ALSC Matters! | February 2020, Vol. 18, no. 1

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

Officially Speaking

2020 – Year of Change and Discovery! 

So many wonderful events, papers, decisions coming up in ALSC; please join in and help us as we prepare our association for a new year. 

A New ALSC Year
What amazing winner, honor, notable books, media were announced on January 27!  I hope you will take some time to read, listen, and explore all the titles.

ALSC 2020 Election
Please mark your calendars to vote (March 9 – April 1, 2020) for ALSC officers and committee members. We rely on you, as a member, to select and vote for the best candidates for the many committees and board director positions.  Please make your voice heard!  Thank you to the candidates who are willing to stand for election and an extra thank you to the Nominating and Leadership committee for working so diligently to select a diverse, well qualified, and dedicated slate of members!  Chair Thom Barthelmess and members Carmen Boston, Amy Seto Forrester, April Roy, and Madeline Walton-Hadlock. 

ALSC 2020 National Institute in Minneapolis
Registration is now open for the October 1-3 Institute: Dive In: Engage, Amplify, Activate!  Don’t delay as the event sold out in 2018. What better time to visit Minneapolis than fall? It’s cooler, there isn’t any snow and you can spend the Institute learning and sharing in one place, not have to travel from one location to another.  

Community Forum
Our first Community Forum for 2020 is coming up quickly!  As most of you are aware, the ALSC Board is proposing realignment to some of our committees into different priority areas in order to better serve our members and to even out the number of committees within priority areas. Join us for the discussion on Tuesday, February 18, at noon CST. Registration information will be posted soon – check the Community Forum page for a link. To prepare for the online discussion, please read through the Aligning Committee Structure spreadsheet.

More to Explore!
In case you missed it, we have two publications worth reading and using: 

Engage, Cultivate, Provide, and Assess: An Outreach Model for Serving All Children and Families. This white paper outlines a research-based model of outreach development for libraries to connect services with children and families, particularly for those in underserved communities. I want to thank the research team, J. Elizabeth Mills, Dr. Kathleen Campana, and Dr. Michelle H. Martin for their incredible work on developing this resource for us. 

ALSC’s National Research Agenda for Library Service to Children (Ages 0-14). This research agenda outlines a prioritized list of six strategic research areas and questions to be examined. Another big thank you to the Task Force, led by co-chairs Dr. Kathleen Campana and Brooke Newberry.

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. They are there for you wherever and whenever you need them.

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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Councilor's Report – 2020 Midwinter Meeting

Hi Everyone! The 2020 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia was interesting especially with Reading Terminal Market next door. Be honest – how many times did you visit the Market? And how many donuts did you eat? When I wasn’t eating delicious food, I was attending meetings as a member of the Executive Committee of the ALSC Board of Directors and as the ALSC representative on ALA Council. I am pleased to submit this report with a recap of Council actions and discussions at the meeting.

Council officially voted to change the name of the Melvil Dewey Award. It is now called the ALA Medal of Excellence. 

  • You might recall The Resolution on Renaming the Melvin Dewey Medal from the 2019 Annual Conference. After the resolution was passed by a vote at the Membership Meeting, it was brought to Council and approved. 
  • The ALA Award Committee took that information and submitted the new name to Council for approval at this meeting. 

Council approved the Resolution Ensuring Intellectual Freedom and the Right to Peacefully Assemble at ALA Conferences and Meetings, which read:

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

1. requires that the ALA Council approve all internal restrictions to First Amendment rights at all ALA events proposed by all ALA offices, ALA committees, or other ALA bodies.”

  • If you click on the link, you’ll notice that the resolve clause originally read “…at ALA Midwinter Meetings and ALA Annual Conferences...” An amendment was made during deliberation which is why the text is different in the original Council document.
  • This resolution was in response to “The Square,” which was a “free speech zone” proposed for the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Council approved the Resolution in Opposition to Charging Prisoners to Read, which read:

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

1. Condemns the existence of for-profit programs that charge incarcerated people for access to reading material, acknowledging such programs only serve to deepen existing inequities, barring free access to information for all people. 
2. Strongly encourages all library workers, particularly those in states with for-profit prison reading programs, to contact their state legislatures to express their concern over the denial of access to information these programs pose to incarcerated people.”

