ALSC Matters! | March 2012, Vol. 10, no. 1

***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

Welcome to ALSC Matters!

In a recent message to ALSC members, we asked you to help us rename our newsletter ALSConnect, a name often confused with ALA Connect. Results of the vote were pretty evenly distributed with no one stand-out winner.
ALSC Express – 27.4%
ALSC Pulse – 24.3%
All Things ALSC – 21.2%
ALSC and Answers – 13.7%
Other (suggestions for a title) – 13.3%
One of the suggested titles under “Other” came up a couple times and it caught our attention-–ALSC Matters. Considering the scattered results and the promising new suggestion, we called upon the Executive Committee to make the final decision, giving them the original ballot of four names plus ALSC Matters. Their choice was clear.
ALSC Matters! conveys the importance and relevance of our organization and also denotes issues and news. Despite the new name, the newsletter format, content, and organization remain the same, for now. ALSC Matters! takes up where ALSConnect left off; this is Vol. 10, no. 1.
We are busy processing results of the recent communications survey and researching options for the future format and frequency of the newsletter. More to come in the months ahead.--Laura Schulte-Cooper, ALSC Communications Officer

Tell the Story: Tell in Tandem

The funny thing about being in a profession for quite a while – I’m eligible for one of our new 25-year ribbons! – is that students considering youth librarianship begin to ask for advice. The first time that happened, my mind went blank. No one had notified me of my role change from supplicant to guru! And where the heck was the manual – shouldn’t there be a manual to keep me from giving dumb advice?
But these days, when students express indecision about choosing their future, I tell them this story:
As a new professional in a new state, I attended a large conference intended primarily for another subset of the profession. I had been switching to this subset, so I became a detective in its midst. I observed how these colleagues interacted - and how they dressed. I eavesdropped on their conversations and listened for energy, optimism, and ego. I noted what they valued and how often they laughed. And at the end of the conference I said to myself, “These are not my people.”
I’ve come to believe that, in choosing our work, there is tremendous value in knowing who “your people” are. Your people share your vision, your passion, your values, and your commitment to quality and to having fun while creating that quality. They laugh at, care about, and get outraged by some of the same things you do. Your people make you proud to do the work that you do, and glad to do it in their company.
I would like to introduce you to some of my people. They are your people too, and you should know them. They are people who care, who laugh easily, who bring treats, who think innovatively, and who work smarter and harder to help all of us create a better future for children through libraries. They are your 2011-2012 ALSC Board members.
Julie Corsaro – Immediate Past President. Julie effectively led ALSC through some struggle as we grappled with our service to 12- to 14-year-olds. Her leadership left us stronger. Julie works for Novelist in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Carolyn Brodie – Vice-President/President-Elect. Carolyn is contributing fresh insights and asking all the right questions as she prepares to become what I know will be a terrific ALSC president. Carolyn teaches at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.
Tali Balas Kaplan – Fiscal Officer. Tali is the Board’s treasured financial genius, able to understand complex ALA budgeting (and explain it to us!) and pose the tough questions that get ALSC where it needs to be. Tali works at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York, N.Y.
Rhonda Puntney Gould – ALA Councilor. Rhonda represents ALSC in ALA Council, making sure that concerns affecting children are part of the larger work of ALA, and that we know about Council agenda items that might affect our members’ work. Rhonda works for Lakeshores Library System in Waterford, Wis.
Ernie Cox, a first year Board member, is our Emerging Leaders mentor, guiding our team in its project. Ernie works for Mark Twain Elementary School in Iowa City, Iowa.
Nina Lindsay, in her second year on the Board, is choreographing a year of diverse and exciting activities as our skilled chair of the Caldecott 75th Anniversary Celebration Task Force. Nina works for Oakland (Calif.) Public Library.
Cecilia McGowan, an experienced Board member, chairs the Website Advisory Task Force, ably helping us navigate the changing structures and opportunities for reaching our members on the web. Cecilia works for King County Library System in Issaquah, Wash.
Jennifer Ralston, in her third year on the Board, is our liaison to the Día campaign, making sure that our members have resources and information about this important ALSC initiative. Jennifer works for Harford County Public Library in Belcamp, Md.
Ellen Riordan, a seasoned Board member, is our expert motion crafter, bringing her keen mind and long-range thinking to her work on the Board. Ellen works for Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Md.
Michael Santangelo, in his first year on the Board, brings his expertise in partnerships and his knowledge of the electronic environment to our decision-making. Michael works for Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library.
Lisa Von Drasek, a first year Board member, balances our decision-making with the school and publishing perspective she offers. Lisa works for Bank Street College of Education in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Jan Watkins, also a first year Board member, assisted with the Morris Seminar at the Midwinter Meeting and brings her deep knowledge of all levels of ALSC to our work. Jan works for Skokie (Ill.) Public Library.
So who are your people? If you haven’t found them yet, then it’s time for you to get more involved in ALSC—for you will surely meet your people at a program, on a committee, at the ALSC Institute, or at the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet. And when you do, you will know that you are home—in ALSC.—Mary Fellows, ALSC President

2012 ALSC Slate of Candidates

This year’s ALA/ALSC elections are drawing near. Voting begins on Monday, March 19, 2012 at 9 AM CT. The polls close on Friday, April 27, at 11:59 PM CT. Voting is an important part of ALSC membership. Stand up and be counted. To help you prepare, a complete list of ALSC candidates is online.

