Blogger Suzi Wackerbarth

What Does Earth Day Have to do with Art?

A cookie tray with a piece of flat plastic covered with flowers; some bread ties, arranged; some rubber bands, arranged; a red ribbon; a row of coffee wrapper ties; a row of bread tie discs, arranged; a piece of plastic with the number 1912.

Art and Earth Day? I mean, they’re not even in the same Dewey Decimal Classification categories! One is in the 700s (art) and the other is generally in the 300s (Social Sciences, anyone?) But stay with me. I recently found a picture book called How to Spot an Artist. It is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E, and yet philosophical and deep–adults and children will love this encouraging book that lets you know that art and artists exist any and everywhere. You never know, you might be an artist, dear library friend. I also found a book about collage and another book about making art from ocean plastic. Which made me wonder about a mash-up of art and Earth Day. I know, I’m a day late, Earth Day was yesterday. But there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the day late (it’s still April!) or focusing on environmental art as you think forward to craft programs for…


What I Wish I Knew When I Became a Manager

Nearly a year ago, I became a children’s services department head. Of course, I’ve always had a manager, so I thought I knew what I was in for when I became one. And I wasn’t totally off, but there were things I definitely did not know or expect when I started. I knew how to balance a budget, I knew how to design a schedule, but did I know exactly how hard it would be to spend out a budget or how many conflicts can possibly arise in just one week? I definitely did not.  When going from a librarian to a department head, I knew my day to day work would increase. I came in knowing I had to delegate, had to prioritize and had to effectively manage my time. But the amount of work at  times seemed, and sometimes still does, crippling. Here and there I would stay…

Blogger Kirsten Caldwell

Should Libraries be Quiet?

For years, debates have raged over the appropriate volume levels in libraries. Should they maintain a serene quiet, with librarians ready to shush any loud disruptions? Perhaps there could be designated quiet zones for those seeking focused study, while allowing for a slightly livelier atmosphere in areas designated for children. The time of librarians expecting hushed whispers from children as they browse the stacks seems to have passed.

Blogger Laura Schulte-Cooper

2024 Summer Reading Lists

ALSC’s 2024 Summer Reading Lists have arrived! Compiled by ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee, the lists highlight engaging and award-winning books to keep children reading all summer long. In addition to top-notch reading picks, the committee also recommends a range of apps, podcasts, and websites to help kids discover new and extend current interests. Here’s just a sampling of the digital resources featured: The 2024 summer reading lists have a colorful, streamlined design, making them easy to download and print for children, parents, and caregivers in your library and community. Find the FREE lists on the ALSC website. More summer reading fun And, while we’re on the topic of summer reading, here are some posts that might inspire you: More reading lists Have you checked out the 2024 Dia booklists? They provide a wide range of captivating stories that represent and celebrate diverse cultures and backgrounds. This post addresses ALSC Core…

Children's Literature (all forms)

Naming Source Languages and Translators Serves Young Readers

Not long ago, I asked a group of grade six English learners to do a “source language scavenger hunt,” finding middle grade and YA novels in the school library and recording the language in which each was written. I also had them note the author’s name and, if applicable, the translator’s. This “hunt” had several goals:

Blogger ALSC Membership Committee

Join us on April 19th for ALSC 101

While many are familiar with the Newbery and Caldecott committees, did you know that the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has over 60 additional opportunities to participate in committee work, task forces, and discussion groups? From creating best of the best book lists to helping coordinate ALSC’s annual budget, there is an ALSC Committee for everyone. Join us on Friday, April 19th, at 2:00 PM EST for ALSC 101 and an exploration of ALSC Committee work.