why) I think we can (and should) be using music in our libraries today:
1. To teach
Most of us probably do this already. We use songs in story times and programs. Music has been proven to boost cognitive behavior. It can help us learn. This is why there are songs to teach children the names of the 50 states, the days of the week, and, most famously, the alphabet. Concepts are often easier to remember when set to a rhythm or melody. Some scientists speculate humans evolved the ability to sing, and the neural capacity to recognize beats, for this reason! We librarians have known for years that singing is a key component of early literacy, so sing proudly at your library, and offer a healthy collection of recordings for your customers to check out. Some of my favorite artists making high quality music for children are Laurie Berkner, Jim Gill, and Dan Zanes. What are some of yours?
2. Setting the mood
Music is emotional. It can bring us pleasure. It can make us remember specific times in our lives. Companies use music in their advertisements to try to excite us about whatever product they’re selling. Why couldn’t a library use music to try to “set the mood” for our customers? The branch I work at uses ambient music in our children’s room for this purpose. If we’re having a craft program, we might play some energetic music to get the creative juices flowing. If things are getting rowdy, we’ll play some mellow music, to try to soothe youngsters’ souls. Is your library utilizing music to help inspire or relax your library customers?
3. Build community
Music can play an important role in social bonding. Why do soldiers march in time? Why do we dance at significant occasions, like weddings? Music can get us moving together, fostering an environment of cooperation. Studies have shown that people can have universal reactions to music, and thus music becomes a shared experience that brings people together. What opportunities can the library create to build community through music? We can host musical programs. Or offer a place for musical groups to practice together. Does your library engage in any fruitful musical partnerships?
4. Hand people instruments
Let’s set aside the idea that learning music is too difficult. I’ve personally disproven it. Learning to play music is just like learning a language. You need to practice. To properly appreciate music, you should immerse yourself in it. What if we could offer our customers a chance to handle an instrument, to physically make music? This idea is a lot of things: It’s expensive. It’s noisy. It’s not “industry standard” library procedure (although there are libraries that have instruments available to use or check out). But it’s also empowering. It’s inspiring. It’s happy! I challenge you to tell your customers “Yes, you can check out a ukulele with your library card” and not see them smile!
Hopefully this blog has made you think about how you incorporate music in your library, or how you can, if you don’t already. Please sound off in the comments section with anything you have to add to this important discussion! (And feel free to contact me directly to talk about ukuleles!)
Our guest blogger today is Tess Goldwasser. Tess is a Library Associate at St. Mary’s County Library in Lexington Park, Maryland. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at email@example.com.
This fall, ALSC is proud to be offering five great online courses – including two courses that are eliglibe for CEUs, continuing education units.
The American Library Association (ALA) has been certified to provide CEUs by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). CEUs cannot be given in retrospect; if you’ve already taken one of these ALSC courses you are not eligible to receive CEUs. Additional courses may become CEU-certified in the future.
ALSC online courses are designed to fit the needs of working professionals. Courses are taught by experienced librarians and academics. As participants frequently noted in post-course surveys, ALSC stresses quality and caring in its online education options. Courses start October 1, 2012. Registration is now open.
Online Courses – Fall 2012
ALSC Core Competencies: Serving Children with Distinction and Commitment
6 weeks, October 1 – November 9
Instructor: Thom Barthelmess, Curator of the Butler Children’s Literature Center, Dominican University
The Caldecott Medal: Understanding Distinguished Art in Picture Books
6 weeks, October 1 – November 9
Instructor: Kathleen T. Horning, Director, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Connecting with ‘Tween Readers
4 weeks, October 1 – October 26
Instructor: Edward T. Sullivan, Rogue Librarian/Writer
Out of this World Youth Programming*
6 weeks, October 1 – November 9
Instructor: Angela Young, MSLS, Youth Services Librarian, Lorain Public Library System
Series Programming for the Elementary School Age*
4 weeks, October 1 – October 26
Instructor: Lisa M. Shaia, Children’s Librarian, Oliver Wolcott Library
* Indicates CEU eligible course
Detailed descriptions and registration information is available on the ALSC Online Education website. Fees are $115 for personal ALSC members; $165 for personal ALA members; and $185 for non-members. Questions? Please contact ALSC Program Officer Jenny Najduch at 1 (800) 545-2433 ext. 4026.
Taken from the ALSC Community Forum – August 2012
It has been sixteen years since the last ALSC dues increase….
At the 2012 ALA Annual Conference, the ALSC Board of Directors discussed a proposal by the Budget Committee to implement a dues adjustment. There was a discussion on the proposed dues adjustment that took place during the ALSC Membership meeting in Anaheim.
To address the Budget Committee’s proposal, the Board held ALSC Community Forums on August 8th and 9th. During the second half of these open meetings, we opened the discussion to members to give us their input on a possible change in the ALSC dues structure.
In early August, the ALSC Budget Committee released the Dues Structure Change FAQ (log-in required) to introduce our members to the proposed dues increases and the new proposed member categories. To better understand the dues adjustment…please take time to read the thoughtfully prepared FAQ which includes considerations and cost thoughts provided by the Budget Committee.*
Some background information on the dues adjustment. One of the ALSC Budget Committee’s charges is “to review for the ALSC Board, on a regular basis, the dues structure.” The Budget Committee recently reviewed the structure and has recommended adjustments to the ALSC Board. If the Board agrees with the recommendation, they will vote to have the recommendation placed on the 2013 ALSC ballot for the entire ALSC membership to review and to vote on the recommended changes.
ALSC currently has only two personal membership categories:
The proposal provides for four new personal member categories: Support Staff; Non-Salaried; Retired; Advocate. These new category areas carry the same definitions as ALA membership category areas.
The proposal would slightly increase the two current categories and expand the personal categories:
- Regular $50;
- Support Staff $35;
- Non-Salaried $35;
- Retired $35;
- Advocate $25 (authors, teachers, parents, etc.);
- Student $20
Even though the August Community Forum has concluded, the conversation can continue on ALA Connect. Whether or not you are able to join a live Forum, you can always add your thoughts by leaving a comment. The ALSC Budget Committee will post questions on ALA Connect regarding the ALSC dues adjustment proposal. For information about ALSC Community Forums or if you need help logging in please visit the ALSC Community Forum site. The August transcripts are posted.
We hope that you’ll come to the Community Forums to give us your thoughts. Through your participation, we can gather more input into how this proposed dues change will affect members and how it will shape the future of ALSC membership.
In closing, one of the questions asked of our members during the dues adjustment proposal discussion on the August Community Forums was “What aspects of your ALSC membership do you value most?” Some of the member replies are displayed in the word cloud at the top of this blog. Please feel free to add the aspects of membership that you value the most as a comment below.
Thank you for your dedicated service to ALSC and for creating a better future for children through libraries—every day!
*Please keep in mind this is a current proposal as of the annual conference, the ALSC Board has asked the Budget Committee to reexamine the student proposed rate and the existing organizations and corporate rates. A recommendation from the Budget Committee is due to the ALSC Board no later than ALA Midwinter 2013.
Our post today is from ALSC President Carolyn Brodie. Carolyn is a regular blogger with ALSC.