ALA Annual 2014

Breaking stereotypes at #alaac14

I love seeing children’s librarians who break the stereotypical librarian mold. And when their departure focuses on children’s lit… so much the better. Today at an ALSC meeting I met Andrea Cleland, a children’s librarian from Windsor, Colorado who proudly displayed her love of children’s lit with a tattoo of Mo Willems’ very popular Pigeon & the well known symbol for libraries on one arm and Pete the Cat, that well-known groovy cat, on the other.               Very fun!

ALA Midwinter 2014

Hooray for Coretta Scott King Winners!!

One of the highlights of the year, children’s librarians, educators, and publishers are fixated with the youth book awards which are selected during the Mid-Winter American Library Association meeting. Fortunate committee members travel across the four corners of the United States to meet behind “closed doors” and engage in private conversations that will pick the winners and change the destiny of those titles forever!  Their book jackets are proudly adorned with the bright gold medals that distinguish those books from the rest of the collection and become a household name (well at least with the younger crowd).  The most familiar of the awards are the John Newbery Award which has been around for over ninety years and the Randolph Caldecott Award which just celebrated its seventy-fifth birthday!! Gaining in audience are the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, founded in 1970, which recognizes outstanding African American authors and illustrators that “demonstrate…

ALA Midwinter 2014

ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee Update & Resources

In January, the ALSC Intellectual Freedom met at Midwinter.  While we talked about many things, the overarching theme was what does Intellectual Freedom mean now?   IF is more than just banned books and book challenges, at its core it’s about access to information and resources. Over the next few months you’ll be seeing all sorts of blog posts from us that will get you thinking about how everyday things may affect Intellectual Freedom, from not compiling a list of kid friendly apps because it goes against your own beliefs about technology, to reading levels, our goal is to get everyone (including ourselves) thinking differently! In doing some research for a blog post that ties together access, self- censorship and digital natives, I started to come across resources and readings that I thought were helpful and got me thinking in a new way.   I thought they would be important to share…

ALA Midwinter 2014

Maintaining the Momentum of Midwinter

The Midwinter meetings in Philadelphia were abuzz with the activities and planning of committees, workgroups and any gathering, (scheduled or impromptu), of two or more ALSC members!  We are fortunate that our membership and our profession continue to not only keep pace with developments in the field, but initiate advancements for both our colleagues and our clientele.  Here are a few highlights: The Joint Meeting with ALSC/AASL/YALSA currently chaired by AASL President, Gail Dickinson offers an opportunity to learn about projects and programs focused on youth.  Those in attendance agreed to contribute common talking points in defense of Net Neutrality. The Morris Seminar, (chaired by Mary Burkey and Luann Toth) brought together ALSC members new to book discussion and paired them with vintage discussion leaders to hone their evaluation skills and practice articulating their opinions. Priority Group Chairs Pabby Arnold, Rhonda Kasemodel Gould, Keira Parrott, Carol Phillips, Julie Roach, Kay Weisman,…

ALA Midwinter 2014

One more winner!

Midwinter was indeed an exciting time as you can tell from the blog posts about good times at Reading Terminal Market, discussion groups and Networking Uncommons and, of course, those ever popular Youth Media Awards. Well, while the exclusive book award committees were tucked away in hotel rooms, the Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers (yes, say that five times fast) met to select a winner of the ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant. This year’s applicant pool included 29 submissions from libraries coast to coast seeking funds for outreach programs and services to an impressive variety of special populations. From children with autism to youth in detention facilities to teen parents and their children to children and families in homeless shelters, this year’s batch of applications was yet another reminder of the hard work being done to make our libraries welcoming spaces…

ALA Midwinter 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Pura Belpré Award Winners! #ALAmw14

Serving on the 2009 Pura Belpré Book Award Committee was the greatest honor of my library career. Thank you to the members of the 2014 Committee for choosing such great titles. It has been a great year for children’s literature! Here are this year’s winning titles: Don’t miss the big Pura Belpré Celebracií²n in Las Vegas this summer! — Rebecca Hickman, Youth Services Librarian III Alvin Sherman Library, Nova Southeastern University    

ALA Midwinter 2014

One of My Favorite Booths #ALAmw14

I had a nice chat with Barney Hoskyns the editorial director of the music journalism database, Rocksbackpages.com. He let me browse through some old copies of Creem, NME, and Rollingstone magazines, plus he gave me a promotional guitar pick!  I didn’t know it at the time, but Barney is also a book author: “A writer and editor for over 30 years, RBP co-founder Hoskyns is also the author of many books, including Across the Great Divide: The Band and America, Hotel California: Singer-Songwriters and Cocaine Cowboys in the LA Canyons, the Tom Waits biography Lowside of the Road and Trampled Under Foot, an oral history of Led Zeppelin. A former U.S. correspondent for MOJO, Hoskyns has contributed to Vogue, GQ, Rolling Stone, Spin, Harper’s Bazaar, Uncut and many other titles.” Rocksbackpages.com does not include children’s music reviews, but it is a great resource for YA reference. — Rebecca Hickman, Youth Services Librarian…

ALA Midwinter 2014

Other KidLit Awards from #alamw14

THE highlight of #alamw14, of any Midwinter, is always the announcement of  the Youth Media Awards.  These announcements are not only a chance to celebrate the previous year in children’s literature but an opportunity for librarians to expand their collections thanks to the dedication of all the librarians who have worked evaluating hundreds of titles published the year before. However, not all important awards are part of the live announcement on Monday morning.  These awards are also given by librarians who evaluate material all year long but they do this through ALA affiliates not divisions or through task forces.  But don’t let this keep you from using these awesome selection lists in your collection development! The American Indian Library Association (AILA) was founded in 1979.  Every two years, they award the American Indian Youth Literature Awards.  These lists are an amazing way to build your library’s collection of material about American…