ALSC Matters! | September 2013, Volume 11, 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 Voices & Faces  |  Bright Ideas  |  Getting Together  |  Hear Ye! Hear Ye!  

 Officially Speaking 

The More We Get Together… 

I can still recall the eager anticipation I felt as a child, looking forward to summer—a time of reading and relaxing with friends.  That sensation of seasonal exhilaration lingers today, with longer days to squeeze in a little extra time for reading, and of course meeting up with friends, old and new, at Annual Conference, where I trade relaxation for rejuvenation.  There is nothing better than collegial contact for an infusion of inspiration and this year’s event in Chicago offered abundant opportunities for spirited interaction.  

We celebrated till the cows came home—or at least until they jumped over the moon—to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal.  What a wild (and wonderful) ride it was—from a preconference that provided rich insight into picture book creation, to a gala evening complete with red carpet interviews and attendees in amazing get-ups, culminating in the Charlemae Rollins President’s Program “Think With Your Eyes,” which led those present through exercises in visual literacy.  
ALSC 101, the annual event organized by the Membership Committee to introduce the intricacies of ALSC work and provide tips for navigating the conference, is always a great place to meet the newest members of the profession and recruit new members to contribute to ALSC Committees. 
Colleagues shared strategies and successes for incorporating play into programming and collaborating with schools and parents in supporting implementation of the Common Core State Standards at a lively and engaging Membership Meeting.  
And then, between presentations and meetings, ALSC committees and the Board of Directors were busy planning and preparing for future programs and projects that will benefit members and strengthen the profession year-round.  
Indeed, it is precisely those ongoing efforts that are the strength of ALSC and that offer the richest rewards.  Fortunately, in addition to year-round committee work, ALSC provides multiple platforms for members to network, collaborate, discuss, and interact on a continual basis. Detail can be found on the left column of the ALSC website under “Communications and Publications” or at
  • Children and Libraries and ALSC Matters! publish features on research and practical application for enhancing service to children and families.
  • The division’s general electronic discussion list, ALSC-L, provides an opportunity to seek timely input from colleagues around the country for programming ideas, advice on equipment purchases, assistance in putting a specific author or title to a vague description or detail of a book from a patron’s past, or any other issue that requires quick but thoughtful consultation with colleagues.  To delve deeper, specialized lists on a multitude of subjects such as advocacy, storytelling, board activity, and public/school library cooperation are listed at
  • The ALSC Blog, available at, is a virtual space for fellow professionals to contribute and consume information and ideas related to the field. Topics that range from “Subversive Storytimes” to censorship, to reorganizing the collection—and the comments generated can be as substantive as the posts.
  • Community Forums encourage members to interact in real time around an issue, often hosted in concert with Board members and an ALSC committee. In August, we explored ways to assess and curate apps for children, with discussion questions posed by the Children and Technology Committee. The Liaisons with National Organizations will co-host sessions on pursuing productive partnerships later this fall. Please join us, and it’s okay to just “listen.”
  • Live Twitter chats with a predetermined focus occur monthly on subjects that span from Common Core to legal issues surrounding children’s libraries. Watch ALSC-L for announcements of upcoming topics
  • Everyday Advocacy is a recent addition to the ALSC communication collection, This dynamic website offers tips on advocating for children and libraries, with an option for adding your success stories to inspire others.
With these resources, my passionate and inspiring colleagues are always only a few key strokes away—and that makes me happy!—Starr LaTronica, ALSC President

Council Report - 2013 Annual Conference

Greetings, everyone! I’m happy to share with you the following information from the ALA Council meetings held during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, where I was proud, as always, to represent ALSC.

  • Attendance at Annual Conference was 26,362, an impressive 23% increase over the previous two annuals in Anaheim and New Orleans.
  • Outgoing ALA Treasurer Jim Neal reported a projected deficit of $1.9 million in the overall ALA General Fund, with Fiscal Year 2013 revenues (as of 5/31) 12.2% under budget and expenses reduced by 11.3% . However, ALA divisions, such as ALSC, are in a “good financial state” and, in fact, ALSC President Starr LaTronica reported during our August Community Forums that ALSC finances are “robust and secure.” (Divisions will see an effect from the General Fund deficit, though, because we do receive support from many General Fund offices, such as the Public Information Office, ALA Publishing, and others.)
  • Council received an update from the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, the fine folks who are continuing their work on the e-book front, who reported that all Big 6 (which have subsequently become Big 5) publishers are now lending to libraries in at least some way, which means the industry’s e-book status is “improved, [but] not yet good.”
  • Council heard reports from the very active ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, the Committee on Legislation, and the Freedom to Read Foundation (which was commended for defending the right to videogames in libraries), all of which are continually working to support the work of ALA and its members. Patron privacy is a key belief in new text approved as ALA Policy urging “all libraries that implement self-service holds to protect patron identity” (ALA Policy Manual B.
  • Council passed resolutions supporting “Library Service to the Community in a Disaster” and also called on “libraries of all types to make basic literacy a high priority by incorporating literacy initiatives into programs and services for all users.” A resolution stating that ALA “refrains from having public prayers during its meetings” was adopted and another calling on ALA’s endowment trustees to “begin divesting in the fossil fuel industry” was defeated.
  • The complete list of 2013 ALA Annual Conference Council actions is available online.
One of the final events of the very busy Annual Conference is always the farewell to departing presidents (including our own Carolyn Brodie and ALA’s Maureen Sullivan) and inauguration of new presidents, such as ALSC’s Starr LaTronica and ALA’s Barbara Stripling. A significant and worthy campaign of President Stripling’s Libraries Change Lives initiative, which was kicked-off in Chicago and corresponds well to ALSC’s advocacy goal area, is the Declaration for the Right to Libraries. While the ten points in this declaration are broadly encompassing, several speak very directly to serving children, including “Libraries Support Literacy” and “Libraries Strengthen Families.” Please take a look at the Declaration and share it with your community!
The work of ALA Council continues on throughout the year, and we will reconvene next at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia in January. In the meantime, I will share any important new Council developments on ALSC-L, and hope you will feel free to contact me with your ALA Council ideas or concerns. Please let me, as your representative, 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. I look forward to hearing from you!—Andrew Medlar, ALSC Division Councilor

Thank You to Our Latest Friends

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

President's Circle

Cynthia K. Richey
Peggy Sullivan

Sliver Circle

Susan Faust

Notable Circle

Claudette McLinn
Pat Scales

Friends Circle

Roberta Reasoner  

ALSC Voices and Faces  

Best viewed from ALSC Voices and Faces Section, where photos are included.

ALSC Profile

Carolyn Phelan
Reviewer, Books for Youth, Booklist
Northbrook (Ill.) Public Library
ALSC Membership:  25 years

How did you get into the library field?
The summer after I graduated from college, I was looking for work in Atlanta. I quickly discovered that no one wanted to hire someone with an English degree, plenty of art courses, and no marketable skills. Coming out of another discouraging interview, I looked at the want ads again and saw a job that I figured I must be qualified for, since it read “no experience necessary.”
As a liberal arts graduate, I was confident that I could do electrolysis, but I figured that the interview would go better if I knew what the word meant. Since I was walking by the main library, I stopped in to find out. Definition: “The removal of unwanted hair using electric needles.” Really? Really?!
After the shock wore off, a light bulb went on. I looked up, saw a librarian, and asked, “How can I get a job at the library?” By luck or fate, I had asked Carlton Rochelle, the director of the Atlanta Public Library System. He led me to his office, where we talked for some time, and he called the director of the Graduate Division of Librarianship at Emory University. An hour later, I was in his office. Within two months, I was taking intro classes. And midway through my first children’s lit course, I knew that I’d found my field.  
What was your first library job?
While in library school, I moved to Toronto. I completed my courses at the University of Toronto and took a job at the nearby Chinguacousy Public Library, where I worked as the head of children’s services for several years. I also began reviewing for In Review, the first Canadian review journal for children’s and young adult books.
Where do you work now?
For over 25 years, I’ve worked part-time for two great organizations.
At Booklist, I’m a contract reviewer in the Books for Youth section, where I contribute over 300 reviews a year and join in the Editors’ Choice discussions.
At Northbrook (Ill.) Public Library, recently named one of the best 100 places to work in the Chicago area (and it really is!), I work at the Youth Services desk and manage our nonfiction collection.
What surprised you about ALSC?
In the past, I was never a big fan of committees or meetings, but my ALSC committees have been both challenging and rewarding. My assignments have included the International Relations, Newbery, Sibert, and Arbuthnot committees. I’m currently on the Budget Committee, which is fascinating in a completely different way.
What do you value most about ALSC?
It all comes down to the people. When I started attending conferences regularly, I found a community of like-minded, but highly individual folks who are fun, capable, smart, intensely engaged in their work, and willing to share what they know. They've been helpful to me professionally and, along the way, I’ve made some lifelong friends.

