ALA Midwinter 2013

What Libraries Are to Tom Angleberger #alamw13

The Wrap Up/Rev Up program at conference is meant to simultaneously get folks psyched for the next conference and to put a cherry on top of the one that is ending. Today’s program featured Chris Alexander, of Star Wars Origami fame, and Tom Angleberger, genius behind the Origami Yoda book and others, flanked by R2-D2 and a number of other Star Wars characters. The audience members folded Boba Fetts and Yodas, and it was great fun. The most impactful statement of the session–the one that I’ll really be ruminating on for months to come–was shared by Angleberger at the very end of the program. Angleberger is known for populating his books with real children; real children who, in real life, may very often be considered different or special, often derogatorily. But, says Angleberger: “Being special is like having a superpower. Schools, too often, are kryptonite. But libraries–libraries are the bat…

ALA Midwinter 2013

What does the Maker Movement mean for youth services? #alamw13

I have long been enamored of the idea of maker spaces in libraries. While I am hesitant to make any statements that would come across as endorsing a particular type or focus of “making,” I have to say that I love the idea of making the library a center for active, hands-on learning and engagement. Traditional services can feel very passive–reading, listening, watching media, etc. But making? That’s a horse of a different color. I’m in a session talking about making in the context of 3D printers, robotics, tools, and other larger-scale maker initiatives. My question, though, looks to the less expensive, the less formal. Namely: what does the maker movement mean for youth services? Arguably, we’ve been engaged (and engaging kids) in making from the very beginning: crafts at story time, LEGO club, STEM programs with building/engineering components… Michelle Kilty, a children’s librarian in Illinois, got me thinking about…

ALA Midwinter 2013

Day in the Life of a Children’s Librarian at #alamw13

While schedules vary greatly for the attendees of the ALA Midwinter Meeting–many of my colleagues have far more committee work than I do–I thought it might be fun to offer a look into one of my conference days here in Seattle. The following day was my Sunday. 6:45 a.m. — Wake up, shower, get dressed, review my schedule for the day. 8:15 a.m. — Stop for coffee on my way to a meeting. 8:30 a.m. — ALSC All Committee Meeting. I sat in on the meeting of the School-Age Programs and Services Committee, which I blogged about briefly yesterday. I also caught the tail end of the discussion at the Children & Technology Task Force. 10:30 a.m. — Scholastic Picture Book Preview. Scholastic authors and illustrators shared their upcoming books; Stephen Savage, Tom Lichtenheld, and Amy Krouse Rosenthal really got the audience laughing. I also enjoyed talking to colleagues during…

ALA Midwinter 2013

School-Age Programs and Services at #alamw13

This morning was the ALSC All Committee Meeting, at which time I sat in on the meeting of the School-Age Programs and Services Committee. I can talk about programming until the end of time, and I wanted to see firsthand what these committee members were brainstorming. The members of the committee are focusing on professional trends and timely issues in determining their upcoming projects. The four major areas of discussion were: 1) the Caldecott 75th Anniversary; 2) STEM/Core Curriculum; 3) school/public library collaborations; and 4) inclusive/autism programming. The committee members shared a lot of examples of what their libraries are doing in these areas, and I look forward to seeing what resources they develop in the coming months. In the meantime, chime in with details and descriptions of school-age programs that you do in these areas. What programs have your kids loved? Share in the comments, and let’s get a…

ALA Midwinter 2013

Our Future Includes Ebooks #alamw13

I’m in the Leadership and ALSC meeting right now, and Sue Polanka (@noshelfrequired) is giving a talk called “Ebooks, Children and Digital Issues.” My biggest takeaway from this talk is a single quote: “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.” -William Gibson I really think that sums up so much of what we need to think about when we talk about ebooks and apps in libraries. People are already using them, and those without access are getting the short end of the stick. Libraries are about access, and we need to step up to provide ALL TYPES OF ACCESS. Yes, we need to be discerning in choosing what technology we purchase (but we don’t buy every book; how is digital content different?). Yes, we need to help mediate use of technology. Yes, not all of our customers will use it or agree with its presence. But to…

ALA Midwinter 2013

Talking about School Library/Public Library Partnerships #alamw13

The opportunity to meet and idea-share with colleagues from all over the country is quickly becoming one of my favorite things about Midwinter. Last night I attended a few events where school librarians and public children’s librarians abounded, and a consistent topic of interest was the potential in school library/public library partnerships. Some of the ideas I heard about and look forward to sharing with school librarians in my local school district back home: – Mock Newbery and/or Caldecott discussions, or award information presentations – summer reading promotional rallies – library card drives (promotion to get all children in a grade/school library cards) – frequent public librarian presence in the school library, and school librarian presence in the public library, to build visibility and a literacy support network That’s just a smattering of how school and public librarians are working together to provide outstanding services and support for the children…

ALA Midwinter 2013

Looking Forward to the YMAs #alamw13

One of the highlights of the Midwinter Meeting, as many a children’s and teen librarian will tell you, is the Youth Media Awards. You don’t have to be here in Seattle to see it live–the event is available by live webcast, too! Since arriving in Seattle, I’ve already enjoyed a number of YMA prediction discussions with friends and colleagues. We’ve talked about the merits and potential problem points of our favorite reads of 2012, and I am sure these conversations will continue throughout the weekend right up until the live announcement. It’s a conversation I am sure will come up at the ALSC Speed Networking event tonight! I can’t wait to hear what more of my colleagues think are the most award-worthy books of the year. What have been your favorite reads of 2012? What titles are you predicting will take home high accolades on Monday?