ALSC Matters! | December 2012, Volume 10, no. 4

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

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

Officially Speaking

Connecting Communities: It’s All about Relationships

Our ALSC Division Leadership Meeting* at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim featured Dr. R. David Lankes of Syracuse University. The title of his presentation was “Making a New Promise with Our Community!” An initial comment made by Dr. Lankes was that “the mission of librarianship is to improve society through the facilitation of knowledge creation in their communities.” To make this work, it is essential that we engage in conversations with individuals and groups within our communities. And, it is vital that we remain connected to our communities.

How do we become (and stay) connected? Here are a couple stories from early in my career; and I’m sure you have many of your own.

Collecting. My husband is a practical kind of guy. On our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple back in 1989, he gave me a Rolodex (yes, that is Rolodex, not Rolex). Since we were planning a move from Texas to Ohio that summer, he thought it would be a good way to have all my contacts collected and organized. Looking back now, I can honestly say that this jumbo Rolodex has been one of my favorite and most useful gifts. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t roll through the numerous cards. It is filled with addresses of former and current students and colleagues; numerous contacts for libraries and librarians in Ohio and beyond; names and addresses of ALA and ALSC friends; business cards of representatives of publishers and other companies; and family members scattered across the country. It embodies both my professional and personal community, which has been built over many years, and the names included represent thousands of conversations.

Whether you choose a brand new Rolodex or a contact file on your computer, use this reflective time of year to organize and connect with your own communities of both professional and personal contacts. Think about all the future conversations to be had on behalf of those you serve.

Conversations. As the first elementary school librarian at Hillside Academy in Garland, Texas, in the late 1980’s, I was challenged to create a program of services and develop a school library collection for 300+ gifted and talented elementary school children. Their talents ranged from academics to art to music. We enhanced our small library collection with a speakers bureau made up of our enthusiastic community volunteers—parents, relatives, and local citizens. The library kept a file of volunteer cards that included contact information, availability, and the individual’s subject knowledge or expertise. We focused on asking our volunteers to share information about their hobby, profession, travels, etc. Our community stepped forward and we gained a rich file full of potential conversations between adults and children. One parent shared her hobby of ikebana (the art of Japanese flower arranging) with a group of students studying Japan; an anesthesiologist talked to first grade students after a fellow classmate had an appendix operation; a local gardener helped third graders create a butterfly garden outside their classroom window; and a commercial airline pilot talked to a class about his travels and career. These volunteer speakers shared new, first-hand knowledge with our students and engaged them in rich conversation that only could have been had with someone who was passionate about his hobby, profession, or travels.

Reach out to your community and engage in conversation to develop opportunities for new connections and meaningful conversations.

Relationships. Several years ago, our library school began a fundraising campaign. A foundation officer came over to speak with our faculty about connecting with possible donors. What resonates with me still is this: when people care, they give of themselves and they provide funding. Then, after a dramatic pause, he said, “You know, it’s really all about relationships….” And, isn’t that so true?

The new year can be a time of renewal, an occasion to grow community relationships on behalf of your library. And one way to do this might be to send thanks to individuals for their acts of kindness (help with a program, donation of books, volunteer time). A couple of years ago, I read John Kralik’s 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life (Hyperion, 2010) and since then I’ve tried to send more notes of thanks. Sometimes it is the little things.

In closing, I care deeply about the good work of ALSC because together we are creating a better future for children through libraries; and how are we doing that? We are working together to advocate for the very best in library services for children and we are strengthening our relationships as we learn more and better ways to serve. In turn, we then connect back with our communities through dialogue and interaction, which stimulate and enrich our children’s library service.

Many best wishes for the beginning of 2013. I hope your coming year will be filled with good memories, countless blessings, and rewarding personal and professional relationships. Thank you for your service to ALSC and to your community. Happy New Year!—Carolyn S. Brodie, ALSC President

*The slides and audio from the Division Leadership Meeting presentation are available on the blog of Dr. Lankes at Additionally, Penny Markey, chair of the Legislation and Advocacy Committee, provided a commentary on Lankes’ presentation on October 21, at For more thoughtful commentary, Dr. David Lankes recently published Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today’s Complex World (Lankes, 2012), which is “a rallying call to communities to raise the bar, and their expectations, for great libraries.”

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It's All about You: The Power in Numbers

So, this is the time of year when the nights grow long, and the realization dawns that, as ALSC Vice President/President-Elect, I have the responsibility of making approximately 700 committee appointments in the coming season. Yet, I am undaunted and sleep soundly through these long nights, thanks to you.

