Friends of ALSC

#alsc12 Re-Energizes Scholarship Winner

If you’re involved in ALSC, chances are you’ve heard about ALSC Institutes. Experts from around the country come together for one weekend every other year to deliver presentations on hot topics in youth services librarianship, while well-known authors grace meals. Attendees network to their hearts’ content, reveling in the fact that every person they encounter works with children. At the close of the Institute, participants leave with refreshed outlooks on their profession, new ideas about best practices, and energy to improve the services they provide. I was very fortunate to receive a Friends of ALSC scholarship to attend the 2012 ALSC Institute in Indianapolis. Having known several people who have attended past Institutes, I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. I wasn’t disappointed; the Institute lived up to its reputation and left me with more than I could have ever hoped for. I attended sessions on using music…

Friends of ALSC

#alsc12 2012 ALSC Institute: The Bricks I’m Building Upon

While simultaneously playing with LEGOs and listening to author Gary Paulsen speak I realized the 2012 ALSC Institute is a lot like LEGOs. At the Institute I could listen to authors, network with other librarians, and discover new ideas while attending the programs. Each of these experiences then built upon each other as if they were LEGO bricks building upon each other to create a structure of ideas to take back to my library. Here are some of the “bricks” that I picked up while attending the 2012 ALSC Institute: One of my favorite “bricks” from the Institute was to think about the “why” in what you do. How can I do this? By thinking about the big picture–the reasons for why I do what I do as a librarian. I should work with my administration and supervisors to create a mission or a vision as to what the Youth…

Blogger Carolyn Brodie

The 2012 ALSC Institute…We Won the Race in Indianapolis!

The theme for our 2012 ALSC Institute was “Libraries Leading the Race.”  I am certain that everyone who attended felt like they personally not only led the race but also won it! ALSC Blogger Eva Mitnick’s summed up the experience of the 2012 Institute with the following final note “The ALSC Institute not only supplied practical tips and great ideas aplenty, but it also created an opportunity for attendees to ponder and plan. For a few days, we let our imaginations go wild, playing with all the ways we can make our libraries better than ever.”  And, at the airport on her way home ALSC Guest Blogger Jill Hutchison said in her concluding post that “It’s been an energizing, inspiring, idea-sharing fabulous time!” Highlights from the 2012 Institute (of which there were many) are detailed in a series of posts on the ALSC Blog that some of you may have…

Blogger Eva Mitnick

ALSC Institute = burnout-buster

Thank goodness for the ALSC Institute!  As a long and busy summer speeds right into an even busier fall, I was starting to feel just the tiniest bit stressed.  Conferences like this one provide an intense oasis, rich with ideas and possibilities, where I can get away from my day-to-day job (deadlines! emails! reports!) and focus on The Work. Every single one of the sessions I attended at the Institute offered not only valuable nuggets of inspiration and information, but also fertile ground for bursts of creativity. How would the admirable programs and services I was hearing about would translate to my own system? My brain has been fizzing with exciting possibilities. The Columbus Public Metropolitan Library’s Ready to Read Corps; Hedberg Public Library’s well-rounded early literacy staff development plan; Arapahoe Library District’s emphasis on storytime competencies; Cuyahoga County Public Library’s focus on offering a continuum of service from birth through…

Institute 2012

#ALSC12 Thank you, ALSC!

I just returned home, a bit tired but charged with ideas and feelings of camaraderie. I wish I could personally thank all of the presenters, planners, and everyone at ALSC who made the Institute possible, but since I can’t I hope everyone feels a sense of satisfaction for their roles in this successful event. One person I would like to thank is Dan Rude, who keeps us– and everyone else– informed about ALSC events with blogs, press releases, photos, videos, and all manner of communication. Dan’s humor and willingness to always “go the extra mile” is greatly appreciated. Thanks Dan, and everyone!

Children's Literature (all forms)

#ALSC12 Inspirations for creating nonfiction books

Doreen Rappaport, April Pulley Sayre, and Bryan Collier at the closing ALSC Institute session were each captivating. They took us through emotional experiences of fascination, wonder, awe, and sheer unbelievability as they told some of the real stories behind their words and art. Doreen explained that her father’s musical background inspires her to find the “voice and shape of telling each story.” Bryan shared that his watercolor and collage quilt-like images are inspired by his grandmother, who was a quiltmaker. For April, it is nature. Doreen’s talk touched us, April got us chanting (yes, all of us), and Bryan took us to the verge of tears. This was a powerful end to a powerful and enlightening Institute.

Guest Blogger

#ALSC12 Closing session: Nonfiction Books for Kids with Bryan Collier, Doreen Rappaport, and April Pulley Sayre- and farewell!

Alas, I had to leave to catch my flight home before the end of the closing session. My travel companion had to tug me out the door as I hung back to catch just a few more words from April Pulley Sayre, who was still speaking. I didn’t get to hear Bryan Collier at all 🙁 BUT! What I did get to hear was great! Doreen Rappaport captivated us with snippets of stories from her historical nonfiction. She told us that she never fictionalizes the historical events and people in her books- everything she writes is based on painstaking research with first-person accounts and other primary sources. For Beyond Courage: the Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust, she was able to locate and interview three surviving Jewish Holocaust resisters to get their stories, and verify the accuracy of what she wrote. “This was a BIG book!” she told…

Institute 2012

#ALSC12 Closing Session: Exploring Nonfiction through Authors and Illustrators

Wow, there is so much passion coming from these panelists! Doreen Rappaport – “Fame is not what determines a life.”  She writes about people who show courage, compassion, who struggle and survive and thrive.  This empowers children to see their own potential.  April Pulley Sayre – this woman is so curious about the natural world! She showed a picture of her kitchen, where she’s working on a new book.  She showed spreads from books of hers that are coming out in the future. She had ideas for new books as she was talking to us!  Her excitement for learning is palpable.  Bryan Collier – holy cow. Such a moving speaker. Told us all that we won’t be able to see it, the kids won’t be able to articulate it, but when we share books with children, we are planting a seed, we are creating a spark.  Throughout his talk, powerful…