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1. “How Do I Get On an Award Committee?”

ALSC announced that it will hold a live New Member Forum on Wednesday, April 23 at 3pm Eastern. This hour-long event is free and open to members and non-members. Registration is now open.

As part of the forum, ALSC Membership Committee Chair Amanda Roberson will examine ways of getting involved in with the division. Attendees are invited to discuss these topics and their experiences as members. The forum will take place on Adobe Connect. A recorded webcast of the event will be available following the live session.

ALSC encourages current members to participate in the forum as well. There will be time provided for questions and discussion. The event is free, but registration is required.

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2. Destruction, Disruption, and Defiance: Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust

In discussing the persecution of European Jews in the years before and during World War II, my students would often ask, "How could they let this happen?" Meaning, how could the rest of the world stand by and do nothing? For all the answers I can help students to find, I still can't answer this question myself.

The question asked nearly as often, however, is this: "Why didn't the Jews fight back?" But to that question I can readily answer, "They did. They did fight back. But realize that it wasn't just with guns; even children your age found ways to disrupt and defy the Nazis who tried to exterminate them."

In teaching the topic of Jewish resistance, I've found a great resource in an impressive series of six books from Enslow Publishing titled True Stories of Teens in the Holocaust. This series explores, through hundreds of primary documents and photographs, the diverse experiences of Jewish and non-Jewish youth caught up in the Holocaust.

Another terrific single-volume resource for any middle or high school classroom is Doreen Rapapport's Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust, published by Candlewick Press.

Check out the books below, and then read on for suggested sites for helping students learn history through analyzing primary sources.

Courageous Teen Resisters: Primary Sources from the Holocaust

The popular title Courageous Teen Resisters: Primary Sources from the Holocaust documents both violent and nonviolent defiance of Nazi terrorism, from the increasingly overt persecution of early 1930s Germany to resistance efforts in France to the twenty-seven days of the Warsaw uprising. Readers learn how subtle and secretive efforts by Jews and Gentile sympathizers disrupted and distracted occupying enemy troops in some circumstances, while outright armed resistance and acts of sabotage wreaked chaos and destruction in others.

From Courageous Teen Resisters:

Courageous Teen Resisters is recommended as a stand-alone volume for students seeking to learn more about Jewish Resistance, as well an informational text companion to Heroes of the Holocaust: True Stories of Rescues by Teens (available from Scholastic).

The remaining five titles in the Enslow series are described below with a short publisher's summary or excerpt as well as recommended companion titles. This series is especially useful in text pairings not only to meet demands of the Common Core emphasis on informational texts, but to provide students with the necessary historical and social contexts needed to truly appreciate biography and historical fiction rooted in the Holocaust. (If you're seeking Holocaust texts for lower-level readers, be sure to check out my Annotated List of Holocaust Picture Books).

Youth Destroyed - The Nazi Camps
"Alice Lok was deported to Auschwitz, a Nazi death camp, in 1944. Upon her arrival, she faced a "selection." Alice had to stand in line as a Nazi doctor examined the new camp inmates. If the doctor pointed one direction, it meant hard labor—but labor meant life. If the doctor pointed the other way, that meant immediate death. Alice was lucky. She survived Auschwitz and two other camps. However, millions of Jews were not so lucky."  ~ from the publisher
Youth Destroyed - The Nazi Camps is recommended as an informational text companion to The Devil's Arithmetic (gr. 6-8), Prisoner B-3087 (gr. 6-9; see my review here), Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story (gr. 4-6), Hana's Suitcase (gr. 4-5), Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust (gr. 5-7), I am a Star: Child of the Holocaust (gr. 5-7), Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps (gr. 5-8), I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust (gr. 8-12), and Night (grades 9-up).

Trapped - Youth in the Nazi Ghettos
"(M)any Jewish youth living in the ghettos in Europe... faced death, fear, hunger, hard labor, and disease everyday. Millions of Jews were forced into ghettos, where the Nazis kept them until they could be deported to the death camps."  ~ from the publisher

For this title I'd recommend Children in the Ghetto, an interactive site which describes itself as
"...A website about children, written for children. It portrays life during the Holocaust from the viewpoint of children who lived in the ghetto, while attempting to make the complex experience of life in the ghetto as accessible as possible to today’s children.

Along with the description of the hardships of ghetto life, it also presents the courage, steadfastness and creativity involved in the children’s lives. One of the most important messages to be learned is that despite the hardships, there were those who struggled to maintain humanitarian and philanthropic values, care for one another, and continue a cultural and spiritual life."
By examining writings, artifacts, and first hand interviews, students gain an understanding of the "anything-to-survive" mentality which the ghetto created, and demanded, of its inhabitants. Students can explore freely, taking advantage of the interactive elements, or respond to prompts in writing using the printable handouts (I downloaded the handouts, available in Word format, and adapted them according to my lesson objectives).

Once students have interacted with this site, they will have a mental bank of sites, sounds, stories, and symbols from which to draw upon, greatly increasing their understanding and appreciation of this nonfiction text as well as any novel with which they're working.

Trapped - Youth in the Nazi Ghettos is recommended as an informational text companion to The Island on Bird Street (gr. 4-6), Milkweed (gr. 6-8), Yellow Star (gr. 5-8), and Daniel's Story (gr. 4-8).

Escape - Teens on the Run
"Thousands of Jews lived on the run during the Holocaust. Some were able to escape Germany before the war started. Others had to move throughout Europe to flee the Nazis. And many more could not escape at all."  ~ from the publisher

From Escape - Teens on the Run

Escape: Teens on the Run is recommended as an informational text companion to Number the Stars (gr. 4-5), The Night Spies (gr. 3-5), When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (gr. 4-6), Escape: Children of the Holocaust (gr. 5-7), Run, Boy, Run (gr. 5-8), Once (gr. 6-10), and Survivors: True Stories of Children of the Holocaust (grades 5-8).

Hidden Teens, Hidden Lives
"(T)housands of Jews went into hiding during the Holocaust. Barns, trapdoors, bunkers, secret attics, forged identity papers, and fake names became tools for survival."  ~ from the publisher
The fate of Jews who were hidden is of special interest to students. Even in a classroom that chooses not to embark upon a full Holocaust unit, time can certainly be devoted to learning about Jews who went into hiding rather than face extermination by the Nazis.

The uncertainty of such a choice is reflected in this diary entry from Anne Frank which appears in the book:

Hidden Teens, Hidden Lives is recommended as an informational text companion to Number the Stars (gr. 4-5), Jacob's Rescue (gr. 3-5), The Upstairs Room (gr. 4-5), Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival (gr. 4-6), Anne Frank (10 Days) (gr. 5-7), The Hidden Girl: A True Story of the Holocaust (gr. 4-6), Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (gr. 7-up), and The Book Thief (gr, 8-up).

