CAL author guidelines

Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children ( CAL) is the official publication of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). CAL is the vehicle for continuing education of librarians working with children, which showcases current research and practice relating to library service to children and spotlights significant activities and programs of the division.

Manuscript Submission and Publication

  • Submit manuscripts that are neither under consideration nor accepted elsewhere.
  • Send four copies of the manuscript to the CAL editor at the address below. (One copy if sending by e-mail.
  • Editor will acknowledge receipt of all manuscripts and send them to at least two referees for evaluation. ( See Manuscript Referee Process.)
  • Accepted manuscripts with timely content will have scheduling priority.
  • During production phase, page proofs will be sent to authors to confirm copy accuracy and answer copy editor queries.
  • Authors receive two complimentary copies of the journal at publication.

Manuscript Preparation

  • For information on formatting your manuscript, editorial style, guidelines for text and art, and copyright forms, contact the editor at the address below.
  • For citations, use endnotes as described in the fourteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style, section 15.
  • Submit manuscripts and text (including references, tables, notes, and bibliographies) to the editor by e-mail as a rich text or Microsoft Word file attachment or copy the text directly into the body of an e-mail message, or send on CD. Illustrative material (such as high-resolution digital images) MUST be sent via CD formatted for a PC.
    Full length features: fifteen to twenty pages, double-spaced. (e.g., scholarly, research and “best practice” articles).
    Short features: three to ten pages, double-spaced. (e.g., interviews with authors, librarians, or others involved with library service to children.)
    The Last Word: 500-750 words, double-spaced

Long and short features should be well researched with themes relevant and of interest to children’s librarians and all those involved and interested in library service to children.

The Last Word is an end page feature that will run in each issue and highlight brief, light, or humorous essays from children's librarians, such as: a humorous story about a library experience; a short trivia quiz or puzzle about children's literature; a brief, creatively-written insight on library service, children's literature, or programming; a very short question-and-answer interview with a popular author; a funny story about what kids are overheard saying in libraries. The Last Word will be a place for children’s librarians to share these stories and get their name in print. Please send your ideas or finished stories to the editor.

  • Attach a cover sheet indicating the title of the article and the full name, title, affiliation, phone number, fax number, e-mail address, and complete mailing address of the first author.
  • Include a 200-word abstract.
  • Place tables on separate pages. Notations should appear in text for proper table and figure placement (e.g., “insert table 1 here”). Provide a title and caption for each table and figure.
  • Supply charts and graphs as spreadsheet programs or as graphics files (tiffs or high-resolution jpegs). Camera-ready copy is also acceptable. You need not provide graphs in final form. If you prefer, you may provide a rough version, or even a sketch. If so, please mark all data points clearly. We will create the graphic. You will have a chance to review the graphic when you review your typeset pages during the proofing stage.
  • Photos can also be included with manuscript. Color or black and white photos are acceptable. We also can accept digital images of at least 300 dpi resolution. (Pictures from the Web are not of sufficient quality for printed material because their resolution is too low.) Photos will be returned to author(s) after publication.
  • Submit files in either Microsoft Word or WordPerfect format.
  • Double-space the entire manuscript, including quotes and references. Insert two hard returns between paragraphs.
  • Number all pages
  • Use a minimal amount of formatting in disk files. Specialized formatting may be lost in translation from one program to another; mark specialized formatting with text instructions such as <extract>. Do not use the automatic footnote/endnote feature on your word processing program; create endnotes manually at the end of the article.
  • Label the disk with the first author's name and all file names.

Writing and Bibliographic Style

CAL follows the fourteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.

  • Authors are responsible for accuracy in the manuscript, including all names and citations.
  • Editor may revise accepted manuscripts for clarity, accuracy, and readability, consistent with publication style and journal audience.

Author Copyright Agreements

In the event that an author's work is accepted for publication in CAL, the author is required to sign a copyright agreement with ALA/ALSC. For more information and/or to download the copyright forms, visit the  ALA Publishing Web site .

Send correspondence to Sharon Korbeck Verbeten, CAL editor, at 820 Spooner Ct., De Pere, WI 54115, phone: 920-339-2740, e-mail:  CALeditor@yahoo.com.

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