ALSC Matters! | December 2013, Volume 11, no. 4

Officially Speaking  |  ALSC Voices & Faces  |  Bright Ideas  |  Getting Together  |  Hear Ye! Hear Ye!  

Officially Speaking 

Continuing the Conversation on Collaboration 

Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.--Helen Keller 
 
I find that many of us are drawn to librarianship because it fosters collaboration over competition. We carry that appreciation into multiple levels in our daily work. Librarians recognize and value the dynamic energy inherent at the heart of relationships that are built in the collaborative process: between reader and the written word; child and caregiver; staff and public; library and community; librarians and those in parallel professions and agencies; and within the disciplines of the profession itself. 
 
The Division Leadership sessions held in Chicago in October offered the opportunity to focus on the latter. The executive committees of each ALA division convened to explore issues and initiatives to strengthen services to their members and to advance the association and profession collectively.
 
One such enterprise is ALA President Barbara Stripling’s Declaration for the Right to Libraries, which champions her presidential initiative "Libraries Change Lives." Designed to increase public awareness and understanding of the library’s role as an essential public utility in all communities, this document asserts the rights of all for access to these critical institutions. Public and professionals alike are invited to affirm their belief in this principle through signing online or in public ceremonies. Services to children and their families are emphasized strongly and articulately through the declaration and can be applied to each of the elements cited: 
 
  • LIBRARIES EMPOWER THE INDIVIDUAL.
  • LIBRARIES SUPPORT LITERACY AND LIFELONG LEARNING.
  • LIBRARIES STRENGTHEN FAMILIES.
  • LIBRARIES ARE THE GREAT EQUALIZER.
  • LIBRARIES BUILD COMMUNITIES.
  • LIBRARIES PROTECT OUR RIGHT TO KNOW.
  • LIBRARIES STRENGTHEN OUR NATION.
  • LIBRARIES ADVANCE RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP.
  • LIBRARIES HELP US TO BETTER UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER.
  • LIBRARIES PRESERVE OUR NATION’S CULTURAL HERITAGE.
The full text of the Declaration for the Right to Libraries, background information, promotional materials, and a listing of nationwide events are available online
 
During our ALSC Executive Committee meetings, we contemplated strategies for increased member participation, collaboration among committees, and ways to extend library messaging into the broader community. Those discussions proved to be productive preparation for the Joint Executive Committees meeting, which included break out brainstorming sessions with representatives from across the divisions.  Each small group discussion focused on our shared aspirations and visions for the future of the association and the profession.  Our combined contributions to those conversations will be considered as ALA moves forward with the IMLS planning grant it received to develop a Center for the Future of Libraries. Further information regarding this important project can be found at on the American Libraries website.
 
Collaborations strengthen and enhance service, but like all relationships they require cultivation. Patience, an open mind, and a willingness to listen to alternative viewpoints are key elements in forming a lasting connection in any partnership. The Down East storyteller Marshall Dodge once told me, “The best storytellers are the best listeners”.  The same can be said of the best collaborators. I prize the partnership amongst the membership of ALSC, and am here to listen. Please email me and let me know your aspirations and visions for the future of the association and the profession.--Starr LaTronica, ALSC President
 

Little House, Big Ideas 

At a recent gathering of librarians in Seattle, Urban Library Council’s Partners for Success Conference: Libraries Leading Learning, librarians from around the country grappled with librarians’ role in the rapidly changing methods of information exchange and delivery and the impact of these changes on reimagining learning. How do people learn in virtual places? What are the implications for public education? What will the students of today need in the work places of tomorrow?  How can libraries help? We heard from experts who reminded us that the need for a place in our communities where people can connect to what they care about and to each other is even more vital now. 
 
Libraries are that place where people and ideas--in all the forms and ways ideas are made, gathered, stored, and connected--come together. Libraries connect communities. This is more than rhetoric. It is true but requires great courage and inventiveness to make our place at the very center of our communities clear. Many of us are already at the table in conversations about education reform, literacy advocacy, economic development and community engagement.  We need to make our case even louder now so we are heard above the din of naysayers who predict the eventual obsolescence of libraries.
 
