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Officially Speaking | ALSC Voices & Faces | Bright Ideas | Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Align and Conquer
Creating a Better Future for Children through Libraries is our mission as an association. Our strategic plan has three board goals to help us do that: Advocacy, Access, and Education. This three prong approach is the foundation of our work together and an important construct to guide us.
In my presidential year, I plan to align and conquer our challenges by making sure that the work we do and we ask our members to do in all of the committees, task forces, and pilot programs brings us closer to our mission. We have a promising start. This year we will convene a diversity forum, present a preconference on honor books, think through how to measure the value of services through research and data, and make important decisions about new media for children. All these things will help us do a better job in creating a better future for children and do much to help our profession reimagine its value and opportunities for growth.
Ambitious plans can only be successful with dedicated members helping. I am confident that we have a host of talented, smart, committed, and willing librarians at the ready. I will also tell you that the process of ensuring that members are engaged and understand the issues ahead is a daunting task and one that requires a focus on our core values of collaboration, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity, respect, leadership, and responsiveness. I am proud to lead an organization that upholds these values and acts on them in its structure of governance and professionalism.
The time in which we work is one of profound change and transformation. The communities that we serve—the schools, families, towns, cities, and rural areas in which our libraries operate—have differing expectations. Our plan, carefully constructed and with a clear sense of mission, helps us continue to create a better future even if we can’t see it yet. The value of a plan is not to constrain but to empower and my belief is that by articulating our plan, we empower our members to act.
Transformation can be a scary thing and often it is used as a synonym for change. I suggest transformation, in a visionary sense, can be the ability to see the familiar in a new light. This, I believe, is what we will discover: our values and our mission remain but are seen by ourselves and others in a new light. This concept is well illustrated by one of my favorite children’s books. In Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke, Fletcher valiantly and futilely tries to “save” his favorite tree by preventing the leaves from falling from its branches. Fletcher worries that if the tree changes, it will die. What he comes to discover is the natural process of renewal, which brings both loss and discovery. Fletcher comes to admire his tree’s winter silhouette encased in ice that sparkles in sunlight.
With our plan to create a better future for children, we are empowered to view the inevitable and natural changes that occur as a transformation in the best sense: a renewed appreciation of our worth, the value of reading, the joy of discovering connections and a passion for our work.–Ellen Riordan, ALSC President
I’m happy to share with you the following information from the recent ALA Council meetings held during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, where I was proud to represent ALSC as your Division Councilor.
-- Annual attendance was 18,626, including close to 600 international attendees representing 78 countries. This overall number is down from Chicago in 2013 and up from Anaheim in 2012. Attendance figures for all past conferences are available online.
-- Council heard reports from the very active ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee (which is about to publish an update to its interpretation document), Committee on Legislation, and Freedom to Read Foundation (Herb Krug is the newest member of the Roll of Honor), all of which are continually working to support the work of ALA and its members.
--The Digital Content Working Group announced that its work for the next two years will focus on high prices, digital preservation, and media beyond e-books.
-- Council passed resolutions supporting stable funding for Air Force Libraries; on granting the District of Columbia budgetary authority to provide services, including public libraries, during federal government shutdowns; and reaffirming support for Net Neutrality
-- Memorial resolutions were passed in honor of ALSC Past Presidents Maggie Kimmel (on which I was proud to be the mover, seconded by ALSC Past Presidents Thom Barthelmess & Amy Kellman) and Marilyn Miller (which was endorsed by the ALSC Board), and Eliza Dresang (which was moved by ALA President Stripling and seconded by ALSC President Starr LaTronica).
One of the final events of Annual Conference is the farewell to the departing ALA president, which this past year has been the gracious and effective Barbara Stripling, and the inauguration of the new, which this year is the dynamic and dedicated Courtney Young, who will work wonderfully to continue the work of her predecessors.
It has been an honor to be ALSC’s voice on ALA Council for the past two years, and, as I transition off of Council to take up the duties of ALSC Vice President/President-Elect, I want to thank you all for this opportunity. I’m pleased that Lisa Von Drasek will be stepping up as ALSC Councilor for the next year and appreciate her support and involvement in Vegas. According to the ALSC bylaw (Article 5, section 3
) approved by membership this past spring, a Councilor vacancy is filled by a second or third year ALSC Board member selected by a vote of all Board members (view the board actions online
) and I know that Lisa will do great work on Council on behalf of all of us. She can be reached by email
. I also want to give a shout-out to AASL Councilor Val Edwards and YALSA Councilor Vicki Emery, with whom I so enjoyed co-convening the Youth Council Caucus, and encourage any and all ALSC members with an interest in representing youth issues ALA-wide to consider running for a seat on Council in the future. If you have any questions at all about the experience, don’t hesitate to reach out to me
.—Andrew Medlar, ALSC Vice President/President-Elect & Immediate Past Division Councilor
Thank You to Our Most Recent Donors
Many thanks to the following generous contributors to Friends of ALSC. To learn how you can support ALSC, visit www.ala.org/alsc
and click on "About ALSC--Contact ALSC--Donate to ALSC” on the left-hand navigation menu.
