ALSC Matters! | May 2016, Vol. 14, no. 2

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

Officially Speaking 

“What have you done today to make you feel proud?” 

--Proud, written by Heather Small and Peter-John Vettese, sung by Heather Small

Eleven months ago when many of us were together in San Francisco for the 2015 ALA Annual Conference, the 2015-16 ALSC Board spent a Saturday afternoon together at the traditional Board Orientation. Everyone was asked to prepare not only by bringing their favorite storytime hat (rest assured, it was fun!), but also by reading The Will to Govern Well by Glenn H. Tecker, Paul D. Meyer, Bud Crouch, and Leigh Wintz, and published by The Center for Association Leadership. Granted, it’s not exactly Last Stop on Market Street, but nevertheless is very important reading. I’m particularly drawn to its subtitle—Knowledge, Trust, and Nimbleness—and a premise of its authors that “associations remain a group of people who voluntarily come together to solve common problems, meet common needs, and accomplish common goals” (2nd ed., p. xi).
 
One month ago the North Carolina legislature passed, in a specially convened one-day session, HB2, which makes it illegal for transgender people to use public restrooms based on their gender identity and for cities to include LGBTQIA protections in any non-discrimination laws. ALSC has been planning since 2014 to hold our biennial National Institute in Charlotte in September and when the incompatibility of this law with ALSC’s Core Values and Envisioned Future—our common goals—became clear, it presented the ALSC community with many questions, for which they looked to our Board, as ALSC’s elected member-leaders, for guidance. After robust, respectful, and transparent discussion on the ALSC Blog and ALA Connect, as well as many phone calls, e-mails, and in-person conversations amongst members, leadership, and staff, the Board made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Institute. Using knowledge, trust, and nimbleness, ALSC is proudly standing for diversity, inclusiveness, and respect—as one member put it on Facebook: “walking the talk.”
 
One month from now many of us will gather together for the ALA 2016 Annual Conference, and on the agenda will be celebrating the incredible and creative work that the Institute Planning Task Force has done. Details on that, along with ways ALSC is thanking our advocates, supporting our colleagues in North Carolina, and, as always, working together to create a better future for children through libraries is available in my recent blog post. And, on that Saturday in Orlando, there will also be an orientation for the 2016-2017 Board, which will be led by the brilliant Betsy Orsburn, and which I know will, as always, have the will to govern well and make all of us proud.—Andrew Medlar, ALSC President
 

Next Steps:  Re-Imagining ALSC’s Institute  

There’s good news to report to you about how ALSC is re-imagining the concept of our Institute, with the warning that there are still many moving pieces that ALSC needs to consider, so these plans are still preliminary.     
 
While we have cancelled the Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina, ALSC is not cancelling the educational opportunities that were and still are planned for September 15 and 16, 2016. Yes, that’s right!  ALSC is planning to offer a two-day virtual conference over these same dates (8 hours each day) with the added benefit of no travel costs for participants.  For those wishing to participate in our virtual Institute, all you will need is a computer with Internet access.  
 
Registration will be available for both individual attendees and groups who choose to gather to participate together in one location. The group registration option is perfect for library and school administrators looking for in-service training opportunities! Specific pricing information will be available in the coming weeks.
 
The educational content will be presented in live sessions, moderated discussion forums, and a new idea - a “networking lounge” for spontaneous break-out discussions and networking.  ALSC staff is currently working with the Institute’s program organizers to determine which programs are conducive to this alternative virtual format.  
 
Another exciting educational opportunity will be offered in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday, January 20, 2017, immediately prior to ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. Planning for this workshop is underway and will include author events similar to those originally slated for Institute.  The Breakfast with Bill author panelists slated to appear in Charlotte:  Philip and Erin Stead, Laura Dronzek, and Kevin Henkes have already committed to joining us in Atlanta.  ALSC is also making a special effort to address GLBTQ issues, in direct response to North Carolina’s HB2 legislation. The two Institute programs around GLBTQ programs, services, and collections planned for Charlotte ("Serving ALL Families in Your Library: Inclusive Library Collections and Programs for LGBTQ Families & Children" and  "Family Portraits: Picture Books that Feature All Kinds of Families"), will either be presented virtually or in-person in Atlanta, and ALSC staff is working to develop additional content around these important, timely issues. That’s the latest info I have, but the fabulous ALSC staff members are busy as bees re-working our Institute. This is a PG rated article, so I am not going to quote lyrics from Beyoncé, but the ALSC staff, with special shout-outs to Aimee Strittmatter and Kristen Figliulo, are turning our metaphorical Charlotte lemons into an amazing new brand of Lemonade.
 