Happy Trails to Jenny Najduch

ALSC bid a fond farewell to Jenny Najduch in August. Jenny accepted a position as e-Learning instructional designer at an integrated healthcare delivery system. We greatly appreciate her many accomplishments over the past five and a half years at ALSC. As Marketing Specialist, Jenny connected our members to the association while increasing awareness of our programs and services. Later, as Program Officer for Continuing Education, she successfully expanded upon and enriched ALSC’s education offerings. The 2013 Preconference was the highlight of annual conference, thanks to her hard work and logistical expertise. We already miss her warm smile, quick wit, and team spirit. 

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Bright Ideas

Game On! - November 16 Is International Games Day @ your library®

International Games Day @ your library is an initiative of the American Library Association to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games. It is completely free to participate! You can register here.

In the century, libraries are about much more than books. On Saturday, November 16, 2013, more than one thousand libraries around the world will showcase gaming programs and services in support of IGD13. This year marks the 6th annual event. The peak numbers so far were in 2011, when more than 27,700 people played games at more than 1,400 libraries across the U.S. and in other countries; in 2012, many venues were affected by early voting for the US federal elections and the storms on the east coast of the U.S., but there were still nearly 20,000 participants.
Gaming of all types at the library encourages young patrons to interact with a diverse group of peers, share their expertise with others (including adults), and develop new strategies for gaming and learning. Plus, it's a way for traditionally underserved groups to have fun in the library and interact with other members of the community. Games Day is a great opportunity for families to get out of the house and play together in the one community institution that welcomes everyone.
For more information on International Games Day and how your library can participate, visit:

Summer Reading Shares

Adopt-a-Reader Pairs Teens and Elementary Kids

The Green Valley branch of Henderson (Nev.) Libraries offers an annual program that coincides with its Summer Reading Challenge. The program, called Adopt-a-Reader, pairs elementary school children with teen volunteers to share reading and reading related activities together. This summer marked the third year of Adopt-a-Reader, which included some subtle changes to the program since 2011 when it first launched.
This year the program took place over six weeks with child-teen pairs meeting together once a week for 45 minutes. An additional reading challenge was also built into this year’s program, challenging participants to read eight titles inspired by the summer reading theme – “Dig into Reading!” Each participant received a tracking log on which to place stickers representing the books they read from selected lists of picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction. When all eight spots on the log were filled, kids selected a small prize from our Summer Reader Treasure Chest.
The main goal of the program was to provide children a fun and supportive environment to practice and enjoy reading. The program served children, of all reading levels, who were entering grades 1-5 this fall. The program also provides a great opportunity for our teen volunteers who receive training in working with children on reading skills and appropriate methods for coaching them through reading exercises. The teens love to read with the younger kids and the kids enjoy having a teen to bond with.  
For 2014, I hope to secure grant funding to acquire iPads for the pairs to utilize during their reading sessions to enjoy eBooks, eAudiobooks, and learning applications.--Bethany Lafferty, Green Valley Branch, Henderson (Nev.) Libraries

Let's Read! Let's Move! Summer Series

This summer the U.S. Department of Education hosted the Let's Read! Let's Move! Summer Series, an enrichment series that was part of the Corporation for National and Community Service's United We Serve: Let's Read! Let's Move! initiative to engage youth in summer reading and physical activity, as well as provide information about healthy, affordable eating. Various administration officials and other public figures participated in the Let's Read! Let's Move! events, which took place July 10, 17, 24, August 1 and 6.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan hosted the fifth and final 2013 Let’s Read! Let’s Move! event of 2013 on Tuesday, August 6, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Joining Duncan were Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of HGTV's hit show “Property Brothers,” who guided hundreds of students as they toured the House & Home/Play, Work, Build exhibitions at the National Building Museum. The Property Brothers helped kids get active and excited about reading through storytelling and sharing their experiences of building dream homes.
Kofi Dennis, early childhood education specialist and performer with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts, led children in an interactive storytelling experience to kick off the event before the Let’s Read! portion. 
Books were read in front of the Green Schools exhibit at the National Building Museum, which is the first-ever National Building Museum exhibition dedicated to the greening of American schools. Featuring over 40 exemplary projects, from new construction to rehabs to modular classrooms, the exhibition surveys the extraordinary breadth of green school design in the United States through sample building materials, photographs, video, and green products. The U.S. Department of Education-Green Ribbon Schools Program is a part of the exhibition, as well as a part of the exhibit’s resource page.

