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. 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. 
CAL publishes four times a year: spring, summer, fall, and winter, and our issues deadline about six months prior to publication, so there is usually a fairly lengthy lag time between acceptance of an article and publication. Each issue runs 40 pages. 
Articles are unpaid but do include author byline, bio, and photo.

Scholarly/Research Pieces

We are a refereed publication, so scholarly/research-based manuscripts are submitted to a referee peer panel for blind review. In addition to articles based on experiences such as the Bechtel Fellowship or other grant programs, authors are welcome to submit manuscripts based on their personal research projects, assessments, dissertations, surveys, and other studies. 
Graphs, illustrations, charts, and other statistical data are encouraged to be submitted with the manuscript. 

"Best Practice" Pieces

CAL wants to hear about your library’s successful (and even the not-so-successful) children’s programs. There is something to learn from everyone’s planning, preparation, funding, and execution.
Submit a write-up (most articles run 1,500 words or less) detailing your library’s program. Include as much pertinent information as possible, including: 
  • How the program was funded
  • How the program was marketed/promoted
  • Program attendance
  • Planning/preparation timeline and checklist of materials needed
  • Execution of and feedback on the program
  • Quotes from staff and attendees
  • High-resolution photos from the event

Other Features

CAL welcomes shorter or longer features on well-researched topics and themes relevant and of interest to children’s librarians and others interested in library service to children. Past topics have included services to special needs children; early literacy programming; censorship; digital books and other technologies; assessments of special library collections; interviews with children’s books authors/illustrators, and more. Please feel free to query editor Sharon Verbeten with ideas by email.

The Last Word

This end-page feature runs in each issue and highlights brief, light 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. Length should not exceed 300 words. 

Submission Guidelines

Submitted manuscripts may not be under consideration, nor accepted, elsewhere.
E-mail submission is preferred via Microsoft Word format. Copy should be in 12 pt. Times New Roman and double-spaced. 
Authors are responsible for accuracy in the manuscript, including all names and reference citations.
Manuscripts should be formatted per the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) and must include full and accurate citation information. To format citations, use numbered footnotes/endnotes (Humanities style) as described in the most current edition of CMOS.
Editor will acknowledge receipt of all manuscripts and send scholarly/research pieces to at least two referees for evaluation. Please allow four to eight months for referee process to be completed. 
All copy is subject to editing for space, grammar, clarity, accuracy, and other considerations. 
Photos are most welcome of any programs, author visits, or related events. All photos submitted must be high resolution (300 dpi). Any photo depicting a child  must be accompanied by a photo release form  signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian. Any photos submitted that are not the property of the author or his/her institution/organization must be accompanied by a signed photographer’s release form.
If a manuscript is accepted for publication, page proofs will be sent to authors to confirm copy accuracy and answer copy editor’s queries. 
If a manuscript is accepted, 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 website. 
Authors receive two complimentary copies of the journal upon publication. 

Send correspondence and manuscripts to Sharon  Verbeten, CAL editor, at 820 Spooner Ct., De Pere, WI 54115, CALeditor at For more information, please feel free to call the editor at 920-339-2740,


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