ALSC staff needs your input as they move forward reformatting and scheduling most of the educational programs and events advertised in our #alsc16 #buzzworthy Institute brochure.  A survey specifically around the pre-Midwinter Workshop will be appearing soon on ALSC-L; please share your opinions and help us judge the potential interest in the event.—Betsy Orsburn, ALSC Vice-President
 

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.

Belpré Award Endowment

Jean Hatfield

Friends of ALSC

Notables Circle

Maria Gentle
Ginny Moore Kruse
Claudette McLinn

Friends Circle

Leland and Susan Faust
Elisa and Patrick Gall
Sarah Wethern
Brian Wilson

ALSC Voices 

ALSC Profile

Celebrating colleagues with 25 years of ALSC membership

John Sigwald
Library Director
Unger Memorial Library
Plainview, Texas
ALSC membership: 25 years 

Where did you attend library school?

University of Texas at Austin
 
What was your very first library position? 
 
In the fall of 1982, I was hired out of library school to be the head of the technical services department at the Sioux City Public Library.
 
What do you love most about your current job? 
 
Being able to do a little (actually, a lot!) of everything as a "working" director. While I don't do the weekly preschool story time programs, I read to any and all visiting groups and am active in programming the Texas (i.e., summer) Reading Club programs for 2nd graders and up. Selecting library materials is challenging and rewarding. Interacting with the public on a daily basis gives me a tremendous appreciation for our circulation/reference personnel.
 
You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books and one food item do you need to survive?
 
Probably Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, and The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Cheesecake (I am a one-trick pony and make a cheesecake to die for :-) ).
 
What are your hobbies? 
 
Bowling, bicycling, string figures, and making pop-up cards
 
What three words best describe you? 
 
I, love, children
 

Bright Ideas 

Celebrating Día

On April 27, ALSC had the pleasure of celebrating the 20th anniversary of El día de los niños/El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day with its founder, children’s author Pat Mora. This event was made even more special by the participants. Second graders from Payne Elementary School and children from CentroNia’s bilingual early learning program enjoyed stories read to them by United States Congressmen at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
 
U.S. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, U.S. Representative Donald Payne, Jr. of New Jersey, and U.S. Representative Mark Takano of California read Drum Dream Girl, Last Stop on Market Street, and Book Fiesta! and the children received two of those books to add to their home libraries, thanks to grant support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and a generous donation of books from HarperCollins Publishers. Like many of the over 550 Día programs taking place across the nation to celebrate the 20th anniversary, ALSC shared photos from and updates of the event using the hashtag #díaturns20.
 
ALSC President Andrew Medlar summed up his thoughts on the day by quoting one of the second grader’s parting comments about the extended storytime, “That was so much fun!”

NOT Your Typical Kids Mock Caldecott 

Sure, the children talked about the books. But for our group of third to fifth graders, this Caldecott mock election program was all about the art (as is only appropriate)—with a unique twist. While we waited for everyone to arrive, kids were directed to “draw a selfie” on the paper covering the table where they sat: it relaxed everyone and got their creative juices flowing. Nancy and I gave the children a brief background of the Caldecott Medal and criteria—many knew about it thanks to the wonderful school media librarians in our district.

 
The children then broke into small groups to read and discuss five pre-selected titles, culled from our county mock Caldecott election for librarians:
  • It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee
  • Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  • The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein
  • Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
  • Float by Daniel Miyares
As the groups were reading and discussing the books, Nancy and I listened in, occasionally directing children toward observations about colors (“Do some colors make you think of feelings? What colors would you use to illustrate a sad story?”). We also asked them to decide if they could understand the storyline by just looking at the illustrations.  We wanted the program to be fun, not overly didactic, so kept the instruction to a minimum.  
 
The magic happened when the children became illustrators. We set up a self-serve table of art materials: acrylic paint, brushes, fabric, markers, scrapbooking paper, foam shapes, and glue sticks. Our unique twist was that all the kids were challenged to illustrate the same words: “They floated past strange and wondrous things…and on through worlds no one had ever seen before.”  (From Ezra Jack Keats’ Regards to the Man in the Moon, Four Winds Press, 1981)
 
For 45 minutes—half of the program’s 90 minute running time—the children talked, laughed, created, and produced amazing results. The photographs show the truly “strange and wondrous” sights they imagined. 
 
