Blogger Starr LaTronica

Making a list…checking it twice…

‘Tis the season for making lists! I am an inveterate list maker and reader.  As a seasoned pro, (-crastinator, that is), I rely on them as valuable tools to organize and prioritize tasks that require attention, (and those that provide distraction). I have even made lists of the lists that I need to make! December, with its flurry of both personal and professional activity, provides expanded opportunity for their implementation and perusal. In addition to the usual daily to-do lists, there are the “best” lists of books and other media, shopping lists for holiday gifts and meals, and, of course, the ever growing list of all the loose ends to finish up by the end of the year. One item on the latter list is to send in my contribution to Friends of ALSC.  Friends of ALSC was founded to enhance both our established programs and to support growth and…

ALA Midwinter 2014

I’m Thankful!

Like many families, we have a tradition of going around the table on Thanksgiving and citing something for which each of us is grateful. I am known for consistently (and predictably) saying, “I am so thankful to be here”. This has become longstanding material for my progeny to good naturedly point out on any happy occasion. “Mom’s thankful to be here.” “Are you thankful to be here, Mom?” And, yes, I always am! One place I am consistently and predictably thankful to be is the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Midwinter offers an opportunity to tackle projects and processes of the organization, to work closely in committees toward communal accomplishments. It is also the occasion of one of the most highly anticipated announcements in our profession, the Youth Media Awards press conference. All the buzz that is beginning now regarding the possible contenders of these prestigious awards: Newbery, Caldecott, Carnegie, Arbuthnot Lecture,…

Blogger Starr LaTronica

Seize the day…

Make today the day to check out Everyday Advocacy! Children’s librarians advocate every day, from informing parents of the importance and significance of early literacy experiences, to promoting the best books for our clientele, to engaging potential users and informing funders.  ALSC provides the Everyday Advocacy website http://www.ala.org/everyday-advocacy/  to provide inspiration, tips and support in this essential endeavor. I find the pursuit of partnerships to be a particularly productive path to advocacy.   Cultivation of collaborations is a crucial element of my everyday advocacy efforts.  The patience and persistence of building coalitions within communities can pay off in several ways, as illustrated at our Read for the Record event earlier this week. Working with established partners, in both the public and private sector, the library was able to host a spectacular public reading of Otis, by Loren Long for over 700 attendees.  There were antique tractors, (one that looked just like Otis!),…

Blogger Starr LaTronica

Keep Calm with ALSC and Carry on With the Common Core

Well, the dust of summer reading has barely settled and we are off on to the next adventure.  It’s back to school–with all the eager optimism of fresh beginnings, new outfits and old friends.  This year adds another element; the anticipation that comes with broad adoption of the Common Core State Standards. In response to the interest and needs of our members, the ALSC School Age Programs and Services Committee gathered an extensive and eclectic group of resources to guide and inspire public library support for parents and our colleagues in the schools. Drawn from print and electronic sources, selections range from background information on the CCSS to suggestions for partnering for success. The CCSS emphasis on combining informational texts with literary works offers a rich opportunity to expand collaborations with schools, expound on our knowledge as experts in children’s literature and to integrate nonfiction into our programs beginning as…

Blogger Starr LaTronica

Looking Forward

Summer has always been my favorite time of year.  I begin looking forward to it at the first snowfall and I savor every moment once it finally arrives.  Fortunately, the days are longer to fit in the full flurry of fun–including extra time for reading.  Unfortunately, all that activity makes the days fly by, and here we are, already in August! For me, summer means ALA Annual Conference–a time to meet new colleagues and reconnect with old friends.  This year’s experience in Chicago was especially rewarding and inspiring.  In addition to the wonderful array of ALSC programs and events, including ALSC 101 and the celebration of 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Medal, I was gratified by the consistent level of commitment my fellow members exhibited through their willingness to serve ALSC via committee work.  At every turn, there were volunteers eager to offer their time and expertise to advance ALSC’s…