ALA Annual 2017

Perceive. Rise. Engage. – ALSC PREconference

ALSC Pre-conference badge

“Perceive. Rise. Engage.” This summer the Association for Library Service to Children invites you to an ALSC PREconference celebrating the 2017 Batchelder, Belpré, Caldecott, Geisel, Newbery, and Sibert Honor Books. Seventeen authors, illustrators, and publishers of this year’s honor titles will be in conversation, considering the ways in which their very different books are connected along some interesting and compelling thematic lines.


Books of Comfort for Children in Crisis

Cover image of child being consoled by an adult

For me, one of the most comforting lines in children’s literature occurs at the conclusion of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Max, who has been out and about in his wild rumpus returns home and finds his supper waiting for him, “and it was still hot”. But for many children such comfort has been stripped from them for any number of reasons, natural disaster, death, horrific loss…


Rethinking Literacy Conference

Media Mentorship made its debut in Maine on April 27, 2017 at the 28th Annual Reading Round Up of Children’s and Young Adult (YA) Librarians. The conference, Rethinking Literacy: Multiple Literacies for the 21st Century, kicked off with a rollicking performance by John Schumacher (a.k.a. Mr. Shu) the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs. Sessions were on a multitude of topics: best graphic novels; engaging ESL students; an arts approach to literacy; workshops on best apps for school and public libraries; using digital technologies to reshape literacy; exploring media literacy, and more.

Guest Blogger

Transforming Sensory Storytime Lemons into Sensory Kit Lemonade

In November 2014, my assistant director asked me if I’d ever heard of a special needs storytime. I responded, perhaps overenthusiastically, with the notes and links I had been gathering for 6 months. We decided we wanted to start a Sensory Storytime at our largest branch. We knew we had families with children on the spectrum in our community; some came to the library, some didn’t. We read all the resources we could get our hands on (including these excellent resources here, here, and here). We asked some of our key donors to help buy sensory toys as a part of our annual end-of-year appeal. We observed a sensory storytime at a library on the other side of Michigan in January. That spring, we steadily cultivated relationships with (semi) nearby parent support groups, local therapy clinics, the local university’s collaborative autism center, county public health, and teachers who worked in…

Guest Blogger

Did You Say Booktuber and La Hora Del Cuento?

It is last December, 2016, and I am visiting my hometown Antofagasta, Chile after almost ten years of absence. My birth city feels the same with its marine breeze, the dazzling sun, the immense desert, and the curious and welcoming people. However, one thing is different. Now the city has a modern three-story public library built inside a refurbished historic building filled with natural light, innovation, and magnificence.   The Biblioteca Regional de Antofagasta is dreamy with books on display every place you look – including the circulation desk- computer stations on all three floors, and an art display. This magnificent library is located in the heart of a town that is learning to use the resources that a public library offers. In fact, one of those resources is the equivalent of the American storytime called “La Hora del Cuento.” The other resource is a booktuber called “Leonora, la Llamita…

Guest Blogger

Crafts vs. No Crafts, The Great Storytime Debate

There’s been a lot of discussion about this in various circles. When it comes to arts & crafts, librarians often fall into one of two camps. There’s the “We don’t do crafts in storytime!” bunch and the “We love crafts! Glitter for everyone!” crowd. This is how I feel when I hear about libraries that don’t do art or crafts. I should say, this is how I feel on the inside because, well, I work in a library. There are so many reasons to do art and crafts in storytime. The benefits certainly outweigh any cons. Before going any further, it’s important to know that there is a difference between art and crafts. Art is open-ended and focused on the process being used and each child’s work will look different. Q-tip painting with sparkly puffy paint is an example of process art. Crafts are more structured, more concrete. They’re projects…