The last 15 minutes were devoted to a snack and brief recap of the five titles, asking the children to give their positive then critical comments of each book.  While I tabulated votes, Nancy showed the group Ezra Jack Keats’ illustrations for the line of text, then led the group to admire each other’s illustrations for the same line. The program concluded with Red: A Crayon’s Story winning the Medal: kids noticed that “the crayons were characters, like army green” and they appreciated the book’s message of “people are different” and “you can be anything you want and still be wanted.” It’s Only Stanley and Float received Honors.  When we asked the group if we should offer this program again next year, the answer was a resounding “Yes!”—Marybeth Kozikowski and Nancy Elliott, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, New York
 

Harry Potter Halloween Fun and Games 

In October 2015, the Merrimack Public Library held a Harry Potter Halloween for tweens and teens ages 10+.  I knew it would be a hit, but I wanted to bring something unique to it in the form of a wizard dueling game. My initial research didn’t turn up a good format for adaptation, so I turned to my fellow librarians on the Teen Librarians Facebook page to get their feedback, and it was there that the suggestion came up to work it like a Pokemon card game, with a little bit of LARPing (Live Action Role-Playing) mixed in.  Using this inspiration, I created cards for each of the spells and charms that players would cast at their opponent. The spells are ranked by severity and difficulty. Players would earn points if their spell outranked their opponent’s, but both players could earn extra points for their team by dramatically acting out the spell’s repercussions. The game was the highlight of the party, and I send major thanks out to Carolyn McCullough, Brittany Marie Garcia, and the other librarians who helped me make this game a hit with my tweens.
 
The rest of the party was lots of fun too. We began the evening with a house sorting, which established teams for the rest of the activities. House points were earned for each activity as well as good behavior where the staff (in costume) saw fit. We made a Polyjuice Potion and attached index cards to each attendee’s back showing what the potion “transformed” them into; and they played a 20-questions game to figure out their transformation. Attendees also enjoyed a Halloween feast, of course, that included butterbeer, pretzel wands, and Snitch truffles. It was a raucous time—and for those curious, House Slytherin won (boo! – says the Hufflepuff Librarian).—Liz Gotauco, head of Youth Services, Merrimack (NH) Public Library

2016 Graphic Novel Grants Showcase Two Innovative Programs 

ALA and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation will honor the two winners of the 2016 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries during ALA 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando. The grants are administered by ALA's Games and Gaming Round Table and the Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Initiative Group. The Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant provides support to a library that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs and the Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant provides support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service, program, or initiative.
 
This year's Growth Grant was awarded to the Atlantic City (New Jersey) Free Public Library for their project “A Day of Diversity in Graphic Novels.” The library plans to collaborate with the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention, a Philadelphia non-profit, to present workshops for young people designed to foster creativity and promote literacy. A discussion program for adults and older teens on the history of black comic characters and creators is also being planned.
 
The Innovation Grant will be presented to the Birchwood School Library, Columbia, SC. Their project, "Our Story Told Through Graphic Illustrations: The View from Behind the Fence,” is a collaborative effort between two professors from the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and the Birchwoord School in the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.    The aim is to provide incarcerated youth with a unique opportunity to develop visual literacy skills and an awareness of careers in the visual arts.
 
Each winning libraries will receive a $2,000 voucher to purchase graphic novels from the distributor-partner—Diamond Book Distributors; $1,000 to host a graphic novel-themed event; and a $1,000 travel stipend to attend the Conference in Orlando. Additionally, the winners will receive the Will Eisner Library (a graphic novel collection of Will Eisner’s work and biographies about the acclaimed writer and artist) and copies of the graphic novels nominated for this year’s Will Eisner Awards at San Diego Comic-Con.
 
For more information about the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries, visit the Games and Gaming Round Table website.
 

