ALSConnect, March 2008, Vol. 6, no. 1

***Attn: This is an ARCHIVE page. Web sites and e-mail addresses referenced on this page may no longer be in service.***


Officially Speaking

"Light the Way" Makes a Difference

As I write this column, our 2008 midwinter conference has ended just about a week ago. Although there is always so much excitement and hoopla surrounding the announcements of our book and media awards, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the other wonderful and inspiring work done by ALSC members. I am still in awe of the amazing work our members accomplish, not only in the short period of time they were together in Philadelphia, but throughout the year.

The Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee is a perfect example. This group, under the capable leadership of chair Martha Simpson, was given both the thrilling and work-intensive task of shepherding a grant from Candlewick Press and its author Kate DiCamillo called “Light the Way.” The intention of this grant, inspired by DiCamillo and sponsored by Candlewick, was to award a $5,000 mini-grant to a library that showed exceptional outreach to underserved populations. When Simpson and her committee were approached to undertake this task, there was no name for the grant; there were no criteria; there was no application. But they leaped at the chance and in short order, the committee had taken care of all those details.

Eight short months after the task was accepted by this amazing group, three winners were announced. Although the initial idea was to award only one library, Candlewick was able to raise additional funds for this ground-breaking idea and the committee was delighted to learn they were able to name two honor libraries in addition to the grand prize winner. The first of the two honor libraries that were named is Port Isabel Public Library in Port Isabel, Texas for “Children’s Book Club to the Rescue,” a school readiness project that will enable preschool children of non-English speaking families to gain literacy skills. Hancock County Library System, Bay St. Louis, Miss., was also an honor library for its proposal for the “Pearlington Library Summer Reading Program.” The library, devastated by Hurricane Katrina and still operating out of a trailer, will use the money to re-establish a summer reading program this summer in order to offer a semblance of stability to this distressed region. Each of the honor libraries won $1,040.

The grand prize winner of a $5,000 grant, Rogers Public Library in Rogers, Ark. won for its program, “Bilingual Teens as Teachers and Tutors.” In this program, Americorps volunteers will train bilingual teens to serve as tutors and role models to elementary school students who need help learning English. Simpson praised its “meticulous planning, wide-ranging impact to students of several ages, and outstanding collaboration.”

Again, to quote Simpson, Light the Way was a “desperately-needed, ground-breaking award” that, thanks to the generosity of Candlewick Press and Kate DiCamillo, will change the lives of three libraries in a meaningful and significant way. These three libraries, out of the 53 applications that came in to the committee, are delighted to be named for this award. We in ALSC are thrilled to be a part of something that will make a difference in the lives of these three libraries. It’s a small step in a world where too many libraries are under-funded and too many under-served populations remain that way. Congratulations to Candlewick Press and to the Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee for their great work on this project.--Jane B. Marino, ALSC President

Council News - ALA Midwinter 2008

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels reported that a total of 13,601 members and exhibitors attended ALA's Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, up from 12,230 in Seattle last year. Seattle, on the other hand, had more first-time attendees.

Prior to the conference, the Council electronic discussion list discussed a resolution from Melora Ranney Norman that, in keeping with ALA's open meeting policy, proposed “all electronic lists of the ALA shall henceforth be available for read-only access to all members of the association. Closed lists may be established only for the discussion of matters affecting the privacy of individuals or institutions...” At Midwinter, Council referred this resolution to the current Task Force on Electronic Member Participation.

This task force, under the leadership of Janet Swan Hill, made its first report to Council. Its work will assist the entire organization by recommending definitions, equipment, procedures, and guidelines.

When Fiels introduced “Guidelines for Campaigning by Candidates for ALA Office,” a document based on 1992 ALA Council resolutions, the current Council requested the 1992 document. Unfortunately, this was unavailable in electronic format, but Fiels promised to send that document to Councilors as soon as possible. It was clear from council discussion that campaign practices seem to vary widely, so this could become a hot-button issue at or before ALA Annual Conference.

The Presidential Task Force on Graduated Dues Study reported that implementing this type of dues structure would cost ALA over $600,000. ALA's Budget Analysis & Review Committee (BARC) considers this price tag too high for the current budget, but has recommended implementing the membership survey section.

Council passed resolutions recommended by the Legislation, Policy Monitoring, and other Council committees, as well as resolutions from the floor that accessible workstations be available in the ALA office area during conferences, that U.S. and British military forces return cultural documents to Iraqi repositories, and that violence cease in Kenya with a full restoration of civil liberties.

