Guest Blogger


My summer reading program is grinding to a halt. I’ve given out countless sticky lizards, (two are hanging over my computer monitor right now), monster eyeballs and rubber ducks. Ah, the professional rigors of youth services. I’ve signed off on dozens of reading logs and congratulated kids — and parents — on the great strides they’ve made during the summer. The excitement is over and my raging dynamo of energy that enables me to jump from planning one event to figuring out the next wrinkle in library tectonics is ebbing away to nothing. I’m ready to reorder, redecorate, and recuperate. But Halloween is still months away. Where will my next rush come from?

P is for Pig craft
P is for Pig craft

I’ve picked something verrrry easy for myself. In August I display Back to School. In September, my theme is as simple as the ABCs. September 8 is International Literacy Day. I’ll pull all my ABC books, already labeled with a big DEMCO label on the spine. I’ll bring in my grandson’s cute ABC poster, get out those big ABC rubber floor mats someone gave me, and voila, my library will be decorated.

Plastic Alphabet Stampers
Plastic Alphabet Stampers

I don’t know if I’ll celebrate just September 8 — which falls on a Saturday this year, so I would choose the Friday before — or whether I’ll be singing the ABCs all month long. I feel this is a theme with sure parent and kid appeal, lying at the very base of physical library structure. (Reading words on a page? Shelving books by authors’ last name?) Yet letters are profoundly personal to us all. We’ve all heard a young child say something like, “M. That stands for Max,” as if M were in fact symbolic of Max in some magical way. Which is why I’ll probably make monograms in duck tape with the tweens.

It would be so cool if other libraries were doing International Literacy Day too.



Our guest blogger today is Travis Sherman. Travis is the youth services librarian at Gulf Beaches Public Library in Madeira Beach, Florida.  As her niece once put it after watching her mouse storytime, “And they pay you to do that?”  It’s still hard for her to believe, the mix of books and people she gets to enjoy every day.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at

One comment

  1. Jenny

    I loved reading Travis Shermans message of her summer happenings coming to and end just to begin yet another adventure with her childrens area of the library. Quick thinking and great ideas for International Literacy Day! I need to get started thanks for the motivation Travis!

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