  • Did you know that some prison libraries have gotten rid of physical books? They now have information on tablets and they charge prisoners to use the tablets.
  • I had no idea this was happening. This is one of the intriguing things about attending a conference or meeting; you get to learn about things outside of your library bubble.

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.”

  • At the 2019 ALA Annual Conference, the task force requested an extension to continue to work through Midwinter 2020. They came back at this meeting with a report showing that a majority of people surveyed are comfortable with online deliberations and voting. 
  • I think this finding is especially interesting: “93% indicated they are extremely or somewhat comfortable participating in online meetings--which is 5% higher than their comfort level with face-to-face meetings, a statistically significant variance.”
  • We should expect to see some piloting of online work for Council meeting.

Another resolution from ALA Annual was brought before Council again. The 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.” 

  • At the 2019 ALA Annual Conference, 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 wanted the committees to consider intended and unintended consequences in how we coalition with other organizations on the hill. 
  • After hearing the reports from those three committees, the resolution was voted down by Council.

ALA Council is watching the financial status of the American Library Association closely. There were many discussions and opportunities for Councilors to ask questions about ALA Executive Board Document 12.39 while we were in Philly. More information will be reported as it becomes available.

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. Everyone (you don’t need to be a member of Council) is encouraged and invited to attend this informal meeting. We were excited to have four of the eight people standing for election to the ALA Executive Board in attendance. They were each given a chance to speak about youth issues and how they will bring those to their work on the Executive Board if elected. We also discussed youth librarian representation in ALA. Are you a member of ALSC, YALSA, or AASL? Have you ever considered running for Council or other ALA positions? Think about it because your voice is important.
  • All three Council Forum sessions scheduled for Saturday afternoon, Sunday afternoon, and Monday afternoon. These optional meetings offer Councilors an opportunity to talk informally about resolutions that are being brought before the group during Council meetings. 

A complete list of Council documents for the 2020 Midwinter Meeting can be found here. Please feel free to contact me if I can answer any questions. Hope to see you all at ALA Annual in Chicago!—Julie Dietzel-Glair, ALSC Division Councilor
 

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Thank You to Our Friends!

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

President's Circle

Cynthia K. Richey

Gold Circle

Anonymous
Maria Gentle 
Chris McMahon

Silver Circle

Linda Perkins
Carol Phillips
Grisela Rodriguez
Caroline Ward
Jeffrey and Troi Kaz
Judy Zuckerman

Notables Circle

Therese Bigelow
Nancy Bujold
Christine Caputo
Amber Creger
Bruce Farrar
Mary Fellows
Diane Foote
Barbara Genco
Lolly Gepson
B. Allison Gray
Paula Holmes
Kathleen T. Horning
Amy Kellman
Barbara Klipper
Amy Koester
Starr Latronica
Nina Lindsay
Marge Loch-Wouters
Cecilia McGowan
Matthew McLain
Claudette McLinn
Linda Pavonetti
Cheryl Perez Shrake
Vicky Smith
Aimee Strittmatter

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Friends Circle

Marilyn Ackerman
Kimberly Alberts
Emily Bland
Christopher Brown
Ramona Caponegro
Gretchen Caserotti
Julie Corsaro
Angela Critics
Margaret Cunningham
Rosemary Derocher
Arika Dickens
Alison Ernst
Linda Ernst
Jean Gaffney
Elisa Gall
Adrienne Gillespie
Zachary Guthrie
Africa Hands
Dona Helmer
Anna Holt
Kathleen Isaacs
Maggie Jacobs
Caitlin Jacobson
Kathleen Jarombek
Jane Johnston
Katherine LaRocca
Sujei Lugo
April Mazza
Kirby McCurtis
Kathie Meizner
Emily Mroczek
Elizabeth Nolan
Gail Nordstrom
Charli Osborne
Rachel Payne
Randy Placek
Sharon Rawlins
Alena Rivers
Connie Rockman
Mara Rosenberg
April Roy
Grace Ruth
Marion Rutsch
Michael Santangelo
Elizabeth Schoenfeld
Mary Schreiber
Laura Schulte-Cooper
Amy Sears
Lisa Soper
Audrey Sumser
Jen Taggart
Mary Voors
Beatriz Wallace
Ashley Waring
Lucinda Whitehurst
Susan Zeigler
Nancy Zimmerman