Finally, Council voted to confer honorary ALA Memberships on three outstanding women who have played important roles in ALSC as well as ALA: Peggy Sullivan, Effie Lee Morris, and Pat Mora.

For more information, Council midwinter documents will be available at:

Midwinter Council actions will be available at:

All ALA members may “read only” on the Council electronic discussion list by subscribing to it at:

If you would like further information regarding ALA Council and Midwinter issues, please contact me at: –- Linda A. Perkins, ALSC Councilor

Legislation News

It is a lovely thing to be able to start off a new year with some good news. After working for a number of years, Congress, with bipartisan cooperation, passed, and the President signed, the “Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act” in December 2007. This Act not only strengthens the existing Head Start program, but also acknowledges the importance of parental involvement in the education of their children, and recognizes librarians as literacy experts by requiring potential providers to utilize the resources of their local communities, including their public and school libraries, when developing plans for their programs. Certainly the goal of Head Start—to improve school readiness for low-income children and their families—is one we share. With your help, ALA’s Washington Office staff was able to use your “Head Start” stories - anecdotes of collaboration with Head Start programs in your communities – to put a human face on the importance of including libraries as a vital resource in this legislation. If you have not already had a chance to make the acquaintance of Head Start providers in your community, plan ways to welcome directors, teachers, parents, and of course, the children in to your library in order to introduce them to the vast treasures that await them there.

As always there are a number of issues that need our attention. In order to increase the effectiveness of our advocacy efforts, the three youth divisions of ALA—AASL, ALSC, and YALSA—have joined forces to focus on two specific areas of legislation for this year: The Strengthening Kids Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act and the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA). Provisions in the SKILLs Act require school districts, to the extent feasible, to ensure that every school within the district employs at least one state certified school library media specialist. LSTA is the only federal program exclusively for libraries. These funds flow directly to state libraries and on to your local communities, in an effort to increase access to services, information, and online resources. As a first step in our collaboration with AASL and YALSA, we sponsored a Valentine’s Day Advocacy Call to Action. We send on a big “thank-you” to all who were able to participate. Watch for alerts as they are posted on the ALSC-L electronic discussion list ( If you do not already subscribe, consider treating yourself.

Keep in mind in this election year, there is no better time to acquaint your local and state officials with the issues involved, and the benefits they can derive from enhancing the assets of the communities they represent. Your best advocates are the families, teachers, and children that use your library. They may not be able to make it to Washington to make their voices heard on National Library Legislative Day, May 13 and 14, but you can help them to visit virtually by organizing a Virtual Library Legislative Day. To find out more, visit Make this the “Year of the Library” in your community. You will find the background information you need via the ALA Washington Office at You can also find complete contact information for your elected officials through the ALA Legislative Action Center at

To share your ideas and success stories, use the ALSC Legislation Committee wiki at Committee members will be happy to have you join in the conversation.—-Jeanne Lamb, ALSC Legislation Committee Chair

ALSC Supporters

Thank-you to all our latest contributors to the Friends of ALSC. To learn how you can contribute, visit and click on "Support ALSC" at the top, right of the page.

President's Circle

Susan Patron
Victoria Stapleton
Peggy Sullivan

Gold Circle

Mary Burkey
Leslie Holt

Silver Circle

Kathleen T. Horning

Notables' Circle

Barbara Genco
Lillian Gerhardt
Marilyn Hollinshead
Ginny Moore Kruse
Penny Markey
Cecilia P. McGowan
Sue McCleaf Nespeca
Carolyn Phelan
Pat Scales
Sue Sherif
Susan Veltfort

Friends' Circle

Marilyn Ackerman
Rita Auerbach
Kathleen Behrendt
Margaret A. Chang
Judy Constantinides
Bryan Darling
Candace Deisley
Randall Enos
Suzanne E. Gibbs
Jean Hatfield
Emily Holman
Sandra Imdieke
Diane Marshbank
Kate McClelland
Elizabeth Sahagian
Edward T. Sullivan

Back to Top of Page.

Bright Ideas

StoryTubes: Propelling Reading Energy

This spring public libraries and book publishers are joining forces to get young people talking about their favorite books. StoryTubes will be a national contest for kids in grades 1-6 to make two-minutes-or-less videos of themselves describing why they love their favorite book. They will upload their videos to YouTube and send the link to a partner library that is coordinating the contest in their geographic region. There, the child will pick a category for the video: "Hair-Raising Tales," "From or for the Heart," "Of Heroes and Heroines," or "Facts, Fads, and Phenoms," and ask to be entered. Partner libraries will enter the video into the StoryTubes contest.

During May, there will be voting mania as the top ten videos in each category go head to head. Each week there will be prizes supplied by publishers for the individual winners and their sponsoring library.

How can libraries across the country get involved? Please advertise the contest through your e-blasts, newsletters, and partner schools, and encourage your young customers to join. Then link to the contest Web site so your Web visitors can join the viewing and voting action.

The contest is based on a very successful contest that was run at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Ill. in 2007. The folks at Gail Borden thought that kids would enjoy talking about their favorite books on YouTube. They did and when the voting component was added, interest in the project was propelled student to student, parent to parent, and e-mail contact list to e-mail contact list.

In March 2007, Alice in Wonderland and Chasing Vermeer were neck and neck as the voting was furious. Kids waited in line at schools to cast their votes. Employees at different companies around town reminded other employees to vote for their child's video. In the end, Alice in Wonderland won the "People's Choice" award with 3,630 votes. More than 14,000 votes were cast over the two-week voting period. Those favorite book videos continue to receive heavy Internet viewing on YouTube. Six months later in September 2007, more than 35,000 people had viewed these videos that were generated and marketed locally.

Kids throughout the world continue to comment on those books and their reviews. In short, kids are hungry to watch, and interact with, other kids talking about books using current technologies.

The StoryTubes partner libraries are: Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, N.Y. (Northeast); The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County/ImaginOn, Charlotte, N.C. (Southeast); Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, Ill. (Midwest); King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash. (Northwest); and Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena, Calif. (Southwest).

The sponsoring publishers are Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, Eaglemont Press, DK Publishing, Charlesbridge Publishing, and Shenanigan Books. StoryTubes partners and publishers thank the Children's Book Council, ALSC, and Trev Jones for their support.

Please look for updates on this project. Marketing materials are being completed. If you would like further information about the StoryTubes library processes, please contact Faith Brautigam, director of youth services at Gail Borden Public Library, at 847-429-5970. For marketing information, please contact Denise Raleigh, director of marketing, development, and communications, at Gail Borden Public Library at 847-429-5981.—Denise Raleigh, Gail Borden Public Library

Kids Can “Clean Up” with Summer Reading

Kids earning an incentive in Multnomah County (Portland, Ore.) Library’s summer reading program will find a new coupon in the prize box: a “Clean up Your Library Card” coupon valued at ten dollars. As part of a pilot project, summer readers get the opportunity to “read off” up to $30 from their library charges.

Why offer the coupon? The library ran a “Clean up Your Library Card” promotion in January and February 2007 that found success in its good will with the public and staff, but did not realize its goal of unblocking a significant number of kids' and teens' library cards. Anecdotal feedback from that campaign as well as the library’s annual Teen Read Month charges reduction program that ran for several years demonstrated the interest and demand for alternate opportunities to reduce charges. By continuing to focus on good will with the new summer reading coupons, and by creating the opportunity for positive interactions between circulation staff and youth, the library adds a highly sought-after incentive to the summer reading program.

Here are the nitty-gritty details for those who want to know how it will work: participants who choose the coupon will redeem it at the circulation desk, where all cash transactions occur in our libraries. Circulation staff then removes up to ten dollars of a participant’s charges and enters a note in the participant’s online account that will enable the library to evaluate final results and prevent participant cheating. Because summer reading participants can earn a maximum of three self-chosen incentives while playing the summer reading game, participants will be able to reduce no more than $30 from their total charges. The coupon has no cash value and cannot be used for credit on future charges, and refunds will not be given for recently paid charges.

Many young library users have charges on their accounts that will inevitably lead to an interaction with circulation staff if they are ever to borrow from the library again. This pilot program increases the chances of it being a positive interaction because of the “Clean up Your Library Card” summer reading incentive.—Katie O'Dell, reading promotions coordinator, Multnomah County Library

ALSC/BWI Winner Targets Visually Impaired Students

Santa Clara City (Calif.) Library won the 2007 ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Grant.

Santa Clara City (Calif.) Library was honored to be the recipient of the 2007 ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Grant. We centered our grant proposal around a small population of children in the Santa Clara Unified School District. To be more specific, we extended a special invitation to the students in the Vision Impaired (V.I.) Program at Sutter Elementary School to participate in our Get a Clue @ your library Summer Reading Program.

With the $3,000 grant, we wanted to plan programs that would educate all of our participants about blindness, augment our Braille collection, and purchase an audiobook for each vision impaired child that participated in the summer reading program.

Planning the program involved meetings with the teacher of the V.I. program at the elementary school to coordinate sign-ups and selection of audiobooks for each student. I also did a lot of research on the Internet about organizations that help the blind. I sent out flyers and e-mails about our summer reading program to local centers that work with children with visual impairments. I also contacted the Silicon Valley Blind Center about Brailling the certificates for the V.I. students. The employees at the center were very excited and appreciative that the library was reaching out to the vision impaired students in the community and offered to Braille the certificates for free.

We felt that it was important for all of our participants to "Get a Clue about Blindness," so each child who registered for this year's program received a brochure with all of the summer's activities. Inserted in the brochure was a handout that included the National Federation of the Blind's "Courtesy Rules of Blindness," ten ways that sighted people can learn to be comfortable and at ease around a person who is blind.

We also offered a program by Guide Dogs for the Blind. The children were able to ask questions to a woman who is blind, and were extremely impressed and fascinated when she took out a Braille book and read a story to them. They were also amazed to learn that she can do just about anything they can, but that she just has to do it a bit differently than they would. The children also learned about how Guide Dog puppies are raised and trained. After the program, each child received information about interacting with people who are blind and a Get a Clue bookmark in Braille!

Another program we offered was by the East Bay Vivarium, a local shop that sells reptiles, amphibians, and other rarities, and offers educational programs about their animals. When booking this program, I asked if it was possible to set 30 minutes aside for the vision impaired students to get some hands-on experience with some of the animals before the rest of the children were allowed to come into the program. They were very receptive to this. Unfortunately, none of the V.I. students was able to attend the program on that day.

We ordered our audiobooks and Playaway digital books through BWI. Three students who do not attend the elementary school anymore were awarded their audio prizes and certificates soon after the new school year began. The rest of the students, still attending Sutter Elementary's V.I. program, received their prizes and certificates all together. The students and their parents were so proud to participate and receive such a wonderful prize for finishing the program. Overall, I felt that our first program with the vision impaired students was a success. I learned many things during the entire process and hope to make next summer even more successful.

I received an e-mail from one of the sixth grade students who chose a Playaway digital book. In his email he wrote, "The book is awesome. Thanks for making this program. I really enjoyed it...P. S. The new Braille books are awesome." A father of two of the students in the V.I. program, who is himself blind, told me how much he appreciated that the library was reaching out to these children. He said it meant so much to them, and to him as a parent, to know that the library respects these children and values them as part of the community, too. When you receive feedback like that, it is hard not to feel like you have made a big difference in the lives of these children. I hope to be able to make a difference to even more next summer. If you are interested in learning more about our summer reading program, please feel free to contact me at eulrich at or 408-615-2918.—Erin Ulrich, program coordinator, youth services, Santa Clara City Library

Back to Top of Page.

ALSC Voices

ALSC Profile

Andrew Medlar
Youth Materials Specialist
Chicago Public Library (CPL), Children and YA Services Department
ALSC Membership: One half of a great decade

Where did you attend library school?
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (before they had a good football team)

What attracted you to library service to children?
My mother is a retired adult services librarian and my father is a retired elementary school principal, so I guess it was my destiny to combine the two. From the age of one, I was always the first kid signed up for the summer reading program and, after years of pulling all of the picture books off of the shelves, it was poetic justice that as a library aide in high school I spent most of my time shelving picture books at Dayton Metro Library. So perhaps my current job of selecting library materials for kids is happy payback for that one library record album that I accidently broke (but did pay for) in junior high.

Why did you join ALSC?
ALSC is THE place to be. This is where you’re able to contribute to our profession, get to know interesting people with a shared passion, take advantage of tools and resources to make you more effective in your daily work, and play a role in helping kids have great lifelong library experiences not just in your own neighborhood, but across our country.

What to you is the biggest reward of being a children's librarian?
Playing matchmaker between kids and books, and then hearing them say, with their new discovery clutched tightly to their chest, “I LOVE this book!”

What is your favorite job responsibility?
Creating opening day collections. While all selection is satisfying and fun (I mean, what’s not to love about shopping all day?), the realization that those books are the foundation of a library that is in turn a foundation for the kids in that community is gratifying and humbling. The thought that a kid will pull a book, that I got to choose, off of the shelf this afternoon or in 10 years (although there better be some weeding going on in between), or that they’ll read Bread and Jam for Frances for the first time ever, is completely amazing! I’ll soon be starting on my 12th opening day collection for CPL and can’t wait.

What is the greatest challenge your library faces, particularly in the children's services dept.?
Continually finding effective ways to encourage and ensure that grown-ups understand the importance of early literacy and act on it by getting fun books into their homes that they will read and experience with their family. ALSC provides the inspiration and tools for so many great and practical ways of doing so and it’s up to us to spread this work to literally millions of people in Chicago.

What is the most popular children's program at your library?
Definitely our summer reading program. Each year we partner with a cultural/educational institution as a way of extending the program, connecting kids with their city, and creating a culture of reading for everyone. It must be working--last summer, together with the Chicago History Museum, we saw Chicago kids read 1,017,978 books! Also, thanks to the wonderful Chicago Public Library Foundation, our Teacher in the Library (certified teachers in branches after school for homework help) and Kraft Great Kids Museum Passports (free family entry to major Chicago museums) programs are beloved.

What are you currently working on at your library?
We’ve been busy. Our fantastic new integrated library system (ILS) is debuting this month and all of the books have been ordered for this year’s summer reading program with the Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago’s Department of the Environment, which is called Read Green, Live Green.

Also, this spring I’m extremely excited that we’re partnering with HarperCollins Children’s Books and that CPL will be the national epicenter for the launch of the republication of Shel Silverstein’s first collection poetry, Don’t Bump the Glump! Shel was a native Chicagoan and I still remember the very first time I heard one of his poems in elementary school, so our libraries will be Shelebrating all year long!

What is your favorite children's book and why?
To name a few: Drummer Hoff; The Giant Jam Sandwich; Bark, George; Vulture View; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Spud; and Charlie Brown’s Super Book of Questions and Answers. To find out why, you should go read each of them right now!

What are your hobbies?
Sleeping in, trying new restaurants, watching the Yankees, and laying on the beach in Puerto Rico. (Once I even managed to do all four on the same day. It was a good day.)

What three words best describe you?
Biblioholic, Anglophile, mageirocophobe

Back to Top of Page.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

And the Winners Are...

Information about ALSC's 2008 award-winning books, recordings, videos, libraries, and librarians is available at, click on "News."

Refreshed Born to Read Campaign Coming Soon!

ALSC is partnering with libraries and healthcare professionals to redesign the beloved Born to Read program that teaches expectant and new parents the importance of reading aloud with their babies, and raises awareness of the library's services and resources. Stay tuned for new graphics, updated brochures, Web site, and more. Already available are sale items featuring the new Born to Read logo on bibs and T-shirts. Check the ALA Store at For details, contact Linda Mays at

Bookapalooza 2008

ALSC is pleased to announce the winners of the second annual Bookapalooza program. Bookapalooza collections, which consist of books, videos, audiobooks, and recordings produced in 2007, and submitted by children’s trade publishers to the 2008 award and media evaluation committees for consideration, are intended to help transform each library’s collection and provide an opportunity for these materials to be used in each community in creative and innovative ways.

The three libraries selected to receive a collection of children’s materials are: Enid M. Baa Public Library, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Lena (Wis.) Public Library; and Montrose (Colo.) Regional Library District, Naturita Branch Library. The ALSC Executive Committee reviewed and scored the applications.

“As part of the review process for this second Bookapalooza program, I was reminded again how difficult it is for many libraries to serve children on very scarce resources. It’s a unique opportunity to help ALSC send these wonderful books out to libraries in need that will put them in the hands of so many children,” said President Jane B. Marino.

Information on how to apply for the 2009 Bookapalooza program is available on the ALSC Web site, Applications must be received by December 1, 2008, in the ALSC office. For more information, contact ALSC at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 2164; or e-mail:

Dora the Explorer™ joins the Día Celebration

For 2008, libraries across the country will join Dora the Explorer™ and members of ALSC and REFORMA in celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), also known as Día, on April 30. Día celebrates the importance of advocating literacy for every child, regardless of linguistic and cultural background. Dora the Explorer™, the popular children’s television character who invites children to share her adventures in learning, is featured in the Día 2008 brochure, poster, and bookmark.

Libraries showcase their various multicultural programs and services through Día celebrations. Día events support literacy and bridge cultures through bilingual book displays and story hours; family literacy fairs; bilingual writing projects and programs that will encourage parents to inspire their children to read.

Día honors children, their languages and culture; encourages reading and literacy; and promotes library collections and programs that reflect the country’s changing populations. For a brochure featuring multicultural book lists and tips on how to encourage children to read, please visit the Día Web site at Libraries that register their Día events through the Web site will receive complimentary copies of the brochure, while supplies last. In addition, posters and bookmarks are for sale through ALA Graphics at

2009 Nominations

The ALSC Nominating Committee is seeking members to fill positions on the 2009 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, click on "Board & Committee Work" and "ALSC Forms") and e-mail it to Carol Edwards, chair of the Nominating Committee, at cedwards at

Proposed Bylaws Changes

During the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, the ALSC Board discussed several changes to committee membership structure, some of which require amendment to the ALSC Bylaws. Any changes to the bylaws require a vote by the membership, with an announcement of the proposed changes at least one month before the election. An e-mail message was sent out to all ALSC members regarding the proposed changes on February 14, 2008. We also present the proposed changes and their rationales here, and we encourage you to vote in the 2008 election. These changes, if approved by the ALSC membership, would take effect with the 2009 slate. If you have any questions, please contact ALSC Executive Director Diane Foote at 312-280-2162,

I. Changes to Nominating Committee

Current wording, ALSC Bylaws X, Sec. 1:

At the Midwinter Meeting of the Board of Directors, the president-elect shall recommend for appointment by the Board a Nominating Committee of not less than three members to select candidates for election the following year. No member of the Board of Directors shall be appointed to this committee.

Proposed new wording:

No later than the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association, the ALSC Vice President/President-Elect appoints a Nominating Committee of four members plus the chair to select candidates for election the following year. No member of the Board of Directors shall be appointed to this committee. Members may serve more than once on the Nominating Committee, but not more than three times, and not more than once in five years, except for chairs, who may serve a chair term within five years of a term as a member of this committee.


It has been practice for a number of years for the Vice President/President-Elect to appoint the ALSC Nominating Committee; this change codifies that practice into our Bylaws. Also, it is desirable that the pool of candidates for this committee be as wide as possible, including candidates with experience. This bylaws change allows those with experience to serve again, but also encourages the appointment of those who have not had the opportunity to serve by placing a lifetime cap on the number of times a member may serve, and spacing the terms across five-year periods, as is done for the Newbery, Caldecott, and Sibert Committees.

II. Changes to Newbery, Caldecott, Sibert, and Wilder Committees

Current wording, ALSC Bylaws VIII, Sec. 2:

The Newbery Award Committee shall consist of the following fifteen (15) members: Seven (7) members to be elected annually from a slate of no fewer than fourteen (14), a chairperson elected annually from a slate of two (2), and seven (7) members appointed by the president.

The Caldecott Award Committee shall consist of the following fifteen (15) members: Seven (7) members to be elected annually from a slate of no fewer than fourteen (14), a chairperson elected annually from a slate of two (2), and seven (7) members appointed by the president.

The Sibert Award Committee shall consist of the following nine (9) members: Four (4) members to be elected annually from a slate of no fewer than eight (8), a chairperson elected annually from a slate of two (2), and four (4) members appointed by the president.

Proposed changes IN CAPS:

The Newbery Award Committee shall consist of the following fifteen (15) members: EIGHT (8) members to be elected annually from a slate of no fewer than SIXTEEN (16), a chairperson APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT, and SIX (6) members appointed by the president.

The Caldecott Award Committee shall consist of the following fifteen (15) members: EIGHT (8) members to be elected annually from a slate of no fewer than SIXTEEN (16), a chairperson APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT, and SIX (6) members appointed by the president.

The Sibert Award Committee shall consist of the following nine (9) members: FIVE (5) members to be elected annually from a slate of no fewer than TEN (10), a chairperson APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT, and THREE (3) members appointed by the president.



Currently, only four committees have any members at all that are elected rather than appointed: Caldecott, Newbery, Sibert, and Wilder; only three are currently listed in the Bylaws. While the Wilder Committee’s membership statement was changed by the Board in 1998 to indicate that 2 members plus the chair would be elected by the membership rather than appointed by the president, this change never made it into the Bylaws.

In addition, given the special administrative and managerial responsibilities of the award committee chairs, the ALSC Board suggests the appointment rather than election of chairs. The number of total positions voted on by the ALSC membership at large would not change.

Arbuthnot 2010 Suggestions Sought

The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award honors an author, critic, librarian, historian, or teacher of children's literature, of any country, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site. ALSC members are encouraged to send in suggestions for the 2010 Arbuthnot lecturer to Arbuthnot Committee chair Kristi Jemtegaard at kjemtegaard at

Early Literacy Training DVD

In 2006, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore., was awarded an LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant from the Oregon State Library to create a DVD training tool to help Oregon librarians enhance storytime with early literacy skills. Based on research from ALA’s Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® training program, this DVD defines the six early literacy skills that children need before they enter school and shows portions of 10 library storytimes infused with early literacy fun for children, and early literacy information for their families.

The DVD includes a guide with suggested activities and discussion questions that will deepen the storytime presenter's understanding of how to incorporate early literacy concepts in storytime. Research indicates that children get ready to read long before they go to school and their parents are the best teachers to help them prepare for reading. Library staff believes storytime is the perfect opportunity to foster children's early literacy skills, and to present early literacy information to families.

Storytime: Not Just for Kids Anymore is available free to Oregon libraries and for sale to others at for $25. The DVD/discussion guide is available in English only; running time is 30 minutes. For further information, call Renea Arnold at 503-988-5458.

Back to Top of Page.

Getting Together

Summer Reading Survivor: Overcoming the Challenges

While a surfer wants the summer to never end, many youth-serving library staff want just the opposite. While we all enjoy the traffic and excitement our summer programs bring, we can get a little overrun. So, if you want to be inspired and re-energized, and learn something new, too, then plan to attend the ALSC Preconference, "Summer Reading Survivor: Overcoming the Challenges" in Anaheim, Calif., prior to the 2008 ALA Annual Conference.

The program starts on Thursday evening, June 26 with folklorist and author Judy Sierra who is Wild about Reading. Mix and mingle with your colleagues at a reception following this kickoff. On Friday, June 27, meet poet, author, and illustrator Harry Bliss who will help you “Catch the Reading Bug!” Literacy educator Stephen Krashen will remind you why summer reading matters to kids. Breakouts and a panel discussion will focus on collaboration, partnerships, promotion, and online programs. Library director Ginnie Cooper will tell why she, as administrator, values summer programs. Gather ideas from poster sessions during the afternoon break featuring a variety of summer programs. Finally, award-winning author Pam Muñoz Ryan will have you shouting “Hooray! Ole! We love reading!” Leave feeling renewed and rejuvenated. Become a survivor and be ready for another exciting summer.

A separate registration and fee from the ALA Annual Conference are required for the preconference (event code SC1). However, if you do not plan to attend Annual Conference, you may still register for and attend the preconference only. Registration is available now at: Early bird registration closes on March 7, and advance registration rates then take effect. Advance registration closes May 16. After this date, registrations will only be available at the onsite rate.

ALSC Programs at Annual Conference

Don't forget to register for the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. at Early bird registration ends on March 7 and advance registration will be available until May 16. ALSC will be offering an exciting line up of programs including presentations on English language learners, taking your Every Child Ready to Read program further, Library 2.0 and children's services, readers’ theatre, and so much more. The Charlemae Rollins President's Program will feature Dr. T. Berry Brazelton and the preconference will focus on library summer reading programs. Check out the Web site for more detailed information at, click on "Events & Conferences."

William Morris Seminar

On Friday, January 11, 2008, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, the first William Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training was held. This day was made possible by the generous support of the late William “Bill” Morris, a long-time friend of AlSC, the first recipient of the ALSC Distinguished Service Award, and vice-president and director of library promotion at HarperCollins Children’s Books. The purpose of this seminar, which will be held every two years, is to tap new and younger ALSC members and train them in book evaluation so that they will be prepared to become successful candidates or appointees to the awards committees.

The day was electric. There were past chairs of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Wilder Committees on hand to share their experiences. KT Horning, ALSC past-president and author of From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books, used a slide presentation of award-winning picture books to discuss the criteria for judging illustration. Participants, who were selected from a pool of applicants, engaged in small group discussion of a pre-selected group of books. The level of discussion was remarkable.

There was plenty of time at lunch for individuals to engage in conversation with one another, and to informally ask questions of the facilitators. Those of us who have fond memories of Bill shared our favorite Bill stories with the group so that they could know a small piece of the man who made this day possible.

The evaluations of the seminar were off the charts. I congratulate those of you who were selected to participate in this first seminar, and I hope that you will encourage your young colleagues to apply in two years. In the meantime, there will be another event this year that is made possible by the Morris Endowment. Breakfast with Bill will be held at the ALSC Institute in Salt Lake City in September. It will be the perfect opportunity to network and celebrate Bill’s commitment to children, books, and the librarians who connect the two. We hope that you will join the leadership of ALSC for this special occasion.--Pat Scales, ALSC Vice President/President-Elect

Prepare to Head West, Pardners, for a Rip-Roaring Time!

The ALSC National Institute, September 18-20, 2008, in Salt Lake City, Utah, will feature three exciting tracks that will repeat on Thursday and Friday so that attendees may take advantage of two of the three tracks. Participants will also attend their choice of one of three Saturday morning workshops. The tracks are on the topics of technology and children’s services, programming in the new millennium, and inspiring lifelong reading with the best of the best in children’s books and a special focus on ‘tweens and reading. Thursday's opening general session and dinner will feature a keynote from a prominent author or illustrator. Friday will include a luncheon with a keynote speech as well as an evening reception featuring local authors. All educational programs will be held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center.

The first ever Breakfast for Bill, featuring a panel of children’s book creators, will be held on Friday morning. The breakfast, included with registration, will honor the memory of Bill Morris, longtime ALSC member and friend, recipient of the first ALSC Distinguished Service Award, and advocate for children’s librarians and literature.

Additionally, ample time will be scheduled for networking with colleagues and meeting new contacts. A mentoring program prior to and during the institute will help connect seasoned professionals with those new to the profession.

Registration will open in May and a link to the Hilton's online reservation system will be available from the Institute Web site. For additional information and registration rates, visit or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 2163.

Interested in Hosting the 2009 Arbuthnot Lecture?

Walter Dean Myers, widely acclaimed author of picture books, novels, poetry and non-fiction for children and young adults, will deliver the 2009 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.

Writing for children as early as the late sixties, Myers launched his career with the picture book Where Does the Day Go?” His career as a young adult author started in 1975 with the publication of Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff. Over 80 books later, Myers is best known for his gritty, realistic fiction novels that explore the contemporary teen world, notably Fallen Angels, Scorpions, and Monster, which won the first Michael L. Printz Award, honoring excellence in young adult literature. He is also a two-time Newbery Honor medalist, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a five-time Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor recipient and a five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner for outstanding contribution by an African American author or illustrator. Myers received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for “lifetime contribution to young adult literature” in 1994.

Applications to host the 2009 Arbuthnot Lecture currently are available at Look for a link to the form under “Breaking News.” Or, contact The application deadline is May 1.

Kerlan Collection Open to PLA Attendees

The Kerlan Collection, part of the Children's Literature Research Collections at the University of Minnesota (, is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with extended hours Thursday evenings until 8 p.m. Attendees of the Public Library Association National Conference are welcome during these hours. For advance retrieval of children's and YA manuscripts or art, view and then register and e-mail your request and anticipated time of visit to (E-mail requests for Thursday evening must arrive by 4 p.m.)

Join us for a special free public event on Wednesday, March 26, at 10:00 a.m. Curator Karen Nelson Hoyle will talk about the Kerlan Collection, and Megan McDonald will speak about her work as an author. Manuscripts by McDonald and many other authors will be on display. An autographing session will follow the presentations at 11 a.m.

For directions to Andersen Library and the Kerlan Collection, visit

Building Blocks: Early Math and Science Literacy Conference

The South Central Library System of Madison, Wis., is sponsoring an all-day Building Blocks: Early Math and Science Literacy conference on Wednesday, April 16, 2008. The conference will introduce methods for seamlessly including math and science themes in library programs for young children and their caregivers. The event is a component of a two-day celebration of art, architecture, math, and science that concludes on Thursday, April 17, with the 2008 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture, to be presented by David Macaulay at the Monona Terrace in beautiful downtown Madison.

For more information about all events, to register for the conference, and to request tickets for the lecture, please go to:

Conference Tips for First-Timers

Are you attending the ALA Conference in Anaheim? Need advice? Here’s what I learned last year in Washington, D.C. at my first ALA Annual Conference:

  • If you ask anyone what their advice is for the annual conference, they will answer "wear comfortable shoes."
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • If you're debating whether or not to go to the conference... go.
  • If it's your first conference, sign up for a mentor through the New Members Round Table.
  • Pick a hotel that is as close to the convention center as possible and is near public transit or an ALA shuttle bus stop.
  • If you love children's books, go to the Newbery/Caldecott Awards Banquet. Buy the ticket when you register for the conference or come after dinner and listen to the speeches for free. Be sure to read the books being honored in advance.
  • Get your resume reviewed at the ALA Placement Center. Sign up for a spot as soon as you arrive.
  • Put meal breaks on your schedule so that you don’t wind up hungry and exhausted.
  • Plan to go to the exhibit hall several times. Don’t take freebies unless you plan to use them or give them to someone else.
  • Talk to authors and take pictures during book signings.
  • Go to the informal happy hours and get-togethers.
  • Collect ribbons for your badge for all the divisions you belong to.
  • Make use of the convention center’s bag check so that you're not lugging heavy books around.
  • Talk to everyone. Lines are great places to meet people.
  • Enjoy every minute. Go again next year.

—Susan Kusel, ALSC student member, Rockville, Md.