I know my fellow ALSC members to be committed contributors to the profession and the activities that support us in the field. The opportunities for engagement are as rich and varied as our membership. ALSC’s nearly 60 committees truly offer something for everyone. There are child advocacy committees, such as Early Childhood Programs and Services, Public Awareness, Intellectual Freedom, and School-Age Programs and Services, that produce materials and make recommendations on issues regarding children. Media evaluation committees—Great Websites for Kids; Notable Recordings, Books and Videos, (including the Carnegie Medal)—survey the plethora of materials produced each year and select the very best. We honor the contributions of fellow members and support the future of youth services through the work of our professional award and scholarship committees. Organizational support committees, like Membership, Budget, and Organization & Bylaws, are a great fit for members who would like to delve into the inner workings of the division. Our partnership committees, such as Quicklists Consulting and Liaison with National Organizations Serving Children & Youth, spread the word and work of ALSC beyond the library world and into other realms of influence, and likewise benefit from the insight and experience of our colleagues in related professions. Professional development committees, Education and Children and Technology, for instance, explore issues relating to children’s services. Finally, we have prestigious award committees, I’m sure you have heard of them, whose hard work and commitment result in the determination of the year’s most distinguished contributions to book and media materials for children.

The variety of our membership, its interests, and its working styles adds texture to our process and products. There is room for everyone in committee work, new and vintage members alike, and opportunities have expanded in recent years through the adoption of virtual participation on many committees. To contribute is as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Take a look at all of the committees and their descriptions on the brochure, ALSC COMMITTEES: A GUIDE TO PARTICIPATION at Committees with virtual members are designated with a [v] next to their title.
  2. Fill in a committee volunteer form. The link is available at Please be as thorough with your information and as flexible with your preferences as possible. Send the form to the ALSC office, and feel free to follow up with me via email at starralsc at and to introduce yourself to me at the Midwinter Meeting.
  3. Finally, find a “plus one.” Many of us came to our involvement in ALSC through the invitation and support of a friend or mentor. Please consider being that person for a new colleague or a library school student. As ALSC members, we know that the rewards of our profession increase exponentially through our work with the division and that we are greater than the sum of our parts. Encourage a friend to become engaged in ALSC activities and increase our expertise as a whole.

—Starr Latronica, ALSC Vice-President/President-Elect

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Thank You to Our Most Recent Donors

Many thanks to the following contributors to ALSC . To learn how you can support ALSC, visit and click on "About ALSC--Contact ALSC--Donate to ALSC” on the left-hand navigation menu.

Pura Belpré Award Endowment

Barbara Miller

Friends of ALSC

Gold Circle

Carolyn Brodie

Silver Circle

David Mowery
Judy Zuckerman

Notable Circle

Christine Caputo
Mary Fellows
Barbara Immroth
Maureen White

Friends Circle

Kathie Meizner
Connie Pottle
JoAnna Schofield
Jan Watkins

The Friends of ALSC has put out its first Annual Report. Learn how donor funds were used in 2012 to strengthen ALSC's services and resources. 

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Honoring Our Silver Anniversary Members

Congratulations to the following individuals who reached 25 years of ALSC membership in 2012. We appreciate your loyalty to the association and profession.

Margaret K. Burka
Corinne Camarata
Margaret A. Chang
Sonia J. Church
Doris C. Dale
Jana R. Fine
Linda R. Gabianelli
Margaret Glisson
Martha L. Hieber
Martha L. Johnson
Kathleen A. Kanarski
Annette Klause
Joanna Rudge Long
Carol S. Massingill
Cathryn M. Mercier
David C. Mowery
Grace Murray
Dr. Frederic J. O'Hara
Cynthia M. Olsen
Marie C. Orlando
Bronwyn W. Parhad
Kathryn M. Pappas
Ann Pentecost
Mary Catherine Peverada
Abbey-Jo Rehling
Michael A. Rogalla
Ann K. Symons
Kathryn M. Toon
Dr. Michael O. Tunnell
Susan M. Veltfort
Timothy R. Wadham
Virginia A. Walter
Gail Zachariah

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ALSC Voices

ALSC Profile

Faith Brautigam
Director, Kokomo-Howard County (Ind.) Public Library
(Previously, Faith was Director of Early Literacy and Learning Initiatives at Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, IL.)
ALSC Membership: 27 years

We appreciate your commitment and loyalty to the association and the profession!

Where do you currently work?
I am director of the Kokomo-Howard County (Ind.) Public Library 

Where did you attend library school?
I went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When I sing along with James Taylor’s “Going to Carolina in My Mind,” I really am.

