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1. ALSC Notable Children’s Book Committee welcomes suggestions

Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children’s books for inclusion on the Notable Children’s Books list. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: “Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding.” Books intended for children, birth though age 14, that have been published in the United States in 2014 are eligible for consideration.

The ALSC Notable Children’s Book Committee welcomes suggestions for books to be considered.  Please send your title suggestions to chair Edith Ching at ec.notables15@verizon.net

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2. Andrew Medlar: 2014-15 ALSC Vice President/President Elect Candidate

In an effort to help ALSC members make an informed decision before they vote, the blog posts today consist of interviews with the candidates for 2014-15 ALSC Vice President/President-Elect: Tim Wadham and Andrew Medlar. Each candidate was given ten questions and submitted written answers.

This afternoon’s interview is with Andrew Medlar:

1.      What do you consider the most important role of the ALSC President?

Medlar Photo 2(1)

Photo supplied by Andrew Medlar

The ALSC President must enthusiastically and wisely lead our organization along the track of our strategic plan toward the Big Hairy Audacious Goal of ensuring that libraries are recognized as vital to all children and the communities that support them. A key element of that is the responsibility to facilitate and support the brilliant work that our members are doing every day and to represent us to the rest of ALA and the wider world.

2.      What skills & strengths would you bring to the office?

I like to put ideas into action, and one thing that will enable me to do this effectively as President is my knowledge of, and experience with, how the structure of ALSC and ALA functions. I know what it’s like to serve on and chair ALSC committees and task forces, I’ve represented ALSC not only on Council (where I co-convene the Youth Council Caucus) but also other ALA bodies such as the Planning & Budget Assembly, and I served as ALSC Budget Committee chair twice during the beginning of the Great Recession. My current position on the ALSC Board’s Executive Committee gives me insight and participation on current issues, and my day job as Assistant Commissioner at Chicago Public Library continually sharpens my skills in advocating and building consensus in order to improve library service. However above all, I believe that my greatest strength is passion for our work as an association and as individual members.

3.      What area of library service to children is your favorite?

It’s impossible for me to pick just one because they really are all so connected. Since a single shift in the children’s room can involve programming, reference, collection development, advocacy, and picking up and putting away all of the Duplos, we have to be sure to recognize and actively appreciate how all of the many different aspects of the work our members do comes together to create a better future for kids. And, actually, I think THAT is my favorite part of library service to children: the variety, because no day is ever dull!

4.      Why should someone choose to join ALSC? What services do you feel ALSC provides that are valuable to new members? To long-term members?

If someone should buy real estate because of location, location, location, someone should join ALSC because of people, people, people. It’s so valuable the way we as members collaborate on advocacy, education, and access, and these aren’t just words in our strategic plan. As specific ALSC goal areas these are commitments that our organization has made to ourselves and from which all of us benefit. ALSC’s Mentoring Program is a great example of how ALSC can serve both new and long-term members in different ways even at the same time, and in all of our efforts we recognize and share different perspectives and common challenges, which is advantageous for everyone.

5.      What are your ideas for reaching and involving members? What are your ideas to recruit new members?

At Midwinter in Philadelphia I met a local group of fabulous new and soon-to-be ALSC members who had come to observe the Youth Council Caucus meeting, and their energy, ideas, initiative, and questions were so exciting! And while that kind of personal connection is wonderful, to reach more folks who don’t have such convenient or economical access to a national library event in their backyard, the continuing development of the ALSC Roadshow is a fantastic way to find and encourage new members where they’re at.

And we also need to do more of that electronically, as I’m a firm believer in continuing to strengthen the virtual work we’ve already begun. During my service on several virtual task forces and in many online ALSC community forums I’ve experienced first-hand how well they can work, and am also very aware of the ways in which they need continual development. And moving forward, the need for ALSC to liaise with even more non-library associations and groups concerned with youth issues will continue to grow in importance in our inter-related world and will bring even more members, and often less traditional ones, into our community.

6.      How has ALSC membership impacted your life?  How has your membership in ALSC impacted library service to children?

ALSC has given me education, fun, opportunity, and friends, which I consider a fantastic bargain! And I’m always conscious of the importance of sharing those benefits with my colleagues and kids. This can run the gamut from sharing the latest research on the role of play in learning from an ALSC white paper to sharing my real-life experience with others during a Mock Caldecott discussion to sharing a new fingerplay I read about on ALSC-L.

7.     Changes in the economy and advances in technology are dramatically impacting libraries. What are your thoughts on how ALSC can best continue to be a positive force for librarians, for libraries, and for children?

Looking for ways to be increasingly nimble is important for this premier membership organization in such a rapidly evolving profession as ours, and I believe that is doable, especially in the content of the work now going on ALA-wide to “re-imagine” ALA itself. Being able to respond to change (and to do it economically) is vital and the “Hot Topic” programs coming up at Annual in Las Vegas will go far in providing the very latest developments affecting our work. And ALSC’s impressive Everyday Advocacy efforts are a superb way for everyone providing and caring about library service to children to be a positive force as issues pop up and evolve. We can also do this by supporting, encouraging, and spreading the word about distinguished content for children, including for underrepresented communities, with our world famous and financially impactful media awards.

8.      What strengths would you bring to help ALSC attain the goals of the ALSC Strategic Plan?

Knowing how to work with both large and small groups and how to accomplish objectives within the context of ALA is a practical strength of mine, particularly as we strive to attain our strategic goals. I also bring a close familiarity with the Plan as I’ve been a member of the ALSC Board’s Executive Committee since the Plan’s first year and so have been involved in its implementation and ongoing evaluation. And I also look forward to sharing my belief in the importance of consensus building, knowledge-based decision making, and spirit of collaboration, not to mention the aforementioned passion for our work!

9.      What is your motivation in running for this position?

My motivation is all about moving forward, reaching out, and giving back. Keeping any organization relevant through changing times is a constant challenge and I’m determined (and convinced!) that ALSC will be around for a long, long time, so am very motivated to help move us all forward with such things as increased expertise and presence around apps and digital storytelling. I feel it’s important for us to reach out further, both inside and outside libraries, for greater inclusiveness with current and potential members and also for collaborations with a wider range of other youth-focused organizations to increase the recognition of, and access to, library services for all kids. And I continue to receive so much from my experiences here that I want to give back to ALSC, especially in this special role, to ensure that others get that same chance.