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ALSC Profile

Celebrating colleagues with 25 years or more years of ALSC membership

Roxanne Feldman
Middle School Librarian (for the past 23 years, working mainly with 4th-8th graders)
Dalton School (an independent K-12 school)
New York, New York

ALSC Membership: 26 years

Where did you attend library school?

The Palmer School, Long Island University, New York

What was your very first library position?

My entry to official librarianship was as a Children's Librarian Trainee at the New York Public Library. And my first "branch library" is the one deep in the heart of Chinatown. I believe that had a lot to do with why I was hired: my bilingual proficiency and my masters degree in Children's Literature from Simmons College. It's a superbly busy library with mainly first- or second-generation Chinese immigrant kids as our patrons. I was reluctant to be viewed as valuable simply due to my heritage but the trainee program, which gave us experiences in reviewing, book selection, readers advisory, programming, storytelling, budgeting, and much more, definitely was invaluable.

What do you love most about your current job?

So many things. Connecting with students over books has always been a major reason for the joy of this job. Connecting with former students, continuously, over new book recommendations and recalling all the series we once adored together is another refreshing source of happiness for me. My institution also gives me a wide berth on projects and community wide event planning. A party planner at heart, I’ve organized many school wide events with colleagues and students: for example, a professional development day with more than 60 workshop offerings, Miyazaki Film Festival, Asian Teahouse, Book Quiz Show, and an annual Hero Con, where we invite graphic novel creators, writers, cosplayers, and social activists to connect through an entire afternoon of workshops, games (archery, Harry Potter Zone, drag-queen story hour, etc.) and artists alley. I feel entirely embedded in my community this way. So, I guess the one word summary is: belonging.

What's your favorite season?

I love Fall (and Winter): first off, I hate heat; don’t really like the sun. And I enjoy a sense of melancholy so Fall works better for me than Spring. 

What would you do if you won the lottery?

I love this question. I do not buy lottery tickets because I don’t believe in the system of taking away necessary money from people who actually might need those dollars by giving them mostly false hope of potential earnings. However, I definitely fantasize about having some excess funds. If it’s a huge sum - I will probably purchase an apartment that I can fully decorate and build floor to ceiling bookcases!  (We’re still renting after 30 years living in NYC.)  If there is any left over -- donate the rest to the Equal Justice Initiative. 

Are you most comfortable in your kitchen or in your living room?

Definitely the living room—where I watch TV, read, and play board games, with family and friends or alone. I love to eat but definitely not an eager cook. My husband does all the cooking for us and entertains friends with all kinds of yummy offerings: Italian, French, Thai, Korean, Chinese, etc. 

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Bright Ideas

Kindergarten Readiness Kits

The Brunswick Children’s staff recognized a need to support early literacy and school readiness as part of our public library mission. In 2018, Brunswick Library Kindergarten Kits were developed as part of a school and department focus to provide that kindergarten readiness support. The library has an excellent relationship with the school district, and the community is very responsive to our partnership.

Library staff developed the kits as passive activities that could be used at any time in the library by our patrons and as a supplement to staff-led kindergarten events. While staff were creative and repurposed materials already in the department, we also purchased a few items, including a small cookie sheet and plastic containers.

Each color-coded kit offers five different activities that focus on kindergarten skills, including math, narrative, letters/letter sounds, rhyming/word families, and cutting/fine motor. Kits include content sheets, instructions, and tips and are designed for use by a caregiver and child.

