ALSC Online Courses

ALSC Online Education Courses

For the past few weeks, I have been a member of the ALSC online education course called “The Newbery Medal: Past, Present, and Future.” This is the first time that I have taken advantage of ALA’s continuing education courses, and I have to say that I couldn’t be more pleased.

The virtual class was taught by K.T. Horning, who is the director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has been involved all over ALA, and will be delivering the 2010 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.  Needless to say, we were in good hands!

Over the six weeks that the course was in session, we read at least 9 Newbery winners of our own choosing, along with course guest, and Newbery winner Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard.  We also read many articles questioning and championing the Newbery Award dating  back from the 1920s.

All of the reading was very rewarding, of course, and I did find some new favorites that I had overlooked in the past.  But the true beauty of the course was the dialogue that went on in the “forums.”  This is where class participants would rant and rave about certain titles, try to puzzle out the elusive idea of “distinguished”, and make connections with each other.  It was refreshing since there were many points of view, and few titles had participants in full agreement.

I highly recommend taking advantage of the classes that ALSC is offering virtually.  I certainly learned a lot, made some great professional connections, and had quite a bit of fun!


  1. KT Horning

    Thanks for the kind words, Stacy. It was great having you as a student in the class and I’m glad you think all that reading was worthwhile.

    As the instructor, I learned a lot, too, from the discussions, and the course also gave me the motivation to finally get around to reading some of the older Newbery books I had never read before, like “Gayneck, Story of a Pigeon” and “Strawberry Girl.”

    The course will be offered again this summer, so if there’s anyone thinking of taking it who would like more info or a copy of the syllabus, please feel free to email me at


  2. Debra Johnson

    I thank both posters for conveying this information. I am a brand new librarian who has enrolled in the July 20th course and I cannot wait! Before I even heard of this class, I began a project where I would read every Newbery Medal book; I started with Kira Kira. Taking this course is the logical next step in getting this project off of the ground and achieving my goal. More importantly, I will be able to serve my patrons better by having a deeper understanding of Newbery Medal books.

    I am tempted to ask K. T. Horning for the syllabus (as mentioned in her post) but I will reign in my excitement and wait for the first day of class.

    Debra Johnson

  3. Mason Adams

    i’m not a great fan of online education coz for me there must be some interaction between teacher and students;,,

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