The Underdogs: 10 Great Picture Books You May Have Missed in 2017

2017 was an excellent year for picture books: beloved authors and illustrators such as Kate DiCamillo, Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen, and Kadir Nelson released some true gems.  Unfortunately, not all authors receive the same amount of funding or marketing materials to promote their work.  While award committees do an excellent job identifying “underdogs,” it would be virtually impossible for them to read the 27,309 children’s books published last year.[1] Librarians are in a prime spot to identify these small but mighty reads.   Last year, I selected ten of my own favorite “hidden gems” and am back with ten more for 2017. Which ones did you enjoy? Feel free to chime in in the comment section! You Don’t Want a Unicorn by Ame Dychman and illustrated by Liz Climo In this classic “be careful what you wish for” story, a young boy is urged by the narrator to not wish for…

Guest Blogger

Roblox Mania

School age and tween library users will let you know the hottest computer gaming webpages—just ask them or watch them.  I remember the days of high IMVU use, which I admit was not a personal favorite.  I was thrilled when Minecraft became all the rage, as it allows users to create and build…in other words, teaching young people geometry and spatial skills underhandedly, while they were having fun.

Guest Blogger

Spanish-speaking children get prepared to enter kindergarten at Multnomah County Library

Recent results of Multnomah County Library’s Listos para el kinder (Ready for Kindergarten) showed participant children tripled their school readiness skills while their families increased their library usage and involvement in their children’s learning. Education Northwest, a third-party evaluation firm, worked with library staff members to develop, implement and conduct a child activity and pre- and post-program parent survey. The child activity measured the extent to which children participating in Listos develop kindergarten readiness skills in three areas: approaches to learning, social and emotional development, and language and literacy. The parent surveys assessed the extent to which parents use the learned tools to support their children’s academic growth. The largest gains were made by children who did not previously participate in an early childhood program and whose parents did not complete high school. These children grew from an average baseline score of 10.6 to a follow up score of 33….

ALSC Board Member Profile

Meet Your ALSC Board: Chris Caputo

Late this past summer, we began a feature in which we profile ALSC Board members. We hope to offer information about the people who work to guide the organization so that you can feel more comfortable in reaching out to them with your concerns, questions, or comments. To continue this series, we invite you to meet ALSC Board member, Christine Caputo. ********************************************************************************************************* Why did you join ALSC? How long have you been a member? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables? I went to college to become a school librarian and in my junior year, one of my professors talked to my class about professional organizations, including ALA, ALSC, and AASL.  Feeling flush with money from my part-time job, I gleefully joined all three as a way to connect to other librarians across the country. I’ve been a member of ALSC for almost 30 years (minus a…

Guest Blogger

Library Support for a Community in Grief

On Friday, May 19th of this year, 36-year-old Terrance Miles was murdered at 12:15 AM outside his home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as he took trash to the dumpster. Miles was an assistant football coach at Northside High School, a basketball and football coach with Metro Youth Sports, an administrator at Forest Park Elementary School, a mentor with the Boys & Girls Club, and the father of two.  His was the 11th homicide in Allen County in 2017. The Tecumseh Branch of the Allen County Public Library, located between Forest Park Elementary and Northside High School, serves as a community hub where students wait for parents to pick them up after work.  That Friday after school, students entered in small, distraught clusters.  They’d just received a letter informing families of his death. When a student asked us to display a photo of Miles on the reference desk, it snapped into…