***Attn: This is an ARCHIVE page. Web sites and e-mail addresses referenced on this page may no longer be in service.***
ALSC around the World: The Caldecott in China
I am always proud to represent ALSC in my travels and talks. It is a true honor to serve as president of this organization. Our members are an amazing, committed group of professionals who want to make the world a better place. What could possibly be more gratifying?
The value of our work has always been clear to me but on a recent trip to China to speak at the Chinese Library Association conference in Beijing, it was also clear how important our work is to others outside the United States. I spoke as a guest of the Chinese government and at the request of the conference planners who wanted to hear from experts how picture books are used in the US to encourage reading. In 2014, Chinese libraries have focused on picture books. In libraries all over China, children have been reading, creating, and sharing picture books. The standard for excellence for picture books in China is our own Caldecott Award. Many Caldecott-winning titles are available there in translation and it is interesting to note that honor books are included in the discussion of excellence as a matter of course.
There were many questions from Chinese librarians about the criteria of our award and how it has developed over time. Equally of interest, however, was the fact that the award is decided by, celebrated by, and administered by librarians. Our central role in creating this enduring list of world renowned classics is not only a source of pride to us, but also a model for others to follow. American public libraries, their collections, and programs are world models that fellow librarians from other countries look to for inspiration and affirmation.
From our tours of the National Children’s Library and the Capitol Children’s Library, both in Beijing, we could see that there is a great deal of investment and new construction allocated to establishing special places for children of all ages to read with their parents and for students to work together. Technology and books coexist peacefully in these spaces. There is no talk of technology taking over the need for books, and during our visits, the rooms of these wonderful spaces were stuffed with families and children reading, using computers, playing, and doing homework together.
The surge of investment there is encouraging to this librarian who has wearily staved off the question: are libraries obsolete in this new modern age of computers? To see a nation investing in libraries for all—babies, school aged children, tweens, and teens—renewed my faith in our purpose. To be viewed as an expert in delivering excellent library service to children and families was an invigorating affirmation that our work, far from being obsolete, is in fact, just beginning. Positioning ourselves at the forefront of the information landscape is just what we are poised to do. In fact, the world is waiting. What could possibly be more gratifying?—Ellen Riordan, ALSC President
ALSC around the World: Forging Relationships
“ʻWhen I grow up, I too will go to faraway places’” –Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (Viking, 1982)
Hello from the Philippines! I’m writing from the 1st International Conference on Children’s Librarianship in Tagaytay City, sponsored by the National Library of the Philippines (NLP), where I’m very proud to be representing ALSC. The theme for these three days is “Connecting and Linking of Information through Transformed Children’s Libraries to the Digital Era” and it has brought together more than 300 children’s librarians, school librarians, students, and academics from among the thousands of Filipino islands and other countries.
I’m grateful to the NLP director, Antonio Santos, and his team, particularly Dolly Dolado-Carungui and Shiri Lim, for making this trip such a wonderful experience. Thanks to ALA President Courtney L. Young, ALSC President Ellen Riordan, and ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter for their encouragement, and to everyone in the ALSC office for their support. I’d like to especially acknowledge ALSC’s Marketing Manager Dan Bostrom for his work with social media that helped many of you come along virtually on this adventure.
And thank you to all of you who contributed your visions of the future to our crowd sourcing campaign this fall in support of building the presentation I’ve just given on “Envisioning a 21st Century Children’s Library.” The full text of the speech will be available soon and you can discover a lot about the trip and conference on Twitter using #21stkidlib and #andrewinasia. The concept is that for children born today, many of whom will live into the 22nd century, ALSC’s core purpose of creating a better future for children through libraries is truly essential, and that with technology as a tool; advocacy, education, and access as goals; collections, programs, and spaces as assets; and each other as partners, we will be able to build a world for them where libraries are recognized as vital to all children and the communities that support them.
It is important for ALSC to reach out across the globe—there is so much we can learn from each other and ways in which we can help each other! In the Philippines there is not a distinct professional association just for library staff concentrating on work with children and I hope that the relationships formed here can be of support to our Filipino colleagues. ALSC is the largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children in the world, and hopefully many of my new friends here will be among our newest members, benefiting from the many resources and opportunities which ALSC provides.