Some examples of activities include upper and lowercase letter matching with plastic eggs, a felt button snake for fine motor skills, Unifix cubes for sorting and patterning, Geoboards for rubber band shapes and letters, magnetic letters to match on a cookie sheet, and flannel story re-telling.

The kits are available in the library’s kindergarten section, which also contains books to read before kindergarten and related handouts. We hope to expand the kits in the future for system-wide use.—Kelly Halleen, Children's Department Supervisor, Brunswick Library, Medina County (Ohio) District Library

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Middle School Library Facelift

“We are the only middle school in the district, and a lot of meetings are held in the library, so I wanted to showcase the students’ work,” said Pamela R. McGlone, Library Media Specialist, School Librarian, Simons Middle School in Flemingsburg, KY.

So McGlone created a program called “Creative Cougar Tiles,” (the cougar being the school’s mascot). Along with art teacher, Kelly Dusing, McGlone asked 7th and 8th graders to paint key images from their favorite book onto a ceiling tile. With an Ezra Jack Keats mini-grant from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, McGlone purchased the 24” x 24” ceiling tiles, acrylic paint, and brushes.

Over a four-week period, the tiles were painted in art class and then added into the library ceiling with the artist’s name and an explanation of how the book inspired the tile. The painted tiles included images representing books like Charlotte’s Web, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Secret of Nightingale Wood, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, and The Outsiders

“The painted ceiling tiles, 25 in total, have transformed the library into a colorful, inviting place," said McGlone. "The students are proud of what they’ve accomplished, and now, the first thing students, employees and guests do when they walk into the room is look at all the tiles!”

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Getting Together

Registration Open - National Library Legislative Day

Register now to join hundreds of library advocates for ALA’s 45th National Library Legislative Day on May 4-5, 2020. This two-day educational event is designed to provide attendees the opportunity to learn from policy experts and raise awareness among federal legislators about how and why libraries are vital to communities across America.

Registration is capped at 400 people and the deadline to register is March 31. For registration and hotel information, visit the event website.

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Gaiman Lecture Date Set

The 2020 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Neil Gaiman, Newbery Medal-winning author and library advocate, will be held on Friday, May 8. Sacramento (California) Public Library is hosting the event and complimentary tickets will be available upon request in the near future. 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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2020 Annual Conference - Early Bird Rates Available!

The 2020 Conference is scheduled for June 25-30 in Chicago. Registration and housing are open. Take advantage of early bird rates and register by 11:59 a.m. (CT) on Sunday, March 15.

Need to make your case to attend? Visit this Annual Conference webpage for examples that show how you can be considered more valuable to your institution after attending an ALA conference.

Why should you attend?

  • 100s of top authors and unforgettable speakers
  • 900+ expert exhibitors, new products, services, and titles
  • Quality and scope of programs, topics, and formats
  • Fun stuff that sparks innovation and tons of socializing events

For all the details as they become available, visit the ALA 2020 Annual Conference and Exhibition website.

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ALSC Institute Coming This Fall

The ALSC National Institute is scheduled for October 1-3, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This intensive learning opportunity with a youth services focus and is designed for front-line youth library staff, children’s literature experts, education and library school faculty members, and other interested adults.

Educational programs will cover topics from cooking classes in the library to creating cross cultural experiences, from kindergarten readiness to youth services leadership.

Early bird registration runs through June 28, 2020. For more information about the Institute, visit the event home page.

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Tulsa to Host NCAAL 

The 11th National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL) will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, August 5-9, 2020. NCAAL is the largest professional gathering of African Americans working in library and information science, individuals working in libraries serving predominately African American communities and those with an interest in African American librarianship. The theme of the 2020 conference is Culture Keepers XI the Sankofa Experience: Inspired by Our Past, Igniting Our Future. For complete information, please visit the conference website.

