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Officially Speaking | ALSC Voices | Bright Ideas | Getting Together | Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
“Hope and keep busy”—Abba May Alcott
I discovered the above quote on a recent trip to Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, the former home of Louisa May Alcott and her family. It struck me that this could be an apt credo for ALSC members.
During this past year I have had the good fortune to be immersed in the fine work of our membership and staff who do so much to contribute to the profession by:
• Serving on committees to identify the finest activities and media for children, recommend guidelines for the very best in service to children and families, and recognize the achievements of our members.
• Sharing experiences in the field via presentations, programs, classes, and webinars.
• Shaping the focus of the association through Board service.
• Contributing their expertise by publishing in a wide variety of formal and informal communication outlets.
• Developing and refining tools and resources to enhance our efforts.
• Asking important questions that spark conversation and innovation.
• Advocating for increased awareness and attention to the important role of libraries within local communities.
• And, always being available with advice, encouragement and support for their colleagues.
ALSC is precisely the very picture of creative collaboration, a partnership driven by hope and infused with optimism.
I find that hope and optimism are inherent in work with children. Even the smallest triumphs demonstrated in daily library work signal the promise of a better world. There is no more compatible company than those who share this aspiration and devote their endeavors to achieving it.
I am delighted that the Charlemae Rollins President’s Program at this year’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas will showcase some of our optimistic allies who are also dedicated to creating a better future for children through libraries. Organized by Rachel Payne and Brandy Sanchez, The Ripple Effect: Library Partnerships that Positively Impact Children, Families, Communities, and Beyond will inspire attendees to initiate and nurture meaningful partnerships within their own communities. Amy Dickinson, syndicated advice columnist, will describe her experiences with family literacy and the Book in Every Bed movement she developed with the Family Reading Partnership of Tompkins County (N.Y.). Anna McQuinn, author of Lola at the Library, will speak of her work in the United Kingdom to bring young children and their families from immigrant communities into libraries. A panel of librarians from across the country will round out the program by discussing innovative partnerships that support children and families.
Stephen Colbert has noted, “saying ‘yes’ begins things. Saying ‘yes’ is how things grow. Saying ‘yes’ leads to knowledge... So for as long as you have the strength to, say ‘yes’.” Thank you all for keeping busy and saying “YES”. I am honored and grateful to be in your company!--Starr LaTronica, ALSC President
Libraries from Now On: Public Support Is Key
Librarians and futurist thinkers from around the country are meeting in Washington to discuss the future of libraries as part of a symposium funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The title of the two-day symposium is “Libraries from Now On.” Here is a central question we are asked to address:
What are some of the specific steps that we need to take to help build public support for the role that libraries and other cultural institutions play in creating a better future for individuals and communities?
It is interesting to note that this question does not ask what libraries should be doing in the future. It asks how to build public support for what we do. Inherent in this question is an understanding that libraries do, in fact, serve vital community functions that will be relevant to future citizens of the world but this is not widely known. Why?
Traditionally we have made our priority service and not public image. How much of our day is spent really marketing what the library does to people who need to know? In many libraries the only staffs that really talk about the value of libraries as a distinct and articulated part of their job responsibilities are higher level administrators. Front line staff members spend their time serving the needs of the people who already use the library. With limited resources, less staff, and less hours to spend outside in the community, we have less opportunity to be where our users aren’t. Our customers know our value, but we need to make the case to those who don’t. We need to prioritize what we do with this in mind.
Technology is an enhancement to libraries not a replacement for them. Relevance must be a key component of our new advocacy messages. The question of the need for libraries and librarians in our tech savvy world is a question that comes from people (the public) who don’t use libraries on a regular basis. Technology alone doesn’t help achieve what we want for our future: engaged citizens, healthy, productive families, and skilled workers. Our value comes, not from our discreet pieces: internet access, books, a practice place for new readers, quality literacy-based programs for all ages, common space for community purpose, but the critical synergy of it all coming together. An internet connection and a collection of books and resources are a library in the same way a fire hydrant is water. If your house is burning, a fire hydrant won’t save it. You need the important connecting resources of hose and trained fire fighters to direct it.