What was your very first library position?
As a student at Houghton College, I shelved books in the college library. In fact, I worked there full-time the summer after my freshman year. Relocating the bound periodicals collection that summer is probably the reason my thumbs have no existing cartilage today.

What is your favorite ALSC memory?
I was walking down an aisle at the ALA exhibits and an author who was autographing books leapt up from her seat, rushed out, grabbed me into a hug, and said, “Thank you for changing my life!” The author was Joan Bauer, who recognized my name from the list of Newbery Committee members when Hope Was Here was selected as an honor book.

If you could give one piece of advice to library school students or new librarians, what would it be?
This invaluable advice is something I learned in grad school: it’s essential to learn to delegate, but in the process always remember to hang onto at least one task that you truly love.

If you weren’t a librarian, what would be your career?
In my fantasy life, I own a Bed and Breakfast in a beautiful historic home where I feed my guests wonderful baked goods, including Faith’s Almost Famous Cinnamon Rolls. Of course, I also have the industry-standard fantasy of being an acclaimed author. Since its fantasy, perhaps I can write my amazing novels at my B&B once breakfast is cleared away.

You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books and one food item do you want with you?
Popcorn would be a pretty flexible food to eat while reading the books I couldn’t live without. Three is an awfully stingy number, but I think I’d have to choose Murder Must Advertise, Surviving the Applewhites, and the Bible.

What are your hobbies?
Aside from the obvious—reading—I also enjoy bargain-hunting, puttering in the kitchen, and doing crafts and needlework.

What three words best describe you?
When I tossed this out to my Facebook friends, there wasn’t a lot of overlap. Based on the wide array of responses, I’ll say I’m eclectic. I’d also like to think I’m enthusiastic and resourceful.

Bright Ideas

Your Programs Need a Kick Start?

Are you searching for some new ideas to spice up programming in the new year? Well, look no further than ALSC's School-Age Programs and Services Committee has pulled together more than a hundred ideas for gaming programs, book-related activities, science fun, food fiestas, and more. These Kickstart programs represent the tried-and-true shared by committee members who have used them successfully in school and public library settings.

Winter is a great time to hang out indoors and have fun crafting. Here are a few craft program ideas from the website:

  • Cartooning for Beginners
    Seek out a local expert to teach kids the basics of cartooning. A high school art student may be more than willing to gain some experience and to highlight some of their own work.
  • Happy Henna
    Spend the afternoon learning about different types of temporary tattoos from around the world, then apply one (or more) to show off to your friends.
  • Puppet Making Workshop
    Provide a variety of materials - paper bags, socks, wooden spoons, etc. and let the kids be creative! Hang a tension rod in a doorway and drape with a sheet or blanket for an easy puppet theater.

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Picture This! Exploring the Art of the Picture Book

This summer the Westerville (Ohio) Public Library offered a seven-week class based on the art of the picture book for grades 3-5. Each week focused on the style and artistic technique of a picture book, and participants created their own artworks using that technique. Children began by making a portfolio in which to keep their creations from week to week. We started each program by reading the featured book aloud, followed by a video of the artist talking about his work or demonstrating the artistic process.

Books and techniques explored included Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar (collage), Beth Krommes’ The House in the Night (scratchboard), Wanda Gag’s Millions of Cats (printmaking), and Margaret Peot’s Inkblot: Drip, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity (inkblot).

Some activities extended from one week to the next, such as making textured paper to create the collages, so having the program in the summer over several weeks was essential.

One week featured two books, Olivia by Ian Falconer and Action Jackson by Robert Andrew Parker. We talked about Falconer’s effective use of limited color in Olivia, and then focused on the Pollock painting Olivia sees and imitates at home. After reading Action Jackson and watching a video of Pollock talk about how he painted, we went outside to the lawn in front of the library to try action painting, using sticks to splatter and drip, and walking around to view the artwork, just as Pollock did.

During the last class, we talked about what a curator does; chose a favorite art work; and children wrote an artist’s statement. The culminating event was an art show for families and friends.

I have a background in art history and my collaborator Becky is a fine artist, so we both brought different experiences to the program. We agree that Picture This! was one of the most fun and rewarding programs we’ve been involved in, and we are already thinking of possibilities for next summer.--Robin L. Gibson and Becky O’Neil, Westerville (Ohio) Public Library

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Stretch the Imagination with Yoga Story Time!

Can you picture a dozen toddlers and preschoolers quietly curled up on the floor, imagining that they are flowers waiting to bloom? There is no chatter, only a little wiggling, and everyone is listening. This is yoga story time.

