ALSC Matters! | February 2015, Vol. 13, no. 1

***Attn: This is an ARCHIVE page. Web sites and e-mail addresses referenced on this page may no longer be in service.***

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

Officially Speaking 

Being There 

I believe strongly that our colleagues have a deep commitment to the concept of diversity – the process of providing materials and services to all of the members of our community. This is a tenet and a cornerstone of our work. At our most recent Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, ALSC co-convened, along with the Children’s Book Council, a conversation about the lack of diversity in new materials being published. The purpose of this event was to launch a public conversation about the best actionable steps to take as a professional organization to increase the visibility, distribution and use of books and materials that represent the widest range of our world as possible. This is a lofty and laudable goal with many moving parts and players – we all play a part. 
 
On Monday, February 2, during its Session II meeting, the ALSC Board of Directors reflected on the Day of Diversity and put together a list of commitments by the association for the next three months and the next six months.
 
This isn’t the start of the diversity or inclusion conversation for ALSC, nor by any means is it the end. This list reflects the measurable next steps that ALSC’s leadership has committed the association to taking in the short term. These steps include educational opportunities for our members and opportunities for all ALSC members to add their voice and ideas to this conversation.
 
At this writing, our Community Forum* on diversity is set and ready with a rapidly filling list of participants (we must cap it for expenses at 95).  Already it is easily the most populated Community Forum we have ever conducted.  It is clear that this is an issue many of us feel very strongly about and want to take action. 
 
In keeping with action, the ALSC Board of Directors voted to move the start time of ALSC’s All-Committee meeting during Annual Conference to a 10:30 a.m. start time to allow for more participation by ALSC members at the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Breakfast. This premiere event has been in conflict with our All-Committee meeting for a number of years. We felt that by asking committees to use their time wisely and well, we could support our colleagues at CSK and meet our membership work. By making that effort to support the accomplishments of these amazing authors and illustrators of color, we are helping to show that to really achieve our mission to represent the world; we need not speak in one voice but be there to listen. --Ellen Riordan, ALSC President
 
* Editor's Note: A recording of this Community Forum on diversity is available free for viewing.   
 

Thank You to Our Most Recent Donors 

Many thanks to the following generous contributors to ALSC. To learn how you can support ALSC, visit our website and click on "About ALSC--Contact ALSC--Donate to ALSC” on the left-hand navigation menu.
 
Pura Belpé Award Endowment
 
Lucia Gonzalez
Linda Perkins
 
Friends of ALSC
 
President's Circle
 
David Mowery
Cynthia K. Richey (in memory of Maggie Kimmel and Eliza Dresang)
 
Gold Circle
 
Andrew Medlar
 
Silver Circle
 
Maria Gentle
Linda Perkins
Ed Spicer
Judy Zuckerman
 
Notables Circle
 
Christine Caputo
Paula Holmes
Amy Kellman
Ginny Moore Kruse
Nina Lindsay
Sue McCleaf Nespeca
Elizabeth Orsburn
Linda Pavonetti
Connie Pottle
Ellen Riordan
Susan Roman (in memory of George Anton, beloved husband of Stephanie Anton)
Aimee Strittmatter
 
Friends Circle
 
Alan Bern
Emily Libke (honoring Deb "Gammy" Park)
Kathie Meizner
Pat Mora
Megan Schliesman

Silver & Gold Sponsors Support Banquet 

We would also like to recognize again the 2014 Newbery/Caldecott Banquet sponsors. Thank you, all!
 
Gold Sponsors
 
BOT/Listening Library
Candlewick Press
HarperCollins Children’s Books
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Random House Children's Books
Simon & Schuster
 
Silver Sponsors
 
CLCD
Disney Book Group
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Holiday House
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
 
For information on the 2015 Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder Banquet, visit our banquet FAQ page.
 

2016 Nominations Sought 

Do you have a colleague who is a well-organized and knowledgeable manager, a skilled and articulate book evaluator, or an intelligent and creative leader in the field of youth services? Do you recognize one or more of these qualities in yourself? We are looking for ALSC members committed to our core values -- Collaboration, Excellence, Inclusiveness, Innovation, Integrity and Respect, Leadership, and Responsiveness -- to serve our association. The 2015 ALSC poll will open soon for voting, and it’s time to start thinking about next year’s slate of candidates. The members of the 2016 ALSC Nominating Committee encourage you to make recommendations for the following positions for the spring 2016 ballot:
  • ALSC Vice-President/President-Elect
  • ALSC Board Director
  • New to ALSC Board Director
  • ALSC Fiscal Officer
  • ALSC 2018 Caldecott Award Committee Member
  • ALSC 2018 Newbery Award Committee Member
  • ALSC 2018 Sibert Award Committee Member
  • ALSC 2018 Wilder Award Committee Member
The deadline for member nominations for the 2016 slate is Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Simply fill out the online suggestion form.  
 

Division Councilor's Report  - 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting 

Council I.  The ALA Council met for its first session Sunday morning, February 1, 2015, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. After a brief introduction and announcements, ALA President Courtney Young established a quorum. Council then adopted the rules and the day’s agenda (CD #8.1rev_12815_act). Councilors also approved minutes from the 2014 ALA Annual Conference (CD #2)
 
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels then reviewed the Executive Board actions since the 2014 Annual Conference (CD #15) as well as the implementation of the 2014 Annual Conference Council actions (CD #9).
 
President Young reported the work of the year and the importance of engaging membership in the strategic planning process.
 
Council moved to a discussion session on the ALA Strategic Directions: advocacy, information policy, and professional and leadership development. Councilors spent 20 minutes discussing three questions for each strategic direction: 1) What would success look like? 2) How do you think we might get there? and 3) How might you/your community help us get there?
 
Councilors separated into about 20 groups of eight people to answer these questions. In regards to advocacy, the groups reported that success would entail having community stakeholders and policymakers; more funding and job security -- especially for school librarians; marketing and outreach to change stereotypes of librarians; ensuring students have access to certified librarians and well-stocked libraries; increased ALA member involvements; a unified message; and making patrons advocates.
 
For information policy, the councilors defined success as: creating transparency about ALA to the average member; developing an educated citizenry and legislatures (state and national) that are aware of and well-versed in library issues such as privacy and net neutrality; connecting to real world issues and how people use information in their daily lives; making sure library professionals understand these complicated issues; and having non-library groups join ALA in speaking for libraries.
 
In regards to professional and leadership development, success was defined as: more ALA investment in leadership development -- especially regarding diversity; a focus on addressing disparities in leadership development; creating a career path to leadership within the association; beginning leadership training during LIS education; combining ALA and state chapter leadership development; creating post-LIS certificates in non-library subjects such as policy or marketing; and having more training available for free or with membership dues.
President Young encouraged council members to reach out to continue this work and provide input to the ALA Executive Board to continue participation in the strategic planning process.  The results of this work will be presented for approval by Council at the 2015 Annual Conference.
 
Fiels instructed councilors to contact him or ALA’s Governance Office with additional ideas. The office will compile feedback into a report and provide it to membership in a few weeks. Fiels added that ALA Midwinter Meeting registration was at 10,552, and that organizers weren’t expecting many drive-in registrants in the next day or two because of snowy weather conditions in Chicago. Council then adjourned for the day.
 
Council II.  ALA Council's second session adjourned early, moving one new business resolution item to its next meeting, withdrawing one, and referring another to committee for further discussion.
 
Council passed a motion to revise standards for accreditation for LIS master's programs (CD #10). Councilors also passed three action items put forth by the Policy Monitoring Committee (CD #17) that addressed communication to ALA members by ALA committees and Council committees; the lifespan of membership initiative groups; and the copyright interpretation of the Code of Ethics.
 
Council referred a resolution to revise the committee composition description (CD #27) back to the Committee on Organization for additional work, and after much discussion passed a recommendation from the Constitution and Bylaws Committee to place an amendment to the ALA Bylaws on the spring 2015 ballot that amends article XII to use Robert's Rules of Order instead of Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (CD #25).
 
Julius C. Jefferson Jr., president of the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), presented his report (CD #22), updating Council on the litigation cases Antigone Books v. Horne and Arce v. Huppenthal. The first is in reference to an Arizona law making it illegal to display a picture of a naked person. It would be a felony if a college professor in Arizona, giving a lecture on the history of the Vietnam War, projects on a screen the iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, "Napalm Girl," which shows a girl, unclothed, running in horror from her village.
 
Council then passed a list of FY2016 programmatic priorities (CD #13.1).
 
ALSC members had expressed a concern about the following proposed resolution. 
Councilor Al Kagan withdrew his resolution on ALA divestment from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions (CD #34).
 
Fiels reported that attendance for the Midwinter meeting as of end of day Sunday was 10,568.
 
Council III.  The third Council session involved two hours of tributes, memorials, resolutions, and vigorous, yet civil debate.
 
The following individuals were recognized in memorial: Diane P. Monnier, Jean E. Lowrie, Roger C. Greer, Chris Olson, Ruth V. Bell, Ferol Ann Accola Foos, Miriam Drake, Lois Mai Chan, Judith Hopkins, Mary Woodley, Julia Claire Blixrud, Vivian Blache Cazayoux, Ernest A. DiMattia Jr., John H. Hunter, Donald J. Sager, Leslie Feinberg, and Paul Kay Sybrowsky.
 
Tributes were offered for the following individuals and institution: Nathan Scott, Linda H. Lord, Charles Wilt, Tom Wheeler, and the Ferguson (Mo.) Municipal Public Library.
 
The following three councilors were elected to serve on the ALA Executive Board and will be seated after Annual Conference 2015: Loida Garcia-Febo, Julius C. Jefferson Jr., and Mike L. Marlin.
 
The International Relations Committee proposed a resolution recognizing the 70th anniversary of UNESCO, which passed.
 
The Intellectual Freedom Committee offered a resolution denouncing the recent attacks on the freedom of expression as exemplified in the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which passed.
 
The Committee on Legislation proposed a resolution preserving public access to scientific and technical reports available through the National Technical Information Service, which passed.
 
Trevor Dawes, co-chair of the Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, requested that ALA members fill out a survey by February 15 so the task force can better understand the culture of the Association, the profession, and communities with respect to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Subsequent surveys will be launched at or around the time of future ALA conferences.
 
In new business,
 
1) A resolution on the Destruction of Libraries and Schools in Gaza in 2014, after lengthy debate, did not pass;
 
2) A resolution urging library directors to encourage and support United for Libraries memberships for each of their trustees passed. (There was some question whether there will be future resolutions from other divisions of ALA to encourage membership in those divisions from a noted YALSA member and Rhode Island Chapter Councilor.)
 
Fiels reported that total attendance at the 2015 Midwinter Meeting was 10,637, slightly lower than the Seattle meeting, and about 1,500 lower than the Philadelphia meeting.
 
For full details, as they become available, on the Midwinter Council meetings, please visit the ALA Council homepage.--Lisa Von Drasek, ALSC Division Councilor
 

ALSC Voices 

Jan Snyder
District Media Specialist
Oregon City Schools

ALSC membership: 25 years

Where did you attend library school? 
 
I attended Portland State University where I received a Masters of Education with an endorsement in school library media.
 
What was your very first library position?
 
I have spent most of my life in libraries. At age 6, I would take my little red wagon to the library and fill it with books every day. (I am a voracious reader!) I began volunteering at our local public library at age 13. At age 15, they put me in a paid position as I was there all the time anyway! I paid for my college education by working at the public library all through high school and college. Working at the public library was a wonderful exposure to the different types of library jobs along with ways I could help people find what they wanted and needed. Working there helped me realize I desired to be more active with the teaching pieces of library work, and thus pursued school library certification and endorsement. 
 
What do you love most about your job?  
 
I love the fact that my job is different every day! On any given day, I may work with my individual school libraries, develop digital curriculum for grades 7-12 social studies and science, train and provide workshops with our digital resources and databases, curate our building collections, or any other task on a long list of possibilities. It is always exciting, challenging, and rewarding.
 
You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books (children’s, YA, and/or adult) and one food item do you need to survive? 
 
My food item would be chocolate.  Oh so typical!  However, it has to be milk chocolate and not dark chocolate. In terms of reading, three books is far too few! I love my eReader that goes everywhere with me, and has 2,400 books on it! However, limited to 3, they would be Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings in one volume, Susan Cooper’s Dark Is Rising series in one volume, and my NIV Study Bible
 
What are your hobbies?
 
I enjoy reading, cooking, silk flower arranging, and am just learning to appliqué with felted wool. 
 
What three words best describe you? 
 
Enthusiastic, collaborative, creative
 

Bright Ideas 

Crazy for Comics

 
At the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Dana Jones has been going Crazy for Comics. In 2013, she developed a graphic novel book club for 7-10 year olds, tapping into her own lifelong love of comics. What she discovered was that graphic novels naturally invite engaging discussions about story, art, and the comic-making process.   
 
“There are many fantastic graphic novels for this young audience, and they appeal to boys, girls, and reluctant readers. We start out reading picture books, and then sometime in elementary school, adults begin saying that books with pictures aren’t good enough, that it isn’t ‘real’ reading. Well, I read Pulitzer and Newbery winners, but I still like reading comics,” says Jones, who first discovered her love of reading from Garfield comics. “I believe that graphic novels and comics necessitate layered literacy. We are simultaneously taking in text, image, dialogue, and facial expressions, and we also have to make inferences between the panels and across time.”
 
In her club, Jones asks her kids to analyze all these different components. “We just read Binky the Space Cat, where Ashley Spires uses three panel styles; one for what is happening in the present, one for Binky’s memories, and one for what Binky is imagining might happen. But I ask the kids to figure that out. I also always ask them to find an instance in the book where text wouldn’t have been sufficient to convey the story and to tell me how the comic elements added to their understanding. I ask hard analytical questions and I don’t get blank stares. The kids are right there with me, making astute observations.”
 
Higher order thinking doesn’t end there. Club participants draw and write their own comics, using the elements they have been analyzing. Plus there is the doodle table. Wanting the club to be a venue for artistic expression and creativity, Jones covers the tables with paper and provides lots of drawing utensils. “I tell them they can doodle the whole time. It is rarely a distraction. In fact, I usually find the kids to be more focused and creative while they doodle.”
 
Jones discovered that graphic novels naturally lend themselves to fun extension activities. To date they have had a visit from a live guinea pig (Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye), received a letter from author Frank Cammuso (Knights of the Lunch Table), made zombie sock puppets and negative space drawings (Kit Feeny: On the Move), re-worked discarded board books (Battle Bunny), made Art Bots (Robot Dreams), and blasted their own comics into the air via film canister rockets (Binky the Space Cat).  What else does she have in the works? “We are reading Dragon Puncher this month and I am super excited to have the kids make their own photo/comic hybrids with an iPad app called Strip Designer. And, after we read Squish, we are going to play with Squishy Circuits!”
 
Not convinced you should be offering something like this at your library? Jones has one final pitch, “There are so many amazing graphic novels to choose from, the kids love reading and discussing them, and how else can you combine literacy, art, authorship, and even some cool STEM and Maker projects to boot?—Dana Jones, Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) Public Library
 

IS Shorts in Delaware Libraries 

It was a warm Monday afternoon when Sally, her mother, and little sister, visited the Appoquinimink Community (Del.) Library to pick up a couple of holds they had placed the week before. As she entered the library she saw a small crowd of people gathered around a table, just across from the circulation desk. After waiting a short five minutes, Sally worked her way to the front of the crowd and saw they were writing with some funny-looking markers. When her turn arrived, the lady behind the table told her the funny-looking marker was called a 3Doodler, a kind of pen that melts plastic and pushes it out in such a way that makes a squiggly line. The lady showed Sally how to hold the pen safely. Although she was offered a series of templates to follow, Sally chose to create her own doodle, testing how high she could extend the plastic before it fell flat on the paper. 
 
Sally worked with the 3Doodler about ten minutes then handed it to the next person in line to play. She, her mom, and sister proceeded to check out their books and left the library with a cool new creation.
 
A couple weeks apart and about 25 miles south the staff at the Dover Public Library set up two MaKey MaKey’s in their lobby for patrons to explore. One was attached to a computer and several bananas; a boy was showing his mother how he could make musical notes by tapping the fruit. Two teenagers were playing on the other MaKey Makey, clapping their hands together to play a computer game.
 
These two library programs are known in Delaware as Inspiration Space Shorts, often referred to as IS Shorts. The Inspiration Space represents the evolution of the state’s Job Centers to encompass digital literacy, entrepreneurship, and Makerspaces. Four public libraries in Delaware have designated Inspiration Spaces. The remaining libraries offer IS programs or activities.
 
IS Shorts are short makerspace programs that “pop-up” in libraries throughout the state. Designed to last only one hour (plus set up and take down), these programs are geared toward patrons stopping by the library for a brief visit. Activities take the average person five to ten minutes to complete.
 
Little planning by library staff is required. The only promotion occurs during the event, through word of mouth and social media. Staff can prepare for an IS Short and are free to decide last minute that another activity would be more timely or to host none at all due to last-minute staff cancellation or other library need. 
 
While the above-mentioned activities involve emerging technologies, IS Shorts can require supplies as simple as paper, scissors, and some paper clips (Paper Circus Rider Toy, Made by Joel). Other activities include assembling a secret decoder and solving some puzzles, tie-dyeing squares of cloth with sharpies and rubbing alcohol, and building life-size structures out of various sized PVC piping. 
 
The outcome of these IS Shorts is to spark creativity and encourage patrons to try something new in a short amount of time, to look at everyday transactions and activities in an inventive way.
 
Additional ideas for these pop-up makerspaces can be found on the Delaware Libraries Pinterest board IS Shorts.--Sarena Fletcher, administrative librarian, Delaware Division of Libraries
 
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Creativity Kits To Go 


At the Meridian (Idaho) Library District, we are dedicated to providing a makerspace and maker activities for a variety of ages. However, we realized that there was still a divide in terms to access. Patrons could come to a program once a week to learn about using circuits, Arduinos, robots, and more but that didn’t improve their access to one-on-one time with the tools. In addition, we recognized that people work at different paces and some couldn’t complete projects in a short timeframe.  Out of this dilemma, we created Make It Take It Kits (see left), which allow maker activities to be checked out by anyone and kept for a month at a time. 
 
Make It Take It kits combine physical library objects (books, DVDs, magazines) with maker objects, paired with online resources for further expansion on a topic. The idea of a kit is that anybody should be able to check it out and learn a new skill just from the contents of the kit. They might need to add some items (for example, they have to make the dough for squishy circuits, or they have to have a TV/computer screen for the Raspberry Pi) but the majority of items needed are provided. We’ve utilized LibGuides, a web publishing platform for libraries, to curate online content for each subject, including video tutorials, websites, ebooks, and more. The electronic resources are supplementary and intended to be used for further exploration or clarification. 
 
The response from the community has been great. After launching about six months ago, we quickly had to make more kits, as popular ones had more than 17 people waiting for them. We hope to expand the service and are considering kits for video making, or even 3D design (with a coupon to print off one item on one of our 3D printers.)
 
For more information and to see all kits available, checkout our library's webpage.--Megan Egbert, youth services manager, Meridian (Idaho) Library District
 
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More Steaming with NASA: Measuring,  Making, and Outdoor Fun 

Challenge your patrons with an engineering problem--Measuring Precipitation.  Invite them to use common materials and tools to design their own devices. Participants test their devices and consider how NASA's satellite observations will help scientists better understand precipitation across the world. This hands-on, creative exploration works well across multiple age levels.   
 
Bead Craft -- with a science twist!  Celebrate the International Year of Light 2015 by experimenting with simple materials, including plastic beads that are sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light, which are generally white but turn colors when exposed to UV light. Through the activity Drive-By Science: UV-sensitive Beads, participants explore the nature and risks of UV light while experimenting what types of materials (e.g. sunscreen, sunglasses, fabric) keep the beads--and hence the participant--safe from UV light. These experiments can be done with any craft item created with pony beads--just incorporate at least a few UV-sensitive beads (available through educational retailers). 
 
Discover the universe through telescopes – even if you don’t have your own!  Engage your community in the wonders of the universe by peering through telescopes! Use the Night Sky Network web portal to find 
astronomy clubs in your area and use the contact information provided to reach out to potential partners. Find information on what will be visible in the night sky, as well as helpful links to weather information and other planning tools. Start Observing with NASA by controlling the ground-based MicroObservatory telescopes from your computer with help from "Control Telescope" web interface, which automatically lets you know which targets are up that night. You can even download your images! Print the Constellations: Wonders Within poster series to showcase beautiful astronomical objects revealed through NASA's Great Observatories (Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer) – along with their constellations, history, and related facts. 
 

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Getting Together 

Dialogue on Diversity 

The Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California (ACL) will host All Due Respect: A Dialogue about Diversity, Equity, and Creating Safe Spaces for All Youth on April 10, 2015, 8:30am - 4:30pm, at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco.
 
The keynote speaker is Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the National Book Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Newbery Honor, and Sibert Honor for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, among numerous other awards and honors for her many beautiful and profound contributions to literature for young people.
 
The featured speaker is Maya Gonzalez, award-winning author and artist of books for children, co-founder of Kid Lit Equality, and all-around activist for the rights of all of young people to be celebrated and accepted for exactly who they are.
 
The event also will highlight numerous other important voices from the front lines of children’s literature and youth librarianship.  An interactive day of discussion, information, and hands-on activities is planned. The aim is for attendees to leave with some concrete ideas about how to put their thoughts into action.
 
For further details about the institute and to register online, visit ACL's website.  
 

Censorship Conference 

The Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature in the Madden Library at Fresno (Calif.) State University is conducting an exciting new conference on censorship! Outlawed: The Naked Truth about Censored Literature for Young People, scheduled for April 10-12, 2015, will feature some of children's literature's best and brightest stars: Jacqueline Woodson, Lesléa Newman, Matt de la Peña, Leonard Marcus, Margarita Engle, and Michael Cart, plus nearly 35 panel presenters from across the U.S. and abroad. 
 
Censorship in children's literature will be examined from numerous angles. Sherman Alexie will kick off the conference with a presentation the previous evening, April 9th at 7:30. For complete details, please visit the event website.  
 

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 

Member News 

ALSC Past President Gretchen  Wronka, Bloomington, Minn.,  received the William G. Asp Distinguished Career Award at the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) 2014 Annual Conference last fall. The award recognizes distinguished service to the profession as well as active and innovative leadership in the development of libraries and the improvement of library services. Wronka is also a past MLA president and served as the ALA Chapter Councilor for Minnesota. Congratulations, Gretchen!
 
Books under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children's Books, written by ALSC Past President Pat Scales, Greenville, S.C., was recently released by ALA Editions. In this manual, Scales gives librarians the information and guidance they need to defend challenged books with an informed response. The book spotlights dozens of “hot button” titles written for young children through teens.

Dorothy Stoltz, Carroll County (Md.) Public Library, has co-authored, with Marisa Conner and James Bradberry, The Power of Play: Designing Early Learning Spaces, available from ALA Editions. The hands-on guide takes readers step-by-step through the process of designing an early learning space.

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Proposed Amendment Changes: 2015 ALSC Ballot 

During the 2014 Annual Conference, the ALSC Board voted to bestow the Wilder Award on an annual basis. This action requires an amendment to the ALSC bylaws, specifically articles VIII: Committees and X: Nomination and Elections. The proposed amendments will appear on the 2015 ALSC ballot for member vote. Eligible members will be sent their voting credentials by ALA via email between March 24-27. To review the proposed bylaw amendments in detail, visit the ALSC 2015 election page.

Arbuthnot Lecture News 

Reserve your spot. Tickets for the 2015 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Brian Selznick are now available. The lecture, titled "Love Is a Dangerous Angel: Thoughts on Queerness and Family in Children's Books," will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2015, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington D.C. Doors open at 6 p.m. A signing will follow the event. Tickets for the lecture are required, but free, and must be obtained through the DC Public Library. For more information on tickets and event details, please visit DCPL's Arbuthnot Event Brite page.  
 
Applications to host the 2016 Arbuthnot Lecture, featuring pioneering author and literacy advocate Pat Mora, will be available on ALSC's Arbuthnot webpage in early March. 
 
Mora has written more than three dozen books for young people that represent the Mexican American experience. “Mora’s commitment to literacy for all children of all backgrounds motivated her to found El día de los niños/ El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), or ‘Día,’ a celebration of children, families and reading. This flourishing family literacy initiative culminates annually on April 30th,” stated 2016 Arbuthnot Committee Chair Julie Corsaro.

Spring Courses from ALSC 

Registration is open for Spring 2015 ALSC online courses. Classes begin Monday, April 6, 2015. Recharge your battery after a long winter with one of these continuing education offerings:
 
Children with Disabilities in the Library (April 6 – May 15, CEU Certified Course: 3 CEUs)
Instructor: Katherine (Kate) Todd, Adjunct Instructor, Manhattanville College, Purchase, N.Y.
 
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs Made Easy (April 6 – May 1, CEU Certified Course: 1.2 CEUs)
Instructor: Angela Young, Head of Children's Department, Reed Memorial Library, Ravenna, Ohio
 
Storytelling with Puppets (April 6 – May 1, CEU Certified Course: 2.2 CEUs)
Instructor: Steven Engelfried, Youth Services Librarian, Wilsonville (Ore.) Public Library
 
For complete details, visit our website
 

Día Book Lists and Webinar - Building STEAM 

ALSC's Building STEAM with Día book lists for children birth to 8th grade were designed to accompany El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día) programming; the multicultural titles on the four lists showcase STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) topics. Adding to the fun, each list also features a simple and age-appropriate STEAM activity that accompanies one of the titles on that list. The activities are designed to help librarians and parents bring the book to life in a fun, hands-on way.
 
Titles and activities were selected and developed by members of the Quicklists Consulting Committee. These free book lists were made possible through the Everyone Reads @ your library grant funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Find them all on the ALSC website.
 
On March 17  at 11 a.m. (Central time), ALSC is hosting a free webinar, Building STEAM with Día: The Whys and Hows to Getting Started. Participants will gain knowledge on how STEAM programming can most effectively impact all members of the community, in particular underrepresented minorities. Although the webinar is free, registration is required. This webinar is part of 2015 Día activities and is made possible through the Everyone Reads @ your library grant funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. 

Día project Wins Award 

ALSC's Día Family Book Club has received the 2014 Bridge to Understanding Award from The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). The project introduces books about diverse cultures from around the world to children and families through a series of book discussions. ALSC developed The project's toolkits, publicity kits and lesson plans, developed by ALSC, provide a strong starting point for libraries in choosing activities for their communities. In its first two years, the Día Family Book Club, an extension of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), has  engaged children and families nationwide in book sharing and discussion. 
 
The award, which carries a $1,000 monetary prize, was presented at a USBBY gathering during the recent ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.
 

Advocating for Libraries: One Button at a Time 

ALSC launched an advocacy button campaign during Midwinter. Tied to the Everyday Advocacy initiative, the button campaign is designed to help youth service librarians articulate the value of their profession. The buttons, emblazoned with the slogan “Creating a Better Future for Children through Libraries,” will be available at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco and various state/local conferences.
 
Attached to each button is a tip sheet, created by the Advocacy and Legislation Committee, that includes talking points to help articulate the value of youth library service.  A virtual button will be available soon. For more information on the button campaign and Everyday Advocacy, visit the website.

Be a Bystander for "The Call" 

Have you ever wanted to be a "fly on the wall" as ALSC's book award winners receive the happy news? Now you can. American Libraries was there taping as the Newbery, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King Award Committees made their phone calls to the 2015 winners. Check out the video!  

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The Future of Libraries 

ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries has launched a project dubbed the "Manual for the Future of Librarianship," which seeks to crowd source a collection of books deemed important to sustaining the profession into the future. A submission form has been set up for librarians, member leaders, and others interested in sharing suggested books, articles, reports, essays, videos, recordings, etc., that will help inform the future of librarianship. Submissions can be resources from within or outside of the profession, any resources that edify an individual's practice and might also be of benefit to others. 
 
Submissions eventually will be published to a site for others to review and consider, with a goal to identify the best, most essential contributions for the manual.

Take Your Child to the Library Initiative 

Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCLD) was launched in 2011 as a grassroots literacy project. Created by Connecticut librarians Nadine Lipman and Caitlin Augusta with children’s book illustrator/author Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, it is an international initiative encouraging families to take their children to their local libraries. 
 
TYCLD is usually held on the first Saturday in February but libraries can pick a date that works best for their community. TYCLD is an easy and fun way to raise critical awareness about your library’s services and programs. TYCLD is supported by the non-profit Connecticut Library Consortium. To learn more, visit the TYCLD website.
 
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Día Grants Available 

Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature (CSMCL) is pleased to announce grants for your library's 2015 Día program with an African American Focus. The grant award amount is $500 in selected multicultural children's books for your library. Applications must be received by March 9, 2015. The award will be announced on or about March 13, 2015. The Día event must be held on or about April 30, 2015. To request an application, contact: Dr. Claudette S. McLinn, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature, 8461 S. Van Ness Ave., Suite 101, Inglewood, CA 90305, Center4MulticulturalChildrensLit at aol.com. 

CCBC-Net Discontinued 

The Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, brought the CCBC-Net listserv to a close at the end of 2014 due to a sharp decline in activity on the list over the past few years. The CCBC archives are available at the CCBC website.  To access a discussion, use: Login: ccbc-net. Password: Look4Posts
 
Visit CCBC’s blog, CCBlogC to remain connected with the center.
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DiCamillo to Serve as first-ever National Summer Reading Champion 

The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) announced its partnership with award-winning children’s book author, Kate DiCamillo, as its first ever National Summer Reading Champion.
 
DiCamillo, who received a 2014 Newbery Award for her latest novel, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, will shoot a series of public service announcements, participate in a national media campaign, and appear at events coast-to-coast. Her goal is to encourage families to sign up for and participate in summer reading programs at their local libraries and to raise awareness of the importance of summer reading for children, teens, and adults across the country.
 
DiCamillo, who currently serves as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for the Library of Congress, received her first Newbery Award in 2004 for The Tale of Despereaux.
 
To learn more about CSLP and the summer reading program materials that it develops for children, teens, and adults, please visit their website.

Braille and Talking-Book Program Embraces New Braille Code 

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), part of the Library of Congress, will implement the Unified English Braille (UEB) code on January 4, 2016.
 
“This is the first extensive change to the English braille code, a major literacy tool, since the 1930s,” said NLS Director Karen Keninger.  “The new code will be especially beneficial to students and other users of technology. It resolves persistent translation errors that occur when, for example, a student’s work is translated to print for a teacher to read, or when print material is translated to braille.”  Those who use computers, smartphones, e-books and texting features will find it very useful.
 
UEB uses the same six-dot cell pattern as the present code, but drops some contractions, uses different spacing rules, and allows for transliterating a wider array of symbols.
 
Beginning January 4, 2016, all books added to the braille collection will be produced in UEB.  “Current patrons should make the transition easily as the new code builds on the old system,” said Keninger.  Existing braille books will remain in the collection and be available. The UEB books are not expected to be available from the collection for at least six months.  Patrons will not need to change their equipment.
 
NLS administers the braille and talking-book program, a free library service available to U.S. residents and American citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness, or physical disability makes reading regular materials difficult.  Through its national network of libraries, NLS mails books and magazines in audio and braille formats and digital audio equipment directly to enrollees at no cost.  Music instructional materials are also available. Selected materials may be downloaded. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/nls/ or call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323).
 

Help Ratify UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 

Join the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) in its efforts to urge the U.S. Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Only two country members of the United Nations—South Sudan and the United States—have not ratified this treaty guaranteeing basic human rights for every child. Sign the petition asking the U.S. Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Access the petition at the Move On website

Keats Foundation Mini-Grant Program 

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation celebrates the 27th year of its Mini-Grant Program with a call for proposals. Approximately 60 grants of up to $500 each will be awarded to qualifying teachers and librarians at public schools and libraries across the U.S. The deadline for grant submissions has been extended to March 31, 2015, and decisions will be emailed to all applicants by May 1, allowing educators to plan for the next academic year accordingly. To learn more about the Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant Program and to apply, visit the foundation's website
 
Also, featured on the website is a gallery of past outstanding mini-grant programs, including "Readers on the Move StoryWalk®"  (Library at the Hunt YMCA, Shelby, N.C.). Families have been spending time together reading popular children’s books as they hop, skip, twirl, and run from post to post, where each page of the featured book is displayed along the Fitness Trail on the grounds of the YMCA. Classics highlighting outdoor exploration, adventure, and nature have included Keats’ The Snowy Day and Over in the Meadow, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, and Dr. Seuss’ Great Day for Up.
 
“Through this program, we have been able to build community, contribute to reading readiness, and promote the physical well-being of families. Since creating our StoryWalk®, the number of visitors to the library has increased by 25 percent—a major achievement for us!” said Karen Bell, Media Specialist at the library.
 

Ball State University Launches Literary Magazine Promoting Diversity in Children’s Literature 

Ball State University has launched "Rethinking Children’s Literature," a free, digital, interactive literary magazine that marries story, art, and media as a way for readers to experience the inclusiveness of stories that focus on topics promoting social justice. For more information, contact the magazine website.

Latest Public Library Statistics Now Available 

In late January, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) released the report for the Public Libraries in the United States Survey: Fiscal Year 2012, an analysis of the most comprehensive annual data collection of U.S. public library statistics. Ninety-seven percent of public libraries in the 50 states and the District of Columbia contribute data for the survey. The survey report provides analysis of 13 key indicators of library investments and library use, and profiles for each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Policymakers and practitioners use the report findings to make informed decisions about library support and management.
 
Visit the IMLS website to access the full report, state-by-state profiles, a survey fact sheet, and more.  
 

Stanley Wins Yolen Mid-List Author Award 

The ?Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) recently announced Sanna Stanley, writer and illustrator of children's books such as Monkey for Sale and Monkey Sunday, winner of the 2014 Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Award. Stanley draws inspiration for her work from the time she spent as a child traveling to remote villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Visit Stanley's website to learn more about her.    
 
An Honor Grant was awarded to author Jane Mitchell, co-founder of the SCBWI Ireland Chapter and its previous regional advisor. Mitchell is the author of When Stars Stop Spinning and Chalkline, and focuses on the rights of women and young girls around the globe in her writing. Learn more about Jane Mitchell at her website
 
This grant gives $3,000 to mid-list authors to honor their contribution and help raise awareness about their current works-in-progress. The grant was created and is generously funded by Jane Yolen, critically-acclaimed children’s book author and one of the first SCBWI members.
 
To learn more about this award, please visit the “Awards and Grants” section of the SCBWI website.  www.scbwi.org.

NCTE Book Award Winners Announced 

Rain, Reign (Feiwel and Friends) by Ann Martin has received the Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children and The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia (Schwartz & Wade) by Candace Fleming, has received the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
 
For complete award details, including honor books and recommended titles, visit the NCTE website

CLEL Bell Book Awards for Early Literacy 

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) recently announced the winners of its 2015 Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy. One winning title is named in each of five categories from a short list of five titles per category. Each category represents an early literacy practice: Read, Write, Sing, Talk, and Play. The books, in their content, theme, or design, support caregivers’ interaction with their children through these five early literacy practices. This year's winners are:
 
READ: Books Always Everywhere. By Jane Blatt. Illus. by Sarah Massini
WRITE: The Crayon: A Colorful Tale about Friendship. By Simon Rickerty.
TALK: Froodle. By Antoinette Portis
SING: I Got the Rhythm. By Connie Schofield-Morrison. Illus. by Frank Morrison
PLAY: Tea with Grandpa. By Barney Saltzberg
 

Endangered Species Day 

Community and school libraries are encouraged to participate in the 10th annual Endangered Species Day (ESD) on May 15, 2015.
 
First approved by the U.S. Senate in 2006, the purpose of Endangered Species Day is to expand awareness of the importance of endangered plant and animal species/habitat conservation and to share success stories of species recovery. 
Every year, ESD events are held at libraries, schools, zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, conservation groups, parks, wildlife refuges, and other locations throughout the country. If more convenient, school libraries can recognize the special day earlier in May.
 
Libraries can showcase their regular services and special programs, while also celebrating ESD. Specific activities include:
  
* Creating a display of endangered species books and photos, and a map showing local/state species.
* Inviting an expert to make a presentation.
* Holding a story hour, reading excerpts from an endangered species book
* Providing children’s activities, such as a coloring table.
 
A variety of ESD resources are available on the  website, including event planning information and a reading list, along with color/activity sheets, bookmarks, stickers, and other material that can be downloaded and printed.
 
Participating organizations may also promote their event by registering it on the ESD directory, or send your information to David Robinson, ESD Director.
 

New DK Site for Kids 

DKfindout! launched at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in January. The online resource, from publisher DK, is a global education website for children, parents, and educators. Supporting the most current curriculum, the site is primarily aimed at children aged 7-11, and brings together the best of DK's bank of images and content across a wide breadth of subjects. The site is free to use and aims to provide children, educators, and parents with an invaluable learning and reference tool to use both in the classroom and at home.
 
DKfindout! is currently in BETA phase, during which early users’ feedback is sought. While the site is available online, it is still under improvement; new content and functionality will be added throughout 2015.   
 

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