Council News - Midwinter 2012

Council I was held on Sunday morning, January 22, and began with the Information Session of ALA Council, Executive Board, and Membership. ALA President Molly Raphael, President-Elect Maureen Sullivan, and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels gave brief reports concerning their activities on behalf of the association since the annual conference in New Orleans. Raphael created a Working Group on Digital Content and Libraries, coordinated several events at Midwinter supporting the “Empowering Voices: Communities Speak Out for Libraries” advocacy initiative, and worked with the Special Presidential Task Force on School Libraries. Sullivan completed work on committee appointments with the Committee on Committees and the Committee on Appointments. Her presidential initiatives will include a summit on libraries transforming communities in Fall 2012, programs on leadership development, and rethinking ALA. Fiels reported on the White House petition on school libraries, ALA’s purchase of Neal-Schuman Publishing, the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Award, and the new staff additions of Laurie Boorman, editor at American Libraries, replacing Leonard Kniffel; and Ron Jankowski, membership director, replacing John Chrastka. Budget Analysis and Review Committee chair Clara Bohrer reported an overall budget variance of $27,820,693 which was approved in New Orleans to $27,072,978 approved at the fall Chicago meeting, a savings of $747,715.
Daniel Bradbury, chair of the ALA Endowment Trustees, reported that the endowment fund at the end of December was at $330.1 million, a decline of 1.6% or $3.17 million.
Nominating Committee chair Vivian Winn reported that Barbara K. Stripling, Professor of Practice, Syracuse (N.Y.) University iSchool, and Gina J. Millsap, Chief Executive Officer, Topeka and Shawnee County (Kan.) Public Library, are the candidates for ALA President-Elect. Ninety candidates have been nominated for Councilor-at-Large.
ALA-APA Council was then convened. Jenifer Grady left ALA in July; Lorelle Swader has taken over as APA director. The ALA-APA Certified Public Library Administrator Program is a voluntary post-MLS certification program for public librarians and currently has 144 candidates and 44 graduates. The Library Support Staff Certification Program currently has 204 candidates and 11 graduates.
Nominations for ALA Executive Board include Rob Banks, Alexia Hudson, Bobbi Newman, John Moorman, Rosario Garza, Karen Downing, and Gladys Smiley Bell. Council was to vote for not more than three candidates. The Candidates Forum was held after Council II.
Fiels reviewed the ALA Executive Board actions since New Orleans, which included a recommendation to Council of the following programmatic priorities in line with the ALA 2015 Strategic Plan: Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession; Diversity; Education and Lifelong Learning; Equitable Access to Information and Library Services; Intellectual Freedom; Literacy; Organizational Excellence; and Transforming Libraries. (Council approved these priorities at the Monday Council II meeting.) Other actions included approval of the roster for the 2013 Nominating Committee and recommendation of two Honorary Membership nominees to Council for consideration.
Fiels then discussed Council actions since the annual conference in New Orleans. Most of the actions were follow-up from resolutions passed at Annual and report recommendations. He reported on a suggestion of presenting a program to draw people to the membership meeting at annual to establish a quorum.
The registration as of Saturday, January 21, was 6,288, compared to 7,194 in San Diego. 3,666 exhibitors brought the grand total to 9,954, about 700 less than San Diego’s total of 10,713.
Council II was held Monday, January 23, and began with a report from ALA Treasurer Jim Neal. ALA’s revenue in 2011 was $46,581,620, as compared to $54,489,065 in 2010, a variance of $5,907,445. ALA’s expenses in 2011 were $46,741,997, as compared to $50,212,751, a variance $3,470,754. ALA expenses were down 3.5 million or 6.9%, with a variance in 2011 of ($437,067) of net revenue. Neal said that core business areas such as conferences, publishing, and membership have had some erosion of revenue in the last decade. Lagging library budgets, the political environment in Washington, and state and local level issues are a concern for ALA in fiscal year 2013. Future issues for budget planning include sustaining and growing membership, investing in strategic priorities, investing in technology, expanding electronic publishing, distribution, and business models, and developing new products and services.
Neal then reported on the acquisition of Neal-Schuman Publishing. ALA conducted a due diligence investigation of Neal-Schuman, including various valuations of the company. These were standard value if the company was left in New York, value taking into account the synergies of integrating Neal-Schuman into ALA and moving it to Chicago, and moving from for-profit to non-profit status. ALA Publishing developed a marketing plan with expense-revenue projections over a 10-year plan of 100, 80, and 60 percent scenarios which indicated that the outcome of ALA’s business plan would be successful. ALA purchased Neal-Schuman for $7 million, and subsequently received a loan which will be paid back over a period of five to seven years. The acquisition was carried out with a great deal of internal consultation with ALA leadership and staff, and auditors and attorneys outside of the organization. The next steps will be transitioning Neal-Schuman from New York to Chicago.
Council approved action items concerning ALA policy presented by ALA Policy Monitoring Committee chair John Moorman, including: a revision dealing with the association’s use (withdrawal and repayment) of long term investment funds; a revision that Council resolutions support ALA’s Strategic Plan as well as its mission or core values; and a revision stating that a membership meeting shall be held during Annual Conference excluding days when preconferences are held and prior to meetings of Council.
Council approved an action item from Jim Rettig, ALA Committee on Organization chair, to amend the composition of the Committee on Education by adding a non-voting representative from the AASL Educators of School Librarians Section.
Kent Oliver, president of the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), reported that FTRF developed a strategic plan to address five critical action areas including awareness, litigation, education, engagement, and capacity building. The Judith F. Krug fund continued to make grants to underwrite Banned Book Week observances and to fund the development of online intellectual freedom material for LIS students.
Council approved nominations of Jack Reed, Rhode Island Senator, and Dr. Betty Turock for ALA Honorary Membership.
As of end of Sunday, there were 6,249 attendees and 3,686 exhibitors for a total attendance of 9,935. Previous Sunday attendances were: 11,009 (2011-San Diego) and 12,221 (2010-Boston).
Council III was held on Tuesday, January 24. Council adopted memorials for Dorothy Broderick, D. Whitney Coe, John Minto Dawson, and Robert W. Houk. Tributes were adopted for Jill Nishi, Lois Ann Gregory-Wood, Maryellen Trautman, William J. Boarman, and the Norman A. Sugarman Children’s Biography Award.
Rob Banks, Alexia Hudson, and John Moorman were each elected to three-year terms on the ALA Executive Board.
Pat Scales, chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, reported that the Office for Intellectual Freedom offered a series of online learning programs and webinars, and will be upgrading the database of challenged materials. The committee updated the “Libraries and Internet Toolkit” and has been working with the Office for Intellectual Freedom on Choose Privacy Week and the 30th anniversary celebration of Banned Books Week.
Council approved a resolution opposing restriction of access to materials and open inquiry in Arizona Ethnic and Cultural Studies programs, condemning the suppression of open inquiry and free expression caused by the closure of ethnic and cultural studies programs on the basis of partisan or doctrinal disapproval and condeming the restriction of access to education materials associated with ethnic and cultural studies programs. The resolution further urges the Arizona legislature to pass HB 2654, ”An Act of Repealing Sections 15-111 and 15-112, Arizona Revised Statutes: Relating to School Curriculum.”
Council adopted a resolution opposing the Research Works Act, which urges the U.S. Congress to reject the Research Works Act, H.R. 3699, because it not only threatens future public access to federally-funded research, but also nullifies the public access already provided to peer-reviewed journal manuscripts resulting from NIH funding, and which reaffirms its support for the expansion of the NIH public-access policy to other federal agencies and departments.
A resolution, opposing the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), was adopted by Council. This resolution urged the U.S. Congress to reject both H.S. 968, PIPA bill in the U.S. Senate, and H.R. 3261, SOPA bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, because they compromise such fundamental rights as free speech, intellectual freedom, and privacy in an attempt to target foreign websites and combat online infringement overseas. It also opposed any legislation that compromises ALA’s core principles and stifles the dynamic, innovative potential of the global Internet.
Council adopted a resolution regarding the loss of crucial government information, which urges U.S. Congress to restore funding to ensure permanent no-fee public access to aggregated government resources, and also urges the establishment of a mandated process with adequate notification, to include the opportunity for public notice and comment, before decisions are made to discontinue access to current or historical information resources.
A resolution, opposing discriminatory policies of publishers and distributors that adversely impact access to content by library users, also was approved. The resolution also directs the Working Group on Digital Content in Libraries to review the situation and recommend appropriate action and/or appropriate parties who should be informed of the resolution.
For complete information regarding Midwinter ALA Council actions, please see Puntney Gould, ALSC Councilor

