Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Ten Ways to Publicize Notable Children’s Books

In her 2002 Newbery Award acceptance speech, Linda Sue Park recalled how her father, a Korean immigrant, regularly took her and her siblings to the library and helped them find books. As an adult, she had once asked how he chose the books. As she relayed his explanation in her speech, it brought tears to the eyes of librarians in the audience: “He left the room for a few moments,” she said, “and came back with a battered accordion file and handed it to me. Inside were dozens of publications listing recommended children’s books–brochures, flyers, pamphlets–and most of them were issued by ALA.” As this moving story shows, booklists can be enormously helpful to parents and teachers, and even the kind of young reader who likes lists. Instead of being overwhelmed by all those books on the shelves, the library user has a guide with ideas from experts. I’m a…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

ALSC Wikipedia Update

Where were you when you decided to be a children’s librarian? I was driving North on Highway 395 watching the alpenglow on the Sierra Nevada, reading The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe since I wasn’t actually driving, when it occurred to me — I should be a children’s librarian. The next day I walked into a public library in Tahoe City and asked the librarian where I could find information on being a children’s librarian. She directed me to a number of resources: in print, in Chicago, in magazines, and in her Rolodex. I searched the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature, The Gale Encyclopedia of Associations, the Occupational Outlook, and I can’t even remember what else. I imagine that I might have sent a request to the ALA for information and considered joining the organization. Although I had heard of the Newbery and Caldecott award medals, I had no…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

10 Recent & Upcoming Picture Books Featuring Everyday Diversity

I first heard the term “everyday diversity” from Anna Haase Krueger. Everyday diversity books feature diverse characters doing everyday activities and in everyday situations. My favorite example to give people unfamiliar with the term is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The focus of the story is that Peter is enjoying the newly fallen snow and not that Peter is African-American. [There are many more titles that are worthy of inclusion on a recent publications list and I’ve left several other booklists at the bottom of this post for further reading. This is by no means a comprehensive list — I know that there are titles and resources missing. A few of the books on this list feature large diverse casts without a main diverse character.] 15 Things Not to Do With a Baby by Margaret McAllister An older sister welcomes a new sibling by learning all the things…

ALA Annual 2015

Catching Up With Committees

Every Child Ready to Read® @ your Library® Toolkit for Spanish-Speaking Communities is now available from the ALA Store (image courtesy of ALA)

Spring has finally arrived, and those of us on the Public Awareness Committee thought there’s no better time than now to see what exciting projects some of our fellow committee members have been working on! ALSC offers so many great opportunities to serve on a variety of committees, many of which fly under the radar. I think you might be surprised to learn some of the awesome ways our members are working together. Did you know that ALSC has an Oral History Committee? Deborah Cooper, Chair of the Oral History Committee, gave me the scoop on some of the interesting projects the OHC has in the works. The OHC has a long-term task of working on a large back-log of interviews with past leaders in children’s librarianship. Some of the interviews took place over 20 years ago! They have been editing the transcripts and working to get permissions to post…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Día Every Day

book cover of Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

Coming soon: on April 30, we will celebrate the culmination of Día. But did you know that Día doesn’t end there? It’s the beginning of a new year of Book Joy, emphasizing the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds, and in all languages. How can you keep Día in your heart, and your work, every day? Commit to including a book, song, or rhyme from or about another place in every storytime. Creating a book display? Include diverse books on the theme, but then add translated editions of those titles; kids and adults need to know that their favorite reads are available in their first language. Visiting a site with your bookmobile? Check your stock for titles published in the languages spoken in the community before you depart. By demonstrating how easily all people can be represented, we encourage our peers, families, teachers, and caregivers to do the same. But…

Awards & Scholarships

Dreams Do Come True

book cover of Tiger Girl by May- Lee Chai

In the world of children’s literature, I can’t think of a day that hasn’t been better than the one before it. On Monday morning, February 2nd, this theory proved true. Diversity in children’s literature was honored in a multitude of ways. Librarians, families, teachers and kids all awaited the Monday morning Youth Media Award announcements with anticipation. They waited to hear if their favorite girl would win an award in more than one category, if their favorite author would garner the top prize, if the book that reflected their lives and spoke to them would stand tall and proud amongst the best of the best. As the medal winners’ names were spoken, dreams were coming true all across the country. Each day that you have an opportunity to talk about diversity in children’s literature is a day when you are making the world more welcoming and real for all children….

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Reach Out and Read Promotes Early Childhood Literacy

Did you know that a well-child visit to the doctor’s office can also help to promote early literacy and school readiness? It can if your well-child appointment is with one of the 5,200 medical providers who participate in the Reach Out and Read Program. One new Reach Out and Read Program site, the Bethesda Family Practice in Cincinnati, Ohio, reached out to their local Norwood Branch Library, which is a medium-sized branch in the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County system, for assistance in setting up their waiting room Literacy Corner. The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County’s Marketing department donated full-color literacy posters with Book Suggestions for Babies and Toddlers and a growth chart on the side. Also displayed in the Literacy Corner is the current monthly calendar of events and story times available at the Norwood Branch Library. This is just one example of how children’s…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Building a Home Library for Friends and Family

Do you often field gift book questions from patrons around the holiday season? I’ve had my share of parents ask me for the best new picture book of the year for their daughter or a grandparent who wants to gift their tween a book but has no clue where to start. If you have also had these experiences, check out ALSC’s updated booklists! These are a great resource to help parents, grandparents and caregivers of all sorts purchase great books for the children in their lives during the winter holiday season- or any time of year. The ALA-Children’s Book Council (CBC) Joint Committee, with cooperation from ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee, have updated the four Building a Home Library booklists to provide advice to caregivers and others interested in constructing an excellent, star quality library for children at home. The committee looked to include less mainstream gems, wonderful multicultural books, beloved…