Yoga Story Time began in the summer of 2009 as a program for school-age children called “Yoga Tales” where we would use yoga poses to act out entire stories; going to the beach, riding a roller coaster, going to the zoo, a warrior’s journey. It was popular with both the boys and the girls.

After learning that yoga is wonderful to practice with toddlers to reduce frustration and ease tantrums, I developed a weekly program for our youngest library patrons.

During the program, children ages 2 1/2 through 5 and an adult caregiver, practice simple yoga exercises, hear a story, play movement games, learn yoga partner games, listen to soothing music while practicing restful breathing, and participate in imagination activities. The adults participate as much as the children and they seem to really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. The adults are so focused on helping their children learn, there doesn’t seem to be any of the shyness and reservation you might find in a class for adults at the local gym. No prior experience with yoga is required, just a willingness to meow like a cat or hop like a frog.

Adult participants learn how to use yoga exercises and activities at home when their children are feeling cranky, restless, fussy, and angry. They learn how to help their children work through these frustrating feelings with relaxing poses and imagination exercises.

Before each class begins, the children and parents come in the room, take off their shoes (socks are optional), roll out their mats or beach towels, and have a minute or two to settle in and visit.

Each session begins with a welcoming game. We clap out our names and say the greeting “Namaste,” which we say with hands in the heart position (folded at chest level) and a small bow. I explain that this word comes from a far-away place called India and means “I like you, and you like me.” Many of the terms and phrases used by adults in traditional yoga are a bit too complex for the little ones, so whenever possible I try to put the meanings into simple terms. For the names of the poses, I try to use animals and images that they will recognize. Instead of saying “do the corpse pose,” I say “Savasana! Spread out like a starfish.”

After the greeting, we do a series of warm up exercises to music; starting while seated on the floor, then some kneeling poses, and finally standing and balancing exercises. Each week I introduce one or two new poses to the routine. Even during the warm-ups we are using our imaginations; pretending to smear peanut butter on our toes, scribbling with crayons attached to our shoulders, drawing rainbows on the ceiling, waving hello with our feet. I have large picture flashcards to help the children remember the poses and animals associated with them. Making the animal noises with the poses helps the children remember what shape to make and is good, silly fun too.

After the warm-ups we play partnering games, and other large movement activities. We play with scarves, balls, hula hoops, a parachute, bean bags, ribbon wands, and dance to lively music.

We begin to wind down by sharing a short picture book, usually one that ties in with something we learned or talked about in class, such as being a quiet listener, shapes, colors, or expressing feelings. (See a bibliography of suggested books and other resources.) Often the children will act out the animal parts in the story with the poses they have learned.

The class ends with quiet time and massage. I turn down the lights and put on some quiet music. The children and adults take this time to lie quietly, rub backs, stroke arms and legs, rock quietly, or just snuggle.

When the song is over, we play our goodbye game by rolling a ball to one another and saying “Namaste” again. Finally, we sit with our hands in the heart position and say an affirmation “I am smart (touch folded hands to forehead), I am loved (heart position), I am wonderful (open up hands wide)!” and get big hugs. Everyone goes home feeling relaxed and refreshed.

I have been practicing yoga for almost 25 years, and have been a dancer and dance instructor for almost 40 years. If you do not have a dance or fitness background or training, ask around at your local gym, dance school, and alternative wellness centers. You may find someone who you could collaborate with to lead the yoga portion of your class while you handle the stories and imagination activities. Even adding some wake-up stretching, or relaxing breathing to your regular story times will be beneficial and fun. Namaste!—Kara Cervelli, Perry (Ohio) Public Library

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Multnomah Introduces New Black Storytime Series

This past summer, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon, debuted its first in-the-library storytime series geared toward African American and African immigrant audiences. In 2010, the Oregon State Library approved the library's application for a Library Services and Technology Act planning grant to provide insight and recommendations on how Multnomah County Library could better work with African American families and agencies serving the Black community. The library wanted families and agencies to share ideas with contracted consultants that it could implement to help ensure that young children start out right when entering formal education. The library wants to better impact both the documented achievement gap and a poor high school graduation rate in the Portland, Oregon area. The new Black Storytime is a direct response to community members’ need for services that reflect African American culture and experience. Black storytimes are a natural extension of services the library already offers in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Cantonese, and Mandarin, as well as for families with children on the autism spectrum (Sensory Storytime). The broadening of existing services to include Black Storytime makes library offerings more complete by promoting library services to a wider and more diverse audience.