Thanks 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

Linda Perkins
Bina Williams

Friends of ALSC

Gold Circle
Dudley Carlson
Silver Circle
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Notables' Circle
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Ginny Moore Kruse
Phyllis Mattill
Claudette McLinn
Andrew Medlar
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Susan Patron
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Connie Pottle
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Friends' Circle
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General Donors
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ALSC Voices

ALSC Profile

Congratulations to Paula Gilbert, an ALSC member for 25+ years! We appreciate your commitment and loyalty to the association.
Paula Gilbert
ALSC membership: 26 years
Director of Youth Services
Martin Library and the York County (Pa.) Library System
Where did you attend library school?
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
What was your first library position?
Children’s Librarian at the Bensenville (Ill.) Public Library. I worked there from August 1975 to August 1979. This was my first job as a professional librarian after my MLS. I worked in libraries every summer during college as a summer reading site coordinator in elementary schools in my home town. My very first “paid job” was doing inventory for my middle school librarian when I was in eighth grade.
What is your favorite memory as a librarian?
I think some of my favorite memories have to do with author visits and the wonderful people I have met over time. One of the best stories has to do with a visit we had from Eileen Christelow--who came by train to visit from New York. When she got off the train in Lancaster, Pa. and we were heading to York, she realized that she had left her purse on the train. We called the train station in Harrisburg, the final stop on the line, and told them what had happened. At the same time, a woman came into the station office with Eileen’s purse; she had heard Eileen talking on the train and knew who she was. The Amtrak folks then delivered the purse to her in York. It was an amazing example of honesty and the truly great things that people can do for others. I have had other wonderful encounters with the authors who have visited York over my many years there and each was delightful!
If you could give one piece of advice to library school students, what would it be? 
Make sure you get to work hands-on in a library before you decide that is the kind of thing you want to do. You need to be passionate about your job to be successful, and that means knowing what it’s about before you take the job.
If you weren’t a librarian, what would be your career? 
Anything that has to do with people and being involved. I love being on stage and would have seriously considered live theater if I didn’t really love working with kids.
You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books and one food item do you want with you? 
Any mystery by John Sanders, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Twoomey, and a book on American history--preferably Civil War era. The food item would have to be cheese (Gouda or smoked cheddar!).
What are your hobbies? 
I collect Beatrix Potter figurines; I am an avid mystery reader--kids and adults; and I love to travel.
What three words best describe you?
Caring, enthusiastic, and dedicated

Bright Ideas

Alien Carnival Invades Austin Public Library

For several years, Austin (Texas) Public Library (APL) has been presenting a series of programs aimed at middle-graders called “Kids in Space!” This program combines hands-on activities with technology demonstrations, talks from astronomy experts, and display items, to give space-enthusiast participants a chance to engage with like-minded peers and professionals, and to explore some of the fields of study they can pursue in college and beyond. These programs have been a successful part of APL’s fall programming season, and participants look forward to seeing what’s new in each year’s offering.
After several years of well-received Kids in Space! programs, it was suggested in 2010 that we look into developing a “younger sibling” program to pair with it. And so the Alien Carnival was born! Children’s librarians Aubrey Sanders, Elizabeth Murphy, and Josefina Rodriguez-Gibbs as well as youth programs specialist Karen Carlson and teen services librarian Sarah Cronin created a “kit” filled with supplies and materials, and the program toured four locations. Teen services interns Laura Kraus and Kathy Loglisci assisted with the programs’ presentation in the branches, particularly with a digital photo activity that was included.
The primary audience for Alien Carnival is children in the early grades, and is designed as a hands-on activity program featuring a read-aloud component presented by the hosting librarian, paper games, exploratory games, and arts and crafts activities. In 2011, based on the success of 2010’s Alien Carnival program, APL librarians decided to present the program again. The program kit was updated a bit, and the program visited four new locations. The 2011 series was organized by Karen Carlson and Jean Holland.
While Kids in Space! has primarily been a program grounded in scientific exploration and inquiry, Alien Carnival centers on more whimsical themes, and participants are encouraged to wear costumes.
The program kicks off with a presentation portion, where the presenter offers a series of alien jokes (Q: What do you call a spaceship with a faulty air-conditioner? A: A Frying Saucer!) and reads one or two picture books about aliens (Aliens Love Underpants! by Claire Freedman is a good choice), then introduces the various activities for the participants to try.
Hands-on activities for the program have included an “Alien Cadaver Autopsy,” which featured a large stuffed alien doll with pockets for visitors to check for “body parts,” created by youth librarian Elizabeth Murphy. Also, planners found the “Alien Autopsy” edition of the “Operation” game, and participants were encouraged to try to remove the alien’s body parts without making him scream. The planning librarians created an alien-match memory game, made an alien beanbag toss, with a spaceship as the target, and set aside a flying saucer (Frisbee) toss station in one part of the room.
The Alien Carnival craft activities included alien finger puppets (pre-made felt finger puppets, fabric markers, glued bits of fabric), a blacklight “swirly galaxies” station where participants could make neon-colored spin art under the glow of a portable black light, black-light “tattoos” or stickers (neon markers, portable black lights, white mailing labels, or, when parental permission was granted, drawing on arms and legs), and paper plate UFOs. In 2010, the program also featured a station where participants could take a photo against a green screen, then Photoshop themselves into cool spacey backgrounds, and a glow-in-the-dark alien sculpture station using glow-in-the-dark Crayola Model Magic.
Alien Carnival, like its big sister, Kids in Space!, has been the result of a bunch of very creative youth services librarians and program specialists rallying around a common interest and theme and developing a collection of entertaining activities and fun reading material to present to participants. Primary planners for the 2010 and 2011 programs included youth program specialist Karen Carlson, children’s librarians Elizabeth Murphy, Aubrey Sanders, Jean Holland, and Josefina Rodriguez-Gibbs, teen services librarian Sarah Cronin, and teen services interns Laura Kraus and Kathy Loglisci.—Sally Miculek, Children’s Services Coordinator, Austin (Texas) Public Library

Celebrating 100 Years of Summer Reading at Multnomah County Library

Multnomah County Library, in Portland, Oregon, celebrates its 100th year of Summer Reading in 2012. Back in 1912, “Special attention was given to the summer reading and two honor rolls were instituted. One was for the fourth and fifth grades and consisted of a pictorial map of fairy-land, the characters and places of which the children named from the books they read. The other was for students of the upper grades and consisted of a ladder of twelve steps, each step being a book from one of the twelve classes in library classification.”
Our program has exploded since its early days, reaching over 98,000 youth in 2011. Multnomah County Library partners directly with all six major public school districts in our service area, registering all students for Summer Reading before school ends. Registration goes through the district office and each school in each district sends home game boards in students’ backpacks at the start of summer vacation. Our approach reaches all students regardless of income level or family background, and by coming from the schools, reinforces the message that summer reading is critical for school success. For our 100th anniversary, we aim to register 100,000 youth.
Summer Reading is possible due to the strong, continued financial support of our major funder, The Library Foundation, and the help of nearly 700 volunteers each summer. Many of our volunteers are young teens, and their work on Summer Reading gives them a chance to develop basic job skills and give back to the community.–Suzanne Harold, Summer Reading Coordinator, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon

Live Pac-Man

It started at a Tween Advisory meeting when the kids were discussing ideas for summer activities. The library would be having an “80's week” during the summer, and one of the fourth grade boys said he thought the aisles of the library were like the paths Pac-Man traveled. “Wouldn't it be cool to play live Pac-Man in the library?” The other kids started to get excited and so of course that meant Madison (Ohio) Public Library had to play “Live Pac-Man!”
There weren't many resources available. However, the biggest planning challenge was the librarian's VERY limited knowledge of Pac-Man! Fortunately the library's technologist and gaming expert rescued her! Within a short period of time there was a shopping list for Styrofoam balls, specific colored t-shirts, and plastic fruit. There was also a walking tour of the library so the librarian could see where the game could be played.
The plan was the kids would refresh their memories, or discover for the first time, the basic rules of Pac-Man by playing a version of the game on the computer while staff scrambled to get the playing field set-up just as the library closed. There was NO way that Live Pac-Man could be played while the library was open because half the fun would be running up and down the aisles! The rules for “Live Pac-Man” were as close to the “true” Pac-Man rules as possible. There were dots to collect, and Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde were ready to tag Pac-Man to bring an end to the game. There were Energizers to allow Pac-Man to tag the ghosts and plastic fruit to help Pac-Man increase his score. A game would last four minutes, or until Pac-Man was tagged. Then the score would be tallied, and at the end of the night, a “Live Pac-Man” winner would be declared. It was a great plan.
Game night and the plan went by the wayside within the first few minutes, however. It turned out that for the “Pac-Men” collecting “dots” was secondary to tearing up and down the aisles chasing ghosts, whether or not an Energizer allowed them to do so! Being a ghost was cooler than being Pac-Man! It involved more running and yelling! Budding videographers who were supposed to “get a few clips to maybe put on YouTube” started chasing ghosts and Pac-Man around yelling, “I'm a paparazzi, and I'm following you.” Then there was posing for pictures, forgetting what character a child was being, and accidentally flattening the “dots” that slowed down the game because of giggle fits! However, child laughter couldn't compare to parents who couldn't stop chortling at the chaos of the game play, the double entendres that kept flying out of the mouths of children and library staff, or the heckling of the paparazzi.
It was a fabulous night where exhausted kids and happy adults left the library laughing and talking about how much fun they had. Even though it wasn't like being inside an arcade game, being inside Madison Public Library on this one night was pretty great anyway!—Melanie A. Lyttle, Head of Public Services at Madison (Ohio) Public Library, and Shawn D. Walsh, Senior Technology Analyst, Northeast Ohio Regional Library System

ALSC Hayes Award Brings Crutcher to Rural South Carolina

On September 21, 2011, the Abbeville County (S.C) Library System hosted teen author Chris Crutcher for a reading and question/answer period before a very enthusiastic audience of more than 150 adults, teens, and tweens. Though this might not seem like a huge audience in Chicago or New York, in rural Abbeville County, it's a crowd, one far too large to fit into the local library.
Indeed, Abbeville County, a rural community of 25,417, has no movie theater, no shopping mall, no Starbucks. What we do have, however, is a beautiful downtown square that looks like a stage set for a Frank Capra movie. At the heart of the square is the Abbeville Opera House, a 1908 venue that, in the vaudeville age, saw the likes of Fanny Brice and Jimmy Durante on its stage. This fall, it added author Chris Crutcher to that distinguished list.
Crutcher was already in the news in South Carolina just months before the event, when another county in the state, Kershaw County, temporarily pulled Angry Management from the Kershaw County School District summer reading list and all school library shelves. Crutcher wrote an open letter to Kershaw County high school students in the local paper and did a video interview addressing the issue. Then, he sent five copies of Angry Management to the local Kershaw County Public Library and came to visit South Carolina. The school district later returned the book to its shelves and its summer reading list.
Chris Crutcher is the author of numerous novels for young readers, including Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Stotan!, Running Loose, Whale Talk, and Deadline. He is a strong advocate for the freedom to read.
When Crutcher took the stage at the Abbeville Opera House, he read from his novels and regaled the audience with stories—both humorous and heart-wrenching—of his experiences as a child therapist, working with abused children.
It was evident how excited the community was to welcome Crutcher to the area by the number of local entities that collaborated to make his visit a reality. The Abbeville Rotary Club coordinated with the library system, giving both financial and community support. The Abbeville County School District bussed almost 100 high school students to the event.
And though teens probably make up the majority of Crutcher's readers, his appeal is certainly not limited to that age group. Audience members ranged from 9-year-old Rohan Bruce to 80-year-old Shirley Emden. Bruce, who has read Crutcher's Angry Management, said, "It was very exciting and interesting. I liked it all. I just really enjoyed everything about it." Emden remarked, "His books are so interesting. The personalities of the characters in his books are so memorable, and seeing him in person made it all come to life."
The library system, which is made up of three small public libraries throughout Abbeville County, has previously welcomed authors Sharon Draper, Beverly Lewis, Ron Rash, Marlin Barton, Melinda Long, and others. We continue to search for opportunities that allow us to bring top-quality authors and illustrators to our region. We want to give everyone in this rural community as many chances as possible to take part in such a great literacy experience.—Mary Elizabeth Land, Director, Abbeville County (S.C.) Library System

Endangered Species Day Is May 18

Librarians throughout the country are being encouraged to help celebrate the 7th annual national Endangered Species Day (ESD) on May 18, 2012. The goal of ESD, first held in 2006 following the U.S. Senate’s approval, is to educate people about the importance of protecting our rare, threatened, and endangered animal and plant species. Endangered Species Day provides an opportunity for community and school libraries, as well as schools, museums, zoos, botanical gardens, agencies, businesses, and conservation organizations to educate the public about the importance of protecting endangered species and highlight the everyday actions that individuals and groups can take to help protect our nation’s animals and plants.
Following are potential ways that libraries can participate in Endangered Species Day:
Display/share an endangered species reading list.
Create an exhibit of endangered species-related books, photos, and artwork.
Host an Endangered Species Day activity, such as a book reading by a librarian or local celebrity.
Provide special handouts like the bookmark, activity/coloring book, and other materials available in the ESD toolkit.
Your library's activity can be added to the Endangered Species Day calendar, enabling people in your community to learn about it. Details can be submitted to
A variety of resources are available on the ESD website:
Planning/hosting an Endangered Species Day event: The Endangered Species Day Toolkit includes information on planning an activity, along with bookmarks, stickers, activity books and other materials that can be downloaded and printed.
Reading list: A suggested book list for young people and adult readers.
Photos/artwork: You can find links to photos of threatened and endangered species from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other sources, along with artwork from the 2011 Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest.
Background information: You will find a variety of other materials as well.
For further information, please contact David Robinson at drobinson at

Getting Together

Fall Institute Offers Diverse Educational Programming

The programs taking place at the ALSC National Institute have been released, and this is surely one event you will not want to miss! From corporate partnerships to developing best practices, program topics will cover a wide range of youth services competencies and practices. For a complete list of programs, visit the ALSC Institute website.
In addition to educational programs, the Institute will also be the official kick-off to the Caldecott Award’s 75th anniversary celebration and will feature a very special Breakfast for Bill panel discussion to commemorate the occasion. The panel will feature past Caldecott Award winners and honorees Denise Fleming, Kevin Henkes, and Eric Rohmann, as well as Ben Sapp, director of the Mazza Museum: International Art from Picture Books. Other award-winning authors and illustrators scheduled to speak during the Institute include: Peter Brown, Gary Paulsen, April Pulley Sayre, Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier. This star-studded event is sure to dazzle and inspire.
The Institute is taking place in Indianapolis September 20 – 22, 2012, at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel. Register now to take advantage of ALSC’s great early bird pricing. More information is available at the Institute registration webpage.

2012 Arbuthnot Lecture Tickets

Peter Sís, seven-time winner of The New York Times Book Review Ten Best Illustrated Books of the Year, Sibert Medalist, and MacArthur Fellow, will deliver the 2012 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, entitled "Reading in the Dark, on April 4, 7 p.m. at Miami University, Hall Auditorium, Oxford, Ohio. Required tickets are free and must be obtained by contacting the Miami University Box Office - Shriver Center at (513) 529-3200 or email boxoffice at with “Peter Sís lecture” in the subject line. For more information, visit the host's webiste.  Hope to see you there!

Latino Children's Literature Conference Set for Late March

The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies is hosting the 2012 National Latino Children’s Literature Conference in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on March 29-30. This conference was created to promote high-quality children’s and young adult books about the Latino cultures and to offer a forum for librarians, educators, researchers, and students to openly discuss strategies for meeting the informational, educational, and literacy needs of Latino children and their families. Featuring nationally-acclaimed Latino literacy scholars and award-winning Latino authors and illustrators of children’s and young adult books, this event will deliver a valuable and memorable experience.
For registration information, please visit the conference website. The final conference program with detailed information on breakout sessions is at: Need further information on the conference? Contact Conference Chair Jamie Naidoo at jcnaidoo at or 205-348-4610.

Conference to Celebrate the Picture Book

The Edith B. Jackson Child Care Program, New Haven, Conn., is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a fundraising conference, set for April 20-21 at Yale University and entitled "A Celebration of the Picture Book." The event will feature events for educators, students, authors, illustrators, librarians, book sellers, and parents. The opening keynote will be given by author and illustrator Rosemary Wells. The second day of the conference will consist of three panels: Creating Children’s Picture Books; Using Children’s Picture Books; and The History and Future of Children’s Picture Books; and a closing address by Megan Lambert, Instructor, Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Simmons College and Former Literature and Outreach Coordinator, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 0.8 CEUs will be offered for the 2-day conference.
For more information, visit the event website

IRA Convention This Spring in Chicago

The International Reading Association hosts its 57th annual convention April 29-May 2, 2012, in Chicago. The annual convention is the largest discussion of literacy issues in the nation, with thousands of educators, administrators, researchers, literacy leaders, advocates, government officials, and media professionals from across the country gathering to explore and respond to the critical literacy issues facing the U.S. today.
This year's event includes the first-ever Mayors' Roundtable on Literacy, where mayors from cities across the country will join to present their cities' innovative literacy and education initiatives as well as discuss current challenges and trends in the fields of literacy and education. Among the many scheduled speakers during the convention, luncheon speakers will include Christopher Paul Curtis, Peter Reynolds, and Jacqueline Woodson.
For more information, visit the conference website.

A Conference for Everyone! -- Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

The second Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) will be held September 19-23, 2012, in Kansas City, Missouri. Sponsored by the five associations of ethnic librarians—the American Indian Library Association (AILA), the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking—the conference is truly for everyone! This year’s theme is “Gathering at the Waters: Celebrating Stories, Embracing Communities.”
JCLC will provide a unique learning opportunity with over seventy concurrent sessions including panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and roundtables. Programming is divided into five tracks—Advocacy, Outreach, and Collaboration; Collections, Programs, and Services; Deep Diversity and Cultural Exchange; Leadership, Management, and Organizational Development; and Technology and Innovation. Three pre-conferences will explore diversity leadership development, diversity action plans, and advocacy in diverse communities.
Emmy winner Sonia Manzano, voted one of the most influential Hispanics by People en Espanol for her work playing Maria on Sesame Street, has been announced as the opening keynote speaker. Two author luncheons will feature youth authors Lauren Myracle and Sharon Flake. JCLC also offers an exhibit hall featuring the latest from library vendors and partners, and numerous opportunities to network and socialize.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Member News

This past January, Karen Nelson Hoyle retired as Professor and Curator for the Children's Literature Research Collections (Kerlan and Hess), University of Minnesota, a post she'd held since 1967. In May, Karen will receive the Kerlan Award for her forty plus years of dedicated service as an outstanding scholar, teacher, and mentor. Congratulations, Karen!

Get Creative: ALSC/YALSA Video Contest

March comes in like a lion, so get your pride on by entering the first ever ALSC/YALSA video contest. Simply show us what’s happening at your library with tweens/young teens and technology in a short video. You might win a $100 Amazon gift card!
The video contest is part of the first-ever ALSC and YALSA Joint Presidents’ Program to be held at ALA in Anaheim. The program will focus on tweens and young teens and exploring their use of technology. What are the lives of tweens and young teens like in this digital age? What are the particular challenges and opportunities they face online? What should libraries be doing? Library futurist Stephen Abram and renowned researcher Michelle Poris will be the featured speakers at this special event.
Selected videos from the contest will be shown at the joint program to provide frontline reporting on the digital lives of tweens and young teens. All video entrants will be eligible to win a $100 Amazon gift card.
Videos should be 2-3 minutes in length and created for a librarian audience.
Videos should showcase programming, interviews, insights, etc. relating to tweens, young teens, technology, and libraries. (Note--you are responsible for securing any and all appropriate consent for public distribution of your video).
Post it on YouTube with the tag “youthprezprogram12”.
Email co-chairs Tessa Michaelson Schmidt and Sarah Couri at with the YouTube link and your contact information.
Deadline for submissions: Monday, April 30, 2012, at midnight.
Questions? Contact the Joint Presidents’ Program co-chairs at tweenlibraryvideos at

Resources for Creating Library Videos

Are you considering a submission to the ALSC/YALSA video contest (see above) or tackling your first video to promote your library within the community? If so, check out the blog iLibrarian for "25 Resources to Create Library Videos." Resources include: how-to's (upload videos to YouTube, edit video, etc.); tools (open source video tools, best video creation tools); library videos (sample videos by colleagues, screenwriting tips for librarians); branding on YouTube (tips on branding and marketing); and more.
The blog iLibrarian is written by Ellyssa Kroski, Manager of Information Systems at the New York Law Institute. Kroski won ALA's Greenwood Publishing Group Award for the Best Book in Library Literature for The Tech Set in 2011.

ALSC Webinar Line-Up

This spring, ALSC is offering a host of substantive and convenient webinars, designed for busy professionals and students who seek to enhance their knowledge in topics related to children’s librarianship.
All ALSC webinars are taught by experienced library professionals, specialists in the area of children's literature and youth library programming. When weighing your options for online professional development, please consider the expertise of ALSC's instructors.
For more information on these webinars, please visit the ALSC online education page.
Below is a calendar of upcoming webinars:
Día 201: Community Partnerships, Marketing, and Funding
Fri., Mar. 2, 2012, 1 - 2 PM CT
Every Child Ready to Read – New Conversations on Research, Relationships, and Partnerships
Thurs., Mar. 8, 2012, 11 AM – 12:30 PM CT
Between Storytime and the Prom: Tween Programming Fills the Gap
Thurs., Mar. 8, 2012, 6 – 7 PM CT
Storytelling 2.0
Monday, Mar.19, 2012, 6 -7 PM CT
Between Storytime and the Prom: Tween Programming Fills the Gap
Fri., Apr. 6, 2012, 10 – 11 AM CT
Making Every Day a Día Day: Incorporating Día into Current Youth Programming
Thurs., Apr. 12, 2012, 1 - 2 PM CT
Every Child Ready to Read – New Conversations on Research, Relationships, and Partnerships
Thurs., April 12, 2012, 6 – 7:30 PM CT
Give Me Something to Read! When Social Networking Meets Readers Advisory
Tues., Apr. 24, 2012, 6 - 7 PM CT
Between Storytime and the Prom: Tween Programming Fills the Gap
Mon., May 14, 2012, 11 AM – 12 PM CT
Give Me Something to Read! When Social Networking Meets Readers Advisory
Tues., Apr. 24, 2012, 6 - 7 PM CT
Give Me Something to Read! When Social Networking Meets Readers Advisory
Tues., July 10, 2012, 6 - 7 PM CT
Give Me Something to Read! When Social Networking Meets Readers Advisory
Thurs., Aug. 9, 2012, Noon - 1 PM CT

Program Proposals for ALA Annual 2013

ALSC invites its members to submit program proposals for the 2013 ALA Conference in Chicago, to be submitted before the June 1, 2012, official deadline. For more information on creating and submitting a program proposal, please visit ALSC’s Annual Conference page.
In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Award, we are looking for a few programs that highlight the importance of the award in the broader sense of art and picture books. In an effort to provide attendees with well-rounded programming, not all programs will focus on art; however, if you have a program centered around this theme we encourage you to submit.
The official ALSC submission deadline for program proposals is Friday, June 1, 2012. The conference is scheduled for June 27 to July 2, 2013.

Tween Award Book List

ALSC strives to support its members who serve tweens--through online courses, webinars, discussions, with more opportunities in the works. As part of this effort, ALSC's School Age Programs and Services Committee, chaired by Tami Chumbley Finley, has compiled Top Titles for Tweens, titles geared to tweens, ages 10-14, culled from ALSC's 2012 book and media award winners. Many thanks to Tami and all the ALSC members who assessed the winners and created this list!
ALSC can help you bring your tweens the best of the best; use this list to assist with collection development, readers advisory, school visit booktalking, and even programming.

March Is Women's History Month

KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month is returning for 2012. Now in its second year, the blog, founded by Margo Tanenbaum of The Fourth Musketeer and ALSC member Lisa Taylor of Shelf-Employed, commemorates Women’s History Month through the lens of literature for children and young adults by bringing together authors, librarians, and bloggers from across the Kidlitosphere. Each day features a new essay, commentary, or review. Donna Jo Napoli, Jeanette Winter, and Karen Blumenthal are among the many authors slated to guest post in March.

New Día Resources for Program Planning, Community Participation

Are you interested in holding a Día program in your library? Día encourages libraries to support multicultural family literacy throughout the year; and to celebrate children and literacy annually on April 30th. A Resource Guide, designed to help libraries with all aspects of Día programming, is available on the newly designed Día website and offers program models of various scope and budget.
Also, an online Publicity Tool Kit provides resources to help libraries promote Día events within the community, including talking points and templates for a press release, PSAs, a flyer, and more.
A generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, supporting Everyone Reads @ your library, has made it possible for ALSC to extend Día’s reach to parents, caregivers, and children through the addition of web resources directed specifically to them. The Día website provides a brochure with a book list of more than 200 titles that features books in nine languages. Activity sheets for home use are also available online.
Libraries are invited to share their Día activities with libraries across the country by registering their event through our online database. ALSC will send each registrant complimentary stickers and buttons to promote library Día events, while supplies last. Parents and others interested in Día can search the database map for local programs and events; and librarians can review the activities of other libraries to learn from their successes.
ALSC is the national home of El día de los niños/El día de los libros, which was founded by nationally acclaimed children’s book author Pat Mora. REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking is a Founding Partner of Día.