To those who believe libraries are relics of a more bucolic and slower moving time we are rather like The Little House in the famous picturebook by Virginia Lee Burton. The information landscape is changing around us and we remain antiquated, unchanged, and growing more dilapidated. We of course know better. Those of us who work for children have always understood not only that libraries are timeless supports of community needs but also that most people don’t understand what the Little House is really all about. 
 
Despite the changes in our library world, we remain “just as good a house as ever underneath.” Our mission is to connect parents and books; children and ideas; parents and children; and books and ideas, and all iterations and forms of books and ideas in between. Like the Little House, we remain constant in this mission. Today our libraries are underfunded and understaffed, but we have always been, and remain, steadily on the information highway, no matter how fast the cars go. We have unwavering ambition to be helpful.  
 
The fact that children’s librarians are committed to the on ramp of the information highway cannot be over stated. Little House stayed true as the highway of change snaked around her. While one could argue that her desire to remain recognizable in the new landscape speaks to a resistance to change, this consistency to purpose can also illustrate that core purpose is not altered by the way in which that purpose is served. All of us are well aware that the way in which books and ideas are shared and stored is vastly different, but unchanged is the need for people to help others connect to them. In this virtual time, that need for human connection is even greater. As children’s librarians, we know that we are often the first face of the public library and we are particularly “driven” to making sure that the first impression is a good one. We know that despite our customers' dependence on their smart phones, they are, for the most part, ignorant of the true possibilities they provide.  We know the power of information, and the difference it can make in the lives of children. We always have and we stand at the ready. Just like Little House, you can move us any where. We can take on any challenge because at our core, we remain the same positive light of helpfulness in a confusing and uncertain future.--Ellen Riordan, ALSC Vice-President/President-Elect
 

Honoring Our Silver Anniversary Members 

Congratulations to the following individuals who reached 25 years of ALSC membership in 2013. We appreciate your loyalty to the association and profession.
 
Kathleen Behrendt
Louise F. Benke
Carolyn S. Brodie
Janet E. Brooks
Judith H. Constantinides
Joyce Davis
Martha Moore Edmundson
Carol A. Edwards
Crystal Faris
Sharon A. Gilley
Rochelle Glantz
Laurel F. Goodgion
Celia Holm
Joan R. Keller
Ramona N. Kerby
Gayle Keresey
Adeline L. Levine
Janet M. Makoujy
Patricia E.M. Marks
Terri L. McDougal
Cecilia P. McGowan
Elaine E. Meyers
Tracy M. Morsi
George M. Nicholson
Katherine W. Paterson
Carolyn Phelan
Trudy O. Rodean
Mary Morgan Smith
Jewell K. Stoddard
Rebecca L. Thomas
Julie A. Tomlianovich
Julianne M. Toomey-Kautz
Margaret F. Wells
Maureen White
Lauren L. Wohl
 

Thank You to Our Most Recent Donors 

Many thanks to the following contributors to 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.

Pura Belpré Award Endowment

Alan Bern
Lucia Gonzalez

Friends of ALSC

Notable Circle
 
Cecilia McGowan
Andrew Medlar
Linda Pavonetti
 
Friends Circle
 
Alan Bern
JoAnna Schofield
 

ALSC Voices & Faces 

ALSC Profile

Mike Rogalla
Children's Librarian
Champaign (Ill.) Public Library
ALSC membership: 25 years
 
Where did you attend library school?
The Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 
What was your very first library position?
I was hired right out of library school to be the Youth Services and Outreach Coordinator at the Scott County Library System in Eldridge, Iowa. Besides being the one and only children's librarian for the rural area of a county, serving some 28,000 people in 15 small towns, I supervised the branch locations that, at the time, numbered nine. Plus, I was responsible for the bookmobile. In four years, I learned a tremendous amount of practical knowledge on how to provide basic service with limited resources. I also had the privilege of working with hardworking and dedicated colleagues who ably took a new graduate under their wing.
 
What is your favorite ALSC memory?
By far, it was my two years as a member of the Notable Children's Books Committee. Not only did I have the chance to consider over 3,500 of the best books publishers had to offer, but I truly realized the breadth and depth of knowledge fellow ALSC members possess. Those on the committee were just outstanding in every aspect of the profession.
 