Back to top

New York Second Graders Celebrate Ezra Jack Keats 

On March 11, nine acclaimed children’s book writers and illustrators gathered at a New York bookstore to celebrate the late author-illustrator Ezra Jack Keats’ 100th birthday. Each author shared a book by Keats with a 2nd-grade class from P.S 11. The four-hour event, hosted by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, featured the following readers and books:
 
   Paul Zelinsky, reading John Henry
   Pat Cummings, The Trip
   Sean Qualls, A Letter to Amy
   Andrea Pinkney, The Snowy Day
   Brian Floca, Peter’s Chair
   Marisabina Russo, Over In the Meadow
   Nina Crews, Maggie and the Pirate
   Sophie Blackall, Regards to the Man in the Moon
   David Ezra Stein, Whistle for Willie
 
And in honor of Keats' centenary, P.S. 11 teachers and students were surprised with “birthday” presents--books by Ezra Jack Keats donated by Penguin Random House. The teachers also received signed books by the readers donated by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
 
Photos courtesy of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
 
 

Getting Together 

Author/Illustrator Festival in Brooklyn 

The Brooklyn Public Library is hosting "Spring into Stories: Children's Author and Illustrator Festival" at its Central Library on May 21. The event will feature Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Nina Crews, Sean Qualls, Misako Rocks! and others. For more information, visit the library website.

Immigration and Children’s Literature: The Role of Heritage in Storytelling

On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Washington, DC, the Young Readers Center and the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress will host “Immigration and Children’s Literature: The Role of Heritage in Storytelling,” a symposium exploring the contribution of diverse cultural experiences to literature for children and youth . Award-winning author and Cuban American, Meg Medina will moderate the discussion with author/educator René Colato Laínez; author Aisha Saeed; Wendy Shang, author and former attorney; and illustrator Elizabeth Zunon. A book signing follows the panel discussion. For more information, contact the Young Readers Center of the Library of Congress. 
 

ACL Institute 

The Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California (ACL) will hold its 2016 Institute, “Race Matters: Practical Ways Libraries Can Celebrate All Youth,” on June 3, 2016, at the San Francisco (Calif.) Main Library. The keynote speaker is Kwame Alexander, 2015 Newbery Medal winner for his novel The Crossover. Other speakers include Zetta Elliott, educator and award-winning author of literature for youth, and Debbie Reese, educator and founder of American Indians in Children’s Literature. For tickets and more information, visit the event website
 

IMLS Hosts Maker Faire 

This June 21, the maker movement returns to Washington, D.C., as the Institute of Museum and Library Services, in collaboration with the Congressional Maker Caucus, hosts a free celebration of making on Capitol Hill. The second annual IMLS Capitol Hill Maker Faire will explore trends and drivers of the maker movement. It is part of a citywide slate of activities that includes the White House National Week of Making, June 17-23, and the National Maker Faire, June 18-19. 

USBBY Program in Orlando Features Terry Farish 

Terry Farish, author of books about new Americans who've come to the U.S. as refugees, will speak on Saturday, June 25, 5:00 p.m., in Orange County Convention Center, Room W102B, during the ALA Annual Conference. In her presentation, "Threads That Hold a Spine," hosted by the United States Board on Books for Young People, Farish will weave a story about listening closely to refugee families, their reading of picture books in their new language, English, and her discoveries of family, identity, and magic through creating Viola in The Good Braider, Joseph in Joseph's Big Ride, and Sophea, a Cambodian-American girl, in Either the Beginning or the End of the World. As Farish’s character Sophea says, threads hold the spine of a book together, and stories told are the threads that hold her. 

Picturebook Research Symposium 

The Kent State University School of Library and Information Science is is hosting the inaugural Marantz Picturebook Research Symposium, July 24-26, 2016, at Kent State. 
 
"The Picturebook as an Art Object: Honoring the Life and Work of Dr. Kenneth A. and Sylvia Marantz" is the theme of the event, which will feature keynote addresses from renowned children's authors and scholars, including Will Hillenbrand; Janet Evans; Philip Nel; Carol Wolfenbarger; and Julie Cummins.
 
Presentations will include original, interdisciplinary research in areas related to picturebooks, especially centered on the Marantzes' concept of the picturebook as an art object.
 
For more information, visit the symposium website.  

KidLib Camp Coming in August 

KidLib Camp, scheduled for Wednesday, August 3, is an event for youth librarians hosted at Darien Library in Connecticut. Unlike traditional conferences and professional development days in which the topics, panels, and workshops are pre-determined by the organizers, on the day of KidLib Camp, the participants vote on what topics will be discussed and explored. The day also includes Guerilla Storytime and a Make Break with hands-on activities for participants. The keynote speaker is Courtney Waring, director of education at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 
 
The event is free and lunch is provided. Darien Library is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is an easy trip on MetroNorth from New York. Register at https://kidlibcamp.wordpress.com/
 

Back to top

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 

Member News 

ALSC Past President Ellen Fader has provided a generous donation to the Spectrum Scholarship for a third year. Her contribution will support a student through the 2016-2017 school term and provide for a follow-up grant for a Spectrum Scholar alumnus entering the final semester of work in the Fall of 2016, including discretionary funds to use towards job interviews. Scholarship recipients will be named in June 2016. Thank you, Ellen, for your generous donation, and continued support of and commitment to increasing diversity within the profession. 
 
