ALSC Matters! | September 2012, Vol. 10, no. 3

***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 Profile | Bright Ideas | Getting Together | Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Officially Speaking

Connecting Communities: ALSC Community Forums

A community forum can be defined “as a meeting or medium where ideas and views on particular issues can be exchanged by a particular community” and in August, ALSC did just that!

For an hour each day on August 8 and 9, 2012, the ALSC Board and I hosted the first of our quarterly Community Forums for this next year on ALSC’s ALA Connect site. All of our members were invited to attend via invitations issued through ALSC-L, Twitter, Facebook, and the ALSC blog. During the forum, members chatted with ALSC Board members and the ALSC President. These forums provide members with the opportunity to hear first-hand about the news of the association and also to participate in the discussion of topics, issues, or events.

For the first half hour of the forum, ALSC Board members and I shared news and updates from ALA Conference, ALSC Board meetings, and happenings since June with ALSC members asking good questions, providing thoughtful comments, and providing excellent feedback.

Just some of the Board news that was shared and discussed included the establishment of the new ALSC Website Advisory Committee; creation of the Popular Picks for Preteens Implementation Questions Task Force; and the creation of the ALSC Book Award Seals on E-book Versions Task Force. Our ALSC Councilor, Andrew Medlar, provided an update for us. Then we talked about the successful ALSC/YALSA joint president’s program in Anaheim titled “The Digital Lives of Tweens and Young Teens” (program slides and an incredible list of resources are available at And, another outcome in our joint work with YALSA also was announced. A brand-new electronic discussion list called MIDDLEGRD at was formed to discuss library service for and with middle school-aged youth. Highlights from the 75th Caldecott year of celebration were noted with help from Nina Lindsay, Caldecott 75th Caldecott Anniversary Task Force chair. Details about the ongoing celebration are at 75. I noted that Dr. David Lankes of Syracuse University has made the slides and audio of his presentation at the Division Leadership Meeting on Saturday, June 24, “Making a New Promise for Our Communities,” available to us on his blog.

During the second half hour of the forum, our conversation focused on possible changes in the ALSC dues structure. At the 2012 ALA Annual Conference, the ALSC Board of Directors discussed a proposal by the Budget Committee to implement a dues adjustment. In early August, the Budget Committee released the Dues Structure Change FAQ  (ALA log-in required) to introduce ALSC members to the proposed dues increases and newly proposed member categories. To better understand the dues adjustment…please take time to read the thoughtfully prepared FAQ, which includes considerations made by the Budget Committee.*

Some background information on the dues adjustment, one of the ALSC Budget Committee’s charges is “to review for the ALSC Board, on a regular basis, the dues structure.” The Budget Committee has again reviewed the structure and has recommended adjustments to the Board. If the Board agrees with the recommendation, they will vote to have the recommendation placed on the 2013 ALSC ballot for review and vote by the entire ALSC membership.

Please note it has been sixteen years since the last ALSC dues increase.

ALSC currently has only two personal membership categories: Regular $45 and Student $18. The proposal provides for four new personal member categories: Support Staff; Non-Salaried; Retired; Advocate. These new category areas carry the same definitions as the corresponding ALA membership category areas.

The proposal presents a slight increase in the two current categories and expansion of the personal membership categories: Regular $50; Support Staff $35; Non-Salaried $35; Retired $35; Advocate $25 (authors, teachers, parents, etc.), and Student $20.

*Keep in mind this is a current proposal as of Annual Conference; the board has asked the Budget Committee to reexamine the proposed student rate and the existing organization and corporate rates. A recommendation from the Budget Committee is due to the ALSC Board no later than ALA Midwinter 2013.

The August Community Forum has concluded, but the conversation can continue on ALA Connect. Whether or not you are able to join a live Forum, you can always add your thoughts to the dialogue by leaving a comment. The ALSC Budget Committee will post questions on ALA Connect regarding the ALSC dues adjustment proposal. For information about ALSC Community Forums or if you need help with future access, go to The August transcripts are posted.

The ALSC Board and I will host three additional Community Forums during the year. The next will be in early November, following the ALSC Executive Committee meeting in Chicago, October 26-27. Next spring, a Forum, following up ALA Midwinter, will be held in early February; the fourth Forum will follow the ALSC Executive Committee Spring Meeting phone call and is set for May. Each one will have a similar structure.

We hope that you’ll attend the Community Forums to share with us your thoughts. Through your participation, we can gain insight into how this proposed dues change will affect members and how it will shape the future of ALSC membership. Watch ALSC-L, Twitter, Facebook, and the ALSC Blog for announcements of these future days and times.

Thanks for connecting and thank you for your commitment to creating a better future for children through libraries.—Carolyn S. Brodie, ALSC President

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Council News

I'm delighted to introduce myself to everyone in ALSC as your new Division Councilor. The responsibility of Division Councilor is to speak for ALSC members and the Board of Directors on ALA Council issues, and to keep everyone informed of Council matters affecting library service to children, which my predecessor, Rhonda Kasemodel Gould, has done so well for the past three years. (Thank you, Rhonda!) As your representative, please let me know what Council issues concern you and your work, and any ideas you may have for resolutions to be proposed to the entire ALA Council as we strive to represent youth issues across the Association.

Just such an important resolution was passed by Council at Annual Conference in Anaheim this June, the Resolution that School Libraries and Librarians are Critical to Educational Success.

Moved by the American Association of School Librarians, one of our fellow youth divisions, and endorsed by our own ALSC Board of Directors, this resolution recognizes the benefit of, and threat to, quality K-12 library instructional programs across the nation, and calls for actions to support the “goals of sustaining school libraries.”

These actions include encouraging school library advocacy by state library associations, seeking productive partnerships with other relevant national associations, and making federal financial support for school libraries in upcoming Elementary and Secondary Education Act legislation an ALA priority.

