ALSConnect, June 2009, Vol. 7, no. 2

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

Officially Speaking

Serving ALSC

One of the great pleasures of serving as ALSC President has been getting to know so many librarians across the nation who are dedicated to improving library service to children. I’ve heard stories of children’s librarians who are taking vacation time, and paying their own way to conferences so that they may grow professionally by visiting exhibits, sitting in on Board discussion, observing committee work, and networking with other librarians who are willing to share programming ideas. There are also stories of those who actively participate in ALSC virtually. The ALSC leadership is quite aware that we need to provide our growing membership with more opportunities to take part in the work of the association via various 2.0 technologies. We are working on this. Please stay tuned.

I greatly appreciate those who have diligently served the association by doing important committee work. But, most of all, I want to thank those who have worked on behalf of ALSC by telling our story to new librarians who are contemplating a professional choice to serve our nations youngest and most important patrons. We have much work ahead, and I sincerely hope that each ALSC member will stay in close touch with the work of the association, even if attending conferences isn’t a possibility at this time.

I have just returned from the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture that was held at the Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee. Walter Dean Myers delivered the lecture, which will be printed in an upcoming issue of Children and Libraries (CAL). I want to thank the administration of the Children’s Defense Fund for their hospitality, and for ordering such perfect weather for this outdoors event. It was an exciting day, and I send accolades to Amy Kellman and her Arbuthnot Committee for their hard work in selecting such an inspiring lecturer, and choosing a very appropriate site. I don’t know that the Arbuthnot Lecture has ever been held in a venue quite like the Haley Farm. I urge you to visit the Web site to learn more about the important work of the Children’s Defense Fund and this training site. (

Finally, I have a very important announcement to make. As you may remember, the membership voted a bylaws change last year that calls for the awards chairs to be appointed. At this time, I’m thrilled to announce the chairs of the 2011 awards committees: Newbery Chair, Cynthia K. Richey, Director, Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) Public Library; Caldecott Chair, Judy Zuckerman, Children’s & Family Services, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; and Sibert Chair, Barbara Brand, Children’s Services, Johnson County Library, Shawnee Mission, Kan.

In closing, I want to thank Diane Foote for her service to ALSC. She will be missed, but we also know that her house is very near the ALA offices, and that she is always a Blackberry call away. By now, I’m sure that most of you have read the press release that announces Aimee Strittmatter as the new Executive Director of ALSC. We are a growing association, and Aimee is poised to accept the challenge of expanding our work even further. Welcome, Aimee. —Pat Scales, ALSC President

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Membership Has Its Responsibilities

When I was growing up, back in the 60s and 70s, in Cleveland Heights, OH, my parents made rather a big deal of the relationship between privileges and responsibilities. You want to stay out later? Demonstrate that you can be trusted. You want a larger allowance? Take on some more chores. The two were connected, increasing and decreasing in equal measure. It strikes me that the same can be said of our participation in our professional association. We can certainly look to ALSC to provide for us, recommending exceptional materials, articulating best practices, and furnishing opportunities for professional development. But for each of the benefits of our membership there is a corollary obligation. We are ALSC, and the things we take out are the very same things we put in.

What does this mean to you? It means that, rather than offering you something in exchange for your membership, I’m soliciting something in return. It means I’m asking for your help.

What can you do? Any number of things. For those of you coming to Chicago for the Annual Conference, you can be the face of the division. Volunteer to staff the ALSC booth on the exhibits floor, answering questions of prospective members, and being an ambassador on behalf of all of us. Contact Membership Committee Chair Betsy Crone for more information, or to sign up today: Or come to “ALSC 101: Making Connections” to greet and welcome new members and first-time conference attendees. The reception will be on Friday, July 10, 4:00-6:00 p.m., in the Westin River North, Promenade B/C. For more information, you can get with the folks planning the event, Kerry Gleason: or Tony Carmack: We hope to see you there.

