Library games at #alaac15

Library games at #alaac15

When all the conference work is over and done, you can go to Library Games to have some fun!

Library Games is a night of challenges, boldness, and laughter, typically held on the Monday evening of annual.
Last year, I checked it out with some friends– we were cramped in an overly hot room watching our peers compete in various library challenges. This year, we stepped up to the plate. Our team– Punk Ass Book Jockeys (bonus points if you get the reference) competed in Library Trivia, Lip Synching, Flannel Board, Book Talk for Your Life, and Battle Decks!

Library Trivia– 10 questions on library history/ pop culture references. I think all teams utilized the lifelines to switch their answers with a random audience member.

Lip Synching– The obvious winner chose a Miley Cyrus song- Wrecking Ball– and she delivered! My team went with “Smells Like Team Spirit” and we all jumped in to headbang and rock out!

Flannel Board– My competition. Category- randomly picked– Dealing with Board of Trustees. Must use 20 random pieces in 2 minute story– I used 15– whew, time goes by quick!

Book Talk for Your Life– Choose a book and sell it! Our group won this category with a romantic tale of “Slugs in Love”, which she had actually borrowed from the SF public library!

Battle decks– Could you give a spontaneous presentation on an unknown topic with Meme slides? It’s just about as hard and as hysterical as it sounds!

Join the games next year!! They start recruiting via social media a few months before conference! It’s a great time for being silly with new friends! Everyone is supportive of the efforts!!

We came in third out of four, I’ll take it for our first try! Watch out, Orlando- we’re coming for the win!

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Amy Steinbauer is an Early Childhood Outreach Librarian in Beaumont, CA. Follow her on twitter @Merbrarian.

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#alaac15 Caldecott/Newbery Reception

Last year my mentor treated me to a Caldecott/Newbery awards ticket and it was a magical night that I refer to as the library Oscars! People are dressed in fancy dresses, and everyone is bubbling with excitement to hear the speeches and celebrate! This year, as I made my selections for ALA events, it seemed like I just had to go back! The ticket is pricy– but it is a magical night!

Winner of the 2015 Caldecott, Dan Santat gave a thoughtful speech about the struggle to keep believing in your dreams and the hard work of what it takes to succeed.

Winner of the 2015 Newbery award, Kwame Alexander gave a performance that buzzed through his life and reminded us that with the belief in greatness can propel you to fulfill your destiny!

Winner of the 2015 Wilder award, Donald Crews wove an interesting story of a somewhat reluctant path to children’s literature, and how the love of a good woman can inspire!

Afterwards, there is a receiving line where you can make small talk/shake hands/ hug some if the years greatest creators of children’s books! It is the best part of the evening, especially if you work with the texts of the winners– it’s an opportunity to geek out with people you love and admire!

I had to stop children’s book collaborators and besties Mac Barnett and Jon Klassan, to take a pic of my besties on besties! Take a look:

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Amy Steinbauer is the Early Childhood Outreach Librarian from Beaumont, CA. Follow her on twitter– @Merbrarian.

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#alaac15 Leaving Las Vegas- Wait! That was last year!

As I’m packing up my stuff and moving on home, I’m so grateful to ALA for providing me the opportunity to grow and learn. Thanks not only for the memories but for all the exciting things I am going to take back with me. Next up is Boston in JANUARY! I can’t wait to see what I will take away from that adventure in snowy (but hopefully not to snowy) Boston!

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Empathy and Oscar the Grouch: Sonia Manzano #alaac15

Sonia Manzano

Sonia Manzano, Auditorium Speaker

If you ever wondered who Sonia Manzano’s (“Maria” from Sesame Street) favorite Muppet is, here’s her answer: Oscar the Grouch. “He’s negative.” He acts anywhere from age 80 to 8. He stirs up conflict in an otherwise harmonious neighborhood, and this conflict leads to stories.

In fact, Manzano’s new memoir, “Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx” (Scholastic) is all about conflict–her tumultuous childhood in the Bronx, her Puerto Rican roots, and her longing for a “Leave it to Beaver” type of stability. With Maria, she was able to act out (and later, write scripts about) a character that children in inner cities could relate to, and provide them with storylines that offered satisfying resolutions–something they may seldom get in real life. She could be a mirror for these kids, an escape from a hard home life, and a role model.

Manzano thinks her difficult childhood lead to her success. Not in spite of her challenges, but because of her challenges, she was able to become a great actor, writer, and humanitarian.

She spoke quite a bit about the importance of empathy. Sure, people tell their kids to “Be nice.” But what about going beyond that? She questions why some people are afraid to let kids read sad stories. In books, readers are able to connect with characters and feel the deep emotions that dwell within them. It’s the perfect avenue for building empathy, and she believes we should consciously instill this value in children.

Manzano was a fabulous speaker. Many of us in the audience grew up watching her on television, and looked to her as one of the really inspirational and comforting adult figures in our lives. Manzano advocated for television; she pointed out that sometimes TV is a much-needed escape for some children, and that, like a book, it’s just the jumping off point for the imagination: What happens to characters when they’re not on TV, how does the story continue when the set is off? Kids with the freedom to imagine can, and will, grow up to be resourceful and successful adults.

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#ALAAC15 The Disruptive Bone in YOUR Body!

Anyone care to Find the DISRUPTIVE bone in your body?

Disrupt: : to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way : to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something)

As I walked from event to event in  San Francisco, rode the shuttle buses and rubbed elbows at the sit down and stand up events, I really wanted to know what it was like to be in other people’s library world and to get a sense of  their challenges.

So I asked people this question, “What would you do to be disruptive in your library world?”

That word disruptive hit some people instantly as something negative and unruly. There was a little bit of fear in the first hearing of it.

But being librarians they pushed past the fear and really thought about it. I heard about school librarians who work in more than one building.

I met librarians who come in to different libraries in their district and who see librarians who are holding on to “their system” and “their way of doing things.” One story was about a librarian who shelved all of the Barbie and Batman books (etc.) by author significantly challenging anyone to find more than one book on these characters.

I heard about the struggle a public library system has to create a partnership with their public school system.

I heard about the fight to “teach” the community about the VALUE of libraries and what we have to offer.

I thought about the long line of librarians who have been fighting the good fight for so many years and remembered this piece I’d seen recently.

In October 1945 the ALA Executive Board dedicated a morning to explore the future of librarianship. Here are some quotes from this ALA Executive Board meeting from 70 years ago (and the source is the A.L.A. Bulletin published in February 1946.)

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“If the profession seems to lack dynamism some of the responsibility rests with administrators. All too many still hold professional members to routine work and give what seem valid reasons why all must take their turn at essential clerical tasks.

We need an improved type of professional personnel, a conception of administration which would make use of all the thinking, all the ideas and potential planning of the entire professional body in an institution, not just of departmental heads.

Personally, I believe in the Campbell soup method. It is very nearly impossible to pick up a magazine without coming face to face with a colorful Campbell soup advertisement or a glamorous liquor ad. The first makes you hungry and the second makes you want to go right out and imbibe. This method must be good. Even religion is catching on. “Go to church next Sunday” is the exhortation I’ve been noticing on billboards and in magazines these last few years.

I should like to know what an advertising campaign on a national scale would do for libraries. I’d be willing to wager that it would up their status as a matter of course. Communities generally get what they want if they want it hard enough, and when the people as a whole get library conscious they will tend to demand better libraries.

As to coverage, brought into the picture by Mr. Richards, Mr. Ulveling, and Miss Rothrock — deploring the low percentage of use of libraries –I agree that it is deplorable, but I am convinced that the answer is not just a question of obtaining finances for exploiting all the new devices — the film, the record, the phonograph, television — which will insure us a new dynamism, but something more basic, even more fundamental, important as that is, than a reorganization which will free the heads of departments, as Miss Herbert urges, “to do the thinking and planning.”

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This board in 1945 was shouting out the need to be disruptive, to let new ideas push through, to invite librarians at all levels in the organization to create new ideas and make the library synonymous with the word dynamic.  Does any of this sound familiar?

So now it’s your turn…… “What would you do to be disruptive in your library system?”

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#ALAAC2015 Be Who You Are

As Lizette Serano took the stage for the Scholastic Preview yesterday some of her first and best words were, “BE WHO YOU ARE.” We were about to be treated to Readers’ Theater by Jennifer Nielsen, Jennifer Holm, Alex Gino, Craig Thompson, Jon Muth and Dav Pilkey.

I had to run at the end of that fabulous event… I mean, really, Dav Pilkey doing the sound effects for other people’s stories? Uh YEAHHHHH…..and between that ballroom and my awaiting suitcase were the crowds lining the sidewalks and lampposts on Market Street.

The Gay Pride Parade was in full swing. The marchers and riders in the parade were exciting and colorful but the ROAR of the crowd that rolled down the street…that was where the goosebumps started.

I cannot even begin to describe the variety of human beings in the crowd. The best outfit I saw was created by a young lady who had made a rainbow dress out of flip flops. Tiers of flip flops encircled her beginning with red at the top and making its way through stacked rows of orange, yellow, green …you get the idea…flip flops ..a full length affair… Gorgeous!

It just struck me how authentic these people were being. How they were letting their “self” shine through even though that self might be a little different.

We all belong here in this library world. Some of us choose to serve on Committees with a capital C. Some of us choose to blog and shout out the news of the latest books. Some of us want to work with one person at a time outside of the limelight. Some of us want to be able to hand a child that very special book that sets off the reading explosion. Some of us guard the good treasure that has been created for years. Some of us look to create new treasure.

So, pick out your flip flops…whatever color you love and know you are a valuable part of this rainbow.

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Weekend of celebration at #alaac15

In addition to the Gay Pride celebrations in San Francisco this weekend, we  also had an opportunity to celebrate & honor award-winning authors as they accepted their well-deserved accolades.

You can now read the acceptance speeches online.  (How cool is that?) Just click to download and read the speeches.

Batchelder  [PDF – 652K]

Belpré  [PDF – 595K]

Caldecott  [PDF – 616K]

Carnegie  [PDF – 936K]

Geisel  [PDF – 1MB]

Newbery  [PDF – 2MB]

Sibert  [PDF – 1MB]

Wilder  [PDF – 1MB]

 Enjoy!

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ALSC Membership Meeting (abridged, in comics) at #alaac15

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