Children and Libraries (CAL)

Dear Reader, Meet CAL

Hey ALSC Members, have you read Children and Libraries lately? Children and Libraries (CAL) is ALSC’s quarterly journal written by members just like you. When I was a fresh MLIS graduate and working as the only children’s librarian at my first job it was hard to find peers that I could rely on. Having already been a member of ALSC, however, I relied (and still do!) heavily on CAL. While I didn’t know many youth librarians in the field yet, I now recognize many names in each issue of CAL – for the articles they are authoring and the great work they are doing. Children and Libraries is an excellent form of continuing education for any librarian working with youth whether you’re new to the field or looking for new tips and best practices. 

Each issue of the journal has an editor’s note and an address from the current ALSC President. Under the features section, you will find various articles relating to topics ranging from summer reading practices and incentive ideas, highlights of award winning books, to revitalizing early literacy in the library, highlighting couples who collaborate, and many more topics. The Spring 2022 issue is one of my favorites and focused on Newbery 100! This special issue covered a lot, including a timeline of the Newbery Medal, a history of the Newbery honor books, a look at mock Newbery committees, and favorite Newbery titles by the various contributors of that issue.

Seeing what our peers do in other libraries is exciting and inspiring. Some of my first summer reading ideas came from a CAL article and I was grateful that my ALSC peers had shared so much knowledge and experience with their readers. The journal also welcomes different departments or committees within ALSC in each issue. The Membership Committee features a new member profile while other committees, such as Public Awareness or Intellectual Freedom Committees share updates. Although still in print, one tip for reading the journal is that you can access the journal’s digital archives any time to read past issues. This means if you are new to ALSC or you haven’t read Children and Libraries before, you still have access to years of ideas and inspiration right at your fingertips. 

If you have a program, research project, or idea for an article then you should share it! Contact CAL editor Sharon Verbeten and you might just be published in the future.  CAL also has an Advisory Committee and relies on committee members to assist in various aspects, especially in helping to find referees for articles pending review. Next time you fill out a volunteer form, you might want to consider volunteering for Children and Libraries! 

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

Jacqueline Quinn, Youth Services Librarian at Teaneck Library, is writing this post on behalf of the ALSC Children & Libraries Editorial Advisory Committee 

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