Whether it’s the children’s room of the NLP building in a park overlooking Manila Bay, the Oakland Public Library locations that I visited during the phenomenal ALSC Institute in September, or the library in Chicago in which I work every day, we all have many more commonalities than differences. Sessions and discussions at this conference have included such important issues as digital literacy, use of social media in libraries, childhood hunger, diversity in picture books, and there have been wonderful stories shared from this country’s rich folklore. Many of these opportunities and challenges probably sound familiar to you, too, so, like Miss Rumphius, let’s all work to make the world more beautiful.—Andrew Medlar, 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 our website and click on "About ALSC--Contact ALSC--Donate to ALSC” on the left-hand navigation menu.
Pura Belpé Award Endowment
Friends of ALSC
Bound to Stay Bound Inc.
Steven S. Weiner (in honor of Dudley Carlson)
Coordinator of Children's Services
Los Angeles Public Library
ALSC membership: 25 years
Where did you attend library school?
University of California-Los Angeles
What was your very first library position?
As a library school student, I was lucky to get a position at Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) as "Student Librarian," which was basically a paid internship. I did everything from shelve books to check out books to present storytimes - a dream job and a great way to get to know every facet of public library services. My first job out of library school was as children's librarian at the West Los Angeles Regional Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. No air conditioning, only a couple computers, and dozens and dozens of drawers of catalog cards - good times!
What do you love most about your current job?
As coordinator, I get to work closely with my favorite sort of people - children's librarians. My role is chief advocate and enabler, making sure children's librarians have the training, information, tools, and enthusiasm they need to provide awesome library service to kids and their grown-ups. It's exciting how children's library services continue to alter and expand even as our core values remain the same; right now, I'm loving how STEAM programming is stimulating the creativity and imaginations of our librarians while it sparks kids' interest in science.
You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books and one food item do you need to survive?
A Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban; Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann; and any decent paperback dictionary. And - pizza!
What are your hobbies?
Reading isn't really a hobby when it's as necessary as food and air, is it? So that leaves only running. But really, I'd rather be reading.
What three words best describe you?
Curious; patient; open-minded.
Full STEAM Ahead: Fair Garners Record Attendance
The Glen Ellyn Public Library (GEPL) created one primary objective for 2015: increase community engagement. To achieve this objective, the library formed a partnership with Glen Ellyn School District 41, which had recently adopted a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education initiative.
STEAM education is a curriculum initiative adopted by District 41 in response to the US Department of Education’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign designed to move American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math over the next decade.
After learning about District 41’s STEAM initiative, GEPL organized a STEAM Fair, targeted to area students and their families, that became the biggest, most successful, and highest attended program in the library’s 100-year history.
Designed as a family-friendly event, the Full STEAM Ahead Fair featured 18 interactive exhibits showcasing the latest innovations in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math designed and operated by leading industry pioneers including: FermiLab, SciTech Museum, RobotCity Workshop, and the DuPage Children’s Museum.
STEAM Fair included a variety of all-ages attractions including an active wind tunnel, a paper-making demonstration and a chemistry magic show performed by a local college chemistry class.
The most popular exhibit featured the Elgin Paranormal Investigators, a local ghost hunting organization. The investigators used highly engaging videos and dynamic speakers to demonstrate how they used science, technology, engineering, and math during their ghost hunting investigations.
Our STEAM Fair was attended by 1,021 people and 90% of those in attendance rated the program as “excellent.”
GEPL has already started planning next year’s STEAM Fair, scheduled for Saturday, February 28, 2015.--Anthony McGinn, Marketing Coordinator, Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Public Library
Steaming with NASA
And, speaking of STEAM, NASA offers some ideas around which to build some stellar STEAM programs.
Comet Mystery Boxes
What's a comet made of? Explore this question with your sense of touch through the Comet Mystery Boxes activity! Place ice, dirt, and other common materials in mystery boxes, and invite children to reach in and explore how these materials resemble what a comet is really made of.
Celebrate on November 11, 2014, as the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission becomes the first spacecraft to land on a comet. Rosetta will accompany Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko as it journeys closer to the Sun.
Watch bits of comet ice and dust vaporize in our atmosphere as "shooting stars" during upcoming meteor showers:
S'mores in Celebration of Our Sun
Celebrate our connection to the Sun during spring Solar Week in mid-to-late March, 2015. Build a Solar Pizza Box Cooker by adding a translucent plastic cover, as well as reflective aluminum foil, and a heat-absorbing black paper liner, to a clean pizza box. Just as a car parked in the Sun stays warm inside, even on cool days, this solar-powered oven uses clear materials to allow sunlight in -- and keeps heat trapped inside! Try heating s'mores with this oven on a sunny day.--Keliann LaConte, Informal Education Lead, Education and Public Outreach, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston
Baby Book Bees
La Crosse (Wis.) Public Library Youth Services developed an early literacy initiative to encourage parents to read at least 100 books with their child before he or she is 12 months old. The initiative addresses the need to introduce habitual reading at an early age.
