What were you doing 20 years ago? In the spring of 2003? We won’t talk about ages, but,
twenty years ago, I was playing Pippi in a touring production of Pippi Longstocking: the Musical.
Always a devoted patron of libraries wherever I went, my path to librarianship did not come until
later in life.
So, what was happening in the library world twenty years ago? Twenty years ago this spring,
the inaugural issue of Children and Libraries (CAL) was published. I decided to explore that first
issue of CAL from the Spring of 2003. Did you know that back issues of the journal are archived
on ALA’s website? Children and Libraries is an ALSC member benefit, but users do not need to
be ALA or ALSC members to access these back issues which start with Spring 2003 and go up
through Winter 2022. The journal has always included scholarly, peer-reviewed articles as well
as best practices pieces, photos, and essays.
At its inception, CAL was only published triannually with Spring, Summer/Fall, and Winter
issues. The journal became quarterly (as it is today) in 2014.
Articles from this first issue include “Get the Picture? The Dynamic Marriage of Picture-Book
Text and Images,” “A Snowy Day: Celebrating Forty Years of Keats’s Masterpiece,” “Joyful
Noise: A Study of Children’s Music at the Baldwin Library for Historical Children’s Literature,”
and “That Big Old Gold Sticker: Children Talk about the Newbery Award.”
The impetus behind creating the journal was to have “a high quality, well-designed,
professionally edited journal specifically targeted to the ALSC mission and vision, and dedicated
to achieving the goals and objectives of our association. We are confident Children and
Libraries will meet and even exceed our expectations” (p. 4). It is safe to say that ALSC and
CAL have lived up to their mission and continue to keep giving to readers. In 2018, Children
and Libraries won an Apex Award for its “excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and
overall communications effectiveness and excellence.”
In the President’s Message, 2002-2003 ALSC President Barbara Genco elaborated that
“Through this journal, we hope you can grow your skills; connect with colleagues; keep current
on issues of intellectual freedom and open access; learn more about supporting emerging
literacy through libraries; find and share ideas to develop and sustain innovative programs,
services, and partnerships; build diversity; enhance your collection development skills; and
much more” (p. 4). These topics and issues are still addressed in the journal today.
In that first issue, ALSC members were encouraged to submit “articles, items, news of interest,
and, of course, your comments and suggestions.” This is also true today. If you are interested
in submitting, CAL is always looking for scholarly/research pieces and “Best Practice” pieces.
For more information, click here.
HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY, Children and Libraries! Of course, the real present is getting Children
and Libraries in my mailbox 4 times a year. To celebrate, I am going to have a slice of cake
(king cake as it is Carnival season in New Orleans) as I finish reading my Winter 2022 edition of
Children and Libraries.
I always love getting my copy of CAL in the mail, and I love that it is in print because I can put it
in my backpack or purse and read it while I am waiting in line. Do you have a favorite Children
and Libraries article or memory? Or is there a particular topic that you would like to see
#ChildrenAndLibraries, #Journal, #ALSC, #ALA, #Birthday, #PeerReviewed
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: V. Advocacy & Outreach; VII.
Professionalism and Professional Development.
Soline D. Holmes, an elementary school librarian at Academy of the Sacred Heart in New
Orleans, is writing this post On Behalf of the ALSC Children & Libraries Advisory Committee.