Many elements of Black Storytime closely resemble the library’s current storytime offerings. Youth librarian Kirby McCurtis has planned fun programs featuring music, rhyming, interactive songs, finger plays, early literacy hints for adults to use at home, and, of course, books and storytelling. While these are all features of the library’s traditional storytimes, Black Storytime has a unique flavor that reflects the experiences, language, and traditions of African and African American people. Although Black Storytime's target audience is Black families with children from birth to kindergarten, the library expects to see and welcomes diverse families attending these storytimes. Parents who have adopted African or African American children, multiracial families, and people who want their children to experience the full range of Multnomah County’s unique cultures will choose to add these weekly storytimes to their family's schedule. Families that attend Multnomah County Library’s Black storytimes will hear stories that feature African American characters, play games, and enjoy songs familiar to African American and the area's African immigrant cultures. The storytimes' success at its Midland branch has guided the library in expanding the pilot with two more Black Storytime series that were scheduled to start this past fall.—Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library (retired), Portland, Oregon

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Getting Together

Update on Summer Reading from ALSC, PLA & YALSA

Join ALSC, the Public Library Association, and the Young Adult Library Services Association for an update on summer reading, to be held during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, on Sunday, January 27, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Washington State Convention Center, Room 602-603. Representing ALSC are Theresa Webster and Cecilia McGowan.  Theresa, Librarian III at Los Angeles Public Library’s Central Library, will be discussing LAPL’s outcomes-based summer reading program, and how your library can evaluate summer reading program success.  Cecilia, Coordinator of Children’s Services at King County (Wash.) Library System, will take attendees through the steps her library system took to build an online component to their summer reading program, and how they’re improving this program every year. This session also will include an update on the progress of YALSA’s two minigrants made possible through funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The minigrants support the implementation of innovative summer reading programs for teens, especially to underserved teen populations and funding for libraries to train and use teens as interns to provide support during libraries’ summer reading programs. PLA will provide an overview of its IMLS-funded pilot research and design of a national digital summer reading (NDSR) program website application (app).

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2013 ALSC Preconference

Take a wild ride through the past, present, and future of award-winning children’s book art at this stimulating preconference, celebrating 75 years of the Randolph Caldecott Medal, to be held at the Art Institute of Chicago. Hear about the creative process from an array of Caldecott winners, as well as editors, art directors, and production managers. Engage with one another in small focus groups and interactive, critical discussions about past Caldecott medal books. Preconference will be held on Friday, June 28, 2013 from 7:45 am – 4 pm.

Confirmed speakers include: Paul O. Zelinsky, 1998 Caldecott Medalist; Brian Selznick, 2008 Caldecott Medalist; Jerry Pinkney, 2010 Caldecott Medalist; Erin Stead, 2011 Caldecott Medalist, and author Philip Stead; and Leonard Marcus, children’s book historian, author, and critic. Updated information, including additional speakers, will be posted on the ALSC website when it becomes available.

Registration opens January 7 and space is limited. The preconference is part of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference; separate registration is required, but attendees do not need to be registered for Annual Conference to attend the preconference only.

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Think with Your Eyes - 2013 ALSC President's Program

Conclude the year-long Caldecott celebration with us in Chicago at the President’s Program, which will feature a powerful method of engaging readers with pictures, followed by an exploration of the value of using this technique with children. The program takes place during the ALA Annual Conference on Monday afternoon, July 1, 2013.

Whether the images are masterpieces on a museum wall, part of a picture book narrative, or photographs and charts in a science text, processing and understanding what we see is a skill that can be developed. In part one of the program, Oren Slozberg, executive director of Visual Thinking Strategies, 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 the second half of the program, library and museum partners will demonstrate how collaboration adds up to more than the sum of its parts in supporting visual literacy. If you've ever wondered how to facilitate enriching conversations using art as a stimulus and where to turn for live assistance or virtual resources, this program is for you! More information will be posted on the ALSC website as it becomes available.

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Member News

Von Drasek Moves to Midwest and Special Collections

After 15 years at Bank Street College of Education as children's librarian and director of the Center for Children's Literature, Lisa Von Drasek has left New York for Minnesota. On November 1, Von Drasek became curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries in Minneapolis. Congratulations, Lisa!

Kudos, Leda Schubert

Leda Schubert's latest book, Monsieur Marceau: Actor without Words, was published in September 2012. A starred review in Kirkus called it "a stunning achievement," and a starred review in School Library Journal calls it a "superb picture book biography." The book also received a star from Booklist and is included on the Kirkus 100 Best Children's Books for 2012. Monsieur Marceau is illustrated by Gerard DuBois and published by FlashPoint/Porter/Roaring Brook. Congratulations, Leda!