Each child receives an “I’m a Baby Book Bee at La Crosse Public Library!” bib when registered for the program. They also receive a folder to keep track of their progress. Families return to the library every time they finish reading and listening to 25 books. This means families visit the library at least four times, and their baby is exposed to at least 100 books in the first year of life!
Each child who completes the program receives a board book, a special bee to put on our garden wall, and the opportunity to enroll in our "1000 Books before Kindergarten" club.
A key aspect of this project has been connecting with local hospitals to increase awareness of the initiative. With this partnership we reach an audience that we would not typically see in the library. The funding for this program was provided by a generous Target Early Literacy Grant.--Brooke Rasche, Early Literacy Librarian, LaCrosse (Wis.) Public Library
Youth Project Teaches Importance of Freedom to Read
ALA Midwinter Meeting
The Midwinter Meeting will be held in Chicago, January 30 - February 3, 2015. Visit the ALA website for complete details about the conference.
In additional to ALSC events, you also may be interested in the following Midwinter offerings.
ERT/Booklist Author Forum
Four acclaimed graphic novel authors and artists—Cece Bell, Françoise Mouly, Jeff Smith, and Gene Luen Yang—join Booklist Associate Editor Sarah Hunter and Eva Volin, supervising children's librarian, Alameda (Calif.) Free Library, to dig into graphic novels at the Exhibits Round Table (ERT)/Booklist Author Forum on Friday, January 30, 4 - 5:15 p.m., at McCormick Place.
United States Board on Books for Young People
Join the United States Board on Books for Young People on Friday, January 30, 8 - 9:30 p.m., for the announcement of its 2015 Outstanding International Books list.
Amping up Advocacy Program
Families Learning Summit
The Families Learning Summit is scheduled for March 16-18, 2015, in Houston. The summit brings together literacy proponents from across the U.S. to share their expertise. It is the largest gathering of its kind focused on inter-generational learning and literacy. Visit the Families Learning Summit website for more information.
31st Hamilton Conference: Building Global Citizens
The 31st annual Virginia Hamilton Conference, "Building Global Citizens Through Literature," will be held April 9-10, 2015, at Kent State University, and will feature David Macaulay, Grace Lin, and Rita Williams-Garcia. The conference is sponsored by the School of Library and Information Science, the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, and the Office of Continuing and Distance Education. This year's event celebrates the role of multicultural literature in building global citizens who will be prepared to serve and lead future generations. Nearly 200 writers, illustrators, librarians, teachers, students and scholars will gather for this inspiring, informative event. For more information, visit the conference website.
Carolyn S. Brodie, Ph.D., past president of ALSC and retired Kent State University School of Library and Information Science Professor, recently received the 2014 Presidential Award from the Ohio Educational Library Media Association (OELMA). The Presidential Award honors individuals in the library field for their service to school libraries. Congratulations, Carolyn!
The Essential Lapsit Guide: A Multimedia How-To-Do-It Manual and Programming Guide for Stimulating Literacy Development from 12 to 24 Months (ALA/Neal Schuman), written by Linda L. Ernst, children's librarian, King County (Wash.) Library System, was recently released. The comprehensive, multimedia guide is designed to help librarians stimulate the minds of their youngest patrons with rhymes, songs, fingerplays, books, and other creative activities.
Saroj Ghoting, Riner, Va., co-authored STEP into Storytime: Using StoryTime Effective Practice to Strengthen the Development of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds (ALA Editions, 2014) with Kathy Klatt. The manual introduces the Storytime Effective Practice (STEP) concept, articulating the link between child development theory and storytimes, and provides ready-to-use storytimes and extension activities.
This spring Huron Street Press/ALA published Bugs, Bogs, Bats, and Books: Sharing Nature with Children through Reading by Kathleen T. Isaacs, Pasadena, Md. The guide, geared to parents and caregivers, identifies picture books on nature-related subjects and offers supplemental science activities that adults and children can do together.
Dana Jones and the Mt. Lebanon Public Library’s “Crazy for Comics” program won a Carolyne L. Smith Best Practices in Early Learning Award from the Pennsylvania Library Association in recognition of exceptional service to school-age children, their families, and caregivers. Kudos, Dana! Look for a Bright Ideas story about “Crazy for Comics” in the February 2015 issue of ALSC Matters!