Libraries and education get linked together and the perception is they are both failing. We know there are challenges to closing the achievement gap and the need to provide children with opportunities that optimize their abilities. Stories about falling test scores, poor job preparation, and lack/waste of resources for school funding abound. There is good news out there too, but it is harder to find in the main stream. Our job then is to advocate for education in all its forms--formal and informal, and for all libraries--public, school, academic. We are connected together in policy on some level, but more importantly, we are connected in people’s minds. We should use that connection for good. Collaborate whenever and wherever we can. We should tell more stories about our positive work with schools, the potential value of working hand in hand with our school library colleagues, citing studies that make the case that reading and access to books and language are great predictors to school success.
Public support is a nebulous thing as varied as the communities we serve. Will the public support what it doesn’t understand or what it believes to be in opposition to its views? What one community values is not the same as that of another community. Economic level of residents, geography, tradition, demographics, and existing library infrastructure all play a part in the complex ideas related to public support for libraries. The important idea for all of us to remember is that, as public institutions, we depend on public support that is linked strongly to the public’s opinion of our work. If the view our public holds of us is antiquated, short-sighted, or misinformed, it is incumbent on all of us, particularly those of us who serve the future most directly, to change that view one well-told story at a time. --Ellen Riordan, ALSC Vice-President/President-Elect
Thank You to Our Most Recent Donors
Many thanks to the following generous 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.
Friends of ALSC
Leland and Susan Faust
Heidi K. Hammond
Michael P. Santangelo
Pura Belpé Award Endowment
We sincerely thank ALSC Past President Ellen Fader, Portland, Oregon, for her generous donation in support of a second 2014-2015 ALSC Spectrum Scholar. Her gift is a true testament to her commitment to the library profession and exemplary library service to children. Her contribution not only covers a full Spectrum Scholarship, but also a Spectrum Scholar Follow-Up grant—to support a Spectrum Scholar alumnus entering the final semester of work in the Fall of 2014, a grant (up to $1,000) to attend the 2014 ALSC National Institute, plus discretionary funds to be used towards job interviews.
Thank you, Ellen!
Cathryn M. Mercier
Director, The Center for the Study of Children's Literature
ALSC Membership: 27 years
Where did you attend university?
I completed my undergraduate BA degree with a major in psychology (and lots of specialized coursework in mathematics and philosophy) at Mount Holyoke College. I completed my Master of Arts in Children’s Literature at Simmons, where I also completed a Master of Philosophy in English. I pursued doctoral work in the University Professors Program at Boston University because I wanted a cross-disciplinary PhD that would allow me to focus on the images of the child in American children’s picture books across social movements in the United States. My PhD is in Children’s Literature and involved a wide swath of courses from art, literature, history, sociology, and psychology, among others.
Of what accomplishment are you most proud?
In my years at Simmons, I am continually, endlessly, renewably, proud of my students. They seek out our MA or MFA degrees for the programs’ academic rigor, coherence, and challenge to synthesize theory and practice in individual ways. Every semester, when I see one of our alumnae at an ALA event receiving recognition for her editorial work on a major ALSC award-winning book or giving an ALA program for bringing books and children together, or spending time with the stream of booth visitors; when I see a student complete a doctoral program or give a paper at an academic conference; when I see a student’s first (or second or third or…) book get published, I simply swell with pride in that student’s accomplishment. And, admittedly, I feel rather humbled that I once had the opportunity to work closely with that student to interrogate children’s or young adult literature in our graduate seminars.
What is your favorite ALSC/ALA memory?
