ALSConnect, December 2003, Vol. 1, no. 4

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

Officially Speaking

Life with CIPA

As public libraries face the countdown to CIPA compliance next July, children's librarians are called upon to help make the best decisions about compliance for their communities. While many of us view the Supreme Court's CIPA ruling as unfortunate for libraries, the fact remains that many libraries are dependent upon the federal funding they receive and are looking for guidance in complying in a way that is consistent with their existing policies and their communities' standards. During these times of drastic budget cuts and precarious future funding, libraries are also looking at financially responsible ways to comply, as they face increased costs for filtering software and for staff to install the software and disable blocked sites for adults who request it.

Among the many other critical considerations for libraries is the fact that children who do not have computers at home will be seriously affected by restricted access, an important consideration as we seek equity of access for children. (We have all heard the stories about students who cannot access information for reports at the school's filtered computers, and so visit the public library instead.) Additionally, the decision wrests from parents their responsibility to determine what their children can have access to.

At ALA's CIPA meeting on August 23, 2003, participants identified the following five areas in which the association should develop or gather information to help librarians: (1) guidelines and criteria for implementation of CIPA compliance; (2) criteria for selecting filters or technology protection measures, including recommendations to the industry about library needs in this area; (3) a communications, public relations, and training plan promoting positive use of the Internet; (4) a legislative toolkit; and (5) research and data collection on the impact of filtering on libraries and their patrons.

The participants also recommended that ALA create a checklist to guide decision-making on compliance options that includes costs, requirements, timelines, and the development of a CIPA Response Team comprised of members of various ALA division committees, such as ALSC's Children and Technology, Great Web Sites, and Legislation Committees. And, most relevant to us, the group emphasized the importance of continuing to send the public message that librarians care about children and their use of the Internet and can guide children and their families in responsible, effective use.

So how can we help one another and provide source material to ALA in this effort? Fortunately, we children's librarians love to share ideas, information, knowledge, and best practices. We have long been involved in public education about the Internet and its many benefits, as well as in helping parents guide their children in responsible use. We can provide up-to-date materials that inform and educate the public about Internet use, especially by children, for example, ALSC's tremendously valuable Great Web Sites for Kids ( and the newly revised Librarians' Guide to Cyberspace (soon to be available on the Great Web Sites for Kids page). Indeed, our Great Web Sites would make an excellent testing ground for filters. We also recognize the importance of continuing to inform parents that, given the many limitations of filters, they still need to monitor their children's use of the Internet. Many of us have produced information pieces that do just that.

We invite you to share your own ideas, resources, and experiences with filters, family Internet education classes, your library's Web page for children, online safety information, and anything else that will help ALA build the aforementioned toolkits and help our members make informed decisions about CIPA compliance and related issues. Send your stories, ideas, and information to We look forward to hearing from you.- Cynthia K. Richey, ALSC President

Defining Our Role

The fiery words delivered by Frances Clarke Sayers, children's librarian extraordinaire, in 1949 at the annual William Warner Bishop Lecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (full text available in Summoned by Books by Frances Clarke Sayers, Viking Press, 1965), still call contemporary children's librarians to action.

The quality of belligerency was never more greatly needed in the profession than it is at this moment. We have been called many things in our time: gentle and genteel, modest and mousy, dedicated and dowdy, unprepossessing and underpaid. I hope for the day when we shall be called the belligerent profession, a profession that is informed, illuminated, and radiated by a fierce and beautiful love of books'a love so overwhelming that it engulfs community after community and makes the culture of our time distinctive, individual, creative, and truly of the spirit.

I would have us belligerent first within the ranks of our own profession. We have never, in my opinion, stood our ground firmly enough and declared what our peculiar, unique function was to be, and then held to it and accomplished it.

If we declare that our unique role today is developing programs for preschoolers, their parents, and the caregivers that give youngsters an effective leg up in learning to read when they start school, we can illuminate and radiate those programs by our fierce and beautiful love of books as well as inform them of current research. This research, including that recently published by the PLA/ALSC Early Literacy Initiatives, is an effective tool to use when we belligerently, or in contemporary parlance, assertively, lobby within our libraries and at local, state, and federal levels for adequate funding for children's services, including staff and collections funding. Remember the Leave No Child Behind legislation. It's all about outcomes!

If we decide that supporting children's school success is a unique role, our assertiveness will take us into the community to develop, with our colleagues in education, the most effective, efficient ways of coordinating the public library's resources with those of the school library. Our mutual goal will be to make sure that all students learn how to use those resources. It's all about the kids!

Sometimes our unique and assertive role within our own organizations is perceived as belligerence in its most negative definition. Administrators and colleagues may view our passion as resistance to change, an unwillingness to adapt traditional services to current financial constraints and emerging trends in children's library service. We are accused of having tunnel vision, of developing our services in isolation, of being unwilling to come to consensus with other staff and administration on library directions. We will stand our ground and hold it, while also understanding that the services we provide are part of the bigger library picture. It's incumbent on us to develop the political skills to be effective in our libraries and in ALA. It's all about attitude!

ALSC members have a unique role in ALA. We cherish our traditions, but move forward with energy and enthusiasm to develop new traditions, new leaders, and improved ways of conducting the association's business. It's all about the future!- Gretchen Wronka, ALSC Vice President

Getting Together

Twenty-first Century Learner

The Twenty-first Century Learner: The Continuum Begins with Early Learning Symposium was a great success. Nearly four hundred people from libraries, children's museums, and public television registered. Sessions covered the needs of lifelong learners and the ways local partners can unite to support lifelong learning communities. The symposium was co-hosted by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and took place in Washington, D.C., on September 18-19, 2003. It was presented by four partners: ALSC, the Association of Children's Museums, the Families and Work Institute, and the Civil Society Institute.

Speakers included the world-renowned expert on child development, T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.; the director of the Center on Aging, Health, and Humanities at George Washington University, Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph.D.; and the internationally recognized leader in the study of children's learning, Alison Gopnik, Ph.D.

Salon sessions were held on topics including The Most Important Thing Is Knowing How to Learn, What Does a Lifelong Learning Community Look Like? and New Research in Early Learning.

Post-symposium activities will include publication of a white paper in spring 2004. In addition, three planning grants will be awarded to seed partnerships that have the potential to impact children and families community-wide.

Information regarding the sessions can be found at

Art of Reading

EXPLOSIVE! That best describes the energy and voices of both children and adults in the normally quiet Mantel Room of the Corcoran Gallery of Art when Ashley Bryan came on the scene on a gray day this fall in Washington, D.C. I was lucky enough to be there. The event was the 2003 Reading Is Fundamental National Reading Celebration and the theme was The Art of Reading. With twenty-three illustrators and almost twenty thousand children and adults in attendance, the Corcoran was buzzing with activity. Having volunteered to manage one of the read-aloud rooms, I spent my day introducing some of my favorite illustrators to diverse and eager crowds. The illustrators were scheduled to read from one or more books that they had illustrated and then, if there was time, answer a few questions.

We heard Pat Cummings read from Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon! and the children were delighted to hear the stories of Pat's real-life younger brother and her fictional depictions of his antics. We got a sneak peek at The Meanest Doll in the World through an enthusiastic reading by Brian Selznick, as well as the adventures of Buz from Richard Egielski and selections from Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart read by Vera Williams. Later in the day, the audience was delighted by David Wiesner's presentation of The Three Pigs from the rough sketches to the finished book.

I was thrilled to have been there for these and other presentations throughout the day, but the event was truly elevated to new levels by Ashley Bryan. The crowd of children and adults was thin at first, but once Bryan's voice began to ring out through the galleries, the crowd grew to a capacity that I am sure has not been seen before in the Mantel Room. Bryan had the audience echo him in reciting the poetry of Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, and others with loud and jubilant voices. He finished the hour by telling Beautiful Blackbird with the help of the audience, which by then was echoing his words without any prompting; the energy of the presentation was uplifting.

In addition to these and other read-aloud presentations, there was so much more! The day included artist talks, book signings, entertainment, hands-on workshops, strolling children's book characters, including Lilly with her purple plastic purse, as well as a RIF book distribution. The centerpiece to all of these activities was the Public Studio. A large area in the atrium of the Corcoran was set up with mini artist's studios. Throughout the day the participating illustrators drew, painted, cut, and pasted, all while surrounded by throngs of admiring fans. How often can you watch over the shoulder of Patricia Polacco, Christopher Myers, Lois Ehlert, or Chris Raschka while they create their art? The pieces they produced were as unique as the situation: they were asked to envision an illustration for a favorite children's story that influenced or inspired them in their youth. These fresh interpretations of classic stories will be compiled in a book to be issued in 2006 as a celebration of RIF's fortieth anniversary. For more information about the event and a full listing of the illustrators and photos of the event, visit the RIF Art of Reading Web site at Genevieve Gallagher, Orange County (Va.) Public Library

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Resources Sought

Last call for items to consider for inclusion in the revision of Library Service to Children: A Guide to the Research, Planning, and Policy Literature. The expanded version will include materials available in electronic or print formats. The focus will be on research studies, policy statements, institute reports, histories of children's services and children's librarianship, and biographical information. If you have items for consideration, please send the bibliographical information by March 1, 2004, to Phyllis Van Orden, 12529 10th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98177; e-mail: Future planners and researchers will benefit.

Web NotesLooking for some new Web sites of interest to children and their caregivers? Check out these exciting sites:


  • The Smithsonian Institution has launched, a new Web site for educators, families, and students. The site features content from sixteen Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo, and Smithsonian's research centers. Features include separate areas designed for educators, families, and students; almost one thousand educational resources, searchable by grade, subject, and museum; interactive activities for students; and lessons, activities, and teaching tools aligned with national education standards.
  • Colorín Colorado ( is the first major, comprehensive Web site designed specifically for Spanish-speaking parents to help their children learn to read and succeed in school. Packed with information, activities, and advice on turning children into confident readers, the Web site is rooted in the vast resources of Reading Rockets, PBS television station WETA's multimedia initiative that provides information on teaching kids to read and helping those who struggle. The bilingual Web site is for parents of children between infancy and nine years old and includes simple, powerful ways to help them become successful students. The site also includes downloadable resources for teachers and librarians to reproduce and distribute to parents in their own communities.
  • The Space Place (, NASA's Web site for kids, presents the Space Place kids hosting their first talk show, live from the Space Place Clubhouse. Their first guest is the well-known Caltech scientist of black holes and time warps fame, Dr. Kip Thorne. The goal of Space Place Live! is to introduce kids to the human, down-to-earth side of real scientists and engineers working in the space program.
  • Gus and Inky's Underwater Adventures is the first chapter in a series of free, interactive reading games available at The game, developed by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, is designed to help preschool children build the literacy skills they need to become successful readers. Lead character Gus is the famed rabbit from the Between the Lions television program. The Internet game features an easy-to-use screening tool to assess a child's reading readiness, as well as a series of related learning activities to further develop a child's pre-reading skills

Bright Ideas

KidsDay Successes

The third annual National KidsDay (NKD), an event spearheaded by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to honor and celebrate America's children, was a tremendous success. Whether attending a community picnic, a carnival, or an event at a local library or park, more than one hundred thousand adults and children celebrated on Sunday, August 3. From coast to coast, and on U.S. military bases overseas, parents and children took time out of their busy lives to share meaningful time together. This year, for the first time, libraries joined in the fun and excitement of supporting NKD on a local level.

Hundreds of library branches in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, and Norfolk, Virginia, distributed thousands of NKD Making Memories guides. The guides describe what KidsDay is all about and provide some ideas on how adults and kids can share special time together. Additional highlights of how libraries supported NKD include:

  • Doris Jackson, youth services coordinator for the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, supported NKD by incorporating it into regularly scheduled programs and events, including the summer reading program. Jackson coordinated the distribution of Making Memories guides at thirty area libraries, the Bookmobile, and at a Family Fun Day event in partnership with the Atlanta Children's Museum at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park. Jackson is planning to host three NKD events in Atlanta area libraries in 2004 and hopes to increase her libraries' participation in KidsDay each year.
  • Penny Markey, assistant library administrator and youth services coordinator for the County of Los Angeles Public Library, distributed guides at eighty-eight area libraries as well as at Kid City, a community event sponsored by the Los Angeles Times in late July. Markey has pledged her ongoing support to NKD in the Los Angeles community, and is in contact with the Boys and Girls Club of Venice to explore ways for the two organizations to partner on NKD and other initiatives.
  • Margaret Tice, coordinator of the Office of Children's Services for the New York Public Library, distributed guides at eighty-five area libraries. Tice also worked to connect the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club to the six Bronx branches closest to the club to promote their NKD event by distributing flyers and hanging promotional posters.
  • Cathy Heninger of the Norfolk (Va.) Public Library distributed guides at twelve area libraries. The library also participated in the NKD event hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Boys and Girls Clubs at the Naval Amphibious Base.

Supporting NKD is a great way to raise awareness of the importance of adults and children spending meaningful time together and to highlight the many services that your branches have to offer children.

For more information on NKD and how you can get involved, visit or contact Linda Mays, ALSC program officer; phone: 1-800-545-2433, ext. 1398; e-mail:

Seize the Day

El día de los niños/El día de los libros: A celebration of children, families, and reading is held annually on April 30 and emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for every child regardless of linguistic and cultural background. Through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, ALSC has collaborated over the past two years with the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA) and the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) in an effort to increase public awareness of the event in libraries throughout the country.

On April 30, 2003, libraries around the country took part in the occasion. Here's how a few celebrated:

  • The East Shelby Branch of the Memphis Public Library invited four ESL students from a local elementary school to come to the library and read. Three students read in Spanish and one in Vietnamese. Senior youth services librarian Michele Yellin read the same titles in English. A book display of titles in Spanish, Vietnamese, French, German, and Arabic surprised and pleased many patrons.
  • In Laredo, Texas, a multimedia event coordinated by the Texas Migrant Council was held at the Laredo Entertainment Center on April 29. Many area schools participated. On April 30, the Laredo Public Library hosted a community information carnival at which child advocacy groups shared information about their services. The library's children's staff presented puppet shows, story hours, and movies throughout the day, which began with a mayoral proclamation.
  • The Idaho State Library has been encouraging libraries to take part in El día community activities for the past four years. This year Idaho became the first state in the nation to have an official El día de los niños, passed into law by its legislature and governor.
  • To recognize the day, Daly City (Calif.) Public Library displayed new materials from its Spanish/Latino Interest collections at its four library branches and displayed and distributed posters and bookmarks.

ALSC Voices

ALSC Profile

Maria Salvadore
Library Consultant/Children's Literature Specialist
Former Coordinator of Children's Services for the District of Columbia Public Library
ALSC Membership: Twenty-eight years

Where did you attend library school?

I graduated from the library school at the University of Maryland-College Park.

What attracted you to library service to children?

I knew I wanted to work with children. The public library allowed me to work with children of all ages, as well as the adults in their lives, and the opportunity to be creative.

Why did you join ALSC?

ALSC provided me with a sense of the broader profession. I joined while I was in library school and have been a member ever since. (The student discount was really a very big hook!) I remember the thrill of meeting other librarians from around the country who dealt with similar issues, often in different ways. I began to meet the people who created the books (including publishers) that I used everyday and to gain insight into the process. The network of friends and colleagues that emerged continues to this day.

On which ALSC committees (and in what leadership roles) have you served over the years?

The first committee I was appointed to was the Filmstrip Evaluation Committee, the precursor to media evaluation we now take for granted. Since then, I've served on or chaired many committees and task forces including an early strategic long-range planning committee for ALSC, a Charlemae Rollins President's Program Planning Committee, the Planning and Budget Committee (daunting, but necessary!), a planning group for an ALSC preconference, the Local Arrangements Committee, the Caldecott Committee, and more. I just finished a term on the ALA Council and I am a current member of the ALSC Notable Books Committee.

Which committee service did you enjoy most and why?

Each committee has been a pleasure in its own way, because it exposed me to something new or allowed me to think in a different way, because of the people with whom I have been able to work, or simply because of a shared passion in the subject-which aptly describes the Notables Committee. Perhaps the single most memorable experience was the year I chaired the Caldecott Committee. The committee was comprised of engaged, respectful, intelligent, and articulate people who worked hard to complete their charge in a thoroughly professional but pleasurable way. It was even more memorable because my son was six weeks old when we convened in Los Angeles after a significant earthquake while it snowed like mad back East.

How many ALA conferences (including Midwinter Meeting) have you attended?

I've attended too many conferences to count! Since the committees meet at conferences, I think it's important to attend-plus conferences provide professional stimulation and a chance to visit places that I wouldn't otherwise visit.

Is there a particular Newbery/Caldecott Banquet that stands out in your memory? If so, which one and why?

The Newbery/Caldecott Banquets that have reduced me to tears stand out-when Mildred Taylor and later Katherine Paterson won the Newbery, for example. And the year Allen Say won the Caldecott for Grandfather's Journey and Lois Lowry won the Newbery Medal for The Giver remains one of the most memorable. Each prepared his or her talk independently, but the overlaps in their lives that brought them to the point where they created these very unforgettable books were remarkable.

When you think back to ALSC when you first joined, what is the biggest change you see in ALSC in 2003? Or, what is the biggest change in library service to children since back then?

Perhaps the biggest change in ALSC is the use of technology-in how information is shared with members, as well as the impact of technology on what services members provide. There is a greater need for librarians to have well-honed evaluation skills in many more areas-newer technologies as well as books and other media, management skills (regardless of job title), and the ability to articulate these skills. ALSC continues to provide information and programs to help members in this and other areas.

What service or resource would you like to see ALSC offer that we currently do not?

The hallmark of ALSC since I've been a member is the ability to share ideas and information, expand connections internally and externally, and respond to member needs. I expect this will continue to be true and that ALSC will address members' expressed and perceived needs.

Who/what is your favorite children's author/book and why?

Some of the best books created today are by children's book authors and illustrators. I really can't give just one answer to this question ... I'd have to provide a list that would go well beyond the scope of this piece!

What three words best describe you?

Tenacious, experienced, personable.

What are your hobbies?

Reading, cooking, and traveling are my favorite things to do!


The following new members joined ALSC in May, June, and July. Please welcome those from your area.

Barbara S. Doerries, AL
Peggy M. Burge, CA
Mary Cage, CA
Jennifer M. Hardison, CA
Tamar Kirschner, CA
Ja-Lih Lee, CA
Martha Leonard, CA
Barbara Metzenbaum, CA
Myron A. Mykyta, CA
Nicole Marie Neinast, CA
Bessie I. Platten, CA
Wanda Ramser, CA
Martha E. Rowland, CA
Diane Scrofano, CA
Vicky Hays, CO
Marguerite Hess, CO
Jane Mirandelte, CO
Angie M. K. Wulff, CO
Roxanne Landin, CT
Joseph P. Reynolds, CT
Susan Desantis, DE
Robin E. Lank, DE
Jacqueline McCarron Skurla, DE
Traci Avet-Compton, FL
Sonia R. Baruch, FL
Ellyn Diane Bewes, FL
Maria Bonet, FL
Claire Bove, FL
Annette Y. Goldsmith, FL
Nora Hirlemann, FL
Mary Rosary Karbowski, FL
Frances R. Keiser, FL
Teresa Kent, FL
Elaine Landau, FL
Odalis Morales, FL
Wendy S. Nelson, FL
Connie M. Sterling, FL
Sylvia Saville Gay, GA
Caroline L. Griffin, GA
Linda Ann McMahon, GA
Montonio C. Reid, GA
Kimberly Rachael Stein, GA
Sylvia Faye Vant Hul, IA
Lance R. McGrath, ID
Connie Marie Beetz, IL
Elizabeth B. Buenning, IL
Lauren Kay Collen, IL
Roberta P. Kocim, IL
Kathleen Lies, IL
Kimberly M. N. Venzon, IL
Rebecca L. Grimmer, IN
Holly Miller, IN
Nikki Nelson, KS
Judy K. Rapp, KS
Marilyn M. Senter, KS
Karen Wais, KY
Mary Anne Rodgers, LA
Barbara A. Andrews, MA
Janet M. Drake, MA
Molly Hancock, MA
Diane S. Jones, MA
Melissa Anne Brown, MD
Rachel Sweeney, MD
Amy Daniele Young-Buckler, MD
Suzanne Dasaro, ME
Kelly Arnold, MI
Pamela A. Bauchan, MI
Mary H. Burns, MI
Cindy Dobrez, MI
Joylyn Evans, MI
Kara K. Fredericks, MI
Joann Gramlich, MI
Catherine G. Lancaster, MI
Catherine Page, MI
Laura E. Scott, MI
Angela Semifero, MI
Shari Marie Suarez, MI
Mary Bernadette Goering, MN
Maryann N. Weidt, MN
Jayne Bittle, MO
Vicki Lynn Krueger, MO
Jamie Mayo, MO
Buddy D. Pennington, MO
Samantha Heather Warhol, MO
Marlan Edward Brinkley Jr., NC
Robin Denise Bryan, NC
Libby Charles, NC
Tracy Michelle Custer, NC
Nancy R. May, NC
Laurel Reisen, NC
Susan Black Waldkirch, NC
Cynthia L. Wray, ND
Linda Mary Garcia, NE
Joe Frank, NJ
Kimberly J. Hall, NJ
Suzanne Farrar Savidge, NJ
David D. Bernstein, NY
Molly M. Collins, NY
Eugenia Dupell, NY
Jennifer L. Groff, NY
Peggy G. Johansen, NY
Amy L. Joslyn, NY
Cami Sholts Kitzel, NY
Louise C. Lareau, NY
Gail Limmer, NY
Diana McFarland, NY
Renee McGrath, NY
Heather Munger, NY
Lucianne Pastorello, NY
Nancy R. Snyder, NY
Stephanie Sternberg, NY
Jill C. Tast, NY
Megan Ann Zureck, NY
Kayrene Elkins, OH
Marsha Sallee, OH
Kelly R. Silwani, OH
Arnice Smith, OH
Holly Taylor, OH
Lavetta K. Dent, OK
Corby Kay Poursaba, OK
Lori Susan Archer, PA
Sarah Braxton, PA
Elizabeth Laurel Fisher, PA
Sandra F. Kitain, PA
Kristie Atwood, TN
Kim Bellofatto, TN
Lidia Dimitrova, TN
Lisa D. Hettler, TX
Sara C. Howard, TX
Donald Benton Kenner, TX
Twyla Reese-Hornsby, TX
Heather Elisabeth M. Turner, TX
Lynne M. Wells, TX
Linda Schmida, UT
Alice Eccles, VA
Margaret Frick, VA
Kathleen Best Gillmann, VA
Rachael L. Bohn, WA
Jenifer Loomis, WA
Tori Ann Manzer, WA
Tamara Saarinen, WA

Lake County Library System, FL
Muhlenberg Community Library, PA

Janet Anne Abernethy, Canada
Alison McCullough, Canada
Mary-Kathryn Nelson, Canada
Cathy Elizabeth Thomson, Canada

© 2003 American Library Association