See the complete Kirkus 100 list at

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Registration Open - Winter Online Courses

ALSC encourages you to sign up for a Winter 2013 online course. Registration is open for all courses. Classes begin Monday, January 14, 2013.

ALSC has increased the number of courses offering certified education units (CEUs). The American Library Association has been certified to provide CEUs by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

ALSC online courses are designed to fit the needs of working professionals and are taught by experienced librarians and academics. As participants frequently note in post-course surveys, ALSC stresses quality and caring in its online education options.

The winter line-up includes:

ALSC Core Competencies: Serving Children with Distinction and Commitment (6 weeks, January 14-February 22)

The Caldecott Medal: Understanding Distinguished Art in Picture Books (6 weeks, January 14 - February 22).

Information Literacy - From Preschool to High School (6 weeks, January 14 - February 22).

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs Made Easy (6 weeks, January 14 - February 22).

Series Programming for the Elementary School Age (4 weeks, January 14 - February 8).

Click on the links above for detailed descriptions and registration information; or visit Fees are $115 for personal ALSC members; $165 for personal ALA members; and $185 for non-members. Questions? Please contact ALSC Program Officer Jenny Najduch at or 1-800-545-2433 ext. 4026.

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Upcoming Webinars

This winter, make plans to attend an ALSC webinar. A convenient way to get professional development on the go, ALSC webinars are taught by experienced instructors in a comfortable Adobe Connect setting. In one hour or so, you’ll have more than a few ideas to use in your library!

ALSC members: Don’t forget that all webinars related to the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Medal are free!

For more webinar information, including times, fees, and registration, please visit

Below is a calendar of upcoming webinars:


Seeing the World through a Different Lens: International Films for Youth
Tues., Jan. 15, 2013, Noon - 1 PM CT


Expanding the Caldecott Experience: Programming with Caldecott Winning and Honor Books
Wed., Feb. 20, 2013, 11 AM - Noon CT*

Seeing the World through a Different Lens: International Films for Youth
Thurs., Feb. 21, 2013, 11 AM - Noon CT


Get to Know the Caldecott Winners
Tues., Mar. 12, 2013, 5 - 6 PM CT

Seeing the World through a Different Lens: International Films for Youth
Thurs., Mar. 14, 2013, 4 - 5 PM CT


Expanding the Caldecott Experience: Programming with Caldecott Winning and Honor Books
Tues., Apr. 9, 2013, 6 - 7 PM CT*

Seeing the World through a Different Lens: International Films for Youth
Tues., Apr. 23, 2013, 5 - 6 PM CT


Get to Know the Caldecott Winners
Thurs., May 16, 2012, 1 - 2 PM CT

*This webinar is being offered free to personal ALSC members. Registration for non-members is $55.

Archived Webinars. Missed a webinar you wanted to attend? Don’t worry! ALSC presents archived versions of webinars, which are offered at a discounted price. Archived webinars cost only $25. Please note that recorded versions are not available until all of the live sessions of that webinar have taken place. See the complete list of archived webinars at:

Online Education Proposals. Have an idea for an ALSC webinar or online course? The Education Committee is adding to ALSC’s online course and webinar offerings. If you are interested in teaching a course or webinar, please fill out the online education proposal form found at

Back to top of page Presents Key Lessons on Financial Literacy

What are the key lessons that kids need to know about money? Kids, parents, educators, and librarians can find out, via a highly-acclaimed, interactive website created by the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. Launched by White House in May, Money as You Grow presents the 20 essential money milestones that kids need to know as they grow. So far, the site has garnered nearly 500,000 visitors.

The site has been lauded in the press and met with glowing praise from Gene Sperling, director of President Obama’s National Economic Council, Cecilia Munoz, director of the President’s Domestic Policy Council, and Arne Duncan,Secretary of Education, who said it equips kids “with the knowledge they need to live fiscally fit lives.” offers librarians nationwide a fun, easy-to-use tool that’s full of down-to-earth information tailored for each age group (3–5, 6–10, 11–13, 14–18, and 18+) about everything from saving and spending to credit cards, student loans, and even investing.

Beth Kobliner, member of the President’s Advisory Council and chair of the Money as You Grow working group, says, “Research has shown that kids as young as three can understand the concept that you may need to wait before you can buy something you want—one of the most important financial lessons for people of all ages.”