Following the reading, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington led students in the Let’s Move! session of fun, physical activities—-such as the Shopping Cart Nutrition Race, Make a Salad Relay, and Jumbo Jam Basketball—inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative to combat childhood obesity by emphasizing healthy eating and an active lifestyle. The Property Brothers joined in on the fun as they participated in the activities with the children, showing the kids that physical activities can be both healthy and enjoyable. (Photos courtesy of U.S. Department of Education, Joshua Hoover. Used with permission.)

Therapy Dogs Meet and Greet

Library patrons reacted with “ooh”s and “ah”s as a group of therapy dogs showed off their skills this summer at Main Street Library. The Therapy Dogs program, part of the Newport News Public Library System’s Summer Reading Program, was presented by Joe Gray, who explained the importance of teaching therapy dogs obedience, and other dog handlers and owners with Therapy Dogs International. 
Children and adults watched as Endo, Gray’s 10-year-old Saint Bernard, stayed calm and obedient around all distractions, even a tasty dog treat on the ground in front of him. 
The owners explained that the dogs work at multiple places in the community including hospitals, schools, and nursing homes. These dogs also work with the Library System’s Paws to Read program, which helps children ages 6 to 10 build their confidence by reading out loud to trained therapy dogs on the first Saturday of each month.
Each dog is registered through Therapy Dogs International, an organization that regulates and tests therapy dogs.
“Patience and consistency are important,” said Nancy Schappert, owner of Lucy, a Shetland sheepdog. “You have to work every week to keep their skills up.” 
After the presentation, library patrons could pet the dogs and ask the owners questions. 
“I like dogs,” said 11-year-old Kyona Smith. “I like to see all the dogs obey their owners.” 
The library system’s yearly summer reading program was free and open to children, teens, and adults. It encouraged reading through incentives and activities.--Marianne Capps, Newport News Public Library System  

How Did THAT Get on the Ceiling?

You can't paint the “blah” colored walls because it's too messy. You can't permanently hang Christmas lights because it's a fire hazard. What can you do to liven up the children's and tween areas of the library? Paint the ceiling! Or more accurately, in our case, the ceiling tiles.
The children's and tween areas of the Madison (Ohio) Public Library looked sad. Neutral colored walls, carpeting, and shelving augmented institutional florescent lighting and the standard plasterboard tiles of a drop ceiling. The library space did not match the warmth and creativity of the staff or the vitality of its patrons. A confluence of desperate kids NEEDING to do something to cheer up THEIR library and the maintenance man talking about having to repaint water-damaged ceiling tiles sparked the area's new look.
The recipe for artistic success consisted of a group of water damaged or otherwise discolored ceiling tiles, leftover paint from various art projects through the years, and a bunch of kids outside on a sunny day. Anyone driving past the library that day saw either the children working or the tiles drying in the sun. Some used paint stirrers, pot scrubbers, and old broom heads to “flick” paint at the tiles in a Jackson Pollack style. Others took paint brushes of different sizes and mixed all sorts of unique colors to create abstract designs. Even though the newly created art looked stunning at eye level, placed in the ceiling it was more magical. Tiles with masses of bright, bold colors were positioned nearest the florescent lights to create a better balance of light and dark. Tiles with more white space were further from the lights. After everything was placed in the ceiling, over the next few days children and parents and siblings and grandparents all trooped into the library and craned their necks to admire their artistry on permanent display. The new ceiling art also inspired a partnership between the library and a local arts organization. Now they display art from their youth classes at the library to help the walls look as exciting as the ceiling. Every few months the walls look completely new and vibrant.
To do this project, donations and “old stuff laying around” were great. Leftover latex interior paint was perfect for the tiles and just about anything was used to spread paint around. All the children were so creative. It was wonderful. But most importantly, a creative and understanding building maintenance person made this project possible. He spent hours finding ceiling tiles for children to decorate and then more hours hanging them and re-hanging them for the best effect. The ceiling tile project was truly a collaborative effort of children and adults!—Melanie A. Lyttle, head of public services, and Shawn D. Walsh, emerging services and technologies librarian, Madison (Ohio) Public Library 

Getting Together

Oakland 2014 - ALSC National Institute

Plan to join more than 300 fellow children's librarians and educators for ALSC's two and a half day National Institute, September 18-20,2014, in Oakland Calif. 
The Institute is everything you need in one place--programming, keynotes, networking, and so much more. This intensive learning opportunity with a youth services focus is designed for front-line youth library staff, children’s literature experts, education and library school faculty members, and other interested adults. It is one of the only conferences devoted solely to children's librarianship, literature, and technology.
Check out ALA's "Making Your Case for Attending" resources and tailor these tools to meet your needs. Making the case for time off and support for travel and expenses to attend a conference requires a solid understanding of the potential benefits to your institution, supervisor, and colleagues. And you need to be able to communicate those benefits clearly—especially in times of tight budgets and reduced staff.  
We hope to see you in Oakland!  

Meet Author Lauren Stringer

Carthage College's Center for Children's Literature, Kenosha, Wis.,  welcomes author Lauren Stringer to discuss her new book, When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky, on Saturday, October 26, 2013. A dancer and a composer will also speak. The program includes time for book autographing. Registration for the event is $15.  For further information and to register, contact John Stewig at 262-552-5480 or by email.   

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York Children's Literature Festival

Nicholson Library, Anderson (Ind.) University, will host the Elizabeth York Children's Literature Festival--Celebrating the Imagination of Children's Literature on Saturday, September 21, 2013. Featured speakers include: Chris Raschka, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Nathan Clement, and Dennis LeLoup. For more information, visit or contact Janet Moore, Nicholson Library, (765) 641-4270.  

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National Conference on Family Literacy

The National Center for Family Literacy will host the National Conference on Family Literacy, February 17-19, 2014. The event, to be held in Washington, D.C., gathers family literacy professionals, educators, researchers, advocates, coalition members, and policy makers from across the United States for the latest resources in education, networking opportunities, and more. For more information, visit   

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Member News  

Dr. Sharon McQueen, Honorary Fellow, University of Wisconsin--Madison, received the 2013 Phyllis Dain Award from the American Library Association for her doctoral dissertation, a socio-cultural history of the 1936 children's picture book, The Story of Ferdinand. The award committee touted McQueen's work "as a model for histories of similar publishing mass phenomena such as the Harry Potter books." The committee also lauded the depth of McQueen's research, her polished writing style, her original use of illustrations, and the success with which she transformed an exacting book history into socio-cultural history of the first order. A book based on McQueen's dissertation will be published in early 2014.

Susan Anderson-Newham, Pierce County (Wash.) Library System, has written Cooking Up a Storytime: Mix and Match Menus for Easy Programming (ALA, 2013). The book about creating storytimes includes original rhymes and flannelboard stories and patterns, ideas for adding math and science concepts to storytime, and many storytime plans.

Judi Moreillon?, Texas Woman's University, Denton, has authored her third picture book, Ready and Waiting for You, which was published this year by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. The book, with torn paper illustrations by Catherine Stock, welcomes elementary-age children to their first year of school, back to school, or to a new school.   

2014 Morris Seminar Participants Sought

ALSC is seeking applications for its third biennial “Bill Morris Seminar: Book Evaluation Training,” to be held on Friday, January 24, 2014, prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. This invitational seminar supports and honors William C. Morris’ dedication to connecting librarians and children with excellent children’s books.
The Morris Seminar brings new ALSC members and members with limited evaluation experience together with individuals who have served on ALSC’s media evaluation committees for training and mentoring in the group process and children’s media evaluation techniques. The seminar will result in new and emerging leaders for future ALSC evaluation committees.
The Morris Endowment supports those selected to attend the training seminar by offering the seminar at no charge to the attendee. This includes all materials, breakfast, lunch, and afternoon break on Friday. To help defray additional costs for hotel and other expenses, a $200 stipend for each participant will be provided by the endowment. For more information and the application form, visit the Morris Seminar webpage.  

Children and Libraries Upgrades Coming Soon!

Q.  What could possibly be better than Children and Libraries (CAL), ALSC’s official journal, delivered to your doorstep three times a year? 
A:  A quarterly Children and Libraries, delivered in print and digitally!
In a 2011-2012 Communications Survey, ALSC members expressed an overwhelming preference for a quarterly CAL and for the journal to be published digitally as well as in print. You asked; we responded.
Beginning with volume 12 (spring 2014), ALSC will publish CAL in the Spring (March release); Summer (June release); Fall (September release); and Winter (December release).  Along with delivery of each print issue, as usual, a digital version will be available through MetaPress, a leading e-publishing host.  In addition, back issues of CAL—Volumes  1-11—currently are being digitized and will be available to ALSC members online!
Stay tuned! More details will be available as things develop.  From our survey, we know that ALSC members find the journal very valuable. Beginning next spring,Children and Libraries gets even better!  

ALSC Matters! Release Dates to Change

To accommodate and dovetail the new release dates of Children and Libraries mentioned above, ALSC Matters! will establish new release dates beginning in 2014. The newsletter remains a quarterly publication; issues will come out in February, May, August, and November.  

ALSC Dues Increase

ALSC's membership dues increase went into effect September 1, 2013. Last April, the ALSC membership voted to approve the change to the dues structure, which impact personal, organizational, and corporate member categories. The new dues structure includes several new categories of personal membership and a three-tiered level of organizational and corporate memberships. For the complete list of changes, please see the dues updates press release.
As a result of the increase, the association can continue to support and develop initiatives, programs and services. In spring 2013, ALSC released the Everyday Advocacy website, which is designed to educate ALSC members about the importance of advocacy. ALSC will be hosting a new mentoring program in 2013-14, which is designed to foster the development of a new cohort of leaders within the profession.  

Read! Build! Play! Like!

With school doors opening across the country, it’s hard to believe the lazy days of summer have come to an end. Your public library’s hard work this summer has not gone unnoticed. LEGO® DUPLO® would like to thank public libraries for the creative ways in which they made summer reading fun for children with $5,000 to be used for future children’s programs. 
From now until October 15, 2013, please go to and “like” the page. Once you "like" the page, you will be prompted to enter your name, state, and zip code. In recognition of all of the meaningful programs, reading lists, and activities that are carried out across the country, LEGO DUPLO will grant $5,000 to the public libraries* in the neighborhood with the most entries.
While on the LEGO DUPLO FB page, we also encourage you to post details (and pictures) of your library's Read! Build! Play! events. Families across the country use the LEGO DUPLO FB page to stay connected so it is a great way to raise awareness and show off the creative ways your library brings storytime to life! 

Caldecott 75th Souvenirs

Did you miss out on purchasing your Caldecott 75th Anniversary memorabilia during Annual Conference in Chicago? Don't despair! Commemorative mugs, tote bags, and T-shirts featuring the wonderful anniversary logo created by Brian Selznick are available for purchase by ALSC members (only) while supplies last! For more merchandise descriptions, pricing, and order form, please visit our website.  

Wilder Nominations Sought

ALSC Personal Members are invited to suggest names for the 2015 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, honoring an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made over a period of years a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.
For more information about the award, visit the ALSC website and click on “Awards and Grants” in the left-hand navigation bar; then click on “ALSC Book & Media Awards.”  Scroll down to the “Wilder Award Home Page” to learn more specifics about the award. 
The 2015 Wilder Award Selection Committee requests that you send your suggestion(s) by October 15, 2013, to the chair, Karen Nelson Hoyle. Publishers, authors, and illustrators may not suggest their own work. Kindly list names in preference order, followed by a brief statement of support for each, using the definitions and criteria on the ALSC website.  

Student Session: Balancing Social Media 

On Monday, September 16, 6 p.m. Central time, ALSC is offering a free online workshop for all students and early career professionals interested in children’s services. “Balancing Social Media: How to Separate Your Library’s Facebook Page From Your Own” is hosted by Joella Peterson, youth services librarian at the South Jordan Library, Salt Lake County (Utah) Library System. Join us as we discuss various social media platforms and their use as library marketing tools. We will also discuss your Internet presence and how to stay professional at the library and at home. After the live event, this session will be offered as a recorded webcast for later viewing. 
Hosted by the ALSC Membership Committee, ALSC Student Sessions are online workshops that last about an hour and are led by ALSC members. The sessions are run through Adobe Connect and participants only need a computer with Internet access and speakers. Take advantage of this opportunity to network with other students and ALSC members without leaving the comfort of your home. Student sessions are open to all students, ALSC members, and non-members. 
For more information, contact Dan Rude, ALSC Membership/Marketing Specialist, at or (800) 545-2433 ext 2164. 

Randolph Caldecott and Visual Thinking Strategies

The ALSC President’s Program “Think with Your Eyes!” took place at ALA Annual Conference in June, but there’s more! A short video presentation was prepared by program chair Wendy Lukehart for the close of the program, which marked the conclusion of our year-long celebration of the Caldecott Medal’s 75th anniversary. Lukehart couldn’t resist pondering what Randolph Caldecott might think of Visual Thinking Strategies and STEAM learning—-elements of the program, as well as the twelve-month ALSC party in his honor. Of course all we have are his letters, sketches, art, and picture books to assuage inquiring minds. They offer some illumination if you look closely.

Also check-out the valuable President’s Program resource guide that features titles and websites on visual literacy, understanding art, museum resources, museum/library collaborations, and STEAM programming.  Many thanks to the ALSC committees that contributed to the guide. 

Teen Read Week

Join the Young Adult Library Association (YALSA) in celebrating Teen Read Week (TRW) by becoming an online community member on the official Teen Read Week website
This year, Teen Read Week takes place October 13-19 with the theme of ‘Seek the Unknown @ your library®’. Participants who sign up to become a site member can access a variety of helpful resources such as planning and activity tools, as well as grant info and free webinars that will aid in encouraging teens to celebrate reading. For more information, please visit

YA's Deserve the Best

The Young Adult Library Association's (YALSA) Young Adults Deserve the Best curriculum kits are an initiative to help library staff successfully connect to and work with teens in their public or school library. Created by trainers for trainers, directors, or librarians to use in their libraries, these kits address teen behavior in the library and strengthening teen services through technology. Each kit provides guided training with an introductory paper and literature review, customizable PowerPoints including a complete script and optional group activities, and a list of additional resources. Kits are organized into modules; trainers can teach them individually in one hour segments, or combine them for a full day of training. The curriculum for Young Adults Deserve the Best is based on YALSA's national guidelines: Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth. Cost: $175 for digital download; $199 for paper edition with CD containing presentations. Bulk pricing available at 20% off orders of 25 or more. For more information, visit

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New Award and Storyblock Vids from CLEL

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) recently announced a new annual picture book award that recognizes five picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children. Supporting CLEL's mission to strengthen children's literacy through library services and community advocacy, the Bell Awards also will serve as a collection development, program planning, and early literacy information resource for librarians, educators, and caregivers, and will provide recognition to authors, illustrators, and publishers. For more information, visit

Also, check out CLEL's new Storyblocks videos. Ten new videos recently have been added, including four in Spanish. CLEL's Storyblocks project produces short videos featuring librarians demonstrating a rhyme or song and delivering an early literacy tip. The videos are great for parents, library staff, and ECE educators alike. Produced by Colorado's statewide PBS station, the videos are of great quality and can be sorted into English or Spanish, as well as by age group (babies, toddlers, and preschoolers).

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Will Otis Break the Record?

The Pearson Foundation invites you to take part in their largest initiative to build awareness around the critical importance of early childhood literacy – Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. Each year, readers everywhere join together on one day to read a single book to break the World Reading Record and to show their support for Early Childhood Literacy. Last year, over 2.3 million people set a new world record by reading Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad. This year, we hope to break that record by reading Otis by Loren Long on October 3.
Here’s how you can participate:
  • Pledge now to read on October 3rd.
  • Spread the word about Jumpstart’s Read for the Record by visiting our Share page. Help break the world record by sharing with your networks!
  • Read Otis on We Give Books on October 3!
Visit Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Toolkit page to access reading guides, Otis themed activities, and day-of event tools to help your children get the most out of this year’s event.