ALSC Charlemae Rollins President's Program: Think with your Eyes!

Monday, July 1, 2013 | 1:00 - 3:00 pm | MCP S106b

Think With Your Eyes! Randolph Caldecott’s Perspective
View a short video presentation was prepared for the conclusion of the 2013 ALSC  President’s Program: “Think With Your Eyes!” Since the timing also coincided with the last moment in a year-long celebration of the Caldecott Medal’s 75th anniversary, program chair Wendy Lukehart couldn’t resist pondering what Randolph Caldecott might think of Visual Thinking Strategies and STEAM learning—elements of the program, as well as the twelve-month ALSC party in his honor. Of course all we have are his letters, sketches, art, and picture books to assuage inquiring minds. They offer some illumination if you look closely.
 
Conclude our year-long Caldecott celebration at the ALSC President’s Program in Chicago by experiencing a powerful method of engaging with pictures—and then exploring the value of using the technique with children. Whether the images are masterpieces on a museum wall, part of a picture book narrative, or photographs and charts in a science text, understanding and appreciating what we see is a skill that can be developed. In part one of the program, Oren Slozberg, Senior Trainer/Recent Executive Director, Visual Thinking Stategies (VTS), will invite audience participation as he introduces the process. This method has proven to be highly effective in public libraries and schools in developing observation skills, critical thinking, and civil discourse--powerful habits of mind across the curriculum and throughout life.  
 
In part two, library and museum partners will demonstrate how collaboration adds up to more than the sum of its parts in supporting visual literacy. Pat Bliquez, Teacher/Librarian at Roxhill Elementary in Seattle, will describe how she uses VTS across the curriculum, with Caldecott books, and in partnership with the Frye Art Museum. Elizabeth McChesney, Director of System Wide Children and Young Adult Services at the Chicago Public Library, and Mary Erbach, Assistant Director of Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago, will discuss the 20-year partnership between their institutions that has placed the intersection of visual and print literacy at the heart of their programs. They will be joined by Bryan Wunar, Director of Education at the Museum of Science and Industry, giving them the opportunity to describe how they are responding to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Summer of Learning” initiative in which STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programming transforms to STEAM by adding Art! Take inspiration from the design of their creative three-way collaboration that addresses 21st-century learning competencies—and imagine the possibilities for your library, whether you have local partners or simply access to the wealth of virtual museum resources.
 
This free program offers the latest research and replicable models supporting the value of training children’s eyes and minds to observe, think, create, and innovate. Please join us!
 
A resource guide is now availble here, and on the ALSC President's Program page in the ALA Conference Scheduler.  Follow this program at #alscprez13

About the ALSC Charlemae Rollins President's Program

This program is sponsored in-part by the Charlemae Hill Rollins endowment.  Rollins was born in 1897 in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and spent most of her childhood in Oklahoma in the company of her grandmother, a former slave. After teaching school in Oklahoma, she moved to Chicago with her husband and son.  It was at this time that her distinguished career in librarianship began with an appointment at Chicago Public Library in 1927.  When the George Cleveland Hall Branch opened in 1932, she was named head of the children’s room.  She remained in that position until her retirement in 1963.

Her work with children expanded beyond the storytelling and reading-guidance activities that she so deftly preformed.  In linking the children and their literature, she soon realized the critical inadequacy of materials relating specifically and positively to the black experience.  Thus began her career as a crusader against stereotypical images of black youth in children’s literature.

Mrs. Rollins held offices in the Illinois Library Association and the Catholic Library Association.  She chaired the 1956-57 Newbery-Caldecott Award Committee, and served as president of the Children’s Services Division (now ALSC) of the American Library Association from 1957 to 1958, becoming the first black librarian to lead the division.  Also as a first among her race, Mrs. Rollins became the first black woman to receive an honorary membership in ALA, an honor bestowed upon her in 1972.  Her other awards included the American Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in 1952; the Grolier Foundation Award of ALA in 1955; the Constance Lindsay Skinner Award of the Women’s National Book Association in 1970; and the Negro Centennial Award in 1963.

Adapted from “Charlemae Hill Rollins and her Peers,” by Pauletta Bracy, Public Libraries 21(3): 104-5 (Fall 1982); copyright ©1982 by the American Library Association for the Public Library Association.

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