10.    What else would you like the voting ALSC membership to know about you before they vote?

I have literally been involved with library service to children since before I was born (as a librarian herself, my mom didn’t wait for her July due date to sign me up on the first day of that year’s summer reading program in June) and have done every job there is to do in a library, from shelving picture books to advocating with the First Lady, and as a true believer in ALSC’s work and our Desired Future, I ask for the honor of your vote to represent all of us as Vice President/President-Elect. And please follow me on Twitter @ammlib so we can continue the conversation! #AndrewIsForALSC

0 Comments on Andrew Medlar: 2014-15 ALSC Vice President/President Elect Candidate as of 3/17/2014 1:33:00 PM
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3. ALSC Member of the Month — Katie Clausen

Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just a few questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Katie Clausen.

1.         What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

Katie C blog pic

Courtesy photo from Katie Clausen

I am currently doing a bunch of things, which keeps life busy and interesting! I am in my second year of library school at Dominican University in River Forest, IL, where I focus on Youth Services. At Dominican, I work in the Butler Children’s Literature Center.

I also work as a children’s services assistant at Oak Park Public Library with the most talented group of librarians I’ve ever met. My responsibilities at OPPL include doing baby and mixed age storytimes, reference and readers’ advisory services, creating bibliographies, helping with programming, and even some collection development!

This September, I started an internship at ALSC, where I do everything from filing records to managing book & media award submissions. One of my favorite parts of the job is opening packages fresh from the press and seeing everything that’s new!

I’m new to the library field, but fell in love with children’s literature right after college. I went out to Boston and studied children’s lit and writing at Simmons College, and eventually found my path after working at a library in Wisconsin.

I also just started my own blog called House at Katie Corner! Its focus will be all things children’s literature—please check it out!

2.         Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

I love children’s books and I love people, and ALSC is right where these two fabulous things intersect. I joined ALSC to meet others who have similar passions, and to learn from those who have worked in the field for years. The older I get and the more I read, the more I realize how much I DON’T KNOW, so I’m honored to be part of an organization with so many talented professionals. I wanted to intern specifically at ALSC because they have given me so much—I received a Melcher scholarship in 2012 (Thank you, ALSC!) and just started a wonderful mentorship with Abby Johnson through ALSC’s new mentorship program. Essentially, I just want to give back all of the gifts I’ve been given.

3.         Who was your favorite teacher? Why?

I love this question, but I can’t narrow it down to 1 person, so I’ll just say one sentence about several teachers.

·        Mrs. Heisler (1st grade), for teaching me how to spell Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

·        My parents, for teaching me that life is a journey that they will always travel with me.

·        My brother and sister, who inspire me as artists and compassionate souls.

·        Anita Silvey, who opened up my world to children’s literature.

·        Anna Staniszewski, who taught me that writing requires hard work, dedication, patience, and so many rewrites!

·        Thom Barthelmess, who continues to teach me that success is the presence of excellence, not the absence of mistakes, and that ambiguity is so much more colorful than perfection.

·        My dogs, Scout and Jem, who teach me to relax and enjoy naps, walks, peanut butter, and love.

4.         What are you proudest of having accomplished in your professional career?

Honestly, I am most proud of FINDING my career! It’s been a struggle searching for what I truly want to do, and I’ve been so many things along the way: a server, cashier, editor, actor, teacher, dog washer… A few years ago, I was lost about what direction to go. It is so rewarding to go to my job every day and finally feel at home in my heart.

5.         Do you celebrate any Fall holidays?

We wouldn’t call Christmas a Fall holiday in Minnesota (brrr), but it’s close enough. My favorite family tradition is right after dinner on Christmas Eve. I have an older brother and a younger sister, and every year we dress up as Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus and parade through our living room as my dad reads the manger story. This used to be super simple when my sister Rachel was a baby, but now she’s 23 and about 3 inches taller than me, but she still plays baby Jesus…and so I carry her on my shoulders! We add strange new things to the scene every year (vacuums, MN Twins blow up bats, bananas, and our dogs as Wisemen) for no reason, and we always end up laughing like crazy.

6.         What’s your favorite color?

Pink. It just rules.

7.         What are you afraid of?

Heights! Which is so crazy, because I’m currently taking classes in aerial silks where I climb 40 feet in the air and do tricks, flips, and drops. You have to face your fears, right?!

8.         Favorite Newbery book?

Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo. India Opal and I are kindred spirits. That was the first book I finished and wished I had written it myself. It’s just so incredibly lovely.

9.         Favorite app?

Toca Hair Salon. I could try to describe it, but nothing would do it justice. It’s just THAT AWESOME. Download it NOW!

10.     How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

November is my birthday month, and this year it’s on Thanksgiving! I love this because it means I get to spend the whole day with my family. I don’t like pie very much, so it also means I usually get CAKE instead (YUM!) I always like hearing about the actual day I was born, too. I ask my Mom about the weather that day, how she was feeling, how it felt to find out I was a girl and hold me for the first time. Everyone should take time to celebrate who they are. REMEMBER: YOU MATTER.

  ***********************************************

Thanks, Katie! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature!

Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our ALSC Monthly Profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send your name and email address to  alscblog@gmail.com; we’ll see what we can do.

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4. ALSC Member of the Month – Kristen Sutherland

Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just a few questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Kristen Sutherland.

1.  What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

Photo courtesy of Kristen Sutherland

Photo courtesy of Kristen Sutherland

I am ALSC’s newProgram Officer for Continuing Education. I’ve been working in educational programming/events since I graduated college in 2007, and have worked on both live, in-person events and virtual events.

2.  Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

I was interested in working at ALA and ALSC because it’s a mission I can get behind and I heard nothing but positive things from the ALA employees. Not to mention, libraries are a big part of my life – I’m at the Chicago Public Library at least once every couple of weeks – I love to read!

3.  Do you celebrate any Winter holidays?

I celebrate Christmas! This year, my parents and 3 siblings will be going to Hawaii for a Christmas-time vacation – I couldn’t be happier to get away from Chicago’s freezing temperatures!

4.  E-books or Print?

Both! I love my Kindle when I’m on public transportation, but when I’m at home I enjoy having the print books, especially for those books I read over and over again.

