Guest Blogger

Pura Belpre Award Ceremony

How wonderful to be in a full room for the 2014 Pura Belpre Celebracion and Award Ceremony at #alaac14! The Octavius Room at Caesars Palace was tranformed with colorful decorations, live music, and positive energy for the 18th anniversary of this important award. If you believe we need more diverse books for children and youth, pay attention and give your support to this award co-sponsored by ALSC and REFORMA. Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Youth and Special Services Consultant Madison, Wisconsin  

ALA Annual 2014

Research and Re-Thinking at ALA Annual 2014

I attended two jam-packed sessions this Saturday morning at #alaac14. The first session was Every Child Ready to Read 2–Does it Really Work?  Once attendees found the session room location at the end of the South Hall maze, we were rewarded with some cheese.  Cheese in the form of proven RESEARCH that shows that yes, what libraries do during early childhood storytimes makes a difference!  Two researchers from the University of Washington’s Project VIEWS2, led by the late Eliza Dresang, gave an overview of the multi-year project investigating the work of librarians and the effect on children.  Unsurprising to those in the library community, the verdict is in–we are doing great work!  Suprising to me was the fact that this was the first formal research of its kind to show that “purposeful focus on early literacy principles makes a difference in programs and in children’s early literacy behaviors.”  More insights and…

Caldecott 75th Anniversary

Caldecott 75th Anniversary: Looking Back, Looking Forward

The 75th anniversary of the Caldecott medal has been an incredible year-long celebration.  The events and activities that took place this past year stemmed from the award’s rich history.  All of these treasures have been archived and refreshed for your convenience on the Caldecott 75th Anniversary webpage. Here’s a top ten list of the gems you’ll find there. 10. Say What?! From Facebook Forums with Caldecott artists to KidLit Red Carpet interviews, ALSC got the scoop!  There was a lot of chatter on the ALSC Blog and on Twitter with #caldecott75 and #ncbanquet. 9. The Way We Were The Caldecott Anniversary Scrapbook is your ticket to a visual history of the honored award. The scrapbook’s timeline format highlights decades of Caldecott ceremony and celebration. 8. Embarrassment of Riches Look no further than the Spring 2013 edition of Children and Libraries,, or the Newbery and Caldecott Mock Elections Tool Kit for everything…

ALA Annual 2013

Red Carpet Extras

KidLit on the Red Carpet By now you’ve heard all about the outfits, activities, and refreshments that were part of the Caldecott 75th Anniversary Red Carpet event that took place before the 2013 Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder banquet at ALA Annual in Chicago.  But you haven’t heard from the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder winners themselves and now you can! Authors Jim Averbeck, Betsy Bird, and Kristin Clark interviewed children’s literature heavyweights during the Red Carpet event. Pop some popcorn, mix up a Caldecocktail, and sit back and enjoy these enchanting interviews.  Find out how Caldecott winner Jon Klassen hopes to live up to the award he’s been given.  Discover what book makes Wilder winner Katherine Paterson’s grandchildren bloodthirsty.  Learn how giggling librarians were almost convinced to take back Peter Brown’s Caldecott honor. All this and MORE on Jim Averbeck’s KidLit on the Red Carpet blog! Caldecott 75th Anniversary Logo Merchandise Merchandise featuring the fabulous anniversary logo…

ALA Annual 2013

Red Carpet Memories

The Red Carpet event hosted by the Caldecott 75th Anniversary Task Force prior to the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder banquet was an occasion to remember! This non-ticketed event was open to attendees of the 2013 ALA Annual conference in Chicago. Upon arriving on the Red Carpet scene, guests were greeted in high style by Task Force members in ballgown and top hat.  From there, Red Carpet attendees had the opportunity to enjoy a gold or silver Caldecocktail, pose for a Randolph Caldecott-inspired photo, shop for ALSC merchandise featuring the Caldecott 75th Anniversary logo, or play a round of Banquet Bingo.         Banquet Bingo boards featured Banquet Bingo Trivia that challenged players to think about winning titles, historical banquet moments, and other anniversary facts.  Guests could play online or in person for a chance to win 5 Caldecott medal-winning titles.   Susan L. Smith, Assistant Library Director at Hodges University in Naples, FL…


Play Banquet Bingo on the Red Carpet or At Home #ala2013

The Red Carpet has unrolled!  If you’re in Chicago, join us outside the ballroom at the Sheraton.  If you’re celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott online, you can virtually participate in the 2013 Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder pre-banquet festivities by downloading this special bingo card.  Complete the card and you could win 5 Caldecott titles (instructions on card).  Share your answers using #BanquetBingo and follow the evening’s conversation using #Caldecott75 and #ncbanquet. Virtual Banquet Bingo

ALA Annual 2013

Junk Food, Beer and Books–Incredible Food for Thought #ala2013

Susan Linn, Director, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, gave a compelling presentation this morning that urged librarians to consider how commercialism plays a role in the lives of children, in and outside of the library.  A few insights from the handout distributed: Marketing to children is unfair.  Kids are more vulnerable than adults.  Their developing brains are no match for today’s invasive and sophisticated advertising. It encourages unhealthy eating It glorifies violence It sexualizes kids I think most people in the room are aware of these facts, but Linn gave countless examples that really brought the message home; e.g. SpongeBob Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, a toddler toilet with a tablet/smart phone holder, and the ubiquitous Disney princesses. She also cited the recent ALSC Blog post “Going Commercial Free” in her discussion of what libraries can do.  Linn acknowledged that removing coloring sheets and toys from the library is a positive step…

ALA Annual 2013

Meet Me on the Red Carpet–In Person AND Online!

The Caldecott 75th Anniversary Task Force cordially invites you to join us at the Red Carpet event before the 2013 Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.  Everyone is invited to the celebration–the pre-banquet Red Carpet is a non-ticketed event.  Off-site guests are encouraged to celebrate from afar through special online offerings. For ALA Attendees: The Red Carpet event begins at 5:30pm outside of the Sheraton Ballroom where the banquet will be held.  Bring your camera for unique photo-ops and carry a pocketbook for the Caldecocktail cash bar (wine, beer, and soda also available).  Test your Caldecott knowledge and reminisce about memorable books and banquets from the past.  BYOD so you can tweet with other revelers using #caldecott75 and #ncbanquet. Guests with tickets to the banquet can expect to enter the ballroom no earlier than 6:30pm.  Revelers not attending the banquet are welcome to return to the ballroom…