Maybe this is true for everyone, but I doubt I’ll forget my first Newbery-Caldecott Banquet. I was still new to ALSC and had secured funding to attend that annual ALA. Bill Morris, that kindly gentleman whose passion for children’s literature inspires me still, invited me to sit at a Harper table. I had no idea what the evening held. Heck, I had no idea what to wear. I arrived with the Harper entourage and saw sparkles everywhere as beads and rhinestones reflected the luminescence of the event. Women were in gowns, men in serious suits. I spied a long white glove here, a tuxedo there. Champagne was poured and the stars in my eyes were only matched by the stars I saw around me. Among those honored: Virginia Hamilton, Walter Dean Myers, Paul Fleischman, Allen Say, David Wiesner, Jerry Pinkney, Elizabeth George Speare.
You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books and one food item do you need to survive?
On a desert island, I would have Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say, not only because it was the book that received the Caldecott Award my first time on the committee, but also because it captures significant movements in American art. I cannot imagine being stranded without art. True to Alice’s question, “what good is a book without pictures and conversations,” I would want a book of letters of some sort – most likely E.B. White’s letters; if I cannot converse with someone else, at least the letters invite a considered response. I also would want a book with which I could carry on a lifetime of conversations. For me, the text that I return to over and over again is Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson.
What are your hobbies?
I have many nieces, nephews. and grand-nieces and nephews, so a favorite hobby is ‘aunting.’ I love to cook, though I probably cook less than I do read about cooking in cooking magazines, in cookbooks, in the daily food columns in my local newspaper. Yes, I’m a cooking show junkie – I even ordered my 50th birthday cake from the local bakery “Truly Jorg’s” because I had seen the Jorg team compete so well on the “Food Network Challenge.” I also am a women’s roller derby fan-atic – Boston Roller Derby Dames rule!
What three words best describe you?
loyal, workaholic, (good) writer -- Sometimes, I wish that another three words could describe me, but these will have to do!
Putting Through the Pages
At the downtown location of the Warren-Trumbull County (Ohio) Public Library, the Youth Services staff likes to offer programming that families can enjoy together over the schools’ winter break. After a couple of years of life-sized Candy Land, my children’s librarians decided an indoor miniature golf game would be their next winter project.
Dubbing the program “Putting through the Pages,” they designed each hole to represent a popular children’s book, and, since we wanted to attract children of all ages, they included picture books, beginning readers, and fiction for older children.
My staff is adept at creating programs on a shoestring, but what we may lack in funds, we make up for with creativity, talent, and enthusiasm! Discarded cardboard boxes were transformed into Flat Stanley’s mailbox, Pigeon’s bus, and Hogwarts. Each hole was laid out using foam pool “noodles” cut in half. Putters were constructed out of dowel rods with Styrofoam™ heads covered in duct tape. The most popular design was the Captain Underpants hole that featured toilet paper obstacles and a ramp to land the ball into an open toilet seat (purchased new for the occasion)! Other books featured on the course were Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom; Trashy Town; If You Give a Mouse a Cookie; Charlotte’s Web; Fly Guy; and Skulduggery Pleasant.
Over one hundred people enjoyed playing our ten-hole course (not regulation—we know!), and there are plans to expand and enhance the course for next year. For one thing, the Charlotte’s Web hole really needs a web that says, “Fore!” --Lori Faust, youth services manager, Warren-Trumbull County Public Library
The Gloucester County (Va.) Public Library’s Read-n-Recycle program is all about sharing books, recycling, and spending “money!”
The program is held over a period of two months; we usually shoot for January and February. In the first month, children bring in their gently-used books and exchange them for “book bucks.” Each book is worth one “book buck.” We created our bucks using a dollar bill template found online and adding our library name to it.
Month two is all about spending those bucks. After collecting the books during the first month, we set up our store—a canopy with tables beneath. Books are organized by age groups. Children bring in their “book bucks” to browse and shop for recycled treasures. Each book costs one “book buck.” The store usually remains up and running for the entire second month.
When the program began, it was geared to children up to grade five. Since then, we’ve expanded it to include older kids and the program now welcomes recyclers and shoppers from one- to 18-years-old. Rather than “book bucks,” our teens receive a paper “credit card,” which notes the number of books they brought in to recycle.