Some of you won’t be in Chicago this summer, and ALSC needs your help, too. As a division, we’re in the middle of an effort called Strategic Plan Alignment, working to prioritize the efforts of our member committees and initiatives, to put our resources behind our strategic objectives. But our goals belong to all of us. That means they’re yours, too. We need to be sure what we’re doing is what you need us to be doing. We need to be sure, as we build virtual opportunities for folks to contribute to and take from ALSC, that they work for the folks who access us virtually. We need to hear from you. The entire board roster is available on the ALSC Web site. You should always feel free to contact any of us with a question, a suggestion, a congratulation, or a concern. And don’t hesitate to start with me:

Recent economic problems have put libraries and librarians in a difficult position. I don’t need to explain to you the threats of reduced budgets and the promise of increased business. But that very strain in the supply and demand balance is the best reason to put more energy into your professional association. Working together is the only way we can solve common problems, meet common needs, and accomplish common goals. You can contribute something little, and achieve something big. Thanks for completing the bigger picture with your unique talents, perspectives, and ideas. We can’t do it without you. We are you, after all. —Thom Barthelmess, ALSC Vice-President/President-Elect

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ALSC Supporters

Thank you to all of our latest contributors to the Friends of ALSC. To learn how you can contribute, visit and click on "About ALSC--Contact ALSC--Donate to ALSC” on the left-hand navigation menu.

Notables' Circle

Miriam Budin (in memory of Kate McClelland and Kathy Krasniewicz)
Randall Enos (in memory of Kate McClelland and Kathy Krasniewicz)
Rose Treviño

Bright Ideas

Cultivating Community in a Library Garden 

In 2006, the Wayne County Public Library, Goldsboro, N.C., planned and implemented a library community garden with the help of many local partners. The garden, now in its fourth growing season, has been a vibrant, all-natural 50x50 foot plot of beds where vegetables, flowers, and herbs are grown as well as a community gathering space. Those who have had the occasion to visit the garden and participate in garden programming have made it a valuable community resource, where learning experiences and opportunities for community members to engage, meet, and interact are provided.

We were very fortunate to receive the 2008 ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Program Grant. The 2008 summer reading program theme, “Catch the Reading Bug,” easily lent itself to a bundle of programming possibilities with the community garden as the focal point. So our summer gardening program emphasized how bugs and insects can be beneficial to the community garden as well as how gardens and libraries can be utilized as community builders in our neighborhoods.

We began the program series with a garden orientation in which the youth determined a set of garden rules, making safety in the garden one of our top priorities. Most of the rules established centered on respect for the garden, respect for one another, and respect for the process. They each committed to writing in their garden journal weekly as a means to document their garden experience. One of our goals of this experience was to provide meaningful exchanges that would allow youth to see themselves as members of a larger, organic community.

Programs included topics such as, “The Benefit of Bees,” in which local bee-keepers shared information about how bees help pollinate garden plants. We used books like The Beekeepers by Linda High and Hooray for Beekeeping by Bobbie Kalman as our literacy link. One of our objectives was to create a thread of civic responsibility and community engagement throughout the program series. So we incorporated a discussion on the importance of green spaces not just for residents but also for insects like bees. We also discussed the significance of advocating for community resources that promote healthy living.

The program “Wonderful Worms” was conducted with a local composting expert. He introduced youth to some of nature’s most dynamic creatures by discussing how worms improve the soil and how they create from waste a rich compost that can be used to nourish gardens. An additional outcome of this program was that young people began “thinking green” by envisioning how things we consider to be garbage can be useful to our environment. Books like Squirmy Wormy Composters by Bobbie Kalman and Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin provided the fun literacy link that we used as a constant throughout the program.

The dimensions of this project included literacy opportunities through the development of a collection of gardening, health, and nutrition literary resources; workshops on topics such as organic gardening and journaling; and hands-on gardening experiences that allowed participants to increase their level of physical activity by empowering them to take an active role in their own health and wellness. We also introduced programs that celebrated culture as food is a distinct element of cultural heritage. Recipe books and cookbooks were used to supplement the “Tracing Your Family Roots” genealogy program, which was led by our local history librarian.

Our hope is that those who visit the garden will be inspired to explore creative means by which they can accommodate the need for interactive community and to realize that the library can play a vital role in accomplishing this goal. Libraries equally have the responsibility to empower individuals through its service and access to information. The Wayne County Public Library’s community garden is another tool utilized to help achieve this end. We look forward to other libraries exploring the idea of the “library as place” by implementing community gardens on their grounds!—Shorlette Ammons-Stephens, head of children’s services, Wayne County Public Library, Goldsboro, N.C.

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Teens Wow Preschoolers with Readers Theater

The Barnegat (N.J.) Branch of the Ocean County Library recently won the One Book New Jersey (OBNJ) 2008 Programming Award for its presentation of the OBNJ’s 2008 Read-to-Me choice, Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel. Using only a modified readers theater script, local teen volunteers, a few simple donations, and of course, a great book (!), the library presented a live action play for an audience of mostly preschoolers. The teens worked with the librarians and volunteer coordinator to create their own costumes and rehearse the play. A local grocery store donated the food props, and a landscaping company donated the “magic” rock, uniquely decorated by the teen volunteers. Advertising and a few minor supplies were the only cost to the library and the payoff was great, as the children enjoyed the program immensely!—Lisa Taylor, Barnegat (N.J.) Branch, Ocean County Library

Community Volunteers Create Magic

Last fall, the Ames (Iowa) Public Library was filled with fairies. We presented two fairy-themed programs: a Fairy Dance and Fairy Houses. At a time when fairy books and movies were so popular, we took advantage and conjured up some programming magic of our own.

The Fairy Dance featured dancers from Iowa State University. They volunteered their time to come to the library on a Saturday afternoon and perform for children of all ages and their families. The dancers performed briefly and then involved the children with a very interactive dance program, teaching ballet moves and even providing an obstacle course. I encouraged costumes and even dressed up myself. Over one hundred people attended the event with a majority of the children in costume.

The second program involved learning about and creating fairy houses. Fairy houses are basically tiny houses that are placed outside and made out of anything found in nature. I collaborated with a local teen, Allison, for this program. Allison created a fairy house to display in the library to help with publicity, and for a month prior to the program, children jumped with anticipation every time they saw the house. In preparation, I collected many sticks, leaves, weeds, and grasses from local parks, my yard, and any place outside for the children to use.

Insert Fairy House photo - Fairy Houses are made of all natural materials, such as sticks, shells, and pinecones.

More than forty people attended this Saturday afternoon program. I read the Tracy Kane books about fairy houses, and Allison presented her fairy house and explained the rules for creating them. Then we gave children time to work on their houses. I provided shoeboxes for each child so they had an easy way to transport their completed houses. Participants had the option of placing their finished houses outside the library in our rain garden and many chose to do so. For months after the program, the rain garden looked spectacular with all the little detailed fairy houses.

Both programs were a smashing success and demonstrated how collaborating with the community, whether it is a local school or a willing teenager, can result in a great event.—Lora Van Marel, youth library assistant, Ames Public Library

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Field Notes: Silly Story Time for K-3

Hayley McEwing recently held a successful story time program for the K-3 crowd at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County (Ohio). A good time was had by all as the theme for the day was “SILLY!” Hayley shared her program outline and some additional tips with ALSConnect.

Entrance background music
“Nobody Likes Me” from Laugh ‘N Learn Silly Songs by Dr. Pam Schiller

Activity while waiting for late arrivals
At the urban location where I work, our audience consists of predominantly preschool, daycare, or after-school care groups. Transportation issues sometimes cause these groups to run late, so I usually have a beginning song/activity (for the general public) before we start stories.

Lupton, Hugh. Riddle Me This! Riddles and Stories to Challenge Your Mind. Read each riddle one at a time. After asking for some guesses, point to the accompanying picture and explain that the picture contains a clue. Explain the answer.

“What comes once in a minute, twice in a moment, but never in a thousand years?” (the letter “M”)

“What sits in the corner and travels around the world?” (a stamp)

Rosenbloom, Joseph. Silly Knock-Knocks.

Ask, “Who knows what a knock-knock joke is?” Then explain. For example, say: “When I say, ‘Knock-Knock,’ you say ‘Who’s There?’” Begin the Powerpoint.

We prepared a knock-knock joke PowerPoint. The children were immediately excited by the prospect of using the projector screen and really enjoyed reading their lines. We used a different font for each knock-knock joke for the “Knock-Knock” and punch line slides, but the children’s lines (Who’s there?/Boo who?, etc.) were always in the same font. A fun image was added to each slide; the images shown on the slides representing the knock-knockers’ parts (Boo, Quacker below) provide a visual clue and eventually help explain the conclusion of the joke. Sample jokes:

Knock-Knock ... (Who’s there?) ... Boo ... (Boo who?) ... Well, you don’t have to cry about it.
Knock-Knock ... (Who’s there?) ... Quacker ... (Quacker who?) ... Quacker ‘nother bad joke and I’m leaving.
Knock-Knock ... (Who’s there?) ... Anita ... (Anita who?) ... Anita rest!

(Editor’s note: For a sample copy of Hayley’s Powerpoint, contact

Have you ever made a silly mistake?
Ask children what silly experiences they have had. For example, have they ever called their friend by the wrong name? Ask what they would want if they had three wishes.

Zemach, Margot. The Three Wishes.

How many of you read poetry? Have you ever heard of Shel Silverstein?
Show the picture of Shel Silverstein on the back of the book. Talk a little about him.

“People Zoo” from Falling Up by Shel Silverstein.

How many of you like music? Have you ever thought of trying to make your own lyrics?
State the tune at the beginning of the poem. If the children are not familiar with it, sing the original lyrics. As you sing the new lyrics, invite them to sing along. If children are interested, repeat the new lyrics.

“Stinky, Stinky Diaper Change” and “I’m Filthy, I’m Dirty” from Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs by Alan Katz.

Are you ready to play some silly games?
Follow the instructions given in the song. Encourage repetition of the actions as well as the words.

“A-Root-Chy-Cha Chant” from Laugh ‘N Learn Silly Songs by Dr. Pam Schiller

Now that we’ve moved our bodies in silly ways, let’s exercise our tongue! Who knows what a tongue twister is?
Write examples on a white board. First, slowly say the phrase to the group. Then invite participation. Everyone says the tongue twister together, starting slowly, then gradually increasing the pace.

Rosenbloom, Joseph, and Mike Artell. Zany Tongue Twisters.

Bob’s blue blobs.
Bess’s pet pestered Fess.
Red Leather, Yellow Leather

Now you are welcome to look at and check out the display materials, practice more tongue twisters, and do the following paper games:

Hidden pictures puzzle from
Some print activities from

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ALSC Voices

ALSC Profile

Julie Tomlianovich
Youth Services Consultant
South Central Kansas Library System
South Hutchinson, Kansas
ALSC membership: Approximately 21 years

Where did you attend library school?
University of Missouri at Columbia

What attracted you to library service to children?
That was always where the action was: energy; creativity; great books; an opportunity to make a difference to a child.

Why did you join ALSC?
I wanted to know people from other places and situations who were committed to children’s services and able to see its importance to the community and the individual library. By being a member of ALSC I have been exposed to new ideas and learned what is relevant and to always keep in mind what the basic foundation is: children.

What to you is the biggest reward of being a children's librarian?
The look in a child’s eyes when you tell a story that evokes emotion or finding them the perfect book. Sounds simplistic, but it is something they remember for a very long time because a grown-up actually knew what they were thinking or made them feel worthwhile.

What is your favorite job responsibility?
Because I no longer work in a single library, but am lucky enough to visit our member libraries and see what they do, my favorite job responsibility is cheering them on and making sure they know that what they do has value and is more than playing. They help foster social skills and what they do takes time, planning, and the understanding of their audience. So I cheer them on and say, “Well done!”

Do you have any advice or a helpful tip for library school students or new librarians just starting out?
Remember that the children in storytime do grow up, remember the library, and in their minds, you are the library. On a morning of my children’s services workshop, being late I was speeding through town and was stopped by a city policeman. All I could think was, “Great, I’m going to be even later and will have to pay a fine.” When the young officer approached the car with a grim look, I knew there would be no talking myself out of this. Then I turned to look at him. He whipped off his dark glasses, smiled widely, and exclaimed, “You’re the Library Lady! Do you remember me? I went to the puppet and storytimes.” What else could be said other than, “Absolutely.” Needless to say, no tickets were handed out that morning. It is not about the committees or the meetings, but the people who come to your library.

What is the most popular children's program/event at your library?
Because we are a multi-type regional system our programs are for the librarians in the system rather than the public. The most popular is the Summer Reading Program workshop where those who are brave and creative come for ideas, fun, and lots of giveaways and door prizes. There is always a main presenter for the theme and then conversation among participants abounds. This is the pep rally before the main event: Summer Reading.

What is your favorite children's book out this year so far?
Jacqueline Woodson’s Peace, Locomotion. He was a character that I had missed and I was so pleased to become reacquainted with him.

What are your hobbies?
Reading, traveling, taking a variety of classes just because I want to learn something new and meet new people, needle work, knitting.

What three words best describe you?
Curious, determined, funny.

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Member News

Karen MacPherson, children and youth services coordinator at Takoma Park (Md.) Library, and Alanna Natanson, a middle-school student in Takoma Park, Md., have been named recipients of the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award, presented by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT). The award, which consists of $500 and a citation, honors intellectual freedom fighters in and outside the library profession who have demonstrated remarkable personal courage in resisting censorship.

MacPherson and Natanson organized the Takoma Park Library’s Banned Books Club, a youth group of middle-school students who gather to read frequently challenged or banned books, like Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Natanson started the club because, she said, “there are a lot of people in [her] grade that are very mature for their age.” The club gives them a chance to read books with more mature themes than what they read in their classes. MacPherson, who leads the discussion, said that the list of books were all “books that kids would want to read.” IFRT honors Natanson for her interest in banned and challenged books and MacPherson for her commitment to organizing, coordinating, and promoting the club. IFRT hopes that her “Banned Books Club” will start a trend in other middle schools and high schools nationwide. (Editor's note: Look for Karen MacPherson's Bright Idea article about Takoma Park Library's Banned Books Club in the next issue of ALSConnect!)

Barbara Immroth, professor in the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin, has received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Library Association (TLA). The award is given to a librarian who has been a longtime TLA member, has been recognized as having an exemplary career in librarianship, is active in professional organizations, and has demonstrated creative leadership and service to the library profession. Congratulations to Barbara!

The American Library Association has named Kathleen T. Horning the recipient of the 2009 Scholastic Library Publishing Award. The honor, which will be presented during the Annual Conference in Chicago, is bestowed on a librarian whose extraordinary contributions to promoting access to books and encouraging a love of reading for lifelong learning exemplify outstanding achievement in the profession. Horning will receive a citation and $1,000 prize, donated by Scholastic Library Publishing. Congratulations to KT!

Melanie Huggins has been named executive director of the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, S.C. replacing David Warren who retired April 3 after nearly 30 years. Huggins has served as director of the Saint Paul Public Library for three years and is now returning to her hometown. Best wishes to Melanie in her new position.

Julie Cummins's newest book, Sam Patch: Daredevil Jumper, illustrated by Michael Austin, was published by Holiday House in February. Cummins will be signing at the Holiday House exhibit booth during the ALA Conference in July.

Betsy Diamant-Cohen and Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting have co-authored The Early Literacy Kit: A Handbook and Tip Cards. It will be available this summer from ALA Editions. The kit contains everything storytime presenters for children from birth to age five and their parents or caregivers need to spread the word about school readiness skills to adult caregivers.

Jeanette Larson recently finished the third edition of the CREW manual. Now called CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries, it is published by the Texas State Library and is available free as a pdf file at This edition includes specifics about weeding children's materials.

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New from ALSC and ALA!

Born to Read Library Card sleeves. Remind parents and parents-to-be that it’s never too early to start visiting the library where they can read and play with their little ones. Promote early childhood reading initiatives at your library with this waterproof and tear resistant card sleeve. A perfect gift for little hands! Item Number: 5274-0942; 50/pack: $30.

The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, 2009 Edition. The latest edition of the Newbery and Caldecott Awards guide covers the most distinguished American children’s literature and illustration. Librarians and teachers everywhere have come to rely on this annual guide for quick reference, collection and curriculum development, and readers’ advisory. With a fresh look and format, locating information on the award-winning books is easier than ever before. This new edition is the first to include information on new hardcover editions of Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners that have been revised and republished with new text or art.


The new format and additions to the guide are accompanied by Kathleen T. Horning’s essay, “Newbery and Caldecott Medal Books: Revised, Revamped, and Revitalized,” which highlights the most notable revisions made to republished Newbery and Caldecott Medal books and cites the most common types of changes made. ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-3585-9; $25.

Media Awards - Send Us Your Suggestions

ALSC members are welcome to suggest titles and names for the upcoming media awards. Send recommendations with full bibliographic information to the committee chair listed below. For more information about each award, visit and click on “Awards & Grants.”

Newbery Medal, Katie O'Dell,
Caldecott Medal, Rita Auerbach,
2011 Arbuthnot Lecture, Carol Edwards,
Batchelder Award, Annette Goldsmith,
Belpré Award, Lucía González,
Carnegie Medal, Joan Kindig,
Geisel Award, Susan Veltfort,
Notable Children’s Books, Eliza Dresang,
Notable Children’s Recordings, Janet Weber,
Notable Children’s Videos, Sue Rokos,
Odyssey Award, Sharon Grover,
Sibert Medal, Vicky Smith,
2011 Wilder Award, Megan Schliesman,

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Andersen Awards: U.S. Nominees

The Hans Christian Andersen Awards are presented every two years by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important and lasting contribution to children's literature. IBBY National Sections from 33 countries have made their selections, submitting 29 authors and 27 illustrators as candidates for the 2010 Andersen Awards. The United States Board on Books for Young People is proud to announce that author Walter Dean Myers and illustrator Eric Carle have been nominated to represent the United States for 2010 award consideration.

Past USBBY nominees who have won the medal are Meindert DeJong (Author, 1962), Maurice Sendak (Illustrator, 1970), Scott O'Dell (Author, 1972), Paula Fox (Author, 1978), Virginia Hamilton (Author, 1992), Katherine Paterson (Author, 1998) and David Wiesner (Illustrator finalist, 2008).

Win $100 Worth of Books from First Book

In celebration of the 2009 ALA Annual Conference, First Book is giving five lucky programs a $100 credit on the First Book Marketplace. Books on Marketplace Web site retail at an average cost of only $2. Follow these easy steps to gain a chance to win!

Step 1. Register with First Book at It’s free & takes 10 minutes. Make sure to select ALA/ALSC as your “Parent Program” on the registration page.

Step 2. Fax (866-972-2734) or email ( a document on your organization’s letterhead that states: the percentage of children from low-income families that you serve; and how that percentage was determined (e.g., free and reduced lunch).

Step 3. Make sure you do Step 1 & 2 by Monday, July 13, to qualify for your chance to win $100 and in turn get more books for your program.

Questions? Visit or email First Book at

All ALA groups that register with First Book will be notified by Friday, July 17, as to which five lucky programs will receive $100 to spend on the Marketplace site.

First Book provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy—access to books. Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 65 million books in thousands of communities across the U.S. To access First Book’s free and low-cost resources, you must register your program at Online registration takes only minutes and will connect your school or program immediately with the First Book National Book Bank and the First Book Marketplace.

Importantly, all decisions regarding book selections are made by you, the librarians and administrators working directly with the children served. Plus, the books are shipped directly to the shipping address provided in the order.

First Book Marketplace (FBMP). Buy books at the FBMP (, our online store where schools and programs serving children from low-income families can purchase children's books and educational materials for 50-85% off retail prices—at an average price of just $2 per book. The Marketplace offers a broad range of high quality, award-winning titles for children of all ages including Caldecott, Newbery, and other award-winning titles. Your program must serve at least 50% children from low-income families to be able to purchase from this site.

First Book National Book Bank (FBNBB). Receive free books from our clearinghouse for books donated by First Book’s publishing partners. These books are free to programs able to pick them up at a distribution site. If a program cannot drive to a given distribution site, the books are still free—the school or program will simply need to pay a $0.35 shipping and handling charge per book. Your program must serve at least 80% children from low-income families to be able to request books from this program.

If you have any questions, please contact the First Book Help Team at or 866-READ NOW.

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Video Contest for Teens

Listening Library is sponsoring the Fantasy Road Trip Contest, asking teens to create videos based around an imaginary road trip with characters from one of Listening Library's fantasy series. Creating a video is one way to engage teens in what they are reading and to encourage them to be creative. The contest is open for entries from June 1 to August 17. Contestants must be between the ages of 13 and 18 to enter. For complete rules and video submission guidelines, please visit

Getting Together

ALSC @ Annual Conference: We’ll BlowYou away in the Windy City!

If you’re in Chicago this summer for ALA Annual Conference, plan on joining ALSC for our exciting programs, outstanding speakers, and dazzling events!

ALSC 101, Friday, July 10, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., at the Westin River North Hotel, Promenade B/C. If you’re new to ALSC or if this is your first conference as a children’s librarian, this program is for you! We’ll provide you with information about the perks of ALSC membership, tips on how to get involved in the organization, and tricks of the trade for navigating Annual Conference. There will also be a raffle with great door prizes. Afterwards, grab a drink with new friends at the ALSC happy hour!

ALSC Happy Hour, Friday, July 10, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Stop by to grab a drink with friends, old and new! Drinks and meals are not sponsored by ALSC, but we would love to see you there. Check the ALSC Web site for location information coming soon.

Newbery Caldecott Wilder Banquet, Sunday, July 12, 6:00 – 11:00 p.m. Sheraton Chicago, Grand BR I-VII. Join us for this gala evening to celebrate this year’s author and illustrator Medalists and honorees. Tickets are $94 while supplies last and must be purchased ahead of time from the conference registration services (Event Code: SC2); no tickets will be available at the door.

ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program featuring Melba Pattillo Beals – Auditorium Speaker Series, Monday, July 13, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., McCormick Place West, W375. Ms. Beals walked her way into the history books in 1957 as one of the courageous students who faced down furious segregationists, the Arkansas National Guard, and the Governor of Arkansas in order to integrate Little Rock Central High School. This is one program that every librarian should attend. A Chicago children’s choir will perform songs from the civil rights movement to start the program.

ALSC Awards Presentation, Monday, July 13, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., McCormick Place West, W-196a. The Batchelder, Carnegie, Geisel, and Sibert Awards will be presented and the ALSC membership meeting will follow.

“Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change” Original Art Show and Cocktail Reception, Monday, July 13, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency McCormick, Center 22. Bloomsbury Children’s Books and the Coretta Scott King Book Awards 40th Anniversary Committee invite you to this free event celebrating a unique picture book illustrated by 13 acclaimed artists. Please RSVP to

For more information about ALSC programs and events, visit our Web site at

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Welcome to Chicago

The 2009 Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) proudly welcomes you to the Windy City for this year’s ALA Annual Conference! Besides offering friendly assistance during ALSC’s many wonderful programs and events, LAC has assembled an array of resources to help maximize your enjoyment of this year’s conference experience.

Before and during your stay in Chicago, visit LAC's wiki ( Need help getting around town? Check out the Transportation link for the low-down on taxis, shuttles, and Chicago’s transit system. Hoping to sample outstanding local cuisine? The Dining in Chicago link is a must-see for researching authentic regional, ethnic, and vegetarian fare. And let’s not forget world-class entertainment and culture! The Local Attractions link provides a quick guide to Chicago’s many unique landmarks, museums, and exhibits.

We hope your experience at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference is both rich and rewarding. See you in Chicago!

Bus Tour for Children's Lit Lovers

The Center for Children's Literature at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is pleased to offer a bus tour to the campus to see the literature center. Buses will leave from the Hilton and Hyatt hotels at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 9th. During a wine and cheese reception, attendees will have the opportunity to see the award-winning Hedberg Library. A buffet dinner will follow and buses will return to Chicago after the event. If you would like to attend, please provide a U.S. mail address to John Stewig at, in order for an invitation to be mailed out to you.


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