Shattered Youth in Nazi Germany
"Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party's rise to power in the 1930s changed life dramatically for all people living in Germany. Hitler used propaganda, fear, and brutality as his main weapons. Jewish children faced strong antiSemitism in their schools and on the street, and saw their families ripped apart. Non-Jewish children deemed "undesirable" suffered a similar fate. "Aryan" children were forced to enter Hitler Youth groups or endure humiliation."  ~ from the publisher

This book is a real stand-out as it not only chronicles the experience of Jews in Nazi Germany, but also Gentiles who were reluctant to submit to Nazi ideologies.

Shattered Youth in Nazi Germany is recommended as an informational text companion to The Big Lie (gr. 3-5), The Boy Who Dared (gr. 6-8), The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler's List (gr. 5-9), Someone Named Eva (gr. 6-9), Parallel Journeys (gr. 6-8), The Book Thief (gr. 9-up), Hitler's Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow (gr. 6-12), and The Berlin Boxing Club (gr. 9-12).

Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

If you're looking for a single-volume resource for any middle or high school classroom, I recommend Doreen Rappaport's multiple award winning Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust, published by Candlewick Press.

Like all of Candlewick's titles, this text is supported by a number of resources available from the publisher's site, including a full page spread, a teacher's guide, an interview with a survivor, and an audio excerpt. The book itself includes primary source excerpts, maps, a pronunciation guide, timeline, index, and sources.

In speaking of her accomplishment (which took five years to research and write), author Doreen Rappaport says,
"How Jews organized themselves in order to survive and defy their enemy is an important but still neglected piece of history. I present a sampling of actions, efforts, and heroism with the hope that I can play a role in helping to correct the damaging and persistent belief that Jews ‘went like sheep to the slaughter.’"
Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation

A key resource for teaching Jewish resistance, and for discovering a multitude of primary sources, is the web site of the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, whose key mission is "to develop and distribute effective educational materials about the Jewish partisans and their life lessons, bringing the celebration of heroic resistance against tyranny into educational and cultural organizations."

Over 30,000 Jewish partisans, or “members of an organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy, especially within occupied territory.” joined the hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish resistance fighters who fought the Nazis. Interestingly, however, their assistance was not always welcome, as antisemitism was often common in non-Jewish resistance groups.

This comprehensive and well constructed site offers teachers and students myriad free resources including:
  • Professional Development modules which can be completed for continuing education credits (CEUs)  (I highly recommend that prior to using this site you complete at least the first module, to better understand how to best access the site's videos, articles, lesson plans, student hand-outs, and more);
  • An extensive film collection, containing 3 to 20 minute films trhough which students can "witness the Jewish partisans' stories of endurance, victory, and struggle;"
  • Interactive maps of Jewish partisan activity;
  • A Virtual Underground Bunker;
  • An Image Gallery (captioned and sourced); 
  • Downloads for the classroom and a Resource Search option; and
  • A very unique tool called Someone Like Me, where a students enter a combination of characteristics which describe themselves, and the site presents a partisan who matches those characteristics. Students can then explore the life and work of that partisan through any of the resource links above.
Primary Sources

Because the impact of Holocaust education relies heavily upon students learning the true events of this tragedy, primary sources should play a role in every Holocaust unit. The JPEF site described above provides a wonderful collection of sources from which to choose, but below I have compiled a number of additional resources which educators may find useful in planning their instruction. As always, please reach out and let me know what other sites, books, and documents you've found useful.

Why Should I Use Primary Sources?

Reading Primary Sources: An Introduction for Students
From Learn NC, a step-by-step guide for students examining primary sources, with specific questions divided into five layers of questioning.

Primary Document Webinar
This hour long recorded webinar present teachers with not only reasons for using primary sources, but also ten really easy-to-implement ideas for starting with primary sources in the classroom.

Making Sense of Evidence
This is a highly recommended collection of articles written by experts in the field on how to make sense of films, oral histories, numbers, maps, advertisements, and more. While written by the experts, students will find the language they use to be accessible. From the site:
“Making Sense of Documents” provide strategies for analyzing online primary materials, with interactive exercises and a guide to traditional and online sources. “Scholars in Action” segments show how scholars puzzle out the meaning of different kinds of primary sources, allowing you to try to make sense of a document yourself then providing audio clips in which leading scholars interpret the document and discuss strategies for overall analysis.
Because of the career connections, this site is a valuable tool for achieving College and Workplace Readiness goals.

Engaging Students with Primary Sourcesfrom Smithsonian’s History Explorer site
A 64 page pdf that serves as an excellent introduction to using primary sources.

Primary Sources Fitting into CCSS
Brief article showing how instruction with primary docs helps fulfill CCSS.

Teaching the Holocaust with Primary Sources
From Eastern Illionis University, a Holocaust Unit utilizing resources provided by the Library of Congress.

Library of Congress: Why Use Primary Sources?
Very brief pdf discusses reasons in bullets; good for making your point when discussing unit plans with others.

Primary Sources Cautionary Tales (pdf article)
Considerations and concerns surrounding primary sources.

Where Can I Find Lesson Plans with Primary Sources?

I Witness
From the USC Shoah Foundation, this site contains over 1300 video testimonies and other digital resources, as well as assistance for educators seeking to use these tools in Holocaust education.

Response to the Holocaust: Resistance and Rescue(Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center)
A pdf format document filled with original writings and suggested student activities; you can also download the entire curriculum from the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center.

Jewish Resistance: A Curriculum from The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
Lesson plans include original documents, along with suggested student questions to help analyze them.

The Power to Choose: Bystander or Rescuer?
Popular set of plans that has been online for some time; used by many educators as a good starting place for planning units.

Where Can I Find Additional Sites for Primary Sources?

PBS Learning Media - Interviews with Survivors and Rescuers
A good online source for interviews.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Offers an ever-changing variety of resources, as well as searchable pages for research. Educators can often request free teaching materials as well.

PBS Resources on the Holocaust 
The search page of PBS provides a vast number of resources, including excerpts from shows which have appeared on public television.

Oral History from Virginia Holocaust Museum
Oral History Project provides witness of survivors and rescuers.

Dr. Seuss Went to War
Theodore Geisel was a radical political cartoonist who urged America to join "Europe's war," in large part due to the oppressive policies of Hitler's Nazi. But are Geisel's cartoons themselves a type of propaganda? See an earlier post here on Propaganda and Persuasion.

What Strategies or Tools are Available to Assist Students in Analyzing Sources?