Council’s support of this bodes very well for kids in ALL libraries as it recognized that (as it says in the resolution) all “members of ALA have an obligation to help ensure that every child in America receives a strong foundation in literacy.” It’s especially encouraging as this is a belief very much shared in ALSC’s own specific Strategic Plan.

Additional important information from the busy Council sessions in Anaheim this summer included:

  • ALA President (now Immediate Past-President) Molly Raphael’s report regarding her Advocacy work and progress on her Diversity and Leadership Development.
  • ALA President-elect (now President) Maureen Sullivan’s report of her work on The Promise of Libraries in Transforming Communities.
  • ALA Treasurer Jim Neale’s financial report featuring ALA’s Financial Value Proposition: “To develop and deploy the financial resources that support the strategic plan and delivery of programs that are responsive to member needs and support the improvement of library service.” The Chair of the Budget Analysis and Review Committee also addressed ALA’s Executive Board’s actions to responsibly meet the Association’s projected FY2012 General Fund operating deficit of $400,000.
  • The Freedom to Read Foundation’s report on the 15th anniversary of “one of the Foundation’s signal achievements: the unanimous Supreme Court decision in Reno v. ACLU, which declared unequivocally that the government could not, in order to deny minors access to speech that might possibly be harmful to minors, suppress speech on the Internet . . . [in other words] full First Amendment protection for the Internet.”
  • The Digital Content & Libraries Working Group report featuring information on their meetings with publishers to lobby for increased and consistent ebook access for libraries. This group has subsequently released a document proposing “Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries.”
  • The Committee on Legislation’s report highlighting their encouragement of ALA “to articulate support for school libraries in terms oriented toward student achievement and grassroots efforts at the state and local levels as well as an increased focus on external, non-library audiences and potential allies,” and for lobbying “Congress and the Administration for increased school library funding, as well as including school libraries” in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. These relate to the resolution I mentioned initially.
  • The Intellectual Freedom Committee’s report, which included plans to upgrade the Challenge Database and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, this year from September 30-October 6.

For those interested in further details and complete reports, the ALA website includes the Agendas and Minutes for all Council meetings.

The work of ALA Council continues on, and we will reconvene next at the 2013 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle this coming January. In the meantime, I will share any important new Council developments on ALSC-L, and please feel free to contact me with your ALA Council ideas or concerns at amedlar at I look forward to hearing from you and seeing many of you at the ALSC Institute in Indianapolis later this month!--Andrew Medlar, ALSC Division Councilor

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Thanks to Our Most Recent Donors

Many thanks to the following contributors. 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 Belpre Award Endowment

Alan Bern

Friends of ALSC

Silver Circle

Bound to Stay Bound Books Inc.

Notable Circle

Sharon Grover

Friends Circle

Alan Bern
Rhonda K. Puntney Gould

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ALSC Profile

Alice Neve
Public Service Manager, Saint Paul (Minn.) Public Library
ALSC membership: 27 years

Where did you attend library school? 
School of Library Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland

What, when and where was your very first library position?
My first professional library position was as a librarian at the Saint Paul Public Library, as manager of the Rice Street Library, starting right after I finished library school. I also worked for Omaha (Neb.) Public Library for two years, was a school librarian for one year, and children's librarian at the Redwood Falls (Minn.) Public Library for five years. Then I returned to Saint Paul where I have served for more than 30 years.

What is your best ALSC memory? 
My most meaningful memory was serving on the Caldecott Committee during 1998 and selecting the 1999 winner and honor books. Barbara Barstow was a wonderful chair who lead our team so capably to select Snowflake Bentley as that year's winner.

If you could give one piece of advice to library school students or new librarians, what would it be? 
Release any preconceptions of what a librarian is, does, or should do. Focus on being a servant manager, a voice for community needs, and upholder of the core values of the changing American public library. Work side by side with your staff, support your colleagues, and take "me and I" out of your work vocabulary!

If you weren’t a librarian, what would be your dream career? 
I'd manage an art gallery in Charleston, South Carolina, three days a week and quilt four days a week in Saint Paul!

You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books and one food item do you want with you?
Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, and a good Jack in the ! A bowl of chocolate would be by my side.

What are your hobbies?
Sewing, quilting, counted cross stitch, and reading magazines with no redeeming social value.

What three words best describe you?
Serious, loyal, committed

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Bright Ideas

Super Smart Summer with Tween Science

Palo Verde Library of the Phoenix (Ariz.) Public Library system had a super smart summer with our Tween Science programs. The programs, aimed at children ages 7-12, were held each Tuesday from June through July. As our library system has had budget cuts over the last several years, this is the first time in a long while that we have been able to offer ‘extra’ programming.

Besides the scientific method, some of the concepts children learned included: air flow, wind direction and resistance, reflection and refraction, pulleys & levers, motion, and more. The concepts were made fun by cool projects that children could make, decorate, and take home. Projects included: catapults, kaleidoscopes, wind socks, mini-parachutes, bottle rockets and more. Children were encouraged to deviate from the plans or improve on them and many did. The librarians then discussed how the project had been improved, what scientific concept was in play, and what other ideas children could implement at home. The children were very excited to learn new concepts and discuss them with each other and with the librarians.