You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books and one food item do you need to survive?
For practicality, I would want Hugh McManner's Complete Wilderness Training Manual. To help me keep up my hope and remember the goodness of others, I would want The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White. For all around good fun, and to remind me about the towns near where I live, I would want A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck. As far as food is concerned, the vital choice is spaghetti.
 
What are your hobbies?
Obviously reading, mostly children's literature, is a big part of my life.  I also have filled my existence with dogs; currently I live with ten.  For about as long as I have been a children's librarian, I have also been a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician, which has given me the chance to further serve the communities where I have lived.  By far, the highlight of my third hobby was helping deliver a co-worker's baby.    
 
What three words best describe you?
Tenacious, detailed, and caring
 

Bright Ideas 

Throw a Super Hero Party!

Who doesn’t like a Super Hero? For one of our Summer Reading Club events, we held a Super Hero Party, for girls and boys of all ages. We ran the party for two hours on a drop-in basis and had five stations for the kids to circulate through at their own pace. Our stations were as follows: 
 
Station 1: The Book Nook
For a few weeks before the program, I placed holds on one of every super hero/super heroine themed book in our children’s fiction and nonfiction collections. Books spent quite a bit of time in the book nook and many were taken home after the program. 
 
Station 2: Super Heroes Under Construction Station 
Each child received a piece of poster board (about 8.5" x 11") and a huge array of stuff like googly eyes, tissue paper (great for capes), pens, and glue. I also had a number of traceable templates of various generic super heroes of both genders for kids to trace if they wanted. The results were adorable and creative. Some of the kids wrote their character’s story out as well. 
 
Station 3: Captain Underpants Name Game
I printed out lists of the very well known (and very hilarious) Captain Underpants name o’ meter that can be found on the Internet. I copied and pasted the list and pinned it to an easel. Once the kids came up with their names, they made themselves name tags. You can play this game online at Scholastic's website.
 
Station 4: Super Hero Photo Booth Station
There is a Super Hero photo booth iPad app available for .99 cents in the iTunes app store. Using an iPad with a camera, you can add super hero embellishments to any photo. We helped the kids figure out how to add their own super hero regalia, costumes, etc., and then printed out their photos for them to take home.  
 
Station 5: Free Play Station
Any combination of printable quizzes, word searches, coloring pages, and a box of pencil crayons are all that was needed here! This station ran itself!  
 
Our super hero party was a great success. Our total attendance was about 25 people. Lots of the books were taken, the art activity was fabulous, the name chart made everyone laugh out loud, the photo booth was awesome fun for everyone, and the free play activities were enjoyed by all.
 
I received this super email the next day from the parent of one of our young superheroes. “B. loved it, it was very well planned and nice activities.” 
 
Super hero programs are great all year round, are inclusive of multi-ages, genders and abilities, and offer a whole lot of fun literacy learning opportunities.--Tess Prendergast,children’s librarian, Vancouver (B.C., Canada) Public Library
 

Is that Pearl Jam Coming from the Storytime Room?

Sesame Street pioneered the use of popular artists either singing their hit songs or modified versions of their songs on a television show for children. Libraries use music all the time in their storytime programs. While Raffi, Laurie Berkner, Greg & Steve, The Wiggles, and other musicians for children produce wonderful music, why can't we use Joey Ramone's cover of “What a Wonderful World,” as well?
 
The Madison (Ohio) Public Library began it's foray into music and movement storytimes with a toddler program called “Rock N Roll” storytime where the leader, Kylie Cmarik, played the Beatles, the Monkees, and Madonna among others. The surprising thing was parents’ and grandparents’ reactions to this new storytime. They loved hearing “their” music in a program for their little ones. Even more interesting were the overheard side comments from fathers, particularly, who enjoyed the music and “maybe going to storytime wasn't so bad.”
 
We have added another movement-based storytime, “Ants in Your Pants,” for preschoolers who just can't quite handle sitting down in storytime yet. These children could power a medium-sized country with their barely contained energy. Their music, you ask? Punk and whatever other upbeat, percussion-driven music we can find. No genre is off limits! The challenge has been making sure the lyrics are appropriate, even if it is questionable whether anyone can understand the singing anyway. There is a wealth of music available to us.
 
