Children and Libraries (CAL)

“Children & Libraries” … and YOU!

Children and Libraries  (CAL) is the journal of the Association for Library Services to Children. “[I]t primarily serves as a vehicle for continuing education for librarians working with children, and showcases current scholarly research and practice in library service to children and significant activities and initiatives of the Association”  (http://www.ala.org/alsc/publications-resources/cal).

The ALSC Children & Libraries Editorial Advisory Committee encourages you to consider writing for the journal. You are the experts in the field, and this is YOUR publication. Journal articles are written by and for children’s library services practitioners from a wide array of experience levels, work settings, and job titles. We want to showcase your work and to learn from you. 

Access the Journal

Children & Libraries is published quarterly. If you’ve misplaced your print issue (a benefit of ALSC membership), then you may browse and read the last 5 publications online. (Tip: The navigation bar is on the left side of the page.)

For access to additional back-issues, you need your ALA login credentials. At the time of this blog post, there are 60 issues available online, dating back to the first issue, which was published in Spring 2003. The ALSC blog regularly features CAL Rewind, written by ALSC Program Officer Laura Schulte-Cooper. This feature highlights past journal articles and illustrates the wide variety of content submitted for publication.  

Contribute to the Journal

The Children & Libraries Editor, Sharon Verbeten, recently sat down with ALSC Membership and Marketing Specialist Elizabeth (Elly) Serrano, to discuss the journal. Articles generally fall into four categories: 1) scholarly, research-based; 2)  “best practices”; 3) essays/features; and  4) “The Last Word.” (Tip: For more details on each category, read the lower half of the Author Guidelines page.) There are several ways to contribute to CAL:

Query the Editor: Remember, the CAL Editor is here to help you be successful and offer as much support as needed.

  • If you have an idea for an article, then you are encouraged to email the CAL Editor for guidance and feedback.
  • Expand upon a blog post that you’ve written. Do you have more to share on a topic that you’ve written about before on the ALSC blog?

Completed Papers/Studies: Allow readers to learn with and from you.

  • Submit your current research or dissertation excerpt.
  • Revisit a paper from library school. 
  • Analysis of local surveys or project overviews may be appropriate.

“Best Practice” Pieces/ Essays:  Inspire others to adapt programming to their library’s community. Successes and challenges are welcome!

  • Write up a library program in detail from planning to implementation to impact. 
  • Discuss contemporary issues in children’s library services or write up an author interview.

Referee/Review: Research-based pieces undergo a structured peer review process. Peer reviewers are knowledgeable in the subject at hand and assist the Editor in providing feedback to authors. (Tip: For more information or to volunteer, visit Call for Referees/Reviewers.) 

Reach out to the CAL Editor, Sharon Verbeten, with your questions, ideas, and submissions. We do hope that you will consider submitting a piece to or refereeing for the Children & Libraries journal soon!  

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This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: V. Advocacy & Outreach; VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.

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Amalia E. Butler, Senior Children’s Librarian,  is writing this post on behalf of the ALSC Children & Libraries Editorial Advisory Committee. She can be reached at amalia.e.butler@gmail.com .

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