SOAPS Primary Document Strategy
This pdf provides information about the SOAPS acrostic, which students can easily recall for use in analyzing primary sources of information.

Primary Source Analysis Tools from the Library of Congress
Several different tools in pdf form for analyzing oral histories, manuscripts, maps, movies, and more.

Document Analysis Worksheets from National Archive
These pdfs allow for blank printing or for students to type directly on them and then print out or save; very handy for conducting analysis online.

Analyzing a Primary Source Rubric
A rubric for scoring student efforts in using primary sources.

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3. Creating Competencies for Staff #pla2014

If a small stand-alone library with a very modest budget can create competencies and find/create training opportunities so their staff can all succeed, then we can too, right? Not convinced? OK, how about if the director of the library freely offers every single piece of work they did? Now we’re talking. You need a few things in place, according to Penny Albert from the Ephrata Public Library in Pennsylvania. You need buy-in from all of your stakeholders, clear policies and procedures, and a realistic timeline, but mostly what you need is the will to do it.

And as to that, Penny says, “We are educational institutions but we don’t educate our employees.” That seems like a crazy way to do business. So, we can all go to Guerrilla Librarian and get to work.

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4. Keeping IF Fresh

Every year around this time all the children’s services staff in our District gather together for one full day of staff development. It’s always a fun day; a chance to see everybody and catch up on news, and the trainings are interesting and relevant. One of the highlights is when our collection development librarian does her annual roundup of patron concerns and challenges, with a timely reminder of District policies and procedures relating to the same. It’s not as dry as it sounds, this particular librarian has a great sense of humor, and there is undoubtedly some humor to be found in a few of those instances (how did that end up in the juvenile collection?). I believe it’s also important to be discussing these things frankly with all staff. This year it was also a timely reminder that I ought to follow up with my newest staff member to see if the training had raised questions, and to ensure that he was aware of the policies and procedures we have in place in the event of any patron concerns.

A week later I got a chance to sit down with him and I was happy to find that the training had piqued his interest and he did indeed have questions. From there the conversation spilled over into patron privacy issues and a discussion of the ALA Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement. Being passionate about intellectual freedom I took full advantage of this “teachable moment” to encourage and foster his interest in how the library profession is upholding the first and third amendments and how much of why-we-do-what-we-do-the-way-that-we-do-it is related, and how important it is that we continue to value these core values of our profession, and I probably ran on as much as this sentence does, if not more. (*Breathe now*) But really, advocacy should begin at home, and he was surprised, as many folks new to library work are, at how hard we librarians work towards the rights that library users enjoy.

How do you introduce the subject with your new hires? How do you keep the topic alive within your workplace? Please share!

Claire Davies for the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee

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5. ALSC Mentoring Program Interview

Today, we’re excited to welcome two participants in the ALSC Mentoring Program to the blog. Mary Fellows and Skye Corey are matched in the program and want to tell us all about it. They asked each other six questions and we’re running their interview as today’s post. 

Skye Corey

Skye Corey, participant in the ALSC Mentoring Program (photo courtesy of Skye Corey)

Mary Fellows: Hello, Ms. Mentee! To get us started, let me pose to you the questions I ask myself some hectic days: “What’s my name, where do I live, why am I here?”

Skye Corey: My name is Skye Corey, and I live just outside of London, Ontario, Canada. I’m in my final year of the University of Western Ontario’s Library and Information Science program, where, among other things, I’ve been having a wonderful time reading the writings of the early pioneers of children’s librarianship. What vision they had!

I’m here because after attending the “ALSC 101” program at the ALA Annual Conference this past year in Chicago, I was overcome by the passion, intelligence, compassion, and vision of leaders and members alike. “These are the kind of people,” I said to myself, “that I want to learn from.”

ALSC Blogger Mary Fellows

Mary Fellows, past president and ALSC mentor (photo courtesy of Mary Fellows

Skye: Just to give those new to ALSC (like myself) an understanding of who you are, I’m going to ask the same questions of you. What’s your name, where do you live, and why are you here?

Mary: My name is Mary Fellows. I live and work in the Albany, New York area. In New York State we have 23 public library systems that exist to provide expertise and economies of scale that make individual public libraries better. I have the best job in my organization (don’t tell my coworkers!), Upper Hudson Library System: working with the librarians who serve kids, teens, and families in their libraries.

Why am I here? I love learning. And I love helping others develop their skills, challenge their boundaries, and grow. A major part of my job is influencing people: modeling, training, informing, and motivating staff members to take risks and improve their service. One of my favorite quotes is from Anais Nin: “Life expands or contracts in proportion to one’s courage.” I try to foster the development of courage!

When ALSC initiated a mentorship program, I thought, “I can do that!” I signed right up, and here we are!

Mary: In getting to know you, Skye, I’ve enjoyed your optimism, can-do attitude, and humor. You have another characteristic, though, that our readers may be curious about: you’re Canadian, going to school in Canada. Why ALSC?

Skye: Well, Mary, I wish I could tell you that I undertook a thorough investigation of all possible associations before signing up, but the words “Christmas list” and “time crunch” come to mind when thinking about an answer to “Why ALSC?”

I was finishing up my first semester of library school and my parents wanted my Christmas list immediately. I’d already been hoping to subscribe to a journal that discussed current practice and issues in the field, so I figured I’d better hurry up and choose a journal to put on that list or else I’d end up with a scratchy turtle-neck sweater under the tree. After checking out the different journal options, I discovered that I could get free access to Children & Libraries if I became a member of ALSC, so I quickly put “ALSC Membership” on my Christmas wish-list. My parents, how I love them, did one better and not only paid for my membership, but also paid for me to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. There, through the pre-conference and other sessions, I became extremely impressed by the abundance of learning opportunities that ALSC offered. You better believe that an ALSC membership renewal is on my Christmas list this year!

Skye: You mentioned the importance of mentoring in a previous ALSC blog post, stating that, alongside being an ambassador and a visionary, leaders mentor. Can you tell me about an individual who has played an important mentoring role in your life? What sorts of qualities did she or he exhibit?

Mary: Let’s take a recent example. I was elected vice-president/president-elect of ALSC in 2010, following Julie Corsaro, whom I barely knew. The three-year presidency track (vice/elect, president, immediate past) loomed quite scarily ahead of me. But to my great good fortune, Julie chose mentorship as her theme (this project we’re in came originally from her), and lived out her value by mentoring me in ALSC leadership skills. She was open, frank, able to laugh about things that were exasperating, and shared information and helpful hints that only someone who has made hundreds and hundreds of committee appointments would know. Julie was also organized, poised in her presenting, and always gracious. You can bet my eyes were glued to her as she presented our part of the webcast Youth Media Awards and presided over the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet – and what a good model she was!