We have dancing songs and running songs and twirling songs in our program. Some songs are for dancing around like crazy. Some are for playing air guitar and jumping. Other songs are running in circles songs, and some are just songs that make you want to move any which way. No matter the music style, there is never a bad time to rock out to one or two or even three songs before listening to a story. 
 
The most fun thing about this program is when a parent waiting outside the room asks us as their child comes out, “Did I just hear Pearl Jam? I love Pearl Jam!” Then parent and child both leave the library smiling and happy after storytime. 
 
A sample storytime playlist:
 
“California Dreamin'” - High Standard
“Let's Dance” - The Ramones
“Stand” - REM
“Shiny Happy People” - REM
“Sweetness” - Jimmy Eat World
“Blue Moon” - Less Than Jake
“You Can't Sit Down” - The Dovells
“Freedom Song” - Randy
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” - Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
“Rainbow Connection” - Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
“Spin the Black Circle” - Pearl Jam
“Little Bit of Soul” - The Ramones
“Pop Song 89” - REM
 
--Shawn D. Walsh, Emerging Services and Technologies Librarian, and Melanie A. Lyttle, Head of Public Services, Madison (Ohio) Public Library. Together they run Ants in Your Pants storytime.
 

Blocks & Science

“Block play embodies physical activity and learning opportunities about shape, size, scale, community interdependence, and aesthetics.”
 
This nearly hundred-year-old quote from educator Caroline Pratt demonstrates the enduring value of encouraging a group of children to engage in open-ended play with blocks. Over the last century, the research on block play has revealed the many ways in which it develops almost all early learning skills in young children, including those called out in Every Child Ready to Read (reading writing, singing, talking, playing). Knowing this, the Pierce County (Wash.) Library System was compelled to add block play to branch programming. And “Project B.L.O.C.K.S.” (Blocks Let Our Children Know Science) was born.
 
The project in a nutshell:
 
1. We partnered with our local Educational Service District and identified potential Head Start classrooms for visits to their nearby branch once a month for a “Block Party.” (They regularly assess their students on skills throughout the year and were willing to share classroom level data).
 
2. We secured funding for block cabinets, blocks, training, giveaways, and transportation from our exceptionally forward-thinking Library Foundation.
 
3. We purchased large, locking block cabinets filled with sets of unit blocks for each pilot site (seven branches in all).
 
4. We purchased sets of small wooden blocks for each participating child to take home and keep.
 
5. We hired an expert in block play to train Head Start teachers and branch librarians in effective scaffolding of children’s learning during block play.
 
6. We invited each partner classroom to a once-per-month Block Party in the Library’s meeting room. The party lasted between one hour and 90 minutes, and included a short storytime followed by open-ended, adult-scaffolded block play. (ECRR skills = reading, talking, playing)
 
7. Children’s structures were photographed. Using clipboards, structures were drawn and hung up on the walls. (ECRR skills = talking, playing, writing)
 
8. Each month new accessories were introduced to the party, e.g., sets of zoo and farm animals, sets of wooden vehicles, enlarged photos of famous world structures, wooden clothespins, measuring tapes, and a set of colorful scarves. (talking, playing)
 
9. Monthly Block Parties also were provided for the general public.
 
10. At the end of six months, educational coordinators, teachers, and librarians met and reviewed the project.
 
Some lessons learned:
 
Children, teachers, librarians and staff loved Block Parties!
Block play is universal and not tethered to any specific language.
Some Head Start classrooms held their monthly parent events at the library, introducing new customers to library resources.
Connections were strengthened between classrooms, the regional education district, and the library.
Parents indicated they would continue to engage in block play with their child at home.
 
The five skills of Every Child Ready to Read were easily integrated into this project.  Playing with blocks develops physical, social, math, science, language, art and cognitive learning. The Pierce County Library System now knows that block play is fun! Start building!--Susan Anderson-Newham, Early Learning Supervising Librarian, Pierce County (Wash.) Library System
 
 

Getting Together 

Institute Updates

Registration for ALSC's 2014 National Institute in Oakland, Calif., is open. Register early to take advantage of big savings.
 
The conference, themed "Expanding Our Worlds, Creating Community," will be held September 18-20, 2014. Confirmed special events include an Opening General Session with Steve Sheinkin, a Breakfast for Bill program with Tim Federle, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Gene Luen Yang, facilitated by Jamie Campbell Naidoo, and an afternoon at Children’s Fairyland, including Mac Barnett, Daniel Handler, and Jennifer Holm. Visit the Institute website for full details.

30 Years of the Virginia Hamilton Conference

Pearls of Wisdom: Celebrating 30 Years of the Virginia Hamilton Conference will be held April 3 & 4, 2014, at Kent State (Ohio) University. Keynote speakers include Newbery Award-winner Christopher Paul Curtis, Caldecott Medalist David Diaz, and Coretta Scott King Award-winner Andrea Pinkney.  Visit the conference website for more information about presenters and workshops.
 

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 

Member News 

Betsy Diamant-Cohen and Melanie A. Hetrick are the co-authors of Transforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs (ALA Neal-Schuman, 2013). The book lays out a year's worth of activities specifically designed to address multiple intelligences through a repetition-based process. Diamant-Cohen also recently announced the launch of the Mother Goose on the Loose app, designed to give librarians a way to use new media in their programs in order to enhance, but not replace, what they are already doing. 

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Last Chance for Caldecott 75th Anniversary Keepsakes

Hurry! Time is running out. Orders (from ALSC members only, please) for Caldecott 75th Anniversary souvinirs must be received by December 31, 2013. Due to licensing agreements, products may not be sold after that date.
 
This is your final opportunity to purchase commemorative mugs, tote bags, and T-shirts featuring the wonderful anniversary logo created by Brian Selznick. For merchandise descriptions, photos, pricing, and order form, please visit our website.  

Silver & Gold Sponsors Support Banquet 

Many thanks to the 2013 Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder Banquet sponsors.

Gold

HarperCollins Children’s Books
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Silver

Disney Book Group
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Holiday House
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Simon & Schuster, Inc.
 

Updated Book Lists with Pizzazz 

ALSC's Quicklists Consulting Committee updated the Graphic Novels Reading List in November. The lists are available for students Kindergarten to 2nd grade, 3rd to 5th grade, and 6th to 8th grade. PDF versions are available online in full color and black and white, and are free to download, copy, and distribute. There is also space to customize each booklist with library information, hours, and programming. Boom! Pow! Zap! Don't miss these electrifying lists. They will charge up your young readers! 

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Tween Recommended Reads 

ALSC has created a Tween Recommended Reads book list, intended to engage and encourage tweens to read throughout the year. PDFs of the book list are available online in full color and black and white and are free to download, copy, and distribute. The titles were selected, compiled, and annotated by members of ALSC's School Age Programs and Services Committee.
 
ALSC’s Tween Recommended Reads list can be accessed along with other ALSC book lists online.  

Día Program Registry Open 

ALSC invites librarians to register their 2014 Día programs in the Día National Program Registry. Día is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures.
 
By registering Día programs held throughout the year in the national registry, libraries build a searchable database that showcases all types and sizes of Día programming. The information will display on the website, in both the map and database format, allowing you to share program information with other librarians and the public interested in learning more about Día programs happening around the country. Libraries that register will also receive Día stickers, buttons, and bookmarks (while supplies last).

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ALSC, PLA awarded grant from IMLS 

ALSC and the Public Library Association (PLA) have received a three-year National Leadership Project Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for "Bringing Home Early Literacy: Determining the Impact of Library Programming on Parent Behavior." The $499,741 grant will be used to examine how early literacy programming offered by public libraries (using the Every Child Ready to Read @ your library model) affects parent behavior and engagement during children’s most formative years. 

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Date Set for 2014 Arbuthnot Lecture 

The 2014 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, featuring Andrea Davis Pinkney, award-winning author and vice president and editor at large of Scholastic’s Trade Books, will be held on Saturday, May 3, and hosted by University of Minnesota Children's Literature Research Collections. Ticket information will be posted on the ALSC website in early 2014.
 

Batchelder Suggestions Welcome 

The 2014 Mildred L. Batchelder Committee invites ALSC personal members to suggest titles for the Mildred L. Batchelder Award, given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States. Please remember that only books from this publishing year (2013) are under consideration for the 2014 award. ALSC members should submit recommendations for consideration with full bibliographic information to Chair Maureen White.
 
The award will be announced at the Youth Media Awards Press Conference on January 27, 2014, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting.
 