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Member News

Congratulations to Maria Papanastassiou, Arlington Heights (Illinois) Memorial Library, winner of an I Love My Librarian Award! According to the ILML nomination submitted, "Maria is an advocate, champion of children and families, mentor, and teacher. The impact of her work can be seen in the countless number of families and children in therapy who now turn to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and think of it as their home. Maria’s passion for inclusion and leadership in making the library welcoming for all makes her a deserving and truly outstanding candidate for the I Love My Librarian 2019 award!"

Pat Scales, Greenville, SC, has a new book available, Teaching Banned Books: 32 Guides for Children and Teens, Second Edition. This classroom- and library-ready book of discussion guides, updated and expanded to include genres such as graphic novels and nonfiction, illustrates how to teach these books while respecting all views.

ALA Editions recently released Content-Area Collaborations for Secondary Grades by Liz Deskins, Columbus, Ohio. Incorporating contributions from secondary school librarians across the country, this resource contains 20 units rooted in the AASL Standards and tailored to foster collaboration with content areas through alignments with other sets of national standards. 

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Upcoming Free Webinars: Register Now

Have you taken advantage of an ALSC webinar for your professional development? Live webinars are free and open to all! Visit our webinars webpage for more details and registration links.

Championing Children’s Services: Discover the Instruments Your Advocacy Tool Belt Needs
Thursday, February 20, 2020, 3:30pm Central

Join ALSC’s Public Awareness Committee for an exploration of the new Championing Children’s Services toolkit. Get an in depth look at the many resources available to you in your quest to do more for the youth you serve. 

Advocacy from A to Z
Thursday, March 19, 2020, 1:00pm Central

Join ALSC’s Advocacy and Legislation committee for an exploration of advocacy as it relates to children and children’s library services. You’ll get concrete tips on how to advocate for the patrons you serve, regardless of whether your advocacy happens at a local, state, or federal level. 

Dispatches from the Field: Advocacy Best Practices with Jeremy Johannesen and Megan Cusick
Thursday, April 9, 2020, 1:00pm Central

You’re just about there: you have your toolkit in hand and a solid introduction to advocacy. But where do you go from here? Don’t worry - this is no fear advocacy!
Jeremy Johannesen, Executive Director of the New York Library Association, and Megan Cusick, ALA PPA, Assistant Director for State Advocacy, share practical tips for advocates of all experience levels. Johannesen and Cusick will share real-life examples of advocacy at its best.

25 Ways to Build the Bridge between your School and Library
Wednesday, September 9, 2020, 11am Central

With successful school outreach programs, librarians can create lasting networks and educate the community on modern library practices. It takes a village to raise a child. And part of that village is your local librarian. Participants will receive 25 ideas for programs and services that will help to build the bridge and close the educational gap among schools, home, and the library.

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Funds Available for Forum on Service to Immigrants/Refugees

As part of a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, ALSC and the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) are accepting applications for participation in a one-day Welcoming Spaces National Forum on June 25, 2020, in Chicago. The purpose of this project is to develop and share a set of best practices in serving immigrants and refugees in libraries and children's museums. 

Selected participants will represent 12 children’s museums and 12 libraries. These participants and up to 24 of their partnering organizations will discuss best practices from their work serving immigrants and refugees. The ALSC-ACM project team will prioritize selecting for a diverse group with respect to geography, size, service type, and duration of project. In addition, preference will be given to participants who would attend the event as a collaborating team. Applications will be accepted until February 28 and selected applicants will be notified by March 31, 2020. For more details, see the Welcoming Spaces National Forum Participant Application.

If you are an ALSC member and your library has had success serving immigrants and refugees, apply for consideration online at Welcoming Spaces National Forum Participant Application. Questions? Please contact Angela Hubbard, ALSC Program Officer for Projects and Partnerships, by email or at or (312) 280-1398.

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New from ALSC

Looking for some easy advocacy ideas? Is research, EDI, or outreach your passion? Whatever it is, we've got you covered! Check out these latest resources from ALSC.

Championing Children's Services Toolkit
Engage, Cultivate, Provide, Assess: An Outreach Model for Serving All Children and Families White Paper
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement & Resources
National Research Agenda for Library Service to Children

Many thanks to all the ALSC members and leaders who worked so hard to make these materials possible. 

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2020 Census Resources 

Mailings from the Census Bureau begin on March 12, and Census Day is officially April 1. As the countdown progresses, be sure to check out the many helpful resources compiled by ALA. ALA teamed with the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality (GCPI) to develop a Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census to help you prepare for answering the census questions that will start coming in. In addition to the guide, the ALA website offers a host of census resources (tip sheets, Census contact information, recordings, etc.). To stay up-to-date, subscribe to ALA's Census newsletter

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Support Libraries!

ALA recently issued a statement by ALA President Wanda Brown in response to the White House’s fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget request. Brown stated that, "The White House proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) again dismisses the value of America’s 120,000 academic, public, school and special libraries. The administration’s new budget not only brushes aside IMLS, it decreases funding for other library-eligible education programs." (See the full statement here.) 

We encourage you to email your members of Congress today and urge them to protect library funding in FY 2021. Visit http://www.ala.org/advocacy/contact-congress and make your voice heard.

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Nominations Sought: Outstanding Achievement Award

Did you know that The Scholastic Library Publishing Award is presented each year to a librarian for an"unusual contribution to the stimulation and guidance of reading by children and young people?" Maybe you know someone who fits this description! If you would like to nominate yourself or a deserving colleague, visit ALA's awards website for more information and the application.

Hurry! The deadline has been extended to March 1, 2020.

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2019 Multicultural Children’s Books

In December, the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature (CSMCL) selected its Best Multicultural Children’s Books of 2019. The list, curated by Dr. Claudette Shackelford McLinn, Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, Lettycia Terrones, and Dr. Naomi Caldwell, is available as a printable PDF. For more information on each of the titles chosen, visit the CSMCL website.

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Floyd’s Pick Winner Announced

The State Library of Ohio and the Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) Advisory Council recently announced that Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora was selected as the fifth annual Floyd’s Pick Book Award winner, in memory of children’s literature expert, librarian, and ALSC member Floyd Dickman. The Floyd’s Pick Book Award is given annually to a book by an Ohio author or illustrator that is representative of high-quality literature created for children. It is given to carry on the legacy of Floyd Dickman’s work to support and share children’s literature.

To learn more about the Floyd's Pick Award and the 2020 winner and honors, visit the State Library of Ohio website.

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Mini-Grants Available for Arts/Literacy Programming

Applications currently are open for mini-grants from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries. Approximately 70 grants, up to $500 each, will be awarded to teachers and librarians in public schools and libraries whose proposals reflect an imaginative approach to experiential learning. Decisions will be emailed to all applicants in May, allowing educators to plan for the next academic year. See the Bright Ideas section of this issue for an example of an outstanding 2019 EJK mini-grant program.

To learn more about EJK mini-grants, and to review application criteria, visit Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grants. The deadline for application submissions is March 31, 2020.

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Endangered Species Day

Community and school libraries are encouraged to participate in the 15th annual Endangered Species Day on May 15, 2020. Approved by the U.S. Senate in 2006, the purpose of Endangered Species Day is to expand awareness of the importance of endangered plant and animal species/habitat conservation, share success stories of species recovery, and the everyday actions people can take. Every year, Endangered Species Day events are held at school and public libraries, zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, parks, and other locations throughout the country. If more convenient, school libraries can recognize Endangered Species Day earlier in May (or late April).

The Endangered Species Coalition offers a variety of free resources to help in celebrating the day. Visit the Endangered Species Day website for event planning information and a reading list, and for coloring/activity sheets, bookmarks, stickers, and other materials that can be downloaded and printed.

Promote your event on the Endangered Species Day Directory or send your information (and any questions) to David Robinson, Endangered Species Day Director,

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* Do you have news of national interest to share with ALSC Matters readers? Please send us your stories for inclusion in “Field Notes.” For more information and deadlines, visit the Field Notes submission form.

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