The first time we offered the program, we noticed that we realized some of the children saw that some of their books were the only books to choose from. To remedy that, we now make sure to have extra gently-used books on hand, received through regular book donations, to ensure we have a wide variety of books for sale. The program is held at both of our library branches, so we also can swap books between the two to mix things up.
Over the past four years Read-n-Recycle has steadily caught on and the number of recycled books has grown. Last year, we had more than a thousand books brought in during the first month. Books left over after the sale are donated to our Friends of the Library bookstore.
Happy Recycling!—Michelle Edwards, Children's Coordinator, Gloucester County (Va.) Public Library
Celebrate the Moon on September 6 -- Have Your Library Join the Party
International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) is coming this September 6! InOMN is an annual event that is dedicated to encouraging people to "look up" and take notice of our nearest neighbor, the moon. Check out this site
for materials and resources, and add your own event to the world map. When you're not looking at the moon, try these hands-on activities:
Crater Creations -
In the 30-45-minute Crater Creations activity, teams of children ages 8 to13 drop small objects ("asteroids" and "comets") into layers of sand, flour, and cocoa powder. The impacts create "craters" - just like those seen on the moon! Children observe images of lunar craters and explore how the mass, shape, velocity, and angle of impactors affect the size and shape of the crater.
- Children ages 10 and up use images and information collected from NASA robotic spacecraft to determine the site for a future lunar outpost. Working in teams, they consider environmental conditions, available resources, and scientific importance of different locations on the moon. The teams debate about which site is best and work together to determine which single site to recommend to NASA. This 1 -1 1/2-hour activity can be divided into parts.
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Exhibit Explores Technology's Impact on Books
The Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children's Literature and the Special Collections Research Center at Fresno State are currently hosting an exhibit, "Turning Pages: Intersections of Books & Technology,” which runs through May 30, 2014.
Technologies new, old, and reinterpreted have altered the paradigm of the book since its inception. From creation and content to format itself, the collective notion of the book, a benign object, is continually changing. “Turning Pages” provides a glimpse into some of the ways in which technology has radicalized books and bookmaking. With examples from both special collections, as well as book art from five world-renowned artists, visitors are invited to explore the convergence of books and technology—from advances in printing to the digital arena to new and exciting forms of art. Exhibition artists include Thomas Allen, Su Blackwell, Brian Dettmer, Pamela Paulsrud, and Mike Stilkey.
2014 President's Program
The theme of ALSC's 2014 Charlemae Rollins President's Program in Las Vegas is "The Ripple Effect: Library Partnerships that Positively Impact Children, Families, Communities, and Beyond." The program will explore how library and community collaborations can be the nexus of support for children and families, and will inspire attendees to create meaningful partnerships in libraries. The event is scheduled for Monday, June 30, 1:00-2:30 p.m., during the ALA Annual Conference.
Amy Dickinson, syndicated advice columnist, will deliver the keynote address and speak about her collaboration with the Family Reading Partnership of Ithaca, N.Y. to launch the campaign "A Book in Every Bed" that then sparked a national movement.
Anna McQuinn, author of "Lola at the Library," will bring an international perspective to the proceedings, speaking on her work in the United Kingdom with young children and their families.
The program will culminate with a panel of librarians from across the country discussing their innovative partnerships that support children and families. Beth Munk, children's services manager, Kendallville Public Library (Ind.), will discuss her collaboration with Big Brothers and Sisters. Lesley Clayton, manager of children’s library services, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library (Broomfield, Colo.) will share her collaboration with the Bal Swan Children's Center, a local preschool, to host parent workshops that support early literacy and social and emotional development.
2014 ALSC National Institute - Register by June 30 and Save!
Don't let the deadline sneak up on you! Act now and take advantage of the early bird registration rate, which expires June 30. Join your fellow children's librarians and educators for ALSC's two and a half day National Institute in Oakland, California, September 18-20, 2014. The Institute schedule is packed with unique education programs, speaker events, and networking opportunities. For the complete schedule of events and registration information, visit the Institute webpage
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Megan Schliesman, Cooperative Children's Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the winner of the 2014 Intellectual Freedom Award, given jointly by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) and the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association (WEMTA). Besides managing the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s Intellectual Freedom Information Services, Schliesman also manages its online forum, “What IF..Questions and Answers on Intellectual Freedom.” Congratulations, Megan!
Ann K. Symons, school librarian and international library consultant, Alaska, is the 2013 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Equality Award for her outstanding contributions toward promoting equality in the library profession. Throughout her career, Symons has been an active and effective supporter of intellectual freedom, focusing extensively on school libraries and GLBT issues. Kudos, Ann!
Growing readers: A critical analysis of early literacy content for parents on Canadian public library websites, an article written by Tess Prendergast, Vancouver (Canada) Public Library, and based on her critical study of 20 library websites for a graduate course in family literacy, was published late last year in the Journal of Library Administration (Vol. 53, no. 4). Prendergast is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia.
The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Pomelo, 2014), co-written by Sylvia Vardell, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman's University, and Janet Wong, was released in March and features 218 poems by 78 award-winning and popular poets, exploring science standards while also incorporating literacy skills. The title was named the Poetry Foundation Children's Poet Laureate "Pick of the Month." Her article Observe, Explain, Connect, also co-written by Janet Wong, was printed in the April/May issue of Science and Children. In addition, Vardell was selected to receive the 2014 ALA Scholastic Library Publishing Award for her “unusual contribution to the stimulation and guidance of reading by children and young people," which exemplifies achievement in the profession. Brava, Sylvia!
Flying Solo: How Ruth Elder Soared into America's Heart, written by Julie Cummins, author and reviewer, New York, is one of the ten books chosen for ALA's 2014 Amelia Bloomer Project Award. The award, administered by the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table’s (SRRT) Feminist Taskforce, acknowledges well written and illustrated books with significant feminist content, intended for young readers from birth to 18 years old. Flying Solo was illustrated by Malene R. Laugesen and published by Roaring Brook in 2013. Congratulations, Julie!
, Takoma Park Maryland Library, is featured in "Vox Populi
," a semi-regular mini interview series from the Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. In the interview, Karen responds to a selection of questions related to books. Previous interviewees in the series include: Alice McDermott, National Book Award recipient; Christine Brennan, USA Today
columnist; and Howard Norman, award-winning novelist.
ALSC Welcomes New Staff Member
Courtney Jones joined the ALSC team on March 31 as Awards Coordinator. Courtney received her Bachelor of Arts in Fiction Writing at Columbia College in Chicago. She comes to ALSC from ALA's Booklist Magazine, where she worked as editorial assistant for Books for Youth since 2008. At Booklist, Courtney managed the intake of review titles; distributed review materials for Booklist's youth reviewers; answered questions from publishers and reviewers; updated web content for Booklist and Book Links, including curation of the common core resources page; and provided awards coverage for the Booklist blog, Likely Stories. Additionally, she’s reviewed adult, young adult, middle grade, picture books, graphic novels, and audiobooks for Booklist.
Courtney will administer ALSC’s awards program, including ten book and media awards, three Notable lists, seven professional awards, and three scholarships. Among her duties, she will monitor seals production and fulfillment as well as image use permissions; maintain award resource materials and web pages; work with committees and publishers; and coordinate logistics for the award presentation programs. Welcome, Courtney!
New White Paper - Importance of Diversity in Library Programs, Collections for Children
ALSC is happy to announce the release of a new white paper, "The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children," written for ALSC by Jamie Campbell Naidoo, PhD, and adopted by the ALSC Board of Directors on April 5, 2014. The paper explores the critical role libraries play in helping children make cross-cultural connections and develop skills necessary to function in a culturally pluralistic society.
"The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children," and its message, has the endorsement of ALSC, the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. The paper calls for libraries to include diversity in programming and materials for children as an important piece in meeting the informational and recreational needs of their community.
We hope you will assist us in spreading this message by sharing this paper. The full document can be accessed on the ALSC website
Hard copies will be available soon; please email Joanna Ison
to request them. Please don’t hesitate to contact Joanna with any questions regarding this white paper.
Arbuthnot Lecture Updates
The 2015 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee
is now accepting applications to host the 46th lecture featuring award-winning author and illustrator Brian Selznick. Host site application forms
are available online; completed forms are due May 16, 2014
. Information about host site responsibilities is included in the application materials. The lecture traditionally is held in April or early May.
The 2016 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee seeks nominations for individuals of distinction to present the 2016 lecture. The lecturer, who will be announced at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, may be an author, illustrator, publisher, critic, librarian, historian, or teacher of children’s literature, of any country, who shall prepare a paper that will make a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature.
Nominations should include:
Name of nominee
Justification for consideration
Friends of ALSC Institute Scholarship
The Friends of ALSC are giving away two scholarships for attendance to the ALSC National Institute in Oakland this September. Recipients must be ALSC members who work directly with children in a library setting. The scholarships include Institute registration and a $1,000 travel stipend to cover airfare and hotel lodging. The application is online
. Completed forms must be submitted before midnight on May 30, 2014. Winners will be notified by June 13, 2014.
Every Child Ready to Read® for Spanish–Speaking Communities
ALSC and PLA recently released the Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library® (ECRR) Toolkit for Spanish-Speaking Communities as a digital download. The new kit contains everything needed to offer ECRR programming for Spanish-speaking patrons, including Spanish-language activities and booklists. Learn more at the ALA Store
On the Road with ALSC
Did you know that ALSC provides funding, through the ALSC Roadshow Program
, to members who are interested in staffing booths, presenting programs, or coordinating social events on behalf of ALSC at state or local conferences?
“The best pitch for membership is a direct one,” said ALSC Membership chair Amanda Ellington. “By recruiting ALSC members to attend these events – state and local conferences that they likely already go to – we can create the personal connections that strengthen our organization.”
Know of a good conference taking place before August 31, 2014? Please fill out the ALSC Roadshow Request Form
at least four weeks prior to the conference. ALSC pays the cost of registration for coordinators/staffers. Lodging, travel, and meals must be covered by the individual. All decisions on funds will be determined by the ALSC Membership Committee.
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Día Grant Winners
Congratulations to the winners of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL)'s 2014 Día Grants.
- Contra Costa County Library – Pittsburg (Calif.) Library - “Anyone Can Dream – A Celebration of African American Poetry”(April 26, 2014)
- Seminole County Public Library, Casselberry, Fla. - “Dress, Drums, and Dance – Interactive Día Program with an African American Focus” (April 10 – 30, 2014)
CSMCL awards $500 grants in selected multicultural books to libraries that host a Día library program with an African American focus for children and their families. CSMCL is an official Dia supporter
Free Webinar on Common Core State Standards
A new webinar from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will explore the ways public librarians can become involved in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and support their school librarian colleagues. Presented by Margaux DelGuidice and Kathryn Roots Lewis, “The Common Core and the Public Librarian: Reaching Patrons and Students” takes place on Thursday, May 8, 6:00 p.m. Eastern / 5:00 p.m. Central / 4:00 p.m. Mountain / 3:00 p.m. Pacific.
“The Common Core and the Public Librarian: Reaching Patrons and Students” is open to all. A seat in the webinar is guaranteed to the first 100 attendees. For more information and to register, visit the AASL website
. The webinar will be archived and available for view on AASL‘s professional development repository, eCOLLAB, three to five days after the event.
Resources for Serving Young Adults
Take the ‘work’ out of your workshop! Let YALSA's Young Adults Deserve the Best curriculum kits help you organize tech training for your library or take some of the mystery out of teen behavior with ready-to-use training modules that can be combined into a full day’s training, or split into multiple one-hour individual sessions. View a free demo and order your kits today!
New Videos to Support Advocacy Efforts
The American Library Association’s Washington Office recently launched “Libraries Matter,” a series of videos showcasing the ways libraries use federal funding to support early literacy, high-speed internet access, small business owners, and new citizens. Library supporters can use the videos to demonstrate to legislators, decision makers, and community leaders, the value of federal funding programs, such as the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
This May, National Library Legislative Day participants can use the “Libraries Matter” videos to educate policymakers about the countless ways that libraries impact their communities. Library champions are encouraged to send the videos to policymakers before or after their scheduled meetings advocacy meetings (i.e., in a “thank you” note). Access the full video playlist on Youtube
Share the videos on social media using the #LibrariesMatter hashtag.
"Can Babies Learn to Read?" Research Results Published
Dr. Susan Neuman, a leading educator and one of the early literacy researchers behind PLA/ALSC's Every Child Ready to Read initiative, had an article published recently in the Journal of Educational Psychology
based on her latest research. "Can Babies Learn to Read? A Randomized Trial of Baby Media" reports on the results of a controlled trial designed to examine claims made by baby media producers that these products can teach babies to read. Research results indicated that babies did not learn to read using baby media products. To learn more, a PDF of the article can be purchased online at the American Psychological Association website
Matching Grants Available from Libri Foundation
The Libri Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2014 “Books for Children” grants. The foundation is a non-profit organization that donates new, quality, hardcover children's books to small, rural public libraries throughout the U.S.
To encourage and reward local support of libraries, The Libri Foundation will match any amount of money raised by local library sponsors from $200 to $350 on a 2-to-1 ratio. Application deadlines for 2014 are: (postmarked by) May 15th and August 15th. Grants are awarded May 31st and August 31st. Application guidelines and forms are on the foundation's website
Toronto Is New Home to IBBY Collection
A distinguished international reference collection of books for and about children and teens with disabilities opened at Toronto Public Library in February. The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities, housed at the North York Central Library, features more than 3,000 multilingual books in a variety of accessible formats, including sign language, Braille, Blissymbolics, Picture Communication Symbols, tactile and textile. The collection includes books for children and teens with developmental delays, language disabilities and reading difficulties, stories in traditional format, as well as games and Kamishibai. The entire IBBY Collection at Toronto Public Library can be browsed on the library's website
The collection came to Toronto Public Library from IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People, the non-profit organization that represents an international network of people committed to bringing books and children together. The collection was founded in 1985 at the Norwegian Institute for Special Education at the University of Oslo. From 2002 up to its arrival in Toronto, the collection was based at the Haug Municipal School and Resource Centre (HSRC), just outside of Oslo.
New Children's Choice Award in Iowa
The Iowa Library Association has established a new children's choice award, its fifth, called the Bridge to Reading Picture Book Award, which highlights books for children from infancy through kindergarten. Eligible titles must meet a variety of criteria and also be deemed well-suited for read-alouds in group story times. Find past and current nominees at the award website
, which also provides activity sheets with ideas for using each nominated title in story time.
2014 Golden Kite/Fleischman Awards
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) recently announced the winners and honorees of its Golden Kite and Sid Fleischman Awards. The Golden Kite recognizes excellence in children’s literature released in the previous calendar year in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, picture book text, and picture book illustrations. The 2014 Golden Kite recipients are:
Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle
Honor: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Call of the Klondike by David Meissner, in collaboration with Kim Richardson
Honor: The Dolphins of Shark Bay by Pamela Turner
Picture Book Text
Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller
Honor: Forest has a Song by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Picture Book Illustration
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Honor: Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
The Sid Fleischman Award, named for the late, 1987 Newbery Medal-winning author of The Whipping Boy, recognizes authors whose work exemplifies excellence in the genre of humor. The 2014 winner is Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg.