ALSC Matters! | August 2019, Vol. 17, no. 3

Officially Speaking | ALSC Voices | Bright Ideas | Getting Together | Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 

Officially Speaking 

2020 Here We Come! 

Strategic Planning

I can’t tell you how excited and honored I am to be your ALSC President!  Truly the penultimate achievement of my career because I am leading the nation’s, nay the world’s, preeminent group of dedicated library staff serving youth, their families, and caregivers. You make it all happen! We have exciting times coming up in ALSC, the most substantive of which will be the Board’s review of the Strategic Plan. As our plan is dynamic, we review it on an ongoing basis to ensure we are fulfilling our Areas of Strategic Action and objectives, but as we devised this as a three-year plan, we have set 2020 as the year when we do a deeper dive into a full review. We hope to know more soon about the changes coming to the Midwinter meeting and how it will affect ALSC, our members, our committees, and the important work we do.  

A New ALSC Year

With a new ALSC year there are new committee members, task forces, and board members. I want to express my thanks to outgoing Board Directors Amy Koester and Karen MacPherson, Fiscal Officer Paula Holmes, and Immediate Past President Nina Lindsay. Our division has grown stronger and wiser due to your hard work, dedication, and commitment. Welcome to new Board Directors April Mazza and Maggie Jacobs, new Fiscal Officer Amber Creger, and Vice President/President Elect Kirby McCurtis! They join the amazing group of continuing Board Directors Linda Ernst, Elisa Gall, Africa Hands, Sujei Lugo, Sue McCleaf Nespeca, and Amy Sears, Division Councilor Julie Dietzler-Glair, and Immediate Past President Jamie Naidoo. Check out the Board of Directors page for more information about the Board, our online meetings, which are open to members, meeting minutes, and more.  

Appointments have been made to process committees and members are beginning their exciting and important work. Appointments to Award, Media, Children & Libraries Editorial Advisory, Distinguished Service Award, and Arbuthnot Honor Lecture committees will be made this fall. To be considered for these committees, please ensure you have submitted a volunteer form.  

ALSC 2020 National Institute in Minneapolis

Program proposals are due September 10, 2019, for next year’s institute. Learn more about the application process and how to apply. We need great programs to ensure the institute is a success!     

Community Forum

Most years ALSC hosts four Community Forums to discuss issues and ideas of interest to our members. The forum can be focused on a successful program, an issue affecting youth serving staff, or a big question within ALA. The ALSC Board will be brainstorming ideas for the upcoming forums, so please send me your ideas to include in our discussions.

More to Explore!

I’ve shared just a few items happening within ALSC, but I hope you will take some time to subscribe to the blog, read ALSC Matters, the quarterly newsletter, and dig into all the amazing Publications & Resources. It’s there for you wherever and whenever you need it. 

I welcome your comments, suggestions, and ideas!  Please contact me when you have a moment.—Cecilia P. McGowan, 2019-2020 ALSC President  

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Council Report - 2019 Annual Conference

Hi, Everyone! It was wonderful seeing all 21,460 of you in Washington, D.C., at the 2019 Annual Conference. Our nation’s capital was certainly buzzing with discussions about books, intellectual freedom, the work of the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE), and much, much more. I hope you found time in your busy conference schedule to visit a museum or dine with friends at a new restaurant. I spent a majority of my time at conference in meetings with the fantastic ALSC Board of Directors and the incredible ALA Council. I’m pleased to provide this summary of the demanding, rewarding, and fun work of council.

ALA Council has three official meetings during the Annual Conference. During those meetings, we hear reports from various committees and vote on resolutions. Things started a little differently this year. Instead of proceeding right into business, the first two hours of Council I were devoted to a session titled “The Role of ALA Leaders in Living Out Our Values, Shaping Our Culture.” We threw Robert’s Rules of Order out the window and took the time to brainstorm and work in small groups. Many divisions and round tables within ALA are taking a sharpened look at Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). This session was one of the steps council is taking in that work.

Here are some of the actions taken by the ALA Council in June:

Did you know that any member of ALA can submit a resolution to be considered at the membership meeting? Two resolutions were approved at the membership meeting on Saturday, June 22. The resolutions were then considered by council during our meeting on Sunday, June 23.

Resolution in Defense of the Free Speech of Supporters of the Movement for Palestinian Rights, which read: 

“Resolved, that the American Library Association, on behalf of its members 
1. opposes the Combating of BDS Act of 2019 contained in S.1 and H.R. 336; 
2. opposes S.852, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2019; and 
3. opposes any federal, state, or local legislation that would restrict the First Amendment rights of supporters of the movement for Palestinian rights, including activists and supporters of the BDS movement.” 

Council voted to refer the resolution to the committee on Legislation, Intellectual Freedom committee, and International Relations committee with a report due at Midwinter 2020. Council wants the committees to consider intended and unintended consequences in how we coalition with other organizations on the hill. A member of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) will also be working with the three committees. 

Resolution on Renaming the Melvil Dewey Medal, which read:

“Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members, rename the Melvil Dewey Medal to remove Melvil Dewey's association with the award.”

This resolution was passed by council. 

The Intellectual Freedom committee has been diligently reviewing the interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights. They brought 13 drafts before council for review. All 13 were accepted via votes by council. Below is a quick list; the full text of the interpretations can be viewed in Part 1 and Part 2 of the IFC report. I’ll specifically draw your attention to #3 and #11 as they relate directly to children using the library:

1.    “Library-Initiated Programs and Displays as a Resource”
2.    “Diverse Collections”
3.    “Minors and Online Activity” 
4.    “Privacy”
5.    “User-Generated Content in Library Discovery Systems”
6.    “Education and Information Literacy” 
7.    “Economic Barriers to Information Access”
8.    “User-Initiated Exhibits, Displays, and Bulletin Boards”
9.    “Access to Digital Resources and Services”
10.    “Evaluating Library Collections”
11.    “Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors”
12.    “Rating Systems”
13.    “Intellectual Freedom Advocacy and Education”   

Why does this matter? These drafts can help guide libraries as they set policies and procedures. I recently referred to “Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors” as a comment on a Library Think Tank -- #ALATT Facebook post about minors using computers on the “adult side” of the library. Take a look and find the backup you may need.

Some of you may remember the Resolution Proposing a Task Force on Online Deliberation and Voting, which was passed at ALA Midwinter 2019. The resolution read: 

“Resolved, that the American Library Association, on behalf of its members:  
1. directs the ALA President to appoint a task force that includes, among others, the ALA Parliamentarian in an advisory capacity, with the following charge: 
a.  Explore options and develop a procedure to facilitate online deliberation and voting for Council outside of the ALA Annual Conferences or Midwinter Meetings; and 
b. Review the ALA Constitution and Bylaws to determine if the current guidelines meet the complexities of online deliberation and voting; and  
c. Report findings and recommendations to Council at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.”

The task force requested an extension and will continue to work through Midwinter 2020.

Why does this matter? Currently, the vast majority of council deliberation and voting occurs at the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. The recommendations of this task force may open up the opportunity for more work to be done in between conferences so that resolutions can be handled without having to wait for January or June/July.

Resolution on Library Service for Children in Detention at Migrant Detention Centers, which read:

“Resolved, that the American Library Association  
1. Denounces the existence of family and youth detention centers; 
2. Denounces the ongoing deplorable conditions in family and youth detention centers;  
3. Denounces the removal of educational and recreational programming, such as storytimes, from youth detention centers and calls for the reestablishment of these programs;  
4. Urges libraries with detention centers in or near their service areas to reach out to and work with local authorities, schools, and governmental support agencies;  
5. Strongly encourages libraries to perform outreach and provide access to materials for both education and entertainment in a variety of formats and media in as many languages as possible as appropriate for the populations being served; and
6. Strongly encourages libraries and library workers to provide services to migrant families and reexamine their policies to resolve any barriers to access presented to the access to services.”

Why does this matter? Books and other library materials and programs can provide education, entertainment, and comfort to children and families in these detention centers. This resolution urges libraries to reach out and help. Don’t know where to start? Check out this ALSC blog post (Library Service for Children in Migrant Detention Centers) by the Public Awareness committee for tips on finding US Immigration Detention Centers and information about the REFORMA Children in Crisis project.  

Resolution on eBook Pricing for Libraries, which read:

“Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:    

1. Creates a joint working group of representatives from ALA, ULC, ASGCLA, COSLA, PLA, LITA, ALCTS, RUSA, and other members to be determined to address library concerns with publishers and content providers specifically: 
a. to develop a variety of digital content license models that will allow libraries to provide content more effectively, allowing options to choose between one-at-a-time, metered, and other options to be made at point of sale; 
b. to make all content available in print and for which digital variants have been created to make the digital content equally available to libraries without moratorium or embargo; 
c. to explore all fair options for delivering content digitally in libraries; and
d. to urge Congress to explore digital content pricing and licensing models to ensure democratic access to information 
2. Develops an advocacy and public awareness campaign to provide accurate information about the true value of library purchasing of books to publishers.”

Why does this matter? Libraries are struggling to figure out how to respond to recent publisher changes in eBook pricing. The goal of this resolution is to take steps to alleviate those issues. 

As the ALSC Division Councilor, I also attended:

•    The Youth Council Caucus, which is co-convened by the Division Councilors from ALSC, YALSA, and AASL. This is a great way to hear what’s going on in the youth divisions and talk about issues that are especially important to all of us. Everyone (you don’t need to be a member of Council) is encouraged and invited to attend this informal meeting. The meeting facilitator and note taker rotates for every conference. ALSC facilitated at ALA Annual 2019 while YALSA took notes. Minutes will be posted to the Youth Council Caucus Connect page (login to ALA Connect required). 
•    One of the three Council Forum sessions scheduled for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday evenings These optional meetings offer councilors an opportunity to talk informally about resolutions that are being brought before the group during council meetings. Other meetings conflicted with the Saturday and Sunday sessions for me, but I was able to attend Monday’s session.

A complete list of Council documents for the 2019 Annual Conference can be found here. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Hope to see you all at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia!—Julie Dietzel-Glair, ALSC Division Councilor

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2019 Banquet Supporters 

ALSC sincerely thanks our Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy Banquet sponsors. We hope everyone had a memorable evening!

Gold Sponsors

Candlewick Press
Children’s Plus, Inc.
HarperCollins Children’s Books
Penguin Young Readers
Random House Children’s Books
Virginia Children’s Book Festival

Silver Sponsors

Disney Book Group
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Starscape/Tor Teen

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Thank You to Our Donors 

Many thanks to the following generous contributors to Friends of ALSC. To learn how you can support ALSC, visit our website.

Gold Circle

Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Notables Circle

Barbara Genco
Sue McCleaf Nespeca

Friends Circle

Rosemary Derocher
Therese M. Donahue
Sarah Dunson
Patrick Gall
Lolly Gepson
Caitlin Jacobson
Laura Jenkins
Susan Lindsey
Sujei Lugo
Donalyn Miller
Danielle Shapiro

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ALSC Voices 

ALSC Profile

Celebrating colleagues with 25 years or more years of ALSC membership

Angela Reynolds
Community Engagement Coordinator
Annapolis Valley Regional Library
Nova Scotia, Canada

ALSC Membership: 26 years

Where did you attend library school? 

University of Kentucky 

What was your very first library position? 

My first library job was a work-study job at Centre College of Kentucky, way back in the 1980’s. I shelved books, signed books out to students, and spent a lot of time reading. I always took the shifts no one else wanted, like Friday night, because I knew the library would be quiet and I could do my own homework while at the desk. 

What do you love most about your current job? 

One thing I get to do in my current position is “spread the word,” like a library evangelical. I am often asked to speak about picture books to parents, teachers, and students, so I get to share my current favorites and also talk about the library in general. 
Do you collect anything? 

I have several (ok, many) collections, including pop-up books, rocks, scary dolls, tin wind-up toys, alligators, View Masters and reels. My house is kind of like a weird little museum. 

What's your favorite family recipe? 

I have two favorites—fried chicken and derby pie. Messy and delightful. 

What would you do if you won the lottery?  

I would buy a fleet of funky cars, paint them, and hire librarians and other book lovers to drive around telling stories and giving away books to kids. Of course, I would need to travel to make sure the sites were happy and functioning well. I could spend some of that travel time looking at old books. If any billionaires out there are interested in this idea, please contact me. 

What’s your favorite myth, legend, or fairy tale?

Little Red Riding Hood. Thanks to ALSC and the Bechtel Fellowship, I had the opportunity to spend a month in Florida researching the story and now I love it even more. I am fascinated by the many variations that this story presents, from its somewhat gruesome origins to light and humorous, and the fact that it is still being told. And one of my very favorite parts of LRRH is that she does not get married to a handsome prince. Kind of rare for this type of tale.

What is the best compliment you ever received?  

My first Real Librarian Job was in a small rural library in Kentucky and a child there thought my name was Storytime. The best! 

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Bright Ideas 

Tiny Library, Big Impact

Imagine this...a 320 square foot re-purposed shipping container, designed to push the boundaries of what a library for the very young can be—a library that, through strategic space design, incorporation of traditional set and passive programs, targeted collections, and inclusion of highly specialized staff, is itself a program.

In Meridian, Idaho, this dream has come to life at the Tiny Library. The Tiny Library is a new way of thinking about library design and organization by designing by function, not format; with the ultimate goal being to equip youth with the skills they need to be ready to learn in kindergarten. In the space, there is a variety of moveable furniture that children have been known to turn into forts and castles (a father has even been spotted sporting a portable triangular fold-out mirror as he became a dragon and captured his daughters in their “castle”). Interactive magnet and felt boards line the walls, and bins full of legos and puppets are in reach, creating a literacy rich experience. The small size of the space also adds value, making interactions between caregivers, children, and librarians natural and easy.

Additionally, each week, this small but mighty library offers traditional programs ranging from baby storytime, to STEM programs, to storytime yoga, to playdates and educational classes for caregivers. Passive pop-up programs and collections rotate quarterly and align with the early literacy practices of talking, reading, writing, singing, and playing. The passive programs are developmentally appropriate for the age groups of 0-2, 2-3, and 3-5, and are designed to make it easy for caregivers to practice the early literacy theme of the quarter with their child. 

Since opening in October 2018, we’ve had over 1,400 patrons use the Tiny Library and more than 600 attend its traditional programs. Literacy is quickly becoming integrated into family routines. One couple, for example, brings their toddlers to the Tiny Library to play for an hour while they switch off working out in the YMCA. The Tiny Library is set on the site of a unique collaborative called The Hill; a multi-partner community campus including an elementary school, city park, YMCA, and St. Luke’s health clinic.

It’s been an exciting adventure and we’re eager to keep learning! Our next steps are to articulate meaningful methods of assessment for “space as program.” As you can see from the statistics above, we’ve been using traditional methods to keep track of door count and traditional program attendance but we also look forward to researching and creating new ways to measure the effectiveness of the space on learning outcomes.--Skye Corey, Meridian (Idaho) Library District

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Two Glittering Librarians & Their Storybook Shoes!

New Orleans, Louisiana, librarians Soline Holmes and Alicia Schwarzenbach spent several months “sparkling” in an effort to get books into the hands of children.  Of course, glitter is usually the bane of most librarians…as it does not mix well with books.  But, both Holmes and Schwarzenbach rode in the Krewe of Muses parade in New Orleans on February 28, 2019.  

Mardi Gras parades are known for their “throws” which include beads, cups, plush stuffed animals, and “signature throws.”  As one of the City’s all-female krewes, the Krewe of Muses, founded in 2000, is known for its signature throw of glittered, decorated high-heeled shoes.  These shoes are coveted by paradegoers.  

The glittered shoes are such a big industry in New Orleans that an entire store devoted to glitter, feathers, and sequins opened at the beginning of this year to serve Muses and other New Orleans Krewe members.  NOLA Craft Culture was founded by some Muses members, and the store prides itself on custom blends of glitter because “It’s not a hobby, it’s a way of life.”  (The store also offers year-round workshops and classes to teach how to glitter shoes and make other crafts.)

Last year, as a librarian, Holmes decided to combine her passion for books and libraries with the shoes she was decorating for the parade.  She called them “Storybook Shoes.”  The shoes are decorated to match children’s story books and are packaged with the accompanying book.  This year, to go along with the matching books, Holmes and Schwarzenbach decorated shoes of Corduroy, Pippi Longstocking, The Snow Queen, The Secret Garden, The Polar Express, A Cricket in Times Square, Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series, and Adam Gidwitz’s Through a Glass Grimmly (that was complete with a glittered vine coming out of the back of the shoe). Holmes’ favorite shoe was her Mother Goose high-heel that included scenes from Hey Diddle Diddle, Humpty Dumpty, Hickory Dickory Dock, and Mother Goose herself.    

Each shoe takes several hours to make as the shoe has to be purchased, spray painted, covered with a base coat of glitter, decorated with additional glitter patterns and designs to match the theme of the shoe, adorned with feathers and beads, and then sprayed with a sealant.  Of course, while glittering, the two librarians multitasked by listening to audio books and to library podcasts for collection development.      

People from around the world come to New Orleans for Carnival season, and Muses shoes are coveted throws as each Krewe member is only allowed to distribute thirty shoes during the parade.  

This year, actress Patricia Clarkson served as the honorary Muse and led the parade made up of 26 floats.  During the parade, Holmes and Schwarzenbach handed out the shoes and books to children along the parade route.  Each package included a note (on a due date slip, of course!) inside the shoe stating, “You have just caught a Storybook Shoe” and encouraging children to read and to visit their local public library to find more books.  The librarians also created an email account so that the lucky paradegoers who caught a Storybook Shoe could write to say how they liked the book and where their shoe wound up in the world.  And, of course, these glittering girls will be ready to provide further book recommendations to paradegoers who write to them!

Along the route, the glittering librarians encountered paradegoers begging for shoes.  Chants of “Shoe!  Shoe!  Shoe!” could be heard.   Throughout the crowd, there were clever signs (“My dog ate my shoe, so I need a new one,” “Cinderella lost her shoe,” “I am looking for a good sole”) asking for shoes.  Other paradegoers tried bribery as the librarians were offered bottles of champagne in exchange for a shoe.  While Holmes and Schwarzenbach gave some of the shoes to friends along the route, the majority were given to strangers.  It is fun to see complete joy as you place a shoe in the hands of an unsuspecting child.  Holmes saw one paradegoer with a sign that said “Storybook Shoe!!!”  Of course, this lucky mom received an Elephant and Piggie shoe!
While it was hard to part with some of the Storybook Shoes, Holmes and Schwarzenbach were excited to be sharing their passion for reading with children.  Krewe of Muses’ motto is “Happy Are They Whom The Muses Love.”  As librarians, Holmes and Schwarzenbach add that “Happy Are They Who Love to Read!”--Soline Holmes, New Orleans, Louisiana

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Bookmaking Competition Fosters Imagination and Creativity

This past spring, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, announced the winners of the 33rd annual Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition for grades 3-12. According to the New York City Department of Education, the competition “inspires the creative spirit in students to craft picture books as vehicles for self-expression, encourages the study of the picture book genre, and promotes bookmaking as a career opportunity in the arts.”

The winning books and honorable mentions were exhibited in the youth wing at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch in May. Citywide and borough winners and honorable mention recipients also were given medals, and citywide winners received $500, and borough winners, $100. Each team of educators who assisted the winners received a certificate and a collection of children’s books contributed by Penguin Random House, the publisher of the books of Ezra Jack Keats.
“For the eighth year, Brooklyn Public Library is proud to showcase the beautifully innovative books made by our city’s talented young writers and illustrators,” said Kimberly Grad, coordinator of School Age Services, Brooklyn Public Library, a competition judge, and ALSC member. “The students who participated in this year’s EJK Bookmaking Competition truly embody the spirit of Ezra Jack Keats, who inspired so many readers and writers with his groundbreaking work.”

To check out the winning books, 2019 award catalogue, and full list of winners, visit the 2019 contest winners website

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Getting Together

Save the Date: 2020 Midwinter 

Early bird registration and housing for the 2020 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, will open Wednesday, September 11, 2019.

Need to make your case to attend? Visit the Midwinter website for examples that show how you can be considered more valuable to your institution after attending an ALA conference. 

Make your plans to attend and...
be in the room as we cheer for the 2020 youth media award winners; 
participate in in-depth learning and educational sessions;
make new connections with colleagues from across the country.

For all the details as they become available, visit the ALA 2020 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits website.

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Sacramento to Host 2020 Arbuthnot Lecture 

The May Hill Arbuthnot committee selected Sacramento (California) Public Library, to  host the 2020 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Neil Gaiman, Newbery Medal-winning author and library advocate. 

The lecture will be held next spring and an announcement of the date and time will be made in the fall. Complimentary tickets will be available upon request by early next year. Watch the 2020 lecture webpage for details as they become available. 

Neil Gaiman, born in England, is a United States resident. His work has been honored with many awards internationally, including the Newbery Medal. He is credited with being one of the creators of modern comics, as well as an author whose work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages. Gaiman is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama and a vocal defender of the freedom to read.

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Save the Date: ALSC Institute 

The ALSC 2020 National Institute will be held October 1-3, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

The Institute is everything you need in one place--programming, keynotes, networking, and much more. This intensive learning opportunity with a youth services focus is designed for front-line youth library staff, children’s literature experts, education and library school faculty members, and other interested adults.  

We hope to see you in Minneapolis!

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Member News 

Mary Schreiber, Cuyahoga County Public Library (Ohio), has authored Partnering with Parents: Boosting Literacy for All Ages, now available from ABC-CLIO. This resource offers best practice examples of programs, collections, and services for libraries seeking to increase their focus on family engagement.

Dr. Mona Kerby, Westminster, Maryland, has written An Introduction to Collection Development for School Librarians, Second Edition (ALA Editions/AASL, 2019). With an informal and practical approach, the guide provides beginning librarians with the essential steps to effectively manage a vibrant school library collection.

Katie Campana, Kent State University School of Information, in partnership with J. Elizabeth Mills and others at the University of Washington Information School, has been awarded an IMLS Research in Service to Practice grant of $421,533 for “Project Voice (Value-Sensitive Design of Outcomes Informing Community Engagement) for Libraries. The project focuses on researching and developing a social justice, outcomes-based planning and assessment toolkit that provides hands-on assistance for library staff who want to better support young children (ages zero to eight) and their families from underserved communities through outreach programs and services that nurture children’s early learning and development with an emphasis on equity, engagement, and empowerment. Congratulations, Katie and Liz! 

Vicki Oatis, Norwalk (Conn.) Public Library, was one of thirty-six librarians selected from a highly competitive pool to participate in ALA’s Leadership Institute. The institute is designed to help participants develop and practice their leadership skills in areas critical to the future of the libraries they lead and allow them to form a vibrant learning community and network. With content based on real world cases and nuanced situations, participants will explore topics related to the greatest challenges and possibilities of leading in a future marked by turbulence and ambiguity. Best wishes, Vicki!

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Fall Online Courses from ALSC 

Registration is open for our Fall 2019 online courses. All classes begin Monday, September 23. Offerings include:

Contemporary Issues in Action: Ethics for Librarians (4 weeks)
Instructor: Dr. Erika F. Hogan, Ethicist, Library Associate
An introduction to the principles of moral reasoning in application with special consideration of the tensions that may arise in professional ethics for librarians.

Full STREAM Ahead: How to Take Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to the Next Level with Maker Kits (6 weeks)
Instructor: Angela Young, Head of Children's Department, Reed Memorial Library
Learn more about STREAM, meshing the sciences, art, reading and writing, and the importance of cross curriculum education.

Postmodern Picturebooks: Changing Minds for Life (5 weeks)
Instructor: Diane Hamilton
Explore the potential of several postmodern picturebooks to draw children in and excite their imaginations and develop practical resources for using these books with young readers.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs Made Easy (4 weeks)
Instructor: Angela Young, Head of Children's Department, Reed Memorial Library
Learn how to provide educational programs using STEM without going to school to become a scientist and how to present and adapt programs for multiple ages.

Full descriptions and registration information is available online. Fees are $115 for personal ALSC members; $165 for personal ALA members; and $185 for non-members. Questions? Please contact Kristen Figliulo, Program Officer, Continuing Education, by email or phone 800-545-2433, x4026.

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ALSC to Partner with Children's Museums on "Welcoming Spaces" 

ALSC received a $150,000 National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The association will partner with the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) on a two-year project to host a one-day Welcoming Spaces National Forum in Chicago (June 2020) to compile a best practices resource for libraries and children’s museums serving people who have recently immigrated to or sought refuge in the United States. Invited forum attendees will include 12 children’s museums, 12 libraries and up to 24 of their partnering organizations. ALSC was chosen for one of 36 awards from an initial group of 138 preliminary proposals and 63 full proposals. 

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Morris Seminar Applications Sought 

ALSC is seeking applications for its seventh biennial “Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training,” to be held on Friday, January 24, 2020, immediately prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Morris Seminar brings new ALSC members and members with limited evaluation experience together with those who have served on ALSC’s media evaluation committees for training and mentoring in the group process and in children’s media evaluation techniques. The seminar will result in new and emerging leaders for future ALSC evaluation committees.

The Morris Endowment supports those selected to attend the training seminar by offering the seminar at no charge to the attendee and covering all materials, breakfast, lunch, and afternoon break on Friday. To help defray additional costs for hotel and other expenses, a $350 stipend for each attendee also is provided by the endowment.

Information and the application form are available online. Applications must be received by September 2, 2019. Applicants selected to attend the seminar will be notified in early October.

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Emerging Leader Applications Open 

Applications for the 2020 class of Emerging Leaders (EL) are now open! Details on program criteria as well as a link to the application is on the Emerging Leaders webpage. ALA's EL program is a leadership development opportunity that enables newer library workers to participate in problem-solving working groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. EL puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism. ALSC will sponsor one 2020 Emerging Leader. Apply today! The application deadline is August 31, 2019.

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2020 Awards & Notable Books - Send Us Your Suggestions

ALSC personal members are welcome to suggest titles for the 2020 media awards and Notable Children's Books list. An online suggestion form for each award is available online. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2019. For more information about each award, visit ALSC's “Awards, Grants & Scholarships” pages.

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2020 Distinguished Service Award

Remember when you were just starting out as a librarian or given your first ALSC committee assignment? Who was that special person who reached out to you, inspired you, or led the way? Perhaps they motivated you to jumpstart a new program or introduced new ideas that you could take back to your own community!

Recognize that individual by nominating them for the 2020 Distinguished Service Award. The worthy recipient will receive $2,000 and an engraved pin at the ALSC  membership meeting at the 2020 ALA Annual Conference. Further information on criteria and the nomination form can be found online at http:// Contact Mary Beth Dunhouse , committee chair, with your questions.

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Call for Program Ideas: Annual Conference and ALSC Institute

ALSC is now accepting proposals for innovative programs for the 2020 ALA Annual Conference and the 2020 ALSC National Institute. Be part of this exciting professional development opportunity by submitting your program today!

Each event has its own site for submitting a proposal:

2020 Annual Conference
To submit a program proposal for the 2020 Annual Conference, please visit the ALA online submission site. Please note that ALSC's Call for Proposals is being hosted through ALA's Call for Proposals site. The submission deadline is September 10, 2019. Please use the ALA submission site and select "ALSC" as your submission unit. The 2020 ALA Annual Conference is scheduled for June 25-30, 2020, in Chicago, Illinois.

2020 National Institute
To submit a program proposal for the 2020 Institute, please visit for the submission form and instructions. All proposals must be submitted by September 10, 2019. The Institute is scheduled for October 1-3, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The ALSC Program Planning Committee is looking for a wide range of themes and topics such as advocacy, technology, multiculturalism, administration and management, early literacy, research, partnerships, best practices, programming, and outreach. ALSC committees, members, and other interested individuals are welcome to submit a proposal. 

Please contact JoAnn Jonas, chair of the ALSC Program Coordinating Committee, if you have questions.

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Call for USBBY Representative

ALSC is seeking a personal member interested in representing ALA/ALSC on the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). One representative will be selected by the ALA Executive Board to serve a two-year term from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021. If you are interested in representing ALA/ALSC on the USBBY Board, please complete the online application, which also requires a cover letter addressed to the ALA Executive Board, resume/CV, and one letter of recommendation no later than Friday, August 25, 2019
Applicants must: 

  • Be a current ALSC personal member
  • Have demonstrated experience in evaluating, selecting and promoting children’s literature
  • Attend all USBBY meetings and conferences during the term of appointment.  Expenses to attend USBBY meetings/conferences are the responsibility of the individual or their institution.  USBBY, ALA and ALSC do not provide financial support 
  • Have knowledge of key ALSC services and resources in order to serve as an effective liaison between USBBY and ALSC’s Board of Directors
  • Be a competent user of new technologies, such as electronic chat and meeting platforms, in order to accomplish work in a virtual environment between meetings
  • Have demonstrated leadership skills necessary to serve on an organization’s board of directors

For more information, including board member responsibilities, required documentation, and timeline, please see the application page. To learn more about USBBY, please visit their website. If you have questions about the application process, please contact Anne Michaud, ALSC Program Coordinator.

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Congratulations to Our Scholarship Winners

Four recipients were awarded ALSC's Bound to Stay Bound Books scholarship, made possible by Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. Each recipient will receive $8,000 in scholarship aid for the 2019-2020 academic year. The recipients are: Henry Christopher, Denver (Colorado) Public Library, attending University of Washington; Anna Elizabeth Mitchell, Belmar Library, Lakewood, Colorado, attending University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Marcella Ovalle, KIPP Camino Academy, San Antonio, Texas, attending University of North Texas; and Gina Samaniego, Dows Lane Elementary School, Irvington, New York, attending University at Albany.

The Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship, made possible by contributions from librarians, professionals, and others associated with the field of children’s literature, was awarded to Rosa Flores, Albuquerque (New Mexico) Public Schools, attending San Jose State University and Alondra Gaddis, Channelview (Texas) Independent School District, attending Texas Woman’s University. The Melcher provides $8,000 in scholarship aid to each recipient. 

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I Love My Librarian

Nominations for the 2019-2020 I Love My Librarian Award are open now through October 21. The national award recognizes the outstanding public service contributions of librarians working in public, school, college, community college or university libraries who transform communities and improve lives. 

Ten librarians will receive $5,000, a plaque, and a travel stipend to attend an award ceremony during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Philadelphia. 

For further information on eligibility and the nomination form, visit the I Love Libraries website.

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ALA Releases Libraries' Guide to the 2020 Census

Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census is a new resource to prepare libraries for the decennial count of every person living in the United States. The U.S. census is required by the Constitution and determines congressional representation; district boundaries for federal, state, and local offices; and allocation of more than $800 billion annually in federal funding to states and localities, such as grants under the Library Services and Technology Act. Libraries across the country provide access to a plethora of statistical data published by the U.S. Census Bureau and help businesses, government agencies, community organizations and researchers find and use the information.

The Guide includes:

basic information about the census process;
highlights of new components in the 2020 Census, such as the online response option;
frequently asked questions;
a timeline of key Census dates; and
contact information and links to additional resources.

In addition to the 18-page guide, ALA will continue to add resources to for library practitioners in the months leading up to Census Day on April 1, 2020. 

To download the Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census and subscribe to ALA’s 2020 Census newsletter, visit ALA’s 2020 Census web page, which also contains links to ALA policy statements about the census and primary data sources.

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Diversity in Children's Lit Revisited

An updated infographic, “Diversity in Children’s Books 2018," was released in June. The resource was created using publishing statistics, gathered by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, on children's/YA books about populations including American Indian/First Nation, Latinx, African/African American, and Asian Pacific Islander/Asian Pacific American. The new infographic, revised from an earlier 2015 version, illustrates not only a lacking amount of existing literature, but also the inaccuracy and uneven quality of some of these titles. To learn more and view the infographic, visit Sarah Park Dahlen's June 19, 2019, blog post titled, "Picture This: Diversity in Children’s Books 2018 Infographic."

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Shihab Nye Named Poet Laureate

The Poetry Foundation selected Naomi Shihab Nye as its Young People’s Poet Laureate, serving from 2019 to 2021. The Young People’s Poet Laureate works to raise awareness of young people's natural receptivity to poetry and their standing as the genre's most appreciative audience. Recent laureates include Margarita Engle (2017-2019) and Jacqueline Woodson (2015-2017). To learn more about Shihab Nye, visit the Poetry Foundation website.

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New Racial Equity Resource

The Project READY (Reimagining Equity and Access for Diverse Youth) online racial equity curriculum went live in June at

The curriculum, funded by IMLS, consists of 27 modules, designed to be worked through by individuals or small groups. Modules are organized into three sequential sections: Foundations, basic concepts and issues that are fundamental to understanding race and racism and their impact on library services; Transforming Practice, exploration of how these foundational concepts relate to and can be applied in library environments; and Continuing the Journey, how library professionals can sustain racial equity work and grow personally and professionally after completing the curriculum. 

The curriculum is the combined work of 40 researchers, practitioners, administrators, and policymakers, and youth from a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds. It is grounded in the work of scholars of color and Indigenous scholars who have thought and written about issues related to institutional and individual racism, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

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Comstock-Gág Award-Winning Read Alouds

Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) has chosen the best read aloud picture books in its Comstock-Gág Read Aloud Book Awards program. 

The 2019 Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award winner is Don’t Blink, a humorous, interactive book with an owl narrator, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by David Roberts. 

The Wanda Gág Honor titles are: Blue, written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, and Don’t Eat Our Classmates, written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins. 

The 2019 winner of the Comstock Read Aloud Book Award is Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse, written by Marcy Campbell and illustrated by Corinna Luyken. The book's striking illustrations highlight this imaginative story about friendship and acceptance.

The Comstock Honor Book is: The Day War Came by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb.

The awards program is administered by the staff of the MSUM Livingston Lord Library’s CMC, which holds a large collection of children’s books and resource materials for in-service teachers. For more information, visit the award website.

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