Bound to Stay Bound Inc.
Dudley B. Carlson
Head of Youth Services
Hedberg Public Library
ALSC membership: 25 years
Where did you attend library school?
School of Library and Information Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison
What was your very first library position?
I worked as a circulation clerk at the Sequoya Branch of the Madison (Wis.) Public Library. It was, at that time, a small branch and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to try my hand at many different things, including filling in at storytime. I got hooked!
What is your most notable ALSC memory?
An outstanding ALSC memory is the kindness shown to me by Ellen Fader and Karen Breen when my favorite aunt (a children’s librarian) died while I was serving on the 1998 Newbery Committee. These two women made sure I was taken care of and not left alone to brood. This is what I’ve come to expect from my ALSC friends and colleagues.
You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books and one food item do you need to survive?
Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt because it’s our family favorite, even though everyone’s grown up now. And two audiobooks: Feed, by M.T. Anderson, because it’s a brilliant book and fabulous production, and it will remind me that things could always be worse, and Bloody Jack, by L.A. Meyer, because Katherine Kellgren makes this amazing heroine come alive; she’ll convince me that I can get out of any bad situation. I need chocolate to survive.
What are your hobbies?
Cooking and watching British mysteries on public television.
What three words best describe you?
Curious, determined, and talkative.
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Susan Roman - 2014 Distinguished Service Award Winner
Susan Roman, 2014 recipient of the ALSC Distinguished Service Award, accepted her honors during the Membership Meeting on Monday, June 30, in Las Vegas. Her acceptance remarks are posted on YouTube.
Susan received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where she studied under noted children’s literature authority Zena Sutherland. She earned a master's of library and information science from Dominican University and a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She began her career as head of children’s services at the Deerfield (Ill.) Public Library and later became director of youth services at the Northbrook (Ill.) Public Library. Additionally, Susan served as director of the Reference Services Department at the American Medical Association Library, before joining the staff of the American Library Association (ALA). Following her tenure at ALA, she was appointed dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University.
Susan has also served ALA and ALSC from internal and external positions throughout her career. She was executive director of ALSC (1986 – 2000) and director of the ALA Development Office (2000 - 2005). She has served on several book evaluation committees, including the Newbery Award Committee and the Geisel Award Committee; and she is currently a member of the ALA Council. Susan has had broad influence and contributed innovative ideas in each capacity as she firmly believes that “all children should have equal opportunities and access to reading and learning; libraries are critical in achieving this.”
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation (EJKF), in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, held its 28th annual Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition for grades 3-12 last school year. The 2014 winners were announced
and the winning and honorable mention books were on exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Library during May. At an awards ceremony at the library, the city-wide and borough winners and honorable mention recipients were given medals. In addition, the city-wide winners received $500, and the borough winners received $100 from EJKF.
The annual contest begins each fall when public school students are invited to come up with an intriguing theme, create engaging text, and integrate illustrations using a range of media. Expressive writing and artwork are encouraged.
The process is integrated into classroom instruction with an emphasis on the study of picture books. Student books are created under the supervision of a teacher and/or librarian.
The judging panel, comprised of New York-based librarians, artists, and teachers, focuses on the quality of writing, illustrations, and presentation. Among this past year’s panel of judges were several ALSC members, including: Barbara Genco, Visiting Associate Professor, Pratt Institute; Barbara Moon, former Youth Consultant, Suffolk Cooperative Library System; David Mowery, former Division Chief, Youth Wing, Central Library, Brooklyn Public Library; Rachel Payne, Coordinator, Early Childhood Services, Brooklyn Public Library; and Christine Scheper, Children’s Materials Specialist, Queens Library.
“Getting kids excited about reading and writing is critical for their long-term academic success. And I want to congratulate all of the talented student bookmakers who have shown that they understand and appreciate the link between narrative and image,” said NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We know that teachers are the keys to our students’ success, and I thank all of the teachers and librarians who have supported these young authors and illustrators.”
