Guest Blogger

Yes, and you CAN do improv at #alsc22

So this was an unlikely session for me. I’m a bit of an introvert and I don’t think quickly on my feet. But at #alsc22, it’s a safe space, so I’m willing go outside my comfort zone. I know to learn, I need to spend more time exploring new and different things. And I’m so glad I did! Librarians Chelsea Condren and Jessica Espejel led “Applying Improvisational Skills in Public Librarianship,” sharing how and why the training developed.

Institute 2022

We Are All Musicians at #alsc22

The last education sessions just ended and what a way to wrap things up! Staff Sergeant Philip Espe’s “Wake Up Your Musicianship for More Inclusive Storytimes” was energizing and joyous. Philip had us all on our feet and singing in 3 languages (English, French, and Spanish). He noted that we can model positive musical practice for our community and that the opportunity to make music together is precious. He emphasized that every voice is beautiful (work against that negative American Idol effect) and music is better when it comes from a live person. Philip referenced the APALA rubric for evaluating AAPI literature (that I blogged about yesterday) and encouraged us to evaluate music in the same way that we evaluate literature. He shared criteria: melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics and text. And he noted that cultural responsiveness is foundational: music is an expression of culture, and your communities deserve to hear…

Guest Blogger

Rethinking Play

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers What an amazing session this afternoon at #alsc22 on “True Play” presented by Carissa Christner and Holly Storck-Post from Madison Public Library. They led us on a play exploration to begin with: can you recall a favorite memory of play from your childhood? Stop and think for a moment. Did adults tell you how to play? True Play is deep and uninterrupted engagement in the activity of one’s own choice. Sounds simple doesn’t it?? And indeed, simplicity is a key factor. They reviewed the history of play at their library, from play literacy (themed type activities), playful activities in storytime (though still adult designed), and talked about the importance of play. Did you know that for young children movement…

Guest Blogger

Evaluating AAPI Youth Literature at #alsc22

Did you know there’s a rubric for evaluating Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth Literature? At this morning’s “More than a Checkbox” at #alsc22, Amy Kyung-Eun Breslin, Sarah Park Dahlen, Kristen Kwisnek, and Becky Leathersich shared key elements from the rubric and then led us through applying the rubric to different books.They emphasized the critical importance of visibility, problems of the Model Minority stereotype, that context and nuance are essential to evaluation. Other key factors are power and agency of characters – who are the heroes? can they solve problems? Take a look at author/illustrator agency – are they a cultural insider? What research have they done? Is there a co-author who is an insider? And they encouraged us to think about what impact the book might have on an AAPI child listening to a non-AAPI person read it aloud.

Guest Blogger

Opening night at #alsc22

So I was going to write about the opening session highlights at #alsc22. And I will. Though I want to start with how good it is to be at an in-person conference again. To be in a room with people who care passionately about the things that you care about. To sit around a table sharing a meal with conversations about mock Caldecotts and Newberys, about favorite books of the year, about booktalks and reader’s advisory. It was a pleasure just to be in the room.