A second book written by Martha Seif Simpson, Stratford (Conn.) Library Association, was released this summer by Wisdom Tales. The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah is a picture book, illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard, about the true meaning of Hanukkah.
Amber Conger, a member of ALSC's 2014 Emerging Leaders team, will be the 2016-17 president of the South Carolina Library Association. Our best wishes to Amber!
Silver & Gold Sponsors Support Banquet
Many thanks to our 2014 Newbery/Caldecott Banquet sponsors.
Grant Deadlines Fast Approaching
As evidenced above, ALSC members do great work! Don't pass up the opportunity to nominate a colleague or yourself for an ALSC professional award.
ALSC Distinguished Service Award
This award honors an individual member who has made significant contributions to and had an impact on, library services to children and ALSC.
Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved Grant
This $3,000 grant is sponsored by Candlewick Press in honor of author Kate DiCamillo and the themes represented in her books. The grant is awarded to a library with exceptional outreach to underserved populations in efforts to help them continue their service.
Application deadline for both awards is Monday, December 1, 2014.
Registration Open - Winter Online Courses
Registration is open for four ALSC online courses, which begin Monday, January 5, 2015.
Children with Disabilities in the Library
Instructor: Katherine (Kate) Todd, adjunct instructor, Manhattanville College, New York
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs Made Easy
Instructor: Angela Young, head of children's department, Reed Memorial Library, Ravenna, Ohio
Storytelling with Puppets
Instructor: Steven Engelfried, youth services librarian, Wilsonville (Ore.) Public Library
Instructor: Lisa M. Shaia, Children’s Librarian, Oliver Wolcott Library, Litchfield, Conn.
See the ALSC website for more information on ALSC online education.
2015 Día National Program Registry is now open
The 2015 Día National Program Registry is now open and ALSC invites libraries to register their upcoming programs. By using the national registry, libraries help build a searchable database that showcases all types and sizes of library programs that highlight Diversity In Action.
Each registered event is given its own unique webpage allowing for libraries to share information about their Día program on their own website and through their social media outlets. Families are able to use the searchable Día map to find programs to attend in their communities.
The registry is also a great way for libraries to share diversity programming ideas and best practices with colleagues across the country. To learn more about Día and to download free resources including book lists, coloring sheets, tool kits, book club curriculums and more, please visit http://dia.ala.org.
Last year alone, there were over 6,000 program searches completed within the national registry; make sure you register your programs today to share with your community how you celebrate diversity!
Annie-Inspired Reading Program for Grades 3-5
ALA, with support from ALSC and the Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), has collaborated with Scholastic and the National Education Association’s Read Across America on a reading program inspired by the new film Annie, which opens in theaters December 19.
The "Read Today for a Brighter Tomorrow" program presents an opportunity for libraries to host events and get children excited about reading. The online reading program includes teacher lesson plans, reading lists, and activities.
"Read Today for a Brighter Tomorrow":
- focuses on the need for diverse books, providing lesson plans and librarian-created reading lists; and
- provides fun opportunities for kids and/or families to create Reading Journal Scrapbooks.
In addition to web resources and materials, Scholastic and Sony Pictures have produced a limited supply of free Annie Reading Program activity books with bookmarks and posters for libraries that have five or more branches in their system. To request free Annie Reading Program activity books/bookmarks and posters, please contact Rachel Breinin by email or at 914-921-3934.
Can Your State Boast a Literary Landmark™?
ALA's United for Libraries, the Children's Book Council (CBC), and the ALA/CBC Committee are working on an initiative to help United for Libraries dedicate throughout the country, during Children's Book Week 2015, at least seven Literary Landmarks connected with a children's book or author.
Individuals and state organizations are encouraged to take the lead in nominating a possible Literary Landmark in their state. Only 33 states have Literary Landmarks. Check to see if your state has at least one. If it doesn't, this is a great time to begin work on getting one established.
"I have worked in having several sites designated as Literary Landmarks," said Rocco Staino, current chair of the ALA/CBC Committee. "Most recently we dedicated The Walt Whitman Birthplace a Literary Landmark. At the event, we had a congressman, state senators, and members of the New York state assembly, including the chair of the Library Committee. I am happy to say that the Landmark was cosponsored by Suffolk County Library Association, Suffolk School Library Media Association, and the Lambda Literary Foundation."
MakerLab Club Strives to Advance 3D Digital Literacy
3D Systems, in collaboration with the Young Adult Library Services Association and the Association of Science and Technology Centers, is committed to expanding young people's access to 21st century tools like 3D design, 3D scanning, and 3D printing. 3D Systems will donate up to 4,000 new 3D printers to museums and libraries across the country who join the MakerLab Club and establish access to 3D printing and design opportunities for their communities. Applications for the MakerLab Club will be accepted until November 17, 2014. Donated printers allocated on a competitive basis.
Jaffarian Award Nominations Sought
The ALA Public Programs Office is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. School libraries, public or private, that served children in grades K-8 and conducted humanities programs during the 2013-14 school year are eligible. The winning library will receive $5,000.
An Hour a Week: Amping Up Library Advocacy Is Easy!
New Resources on Literacy Offerings in Libraries
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Public Library Development Team has released two new documents and a video to help guide librarians in developing literacy activities. Offering Library Reading Programs: Top Ten Tips for Librarians and Why Library Reading Programs Matter: 10 Tips for Parents & Caregivers are highly visual information pieces that outline the benefits of library reading programs, such as summer reading programs and 1000 Books Before Kindergarten programs. In addition, a short video tutorial offers a glimpse at why both documents were created and how to use them at the library.
Washington's iSchool Shares Views2 Resources
The University of Washington Information School has launched a web resource, VIEWS2: Valuable Initiatives in Early Learning that Work Successfully, with the goal of helping librarians, educators, and others increase the effectiveness of read-alouds, storytimes, and daily interactions by adding simple behaviors that will have great impact. The site is still in development but includes many resources already, including practical tools and tip sheets.
Kent State Welcomes First Writer-in-Residence
Award-winning young adult and children’s book author Angela Johnson will be the first writer-in-residence for the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science. Johnson is the author of more than 40 children’s books about African-American families, friendships, and coming-of-age stories based on her own childhood experiences and relevant themes for youth. When I Am Old with You, Do Like Kyla and A Sweet Smell of Roses are a few of her works.
In her role as writer-in-residence, Johnson will have an office in the school’s Reinberger Children’s Library Center, home of the Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art, which features more than 28,000 children’s picture books. Johnson will use the collection for research and inspiration for her own writing. In addition, she will volunteer her expertise through participation in workshops, course lectures, conferences and symposia, and other school events and activities as appropriate.
NYT Book Review Chooses Best Illustrations of 2014
The New York Times recently announced its Best Illustrated Books Awards for 2014. Since 1952, an independent panel of judges has been charged annually with selecting picture books on the basis of artistic merit. This year's winners:
Draw! by Raúl Colón
Shackleton's Journey by William Grill
Haiti, My Country, Poems by Haitian Schoolchildren; illus. by Roge
Harlem Hellfighters, by J. Patrick Lewis; illus. by Gary Kelley
Time for Bed, Fred, by Yasmeen Ismail
Here Is the Baby, by Polly Kanevsky; illus. by Taeeyun Yoo
Where's Mommy? by Beverly Donofrio; illus. by Barbara McClintock
The Promise, by Nicola Davies; illus. by Laura Carlin
The Baby Tree, by Sophie Blackall
The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, by Peter Sis
This year's judges were 2014 Caldecott Medalist Brian Floca, 2010 Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney, and ALSC member Jennifer M. Brown, director of the Center for Children’s Literature, Bank Street College of Education, New York, and children’s editor of the books newsletter Shelf Awareness.
Le Guin Wins Honorary National Book Award
The National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, will award its 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (DCAL) to science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin later this month. She is the twenty-seventh recipient of the DCAL Medal, which was created in 1988 to recognize lifetime literary achievement. Previous recipients include Judy Blume (2004), E.L. Doctorow (2013), and Toni Morrison (1996). Newbery Medalist Neil Gaiman will present the medal to Le Guin at the 65th National Book Awards Ceremony on November 19.
Curious George, STEM, and the Five Senses
WGBH’s Curious George kicked off its ninth season on PBS Kids recently, including three new episodes that focus on the five senses. WGBH Education has developed new resources for the Curious George STEM Collection on the PBS LearningMedia website, featuring activities focused on the five senses theme, plus family take-homes. WGBH Executive Producer Dorothea Gillim said, “With great new episodes, encore broadcasts of the blockbuster specials, a new Web game, and robust outreach materials, season nine has a strong slate of offerings for CURIOUS GEORGE fans.”