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If you expected a political respite after the 2004 election frenzy, you are not going to find it in ALSConnect! We have moved into high ALA campaign season. Virtual ballots should have hit your mailbox already. Just as every vote counts in municipal elections, your vote as an ALA and ALSC member also is critical. With the new technology, casting that vote has never been easier.
ALSC turnout in the 2004 ALA elections was dismal. On November 30, 2003, the division had 3,773 members. In the spring 2004 election, only 22.10 percent of our members returned their ballots. Imagine the Sunday morning talk show pundits dissecting this data about a profession that prides itself on its advocacy efforts for children.
We are outraged when an ALA president or Council does not take ALSC concerns seriously. How can we expect enthusiastic support of our issues if ALA’s elected leadership does not include more than token representation of ALSC members and members of other youth divisions?
Terri G. Kirk, AASL division councilor, rallied those divisions in a recent issue of Knowledge Quest, the official AASL journal. “There are almost 10,000 AASL members, over 3,700 ALSC members, and almost 4,000 YALSA members, which totals to over 25 percent of all ALA membership. Our presence in ALA elections can make a difference . . . but only if every member makes the effort to vote.”
A posting was made on the ALSC-L electronic discussion list, noting Council candidates who are members of the youth divisions. The information also is available at www.ala.org/alsc. Use this information as your voter’s guide. Long-time ALA leader and youth advocate Evie Wilson-Lingbloom recalls, “Youth services leadership (all three divisions) began working more closely together as much as fifteen to twenty years ago. The Youth Services Caucus of the ALA Council resulted. This group has encouraged members of all three divisions to carefully select a small number of candidates to bullet vote for offices such as Council.” Wilson-Lingbloom advises, “Experienced youth services and frontline youth services staff members and educators in leadership positions ensure that youth issues and concerns are represented in decision-making at the policy level of the association.”
Leslie Burger and Christine Lind Hage, candidates for ALA president, have mounted vigorous campaigns. Their platforms, posted on their Web sites, will help you make a decision on whom to support. Comments and questions from ALSC members to Burger and Hage will reinforce ALSC’s reputation as a division of advocates, keenly aware of their ability to make a difference in ALA.
ALSC is fortunate to have two competent, respected, and long-time member- leaders running for division president, K. T. Horning and Sue McCleaf Nespeca. To help inform your vote, articulate statements from Horning and Nespeca, outlining their positions, are included with your ballot.
The ALSC ballot includes highly qualified candidates for the board and for award committee positions. You may not be voting directly for the Newbery, Caldecott, and Sibert books, but you can help choose the individuals who will select the winning books.
This is the year for ALSC members to take political action and impact national legislation related to libraries and children. The ALA Washington Office is partnering with members of ALSC and other children’s advocates to get language inserted into an upcoming bill to reauthorize Head Start, which will encourage Head Start programs to work with their public libraries and allow reimbursement for expenditures accrued by libraries participating in Head Start activities. This effort is ALSC’s legislative priority for 2005.
A major grassroots effort by ALSC members, our partners in other divisions, and supporters in communities across the country is crucial to ensuring the success of this initiative. Information was posted on ALSC-L asking you to mobilize when the time comes. As children’s advocates, ALSC members can also support other ALA legislative initiatives. Bookmark ALA’s Legislative Action Center Web site (http://capwiz.com/ala/home/ ) and follow the action. Supporting library legislation by contacting your congressional delegation is as easy as a keystroke.
You have made a commitment to the association and division by joining ALA and ALSC. That membership buys you many services and confers one major responsibility—voting. We can influence the strategic direction of the association and its finest division, ALSC, by rocking ALA with 100 percent voter turnout from ALSC membership in the 2005 election! Then let’s rock the nation with a successful campaign to insert the “L” word in Head Start reauthorization legislation! —Gretchen Wronka, ALSC President
Council worked efficiently at the Boston Midwinter Meeting and concluded business one hour early at Council III on Wednesday, January 19. Council actions can be found on the ALA Web site at www.ala.org/ala/ourassociation/governanceb/council/councilactions/counci....
Executive Board Elections
Francis J. Buckley Jr., June A. Pinnell-Stephens, and Patricia H. Smith were elected to three-year terms on the ALA Executive Board. Terri G. Kirk, AASL Councilor, was elected to finish the unexpired term of ALA President-Elect Michael Gorman.
Honorary memberships were approved for Dr. Lotsee F. Patterson and Nettie B. Taylor to be conferred at the 2005 Annual Conference.
Cosette Kies, William R. Eshelman, Gordon Conable, Virginia Clark, Peter Graham, Anne Grodzins Lipow, Bill Katz, Arleen St. Aubin, and Noel Peattie were honored with memorial resolutions. The Freedom to Read Foun dation has established a fund in Gordon Conable’s name.
A tribute honored the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services for fifty years of diligent service to ALA through its active development and expert review of the Dewey Decimal Classification.
Total registration for the Boston Midwinter Meeting was 13,232, compared to 10,788 total registrants for San Diego in 2004.
The ALA Endowment Fund increased by approximately $4.1 million for the twelve months ending December 31, 2004. The fiscal year ending August 31, 2004, had ALA operating in the black and the auditors, Ernst & Young, reported that there were no material weaknesses and issued an unqualified opinion—the best possible rating. Membership in the association is 64,099.
Two amendments to the ALA bylaws will be on the spring election ballot:
- Membership meeting quorum—proposed to reduce the quorum of the membership meeting from one half of one percent of ALA membership to seventy-five voting members
- At-large Council nominations—proposed to reduce the number of nominees for at-large Council positions from twice the anticipated number of vacancies to one-and-one-half times the anticipated number of vacancies
Intellectual Freedom Manual
Adopted three revised policies for the seventh edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual:
- Access to electronic information services and networks
- Access to resources and services in the school library media program
- Labels and rating systems
Several resolutions were passed during Council. These included resolutions on health care, tsunami library relief, workplace speech, privacy, UCITA, and RFID. A resolution opposing the closure of the Salinas, California, library system was also passed and much discussion took place about library closings in general and ALA’s response.
- Government information. Adopted a resolution opposing GPO’s decision to eliminate print distribution of important government information and a resolution on access to National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency publications.
- No Child Left Behind Act. It was heartening to hear very positive support from many councilors for a resolution brought forth by the youth divisions that ALA communicate the important relationship between quality school library media programs and student achievement to the U.S. Congress, relevant committees, the president, and the First Lady.
The youth councilors met to discuss issues of importance to our constituents during the conference. The lack of a youth councilor nomination to the executive board by the nominating committee was addressed by the nomination of Terri Kirk from the floor. Terri was elected to fill Michael Gorman’s vacant position, and she took her seat on the board at the end of the conference. We also discussed the No Child Left Behind Act and the lack of mention of school media specialists as needing to be highly qualified. Council unanimously adopted the resolution brought forth.
The current slate of nominations for councilor includes many youth-division members. It is important that we support youth issues at the Council level in our organization. I would like to encourage each of you to participate by voting or by allowing your name to be placed on the ballot when asked. If you are not asked, volunteer! —Kathy Toon, ALSC Councilor
What can we expect of the 109th Congress and what issues face them? One can expect with the term limits that there will be new people in the chairmanship positions. It will be a very difficult budget year with rapid growth of much of the mandatory funding. However, there will be expanded opportunities for libraries to get funds. Access to information, copyright issues, the USA PATRIOT Act, and reauthorization of Head Start are some of the issues affecting libraries that face the 109th U.S. Congress.
Reauthorization of Head Start is one of the issues that ALSC members will want to watch. As Gretchen previously noted, it is ALSC’s 2005 legislative priority. Early childhood literacy programs are a critical part of Head Start’s effort to aid in intellectual development and librarians are often effective partners in this effort’s implementation. While the bills reauthorizing Head Start include language urging consultation, collaboration, and outreach to libraries, the bills do not list libraries as entities eligible for funding. ALA would like to make the necessary changes to the legislation so that every library in this country can continue to develop new, innovative programs to introduce children to the world of books.
How can librarians help? Become an active grass roots advocate by contacting your state coordinator, monitor ALAWON, the ALA Washington Office’s electronic newsline, for pending legislation, and contact your members of congress using ALA’s Legislative Action Center (http://capwiz.com/ala/home/) to tell your story about existing partnerships with Head Start or how funding would help your library work with Head Start. Another way to help is to attend National Library Legislative Day to tell senators and representatives about the great programs and activities taking place at your library. Legislative Day is May 3 and 4, 2005, in Washington D.C. For more information, visit www.ala.org/ala/washoff/washevent s/nlld/nationallibrary.htm. —Carole DeJardin, ALSC Legislation Committee Chair
Imagine a place where science meets a young inquisitive mind, where children can see and hear astronauts speak about the International Space Station, the space shuttle, and space exploration. Imagine . . .
When NASA @ your library® came to visit the Houston Public Library (HPL), science exploration came along. The two-part exhibit was set up on two floors of the Central Library. The building's entry housed the plasma screen and audio dome and acted as a magnet for library customers. Young and old alike could be seen standing under the dome as the screen presented facts about how NASA research affects our daily lives. One visitor, a pilot with the U.S. Air Force, was amazed to find the exhibit in the library and spent hours viewing the film and using the interactive computer stations, available in the children's department. The exhibit was a main attraction and school groups came by bus to some of the many programs planned.
Each library department found a unique way to promote the exhibit, including the social sciences and fine arts and recreation departments who created a joint Star Wars display of books, sheet music, CDs, and DVDs. All thirty-six of Houston's public libraries promoted the NASA @ your library® exhibit with such programs as "Mad Science," which entertained its audience with science experiments. Books on science, space exploration, and the planets were in demand.
Houston is home to the Johnson Space Center, so the library was fortunate to host astronaut Dominic A. (Tony) Antonelli, who presented a program for kids of all ages. With eager volunteers, he was able to show how far the space shuttle actually travels from earth. He answered many questions, including one from a young child who innocently asked if astronauts used the bathroom while up in space. Every attendee had the opportunity to shake Antonelli's hand and receive a personalized autographed photo of him in uniform. Prizes were randomly rewarded and included ice cream, spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken—all vacuum-sealed in compact packages-just like the astrounauts eat in space. As a child, Antonelli regularly visited the library with his mother and decided early on that he would become an astronaut. Attending the program was Tony's proud mom, Pam Antonelli, a reference librarian at HPL. We realized on that day that there might be a future astronaut sitting on the floor in the audience being mesmerized by Antonelli and by the NASA @ your library® exhibit.— Rose V. Treviño, Houston Public Library
Empowering Teen Mothers
The difficult life circumstances of most teenage mothers have intensified interest in supporting their efforts to become self-sufficient and in promoting awareness of child development early in their children's lives in order to break the cycle of poverty and reliance on welfare.
The Danbury Public Library applied for and was granted a Connecticut State Library Services and Technology Grant for the 2004–5 year to partner with EvenStart of Danbury, a family learning program of the Danbury Public Schools, to provide literacy-based programs designed to educate and empower teen parents to be their child's first teacher. The grant's target audience is teen mothers and their families enrolled in the 2004–5 EvenStart of Danbury alternative education program.
The collaboration provides for five major components that are tied into the core components of EvenStart of Danbury. This automatically guarantees a 99.9 percent successful attendance rate. The components are described in the following paragraphs. Most descriptions also include the status of the component six months into the grant.
Early Childhood Education
Teen mothers participate in a Born-to-Read (BTR) workshop, receive an introduction to the library's resources on parenting and early childhood education, and receive library cards for themselves and their children.
The BTR workshop was held and included the distribution of BTR bags filled with board and bath books, BTR bibs, and electrical socket covers. Mothers were instructed on how to use the materials with their children.
Basic English and Computer Skills
Monthly "bibliotherapy" book discussions are conducted at the library using titles selected and submitted by the English teacher, with typewritten book reports required. Students visit the library to use the computers and reference resources to conduct research on projects to be completed for their basic English, math, science, history, or civics classes.
Book discussions began in October. Out of a twelve-month academic year, the mothers and their English teacher visit the library for eight book discussions. The grant provided free paperback books for every mother enrolled in the 2004–5 academic year. The discussions are referred to as bibliotherapy because many of the titles are on the subject of teen pregnancy and parenting and allow for in-depth discussions on the challenges teens face in providing both financially and educationally for themselves and their children. Book reports received by the teacher support the premise that, through aggressive and open discourse on the books, the mothers gain a broadened understanding of the joys and realities of parenting.
Parent and Child Together Time
Teen mothers receive monthly newsletters highlighting programs sponsored at the library. Moms must bring their children and actively participate in at least one program per month. A Danbury Library children's librarian will visit the EvenStart facility once a month to conduct storytime for the mothers and children and demonstrate appropriate reading and incorporation of multimedia techniques.
A host of educational and entertaining programs are being offered at the Danbury Library. A sign-in sheet is maintained in the junior services department for EvenStart mothers to record their attendance. Beginning in September 2004 and continuing monthly, a children's librarian has visited the EvenStart facility to conduct storytime for mothers and children and to demonstrate effective techniques the mothers can employ at home.
Danbury Library and EvenStart contract with community professionals to present training workshops to the mothers on appropriate child development topics. Subscriptions to Parents Magazine are provided and delivered monthly by EvenStart's qualified family advocate.
To support teen mothers in successfully transferring learning obtained from the classroom environment to the home environment, EvenStart's family advocate visits each teen mother at her place of residence.
Six months into the grant and all is well! Danbury Library and EvenStart foresee that core component activities will continue along smoothly. The anticipated grant outcomes, too numerous to share here, will be measured based on a pre- and post-test administered in fall 2004 and spring 2005 by EvenStart of Danbury .—Veronica Stevenson-Moudamane, Danbury Library
Thanks to the ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Program (SRP) Grant, we designed an off-site implementation of the Long Beach (Calif.) Public Library's summer reading program. Our traditional summer program reaches approximately 6,000 children. However, with more than 90,000 school-aged children in Long Beach, we needed a new way to establish library connections, especially in the growing Latino and Cambodian communities. The idea became to create a trilingual (English, Spanish, and Khmer) turnkey program that community partners could implement at their own sites.
The preliminary list of community partners included organizations with existing programs providing regular contact with children and families. Health care, day care, after-school, and mobile recreation program providers all expressed interest. Ultimately, seven organizations completed letters of agreement confirming their participation. These partners reached large numbers of children (our target was 3,000), especially in the Latino and Cambodian communities. The library provided partner training sessions and all materials (game sheets, incentives, book coupons, library information, certificates). The partners' responsibilities included registering and encouraging children, ensuring children read and received prizes, and completing final evaluations.
Some partners modified the SRP timeframe to fit within their various program schedules, but the trilingual game sheet served as the cornerstone for all. The children used the game sheets to track their reading by coloring in pathways; throughout the summer they received small prizes. When they completed the program, children received free book coupons redeemable at any Long Beach Public Library.
All partners were enthusiastic and most implemented the SRP within days of training, but, as might be expected, there were some curveballs. One partner managed to overlook the fact that they had no books available to the children, so our Friends of the Library donated books. Two partners experienced unexpected staff and program changes that compromised their planned implementation, and ultimately reduced the number of participating children by almost one third. However, there were positive outcomes, too. Most notably, before the summer program even ended, the after-school partners requested previous years' SRP materials to establish a school-year reading program in all their sites.
The feedback we received is encouraging. During early implementation, we learned how popular the reading log was in these group settings, and how important the translation was for our Latino and Cambodian children's families. One partner felt the SRP provided opportunities to build children's self-esteem. All said they would definitely partner with the library again.
We know that other libraries deliver their SRP off-site. The Long Beach Public Library already has numerous partnerships. However, this project still proved to be an important, new direction for our SRP. By involving our community we mutually strengthened all our programs, successfully connected with our non-English-speaking families, and raised the visibility and the credibility of the library. Although we did not meet our target numbers this year and some of the program details will be changed next year, the ALSC/BWI grant enabled us to establish new service delivery standards and new partnerships that will endure .—Chris Burcham, (562) 570-6220, and Jennifer Songster, (562) 570-6984, Long Beach (Calif.) Public Library
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
ALSC and PLA recently released a joint electronic publication, Children and the Internet: Policies That Work, a successor to Children and the Internet: Guidelines for Developing Public Library Policy, published in 1998. Like the original, the new publication provides guidance and food for thought to librarians drafting policy for children's access to the Internet. It includes articles, sample Internet policies, helpful ALA links, and more, and was released in electronic format to allow for timely and efficient revisions. It is available at www.ala.org/alsc. See the link under "Breaking News."
Children and the Internet: Policies That Work was edited by Linda Braun, educational technology consultant with Librarians and Educators Online (LEO). She works with schools, libraries, and other educational institutions to help them figure out the best ways to integrate and use technology. Braun has written for School Library Journal, Library Journal, Public Libraries, and VOYA. She teaches at Lesley University in the graduate technology in education program and at Simmons College in the graduate school of library and information science.
Two new awards have joined ALSC's prestigious family of awards. The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award will be presented annually beginning in 2006 to both the author(s) and illustrator(s) of an outstanding book for beginning readers published in the previous calendar year. The Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award, honoring the late Maureen Hayes, former director of library services for Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, will provide as much as $4,000 to an ALSC member library to fund a visit from an author or illustrator who will speak to children who have not had the opportunity to hear a nationally-known author or illustrator. The award, sponsored by Simon & Schuster Children's Pub lishing, will be given for three years beginning in 2006. For more information on both awards, visit www.ala.org/alsc and click on "Awards & Scholarships."
Every Child Ready to Read
Current research on early literacy and brain development indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers. Parents of newborns, toddlers, and preschoolers must be informed of their critical role as their children's first teacher. The Public Library Association (PLA) and ALSC have incorporated the latest research into a series of parent and caregiver workshops that provide public libraries with vital tools to help prepare parents for this vital role. A training kit, which includes a training DVD, parent brochures, posters, training tools, and much more, is available for sale. These tools were developed by Dr. Grover C. Whitehurst and Dr. Christopher Lonigan, well-known researchers in emergent literacy, and have been tested and refined by library demonstration sites around the country.
Trainers also are available to help library staff use the materials and present parent and caregiver workshops. To learn more about Every Child Ready to Read @ your library or to order materials, visit www.pla.org.
ALSC members are a talented and accomplished bunch. Here is a sample of what some members have been doing.
Linda Ernst, King County (Wash.) Library System, received the CAYAS Award for Visionary Library Service to Youth from the Children and Young Adult Services Interest Group of the Washington Library Association. Ernst has written two guidebooks, Lapsit Services for the Very Young I and II, and recently presented two CAYAS workshops on early learning. Janice Greenberg, Jersey City (N.J.) Free Public Library, received the Pura Belpé Librarian Award for Outstanding Library Service to Latinos from the Northeast Chapter of REFORMA. She was honored during a ceremony at Simmons College Library School in Boston. Alice Neve, St. Paul Public Library, was honored with a Heroes for Children Award, presented by the Children's Law Center of Minnesota. With over thirty years of service as a public librarian in St. Paul, Neve has been an inspiration to her colleagues and the community. Robert Reid, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was named DEMCO/Librarian of the Year by the Wisconsin Library Association. Reid has written numerous books and edits the e-newsletter Heart of a Child.
Mother Goose on the Loose (Neal-Schuman, 2005) by Betsy Diamant-Cohen, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, presents activities that jump-start children's learning and brain development. Fiore's Summer Library Reading Program Handbook (Neal-Schuman, 2005) by Carole D. Fiore, State Library and Archives of Florida, provides information on how to set goals and objectives, establish themes and schedules, coordinate statewide and regional efforts, market and promote events, and evaluate program success. The Ninth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators (H. W. Wilson, 2005), edited by Connie C. Rockman, Stratford, Connecticut, is a compilation of profiles on 175 writers and illustrators of books for children and teens. Each entry includes an autobiographical sketch by the person along with an editorial summary of major awards, career highlights, and a bibliography.
The ALSC Nominating Committee is seeking members to fill positions on the 2006 ballot. If you are interested in serving in a leadership role or would like to recommend another qualified member, fill out the ALSC Nominee Suggestion Form (available from the ALSC office or at www.ala.org/alsc, click on "Board & Committee Work," and "ALSC Forms," or e-mail your suggestions to Margaret Tice, chair of the Nominating Committee.
The ALSC Preconference, "Teachers, Parents, and Librarians: Working Together So Children Can Learn to Read," will be held Thursday, June 23, 7–9:30 p.m., and Friday, June 24, 8 a.m–5:30 p.m. in Chicago.
How are children learning to read in 2005? Phonics, intensive drills, computerized quizzes, and standardized testing seem to have taken over the process. How has the public librarian's role in helping kids become literate changed? Building on the successful 2004 "Great Beginnings" preconference on early literacy, this year's event will focus on early literacy research, innovative library programs, the roles of school and public librarians in the process of learning to read, and bridging the literacy gap from preschool through middle school. To register, visit www.ala.org/ala/eventsandconferencesb/annual/2005a/registration.htm.
In an effort to bring you even more news and information in each issue of ALSConnect, we have moved our regular Welcome feature that lists new ALSC members to the Web site at www.ala.org/alsc. We welcome and thank all of our new members! We also hope that our continuing members will visit the Web to check out your newest colleagues and welcome those from your area.
Need help with local arrangements at Annual Conference in Chicago? Contact Bernadette Nowakowski, chair of the ALSC Local Arrangements Committee, by phone: (312) 747-4780; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Her committee is ready and willing to help make your event run smoothly.
Join the List
To stay informed about ALSC activities and issues, subscribe to the ALSC electronic discussion list. Send the following message to email@example.com: subscribe ALSC-L [firstname] [lastname]. Leave the subject area blank.
Change of address? Be sure to subscribe under your new e-mail address and unsubscribe from your old address. To unsubscribe, send the following message from your old address to firstname.lastname@example.org: unsubscribe ALSC-L. Leave the subject area blank. To learn more about all of ALSC's electronic discussion lists, visit www.ala.org/alsc and click on the discussion lists graphic near the bottom of the home page.
The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is collecting donations from among its national sections, including USBBY, the United States Board on Books for Young People, to support children's literature projects in the Asian countries affected by the December 2004 tsunami. Funds collected will go to libraries in countries directly affected by the tsunami and will be used to help rebuild libraries and purchase books. While food, water, shelter, and health care are vital to disaster victims, we also know much healing can be done through the magic of books and story.
USBBY is accepting donations by credit card or check (payable to USBBY). Mark your donation with the phrase "Help for children in the tsunami region" to target your support to tsunami relief efforts for children. Send donations to USBBY Tsunami Relief, P.O. Box 1017, Honesdale, PA 18431-1017. For more information about IBBY's collection efforts, visit www.ibby.org.
And the Winners Are . . .
Information about the 2005 award-winning books, recordings, videos, computer software, libraries, and librarians is available on the ALSC Web site at www.ala.org/alsc, click on "Awards and Scholarships."
2006 Arbuthnot Lecture
Russell Freedman, renowned author of outstanding nonfiction for children and young adults, will deliver the 2006 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Certain that children underappreciate history due to uninspiring texts, Freedman set out to breathe life into what he believed was fascinating subject matter.
Freedman's career began as a news reporter and editor and moved into children's books with the publication of Teenagers Who Made History in 1961. Freedman has brought such diverse figures as Marian Anderson, Martha Graham, Confucius, and Crazy Horse alive through extensive research, archival photographs, and his ability to tell a good story.
To subscribe to ALAWON, the ALA Washington Office's electronic newsline, send the following e-mail message to email@example.com: subscribe ALA-WO [firstname] [lastname] (e.g., subscribe ALA-WO Melvil Dewey). Leave the subject line blank (unless your e-mail program requires a subject line, in which case type "subscribe").You will receive e-mail confirmation of your subscription.
Contact the ALA Washington Office directly by phone: (202) 628-8410; fax: (202) 628-8419; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patricia A. Gonzales, Librarian II
Children's Literature Department
Central Library, Los Angeles Public Library
ALSC membership: seven years
Where did you attend library school?
UCLA School of Library and Information Science
What attracted you to library service to children?
I started volunteering at my children’s school in the ’80s and immediately homed in on the library. I gradually became one of “the librarians” as there was no official librarian (no funding). I probably put in twenty to thirty hours a week and loved every minute. I became knowledgeable about children’s literature, dealt with a budget, curriculum needs, and so on. After fourteen years I finally was convinced to apply to library school at UCLA. I was terrified! I was fifty years old and going back to graduate school. It was the best thing I have ever done . . . well, one of the best things.
Why did you join ALSC?
While I was in graduate school my advisor and professor for many of my classes was Ginny Walter. She promoted ALSC and the benefits and rewards of joining. I went to my first conference in library school and loved the programs offered and wanted to become involved in a professional organization.
On which ALSC committees have you served?
I have served on the Membership Committee, Quicklists for four years, and Penguin-Putnam for two years and as the chair for one year.
Which committee service did you enjoy most?
I love the Quicklists Committee! I love looking for new books for the various bibliographies that we create. Not only does it benefit the groups requesting lists, but we use them in the department as well.
Is there a particular Newbery/Caldecott Banquet that stands out in your memory?
I really enjoyed all that I have been to, but Linda Sue Park’s acceptance speech for A Single Shard was so entertaining and moving. I will never forget when she presented her medal to her father for his support all through her life. Not a dry eye in the house!
What are you currently working on at LAPL?
Our department is enormous. We have probably one of the largest children’s collections in the United States, if not the largest. My area of management is the picture book collection, which includes our Mother Goose Collection, Alphabet, Counting, and Concept Collections, and the Caldecott Collection. There are at least 75,000 items and maintaining and developing it takes up most of my time. I also do family story times, story times for visiting classes, an occasional preschool story time, and outreach to some of our neighborhood schools. I am also the serials/periodicals librarian for the department.
What is your favorite children’s book?
Just one? Oh my . . . I would have to say Virginia Burton’s The Little House. I remember reading this book when I was about six and just being in love with it and I would check it out all the time from my library. I read it to my kids when they were little and would start to cry at the end because it just made me feel happy. You know how some of those good books are.
What three words best describe you?
Creative, energetic, goofy
What are your hobbies?
Reading, of course, gardening, walking, biking, cooking, traveling with my boyfriend when we can, and crossword puzzles