The children’s librarian planned many of the programs based on How Science Works by Judith Hann and the Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman series from PBS Kids. The programs all met at least three or more of the Arizona Department of Education Science Standards. Several staff librarians participated by planning and presenting programs as well and enjoyed the experience immensely. In addition, most of the programs were made using recycled materials donated by staff members. The entire summer budget was less than $100 for nine programs serving more than 275 participants. Due to the extreme popularity of the program (maximum number of participants at almost every one, all summer long), we will continue during the school year with three months of all new after-school science programming. Librarians are eager to share new projects with the children including hot air balloons, paper airplanes, volcanoes, and more.—Terry Ann Lawler, children’s librarian, Phoenix (Ariz.) Public

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Pinkney Discusses 50 Years in Illustration

Multi-award-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney delighted an audience of some 250 people as the 16th annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture guest speaker on May 15, 2012, at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). Pinkney spoke of his childhood in Philadelphia, where his imagination and gift for observation were nurtured by his early love of Aesop’s fables, the legend of John Henry, and the Bible—all of which later wove themselves into his work. He started out in commercial illustration in the 1950s, and over the years has produced greeting cards, record album covers, and a series of images of great African-Americans in history for the U.S. Post Office. The legend of John Henry always had special appeal for Pinkney ; his first independently-initiated book project became his first collaboration with author Julius Lester in a powerful treatment of the iconic African-American hero.

Pinkney’s work also partakes of his deep love of music, another constant in his early life. His illlustrations for Sweethearts of Rhythm, written by Marilyn Nelson, paint the vivid history of an all-female, racially integrated jazz band that traveled through the Jim Crow South during World War II. Pinkney learned music, particularly gospel, from his mother. In his father’s workshop, he learned to love the beauty of tools and what they could create. In his youth, he was seldom without a pencil in his hand, often drawing on the backs of pieces of wallpaper. «My personal space was the size of a sketch book,» he said. Today, his quest for the best way to tell a story involves extensive research in which he immerses himself in the atmosphere of a time and place, as displayed in God Bless the Child which welds Billie Holiday’s lyrics to his intricately detailed illustrations of African-American family life during the Great Migration.

A reception, featuring foods based on those described in Pinkney’s books, and book signing preceded the lecture, and eager fans of all ages and professions lined up to have the artist sign copies of his Caldecott Award-winning The Lion & the Mouse and dozens of other titles.

The lecture series, sponsored by the Friends of San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco chapter of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA), honors Effie Lee Morris (1921-2009), the first coordinator of children’s services at SFPL, first African-American president of the Public Library Association, and founder of the San Francisco chapter of the WNBA. Morris championed inclusive portrayals of young people from all ethnic backgrounds and levels of ability in children’s literature. The lecture is among the key responsibilities of SFPL Children’s Center manager Loretta Dowell, who spends the greater part of each year in planning it with library staff and community partners. Publicity included early and regular email blasts, social media posts, flyers, and person-to-person communication, aided by a two-month exhibition of Pinkney’s work, «From Sketch to Book,» at the Children’s Center.—Lyn Davidson, assistant manager, Fisher Children’s Center, San Francisco Public Library

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Health Fairs a Hit in Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti (Mich.) District Library (YDL) held its third annual Community Health Fair on May 5, 2012. This successful family library program has been jointly hosted each year by youth librarian Ilene Singer and adult librarian Susan Brown at YDL’s main library. Each year the fair has attracted over 200 visitors who interact one-on-one with representatives from non-profit area organizations, receive valuable information, get their questions answered, and learn about community resources. In addition to the partnership connections YDL maintains with these local groups, the fair is also supported by various retail and service sponsors that provide door prizes for a drawing.

Each year Singer and Brown have come up with a different theme, slightly altering the fair’s focus and providing a wider variety of organizations that can participate. Planning for the spring event starts in November, when a theme is chosen and a potential list of agencies is started. The first year Singer and Brown used a handy outline on how to plan a health fair they found online and stressed a lot about hundreds of details. Each year since, their experiences and feedback from library members, staff, and participating groups have served to refine the process.

Singer and Brown have never had problems with filling the available tables at the fair. Groups are excited about being able to reach so many people with their important information. Displays are quite creative, such as kids being able to listen to their own heart, having a toy tested for potential toxic substances, seeing a model of what a pound of fat looks like, building a healthy plate of food from scores of cut-out paper pictures, brushing a giant pair of teeth under the watchful eyes of dental school students, and giving lots of safe love to an adorable, adoptable Beagle. Themed crafts and coloring sheets are also provided in the youth department and it’s a plus to have one of the presenters also do a themed story time.

To enter the door prize drawing, visitors get a themed entry form at the door, then collect a certain number of stickers from the tables they visit before they can put their form in the box on the way out—this encourages them to participate and have fun at the same time. The drawing is held after the fair, and winners contacted to pick up their prizes. The drawing for prizes adds excitement to the event, and community businesses have been willing to donate a prize to be listed on the program brochure and signs as a sponsor.

In 2010, “Home Run for Health” used a baseball theme that tied into a summer baseball exhibit and was held in early June. Community organizations and non-profits focused on general child and adult health and safety issues such as emergency preparedness, health literacy, injury prevention, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), vision screening, weight management, healthy teeth, and safe sleep. In the computer lab, visitors tried out reliable online resources and databases. This is the year Singer and Brown learned how to plan and pull off a large event involving multiple outside groups: making contacts and following up, finding prize donors, planning a budget for materials and food, rounding up volunteers, layout, and logistics. The key is starting broadly with an outline and theme then mapping out the calendar of what has to happen six months out, then three months, one month, the week before, and the day of the event. Using this method prevents things from falling through the cracks and important details from getting put off until there is a time crunch.

2011’s focus was on healthy nutrition and the Michelle Obama lifestyle initiative to reduce childhood obesity. The title that year was “Live Fit for Life!” and was held in May. The thinking was to not compete with end of the K-12 school year events. Unfortunately, this change did impact availability of participants connected with the universities, as they were preparing for exams and graduation in May. General health and exercise, food choices and portion size, diabetes education, nutrition resources for new mothers, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-ED), and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs, community gardening and local food sources, teen health, and recreational opportunities at local parks were some of the topics presented.

The 2012 theme was safety, and the title of the April fair was “Safety Sense!” Participants included the Humane Society, the Fire, Ambulance and Sheriff’s Departments, the Ecology Center, the county’s Environmental Health Department, the local women’s shelter (Safe House Center), plus several medical- and school-based organizations highlighting topics such as, bicycle and car safety, food safety, food allergies, hand washing, HIV/Aids, and eye and dental safety. A concurrent workshop on cyber-safety and identity theft was held in YDL’s computer lab.

Singer and Brown divide up planning tasks by utilizing one another’s strengths and interests: both do research on potential presenters and line up commitments, but Singer concentrates on prize donations, jobs her teen volunteer pool can do, getting children’s crafts ready, and ordering supplies while Brown works on the brochures and graphic materials. They keep in touch by frequent emails and quick phone calls, and regroup for progress meetings. YDL’s customer relations coordinator, Donna DeButts, is an enthusiastic event booster and contributes indispensable creative input.

Staying in regular contact with presenters and volunteers prevents last minute surprises and no-shows. We keep them happy by providing snacks and beverages such as light lunch items, bagels, juice, and water. Sending a certificate of appreciation to each participating organization and prize donor builds good will. Also, we always ask for their feedback to improve future events. It doesn’t require a big budget or a lot of people to coordinate a successful fair. Good planning and attention to detail create an event that provides an important contribution to the health of the community.—Susan Brown & Ilene Singer, Ypsilanti (Mich.) District Library. Opinions expressed are solely the author’s and do not reflect official library policy.

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Morris Lessmore, Bill Morris, and the Power of Story

From the opening to the closing of the Academy Award winning-film, the top-selling app, and the New York Times bestselling-book, the inspiration and influences of Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, libraries, and a love for books that tell a powerful story are evident in The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce. A bonus for lovers of children’s literature is that in the process, Joyce salutes two luminaries of children’s publishing: the late Bill Morris, former vice-president and director of library promotion at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and the late Coleen Salley, storyteller, children’s book author, and Distinguished Professor of Children's Literature at University of New Orleans (La.).

In this interview, William Joyce shares some insights about the creation of the iconic Morris Lessmore.

SB: What is Bill Morris’ relationship to Morris Lessmore?

WJ: It started when I went to see Bill because I was writing this little story inspired by him. The title of it is kind of an anagram of his name. Although he was very sick and we knew he didn’t have long to live, he was still officially working at HarperCollins. Bill was very dapper, very classy—my mentor there. A colossus in children’s publishing, he was barely five feet tall. His whole philosophy about selling books was “you just tell people” about books one person at a time. In a weird way, it’s all come back around, in that the key to the success of the Morris Lessmore iPad app has been word of mouth over blogs and websites. Sales skyrocketed when word about the app went viral. We sold over 25,000 copies of the app in one weekend. For that weekend in July, it was the top selling app in the world! It was the first time a book app sold more than either games or instructional/institutional stuff. I was very proud of that. It was all blog-fueled—all word of mouth—just done in a different way. It was Bill’s philosophy, but with the twist of the new age. It means so much to me to have been able to honor Bill this way, in a way that reflects his ethos and his philosophy and to pay homage to him.

SB: It seems to me that this is all a backwards process for you—that is, to do the film first and then create the picture book. Tell me how the film process evolved for Morris Lessmore.

WJ: I’d written the book and gotten pretty far along with the illustrations when the opportunity came up to do the short. At first I thought it was going to be narrated, like the book. However, we found out that narration limited our storytelling. What works very well in a picture book can sometimes seem like overkill in filmmaking. After all, it’s called “motion pictures,” so narration in film must be more subtle than words in a book. For me, words in a picture book merely set up the image and sometimes call up an irony between a word and an image. When writing a picture book, I try to underplay the fantastic by making the prose kind of dry. In writing the screenplay for the film, we felt like we were describing things on the screen, so we decided to make it silent instead. The plot is the same as the book; the film is told without words. That became a much more interesting way to make the short.

SB: Who do you see as the target audience for Morris Lessmore?

WJ: I don’t really think of a target audience; I just try to tell a story that’s interesting, entertaining, and [that] pleases me. I never think of my books as “children’s books.” I never think of them as anything else than for intelligent people. They may take place within the realm of childhood, but I don’t think of them as being “childish,” though there definitely is a sense of fun and playfulness to them. I think of them as having that same hope, that respect for the audience that you can give them a sophistication that can play across any age group. I think Stuart Little is an incredibly sophisticated piece of writing and storytelling that can be enjoyed by a first grader and a ninety-year-old. Even as a kid, you’re reading the book and you sense that you’re not being talked down to. Rather, [you feel] that whoever is telling you the story is smart and fun. I’ve always tried to emulate that kind of writing.

SB: What do you hope viewers and readers take away from Morris Lessmore?

WJ: I see Morris Lessmore as an illustration/demonstration/manifesto for the power of books and stories. The fact is, this all came along at an interesting time for me. Doing the short film seemed like a great way to promote and get awareness for the book, then the iPad came along and I thought it would be another neat new way to tell a story—a different narrative experience. I think of these as: the book will be one experience; the iPad and film are separate experiences. The app and film build off the book; neither can be just a regurgitation. Otherwise, it would mean that there will be no need to print on paper anymore. I have a fondness for that: the tactile quality of holding a book. To me, it is profound. I’ve never had enough room in books, movies, or television shows for all of the stuff in my head—for all these stories. I see all of these things coming together, in a way, so that I can explore different avenues, different details, and different parts of the same narrative and give the reader more story.

SB: What was it like to win the Academy Award for the movie?

WJ: All my atoms became bliss mist.

SB: Anything else you’d like to add?

WJ: My career has taken an interesting turn. I’m getting to work in a way that I never thought possible or likely or that I even wanted, that is, working with dozens—if not hundreds—of incredibly fun, creative people. It is very nice to be back in publishing. I’ve been wanting to do that and now that I feel I’m back, you’re gonna be seeing tons of stuff from me.—Stephanie Bange, director, Educational Resource Center, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

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Getting Together

2013 Arbuthnot Lecture Date Set

The 2013 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, to be delivered by Michael Morpurgo, Britain’s third Children’s Laureate, will be held on May 16 and hosted by Nazareth College and the Youth Services Section of the New York Library Association in Rochester, N.Y. The honor lectureship will be tied to several other significant events for librarians and readers of children’s and young adult literature during Children’s Book Week and will kick off the 38th annual NYLA Youth Services Section’s Spring Conference.

“The Youth Services Section of the New York Library Association submitted an application that was carefully prepared and embodied incredible community collaboration from local library systems, colleges, and even the Seneca Park Zoo,” said Arbuthnot Chair Susan Pine. “The lecture presents a wonderful opportunity for ALSC to partner with a vibrant state-wide library association.”

Ticket information will be posted at by early next year.

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Family Literacy Conference

The 22nd National Conference on Family Literacy will be held April 28-30, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. This gathering of educators, administrators, and literacy advocates provides professional development opportunities for learning the latest approaches, resources, and strategies to improve services provided to families and communities. For more details and to register, visit:

10th IBBY Regional Conference

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) will hold its next regional conference on October 18 through 20, 2013, at the historic St. Louis (Mo.) Public Library. Details will posted when available at

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Member News

Kudos, Ellen Fader

The Oregon Library Association (OLA) presented its 2012 Distinguished Service Award to Ellen Fader, youth services director, Multnomah County Library, Portland. The award is presented to an Oregon librarian for exceptional service over a career, and Ellen has had an exemplary career serving libraries and youth.

OLA recognized her efforts at the local, state, and national level. In her library career, she has served as a children’s librarian in Connecticut, Virginia, and Ohio. She spent a number of years as the youth services consultant at the Oregon State Library where she helped to guide librarians throughout the state and developed training programs that trained scores of children’s librarians throughout the state. During her years at Multnomah County Library, Fader created the School Corps service that connects students with public library resources. She grew the Books 2 U program, which brings high-interest paperbacks and booktalks into classrooms, from one staff person to five. And under her direction, the Summer Reading program grew from 5,000 to 98,000 participants.

On a national level, Fader has served on the Newbery and Caldecott Award committees as a member and chair, and also served as president of the ALSC.

On July 1, 2012, Fader retired after exactly 40 years as a librarian dedicated to improving the lives of young people through libraries. Congratulations, Ellen!

ALSC's Own Movers & Shakers

Congratulations to the following ALSC members who were named 2012 Movers and Shakers by Library Journal. Each year, LJ’s Movers & Shakers spotlights librarians and others in the library field who are doing extraordinary work to serve their users and to move libraries of all types and library services forward.

Carrie Banks, Supervising Librarian, Child's Place for Children with Special Needs, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Community Builder
Amanda Ellington, Youth Services Supervisor, St. Mary's County (Md.) Public Library, Recession Buster
Kristin Fontichiaro, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Change Agent
Renee Grassi, Head of Children's Services, Deerfield (Ill.) Public Library, Advocate
Jordana Vincent, Collection Development Librarian, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, Colorado, Change Agent

Peterson and Struckmeyer Receive Institute Scholarships

The Friends of ALSC have awarded scholarships to the ALSC National Institute to ALSC members Joella Peterson and Amanda Struckmeyer in the effort to support ALSC’s goal of continuing education for children’s librarians. The scholarships include Institute registration; transportation to and from the Institute; and two nights at the Sheridan Indianapolis City Centre, where the Institute is being held later this month.

As a youth services librarian at the Tumwater Timberland (Wash.) Library, Peterson will be a first-time Institute attendee and looks forward to learning more about early literacy practices, best practices for youth services staff and incorporating music with preschoolers. “I have desired to go to the ALSC National Institute for many years, but because of time constraints, location and budget restrictions, I have never been able to attend,” said Peterson. “Even though I can keep current with the ALSC electronic discussion list and with ALA Connect (and serve on virtual committees), being able to meet with people in-person and see and talk to them often makes all the difference in turning a good idea into a great library program.”

Struckmeyer is the head of youth services at the Middleton (Wis.) Public Library, and has been an ALSC member for more than eight years. She has served on numerous ALSC committees, from Organization and Bylaws to the Newbery Award, and is also active in the Wisconsin Library Association. “My position as Head of Youth Services is demanding, and the world of children’s librarianship evolves quickly,” said Struckmeyer. “I would be able to put knowledge and insight from the ALSC Institute into practice right away. I constantly strive to offer enriching, cutting-edge programming and materials to all of the children and families in my community.”

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ALSC Members Display Their Creativity

The Friends of ALSC and the ALSC Membership Committee are proud to announce the winner in the ALSC eBadge Contest. Krista Welz, children’s librarian at the North Bergen (N.J.) Free Public Library, is the winner with her “ALSC Cloud” design. Welz’s design received over 175 votes on the ALSC Blog poll.

Welz is the winner of a Nook and a Book from the Friends of ALSC. Her design will be featured for ALSC members to display on their blogs or email signature lines. Rick Samuelson (“I Empower Kids”), youth services librarian, Washington County (Ore.) Cooperative Library Services, and Margaret Stawowy (“Growing Minds”), children’s librarian, San Rafael (Calif.) Public Library, were runners-up. Each will receive an ALSC gift bag.

Friends of ALSC and the Membership Committee hosted the contest to highlight the creativity of ALSC members. ALSC thanks all the participants and everyone who voted.

Susan Pina, a librarian at Orange County (Calif.) Public Library, also won a Nook and a Book from the Friends of ALSC. Pina visited the ALSC membership booth during the Anaheim conference and entered the Friends raffle.

Empowering Diverse Voices

With diversity playing a major role in ALSC's Strategic Plan, we are happy to share videos recorded by ALSC members Carrie Banks, Rose Dawson, and Thom Barthelmess. As participants in ALA's Empowering Diverse Voices Initiative, they joined their voices with other leaders across the association to share a great message.

Empowering Diverse Voices-Carrie Banks
Empowering Diverse Voices-Rose Dawson
Empowering Diverse Voices-Thom Barthelmess

The full video series is available at:

Thank you Carrie, Rose, and Thom!

New Poetry Book from Vardell and Wong

Just in time for the 2012-2013 school year, Sylvia Vardell has published The Poetry Friday Anthology, edited by Sylvia Vardell with poet and collaborator Janet Wong. It's a new anthology of 218 original, previously-unpublished poems for children in kindergarten through fifth grade by 75 popular poets from Jack Prelutsky and J. Patrick Lewis to Jane Yolen, X.J. Kennedy, Margarita Engle, Nikki Grimes, Kathi Appelt, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Georgia Heard, and many more. (Complete list of poets at

The book includes a poem a week for the whole school year (K-5) with Common Core curriculum connections provided for each poem, each week, and each grade level. Just five minutes every “Poetry Friday” will reinforce key skills in reading and language arts such as rhyme, repetition, rhythm, and alliteration.

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Fall 2012 Online Ed Schedule

ALSC recently recleased its fall online education schedule, which includes five courses, all starting on October 1.

ALSC Core Competencies: Serving Children with Distinction and Commitment
October 1 - November 9

The Caldecott Medal: Understanding Distinguished Art in Picture Books
October 1 - November 9

Connecting with 'Tween Readers
October 1 - October 26

Out of this World Youth Programming -- CEU Certified Course!
October 1 - November 9

Series Programming for the Elementary School Age -- CEU Certified Course!
October 1 - October 26

Detailed descriptions and registration information are available on the online course site

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2013 ALSC Professional Awards

ALSC is now taking applications and nominations for its 2013 professional awards!

The Light the Way Grant provides a $3,000 grant and is sponsored by Candlewick Press in honor of author Kate DiCamillo and the themes represented in her books. The grant will be awarded to a library with exceptional outreach to underserved populations in efforts to help them continue their service. This year’s winner, Memphis Public Library & Information Center, used the grant for their “Read with Me, Sign with Me” story time program available for the deaf and hard of hearing. “This grant has allowed us to take a big step toward making the library a welcoming place for our whole community,” said Mary Seratt, children and adult service coordinator, “We love that the mentors meet with their families at the library, and that the parents are learning what books to share with their children.” Applications are due November 15, 2012. Please note that this is a new deadline for the award!

The Penguin Young Readers Group Award provides a $600 stipend for up to four winners to attend their first ALA Annual Conference. Applicants must have fewer than 10 years of experience as a children’s librarian and work directly with children. Applications are due December 1, 2012.

The ALSC Distinguished Service Award  honors an individual member who has made significant contributions to and an impact on, library services to children and ALSC. The recipient receives $1,000 and an engraved pin at the ALSC Membership Meeting during the ALA Annual Conference. Nominations are due December 1, 2012.

The ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Grant provides $3,000 in financial assistance to a public library for developing an outstanding summer reading program for children. Click here to learn more about the 2012 winner, Witchia Falls Public Library, and how their mystery-themed summer program “Get a Clue…at the Library” was a thrilling success! Applications are due December 1, 2012.

Bookapalooza! Each year the ALSC office receives almost 3,000 newly published books, videos, audiobooks and recordings from children’s trade publishers for award and notables consideration. At the end of the year, after the awards have been given out, ALSC selects three libraries to receive a collection of these materials (estimated to be worth $10,000 each) to be used in a way that creatively enhances their library service to children and families. "The Bookapalooza grant program has been so exciting for our students at Conley School. The infusion of materials we've received has boosted not only our collection, but our students' enthusiasm for reading! Thank you!" said Michelle McGarry, library teacher, at Conley Elementary School (Whitman, Mass.), a 2012 Bookapalooza collection recipient. Another of this year’s winners, First Regional Library System (Hernando, Miss.), was able to distribute the materials between five of their libraries!  Applications are due December 1, 2012.

ALSC’s Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship provides a $4,000 stipend to allow a qualified children’s librarian to spend a total of four weeks or more reading at the University of Florida’s Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature. The Baldwin Library contains a special collection of 85,000 volumes of children’s literature published mostly before 1950. Applications are due December 30, 2012.

For more information about each award and to submit an online application, visit

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Media Awards - Send Us Your Suggestions

ALSC personal members are welcome to suggest titles and names for the upcoming media awards. Send recommendations with full bibliographic information to the appropriate committee chair listed below. Please note that publishers, authors, illustrators, and/or editors may not nominate their own titles. For more information about each award, visit and click on “Awards & Grants.”

Newbery Medal, Steven Engelfried, engelfried at
Caldecott Medal, Sandra Imdieke, simdieke at
2014 Arbuthnot Lecture, Susan Moore, smoore2629 at
Batchelder Award, Jean Hatfield, jhatfield at
Belpré Award, Charmette Kuhn-Kendrick, ckendrick-kuhn at
Carnegie Medal, Maeve Visser Knoth, visser-knoth at
Geisel Award, Carla Morris, carlam at
Notable Children’s Books, Wendy Woodfill, notables2013 at
Notable Children’s Recordings, Linda Salem-Poling, lynda.poling at
Notable Children’s Videos, Maeve Visser Knoth, visser-knoth at
Odyssey Award, Teri Lesesne, lis_tsl at
Sibert Medal, Kathie Meizner, Kathie.Meizner at

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Technology Chats on Twitter

ALSC's Children and Technology Committee is hosting monthly Twitter chats organized under the hashtag #alscchat. Discussions will be held on the second Thursday of each month at 9 p.m. (Eastern time) and will address topics such as apps, software, and new media, among others. September's chat, scheduled for Thursday, September 13, has a "back-to-school" theme. More details will be posted on the ALSC-L discussion list prior to the discussion date. For updates on news and events, follow ALSC on Twitter (@alscblog).

Common Core State Standards - New Resources

To date, 45 U.S. states and three territories have formally adopted the Common Core State Standards. As a result, teachers and librarians across the country are now addressing the challenges of implementing this major, new educational initiative. In response, ALA’s Booklist Publications has compiled a webpage of online Common Core State Standards resources. It includes many helpful materials culled from Booklist and Book Links magazines, Quick Tips e-newsletter, and Booklist Online. Many of the resources tie specific standards to individual children’s books and provide ideas for activities and discussion questions. Booklist’s goal is to help educators successfully address these new directives while extending one of its core missions: to get the best books for children into the classroom and into the hands of students.

News from ALSC's Public Awareness Committee

How are you promoting your library? The Public Awareness Committee (PAC) wants to share your ideas with the rest of the library world. Submit your successful promotion efforts to the Robin Howe, committee chair, at rhowe at

PAC wants to brag about your library’s multicultural programs for tweens at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference. Submit photos, videos, and program descriptions to Howe at rhowe at Please indicate if you will be attending the conference in Chicago.

New EDL Focuses on Serving Middle Graders

ALSC and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) have partnered to offer a new electronic discussion list,, established to provide a means of discussion and networking for individuals interested in library services for and with middle school-aged youth. Discussions, news, and information are welcome on the list; however, advertisements are not.

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Best Practices in Library Partnerships: IMLS Needs Your Stories!

As a children's librarian, you're out there doing great things for your very youngest readers and their caregivers. Whether you work for a large urban system or you're one half the staff at a small rural library, you've woven early childhood programs and services into the fabric of what you do every day. You're a relationship architect, and you build community through your efforts to champion early literacy both within your library and beyond it.

What if your success stories could affect national legislation and possibly more Congressional funding for early childhood programs and services? What would that mean for you, your library, and the little ones you serve?

There's never been a better time to find out.

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is seeking your stories of successful partnerships with local Head Start agencies, childcare centers, and any other organizations serving early childhood populations. Together with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, IMLS plans to publish a policy report in early 2013 on the role of libraries in early learning. This policy report would contribute to a change in the dialogue about early childhood literacy programs and the other services libraries provide to young children and their caregivers. Your stories are paramount to this report's success, no matter the size of your library or the scale of your partnerships.

With the support of ALA's Washington Office, ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs & Services (ECPS) Committee has created a survey to help you share your efforts with IMLS. Please watch ALA Connect and the ALSC-L electronic discussion list for the survey link, which will be available in late September or early October 2012.

It all begins with you and your youngest readers, whether they number 10 or 10,000. Lend them your voice! After all, who doesn't love a good story?

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Special Offer on Mock Election Resources

In anticipation of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Award, ALSC is extending a special offer on its Mock Election resources. Purchase the Newbery and Caldecott Mock Elections Tool Kit  in September, October, or November 2012, and receive free access to an archived, prerecorded Mock Elections webinar, hosted by Steven Engelfried, current chair of the Newbery Award Selection Committee.

Mock election programs are a fun, interactive way to: encourage children to read; stimulate greater interest in book awards; foster an appreciation of fine art and literature; and heighten awareness of notable past book award winners. These are all great reasons to plan a mock election program to celebrate the Caldecott 75th anniversary. The Mock Election Tool Kit and webinar provide everything needed to plan and execute a gold-medal election program.

For details on more ways to connect with the 75th Caldecott anniversary celebration, go to the Caldecott 75th website .

ALSC Seeking Course Instructors

The Education Committee is adding to ALSC’s online course and webinar offerings. If you are interested in teaching a course or webinar, please fill out the Online Education Proposal at and attach a copy of your resume, teaching references, and a course syllabus (not needed for webinars). The committee will be selecting proposals on a rolling basis. Please contact committee chair Kate Todd (edukatetodd at with questions.

Online course instructors must be willing to commit to teaching at least three sessions over the next two years. Webinar instructors must be willing to commit to four webinars within six months of having their proposal selected. For more information about session dates/times, please contact ALSC Program Officer Jenny Najduch at jnajduch at

Participants attending ALSC programs are seeking valuable educational experiences and are critical of presenters or sessions that are self-promotional. Presentations should advance the educational process and provide a valuable learning experience. The Program Coordinating Committee will not select a program session that suggests commercial sales or self-promotion.

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Teen Read Week™

It Came from the Library! 2012 Teen Read Week™ is October 14-20. The Young Adult Services Association (YALSA) dares you to read for the fun of it! Teen Read Week is a time to celebrate reading for fun and encourage teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms--books and magazines, e-books, audiobooks, and more--and become regular library users. For more details on how to get involved, visit:  

Win $3,000 to Promote Your Library and Services

Libraries seeking to share their stories and raise public awareness are encouraged to apply for the 2013 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant.  The library that develops the best public awareness campaign using the National Library Week theme will be awarded $3,000 to promote its library and library services.

All proposals must use the 2013 National Library Week theme, Communities matter @ your library, which incorporates The Campaign for America’s Libraries’ @ your library brand, on any and all promotional and publicity material supporting National Library Week activities.

A grant application form and guidelines are available on the Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant website. For more information from the Campaign for America's Libraries, contact Campaign Coordinator, Megan McFarlane via telephone at (800) 545-2433, ext. 2148, or by email at The application deadline is September 30, 2012. National Library Week is April 14-20, 2013.

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New Copyright Book for K-12 Librarians

As the digital environment continues to develop rapidly, school librarians and K-12 educators face challenging issues concerning copyright-protected print and online materials at schools and outside of the traditional educational environment. When asked to make copyright decisions, uncertain librarians and educators tend to take more conservative copyright positions than necessary for fear of liability.

ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) released the book Complete Copyright for K–12 Librarians and Educators to help librarians and teachers understand copyright law. The book teaches librarians and educators how to fully exercise rights such as fair use while making decisions that are both lawful and best serve the learning community.

The book, written by Carrie Russell, director of ALA’s Program on Public Access to Information, explores complex situations often encountered in classrooms, such as the use of copyrighted material for school assignments, library operations, extracurricular activities, and on the Web.

Complete Copyright is available for purchase through the ALA Store.

Field Notes: News You Can Use

USBBY Bridge to Understanding Award--Call for Applications

The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) Bridge to Understanding Award Committee seeks to identify and honor innovative programs that use children's literature as a way to promote international understanding. Schools, libraries, scout troops, clubs, and bookstores are all eligible for this award. Does your library, school, or bookstore program promote reading as a way to expand a child's world? Is that program centered on international children’s literature?

To learn more about the award criteria and to access an application form, please visit The submission deadline for the next award is January 31, 2013. For additional details, contact the USBBY secretariat at: Secretariat at or phone: 224.233.2030.

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Read for the Record

This year's Jumpstart Read for the Record event takes place on October 4. People across the country will be encouraged to read the children’s book Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, by David Soman and Jacky Davis, in support of Jumpstart’s mission to work towards the day when every child in America enters school prepared to succeed.

Find everything you need to participate at the Read for the Record website, including a planning guide and event materials, such as activity guides, event flyers, a template press release, and a "World Record Reader" certificate.

Take your support of Jumpstart one step further by joining We Give Books' Bug Squad! Whether you are reading along with a child on a laptop, to a class from a whiteboard, or in front of a projector in a library, We Give Books is the easiest way to be counted towards the world record. And, for each book read online at the We Give Books website, We Give Books will donate a brand new book to a classroom Jumpstart serves. For a complete toolkit of resources for holding a We Give Books celebration for Jumpstart's Read for the Record day, visit We Give Books is a philanthropic program from Penguin and the Pearson Foundation that helps children become lifelong readers and givers.

Catch the reading bug and help break a record on October 4!

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New Web Resource for Parents of Young Children

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is pleased to announce the launch of the new For Families website at , a valuable resource for parents and families with young children that provides information on finding quality child care, articles about how children learn by well-known pediatricians and child development experts, and creative learning ideas to try at home. In addition, the site contains a searchable database to help families locate centers and schools accredited by NAEYC for their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

NAEYC also is pleased to include “Families Today,” a column by Drs. T. Berry Brazelton and Joshua Sparrow, that helps families and caregivers understand the meaning behind children’s behaviors, as a regular feature of the website. The column, which was previously syndicated in The New York Times, serves as a forum for answering everyday and unusual questions about children’s behavior, development, learning, and health posed by adults who care for and about children.

Summer Reading Resources

Is it ever too early to start planning for summer reading? Check out Oregon's Best Practices Website. The blog shares research-based components of high-quality summer reading programs, compiled by the Oregon State Library and the Oregon Library Association's Children's Services Division and Young Adult Network. The site addresses Oregon's libraries but the information may be of interest or assistance to other states and libraries.

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Video Games and the Brain: Study Released on How One Game Has Impacted Brain Function to Inspire Healthy Behavior

A study published earlier this year by HopeLab and Stanford University researchers reveals new data showing that Re-Mission™, a video game about killing cancer in the body, activates brain circuits involved in positive motivation. This reward-related activation is associated with a shift in attitudes and emotions that has helped boost players’ adherence to prescribed chemotherapy and antibiotic treatments in a previous study. The study released this year provides new insights into how these effects might have occurred, revealing that active participation in gameplay events is key to activating the brain’s positive motivation circuits. Seeing and hearing the same information without active participation in gameplay had no impact on activity in positive motivation circuits. A growing body of data shows that digital games can positively alter players’ attitudes and behavior. These data are driving a burgeoning interest in “serious games” and “games for health.” For more information on this study, please visit:

Publisher Points: News from the Children's Book Publishing World

To coincide with its 20th anniversary, Candlewick is launching a yearlong We Believe in Picture Books initiative, celebrating in September 2012 and beyond. A dedicated picture book website, launched last month at, is featuring a video a day generated by authors and illustrators, booksellers, librarians, Candlewick staff, and other picture book lovers. Videos on the site are short, informal, and personal, with contributors sharing what picture books mean to them, recommending favorite stories, and more. The video tributes kicked off on September 1 with a charming "silent film" presented by ALSC members Elizabeth Bird, New York, and Travis Jonker, Dorr, Mich. Libraries are invited to: post one or more of the videos on their website; participate in the celebration by creating their own video tribute to picture books; and/or submit a video honoring picture books to Candlewick. To participate, please contact Laura Rivas, laura.rivas at

HarperCollins Children’s Books has launched its free Beverly Cleary Books app, the official reference guide to all things Beverly Cleary. Product features include: Bookshelf with "I've Read It!" marking tool; character quizzes and 100-question trivia game; interactive neighborhood map; activities for parents, teachers, and librarians; original short story by Beverly Cleary; and behind-the-scenes Ramona and Beezus movie pix and featurette. Learn more at: 

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