5.  Bonfire or Campfire?

Definitely a bonfire – nothing beats a night on the beach!

6.  Do you have a “guilty pleasure” TV show?

I’m guilty of an obsession with “The Sing-Off” – it’s an acapella version of American Idol that was off the air for a couple of years and just returned this winter. I’ve even seen some of the winners in concert! Consequently, I’m also obsessed with the movie Pitch Perfect.

7.  If you could be on a game show, which show would it be?

I would love to be on Cash Cab! When I visited New York City, I was determined to find the Cash Cab, but no such luck.

8.  What is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation is to go to South Africa; I’d love to go on a safari, swim in the waterfalls, go zip lining, etc. My friends and I are planning a trip there for 2014!

9.  Do you use Pinterest?

That’s a tough one – I do use it and pin things incessantly, but I can’t say that I’m very good about actually making any of the recipes or do-it-yourself projects!

10.  Candyland or Chess?

Candyland! I used to love the game as a kid, and my friends and I even dressed up as Candyland characters for Halloween this year!

***********************************************

Thanks, Kristen! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature!

Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our ALSC Monthly Profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send your name and email address to  alscblog@gmail.com; we’ll see what we can do.

0 Comments on ALSC Member of the Month – Kristen Sutherland as of 12/18/2013 12:28:00 AM
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5. Are you heading to PLA in Indianapolis?

PLA2014_learnmoreThe Public Library Association conference takes place in Indianapolis next month and we want to live vicariously through your attendance! We would love it if you would consider live-blogging for the ALSC Blog from the conference.

With a wide variety of sessions specifically for youth librarians, there are many opportunities to learn at the Public Library Association conference. Here is a sampling of some of the scheduled sessions:

Or you may want to visit the Exhibit Hall. In addition, there are a wide variety of author events planned with luminaries such as David Sedaris, Brad Meltzer, and John Green.

Are you attending PLA this year? Would you like to blog from the conference for the ALSC blog? Drop us a line at alscblog@gmail.com and we’ll give you all the information you need to get started.

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6. Tim Wadham: 2014-15 ALSC Vice President/President Elect Candidate

In an effort to help ALSC members make an informed decision before they vote, the blog posts today consist of interviews with the candidates for 2014-15 ALSC Vice President/President-Elect: Tim Wadham and Andrew Medlar. Each candidate was given ten questions and submitted written answers.

This morning’s interview is with Tim Wadham:

1.      What do you consider the most important role of the ALSC President?

Headshot(3)

Photo supplied by Tim Wadham

One of the most important aspects of the ALSC’s President’s role is to be the face of the organization to the general public.  Certainly, the ALSC President shapes the makeup of committees through their appointments, but more important than that is being able to be articulate as they act in the role of spokesperson.

2.      What skills & strengths would you bring to the office?

As a library director, one of my primary responsibilities is to be the face of the library in the community and to build community support in order to advocate for the library with elected officials.  This is a strength I would bring as I filled a similar role for ALSC.   The office also requires someone who is an advocate.  I would bring to the office the fact that, for me, children’s librarianship has not been just a profession but rather a life long passion.  I think I first knew I wanted to be a children’s librarian when I was still a kid participating in summer reading club in my local public library.  I would call the ALA press office at Midwinter to find out which books had won the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, then I would bike the dozen or so blocks to the library so I could be the first to tell my librarians of the winners (this was in the days before internet and the webcast).

Professionally, I started out as a children’s librarian and have always sought positions that would allow me to keep my hand and heart active in children’s services.  I would bring the political skills that I have developed as a library administrator, working with library boards and challenging city councils.  One of my strengths is leading effective meetings (know when to stop and make sure that meetings result in actionable assignments and that real decision-making occurs).  Through my experience as a deputy director and library director I have learned the skills necessary to get consensus within diverse, challenging groups.

Beyond these skills and strengths, I would bring to the office a passion and enthusiasm for the work of ALSC.  I was once asked if I could describe myself in two words, and I asked if one of the words could be hyphenated.  Receiving a positive response, I replied: “Enthusiastic book-missionary.”

3.      What area of library service to children is your favorite?

I suppose that my favorite area of library service to children has to be the programming aspect.  One of the appeals of being a children’s librarian is the opportunity it affords to indulge all your artistic impulses.  You can be an actor, a producer, a musician, a puppeteer, a storyteller and an artist.  I love doing storytimes.  Creating voices for the characters in picture books reminds me of the fun I had in high school doing humorous interpretations of selections from plays.  I enjoy producing and presenting puppet shows—including finding the right book, writing an adaptation, finding the background music, along with all of the other challenges such as building a puppet stage and finding the funding for custom puppets.  And I love doing author programs and introducing kids to their favorite authors.

4.      Why should someone choose to join ALSC? What services do you feel ALSC provides that are valuable to new members? To long-term members?

Membership in ALSC is incredibly rewarding.  ALSC provides the opportunity for like-minded children’s services librarians to share ideas, and most importantly become friends.  I was able to attend my first ALA annual conference due to ALSC and the Penguin Young Readers Group Award which helped cover my expenses to travel to New Orleans.  It didn’t hurt that Penguin was the winning publisher of the Caldecott winner that year (Owl Moon), and that my first conference was also my first opportunity to attend the Newbery/Caldecott banquet.  Over my 27 years as an ALSC member, I have made wonderful friends who I look forward to seeing twice a year at conference.  In that regard, ALSC is better than both Facebook and LinkedIn.  It provides a network of both colleagues and friends who you can know face to face and on whom you can call for assistance or advice.  It has also provided me, as a long-term member, an opportunity to give back by mentoring new librarians coming into the profession.

5.      What are your ideas for reaching and involving members? What are your ideas to recruit new members?

Long years of doing outreach have convinced me that the best way of reaching and involving anyone in an organization or institution is to go where the people are rather than waiting for them to come to you.  That may not be practical on a national scale, but I would certainly consider ways of reaching and involving members by finding them where they hang out virtually, rather than expecting them to come to the ALSC listserv or other official methods of communication.  Reaching out to them first may bring them to tools such as ALA Connect.  This outreach can also be a focus for recruitment efforts.  Perhaps there needs to be a way for ALSC to have ambassadors at state library conferences who can do recruiting—passionate members who know the value of being involved professionally.