Mary: Now back to you . . . when you signed up to join the mentorship program, what were your hopes? What benefits are you gaining from our mentoring relationship thus far?

Skye: When I signed up to join the mentorship program, my one major hope was to learn. I wanted to learn both about the things I knew I needed to learn, and about the things I didn’t even know I needed to learn. For example, I knew that I wanted to learn about how I could help strengthen the next generation of children’s librarians, in my role as co-leader of our school’s student group, “The Student Librarian’s Association for Children and Youth Services.” I also wanted to learn about things I didn’t even know I needed to learn. I wanted to identify the gaps in my knowledge of the field, and find ways to fill in those gaps.

In terms of benefits gained from the mentoring relationship thus far, I feel like I’ve learned so much already! Just by listening to how you articulate answers to different questions has taught me how to think deeply and broadly. More specifically, by going through ALSC’s core competencies you’ve helped me identify areas for growth, and connected me to resources that will foster that growth.

Skye: One last question: if you could pick one character from a children’s book that was the ultimate example of a good mentee, who would you pick and why?

Mary: Here you are, really challenging me again! I pick Olivia (Olivia, by Ian Falconer). She’s a pig with creativity and aspirations. Olivia is open to outside influences, and can learn both by observing and trying, so she’s mentally flexible. Olivia knows the importance of being prepared, and she thoroughly investigates the options before making a decision – useful habits to develop. On the emotional skill level, she’s able to be firm when needed, which means that Olivia has boundaries – hugely important! Mainly, though, Olivia’s not afraid to take risks – and that kind of “let’s try it see what happens” attitude is very appealing in a mentee. Olivia reminds me a lot of you, Skye – well, except that you’re not a pig . . .

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6. Learning & Connecting at NCTE

I returned from three wonderful days at the NCTE Annual Convention in Boston late last night. I learned from authors, poets, classroom teachers, literacy coaches, PhD students, university professors, and other literacy leaders. Here's a sampling of some the things I gleaned at this year's convention.

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7. Do Deadlines Drag You Down?

Have you ever had this following conversation with yourself as you thought about your upcoming week at work? “Okay, so I have six programs this week, and I should have checked out that new book I wanted to use with that group.  It’s probably already checked out by now. I have those three reports due by tomorrow and that mandatory meeting that will last all day. I have the article due next week, but I won’t have time to work on that next week, so I have to somehow find that time this week. There were those four emails I read right as we were closing, but I need to learn more about that project before I can respond  . . .”

It’s easy for our thoughts about our work to be more focused on our deadlines instead of the difference that we can make. Of course, deadlines are a necessary part of our work and are a good measure of how much we can accomplish and contribute to our profession. The trap that is easy to fall into, however, is measuring the success of a week based on checking off those deadlines from a to-do list instead of focusing on the real reason behind the work we do at our libraries.     

Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com

Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com

 Clearly, we’ve dedicated our professional lives to working with and for children and their families for the positive difference this can make. How can we remember to get out of the deadline-driven slump and focus both on those tangible and intangible reasons behind why we do what we do? At our recent North Carolina Library Association Conference I attended last month, I brainstormed some ways to make sure I focus first on the difference and then on the deadline.

1.       Participate in the Profession

It’s hard to think that when we have a bunch of projects due or programs to plan that this is the time to participate even more in our profession. The truth is that it is all too easy to be constantly focused on the next monthly report or spending the budget before the end of the fiscal year.  It is easy to forget the big picture of why that report and that budget matter. Volunteering to serve on an internal committee or stepping up as the youth services representative can help us to focus on the impact of our work and is also a small step in us controlling the direction of our work instead of letting our deadlines always drive us.

2.       Continuing Education Continues to Matter

It is easy to fall into the daily grind of work.  Participation in continuing education opportunities, whether it is through a conference or planning training for other branch staff, encourages us to become more invigorated about our work. Hearing about another library system’s best practices can motivate all of us to focus on the positive impact of one of our programs or library services. Reading blogs and professional journals can inspire us to think of that next great idea. It’s easy to want to let these professional experiences fall by the wayside if we are overwhelmed by our current workload, but the benefits of participating in these types of opportunities serves to motivate us in the long run.

Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com

Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com

  3.       Talk It Up

I’m sure we’ve all heard that comment from an oblivious stranger, “You went to library school? They have a school for that?” All those moments when we share about the reality of our work with those that haven’t had a chance to experience all that libraries have to offer is an opportunity to share the impact of what we do. When we discuss the benefits of our latest program or service, whether it’s with a library customer we have just met or a longtime family member or friend, we affirm the real reason behind our work.

Deadlines have a definite purpose in our careers, but they should not define it. What tips have you learned to remember to focus on the bigger picture and not to get bogged down by those deadlines? Please share in the comments below!

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8. Never, Ever Show any Sign of Emotion: or Professionalism for Children’s Services Librarians

What is it that makes a librarian a professional?  The easy answer might be that a master’s degree is required to do “professional” work in a library.   Soon after going into the field, however, I saw that this view was not only naïve, but also somewhat problematic.  In my first professional library job the one and only thing that differentiated professional staff with MLS degrees from para-professional staff was the responsibility of materials selection.  Of course, we had received training in our library school programs for this.  (We also typed out catalog cards.  Look how long the need for that “professional” skill lasted).  Later, when I began teaching collection development courses for the University of Arizona library school, I would tell non-librarian friends about my class, and they would be incredulous.  They could simply not believe that one needed master’s degree-level training to select library materials.  Librarians, however, understandably feel angst over a territorial issue such as maintaining selection as the domain of MLS degreed professionals only

But professionalism it is much more than simply having received training to do a particular high-level task.  This sort of professionalism is divorced from degree, or even the job title, but rather relates to how you are perceived in the workplace; how you interact with your co-workers and more importantly, your boss.  But even then, I have seen different takes on just what it means to act professionally.  When someone makes a statement like “She was very unprofessional,” what are they really saying?  Some of my early experiences as a librarian convinced me that it meant to never, ever make any show of emotion.  Getting emotional about any issue branded as you being “unprofessional”.  I understand that bringing emotion into a disagreement regarding time needed off the desk to prepare for storytime may not be the best way to successfully make your case with a director or administrator.  Administrators are looking for dispassionate, calm, reasoned and logical arguments, backed up by numbers, data and spreadsheets, not an anecdote of a child’s reaction to Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!  But as a children’s librarian, I have always felt passionate about what I do.  I am passionate about getting parents to read to their kids, passionate about children’s books, passionate about the children’s programs.  So if I bring that passion and enthusiasm into the equation, does that mean I’m not a professional?  Of course not, particularly if that enthusiasm is coupled with knowledge.

One of the first and best ways to portray yourself as a children’s services library professional is to know the biz.  Know what’s going on.  What’s the latest research on early literacy?  What are the current best practices in library children’s spaces?  This can be very impressive.  Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you do, and your enthusiasm will be contagious.  Yes, it is okay to feel emotion.


Our guest blogger today is Tim Wadham, who wrote this piece as a member of the Managing Children’s Services Committee. Tim is the Director of the Puyallup Public Library in Puyallup, WA.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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9. Hello August!

Here I am and August is here too. It has been a long summer that is going too fast. It’s the paradox of time. One thing is for sure: It keeps moving. Next… Read More

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10. Upward Collegial Sharing

My colleagues and I just spent two days in professional development sessions with our district’s elementary and secondary principals and their administrative staffs. The energy was high and the principals were engaged and dare I say enjoying our presentations. How much better could it get?

With their jam-packed schedules principals can be a tough sell but a unifying piece to remember is we are all in the business of educating our students. The administrators took the information we shared with them back to their campuses…and there they will spread it two-fold.

My advice is to enjoy the connection with these folks when you have the opportunity and make the most of the time you have with them. Win-win.

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11. Cincinnati!!

The Queen City!

The Queen City!

Being a librarian is all about adapting to change and this conference of black librarians has provided no exception

Zetta had a gorgeous beach outside her hotel while I had the levee along the Ohio River.

Zetta had a gorgeous beach outside her hotel while I had the levee along the Ohio River.

to that rule. Zetta Elliott was out and B. A. (Barbara) Binns was in a few months ago.

Our third presenter was an unforeseen no-show.

My expectations were to deliver and then attend key presentations with then leave to re-explore my former hometown. The conference simply provided too many connections for me to explore as much as I would have liked.

Barbara and I delivered a well-received presentation on the reading habits of young black male readers. It was informative to hear Barbara discuss her observations of young black males in various venues as she researched her books and her resulting wisdom to not write about males in their homes. In realizing the different ways young males interact, she knew that they would also interact differently at home. Since she hadn’t observed these interactions, she avoided writing about them.

Audience questions led us to discuss cover issues,  the need for more black male authors, what males do read and why we should let them choose what that want to read so that they will read. Good librarians quickly realize that most people aren’t reading because they haven’t found what they like. I provided a 6 page list of books for boys ages 9-18 based upon the list on Greg Neri’s blog and Barbara provide free, signed copies of her book! It confounds me that so many people claim they cannot find these resources!

photo copy 4

Evening at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

I was disappointed that vendors such as EBSCO who typically have huge exhibits at conferences sent only one person with a notebook.

My literary find was Hole in the Head by Wilbert Smith Ph.D.. This book is  about Dr. Smith uncovering the story of a dozen Blacks (eleven men and one female) in Lyles Station, Indiana  (a historic all black settlement) who were experimented on as young children when photo copyradiation was first being harnessed for medical use. As a result of experimentation, these individuals lived their entire lives with holes in their skulls. Using hats and wigs, most found ways to cover this infliction that they developed for the sake of science. Despite the damage and dishonor done, this is a story of overcoming obstacles and achieving greatness.

I’m looking forward to reading this book and being prepared to further my discussion with Dr. Smith when he visits ISU this fall.

photoI connected with college friends, some whom I hadn’t seen in over 30 years! Met the audacious Karen Lemmons with whom I’ve communicated online for years and we have made plans! Quilt plans!!!!! I spent time on the campus where I earned my undergrad degree and was overwhelmed by the transformation of the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Yes, change was certainly the theme of this visit.

I went to lunch with my conference badge still on and locals asked what conference I was attending. Of course they expressed pleasant surprise when I told them black librarians and they wanted to know more. I didn’t quite tell them as much as I’ve written here!

Thursday evening I visited the National Underground Freedom museum and was surprised to find that one of the performers in the quartet was the niece of my college roommate!

Filed under: librarianship, professional development Tagged: B. A. Binns, BCALA, Black males reading, Cincinnati, NCAAL, Wilbert Smith

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12. Sharing Some Thinking from the Writing Institute

I’ve been wanting to try out Storify for awhile, but haven’t head a reason to use it.  Until now.  I decided to put together Storify some of my tweets and pictures from last… Read More

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13. Registration Open for Fall 2013 ALSC Online Courses

ALSC Online EducationIn need of some quality online education?

This fall, ALSC is offering five online courses that cover a wide variety of topics related to children’s literature. Four of the are eligible for certified education units (CEUs). The American Library Association (ALA) has been certified to provide CEUs by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

Participants in online courses consistently respond that they would be very likely to register for another course offered by ALSC. ALSC online courses are designed to fit the needs of working professionals. Classes begin Monday, October 7, 2013. For more information, please visit: http://www.ala.org/alsced.

Getting to the Core: Librarians and Common Core State Standards (6 weeks)
Instructor: Edward Sullivan, Librarian, Writer and Educator

Out of this World Youth Programming (6 weeks, 1.8 CEUs)
Instructor: Angela Young, Head of Children’s Services, Reed Memorial Library, Ravenna, Ohio

Reading Instruction and Children’s Books (6 weeks, 2 CEUs)
Instructor: Katherine (Kate) Todd, Adjunct Instructor, Manhattanville College

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs Made Easy (4 weeks, 1.2 CEUs)
Instructor: Angela Young, Head of Children’s Services, Reed Memorial Library, Ravenna, Ohio

Storytime Tools (4 weeks, 2 CEUs)
Instructor: Lisa Shaia, Children’s Librarian, Oliver Wolcott Library, Litchfield, CT.

Detailed descriptions and registration information are available on the ALSC website. Fees are $115 for personal ALSC members; $165 for personal ALA members; and $185 for non-members. Questions? Please contact ALSC Marketing/Membership Specialist Dan Rude at drude@ala.org or 1-800-545-2433 ext. 2164.

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14. Apply for an ALSC Professional Award!

It’s professional award season! This fall, ALSC has several chances for members to take advantage of opportunities for their libraries and their career development!

Every year, more than $100,000 is given away through ALSC’s professional awards, grants, and scholarships. ALSC professional awards are for those new to the profession or members with years of experience. A list of professional award winners from 2013 is not available from the ALSC website.

Want to apply? Due dates for awards are coming up! Make sure to familiarize yourself with the due dates before you apply.

Penguin Young Readers Group Award
This award provides a $600 stipend, provided by Penguin Young Readers Group, for up to four winners to attend their first ALA Annual Conference.
Deadline: Friday, October 18, 2013

Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship
This fellowship provides a $4,000 stipend to allow a qualified children’s librarian to spend a month or more reading at the University of Florida’s Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature.
Deadline: Friday, October 18, 2013

Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Award
This $4,000 award aims to bring together children and nationally recognized authors/illustrators by funding an author/illustrator visit to a school or public library that has not before had the opportunity to host one.
Deadline: Saturday, November 30, 2013

ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant
This $3,000 grant provides financial assistance to a public library for developing an outstanding summer reading program for children.
Deadline: Saturday, November 30, 2013

ALSC Distinguished Service Award
The recipient receives $1,000 and an engraved pin at the ALSC Membership Meeting during the ALA Annual Conference.
Deadline: Sunday, December 1, 2013

ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant
This $3,000 grant will be awarded to a library with exceptional outreach to underserved populations in efforts to help them continue their service.
Deadline: Sunday, December 1, 2013

Three libraries to receive a Bookapalooza collection of materials (estimated to be worth $10,000 each) to be used in a way that creatively enhances their library service to children and families.
Deadline: Saturday, February 1, 2014

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15. UpComing

The following are a few good ways to get involved in the dynamic world of YA.

ALAN, the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE, is seeking applicants for the position of editor of their journal, The ALAN Review.  To apply, interested persons should submit the following: a letter of application detailing qualifications for the position and the applicant’s vision for the journal, a current vita, one sample of published writing, and a letter of general support from appropriate administrators at the applicant’s institution. Classroom teachers are eligible and encouraged to apply. Applications should be sent via email, using the subject line, ALAN Editor, to Teri Lesesne, Executive Director of ALAN (AlanExecutiveSecretary@gmail.com). Please send files as Word attachments. Applications must be received no later than October 1, 2013. Finalist interviews will be conducted at the NCTE conference in Boston.

Note that the TAR editor receives complimentary registration to the ALAN Workshop and a stipend of $2,000 a year.

Click here for further information about the position from ALAN’s Policy & Procedure Manual.

There is still time to register for the United States Board On Books International Conference in St. Louis MO, Oct. 18-20
Speaker highlights: Ashley Bryan, Mem Fox, Gregory Maguire, Pat Mora, Katherine Paterson, Peter Sis, Jacqueline Woodson
Breakout Session highlights (and there are many more):
“Bringing the World to Your Library: Incorporating International Books into Everyday Practice”
“Diverse Voices, Digital Narratives: Connecting Children, Books, and Digital Media  to Promote Bookjoy Around the World”
“PictureBookJoy: Humor in International Picture Books”
“Depictions of African American and Black Culture in Graphic Literature”
“Hair in Children’s Literature around the World”
“BookJoy for Middle School: Poetry in Many Voices”


YALSA is seeking program proposals and paper presentations for its 2014 Young Adult Literature Symposium,Keeping it Real: Finding the True Teen Experience in YA Literature, to be held October 31 – November 2, 2014 in Austin, TX.   YALSA’s 2014 Young Adult Literature Symposium will gather together librarians, educators, researchers, authors and publishers to explore what’s ‘real’ in the world of teen literature.  In what ways is young adult literature reflecting the real and amazing diversity of today’s 42 million teens and it what ways has it fallen short?  Who are today’s teens, really?  What are the ‘real’ issues that they want and need to read about, and how do they want to read about them?  Why are realistic teen experiences in books sometimes controversial when they accurately portray a young person’s life? How are the evolving areas of identity and sex(uality) being explored in YA literature and nonfiction?  Join YALSA as we explore what is ‘real’ in young adult literature.

YALSA invites interested parties to propose 90-minute programs centering on the theme, as well as paper presentations offering new, unpublished research relating to the theme. Applications for all proposals can be found at http://ala.org/yalitsymposium  (click “Propose a Paper/Program”). Proposals for programs and paper presentations must be completed online by Nov. 1, 2013. Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ status the week of Jan. 12, 2014.

Important news from IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People)

In international children’s book news,  the 2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award,  sponsored by the Swedish government and currently the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature, has been presented to Isol, the Argentinian writer and illustrator of children’s books.  According to the ALMA website:  ” Isol’s great talent as a picturebook author is apparent in the overall experience created by the dramatic composition, the choice of colours and the intensity of the drawn line.”  (wwww.alma.se)

IBBY has selected the next editor for Bookbird .  Dr. Bjorn Sundmark will edit the journal from 2015- 2018.  He is Associate Professor of English at the Faculty of Education, Malmo University, Sweden, and serves on the board of the Swedish National  Culture Council.

Filed under: professional development Tagged: ALAN, IBBY, USBBY, yalsa

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16. Fall 2013 ALSC Webinars

ALSC Online EducationBuilding your library skills has never been easier as ALSC offers new and returning webinars. With sessions on Día, tweens, and children with autism, developing your professional skills is convenient and affordable. As always, these webinars are taught by experienced and caring library profesionals! Check out ALSC’s fall webinar schedule:


Making Every Day a Día Day: Incorporating Día into Current Youth Programming
Wed., Oct. 23, 2013, 2-3 PM CT


Between Storytime and the Prom: Tween Programming Fills the Gap
Mon., Nov. 4, 2013, 2-3 PM CT

What’s After Storytime: Programming for Children and Tweens With Autism
Thurs., Nov. 14, 2013, 1-2 PM CT


What’s After Storytime: Programming for Children and Tweens With Autism
Wed., Dec. 11, 2013, 6-7 PM CT


What’s After Storytime: Programming for Children and Tweens With Autism
Tues., Jan. 7, 2013, 1-2 PM CT


What’s After Storytime: Programming for Children and Tweens With Autism
Wed., Feb. 12, 2013, 1-2 PM CT

For more information on these webinars – such as times, fees, and registration – please visit the ALSC webinar site.

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17. Apply for the Bechtel, Penguin Awards

ALSC encourages members to submit applications for two awards. Applications for the 2014 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship and the Penguin Young Readers Group Award are due Friday, October 18, 2013.

The Bechtel Fellowship is designed to allow qualified children’s librarians to spend a total of four weeks or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, a part of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

The Penguin Young Readers Group Awards, made possible by an annual gift from Penguin Young Readers Group, provides a $600 stipend to up to four children’s librarians to attend their first ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Applicants for both of these awards must be personal members of ALSC, as well as ALA members to apply. Deadline for submissions is Friday, October 18, 2013.

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18. Heroic Failure? Yep, that’s me!

heroic failureI don’t mean to brag and I do hope that I don’t make you all jealous, but I won the Heroic Failure Award*!! Squeee!!! I am quite proud of my accomplishment and my certificate hangs in a place of honor (right over my printer) so that I can look at it daily.

The Heroic Failure Award is a new staff award given out yearly at my library to celebrate someone (or several someones) who took a risk on something that didn’t quite work out. The library director and I brought this idea back from the fabulous Risk & Reward Conference in 2012. We thought this was an excellent way to recognize that failure is not a bad thing and sometimes it takes several failures to get to something that is GREAT! Theodore Geisel was not published on his first attempt; he lived through numerous rejections before his first children’s book was published.

I would like to encourage you to take a risk today and try something new. If it fails remember that failure makes the final product better, it is how we learn and grow and build excellent programs and services. Keep on failing!

*I share the honor of Heroic Failure with the cast and crew of this wonderful video.

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19. Celebrate Latino Children’s Literature and Literacy

Celebrate Latino Children’s Literature & Literacy at the National Latino Children’s Literature Conference in March 13-14, 2014. For more information.

I received the following information in an email today. Do think about proposing a presentation for this conference and share this information with others you know who may be interested in presenting as well.

The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies is pleased to announce the 2014 National Latino Children’s Literature Conference to be held in Tuscaloosa, AL on March 13-14, 2014. This exclusive conference was created for the purpose of promoting high-quality children’s and young adult books about the Latino cultures and to offer a forum for librarians, educators, researchers, and students to openly discuss strategies for meeting the informational, educational, and literacy needs of Latino youth (children and teens) and their families. Featuring nationally-acclaimed Latino literacy scholars and award-winning Latino authors and illustrators of children’s and young adult books, this exclusive conference is truly an unforgettable experience.
Request for Proposals: In keeping with the recurring conference theme “Connecting Cultures & Celebrating Cuentos,” we invite poster and program proposals that contribute to and extend existing knowledge in the following areas: Latino children’s and young adult literature, bilingual education, Latino family involvement in the school curriculum, Latino cultural literacy, library services to Latino children and their families, literacy programs utilizing Latino children’s literature, educational needs of Latino children, educational opportunities and collaborations with El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), Latino children’s responses to culturally-responsive literature, social influences of children’s media on Latino youth, Noche de Cuentos literacy programs in schools and libraries, creating cross-cultural connections with Latino children’s literature, and other related topics. Presentations and posters can share recent research or provide practical suggestions for current or preservice librarians and educators. The National Latino Children’s Literature Conference is both a research and practitioner conference and proposals are peer reviewed.
Program Proposals: Programs can be a presentation of research  or  practical suggestions for teachers, librarians, and other educators. To submit your program proposal, please provide the following information:  a 250 word (maximum) abstract of your presentation along with the program title;  the name of the program organizer; the names of all presenters and their affiliations along with their preferred contact phone, email, and address; and your preferred presentation day (Thursday, Friday, or Either) to conference chair Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo at celebratingcuentos@gmail.com. Please be sure to put “program proposal” in your subject heading.
Poster Proposals: Posters can be a presentation of research  or  practical suggestions for teachers, librarians, and other educators. To submit your poster proposal, please provide the following information:  the title of your poster; a 200 word (maximum) abstract of your poster; the subject of your poster (choose Literature/Media Studies, Programs & Services in Libraries, Educational & Literacy Strategies, or Exemplary Programs); your name and affiliation; your preferred contact phone, email, and address; and your preferred presentation day (Thursday, Friday, or Either) to conference chair Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo at celebratingcuentos@gmail.com. Please be sure to put “poster proposal” in your subject heading. Easels will be provided for posters and additional information about poster size will be provided with the acceptance letters.
The deadline for proposal submissions is midnight December 9, 2013  with notification of acceptance on or before December 18, 2013.


Filed under: professional development Tagged: latino conference

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20. Launch into STEM Programming with LPI!

Interested in providing more hands on STEM programs in your library but need ideas on how to start? ALSC has partnered with the Lunar Planetary Institute (LPI) to help you with just that!

Learning STEM activities

Participants learn hands on STEM activities at an Explore training to share at home (photo courtesy of LPI)

The Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Explore program invites librarians to open doors to the universe to children – no prior experience in science is required! Explore provides step-by-step instructions for a selection of hands-on activities, as well as facilitator background information, correlating National Science Education Standards, and lists of related books, websites, handouts, and other resources. LPI also hosts free workshops and webinars across the country to help you bring hands on STEM programming into your library. Check out how these three Youth Service Librarians have launched into STEM programming with help from LPI!

Wini Ashooh, Youth Services Librarian at Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s Porter Branch in Virginia, attended the Jupiter’s Family Secrets Workshop in Pennsylvania.

The LPI workshop provided me with the training I needed to present fun and appealing science programs to children. The activities that were presented were hands on and taught children information about the planets and our solar system. All these activities used everyday materials that are readily available and quite inexpensive.

Upon my return to my library system following the workshop a colleague and I created two bins that contained the materials necessary to conduct these activities. These bins circulate throughout my library system so that various staff members can use them to present the STEM activities introduced at the workshop to children at various programs. I created links on Google Drive so that everyone in my system would have access to the directions and supporting information related to these activities.

One great aspect about this workshop is that the instructors prepare the attendees with so much knowledge and access to information that it is possible to tailor the activities to individual systems. None of us have the same setting or circumstances. This program allows each librarian to create what works for them. Rest assured you do not need to be a scientist or a science teacher in order to present these activities. The workshops will prepare you with the information you need to conduct a successful program.

Cory Eckert, Youth Services Manager at Octavia Fellin Public Library in New Mexico, attended NASA’s It’s a New Moon Training in Virginia.

We did a number of hands-on activities designed to teach lunar science to kids, targeted at elementary and middle school aged children. We made the Earth and Moon’s crusts out of candy, threw basalt rocks at graham crackers to show how lunar dust is formed, mimicked cratering by throwing bouncy balls at layers of oatmeal, flour, and cocoa, set off bottle rockets, threw water balloons at concrete to see splatter patterns and more. The highlight of the training was probably designing and building a lunar orbiter or rover to fit a scientific question we wanted answered. The activity required teamwork, creativity, critical thinking and engineering.
While we have not incorporated any of the activities into our weekly Weird Science Club yet, we plan to do so for next summer’s Summer Reading theme, Fizz, Boom, Read. We also plan to host a Night At the Planetarium at the library, with a variety of activity stations as well as the lunar rocks and telescopes.

Library STEM

Exploring more STEM activities for the library (photo courtesy of LPI)

Sara Collins, Head of Youth Services at Manchester Public Library in Massachusetts, attended the Explore: To the Moon and Back workshops in Boston and a Polar Ice webinar.

During the workshop I was able to visit a lab at BU where a professor and student shared models of one aspect of the LRO (a robotic spacecraft currently orbiting the moon) which had come from their lab. This was fascinating and it really struck home here, as well as in other talks during the training, that the children in elementary, middle, and high school now would be the scientists who might work on some of the return trips to space. This was really exciting to me and when I shared it with students in my classes at the library; I could see this was exciting to them, as well.

I have been able to hold programs with several stations from the Explore Moon Handbook and the Ice series of activities. Incorporating books of the field, using visual displays, hands on activities, and having science at a range of levels, these programs are often tailored for ages 7-10. There are ways of making a project/experiment from these be a part of another program too. This summer with the National Summer Reading theme of Dig into Reading, my volcano event included facts of earth and space volcanoes and led to a hands on building of clay land forms, measuring eruption flow and subsequent eruptions, and studying trends with this. This was all from the Explore Moon unit.

Our library also participates annually in International Observe the Moon Night, InOMN, this is one of the highlights of the year for families, adults, and children. Each year we use our Astro binoculars from NASA, and many telescopes from the public, to host a night when the casual viewer stops by and spends 10 minutes or the eager student spends an hour or more viewing with these scopes. We have garnered the attention of those walking by the library and many who put it on their calendar. Participation in Explore: The Moon led me to look for space for SPACE! at our library.

We hope you will explore the free resources that LPI has available and consider attending one of their workshops or webinars!

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21. ALSC Presents Tween Webinar on Nov. 4

ALSC Online EducationYou have on more week to register for ALSC’s tween webinar. Between Storytime and the Prom: Tween Programming Fills the Gap presented by Amanda Moss Struckmeyer takes place on Monday, November 4 at 2pm Central. In this webinar, attendees will learn key qualities and features of high-quality ‘tween programs.

Amanda Moss Struckmeyer is the Head of Youth Services at the Middleton Public Library in Middleton, Wisconsin, where she has developed an ever-evolving buffet of programs for tweens.

ALSC personal members pay only $45! For more information on Between Storytime and the Prom: Tween Programming Fills the Gapfees and dates, please check out the ALSC site.

Questions? Please contact ALSC Membership/Marketing Specialist, Dan Rude, drude@ala.org or 800-545-2433 ext 2164. For more information about ALSC webinars, please visit ALSC webinar page.

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22. Three ALSC Award Deadlines Approach

ALSC wants to remind you about three important professional award deadlines that are coming up!

ALSC and the Grants Administration Committee are currently accepting online applications for the 2014 Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Award and the 2014 Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant. The deadline for both of these awards is Saturday, November 30, 2013. ALSC and the Distinguished Service Award Committee are also accepting nominations for the 2014 ALSC Distinguished Service Award. The deadline to submit nominations for this award is Sunday, December 1, 2013.

Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Award
Applications due Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Award is made possible by an annual gift from Simon & Schuster. This $4,000 award, named in honor of Maureen Hayes, brings together children and nationally recognized authors/illustrators by funding an author/illustrator visit to a library. Applicants must be personal members of ALSC, as well as ALA members to apply.

ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant
Applications due Saturday, November 30, 2013

The ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant is made possible by the generosity of Baker & Taylor. This $3,000 grant is designed to encourage reading programs for children in public libraries, while recognizing ALSC members for outstanding program development. Applicants must be personal members of ALSC, as well as American Library Association members to apply.

ALSC Distingusihed Service Award
Nominations due Sunday, December 1, 2013

The ALSC Distinguished Service award honors an individual member of the ALSC who has made significant contributions to, and an impact on, library service to children and/or ALSC. The recipient receives $1,000 and an engraved pin at the ALSC Membership Meeting during ALA Annual Conference. The nominee and the individual making the nomination must be personal members of ALSC as well as ALA.

Every year, more than $100,000 is given away through ALSC’s professional awards, grants, and scholarships. For more information on these and other ALSC professional awards, please visit the Professional Awards & Grants section of the ALSC website.

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23. CAL To Go Quarterly, Add Digital Format

Children & LibrariesALSC is pleased to announce significant upgrades to Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children (CAL). Beginning with Volume 12 in spring 2014, the journal will be issued quarterly and delivered in print and electronically. ALSC members and CAL subscribers will continue to receive a print copy delivered in the mail; plus they will be able to access and read each new issue online. These modifications are in response to results of a 2011-2012 communications survey in which ALSC members expressed an overwhelming preference for a quarterly journal, published digitally as well as in print.

The new quarterly CAL will be issued in Spring (March), Summer (June), Fall (September) and Winter (December). From its inception in 2003, CAL has been published three times annually and in print only. The new digital delivery will be through Metapress, an e-publishing host that also delivers numerous other ALA serial publications. In addition, back issues of CAL—Volumes 1-11—will be digitized and available online to ALSC members and CAL subscribers.

“We are delighted to expand the opportunities for our members to access and contribute to this valuable source of information,” said Starr LaTronica, ALSC President.

Children and Libraries is the official, refereed journal of ALSC and primarily serves as a vehicle for continuing education of librarians working with children, showcasing current scholarly research and practice in library service to children and significant activities and programs of ALSC.

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24. Community Membership

I am a bit of an anomaly when it comes to being a school librarian.  I work with a team, I am in an independent school that does not participate in standardized testing, and common core is not a factor.  So many of the issues that face so many school librarians do not necessarily apply to me.

That said, even if I feel like a bit of spare peg, it is incredibly important to take part in the larger conversations happening in the field.  While attending the SLJ Leadership Summit in Austin in September, I was lucky enough to share a table with Elissa Malespina ( @SOMSlibrary ) and she told me about #tlchat (teacher librarian chat) on twitter.  #tlchat is a monthly chat filled with concerns of teacher librarians, and each month the topics are broad strokes like “Collaboration”, “Participatory Culture”, “Building Your PLN”.

I took part for the first time this past Monday during the collaboration chat.  Not only did I get a few new ideas, I also found inspiration.  Inspiration, as I have said before, is fuel for me.  Even though I work with a team in a progressive environment, it is pretty incredible to connect across geography with professional peers.

If you have never participated in a library related chat on twitter, I encourage you to do so.  Here is a list of chats that may help you find some inspiration!

  • #readadv – Reader’s Advisory Chat
  • #edtechchat – Educational Technology Chat
  • #storyappchat – Chat about writers creating storybook apps for the iPad
  • #titletalk – A chat about books and promoting reading and readers
  • #pblitchat – A chat about picture books
  • #alscchat – And of course the chat hosted by alsc members focusing on a variety of topics.

Please add any other chats you find valuable into the comments!

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25. Looking Forward

August is here! What are you eagerly anticipating this week, later this month, and this-coming fall?

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