“We are delighted to showcase the talent of these young writers and illustrators,” says Rachel Payne, Coordinator, Early Childhood Services, Brooklyn Public Library, and one of the judges of the competition. “This year’s city-wide winners—inspired by a New York Times article on Voyager I, a Serbian poem, and even the New York City subway system—combined words with pop-ups, mixed materials, and printmaking techniques to create wonderfully compelling books.”
Budding Caldecott Artist?
City-wide winner from the grades 9-12 category, Aleksandra Stanisavljevic, grade 12, said, "In Praise of Plants: Part V is an excerpt from a poem by the noted Serbian poet Branko Miljkovic—I discovered an English translation of it on a field trip that my poetry class took to a Poetry Center. I was moved by the images and colorful descriptions. I decided to interpret the poem artistically, which resulted in many elaborate pop-ups that I created, painstakingly, with an X-acto knife and mixed media. But the effort was worth it!”
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Philip Greenberg for Brooklyn Public Library
STEAMing with NASA
From our friends at the Lunar Planetary Institute, try out these STEAMing with NASA programming ideas in your library!
Rover Races - Kids become rovers navigating on “Mars” (an obstacle course)
Children discover the challenges of driving a rover on Mars! Each team designs and executes a series of commands to guide a rover (made of people) through an obstacle course simulating the Martian surface.
Saturn's Fascinating Features - Kids create layered, 3-D books about Saturn
Did you know? One of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, was recently found to harbor a large underground ocean of liquid water. This fascinating moon has jets of water vapor, ice, and organic molecules gushing from its south pole. Scientists are interested in learning more about this moon’s ocean since it contains the basic chemical ingredients for life. Could there be microbial life living on this moon of Saturn? Learn more on the NASA website
Scientists recently discovered, farther out in the solar system, a unique feature around the asteroid Chariklo: Saturn isn’t the only planet to have rings! Along with Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, this far smaller object has two rings. Learn more about asteroid Chariklo and its rings
Online Homework Center
Multnomah County Library recently launched a next-generation online Homework Center, available to all students via the library’s website
. The new Homework Center is an integrated homework help tool that effectively responds to young people’s needs and experiences using new digital technologies. Designed to provide an improved online learning experience for students between the grades of 5 and 12, the new Homework Center includes resources like websites, booklists, videos, online tutors and documents chosen by librarians as some of the best to support student’s success with their school work. The Homework Center also features subjects curated by youth librarians, who will be adding more to each topic as the Homework Center grows. This resource is available to students via computers and mobile devices. The Homework Center also features information literacy videos and infographics for educators. These resources are designed for sharing with classes and includes printable resources with helpful research tips for students.
Library staff did not know what road they would take when they first started this ambitious project. Researching everything from what gives children joy to the latest sophisticated web platforms available today gave them great insight into creating a valuable tool that will only grow and deepen as our talented staff creates content.The Homework Center is made possible with the support of an LSTA grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.--Katie O'Dell, Youth Services Director, Multnomah County Library
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Boss of Cakes Contest
Teens and youth at Pearl Bailey Library, Newport News (Va.) Public Library System, turned cardboard boxes, paper, stickers, and other recyclable materials into “cakes” in the Fourth Annual Boss of Cakes contest, held in celebration of National Library Week this past April.
Six teams, in groups of two youth each ages 10-18, had two and half hours to complete a birthday cake dedicated to their favorite book.
“I read the book in kindergarten and thought it was the best story ever,” said Deja Mitchell, who created with Amiya Hargrove a Seven Blind Mice cake, which won “Most Original Cake.”
Samantha Ritchie and Destiny Williams won “Most Likely to Be Eaten Cake” for their portrayal of The Giver. “I felt proud because I came up with the design at the last minute, but I put in a lot of effort,” Williams said.
Also getting a late start were LaZarreia Gholston and DeAndre Newson, who won Honorable Mention for their portrayal of “No, David”.
All participants received certificates of completion for participating.
“I was very impressed with the talent and craftsmanship of the cakes,” said Demetria Tucker, senior family and youth services librarian for Pearl Bailey Library. “Most importantly, I was proud of their oral presentations.”--Brionna Matthews, Newport News (Va.) Public Library System
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Brionna Matthews for Newport News (Va.) Public Library System
Join the Global Cardboard Challenge
The Imagination Foundation invites librarians and libraries across the U.S. to join the 2014 Global Cardboard Challenge, an annual initiative, inspired by the short film "Caine's Arcade," that celebrates the power of creative play and childhood imagination, and the simple things that adults can do to foster it. Participation in the challenge will introduce thousands of educators, parents, and learners to the value of creative play, STEM, and 21st century skills.
In September, kids of all ages are invited to build something amazing out of cardboard, recycled materials and imagination. Then on October 11, 2014, communities will come together and play. Last year had 85,559 participants in 46 countries, with hundreds of schools, libraries and community organizations hosting events.
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Dr. Janice M. Del Negro, associate professor in the Dominican University (River Forest, Ill.) Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS), has accepted appointment as the holder of the 2014-15 Follett Chair in Library and Information Science. This prestigious appointment is the highest academic honor bestowed by GSLIS upon a master researcher and scholar who has achieved renown in the profession. The Follett Chair is selected annually for his or her outstanding teaching ability and superior scholarly achievement. Congratulations, Janice!
Jennifer Sommer, Kettering, Ohio, recently received the Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award for authors over the age of fifty who have not been traditionally published in the children’s literature field. The award is administered by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Jennifer won the award for Octopus Capers, a fun and interesting twist on nonfiction in which octopuses are the culprit in aquarium mysteries around the world. Brava, Jennifer!
Building a Core Print Collection for Preschoolers, written by Alan R. Bailey, associate professor and head of Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center at East Carolina University (Greenville, N.C.), was released by ALA Editions in June. Highlighting more than 300 birth-kindergarten titles, Bailey’s book offers a selection of quality books chosen to help develop crucial literacy skills. Annotations for each title include full bibliographic record, a brief summary, and journal reviews. A list of additional resources helpful for building a core collection is also included.
ALSC blogger Renee Grassi recently accepted a new position as Youth Department Director at the Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Public Library. Congrats, Renee!
Young Children, New Media and Libraries Survey
In order to examine how libraries incorporate different kinds of new media devices into their branches and programming; we ask for your participation in the Young Children, New Media and Libraries Survey
prior to Monday, August 18, 2014
Participation in this survey will help us better understand the scope, challenges, and next steps for libraries regarding new media use. We would like one librarian from your branch, who is able to answer questions regarding your library’s use of new media, to complete the survey, which includes nine questions and should take no longer than about 10-15 minutes to complete. Additional information regarding the survey
is on the ALSC website.
Media Awards & Notables - Send Us Your Suggestions
ALSC personal members are welcome to suggest titles for the upcoming media awards notable lists. Send recommendations with full bibliographic information to the appropriate committee chair listed below. Please note that publishers, authors, illustrators, and/or editors may not nominate their own titles. For more information about each award, visit www.ala.org/alsc
and click on “Awards & Grants.”
Newbery Medal, Randy Enos, renos at rcls.org
Caldecott Medal, Junko Yokota, junko.yokota at mac.com
Batchelder Award, Diane Janoff, diane.janoff at queenslibrary.org
Belpré Award, Tim Wadham, wadhambooks at gmail.com
Carnegie Medal/Notable Children's Videos, Caitlin Dixon Jacobson, caitlin.jacobson at kgbsd.org
Geisel Award, Kevin Delecki, kdelecki at gcpl.lib.oh.us
Notable Children’s Books, Edith Ching, ec.notables15 at verizon.net
Notable Children’s Recordings, Jennifer Duffy, jenniferaudio at gmail.com
Odyssey Award, Dawn Rutherford, drutherford at sno-isle.org
Sibert Medal, Deborah Taylor, dtaylor at prattlibrary.org
Wilder Award Goes Annual
During the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, the ALSC Board voted to change the frequency of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from every other year to every year.
The 2015 ALSC Nominating Committee is seeking suggestions for candidates to appear on the 2015 ballot, for membership on the 2017 Wilder Award Selection Committee. The 2017 committee that was just elected by the ALSC membership in May 2014 will be renamed the 2016 Wilder Award Selection Committee. For full details, please see Board Member Megan Schliesman's post on the ALSC blog
Members of the ALSC Nominating Committee look forward to your suggestions! Please submit your nominations
by Sunday, August 31, 2014
Arbuthnot Lecture News
The 2015 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture, featuring award-winning author/illustrator Brian Selznick, will be hosted by D.C. Public Library, Washington, D.C. The honor lectureship will be held in spring 2015 in The Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, following several months of innovative programs sponsored by the library and numerous partners, including the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University. Information about reserving a complimentary ticket will be available early next year on the ALSC website
On Saturday, May 3, 2014, Andrea Davis Pinkney delivered an inspiring Arbuthnot Lecture, "Rejoice the Legacy!" at University of Minnesota's Wiley Hall. A video of the best-selling writer's presentation is on YouTube
. A digital exhibit, presented in conjunction with the lecture, is on the UM website
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Digital Media Resources
Thanks to the efforts of the ALSC Digital Content Task Force, ALSC has a new Digital Media Resources page
, a go-to list of current articles, blog posts, and websites, about iPads, tablets, eBooks, apps, and more, for children's librarians navigating their way through the evolving digital landscape. Whether you’re recommending resources for parents, looking for new program ideas, or advocating for access, you’ll find something to help here. The page will be updated regularly, so please send your contributions!
ALSC and LEGO Systems Partner to Create Junior Maker Spaces
ALSC and LEGO Systems, Inc. are working together to bring Junior Maker Spaces to libraries across the country. The project will focus on giving children ages 4 to 6 areas in their local libraries in which to make and create. Beginning in August, librarians can download, via the ALSC website, a free, digital toolkit with information and inspiration for hosting Junior Maker Sessions.
“Children’s librarians have always spearheaded programs and activities that foster young children’s development and as enthusiasm swells for libraries as community maker spaces, it is important that we continue and expand appropriate hands-on experiences for young children,” said Starr LaTronica, immediate past president of ALSC. “We’re thrilled that through our ongoing LEGO partnership we’re able to provide digital and physical tools and inspiration that will allow librarians to deliver age-appropriate ‘make’ experiences to children.”
ALSC and LEGO Systems are excited to work together to help develop creativity in young children through libraries.
Updated Book Lists: Building a Home Library
The ALA-Children’s Book Council (CBC) Joint Committee, with cooperation from ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee, recently updated four Building a Home Library bibliographies
, which provide guidance to parents, grandparents, and others interested in assembling a high-quality library for their children at home. When creating these lists the committee looked to include tried-and-true classics; under the radar gems; multicultural books; and new, yet notable, reads for all ages.
Librarians, educators, and others who work with families are encouraged to download and print the brochures and share them with parents, grandparents, and caregivers in their community.
"Importance of Diversity" -- Spanish Translation
"The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Materials Collections for Children" white paper is now available in Spanish
. Written for ALSC by Jamie Campbell Naidoo, PhD, and adopted by ALSC's Board of Directors on April 5, 2014, the paper explores the critical role libraries play in helping children make cross-cultural connections and develop skills necessary to function in a culturally pluralistic society.
The Spanish version was translated by Diego J. Vega, a professional translator, and edited by Freda Mosquera, head of youth services at Broward County (Fla.) Library, North Lauderdale Saraniero Branch, and member of the National Association to Promote Library Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA.)
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Wondering how to bridge the gap between your tween and teen patrons and serve the needs of both groups? Trying to convey the importance of preparing a space and materials for those patrons who are maturing into teens? The Young Adult Library Services Association's (YALSA) face-to-face institutes
can help. You provide the attendees and the space; we'll provide training materials and a content expert. Half-day or full-day workshops are available on a variety of topics. For more information, or to receive a list of YALSA’s wide range of training services, programs, and products, please contact Nicole Gibby Munguia
, Program Officer, Continuing Education by email or at 1-312-280-5293.
New Film Captures Importance of Libraries to Community
We all know for a fact how important libraries are to the strength and vitality of our communities, and now a short documentary film confirms it, masterfully. Libraries Now: A Day in the Life, created by filmmakers Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks, documents just how central libraries are to the community life and education of New York City residents. To view the film and learn more about it, visit the Fast Company magazine website
CLEL Bell Award Nominations Sought
Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) recently announced that nominations are open for the 2015 CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy. Launched last year, the awards recognize picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children. CLEL is looking for high-quality picture books with a clear connection to reading, writing, singing, talking, or playing, published between November 16, 2013, and November 15, 2014. The 2015 awards will be announced on February 5, 2015, with one title in each of five categories, each representing an early literacy practice: Read, Write, Sing, Talk, and Play.
2014 Keats Book Award Winners
The 2014 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winners and honorees were celebrated at an awards ceremony held in April during The University of Southern Mississippi’s Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival. Ame Dyckman (center) is the New Writer winner for her book, Tea Party Rules, and Christian Robinson (2nd from right) is the New Illustrator winner for his book, Rain! Also pictured are (from left) New Writer honorees Linda Davick for I Love You, Nose! I Love You, Toes! and Pat Zietlow Miller for Sophie’s Squash; and (right) New Illustrator honoree K.G. Campbell for Tea Party Rules. The awards were presented by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation in partnership with the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi.