ALA Midwinter 2017

The Powerful Impact of the ALSC Mini Institute

Jacqueline Woodson delivered the Closing General Session at the Mini Inistitute

India is a land of contrasts. I often find myself straddling the gulf between two vastly different worlds. As a Teacher Librarian at an elite international school, I have the opportunity to work with some of the most privileged, promising children in the country. However, when I volunteer in the slum just a few blocks from my school there are 50 children crammed cheek-by-jowl into a tiny classroom.


The Importance of Diverse Books: A Real Live CJ

Cover of Last Stop on Market Street

Earlier this month, a family came into the Children’s Services department at the Allen County Public Library to use the computers. I happened to be collecting books for an upcoming “Check Out Diverse Books” program, so when the youngest boy told me his name was CJ, I showed him his namesake in the award-winning Last Stop On Market Street. When he saw that not only did he share a name with the character, but that the character looked like him too, CJ’s grin was SO HUGE!

Guest Blogger

Sharing Sky Stories – Sun, Moon, and Stars

Ever heard the story of the frog sisters on the Moon? Maybe the one about Coyote scattering the stars, or the magical fishhook in the sky that pulled the islands out of the ocean? Storytelling (digital and live) is a natural program tool for libraries. Traditional sky lore has multi-cultural dimensions that can enrich your programs with stories of the sun, moon, and stars from around the world.


The Underdogs: 10 Great Picture Books You May Have Missed In 2016

Award season is upon us, as librarians across the country comb through the many wonderful picture books published in 2016 to choose the one most worthy of the coveted Caldecott medal.  Just as some books are published with much fanfare and excitement, others quietly appear on library shelves. Without high publicity or recognition, they fend for themselves. 

Guest Blogger

Girls Just Want to Have Fun-damental Rights

I’m a baby boomer who came to adulthood during the first flush of feminism. In those days we went to consciousness raising groups and talked about such radical notions as women in professions and getting help from men with housework and childcare. We’ve come a long way since those days. Women in the United States are now CEOs, scientists and serious presidential candidates who win the popular vote. Last year our country decided for the first time to put a woman’s image on our currency (what took so long?), a Muslim beauty contestant who wears the hajib strutted in a burkini during the swimsuit part of a pageant, and Mattel introduced Barbie dolls with more realistic and varied bodies.