Guest Blogger

Mocktail Hour: Bring Your Own & Talk Mock on Friday, November 5th!

The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, (ALSC) has partnered with the Center for Children’s Books at the University of Illinois for a daylong symposium celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Newbery Award. This is a virtual event scheduled for this coming Friday, November 5th. Registration is free, and the recording will be available through the Center for Children’s Books following the event. 

The Newbery at 100 Symposium offers an opportunity to hear from experts in the field of children’s literature, including K.T. Horning, Kenneth Kidd, Joycelyn Van Tuyl, and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and to learn about the experiences of Newbery Committee members through a panel discussion. Those who tuned in to the recent ALSC webinar “Problematic Award-Winning Texts: Daniel Boone, The Newbery Award, and Children’s Librarianship” learned much from facilitator Edith Campbell as well as Dr. Robert Bittner, Megan Schliesman, and Dr. Junko Yokota. As an organization, ALSC and its committees awarding the Newbery Award, its oldest award, have stumbled at times. ALSC does not celebrate the Newbery’s 100th anniversary blindly. This symposium will be an opportunity for members to continue to learn and grow. To paraphrase a part of ALSC’s Strategic Plan, ALSC members must be nimble and must embrace change for the sake of all children. 

The symposium starts at 9:00 a.m. CST. By 3:30, we all should be ready for an opportunity to connect and relax a bit. While it will certainly be five o’clock somewhere, we suggest that attendees enjoy an interactive Mocktail Hour at the conclusion of the program with the Newbery 100th Anniversary Celebration Task Force as we introduce our Mock Newbery Guide and exchange ideas for Mock Newbery programming. We’re hoping for some clever ideas for mocktails based on Newbery titles and themes. 

We’ll have a special guest, Susie Isaac, who is currently a member of the 2022 Newbery Award Selection Committee along with our Task Force member Kimberly Grad. Susie will share her experience with Mock Newbery programs in schools, and Kim will share her mock experiences in public libraries. The rest of us – and those who attend – will also have a chance to share as we introduce the new “Guide to Planning a Mock Newbery Discussion and Election,” hot off the digital press. 

Some ideas members of the Newbery 100th Anniversary Celebration Task Force have come up with for Mocktails (imagine your own ingredients and please share!) include The Girl Who Drank the Moonshine; From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil Mojito; A Drinkle in Time; The Brew Kid; and Bud Light, Not Buddy. So please bring your creativity and join us as we raise a glass to 100 years of celebrating distinguished children’s literature!!

Today’s post was written by Susan Polos, a librarian at the Greenwich Country Day School in Connecticut and the current chair of the (John) Newbery 100th Anniversary Celebration Task Force.

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