Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month: Guided by our Leaders

Hispanic Heritage Month Continues! First, though, I always like to explain the “why”.  Why, Jonathan must we celebrate this every year? Here’s a quote for you that encapsulates the “why” the best, IMHO: Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year.  More than a time to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans, this is a time to celebrate the continued inclusion of diverse materials into your everyday programming.  Inclusion does not have to be like hiding the pill.  As a matter of fact, it should never feel forced.  If it does not feel genuine to you, it will come across that way to your audience.  So, how to proceed?  Where do you seek inspiration or than this amazing blog? Inspiration from Leaders The 2018 Estela & Raúl Mora Award winners were announced just a few days ago.  What better way to explore your options than to draw inspiration…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Serving Children in Crisis

Proactive Response In a recent NPR article, Vicky Smith of Kirkus Reviews pointed out that in the face of the global immigrant and refugee crisis, “It is a real desire on the part of authors, illustrators and publishers to respond to the crisis in a way that is proactive and helpful.”  In reality, the aim of youth services librarians is precisely the same. Our occupation combats and seeks to ameliorate illiteracy, and act as a social equalizer.  What is more, we seek to provide a proactive response to social issues in the only way we know how. If you find yourself confronted with the question of “why”, here’s your response, put best by Flying Eye Books (of Nobrow Press): “In the wake of the cruelties happening to immigrant children all over the globe, but most recently in the US with children coming across the Mexican border, many of us are shocked. The…

Blogger Katie Salo

State Reading Lists & the Early Literacy Librarian

One of my favorite tools in my librarian toolbox are our state reading lists. Before I get into the reasons that the state reading lists are awesome, I’ll give you a quick overview. A Quick Overview In Illinois, a committee made up of teachers, librarians, and educators chooses a list of twenty nominees. From those twenty nominees, kids and teens can read and then vote in February/March for the reader’s choice award. The book with the most votes then wins the Award for the year the voting took place. Illinois has four lists: Monarch Award for K-3rd graders Bluestem Award for 3rd-5th graders Rebecca Caudill Award for 4th-8th graders Abraham Lincoln Award for 9th-12th graders Many other states have their own lists. Some are by grade and some are by subject. (Check out Texas Maverick Graphic Novel Lists!) Why I Love State Reading Lists First of all, most of our…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

CSK Every Day – Peace, Non-Violent Social Change + Brotherhood

Coretta Scott King April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006 Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.  — Coretta Today, we celebrate one of the greatest civil rights leaders who ever lived.  While Coretta Scott King was the wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, her works, efforts, and message resonate powerfully through history.  Her works continued almost four decades beyond her husband’s death.  Think on what you can do to keep her legacy alive. As public librarians serving tomorrow’s leaders, it is essential that we bring Coretta’s message to our youngest library patrons.  Weave her message into the fabric of our programming.  Committing to the path of the children’s librarian is not an act that we can carry out once and for all, but an act that must be renewed every day. Peace, Non-Violent Social Change…

Blogger Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla

Great Baby Reads

As I anticipate the birth of my second child, my thoughts once again turn to books for babies. As librarians are well aware, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents read to their children beginning in early infancy. A recently published study, Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Bookreading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes was presented in 2017 at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, and reaffirmed the benefits of this practice. The abstract stated “reading to young children, beginning even in early infancy, has a lasting effect on language, literacy and early reading skills.” ALSC’s fantastic campaign Babies Need Words Every Day helps to bring this message to libraries around the country. At my library, we have all the posters hanging in our public restrooms, and routinely use the talking points in our Baby Laptime programs. Yet despite all the great messaging around reading to…

Books

The Underdogs: 10 Great Picture Books You May Have Missed in 2017

2017 was an excellent year for picture books: beloved authors and illustrators such as Kate DiCamillo, Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen, and Kadir Nelson released some true gems.  Unfortunately, not all authors receive the same amount of funding or marketing materials to promote their work.  While award committees do an excellent job identifying “underdogs,” it would be virtually impossible for them to read the 27,309 children’s books published last year.[1] Librarians are in a prime spot to identify these small but mighty reads.   Last year, I selected ten of my own favorite “hidden gems” and am back with ten more for 2017. Which ones did you enjoy? Feel free to chime in in the comment section! You Don’t Want a Unicorn by Ame Dychman and illustrated by Liz Climo In this classic “be careful what you wish for” story, a young boy is urged by the narrator to not wish for…

Collection Development

Empowering Student Voice in the Library

Book display of new books

We’ve come a long way from the passive classroom model, where students sit and listen to a teacher talk, then take a test on what they talked about. Today’s classrooms are full of students finding their own voices, contributing to classroom discussions, and practicing the skills and thinking strategies they will need in their future careers. I believe the same should be true in today’s libraries. Every year at David C. Barrow Elementary, a group of students volunteers their time to select new books for the library to purchase. They meet during lunch and/or recess a few times per week to select books students have requested. They work with an allotted budget that comes from grants, book fair profits, and rewards points. The money is completely under the control of these students, but they must base their decisions on what the rest of the school wants to read. To determine…