Child Advocacy

Professional Reading:
A Place at the Table:
Participating in Community Building

This month I read A Place at the Table: Participating in Community Building by Kathleen de la Peña McCook. The back of the book states: “From urban giants to small towns across the country, there is a palpable hunger for a greater sense of community. Libraries, as they continue to provide a vital public service, are in a unique position to help satisfy this hunger. Unfortunately, they are often left out of the discussion initiated by theorists, writers, planners, activists, and civic planners.” In Chapter 5, McCook shares five case studies of librarians who are involved as community builders. Following the case studies, McCook writes on pages 68 and 69, of the “values of librarians who build community:” Community Involvement Awareness of Community Issues Connection as a Responsibility Integration of Service Community Building as a Value The Library Can Make a Difference She explains each one, but the one I…

Children's Literature (all forms)

StoryTubes, a transcript

Back in April, I spoke to Denise Raleigh, Director of Marketing, Development and Communications; Faith Brautigam, Manager of Youth Services; and Betsy O’Connell, Manager of Information Technology; all of the Gail Borden Public Library District, about the StoryTubes, the national 2-minute or less video contest featuring students and their favorite books. (Voting for the fourth and final category – Facts, Fads and Phenoms – ends June 4, 2008.) This conversation was to be shared as a podcast, but due to technical difficulties on my end, it is an edited transcript of our conversation instead. Thanks, Denise, Faith, and Betsy, for sharing your time and thoughts with us! ALSC Blog: This is the first year for the national StoryTubes contest. According to the StoryTubes information page, your library did something similar in the past. Denise Raliegh: We had people talking about great things in the community and their favorite books. And…

Blogger Jennifer Schultz

A is for Alligator

Animal-themed storytimes are plentiful. Tons of picture books, tons of fingerplays, and tons of ideas for crafts/activities. If you’re looking for something more exotic than dogs and cats, an alligator storytime might be in store. What would you do if an alligator slipped inside your house, with only your siblings to share in your terror? You’d be plenty scared, wouldn’t you? That’s exactly the situation in which three young siblings find themselves when an alligator invades the homefront. Eventually, the kids get tired of all the scary alligator stuff.  Snip, Snap! What’s That? is one of the first stories I read to my toddlers when they can handle slightly longer storylines; it’s an excellent balance of suspense and humor. If you give a kid a saxophone, you should expect noise. Lots of noise. Unfortunately, Miles’s parents can’t take the noise any longer and banish him outside, which doesn’t endear them to…

Partnerships

Battle of the Books @ Your Library!

by Traci Glass I want to share with you my very, very favorite program and collaboration idea. I used to live and work in Arizona where I ran the Battle of the Books Program in collaboration with the wonderful school librarians in the Gilbert School District while I was a Children’s Librarian at the Southeast Regional Library. The truly awesome Friends of the Southeast Regional Library sponsored the program. Together we helped 5th and 6th graders read wonderful books, analyze them, and meet new friends in a program that lasted throughout the school year and culminated in an end of the year City Battle. Never heard of Battle of the Books? Let me give you a basic rundown… Since I am most familiar with Arizona’s system, I will give you the heads-up on that, even though from what research I’ve done on the program, it’s pretty similar from state to…

Blogger Angela Reynolds

The Summer Reading Rush

How many of you are experiencing the Summer Reading Rush? You know what I mean– madly running about printing booklets and fliers for schools, cutting paper, assembling prizes, calling last minute performers, making sure there are enough supplies for that fateful day in June…. As Head of YS, I get to do most of my work before June arrives. I make lots of photocopies. I put together a kit of prizes, booklets, statistic sheets, and how-to guides for each branch. I get the website all geared up for the launch on June 15. I’ve spent the last few months writing letters, making visits, and phoning businesses asking for money and donations. I’ve sent thank-you letters and gotten jpeg files via email so I can add the sponsor logos to our booklets. I’ve arranged to get SRP leaflets into report cards (and THAT means I have to assemble the leaflets for…

Blogger Jennifer Schultz

Summertime, Summertime, Sum Sum Summertime

Memorial Day is fast approaching, and with that means the beginning of summer, outdoor barbecues, and for children’s/YA librarians, summer reading program time! If you’re planning a summer-themed storytime, consider adding these books to your repertoire. Patterned after Gertrude Stein’s famous quote from her poem, Sacred Emily (“A rose is a rose is a rose”), Summer is Summeris a joyous celebration of the ordinary things that make summer great: “A bee is a bee is a bee/a tree is a tree is a tree/Cool in the shade/Pink lemonade/Summer is summer is summer.” Dandelions blowing in the wind, fishing off a log, baseball games (“rain or shine/baseball time/summer is summer is summer”), building sandcastles, and a nighttime boardwalk create an atmosphere of a long, lazy, and carefree summer. The children will enjoy the rhythmic text and bright illustrations, while adults will undoubtedly become nostalgic about their own childhood summers. Preschoolers and…

Collection Development

Join in a lively discussion in Anaheim

submitted by Wendy Woodfill, Convenor, ALSC Children’s Collection Management in Public Libraries Discussion Group The Children’s Collection Management in Public Libraries Discussion Group will be meeting on Sunday afternoon during ALA next month. Here are the details: Sunday June 29 1:30 to 3:30 pm Clarion Hotel Orangewood 2 (CLAR) 616 Convention Way We have two topics for discussion: 1. Declining circulation. A number of libraries have witnessed declining circ in the last few years, especially in the areas of children’s nonfiction and picture books. What are libraries doing to counter this trend? Are floating collections the answer? 2. Multi-format book programs. Several publishers have announced ‘book programs’ that encompass multi-ages and multi-formats (e.g., Simon and Schuster’s Trucktown by Jon Scieszka). Is this a new trend? What other programs are in the works? Are libraries purchasing the complete package? I hope you all are able to attend the discussion group meeting!…

Digital World

I heart comments and, sometimes, spam

As the current manager of the ALSC Blog, I attempt to check the comment queue at least three times a day. I am always delighted when a real comment is among the spam. Just moments ago, I went through 180 spam comments, mostly referencing fashion. (At least, for the time being, Paris Hilton seems to have moved by the wayside.) There was one comment, from Houston, the reference address screams “Spam!” but the text itself is thought-provoking. It is: “Listen. Do not have an opinion while you listen because frankly, your opinion doesn?t hold much water outside of Your Universe. Just listen. Listen until their brain has been twisted like a dripping towel and what they have to say is all over the floor.” While there is no source cited in the message, according to QuotationsPage, the phrase was penned by Hugh Elliott on the 2/14/03 post of his blog,…