Behavior-changing, age-appropriate activities support each milestone. “Pointing out to young children the need to wait for the swings at the park or for their birthday is the foundation for instilling the value of saving up for something they want,” says Kobliner. Of course, librarians can remind kids that sometimes they must wait for another kid to return a popular book before they can sign it out!

As a partner in the Council’s initiative, ALSC has created a Money as You Grow book list of over a dozen librarian-recommended titles that can help improve financial literacy. Money as You Grow was also selected as an ALSC Great Websites for Kids.

You’re welcome to use as a resource and to display posters, which you can print free from the website, in your library. Money as You Grow brochures will be available at the upcoming Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

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The Importance of Play

As part of the partnership with LEGO® DUPLO®, ALSC is committed to examining the role of play in early literacy. To that end, we have created a web resource that provides programming ideas, a librarian toolkit, and a white paper that addresses the importance of play in the lives of young children. The white paper, written for ALSC by Sue McCleaf Nespeca, was adopted by ALSC's Board of Directors on September 10, 2012.

Families across the US have had such a positive reaction to Read! Build! Play! (RBP) that we would like to strongly encourage your library to offer a RBP program the last two weeks of February: February 16-March 3, 2013. For the lucky 200 libraries that won the Read! Build! Play! Nominate Your Local Library contest you have probably received your toolkits filled with LEGO DUPLO bricks and books. The RBP librarian toolkit/guide (see link above to download) makes the implementation of this program extremely straightforward for all.

To raise awareness of the February/March Read! Build! Play! programs, ALSC will team up with LEGO DUPLO to promote these events via national, local and broadcast media. If you plan to host an event please let us know so that we can make sure your library/program is included in our outreach.

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Make Virtual Committee Work a Snap

Are you treading into the world of virtual committee work and looking for some direction and support? ALSC has compiled a Best Practices for Virtual Committee Work wiki. It offers: general tips and advice for virtual collaboration; FAQs about virtual committee work; a helpful guide for getting the most out of ALA Connect; online tools to help you accomplish virtual work; and a best practices forum for discussion.

Connect with ALSC Via Chats & Forums

Each month the Children & Technology Committee helps @ALSCBlog host a twitter chat online, and the number of participants keeps growing! If you'd like to suggest a chat topic, post it to the Children and Technology Interest Group in ALA Connect.

A transcript of the November chat, "Play Spaces in Libraries," is posted. To learn about upcoming chats as they are scheduled, visit the Chidlren & Technology Committee on ALA Connect.

The ALSC President and Board of Directors host quarterly Community Forums, live chats that allow members and leaders to discuss timely issues. For information on upcoming forum dates and topics and to find transcripts of past forums, visit the Community Forum webpage.

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Field Notes: News You Can Use

Time for Bedtime Math

Many parents know to read to their kids at night--but what about math? Bedtime Math is a nonprofit group that makes math a fun part of kids’ everyday lives, just like the bedtime story. Bedtime Math offers families a free, playful math problem daily, on everything from ninjas to flamingos. Their fun library programming ideas, including Pajama Parties and Summer of Numbers programs, incorporate hands-on math games. Learn more at

USBBY to Sponsor 2013 International Children's Book Day

The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) has been awarded sponsorship of the 2013 International Children’s Book Day (ICBD), which is traditionally celebrated on April 2, Hans Christian Andersen's birthday. Invited by USBBY, artist Ashley Bryan and poet Pat Mora have created an inspirational poster themed Bookjoy! Around the World for the 2013 celebration.

A Resource Guide with plans for programs and lessons to celebrate the day currently is being prepared. USBBY welcomes ideas for inspiring a love of reading and cultural understanding and awareness; see the International Children’s Book Day webpage at

Planning now for spring 2013 programs at your library? The USBBY website shares program plans, ideas, and materials that you can use from colleagues around the world at

Endangered Species Day - 2013

School and community librarians are encouraged to mark their calendars--May 17, 2013, is the 8th annual national Endangered Species Day. The U.S. Senate first proclaimed Endangered Species Day in 2006 and each year, events are held at zoos, aquariums, environmental groups, schools, wildlife refuges, parks, botanic centers, national parks, and other locations.

Libraries throughout the country have previously participated as a way to help educate young people and adults, and to generate further visibility of their library programs. Examples of libraries participating in the 2012 Endangered Species Day celebration include:

  • The Jefferson County Library in Louisville,Georgia, had a month-long display that featured books, photos, and other items highlighting endangered species and their habitats.
  • The town of Wise, Virginia, celebrated Endangered Species Day in several ways, including an exhibit of visual/audio/written materials about endangered species/conservation, at three regional libraries.
  • During the week of Endangered Species Day, the Scotlandville Library in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, provided book displays, as well as a children’s program with coloring pages and activity sheets to complete.

The Endangered Species Day website offers a variety of resources to help plan and host an event, including background information, planning guidelines, fliers, a reading list, and materials for children’s activities.

If you have any questions, contact David Robinson, Endangered Species Day director at drobinson at

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New Blog Focuses on Education and STEM

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) recently announced the launch of a new blog dedicated to the discussion of issues critical to U.S. and international education and workforce development. CEE’s blog will focus on the need to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for America’s future leaders while championing an interdisciplinary liberal arts focus for K-12 and university students.

The CEE is committed to a vibrant discussion on the blog forum and hopes to build a following of interested parties through regular updates and notable guest presenters. In addition to college affordability, commentary on the CEE blog will analyze how high-quality STEM education policy in the global community helps to address critical issues concerning healthcare, the environment, national security, energy, and agriculture.

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Exploring Science,a Engineering, and Math with Curious George

The team that produces the Curious George series on PBS and online has a new, free Curious George Family Activity Booklet (PDF), which invites parents and caregivers to join children in exploring science, engineering, and math through play. The booklet can be used as a handout or the basis of children's programming in the library.

Rcent results of an independent evaluation, conducted by Concord Evaluation Group, show that watching episodes of Curious George positively impact children's understanding of basic math and science. An Executive Summary of the research, the full evaluation, and a press release are available online

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Read. Download. Order. @

For more than 40 years, the Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC), part of the General Services Administration, has been a trusted one-stop source for accurate, complete, and concise government information to assist citizens in making important life decisions. Their new website URL is and it offers many downloadable PDFs and some publications are even available in e-reader formats.

Publication categories include, among many, Education (e.g., Helping Your Child Succeed in School, Parent Power: Build the Bridge to Success) and Health (e.g. Parents' Guide to Childhood Immunizations and The Teen Brain: Still Under Construction). Many publications are also available in Spanish. For complete details on requesting and downloading publications, visit

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Vendor News

Freedman Wins Ludington Award

This fall, the Educational Book and Media Association (EBMA) announced that Russell Freedman is the recipient of the 2012 Jeremiah Ludington Award. The award, named after EBMA's founder, is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the educational book business. Past winners have included Steven Kellogg, Jon Scieszka, Kevin Henkes, Mary Pope Osborne, Judy Blume, Tomie dePaola, Richard Peck, Lois Lowry, and Sharon Draper.

As part of the award, EBMA will presents a $2,500 check to the charity of Mr. Freedman's choice. He has designated that the donation go to the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), which has been serving the city for 133 years, and has over 25 branches. Mr. Freedman grew up in San Francisco, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, and was a frequent visitor to the Richmond/Senator Milton Marks Library Branch during his childhood. Congratulations, Russell Freedman and SFPL!

Read for the Record Wrap-Up

On October 4, 2012, adults and children came together for one day in celebration of Jumpstart's Read for the Record, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation. 2,385,305 children read Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by David Soman and Jacky Davis in big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between. Here are some highlights from the record-breaking day. Big plans are afoot for celebrating Jumpstart's 20th anniversary in 2013. Stay tuned to ALSC Matters! for details about 2013 Read for the Record and the Jumpstart anniversary. And visit their website.

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Students Elect Obama

The My Voice™ National Student Mock Election, the nation’s largest student-driven civics project, invited students to explore democracy and take part in the 2012 election. President Barack Obama emerged as the students’ presidential choice receiving 85.5% of the electoral votes (460) and Governor Mitt Romney receiving 14.5% (78).

My Voice, a digital initiative from the Pearson Foundation, encourages the student voice throughout the year, and supports many ways to use students’ opinions of the world at school and in every day life. Their website includes curriculum ideas, national polls to engage kids in topical discussions, promotional tools for connecting your community to "My Voice", and more.

Traveling Shows Feature Original Art

The Museum of Amerian Illustration at the Society of Illustrators curates and presents exhibitions availabe for hosting at various institutions. Exhibits include original works of art and supplemental materials such as text panels, DVDs, children's books, and promotional materials. An upcoming show, The Original Art: Celebrating the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration, consists of thirty-nine colorful works of art that were featured in the juried Original Art 2011 exhibition held at the Museum of American Illustration in New York City. Some of the artists represented include Rosalyn Schanzer, Lane Smith, Leo and Diane Dillon, and Sophie Blackall. Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans features art created by Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of the award-winning children’s book Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.

For more information about exhibits and pricing, visit the Society of Illustrators website

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