Guest Blogger

Harry Potter Party

Pin the ScarHarry Potter

This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. printing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and what better day to celebrate this anniversary than on July 31, Harry’s birthday! These past few summers, my library has celebrated Harry Potter by throwing a special event complete with wands, scarves, and other fun activities. Every year we look at ways to improve our party, and this year is no exception. With limited space and staff, here is a run down of our last year’s celebration.

Early Literacy

Getting Creative: Utilizing Volunteers in Early Literacy Outreach

If your library, like ours, is working with too few staff and is receiving more requests for outreach visits, it might be time to get creative. About a year ago, we attended a wonderful state library conference session presented by Deschutes County in which they described their volunteer outreach program. While their library system is much more robust than our single library, we saw potential in their model for our needs. Below is a series of questions, with some of our answers, that served as a foundation for developing our program. While this outline is by no means exhaustive, and will require customization for your organization, we hope this can spark ideas for your own creative solutions.

Guest Blogger

Libraries Rock, Part 2 – Authors

Since this year’s summer reading slogan is Libraries Rock, yesterday I wrote a post about what happened when I asked my rock musician friends how reading and libraries influenced their lives and careers. To further explore the connection between reading and music, I asked some writers and illustrators to share their thoughts on the summer reading slogan “Libraries Rock.” Celia C. Pérez (The First Rule of Punk): I LOVED the library when I was a kid. I especially looked forward to the summer reading program because they would occasionally give out new books as prizes! The musical influence is obvious in The First Rule of Punk because music is such an important piece of the protagonist’s identity . . . Music, as well as images and other things that get your senses working, help inspire when I’m writing. The music that inspires me to write depends on what I’m working…

Awards & Scholarships

The 2019 Batchelder Committee wants your help!

The 2019 Mildred L. Batchelder Award Committee is asking the ALSC membership to submit book titles for consideration.  The Batchelder Award is a citation awarded to an American publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding translated book of the year. Books eligible for the award are those originally published in a foreign country and subsequently published in English in the United States. For the complete terms and criteria, please refer to the ALSC website. The 2019 Batchelder Committee calls on ALSC personal members to submit titles for consideration. Please remember: Only books from the 2018 publishing year are under consideration for the award. Also, please note that publishers, authors, illustrators, or editors may not nominate their own titles. Please go to to post your suggestion. You will need to have your ALA login & password handy to access the suggestion forms. The submission deadline is…


Let’s Talk About Diversity… with Isabel Roxas

For those of you who are regular ALSC blog readers, this post may seem a bit like déjà vu. After all, didn’t you just read something about diverse book recommendations last month? Well, you’re right – you did. Author/illustrator Melissa Iwai stopped by the 53rd Street Library in February to share some of her favorite diverse picture books, and I shared her list in my last post. But representation matters all the time, and so often children can’t find themselves on library shelves chock full of books featuring white, non-disabled children – and animals, of course. It’s important we know and have available books representing every child who might come into our library as well as the children they’re likely to meet. So earlier this week, illustrator Isabel Roxas came to 53rd Street Library for our April installment of Let’s Talk About Diversity. Born in Manila, Philippines, Isabel has illustrated…