Awards & Scholarships

Who Will Be the Next Distinguished Service Award Winner?

Bill Morris. Henrietta Smith. Mimi Kayden. Susan Roman. Kathleen T. Horning. Ellen Fader. What do these names have in common? Two were publishers; the others, librarians of all stripes: a Dean and association leader, a professor, a director of a special collection, and a public librarian. They, along with more than 20 other colleagues since 1992, are ALSC Distinguished Service Award winners!

Guest Blogger

The Library Services for Children Journal Club

Serving children in libraries is a busy job. With programming, weeding, answering reference questions, putting up displays, managing budgets, coordinating schedules, and working on special projects it can often feel like there is just no time for professional development. Carving out the time and finding the resources can easily get pushed to the side in favor of more time sensitive demands. That’s exactly why we created a new professional development resource for anyone serving children in libraries. The Library Service for Children Journal Club is a discussion group that meets bi-monthly to talk about current trends and research that affect our practice. Every two months we select an article that falls into one of the following themes: child development, STEAM, community engagement, inclusivity, library as place, and policy and practice. In November we focused on executive function in early childhood, and we’ve got an evaluating apps article selected for our…

Collection Development

Empowering Student Voice in the Library

Book display of new books

We’ve come a long way from the passive classroom model, where students sit and listen to a teacher talk, then take a test on what they talked about. Today’s classrooms are full of students finding their own voices, contributing to classroom discussions, and practicing the skills and thinking strategies they will need in their future careers. I believe the same should be true in today’s libraries. Every year at David C. Barrow Elementary, a group of students volunteers their time to select new books for the library to purchase. They meet during lunch and/or recess a few times per week to select books students have requested. They work with an allotted budget that comes from grants, book fair profits, and rewards points. The money is completely under the control of these students, but they must base their decisions on what the rest of the school wants to read. To determine…

Guest Blogger

Building Spatial Awareness in Story Times Through the Use of Tangrams

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get my hands on a galley of Molly Bang’s upcoming book When Sophie Thinks She Can’t (anticipated January 2018). I immediately rejoiced at Bang’s creative highlight of Tangrams. As anyone who has heard me speak about tangrams in the past, there are not enough picture books to tie in with this fantastic Chinese puzzle. In almost all our libraries you can find a tangram set. No matter what, you can locate printable tangram templates on the internet. (A tangram set consists of seven shapes: 2 large right triangles, 1 medium sized right triangle, 2 small right triangles, 1 small square, and 1 parallelogram). To many, the use of tangrams is something to keep the kids busy rather than an intentional and useful activity that helps students develop their spatial awareness and creativity skills. According to Yi Ling Cheng and Kelly Mix,…


The Nonconformist Book Club

Are you running a successful book club at the library or your local school? If your book club lacks a spark, what model do you follow? Perhaps it is time to think outside the box and change your modus operandi. I have run numerous book clubs for youth including a book club for differently abled teens. They have all been unique even though they have one common denominator, reading a book.  The distinction relates to the age group of the book club members, their personal features, or the goals of the program. Here you have three models that seek to connect and respond to the needs of our clients. Book Club for Differently Abled Teens: In this book club I worked with teens and their teachers once a month. Reading a book posed a challenge for some of the members, so we used early chapter audiobooks instead. Then, the teachers…

Guest Blogger

And We Will Help – Creating Libraries and Advocating for Librarianship

About a year has gone by since my last post. I was planning to write a three-part series about the amazing reading culture in Germany, however, since that time, I completed a six-figure renovation on a high school library, and moved on to an elementary school, the oldest in our school district. It has a gem of a library, waiting patiently to be loved back to life.

ALSC Online Courses

Get Involved with ALSC!

ALSC is a large organization with thousands of members, dozens of committees, and an abundance of projects, programs, and initiatives. Whether you have been a member for years or you are new to the organization, figuring out how to find your own place within ALSC can feel overwhelming. To address this need, the ALSC Education Committee has developed a webinar, Get Involved with ALSC: Navigating Opportunities within the Organization, scheduled for Wednesday, November 8th. The webinar is intended to 1) help members who want to become involved in ALSC but aren’t sure where to start and 2) inform those who want to learn about additional opportunities within ALSC. To maximize the webinar’s relevance to ALSC members, the Education Committee developed the content based on feedback and suggestions provided in a recent survey. Topics include: Communication venues such as the ALSC-L electronic discussion list, social media, community forums, and conference sessions…