Children's Choice Finalists Announced

Finalists for the 5th Annual Children’s Choice Book Awards are in. Voting opens online March 14 at and runs through May 3.
Children and teens may enter their votes individually, or you can tally and enter kids' votes from your classroom or library as a group.
Last year, over 500,000 children and teens voted for their favorite books. Encourage all the young readers in your life to make their voices heard and help us reach 1 million votes this year!
Sample tweets/Facebook posts that will help spread the word:
- Voting for @CBCBook's 5th Annual Children's Choice Book Awards opens online March 14! #CCBAs
- [insert title name] by @[insert author twitter handle] is a @CBCBook 2012 Children’s Choice Book Awards Finalist! Voting opens March 14! #CCBAs
- I just downloaded my free @CBCBook Children's Book Week "It's A Bookmark" by Lane Smith here! #CBW
- David Wiesner's free @CBCBook 2012 Children's Book Week poster is now available here!
- Join @CBCBook in celebration of the 93rd annual Children's Book Week, May 7-13, 2012! #CBW
- Celebrate books and reading with @CBCBook May 7-13, 2012! #CBW
Winners will be announced live during the Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala on May 7 in New York City. For the first time this year, footage of the entire ceremony, featuring award presentations by kid lit heavyweights Jarrett Krosoczka, Marc Brown, Mary Pope Osborne, S.E. Hinton, and many more, will be available in its entirety on the CBC site on May 8. Host a Gala viewing party in your school, library, bookstore, or home!
More resources:
Check out the 2012 Digital Toolkit, featuring everything you need to help spread the word: a voting widget, "I Voted" badges, e-cards, and more!

Keats $500 Mini Grants Available

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has shifted from a fall to a spring granting cycle for its mini grants program. The new deadline for grant applications is March 15, and decisions will be emailed to all applicants beginning May 15.
This year's online, electronic application format will simplify the submission process and provide confirmation of receipt to all applicants. Also the website includes a video tutorial explaining the process. For further information about the mini grants, visit the foundation's website.

Myers Named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Walter Dean Myers, five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and two-time Newbery Honoree, was named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. Myers will serve in the position during 2012 and 2013, succeeding Katherine Paterson. Myers has chosen "Reading Is Not Optional" as the heading for his platform.
The National Ambassador is named by the Librarian of Congress based on recommendations from a selection committee representing many segments of the book community. The selection criteria include the candidate’s contribution to young people’s literature and his or her ability to relate to children. The position was created to raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council (CBC), and Every Child a Reader, the CBC foundation, are the founders and sponsors of the National Ambassador initiative. Financial support for the program is provided by Penguin Young Readers Group, Scholastic Inc., HarperCollins Children’s Books, Random House Children’s Books, Candlewick Press, and the Lois Lenski-Covey Foundation.
Myers boasts more than 100 published books, including the New York Times best seller Monster, which was also the first winner of YALSA's Michael L. Printz Award, a National Book Award Finalist, and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. He is the recipient of YALSA's Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults and in 2009 delivered ALSC's May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, a distinction reserved for an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of children’s literature. Myers grew up in Harlem, which is the setting for many of his books, and currently resides in Jersey City, N.J.
For more information about the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, visit

Keats Awards Move to New Home

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation recently announced that The Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Book Awards have moved to the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries from the New York Public Library. The 2012 award ceremony will be held in conjunction with The University of Southern Mississippi's Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival on April 12, 2012. The 2012 winners are: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (New Illustrator Award) for Same, Same but Different and Meg Medina (New Writer Award) for Tía Isa Wants a Car.
“As the major repository for Ezra’s work and a leader in the world of children’s literature, the de Grummond is a natural partner for us to further Ezra’s legacy through the book award,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
Since 1985, the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award has been given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator of picture books for children (age 9 and under) by the foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the late Keats and dedicated to enhancing the love of reading and learning in all children. Some past winners of the award include: David Ezra Stein (New Writer 2008) for Leaves; Sophie Blackall (New Illustrator 2003) for Ruby’s Wish; and Bryan Collier (New Illustrator 2001) for Uptown.
The book award was created to recognize and encourage budding children’s book authors and illustrators who share Keats’ values—the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world. A downloadable poster of the 2012 and past winners is available.

Free Materials for Soar with Reading

PBS Kids and JetBlue have teamed up to encourage kids to visit their libraries this summer and are offering free resources to librarians, such as:
Literacy-based activity kits for kids 3- to 8-years-old to enhance summer reading programs. (The free kit can be ordered beginning in March at
Travel-themed activities from PBS Kids shows, such as Sid the Science Kid, Arthur, and Worldgirl
Tips and ideas for reading with kids during travel vacations
Volunteers from JetBlue to visit the library and share stories about their jobs and travel experiences.
There is no cost for libraries to take part in the program, or for any of the materials. More information is at

Reading Rockets – Writer’s Quest Writing Contest

It has been 100 years since Edgar Rice Burroughs first introduced readers to his jungle hero, Tarzan, and also to “John Carter”—a hero whose Martian adventure hit the big screen this March in the new Disney film of the same name. Give your readers the chance to learn more about Edgar Rice Burroughs and have a writing adventure of their own with the thought-provoking prompts in the Writer’s Quest Writing Contest from Reading Rockets. The contest begins March 9 and ends May 4, 2012. Prizes include a collection of books, "John Carter" titles, and signed movie posters.
Burroughs’ first John Carter novel A Princess of Mars is available to read online at

Cooney Center Survey Needs Respondents

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop is exploring ways in which the development of early literacy skills are being "disrupted" and "supported" in our digital age. To that end, the center has undertaken a series of "quick studies" that are tracking the ways in which adults in our modern era read with their young children, as well as the ways in which children are connecting their emerging literacy skills to the transition from print to digital that is now well underway among older youth.
Your assistance is requested in recruiting parents to complete an online survey that will help shape the Cooney Center’s research and media design work. The goal is to collect more than 500 survey responses. Results will be shared. Below is sample copy that can be shared with parents and caregivers in your community.
Are you the parent or guardian of a child between 2 and 6 years of age? If so, you are eligible to participate in a survey about children's books sponsored by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. Parents who complete the survey will have a chance to win a $50 gift card to! Click here for more information about the survey and to participate: