Virtual Institute 2020

An #alsc20 Highlight from Beatrice Canales

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The 2020 ALSC Institute was a new experience for me. This experience was the first time I attended the institute and since it was virtual, I had the time to savor many parts of it. The parts I could not attend was recorded so I will enjoy the conference later next week. As an educator, the two sessions that I enjoyed the most were, “Family Matters: Sharing Generational Love in Children’s Literature” and “Partnering to Improve Indigenous Representation”. The best part of these sessions and the overall sense of the conference pertain to the passion and responsibility of all librarians, educators, writers, illustrators, and more to show children of all ages that they matter. The “Family Matters: Sharing Generational Love in Children’s Literature” session demonstrated to the audience that “emotional truth” reigns in writing children’s literature. The audience felt that truth in the stories that the authors and illustrators used…

Guest Blogger

An #alsc20 Highlight by Faith Hvisdas

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Attending the ALSC Virtual Institute was an invigorating experience. After nearly seven months of living a new lifestyle due to the Coronavirus and world events, it was refreshing to hear from so many library professionals about how passionate they all still are about their work, and their willingness to serve communities. I especially appreciated the panel on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within ALSC. This panel allowed several professionals to speak about the initiatives that ALSC is taking in these important areas. I enjoyed hearing from the Equity fellows, and hearing about the work that they are doing in libraries. When Ayn spoke, she mentioned that she would not get to go to Midwinter if it was not for this fellowship. Conferences are always an amazing way to learn and connect with others in our professional field. Ayn also mentioned her mentor, and how having a mentor was extremely supportive for…

Guest Blogger

An #alsc20 Highlight by Sarah West

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This year I had the chance to attend ALSC’s Virtual National Institute. I was so excited, I had never been to the National Institute, virtual or in person. Thanks to the 2020 Friends of ALSC Virtual Institute Scholarship, I got to attend. Of course the first thing I did when I got the email was to look at the schedule. I saw that this year there was a panel called “Diversity Needs Jewish Books: A Missing Piece of the Diversity Conversation.” I stopped in my tracks. As a 26 year old Jewish woman, I had grown up with just a handful of books about Jewish people, but how many times can I read Joseph Had a Little Overcoat? I didn’t know I’ve been waiting for this panel my whole life, but now I knew.             “Diversity Needs Jewish Books: A Missing Piece of the Diversity Conversation” was hosted by four…

Guest Blogger

Dinovember… In the Before-Times or During a Pandemic

November is Dinovember and dinosaurs have invaded the children’s department! Inspired by Refe and Susan Tuma’s What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night and librarians everywhere, Dinovember is a special month where dinosaurs come out to play. In 2019, our children’s department staff helped me celebrate our first Dinovember with programming, displays, and crafts. 


Batchelder Award – Call for Suggestions

Books are arriving and the 2021 Batchelder Award committee is busily reading, but we need your help in ensuring we are identifying the very best in children’s literature published in 2020.  Please consider suggesting a title to the committee for consideration.  Visit the Batchelder Award page, log into your ALA account, and fill out the suggestion form.  It’s that easy! The Batchelder Award is awarded to a United States publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originating in a country other than the United States and in a language other than English and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States during the preceding year. More information can be found on the Submission Process page and FAQ’s about ALSC’s Book & Media Awards pages. Hurry – suggestions close on October 31, 2020! Today’s guest blogger is Suzanne Harold , 2021 Batchelder Award Committee Chair. This…

Guest Blogger

An #alsc20 Highlight by Samantha Mairson

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Curiosity Kitchen Promoting Healthy Living through Programming and Partnerships at #alsc20 This session interested me because my library launched a “Cooking with Kids” virtual cooking class program during COVID and it has been incredibly successful. Unfortunately, I went on lunch break at the time this session aired live during the conference.  I desperately needed the break so I watched the archived video recording of this session instead of attending live. I easily navigated to the archived recording via the ALSC Institute conference webpage. The recording is hosted on Vimeo. It is captioned and shows as being posted to Vimeo on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 6:37 PM EST… but the session wasn’t hosted until October 2 at 2pm so I must be reading placeholder metadata. The ALSC Institute team has also provided a session chat transcript in the WordPress conference attendee portal. Unfortunately, the chat transcript for this session is…

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”  (

Children's Literature (all forms)

Call for Suggestions — 2021 Geisel Award

The 2021 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award committee invites ALSC members to suggest books published in 2020 for consideration. The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year. Authors and illustrators must be U.S. citizens or residents. Other terms and criteria can be found on the ALSC website. Send your suggestions to Lori Coffey Hancock, the Chair of the 2021 Geisel Award committee, via email ( by October 30, 2020. Lori Coffey Hancock is a school librarian for The Lexington School, a preschool through eighth grade private school in Lexington, Kentucky and the chair of the 2021 (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award Selection Committee. This blog relates to ALSC Core Competency: Knowledge, Curation, and Management of Materials.