Officially Speaking | ALSC Voices | Bright Ideas | Getting Together | Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
“Come with me,” Mom says. / “To the library.
Books and summertime / go together.”
― Lisa Schroeder I Heart You, You Haunt Me
Now is the time when a lot of us are thinking a lot about summer. Either because we live in the Southern Hemisphere and are currently enjoying it or because we live in the Northern Hemisphere and are busy planning for it in our libraries.
Long a vital staple of library service to children, summer programming has evolved over the years and nowadays can involve elements such as meals, assessments, community and cultural partnerships, digital badges, and STEAM (to name a few), all in addition to engaging with wonderful books and stories. And all with an eye toward combatting the “summer slide
” of knowledge loss during this season.
At the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting last month in Boston, the ALSC Board examined summer reading and learning as a strategic “mega-issue” for our association. (Check out my Midwinter recap here
.) The importance of out-of-school time and learning in the summer only continues to grow for all ages, and the objective of this discussion was to explore what role ALSC should have in summer and how we can best support our members in their summer reading and learning work? In 2010 there was an ALA Council Resolution on Ensuring Summer Reading Programs for all Children and Teens
and among ALSC’s current effective efforts are the Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program grant
and the updating of Summer Reading Lists
by the Quicklists Consulting Committee. As something that many of our members are doing in order to create a better future for children through libraries during summertime, the question is: How can ALSC help you even more?
The Board has convened a task force to provide input into this question, and I’m delighted that Board member Christine Caputo, Interim Chief of Public Service Support at The Free Library of Philadelphia, will be leading this group as chair. This team of wise and eager members is beginning its work with an eye toward June, July, and August 2016, and beyond.
I hope you’ll e-mail me
with any and all ideas you already have about this and then join us for the next ALSC Community Forum on Thursday, February 25, 1:30 p.m. (Central time), as we explore summer reading and learning together.
Until then, Happy Winter Reading!—Andrew Medlar, ALSC President
ALSC Councilor’s Report
At the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, I officially began my three-year term as ALSC Division Councilor, a role that’s indeed my privilege to take on. My first Midwinter in this capacity was an exhilarating experience filled with new names and faces as well as lots of acronyms! (I still have so much to learn.) I was especially honored to work directly with ALA President Sari Feldman, who serves as Council Chairperson this year, and ALA Parliamentarian Eli Mina, who ensures all Council proceedings follow Robert’s Rules of Order to the letter.
In addition to the Council sessions themselves, I took advantage of several opportunities to network more closely with Council colleagues. The first of these was the Youth Council Caucus, which convened immediately after Council I on Sunday, January 10. Together with AASL Councilor Diane Chen and YALSA Councilor Todd Krueger, I met with peers sharing vested interests in youth-related issues (which are all issues, as ALSC President Andrew Medlar would say). We asked questions of one another and enjoyed great discussion about topics we might address in the coming Council year. Look for the minutes from the Youth Council Caucus in Boston on the group’s ALA Connect space
in the next few weeks.
I also participated in three Council fora, which took place on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday evenings of Midwinter, respectively. Traditionally, each forum is an opportunity to talk informally with other Council members, many of whom are seeking feedback on resolutions they plan to bring to an upcoming Council session. Since attendance at fora isn’t required and the meetings take place from 8:30-10 p.m., imagine my surprise at seeing more than 50 attendees at each forum! I was inspired by the energy in the room during these evenings and our passionate, shared commitment to moving both ALA and the library profession forward.
A complete list of Council actions taken at the 2016 Midwinter Meeting
is forthcoming on the ALA website; however, I’m pleased to share the following summary of Council updates and activities in advance of that posting:
Attendance. ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels informed Council that final Midwinter attendance was 10,805, which is up from Chicago in 2015 and down from Philadelphia in 2014. (See the complete list of Midwinter attendance figures
for specific numbers.)
Council and ALA committee reports. Council members enjoyed detailed reports from the following dedicated committees:
Joint Council of Librarians of Color. Council approved the application of the Joint Council of Librarians of Color to become an ALA affiliate.
ALA Treasurer’s report.
At the request of ALA Treasurer Mario Gonzalez, Council approved the programmatic priorities
serving as the basis for the fiscal year 2017 budget. These priorities will be a key component of the ALA strategic planning process.
ALA Executive Board elections. Karen E. Downing and Andrew K. Pace were elected to 3-year terms (2016-2019) and will be seated on the Executive Board at its fall meeting on October 21-23, 2016, in Chicago. John DeSantis was seated immediately on the Executive Board at the 2016 Midwinter Meeting to complete the remaining 1-1/2-year term (January 2016 through June 2017) of Gail A. Schlachter, who passed away on April 27, 2015.
Resolutions. Due to rich discussions and thoughtful feedback from members during both Council sessions and fora, Council passed the following resolutions in Boston:
• Resolution Against Islamophobia
• Resolution for Restoring Civil Liberties and Opposing Mass Surveillance
• Resolution Honoring James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress Emeritus
• Resolution Concerning Accessibility of ALA Conferences and Meetings for People with Disabilities
• Resolution on Replacing Library of Congress Subject Heading “Illegal Aliens” with “Undocumented Immigrants)
• Resolution Supporting the 2015 Advocacy Implementation Plan
Memorial and tribute resolutions. Memorial resolutions were passed in honor of the following ALA members: Sheeren Marx, Kuang-Hwei (Janet) Lee-Smeltzer, Richard C. Fyffe, Billy Charles Beale, Allene Farmer Hayes, and Linda Waddle. A tribute resolution was passed in honor of Barbara Blosveren on the occasion of her retirement.
As we look ahead to the 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, I’ll be sure to keep you informed about ongoing Council discussions affecting the youth and families we serve. Of course, you can always reach out to me by email
with your questions and feedback about Council and Council-related issues. I welcome your input at any time.
Thank you again for this incredible opportunity to serve ALSC. See you in Orlando!—Jenna Nemec-Loise, ALSC Division Councilor
Proposed Bylaw Amendment Coming on Spring Ballot
A proposed amendment to the ALSC Bylaw Article XII: Parliamentary Authority, to come into compliance with ALA policy, will appear on the 2016 spring ballot for members' approval.
Text to be deleted appears in brackets under “Current Bylaw” below. Replacement text to be approved is bold and underscored in the “Proposed Bylaw Change” section below.
The [Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, by Alice Sturgis (McGraw-Hill), latest edition, shall govern the Association for Library Service to Children] in all cases in which [they are] not inconsistent with the Bylaws of this Association [and] with the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Library Association.
Proposed Bylaw Change:
The parliamentary authority used by this Association shall be the same as that used by the American Library Association and shall govern in all cases in which it is not inconsistent with the Bylaws of this Association or with the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Library Association.
Honoring Our Silver Anniversary Members
Congratulations to the following individuals who reached 25 years of ALSC membership in 2015. We appreciate your loyalty to the association and profession. A silver anniversary member is recognized in the ALSC Profile
section of each issue of ALSC Matters
Nancy Singleton Adamczyk, New Jersey
Barbara Bush, Texas
Christine D. Caputo, Pennsylvania
Mary F. M. Cooper, Maryland
Donna Cote, Virginia
MaryKay Dahlgreen, Oregon
Maria Gomes, Virginia
Lucia Martinez Gonzalez, Florida
B. Allison Gray, California
Margaret M. Gruerio, Pennsylvania
Dorcas Hand, Texas
Lois J. Jerolleman, Texas
Maeve Visser Knoth, California
Susan Laun, New Hampshire
Alison Lehner-Quam, New York
Jane B. Marino, New York
Pamela A. Martin-Diaz, Indiana
Kathy L. Matter, New Mexico
Ellen M. Riordan, Maryland
Susan J. Russell, California
Marianne Saccardi, Connecticut
Donna M. Shannon, South Carolina
John Sigwald, Texas
Dr. Nancy P. Zimmerman, South Carolina
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.
Belpré Award Endowment
Friends of ALSC
Celebrating colleagues with 25 years of ALSC membership
Youth Collections Coordinator
DC Public Library, Washington, D.C.
ALSC membership: 25 years — and what fun it is sharing passions with smart, stimulating colleagues from around the country during conferences and award committees. Thanks to the late, great Kate McClellan, I had the privilege of chairing a wonderful committee that put on the 2010 ALSC Preconference at the Corcoran Museum in DC, “Drawn to Delight: How Picturebooks Work (and Play) Today.” Last year, it was a great honor to host Brian Selznick’s Arbuthnot lecture in DC and promote the speech, children’s literature, and library resources with an exhibit.
Where did you attend library school?
Rutgers University, where Mary K. Chelton had us reading westerns and comparing Playboy and Hustler for our Popular Culture class.
What was your very first library position?
My first professional position was a grant-funded job as the Bookmobile Librarian in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (my hometown). I made a whopping $13,000 per year, so I also worked in a bookstore. The driver was a retired Marine, an older gentleman, whose white shirts were always crisply pressed and his shoes were meticulously shined. We had great fun being out and about, visiting a gamut of neighborhoods from housing projects to wealthier communities. It required very personalized service: I spent a lot of time searching for just the right books for regulars—the boy who loved WWII nonfiction, the seniors who wanted their bodice rippers, but only the kind with “castles on the covers.”
What do you love most about your current job?
I love having a position that allows me to constantly receive information about the latest books published for children and teens (not to mention the books themselves)—and then to plan opportunities for people of all ages to discover them. In DC, there are so many possibilities for partnerships with museums; that adds another layer to potential connections. My latest project is a workshop for educators on teen and children’s narrative nonfiction at the Renwick Museum in conjunction with their exhibit, “Wonder.”
You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books and one food item do you need to survive?
That is so hard! I will push this boundary for my first choice with a favorite set of books from my childhood: The Golden Book Encyclopedia from the early 1960s. I used to get up early before school and read my way through the volumes while my dad watched the morning news on TV. I think it would be fun to re-visit what was filling my head then and look at the book design. I feel an incredible wave of nostalgia when I see those collaged covers in used bookstores. My next selection would be The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide by Thomas P. Campbell. This would offer a window on the world, and I’d have a lot of time to look closely at and learn about interesting images and objects. Plus I could decorate my tree house with selected pages. Finally, I would be sure to plan my shipwreck to follow the release of Brian Selznick’s next book (or at least the ARC), so I would have something new to read that I would want to read many more times. As for food, I cannot live without cookies.
What are your hobbies?
After the obvious (reading) comes jewelry collecting (and wearing), decorating, baking, playing the piano, going to museums, traveling/shopping, and having dinner with interesting people.
What three words best describe you?
Joyful, creative, responsive.
Sensory Storytime Success - April Is Autism Awareness Month
Alachua County Library District was inspired to create a Sensory Storytime Program after attending the Public Library Association Conference in 2014. Staff participated in sessions to learn from other librarians how they developed their sensory storytime programs and what was needed to start a program. Building on this inspiration, our librarians went to work researching how we could start one of these programs at our own branches. Staff attended webinars and investigated what materials we might need to purchase. We discovered an amazing resource in our own community, the University of Florida Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). This group provided us with training on Autism and different sensory processing needs, helped us create visual supports, and observed our practice storytimes to ensure we created the best environment for those with special sensory processing needs.
Creating our Sensory Storytimes meant building upon the traditional storytime with special modifications to guarantee that we were meeting the different sensory needs of children and allowing them to participate in meaningful ways. We created a visual schedule to show children the flow of the storytime. As we finish one activity, we remove that item from the schedule so that everyone knows it’s finished and we are moving on to the next item. To help children who struggle with joint attention issues, we hand each child their own copy of the stories we are using. To help those with different auditory needs, we play music at a lower level and use scarves, therapy bands, and bean bags to interact with the music. To support tactile sensory needs we have weighted lapdogs, hand-made sensory quilts (made by our very own librarian Gail Carr), and various fidgets. The goal of these programs is to get children used to the idea of visiting the library and then, hopefully, have them join in the fun of other library programs.
Starting a Sensory Storytime program requires a great deal of planning, research, and dedication, but it is well worth the effort. According to staff members, once they participate in one of these programs, they see immediately that they are a part of something special. If you have any questions about our storytimes, please feel free to contact me via email email@example.com
or call 352-334-3947.—Erin Tipping Phemester, Alachua County (Florida) Library District
Two Successful Programs that Won’t Burden or Break the Budget
Children’s librarians seek low budget/no budget programs as avidly as we seek minimal labor/planning programs. Here are two that may be possible for many, and both are community partnerships.
For those Humphrey fans, try a Hamster Ball Race. My former colleague, Sharon Markey (now a school librarian), added this program to our summer reading offerings. It was so popular that we offered it for three consecutive summers. Our local PetCo store loaned us the race tracks, racing flags, and scoreboard. In return, we purchased our race prizes there—hamster treats of various sizes—and gave them free publicity. We purchased first through third place ribbons and held enough races so that everyone got to race at least once and the winners then raced for the championship. (This part of the program can be structured to suit the individual library.) Children who wished to participate had to own both a hamster and a hamster ball. Registration was required due to space limitations; for us, that was 16 entrees. Registration included the hamster’s name so that every child would receive a participation certificate personalized with the pet’s name. (These were created and printed in-house prior to the start of the program.) Observers were permitted to attend as space permitted—for us that meant the meeting room maximum. The races were simple: one person to call the start of the race and one at the end to announce the winner of the heat. The only rule was that the children could not touch the hamster balls during the race; but they could coax their racers in any other way. The length of the actual program from setup to finish: one hour. The prep time: making contact with a local pet store, picking up and returning the tracks and flags, purchasing the prizes, and printing the certificates—less than two hours. Number of staff: 2-3 maximum. Attendance each year ranged from 75-85 people (participants and observers combined). Total cost was approximately $10.00.
Our metropolitan symphony has an outreach program called an instrument petting zoo. Two of their staff members visit schools and libraries. They bring a wide variety of “retired” instruments—from woodwinds to percussion to brass. They talk about the symphony and the types of instruments, then demonstrate how they are played. Children are then permitted to play the instruments. Registration is required and the number is set by the symphony staff (in our case 50 people). The program lasts an hour. Parents/families are permitted to observe the program as space allows. Cost to the library is nothing. Preparation time is limited to arranging the visit. Staff involvement is the largest portion of the program because the symphony staff needs help with cleaning the mouth pieces of instruments between users (this involves an alcohol wipe) and assisting children with the instruments.
Family-friendly, enriching, and easy, this program also raises the visibility of the symphony in the community. If your community doesn’t have a symphony to call upon, check into a partnership with a community orchestra, civic band, or high school band. High school students might be willing to individually demonstrate their instruments and in some cases allow children to try them.
I wish to thank my colleagues who brought these programs to our libraries. I am happy to share their success with you.—Kate Capps, children’s librarian and school liaison, Olathe (Kansas) Indian Creek Library
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library-School Partnership Reaches Milestone
More than 100,000 students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) received a valuable gift just in time for the holidays last December – access to the world of resources and possibilities available through the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML).
In August 2015, the library and CMS announced ONE Access – an initiative to give all CMS students increased access to the county’s public libraries. Students in 168 schools learned they could use their school identification number to check out books, use online tools, and access other services at library branches and at home via cmlibrary.org.
Since that time, more than 100,000 of the 146,140 students enrolled in CMS have used their accounts at least once – in the classroom, in libraries, or from home. 52% of the activity has been checkout of physical books and materials, followed by 29% accessing digital materials on OverDrive, and 16% using library computers. Many students are also accessing online databases for research.
CMS teachers and media specialists found creative ways to use the resources. One teacher assistant at an elementary school reported that her first grade class “went on safari” during their media time, using the library resources: TumbleBooks (an online collection of animated talking picture books) and PowerKnowledge (an online science resource for learners in grades 3-6).
At Scaleybark Library, a student who learned he could access the information he needed to complete a school project, despite having fines on his regular library card, responded, "This is so cool! Can anyone do this? Wait till I tell my friends!"
At Matthews Library, the coach of a South Charlotte Middle School Science Olympiad team was thrilled to know that his students could use their ONE Access accounts to do research and access library databases. He said this would make it much easier for his students.
ONE Access, or “One Number Equals Access,” uses students' school identification numbers instead of separate library cards. With their ONE Access account, students can:
- Access Library research databases
- Borrow digital materials such as e-books, e-audiobooks, magazines, music and video
- Borrow up to 10 print or audio books (no DVDs or music CDs)
This effort is part of an ongoing commitment by both organizations to benefit the community by increasing literacy and educational success.
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Celebrate Ezra Jack Keats' Centennial
This year marks the 100th birthday of the late children’s book author-illustrator Ezra Jack Keats. In honor of Keats’ centennial, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has planned a year-long birthday celebration, including special events, performances, and activities at schools, libraries, and cultural institutions around the country.
Among the various organizations that are partnering with the Foundation to celebrate Keats’ 100th are: Penguin Random House, the University of Southern Mississippi, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Children’s Theater of Minneapolis, the New York City Department of Education, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.
Keats' actual birthday was March 11, 1916, but this year's celebration has already begun with a Keats Birthday Kit, which consists of illustrated, printable PDFs that are suitable for hanging up or handing out. The kit offers a fresh take on the Keats curriculum —and turns it into a birthday party!
The Birthday Kit is available at no cost and will remain online throughout 2016. Some of the resources included are:
• Read a book...stay for a party! Creative activities with simple instructions highlight selected Keats titles.
• Vintage photographs capture the year 1916. Children will get a glimpse of what America looked like when Ezra was born, learn about historic “firsts” like Thomas Edison’s electric car, and realize that some of the sights they see every day may actually be 100 years old!
• Fun facts reveal the author’s secrets. For example: Ezra included self-portraits in a number of his books, inviting readers to “find Ezra” in their pages.
• Did you know…? Highlights from the author’s life reveal that Ezra was a guest on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” four times, and had a skating rink in Japan named after him in honor of his book Skates.
• Pin the tail on Willie. Just for fun!
Statue of Peter and Willie To Be Declared a Literary Landmark. Keats grew up in Brooklyn, New York, so the borough’s beautiful Prospect Park seemed a fitting spot for a bronze sculpture of two of his beloved characters, Peter and his dog, Willie. Children have gathered there, in the Imagination Playground, for a storytelling hour sponsored by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation every summer weekend since the statue’s dedication in 1997. In honor of Keats’ 100th birthday, the statue will be declared a literary landmark.
A month-by-month schedule on the foundation website lists activities, events, and dates related to the Keats centennial celebration.
28th Annual Mini-Grant Proposals with a Keats Birthday Twist. The 28th Annual Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant Program celebrates Keats with a call for proposals that reflect the work and vision of the program’s namesake.
Approximately 60 grants of up to $500 each will be awarded to qualifying teachers and librarians at public schools and libraries across the country. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2016, and decisions will be emailed to all applicants in early May, allowing educators to plan for the next academic year.
To learn more about grants, including this year’s criteria, visit Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grants.
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February Community Forum: Summer Reading & Learning
Save the date to join the
ALSC Board of Directors and President Andrew
Medlar for a live chat on the topic of summer reading & learning, featuring a live text discussion with our newly appointed Summer Reading & Learning Task Force. We will discuss how libraries across the country are finding new and engaging ways to keep kids reading and learning in their communities and explore ways in which
ALSC can help assist members in their work. Members are invited to check out the National Summer Learning Association's new Summer Learning Policy Snapshot in preparation for the discussion. Don't miss this opportunity to energize your summer planning efforts.
The Community Forum will be held on Thursday, February 25 at:
2pm Eastern | 1pm Central | 12pm Mountain | 11am Pacific
Tickets for 2016 Arbuthnot Lecture Now Available
Noted author and literacy advocate Pat Mora will speak on Bookjoy! Alegria en los Libros! at the 2016 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture on Friday, April 15, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. (Pacific time). The lecture will be hosted by Santa Barbara (California) Public Library System and co-sponsored by the Santa Barbara City College, a U.S. Department of Education Hispanic-Service Institution, and the University of California at Santa Barbara.The event will take place at the Garvin Theatre, Santa Barbara City College, 721 Cliff Drive.
Institute to Feature Top Creators
ALSC recently announced a very special Breakfast for Bill at the 2016 ALSC National Institute. This keynote celebration will include authors and illustrators Phil and Erin Stead, Laura Dronzek, and Kevin Henkes. The National Institute takes place September 15-17, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The star-studded panel includes two husband and wife teams--Phil and Erin Stead, and Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek--who have two Caldecott Medals between them. They will discuss their latest collaborations, and give insights as to how the process of working creatively with a spouse differs from the process of creating individually. The event is sponsored by HarperCollins Children's Books and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group.
The breakfast will honor the memory of William C. Morris, former vice-president and director of library promotion at HarperCollins Children’s Books by bringing librarians together with children’s book creators. Morris was a long time ALSC member and friend, recipient of the first ALSC Distinguished Service Award, and an advocate for children’s librarians and literature.
Other confirmed special events at the Institute include the Opening General Session on September 15 with David Shannon and the Closing General Session, Saturday, September 17, with Jacqueline Woodson will present. More information about the Institute
is on the website.
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Congratulations to ALSC Past President Starr LaTronica. In January, she took over as director of Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, Vermont. Immediately prior, she served as youth services/outreach manager at Four County Library System in New York since 1995. Wishing you the best, Starr!
, College Gate Elementary School, Anchorage, Alaska, and April Roy
, Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library, Lucile H. Bluford Branch, are recipients of the 2015 I Love My Librarian Award! They were selected for their dedicated public service and the valuable role they play in transforming lives through education in their communities. According to the I Love Libraries website
, Helmer "provides an invaluable, hands-on approach to learning that opens up new worlds for students." Roy has "transformed the library into a bustling community center emphasizing literacy, health, and wellness." Kudos, ladies; we are proud to call you ALSC members!
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Take the Everyday Advocacy Challenge
Looking for a great way to activate your inner Everyday Advocate and motivate your colleagues to do the same? Then volunteer to be a part of the spring Everyday Advocacy Challenge (EAC) cohort!
We're looking for 10-15 participants to take the next four-week challenge from March 1-22, 2016.
Here's the scoop on what we'll be asking of you:
• Commit to completing four consecutive Take Action Tuesday challenges on a designated theme (TBD).
• Collaborate with your EAC cohort over the four-week period, sharing successes and troubleshooting issues via ALA Connect.
• Write a post for the ALSC blog about your EAC experience.
• Contribute a reflection for the April 2016 issue of the Everyday Advocacy Matters e-newsletter.
Interested? Awesome! Submit the form
() on the Everyday Advocacy website, and we'll be in touch with all the details by mid- to late February.
Committing to this four-week challenge is the perfect opportunity to put Everyday Advocacy into action and model engagement for your ALSC colleagues!
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National Readathon Day 2016
ALA has joined with Penguin Random House to support the second annual National Readathon Day, which will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2016. It is a day dedicated to the joy of reading and giving, when readers everywhere can join together in their local library, school, bookstore, and on social media (#Readathon2016) to read and raise funds in support of literacy. This year, Readathon Day is presented as part of ALA’s Libraries Transform campaign, and will benefit ALA's Every Child Ready to Read initiative, a program that supports the early literacy development of children from birth to age five in libraries across the nation.
Leading up to and during #Readathon2016, individuals can contribute to ALA and Every Child Ready to Read by visiting the Firstgiving Fundraising page
and sharing with their friends and family. All readers are encouraged to join in Readathon Day fun on social media, using the hashtag #Readathon2016. Visit the official website
for more information on how to get involved online and in person, including sharing images and videos, and hosting local reading parties.
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Achievement in Library Diversity Research
Each year the Diversity Research Grant Advisory Committee of the American Library Association’s Office of Diversity seeks to recognize an individual for significant contributions to diversity research and outreach efforts in Library and Information Science through the Achievement in Library Diversity Research award. Achievement is defined as a body of work or a groundbreaking piece whose dissemination advances our understanding of or sparks new research in the areas of diversity. Entries are not limited to peer reviewed, scholarly publication; open access and other forms of published dissemination are welcome. Nominations are accepted year-round and an honoree will be selected from the pool of nominees received by March 15, 2016, with the award presented at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Self-nominations are accepted.
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State of Summer Learning Report
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) recently released the "State of Summer Learning: 2015 State Policy Snapshot." The organization tracked 172 state bills affecting summer learning in 2015, and the snapshot document presents an overview of these legislative activities across the nation, along with facts about the "summer slide" in learning. Three areas of legislation are highlighted: literacy; STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics); and libraries. The document refers to the public library as a "bedrock institution that plays a critical role in keeping kids of all ages safe and productively engaged during the summer months."
is available for download on the NSLA website.
Yang Named to Literary Post
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (CFB), The Children’s Book Council (CBC), and Every Child a Reader (ECAR) inaugurated illustrator Gene Luen Yang as the fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in January.
Yang is the first Asian American and first graphic novelist to serve as the National Ambassador. The mission of the position, established in 2008 by CFB, CBC, and ECAR, is “to raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.”
Yang’s platform is “Reading Without Walls,” encouraging kids to explore the world through books. He is challenging young readers to try something new: 1) to read a book about someone who doesn't look or live like oneself; to read a book on an intimidating subject, for instance math or technology; or to read a book in a format never explored before, such as a novel in verse or a graphic novel. For more information, visit Yang's blog
or the Library of Congress website
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Endangered Species Day
Community and school libraries are encouraged to participate in the eleventh annual Endangered Species Day on May 20, 2016.
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, Endangered Species Day events are held at libraries, schools, zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, conservation groups, parks, wildlife refuges, and other locations throughout the country.
Libraries can showcase their regular services and special programs, while also celebrating Endangered Species Day. 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 resources are available on the endangered species day website, including event planning information and a reading list, along with color/activity sheets, bookmarks, stickers, and more that can be downloaded and printed.
Be sure to promote your event on the Endangered Species Day Directory or send your information to David Robinson, Endangered Species Day Director, drobinson at endangered.org
Best Multicultural Books of 2015. The Center for the Study Multicultural Children’s Literature released a list of the best multicultural books of 2015, compiled by Dr. Claudette Shackelford McLinn, Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, Dr. Sujin B.E. Huggins, and Patricia Miranda. Among the titles on the list are: Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prévot, Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper, and New Shoes by Susan Lynn Meyer.
Draper's Stella by Starlight also was chosen as the winner of the 2016 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The award recognizes fiction that has the potential to transform children's lives by inviting compassion, imagination, and wonder.
For the complete list from the Center for the Study Multicultural Children’s Literature, visit their Pinterest page
For more information on NCTE's 2016 book awards, visit their award website
Notable Books for a Global Society.
The Children's Literature and Reading Special Interest Group of the International Literacy Association also announced its Notable Books for a Global Society. Each year the list includes 25 outstanding trade books for enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world. Books reviewed represent all genres intended for students K-12. Among the 2016 winners are: Juna's Jar by Jane Bahk; Red
by Jan De Kinder; and Ruby on the Outside
by Nora Raleigh Baskin. For a complete, printable list of winners and additional information, please visit ILA's website
Sydney Taylor Book Awards. The Association of Jewish Libraries recently announced the 2016 winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Award, recognizing outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. The winners are:
For younger readers - Ketzel, the Cat who Composed by Leslea Newman
For older readers - Adam & Thomas by Aharon Appelfield
For teen readers - The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
For a complete list of winners, including honor books, visit the AJL website