The University of Montevallo, alma mater of ALSC Past President Pat Scales, is honoring her contribution to middle- and high-school librarianship with the creation of the Pat Scales Special Collections Room. The library will include more than 3,000 items, featuring signed first editions of Caldecott and Newbery winners. Pat, the 2016 recipient of ALSC’s Distinguished Service Award, has been an advocate for children’s intellectual freedom throughout her career, working with ALA’s Intellectual Freedom committee, the Freedom to Read Foundation, and other such organizations; and fittingly, the collection will include banned and challenged books for children and young adults. A ribbon cutting and open house will be held in late 2016 or spring 2017. Kudos, Pat!

 
Jamie Campbell Naidoo, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama, was named the 2016 Achievement in Library Diversity Research honoree. The honor, administered by ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, recognizes Naidoo for his contributions to the profession and his promotion of diversity within it. His career has focused on services to diverse families and children and his research interests include the portrayal of underrepresented groups in children’s and young adult literature and library services to gender-variant and LGBTQ children and parents. Congratulations, Jamie!

 
After twenty years working in children’s services for Orem Public Library (Utah), Pat Castelli is retiring to write, garden, and spend more time with out-of-state family. In 2000, Pat joined ALA and ALSC as she began graduate studies with the second Utah Cohort of Emporia State University, earning an MLS in 2002. "Belonging to those great organizations has helped enormously in my professional life," Pat syas. "I met my wonderful husband in library school, and we celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary this year. He is the medical librarian at Intermountain Healthcare in Murray, Utah." Congratulations, Pat! 

Back to top

2017 Arbuthnot Host Applications 

Celebrate diverse books by hosting the 2017 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture with Jacqueline Woodson, who is the 2014 National Book Award winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming. The author of more than two dozen books for young readers, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a recipient of the NAACP Image Award, the 2014 National Book Award winner for young people's literature, a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner, and was recently named the Young People's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation.
 
The Arbuthnot Endowment covers the speaker’s honorarium and transportation to and from the host city. In addition, ALSC contributes two thousand dollars to help offset the expenses incurred by the host site. To apply, go to the ALSC 2017 Arbuthnot webpageApplications are due June 10, 2016.
 
Questions? Contact committee chair Ellen Ruffin by email. Thank you!

Watch Mora's 2016 Arbuthnot Lecture 

Pioneering author and literacy advocate Pat Mora delivered the Arbuthnot Lecture, "Bookjoy! ¡Alegría en los libros!" on April 15. The lecture was hosted by the Santa Barbara (California) Public Library System and can be viewed on the city of Santa Barbara’s Youtube channel
 

Back to top

ALSC Mentoring Forum 

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a mentor or mentee? How much of a time commitment is mentoring?  What can both parties gain?
 
You’re invited to a new event, the ALSC Mentoring Forum: Get the Match You Deserve. This live forum is for mentees, mentors, and anyone interested in mentoring. It will include live audio from former mentor Allison Murphy and former mentee Jessica Ralli. 
 
Topics covered will include working with a match, setting goals, communicating, and addressing challenges. Participants will have time to ask questions and offer tips. Attendees should RSVP at the ALSC Mentoring site
 
The forum will be held on Wednesday, June 1, 2016:
 
2 p.m. Eastern
1p.m. Central
12 p.m. Mountain
11 a.m. Pacific

Back to top

New List from Quicklists 

As a show of support for ALSC's core values, particularly those of inclusiveness and respect, ALSC's Quicklists Committee has compiled "Transgender/Inclusion Advocacy & Information," a list of resources aimed at educating both library workers and the general public regarding the legislation and the issues of transgender rights. The list includes several organizations to contact regarding advocacy, donating time and money, and a bibliography of children's & teen literature about what it is like to be transgender -- picture books, fiction, and nonfiction. 

Research Findings Support Positive Effects of ECRR2 

As part of ALSC and the Public Library Association's (PLA) Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Project grant, “Bringing Home Early Literacy: Determining the Impact of Library Programming on Parent Behavior,” project leaders Dr. Susan B. Neuman and Donna C. Celano recently published two articles related to the research and its preliminary findings, which point to the positive impact of the Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd Edition on the ongoing literacy behaviors of adults. Especially promising results are being shown for families who are English Language Learners (ELLs) and in reaching children in high-need communities who are likely to enter school less prepared than their wealthier peers. 
 
PLA and ALSC have posted the two articles, “Libraries Emerging as Leaders in Parent Engagement” and “Libraries at the Ready,” on the Every Child Ready to Read website. Please note that due to copyright restrictions, the latter article does require an ALA member login and password. PLA and ALSC have secured access to the articles for at least one year. The articles are valuable advocacy resources that showcase the important work that libraries do in building communities, engaging families, and supporting the growth and development of children.

Back to top

Nominations Sought for ALSC 2017 Ballot 

Are you a creative and intelligent leader in the field of youth services, a well-organized and knowledgeable manager, or a skilled and articulate book evaluator? Do you recognize one or more of these qualities in a colleague? 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 members of the 2017 ALSC Nominating Committee encourage you to make recommendations for the following positions for the spring 2017 ballot:
  • ALSC Vice-President/President-Elect
  • ALSC Board Director
  • ALSC 2019 Caldecott Award Committee Member
  • ALSC 2019 Newbery Award Committee Member
  • ALSC 2019 Sibert Award Committee Member
  • ALSC 2019 Wilder Award Committee Member
The deadline for member nominations for the 2017 slate is Sunday, May 15, 2016. Nominate yourself or a colleague; simply fill out the online suggestion form

Back to top

Belpré Award Celebrates 20 Years 

If you're attending the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, don't miss the very special Pura Belpré Celebracion, marking the 20th anniversary of the Belpré Award. The celebration will be held on Sunday, June 26, 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. at the Rosen Centre Hotel?, Jr. Ballroom F and will feature speeches by the 2016 Belpré award-winning authors and illustrators, book signings, light snacks, and entertainment. There will be a silent auction of original artwork by Belpré award-winning illustrators, sales of the new commemorative book, The Pura Belpré Award: Twenty Years of Outstanding Latino Children’s Literature, and a presentation by keynote speaker Carmen Agra Deedy.  

Send Us Your Wilder Nomination 

The 2017 Wilder Committee is seeking suggestions of “an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children” to be considered for next year’s award.  Please submit your suggestions via the online web form. The page can only be accessed by ALSC members—so you must be logged into the ALA website to view the form. Please submit Wilder suggestions by May 15, 2016.

Back to top

Media Awards & Notable Children's Books - Send Us Your Suggestions 

ALSC personal members are welcome to suggest titles for the 2017 media awards and Notable Children's Books list. New this year – submit your suggestions via webform. A form for each award is available at the webforms page. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2016, with the exception of the Wilder Award. Please submit Wilder suggestions by May 15, 2016. For more information about each award, visit  www.ala.org/alsc and click on “Awards & Grants.”
 

New Resources from ALSC 

Preorders are now being taken on two new publications from ALSC.
 
Becoming a Media Mentor: A Guide for Working with Children and Families empowers youth services staff to confidently assist families and caregivers as they navigate the digital world, guiding them towards digital media experiences that will translate into positive and productive lifelong learning skills, regardless of format. Authored by Claudia Haines, Cen Campbell, and ALSC, the guidebook provides a defintion and history of media mentorship; outlines the implications of media mentorship in libraries, focusing on a shift from the notion of “screen time” to “healthy media decisions”; draws on detailed case studies from a wide variety of libraries and community partnerships to showcase inspiring media mentorship in action with ages 0-14; provides guidelines for working with diverse families and caregivers; and much more. More information is at the ALA Store
 
The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books gathers together the books deemed most distinguished in American children’s literature and illustration since the inception of the renowned prizes. Librarians and teachers everywhere rely on this guidebook for quick reference and collection development and also as a resource for curriculum links and readers’ advisory. Learn more about this perennial favorite at the ALA Store.

Back to top

Censorship Bibliography Available 

In April, the Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature in New York hosted an event titled “Who Are You To Say? Children’s Literature and the Censorship Conversation,” which engaged authors, editors, librarians, and academicians in discussion around disputed children’s literature. A Censorship Bibliography, compiled as a resource for attendees, includes resources authored by and suggested by the conference panelists and moderators.

Summer Learning Day Is July 14 

How will your library mark the day? 
 
Summer Learning Day is a national advocacy day recognized to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning for youth in helping close the achievement gap and support healthy development in communities across the country. Is your library hosting a Summer Learning Day event or program? If so, the National Summer Learning Association encourages you to put it on their event map so that families can find you. 
 
Help put libraries on the map (literally!) and reinforce the message: libraries are (and long have been!) the summer place for kids to explore, read, play, create, and learn! 

Funding Resource Guide Focuses on Summer Learning 

The National Summer Learning Association, in collaboration with the White House, Civic Nation, and U.S. Department of Education, has developed the 2016 Funding Resource Guide to help state and local leaders identify the most promising funding streams to support summer learning and to show how innovative states, districts, and communities have creatively blended public and private funding to develop programs, services and opportunities to meet the needs of young people during the summer months.
 
The guide is also recommended for summer learning providers (libraries!) interested in expansion and partnerships, and includes descriptions of applicable funding streams; examples of how to use local partnerships and private funding to leverage public resources; examples of funding in action; and case studies of how high quality district and community-based summer learning programs obtained funds.

Back to top

New Newsletter on Early Learning and Development 

Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute, recently introduced a new quarterly newsletter, Talking Is Teaching, which highlights developments in community campaigns to boost early brain and language development across the country. The newsletter presents resources and research, along with promising practices and approaches to support families with young children. To sign up for the newsletter, visit the Too Small to Fail website.
 
Too Small to Fail aims to help parents and businesses take meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being of children, ages zero to five, and prepare them to succeed in the 21st century.

Back to top

Award News Round-Up 

The Jane Addams Peace Association recently named the 2016 winners of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award, which honors titles that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.
 
Winner/Books for Younger Children
New Shoes, by Susan Lynn Meyer, illus. by Eric Velasquez
 
Honors/Books for Younger Children
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, by Jonah Winter, illus. by Shane W. Evans
Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation, by Edwidge Danticat, illus. by Leslie Staub
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illus. by R. Gregory Christie
 
Winner/Books for Older Children
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March, by Lynda Blackmon Lowery as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley, illus.
 by PJ Loughran
 
Honor/Books for Older Children
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton 
 

Back to top

 
Sibert Medal and Newbery Honor recipient Steve Sheinkin (see photo at left) is the winner of the 2016 Empire State Award for Excellence in Literature for Young People. The Empire State Award is given annually by the Youth Services Section of the New York Library Association to an author and/or illustrator currently residing in New York State to honor a significant body of work in the field of literature for young people.  
 
 
New Poetry Award from SCBWI. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) recently announced the creation of the Lee Bennett Hopkins SCBWI Poetry Award, which will recognize the publication of an excellent book of poetry or anthology for children and/or young adults. The honor will be awarded to an SCBWI member every three years. The first winner will be announced in 2016, from poetry published in the years 2013-2015 and will be chosen by Lee Bennett Hopkins.  
 
Adoff Poetry Awards. In partnership with and sponsorship by Arnold Adoff, the Board of the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth and the Arnold Adoff Poetry Committee recently announced the inaugural recipients of the Arnold Adoff Poetry Awards, which recognize excellence in multicultural poetry for youth, for readers at the primary level and middle level, and for teens. The awards also hope to inspire a poet early in his or her career with the “New Voices” award. Four awards were given at the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Conference in April. 
 
Early Readers
All Different Now:  Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson 
Honor award: Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood by Carole Boston Weatherford
 
Middle Readers
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Honor award: Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes
 
Teens
Enchanted Air:  Two Cultures, Two Wings, A Memoir  by Margarita Engle 
Honor award: How I Discovered Poetry by  Marilyn Nelson 
 
New Voices
Audacity by Melanie Crowder
Honor award: Dust of Eden by Mariko Nagai
 
Learn more about the award and winners at the Kent State University website
 

Back to top

Keats Book Award Winners. In April, the winners of the 30th annual Ezra Jack Keats (EJK) Book Award were honored at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Hattiesburg. The new writer winner is Don Tate for Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton. The new illustrator winner is Phoebe Wahl for Sonya’s Chickens. More information about the award winners and honorees is at the EJK website
 

Back to top