For more information about the award, visit the Batchelder Medal Home Page.
 

Rainbow List Nominations 

The 2014 Rainbow Project Committee recently announced the 2014 Rainbow Nomination List, which includes 51 books that will be discussed during meetings at ALA Midwinter in January 2014 for final inclusion on the 2014 Rainbow List. The list can be found at: http://glbtrt.ala.org/rainbowbooks/archives/1092. The Rainbow Book List is a joint project of ALA's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table. The list presents an annual bibliography of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content, recommended for individuals from birth through eighteen years of age.

REFORMA Names 2013 Mora Winner 

REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, selected Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe as recipient of the 2013 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for the most exemplary culminating celebration of El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day. ASU will receive $1,000 and a plaque commemorating their efforts.
 
ASU's celebration began with sounds of trumpets vibrating, guitars strumming, and folkloric dancers moving to renditions of traditional mariachi favorites. Throughout the festivities, 500 students, sixth through twelfth grade, accompanied by their teachers had the opportunity to participate in reading and writing themed workshops hosted by local authors Tom Leveen, Angela Morrison, Aprilynne Pike, Janette Rallison, and Bill Konigsberg. Adding to the festivities were authors Alberto Rios, Myrlin Hepworth, and Gary Soto, who provided students with motivating and empowering words. Students received free books and were able to meet and greet the authors. Notably, ASU's English Education Department planned and implemented this interactive celebration. This is the first year an educational institution was named the Mora Award winner.
 
For the second year, Mora honor awards were named; Joliet (Ill.) Public Library, Salt Lake County (Utah) Library Services, and Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library each will receive $500.
 

Summer Lunch at the Library 

This past summer, public libraries in Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, and San Diego provided summer meals and literacy activities for hungry children and teens. The libraries were part of the California Library Association's and California Summer Meal Coalition's Summer Lunch at the Library program, which was developed to keep kids healthy and engaged while school is out. 
 
Summer Lunch at the Library is modeled on the successful partnership between Oakland Public Library, the City of Oakland, and Alameda County Food Bank. Similar programs also took place in Chula Vista, San Francisco, Tulare County, and other communities in 2013.
 
In many California communities, school’s closure for the summer break can mean an end to learning or enrichment opportunities and limited access to healthy food, an issue with greatest impact on the state’s low-income children. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers summer nutrition programs to enable school districts, municipalities, tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations to serve free, healthy meals to children and teens in low-income neighborhoods when school is out. 
 
Visit the Summer Lunch at the Library webpage for more information about this program.
 

Ready to Read at New York Libraries 

During 2013, the New York State Library researched early literacy statewide initiatives from across the country. The findings were compiled and are available on the Ready to Read at New York Libraries website - click on "Early Literacy Initiatives."

Virginia Library Wins Youth Program Award 

Pearl Bailey Library’s (PBL) Youth Program is a winner of the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. This is the highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from underserved communities. 
 
The PBL Youth Program offers a variety of programs designed to expand knowledge of literature and encourage participants to read for pleasure and personal interest. The activities include a summer reading program, book club discussions, and a student-led Teen Advisory Committee and For Kids Only Club, both of which allow them to assist librarians with book selections and additional program development. The participants ultimately become stakeholders in the library system by playing an active role in the books that are purchased by the library for other kids in their community to read. 
 
In addition to recognition at an awards ceremony at the White House, PBL Youth Program will receive $10,000 and a year of communications and capacity-building support from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
 
Pearl Bailey Library is part of the Newport News (Va.) Public Library System.
 

Lee & Low Acquires Shen's Books 

Lee & Low Books, an independent children’s book publisher focused on diversity, has acquired children’s book publisher Shen’s Books. 
 
Shen’s Books will now become an imprint of Lee & Low, which will publish both backlist Shen’s titles and new books. The Shen’s Books imprint of Lee & Low will release seven reprints in early 2014, as well as one new title in the spring: Summoning the Phoenix, a collection of poems about Chinese musical instruments by Emily Jiang and illustrated by April Chu.
 
The acquisition comes a year after Lee & Low's acquisition of Children’s Book Press, another California-based multicultural children’s book publisher. Since then, Lee & Low has brought over 85% of Children’s Book Press’s backlist titles back into print, with several more planned for the upcoming year.