The emergence of virtual committees has gone better than I ever anticipated when I was on the ALSC board working on the idea.  With the right chair, a virtual committee can be the perfect way to involve more members and to make them feel more a part of the association.  Recruitment of new members has to emphasize that there are more opportunities than ever to be a fully participating member of ALSC.  Our ALSC ambassadors can promote how important professional involvement is for career advancement.

6.      How has ALSC membership impacted your life?  How has your membership in ALSC impacted library service to children?

ALSC membership allowed me to fulfill a dream I have had since I was a child, which was to be on the Newbery committee.  That alone was a huge accomplishment for a kid who was first challenged to read all the Newbery Medal winners by his middle-school librarian.  The level of discussion on the Newbery committee forever changed the way I think about and evaluate books and share books with kids.  ALSC membership gave me the motivation to apply for and host two May Hill Arbuthnot lectures: Lois Lowry at the St. Louis County Library, and Ursula K. LeGuin at the Maricopa County Library in partnership with the Arizona State Library.

My many committee assignments have impacted my library service to children in ways as simple as providing me with information on titles, such as my service on the Notable Videos and Carnegie Medal committees, which gave me invaluable help with video collection development and exposed me to wonderful films I might not have known about otherwise.  Many librarians value the “stamp of approval” that comes with the notable lists and other award lists and rely heavily on titles recommended by ALSC committees in their collection development.   Beyond that, my experiences as a participating member of ALSC have given me tools to be a better librarian.

7.     Changes in the economy and advances in technology are dramatically impacting libraries. What are your thoughts on how ALSC can best continue to be a positive force for librarians, for libraries, and for children?

My experience as an adjunct professor for the University of Arizona teaching children’s literature and youth services in public libraries taught me that what new professionals most want is practical education about what they can expect in the field.  They don’t want abstract theory.  ALSC can be most effective by providing practical information to children’s librarians on the front lines.  When I began my first job in the Dallas Public Library system, I was never given a mentor to demonstrate best practices for storytimes, and I had to learn what worked on my own.  The best way ALSC can continue to be a positive force is to find ways to disseminate practical information to practicing professionals.  We can be creative in the ways and locations we put out this information, and equally inventive in prioritizing the kinds of information that can come from ALSC.  As an example, the association can disseminate information on best practices for using technology in the day to day work of children’s librarians.  My staff are experimenting with creative new ways of using tablets for storytimes and finding that this technology allows us to think of storytimes in a way we never had previously.  We are able to project books that formerly we couldn’t share with a large group because of their size.  We can show films, or even use book apps in storytime.  These are the kinds of things that should be shared as widely as possible.  Focusing on this will result in librarians with more tools in their tool belt, able to advocate articulately for their libraries, and ultimately enriching the lives of children who come in to their libraries.

8.      What strengths would you bring to help ALSC attain the goals of the ALSC Strategic Plan?

I was part of the 2010 meeting that resulted in the strategic plan and I strongly support the three strategic goals that resulted from the process.  1) Advocacy.  Being an advocate is one of my strengths.  I love libraries and I believe in children’s books.  I am happy to tell anyone at any time why they should read out loud to their child and why libraries are important and not passé.  Advocacy begins with the education, training, and mentoring of new librarians coming into the profession.  2) Education.  ALSC plays an important role in the ongoing education of professionals who serve children in libraries.  ALSC can expand that role and find new ways to accomplish it.  As someone who has taught children’s services to prospective professionals, I have a clear vision of what effective teaching can accomplish.  3) Access to Library Services.  I have always believed that libraries are the great equalizer.  I can bring my experience expanding library and book access for children speaking languages other than English.  Parents from cultures where there is not a strong tradition of public library service need to feel that they’ve been given permission to come into the public library along with their children.

9.      What is your motivation in running for this position?

I have been inspired watching many past presidents serve with class and with grace and I’ve seen the impacts that they were able to make in their presidential years.  My three years of service on the ALSC board gave me insight into how the board works, and taught me how I can be an effective president.  Being asked to run for ALSC President has given me the opportunity for some introspection as to the issues that I truly and deeply care about.  I am motivated by the opportunity that being ALSC President would give to focus on these priorities: 1) Building a better relationship between ALSC and our sister youth divisions.  2) Advocating for the rich legacy of books that should be part of every child’s life, to keep them from being slowly weeded from our collective memory, and encouraging children to appreciate the value of fiction in their lives.  3) Library service to Spanish-speaking children has been a strong professional interest of mine, and I want to advocate for the provision of multi-cultural literature (and library service) to all children and families that equitably bridges the barriers of culture and language.  4) I am concerned that we may be neglecting our middle graders and I believe that we can build on the success of our early literacy efforts to provide literature-based programs for 8-11 year-olds.  Finally, I am motivated by the opportunity of a national platform to speak out about the power that books and stories have in the lives of young people to whoever will listen.

10.    What else would you like the voting ALSC membership to know about you before they vote?

My ultimate goal when providing any library service is always to make a difference and to change the lives of those served in some small way.  Following are two of the many experiences that I feel have achieved this goal:

In partnership with Childsplay Children’s Theater, I commissioned and participated in the writing and development of a play based on the children’s book Tomás and the Library Lady, which was performed for over 70,000 children within the Maricopa County Library District.  Since that time, the play has been performed before countless other children on national tour and in productions by children’s theater companies across the country—including a performance in Hampton, Iowa, where the original story actually took place.  To this day I feel that this has been one of the most important things I have done in my career in terms of the number of children impacted by it and the way it impacted them.  This was encapsulated by the simple response of one child after seeing the show: “I speak Spanish, just like Tomás!”

I commissioned Bill Harley, James Deem and Wendelin Van Draanen to write original novels for which I developed interactive websites, creating the concept of the “online novel.”  New chapters were put up on the web on a regular basis, and the websites included curriculum connections for teachers using the novel in their classrooms.  This project won the John Cotton Dana Public Relations Award, the NAACO (National Association of County Organizations) Best of Category Award, and Highsmith Award for Library Innovation.  Two of the novels were later published for the trade market, after appearing first exclusively on our library website.

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7. ALSC Member Profile – Meet Liz Delzell

Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just ten questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. This month, our candidate bravely volunteered to participate. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Liz Delzell.

1.     What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

I am the Youth Services librarian at Woodstock Public Library in scenic Woodstock, Illinois. (Have you seen Groundhog Day? That was filmed right here!) I have been at WPL for just over 10 months and was lucky to have been hired right out of my MLIS program. In my position, I get a chance to do just about everything a librarian might be interested in doing. I am in charge of collection development for both the juvenile and young adult collections, I plan and present programming for preschool and elementary-aged children, I work at the public desk in our Children’s Room and at the Reference Desk in Adult Services, and I serve as the liaison to our local schools.

2.     How long have you been an ALA member?  Why did you join ALSC?  Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

I have been an ALA member since 2007, when I first decided to apply to library school.  I joined ALSC because I knew that I wanted to work with children in a public library setting and I believed that ALSC would put me in contact with people who were doing just that in creative and innovative ways… and I was right!

3.     Favorite Dr. Seuss book?

My favorite Seuss book is probably McElligot’s Pool. My mom didn’t seem to mind it, so it was one that got read over and over when I was a child. I definitely spent a significant amount of time thinking about what a pool like that might look like in real life and how deep that thing would have to be to accommodate it all. As an adult, I think I appreciate the message to do what makes you happy even when people put a lot of energy into telling you that nothing will come of it.

4.     What motivates you?

Smiles and laughter. If I can get you smiling and/or laughing, I am going to continue down that path. Smiles and laughter indicate to me that we’ve made a connection – a positive one – and that we’re going to be able to make progress toward whatever it is we’re trying to accomplish because we’ve shared a good feeling. When people smile and laugh at the library, I think they’ve made a positive connection with our organization and what we do because we’ve given them a good feeling. My husband always says that ‘putting smiles on faces’ is what life is all about – I agree so much that I used that as the title for my storytime blog.

5.    What do you hope to accomplish in your professional career?

Librarianship is my second career. Before this, I was a middle school teacher. When I was in college, I was a tutor for disadvantaged kids and a camp counselor in the summer. These were jobs I was drawn to because I liked them. I liked what I was doing and I liked who I was working with. The common threa

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8. The Summer Olympics Are Here!

I love the Olympics. I love the Olympic torch relay leading up to the games. I love the pomp and pageantry of the Opening Ceremony. I love the patriotism of the parade of nations. I love the idea of the world coming together in peace. I love the Olympic motto: “Faster. Higher. Stronger.” I love learning more about the history of the Olympics – both ancient and modern. I love the celebration of the best athletes our global community has to offer. I love the way the athletes strive to demonstrate good sportsmanship. I love the stories of perseverance and the commitment of the athletes. I love the Olympics, and I look forward to the next two weeks of competition.

Kids coming into our Library will also be interested in the Olympics. It’s fun to share some of the Olympic spirit!

 

Perhaps you share a story like Janet Stevens’ The Tortoise and the Hare at storytime and talk about the importance of perseverance.


Or you read poems from Jack Prelutsky’s Good Sports and talk about good sportsmanship, teamwork and dedication.

 


Or, for older kids, you booktalk the newly released A Passion for Victory – The Story of the Olympics in Ancient and Early Modern Times by Benson Bobrick, a captivating and compelling read.

 

Or you have a trivia contest featuring Olympic-themed questions selected from The Complete Book of the Olympics – 2012 Edition by David Wallechinsky.

 

Are you celebrating the Olympics in your library? Share what you’re doing in the comments below.

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9. ALSC Member Profile – Meet Lynda Salem-Poling

Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just ten questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. This month, our candidate bravely volunteered to participate. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Lynda Salem-Poling.

1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

I’m a Youth Services Librarian in Long Beach, CA. My 14 year anniversary here in Long Beach will be in August. Before that I worked as a paraprofessional librarian at my grad school library. And before that I paged for about 6 years. (YAY, pages!)

2. How long have you been an ALA member?  Why did you join ALSC?  Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

I’ve been a member of ALA for 13 years, and an ALSC member for just as long. I joined shortly after starting as a full-time librarian so that I could access all of the resources that ALA and ALSC provide. I’m also a member of YALSA, PLA, and IFRT.

3. Elephant or Piggie or Fly Guy?

Oooo…I am Elephant AND Piggie. Both a bit shy and thoughtful and bouncy and exuberant.

4. What do you hope to accomplish in your professional career?

My dream is to serve on the Newbery Committee. I look forward to the Newbery announcement with the same fervor that some save for the Oscars.

5. What’s your favorite book to read aloud?

I love, love, love to read Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester. The louder and more off-key you sing “How many toes does a fish have?” the better, I think. I also love chanting the hunters’ march (as a matter of fact, I used to say it while I chased my daughter around when she was a toddler). I think I’m Tacky, too.

6. E-books or Print?

Depends. What am I doing? Paper books still have the feel advantage (ooo the heft and the paper) but there is something to having a book in my pocket at all times.

7. Do you have a “guilty pleasure” TV show?

I will deny this to my dying day, but I love (and miss now that my daughter’s too old and my son’s too young) The Backyardigans.

8. What movie monster would you hate to find under your bed? 

I would feel really bad if The Blob was stuck with hiding under my bed. It would get covered with all the dust under there and might choke on the toys. It would wind up looking like a tribble. The plus side for me would be that I wouldn’t have to sweep under there anymore.

9. Eating out or eating at home?

Both. My husband and I are both foodies. We love the eating out experience, and we love to cook. My husband was a line cook for years and he’s taught me a lot about cooking.

10. Favorite part of being a Children’s Librarian?

I love helping children look for information, especially when it isn’t for school, but something that just interests them. I also love storytimes and play groups. And I love learning or creating crafts for the older kids. And I love selecting (and deselecting) books for the collection. And I love giving b

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10. We’re looking for microbloggers for the ALSC Institute

The ALSC Blog is looking for people interested in microblogging during the upcoming 2012 National Institute in September. Some of the topics being covered at this workshop include using technology in your programming, what’s hot in children’s spaces, using local partnerships to improve programming and working with underserved populations. If you are interested in lending your thoughts about the Institute to the blog, and letting readers know about some of the things you’re learning, contact us at alscblog@gmail.com. We’d love to have your contributions!

And, if you are interested in attending the Institute, remember that ALSC members can save up to $60 by registering before August 24th.

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11. Listen Up!

What sound recordings have you listened to recently that are great? Which recent audiobooks are you talking up to your colleagues and customers? Two committees — The Notable Children’s Recordings committee and the Odyssey Award committee — have been listening their ears off all year; they would love to hear your suggestions of titles which meet their criteria.

  • ALSC Personal Members are invited to suggest titles for the 2014 Notable Children’s Recordings List, a list of the most distinguished music, audiobooks, and read-along kits created for children released in the United States between November 1, 2012 and October 31, 2013. You may send recommendations with full bibliographic information through the end of October 2013 to Lynda Salem-Poling, NCR Committee Chair 2014, at lynda.poling@lbpl.org. The award will be announced at the end of the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2014.

For more information about the Notable Children’s Recordings List, visit the ALSC website. Click on “Awards and Grants” in the left-hand navigation bar; then click on “ALSC Book & Media Awards.”  Scroll down to the “Children’s Notable Lists” to see past lists and then to “Notable Children’s Recordings Submission Process” to learn more specifics about the award.

  • The Odyssey Award is given to the producer of the most outstanding audiobook published between November 1, 2012 and October 31, 2013.  One winner is chosen, as well as honor titles. The audiobook must be published in English in the United States and the age range is children through young adults. Suggestions of titles may be sent by early November to Ellen Spring, Odyssey Committee Chair 2014  at espring@roadrunner.com.

Time is short! Send in your suggestions of sound recordings and audiobooks now!

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12. Looking for GREAT children’s titles published this year

notable sealEach year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children’s books for inclusion on the Notable Children’s Books list. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: “Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding.” Books intended for children, birth though age 14, that have been published in the United States in 2013 are eligible for consideration.

Title suggestions should be sent to committee chair, Wendy Woodfill, at Notables2013@gmail.com. Please submit suggested titles by November 15th.

Additional information about this award can be found at: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncb

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13. ALSC Members! Make your voices heard!

At the ALA Youth Media Awards Press Conference during the ALA Midwinter Conference to be held in Philadelphia, PA on Monday, January 27, 2014, many very anticipated book awards will be announced. The committees have been relentlessly reading all year, but if you are an ALSC member, now is your last opportunity to suggest titles for the committees to consider.

  • The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.  Complete criteria for the award can be found here. Submit your recommendations with full bibliographic information to Chair Maureen White, at white@uhcl.edu by December 10.
  • The Pura Belpré Award is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.  Submit your suggestions to Ruth Tobar, the 2014 Pura Belpré chair at rtmcoqui@gmail.com  before December 31, 2013.
  • The Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Complete criteria can be found here. Submit your suggestions to Marion Hanes Rutsch at marionhr@aol.com by December 20, 2013.
  • The Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal is awarded annually to the  of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.  Complete criteria for the award can be found here.  Submit your suggestions to Penny Peck at Pikly@aol.com before December 1, 2013.
  • The John Newbery Medal is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children; complete criteria for the award can be found here. Submit your suggestions to Submit your suggestions to Committee Chair Betsy Orsburn at eco519@comcast.net  before December 5, 2013, but sooner would be better.
  • The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. Complete criteria for the award can be found here. Submit your suggestions to Cecilia P. McGowan at cmcgowan@kcls.org before Friday, December 13th.

Take note, ALSC members! Now is your opportunity to suggest titles to the Award committees!

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14. Win $1,000 with the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens

And now for an important message from Laurie Amster-Burton, the YALSA MAE Jury Chair:

Did you get teens reading in 2013? ALSC members who also belong to YALSA may want to apply for the MAE Award, recognizing your programs for readers age 12 and up.

YALSA members who have run an exceptional reading or literature program in the 12 months leading up to Dec. 1, 2013 are eligible to apply for the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens, which recognizes an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults.

Do you run a spectacular teen book club that engages underserved audiences? Did your summer reading program or literature festival connect teens with literature in an innovative way? Have you connected teens to literature or helped them gain literacy skills via some other exciting means?  If so, you could win $500 for yourself and an additional $500 for your library by applying for award.  Individual library branches may apply.

The MAE Award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Applications and additional information about the award are available online.  Applications must be submitted online by Dec. 1, 2013. For questions about the award, please contact the jury chair, Laurie Amster-Burton (laurieab@gmail.com).  The winner will be announced the week of Feb. 9, 2014.

Not a member of YALSA yet? It’s not too late to join so you can be eligible for this award. You can do so by contacting YALSA’s Membership Marketing Specialist, Letitia Smith, at lsmith@ala.org or (800) 545-2433, ext, 4390. Recognize the great work you are doing to bring teens together with literature and apply today.

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15. And joining our blogging ranks at #PLA12…

Are you enjoying the posts from our live bloggers?  Starting today, we have one more blogger joining our PLA blogging ranks. Offering a view from the Exhibit Floor, Cynthia Robbins is a publisher’s representative. She works as a Library Specialist and National Accounts Manager at Globe Pequot. Welcome Cynthia!

 

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16. Who is your favorite Librarian Superhero?

The librarian superhero contest is back for the second year! Last year over 800 entries were received in Gale/Cengage’s celebration of librarians; four librarian superheroes were selected to be immortalized as cartoon characters on lunchboxes. This year, the four winners selected will be celebrated in a comic strip highlighting their super talents; they will be announced at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California.

Here’s the information from the press release about the contest:

What:  Gale Are You a Librarian Superhero? Contest

Submissions need to include basic information about their librarian – full name, library name, and most importantly, what is super about them.

Who:

All public, special, school and academic librarians in the U.S. and Canada, and the patrons, colleagues and friends who believe they are superheroes.

When:

Call for nominations is open February 1- March 31, 2012. Winners will be announced at the Gale booth during the American Library Association’s annual meeting on June 21-26, 2012 in Anaheim, CA.

Where: 

Librarians can nominate themselves or their peers by logging on to https://new.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8jrDs9W5jvibpTm&Preview=Survey&BrandID=cengage

Why:  

Librarians go to extraordinary lengths every day for their patrons. To celebrate those feats of greatness and encourage others, Gale will honor librarians everywhere by unmasking just a few of the superheroes among us.

Who is your favorite librarian superhero? Nominate him or her today! But hurry, the contest closes one week from today on March 31st.

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17. ALSC Member Profile – Meet Paige Bentley-Flannery

Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just ten questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. This month, our candidate bravely volunteered to participate. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Paige Bentley-Flannery.

1.     What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

For the last eight years I have been a Children’s/Community Librarian at Deschutes Public Library in Oregon.  Some of my favorite activities include Baby Steps story time, outreach into schools and creative new programs in and out of the library.   Overall, I have been a librarian for 12 years.

2.     How long have you been an ALA member?

I have been an ALA member for 12 years.

3.     Why did you join ALSC? 

I joined ALSC to connect with other librarians, to be inspired, to expand my knowledge and to share ideas.

4.     Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

I was a member of YALSA when I was a Young Adult Librarian at New York Public Library.  I also participated in roundtables and look forward to being involved again.

5.     What are you proudest of having accomplished in your professional career?

As “Poetry Paige,” I have not only presented to over 10,000 kids, but also to hundreds of teachers, public librarians and school librarians.  Through interactive presentations in schools and conferences, I have shared the excitement of poetry, “Meet Art” and biographies. This has allowed me to travel from Alaska to Montana. So much fun! Also, an overall connection with children, parents, teachers and others at the Deschutes Public Library makes me smile every day.

6.     What is your favorite word?

Fun is my favorite word.  I use fun every day as a Children’s Librarian; clapping in excitement, during story time or when I’m describing a program at the library.  Fun!

7.     E-books or Print?

Print with a side of E-books.

8.  What children’s book character did you most identify with growing up?

The character I most identified with growing up is Beezus from the Beverly Clearly series.

9.  What’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is Sky Blue.   I love following the sky and the clouds.

10.  Are you excited about the direction of the digital world in libraries?  And how are you involved? 

I am very excited about this! Although, I will always love books and continue to share new books with everyone! But when a patron at the library, a teacher, or another librarian is already using an iPad or another digital reader I love sharing my favorites.  My new passion is children’s book apps! I cannot stop!  I have been focusing on using children and teen book apps in the classroom and for programs in and out of the library.  It is amazing how many schools now have iPads.  I love combining books with the digital world of books and children’s apps.  Soon our library website will include a section on digital links and a highlighted app.  I cannot wait!

***********************************************************

Thanks, Paige! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature! (Paige can be reached at paigeb@dpls.lib.or)

Do you know someone

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18. Celebrating National Library Week

How did you celebrate National Library Week at your Library? Did you offer a special storytime celebrating books and reading? Did you offer a photo opp with a special library prop or puppet? Did you have a fun library-related trivia game? Did you have a patron appreciation day?

At our library, Jeffrey Krull, the library director, helped make National Library Week very special by agreeing to have his likeness made into a bobblehead. A video of “Bobblehead Jeff” traveling around our Library system was created and made available on YouTube.

This video journey was highlighted on our Facebook page and through our blogs.

Later in the week, Bobblehead Jeff visited several branches, highlighting some specific aspects of our Library system.

It was all in good fun, and was very well received by customers and staff alike.

How did your library celebrate National Library Week?

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19. Want to Contribute to the ALSC Blog?

Have you always wanted to find an outlet to share your great ideas for libraries? Does your library offer innovative, creative, compelling, crowd-inducing, important, or just-plain fun activities, services or programs? Do you have an idea about how libraries can improve their services? Are you involved in a research project which excites you? Do you want to share these ideas with the multitudes?

The ALSC Blog is always looking for Guest Bloggers. Our guest bloggers are busy people who write a post related to children and libraries on a VERY irregular basis. A guest blogger might only write for the blog one time, or they may submit posts once or twice a year. We love the variety of thoughts that are offered by our guest bloggers. In the past 6 months, some of the topics Guest Bloggers have written about include:

Sound interesting?  Use “Guest Blogger” as a subject line and send your idea for a post you’d like to write to Mary Voors, ALSC Blog Manager, at alscblog@gmail.com. We’re waiting to hear from you!

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20. Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

Don’t you love the brisk wind that often erupts in the spring?  You can just be walking down the street and suddenly a gust of wind rustles the leaves on the trees, blows up your shirtsleeves and swirls around your ankles. It makes me want to go fly a kite. Or, at the very least, share some stories about kites and the wind.


In Kite Day by Will Hillenbrand, Bear and Mole build a kite to fly, but then a sudden storm erupts … and brings a surprise. I love the sheer exuberance in this book.

 


Someone Bigger by Jonathan Emmett, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds, is a cumulative tale with a satisfying ending proving that “someone bigger isn’t always someone better.”

 


Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall, illustrated by Matt Phelan, is not really about kites. Instead it’s about a wind so strong it blows Flora’s little brother away, and — even though he’s annoying — Flora sets out to save him.

 


Designed for older readers, it’s fun to share portions of Kites – Twelve Easy-To-Make High Fliers by Norma Dixon both to develop vocabulary as well as to build background knowledge about kites.

 

Even though I appreciate the ideas of themeless storytimes which have been discussed recently on this blog, sometimes I find it helpful to have a theme to help focus my thoughts and plans. Have you done a storytime on kites or wind? What books did you use?

 

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21. Welcome to summer at the Library!

Summer is upon us, hordes of children and their grown-ups are descending upon our library, circulation is going through the roof, and some days can be challenging, but the children’s staff is absolutely invigorated by all the hustle and bustle!

  • Little Keeshon has lost his dad?  No problem; a staffperson takes his hand and together they find dad two bookcases away.
  • The storytime room is almost filled to over-capacity with toddlers and their grown-ups? No problem; the librarian presenter simply adapts and everyone – kids and adults – falls in love with her and with the books & rhymes she shares.
  • An increasingly large line of families is eagerly queuing up to register for the Summer Reading Program, and a parent at the front of the line protests that her 2nd grade child is gifted and should be allowed to participate in the young adult program instead of the children’s program? No problem; the staffperson calmly tells the parent that it’s between her and her child what the child reads. If they choose to use the YA books instead of the books in the children’s section that’s fine. Crisis averted.
  • Isabella is crying because she doesn’t want to leave the Library? No problem; we silently applaud mom as she calmly gets down on one knee, looks the child in the eye, and explains with a smile that they will come back another day.
  • Someone has had a potty accident in the Early Learning Center?  No problem; we assure the chagrined mom “we know that accidents happen” as we work to get the area cleaned up.
  • There are six people waiting at the children’s “Ask Here” desk, the phone is ringing, and there are only two librarians? No problem; with a smile, a librarian makes eye contact with the waiting line and assures them that they will be helped as quickly as possible.
  • A dead fish is discovered in the fish tank? No problem; a staffperson simply explains (in developmentally appropriate terms) about the cycle of life.

Several years ago, a group of librarians from many departments at my Library got together and talked about why we come to work, and more importantly, why we LIKE coming to work. The result of our discussion was a simple statement :

This is why I come to work every day:

I am passionate about what I do. I am privileged to be a steward of the public trust. I am proud to serve the community as a whole and the person in front of me now. I respect the individuality and individual needs of the people I serve. I believe the library is for everyone. I serve the needs of my community now, and serve now to benefit future generations.

I keep this note by the door of my office so I can see it every time I go out to work with the public. Some days can be challenging, but having this reminder helps. And having a great group of people to work with who share the belief that what we are doing is important is priceless.

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22. Notable Children’s Books Nominees – Summer 2012

Seal used for all books selected by the ALSC Notable Children's Books committeeThe ALSC Notable Children’s Books committee is charged with identifying the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.

If you’re like me, you have been eagerly anticipating the  list of titles to be discussed at the Annual Conference. Here it is!

FICTION (INCLUDING FICTION GRAPHIC NOVELS AND FICTION VERSE NOVELS)

Applegate, Katherine.  The One and Only Ivan. Illus. by Patricia Castelao. HarperCollins Children’s Books

Bell, Juliet.   Kepler’s Dream.   G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Clifton, Lutricia. Freaky Fast Frankie Joe.   Holiday House

Curtis, Christopher Paul.  The Mighty Miss Malone.  Wendy Lamb Books

DiCamillo, Kate and Alison McGhee.  Bink and Gollie: Two For One.  Illus. by Tony Fucile.  Candlewick Press

Fitzmaurice, Kathryn.  A Diamond in the Desert.   Viking Children’s Books

Horvath, Polly.  Mr. and Mrs. Bunny– detectives extraordinaire! Illus. by Sophie Blackall. Schwartz & Wade Books

Ibbotson, Eva.  One Dog and his Boy.  Scholastic Press

Levine, Kristin.  The Lions of Little Rock.   G. P. Putnam’s Sons

MacLachlan, Patricia.  Kindred Souls.  Katherine Tegen Books

Nelson, Vaunda  Micheaux.   No Crystal Stair: a documentary novel of the life of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller.  Illus. by R. Gregory Christie.  Carolrhoda Lab

Palacio, R.J.  Wonder.   Alfred A. Knopf

Rose, Caroline Starr.  May B.   Schwartz & Wade Books                                    

Turnage, Sheila.   Three Times Lucky.  Dial Books for Young Readers

Wright, Barbara.  Crow.  Random House

PICTURE BOOKS

Barnett, Mac.  Extra Yarn.  Illus. by Jon Klassen.  Balzer & Bray

Bingham, Kelly.  Z is for Moose.  Greenwillow

Buzzeo, Toni.  One Cool Friend.   Illus. by David Small. Dial Books for Young Readers

Davies, Nicola.  Just Ducks.  Illus. by Salvatore  Rubbino.  Candlewick Press

Evans, Shane W.  We MarchRoaring Brook Press

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23. ALA Annual Conference #ala12

Last week-end, many of us enjoyed beautiful weather in California while learning more about libraries, librarianship, and how to improve services to children. We also made time to visit the Exhibit Hall, network with colleagues, and celebrate quality children’s literature.

Ten bloggers volunteered to “live-blog” from the conference. Unfortunately, a serious hardware outage at our provider prevented us from from doing this.  Tomorrow and Monday,  some of us hope to share some of the things we learned and experienced at the ALA Annual Conference last weekend.

Feel free to add YOUR thoughts about what you learned at the Midwinter Conference in the comments below.

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24. #ALA12 Becoming an Ally

I feel safe in assuming that we all want our libraries to be welcoming, easily accessible, and safe for all of our customers. A powerful and important workshop at the ALA Conference was presented by GLSEN  (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) which helped me look at this issue from a slightly different perspective. Titled Fabulous Havens: Libraries as Safe Spaces for the Needs of LGBT Youth, this presentation focused on ways in which libraries can create safe, respectful and healthy environments for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Offering background information, research-based data, and ideas to help make libraries — both school and public — safe places for kids, this session made me think about the importance of respect for all kids and how important it is for young people to have both allies and advocates.  I’d love to hear how your library has addressed issues like name-calling, disrespect, hurtful language, or bullying among kids. As for me, I know I will be even more actively intervening in an effort to help all kids feel safe and welcome in the Library.

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25. We know you’ve been reading some great new books!

Several days ago, we posted a call for suggestions of titles for the 2013 Randolph Caldecott Medal. In addition, ALSC personal members are invited to suggest titles for the following 2013 children’s book awards:

Pura Belpré Award

The Pura Belpré Award is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. Please remember that only books published in 2012 are under consideration for the 2013 award. You may send recommendations with full bibliographic information to Chair Charmette Kendrick at ckendrick-kuhn@cvrls.net. For more information about the award, visit the Pura Belpre Award homepage.

John Newbery Medal

The John Newbery Medal is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished American children’s book.  For the 2013 award, only books published during the 2012 calendar year are eligible for consideration.  Please send recommendations with full bibliographic information to Chair Steven Engelfried at engelfried@wilsonvilllelibrary.org. For more information about the award, visit the Newbery Medal homepage.

Notable Children’s Books

The Children’s Notable Book Committee selects, annotates, and presents an annual list of notable (important, distinguished and outstanding) children’s books for all age levels through age 14.  The committee examines board books, picture books, informational picture books, early readers, fiction and nonfiction books.  Please remember that only books from this publishing year are under consideration.  You may send recommendations with full bibliographic information to Wendy Woodfill at notables2013@gmail.com. For more information about the annual Notable lists, visit the ALSC website at http://www.ala.org/alsc.  Click on ‘Awards and Grants” in the left-hand navigation bar, then click on ‘Children’s Notable Lists”.

Take notice, ALSC members! Now is your opportunity to suggest titles to the Award committees!

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