Institute 2014

Beyond Sensory Storytime #alsc14

In Beyond Sensory Storytime: Expanding Library Services to Children with Special Needs, Renee Grassi shared some great inclusive customer service strategies. These strategies include: – Person First Language Person First Language is words or phrases that that puts the person before the disability. For examples of First Person Language, visit – Adjust Your Mindset Programs for people with disabilities will not look exactly like your usual program, and that’s okay. – Be Patient and Allow Processing Time Children with disabilities may have a hard time expressing what they need. By being patient and allowing processing time, we are giving them time to find a way to express themselves. – Simple Questions and Offer Choices Offer a choice board that features both text and pictures at the service desk so that nonverbal children (and adults!) can communicate. – Make Accommodations Is the program room too cluttered or too bright? Make…

Blogger Dan Bostrom

Trivia Night at #alsc14

Last night was the Trivia Night at the 2014 ALSC National Institute. A big thank you to our hosts, the Pacific Coast Brewing Company. Nearly 100 librarians packed the place to battle for bragging rights (and some swag). The questions were tough, but everyone had a great time. Perhaps the best part of the night were the team names. I’m going to share a few of them for you here (the ones I remember anyway): The Original Pickle (you had to be there) Dewey Lewis and the News The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Trivia Team Win! Undercover Geniuses Congratulations to the winners and everyone who participated. It was a blast!


Gene Luen Yang at Breakfast for Bill #alsc14

This morning’s Breakfast for Bill program was such a treat. I absolutely love hearing authors speak about their work, personal writing journeys and library experiences. The wonderful panel today consisted of four special authors, but I was most excited to hear Gene Luen Yang speak. I loved American Born Chinese and was equally impressed with his recent Boxers & Saints titles. Yang shared his difficulty finding reading at the local library once he reached 5th grade which led him to discover the local comic book store. He hilariously told how his friend would join him in sneaking comic books home in large library books out of his parents sight. As an elementary school student I also snuck my Spider-Man comics home in library books and was pleased to hear that other kids used this tactic! It was an overall great panel full of funny stories and touching recollections. What a…


Oranges and Elefantes: ECRR2 en Espanol #alsc14

A highlight of yesterday was a group singalong of “Los Elefantes,” a tune that’s perfect for Spanish and bilingual storytimes. Abigail Morales was showing “Every Child Ready to Read en Espanol” attendees how to enrich “Los Elefantes” by clothespinning paper elephants to a string to visually reinforce the counting component of the song. Abigail, Ana Elloa Pavon, and Saroj Ghoting provided many tips on how to implement ECRR into libraries serving Spanish-speaking communities. A handy kit helps librarians share reading, writing, playing, writing, and singing literacy tips and is available through the ALA Store. Not sure if the kit meets your needs? Abigail shared how the San Diego Library personalized the kit, making it more culturally relevant to the families her staff serves. In addition to “Los Elefantes,” she demonstrated a cool interactive multi-sensory activity using oranges. Ana shared a detailed bibliography of Spanish and bilingual books that can serve as a…

Blogger Dan Bostrom

2016 ALSC National Institute in Charlotte, NC #alsc14

Last night at the General Opening Session, ALSC President Ellen Riordan announced that the 2016 ALSC National Institute will take place in Charlotte, NC. It might be far away, but we’re excited about our trip to Charlotte. This event will take place September 15-17, 2016. You may be wondering about the bee in our logo. Charlotte has been called the Hornet’s Nest City (hence the NBA team name). This name goes back all the way to the American Revolution. Even though the 2014 Institute is still only in it’s second day, we hope that you’ll consider joining us in Charlotte in two years! Keep checking back on the

Early Literacy

Spellcasting and Singing

#alsc14 Maxim of the Day: Sometimes you’ve gotta sing outside of the shower. Take it from Gay Ducey, a speaker on the “Using Volunteers to Expand the Walls/Books for Wider Horizons” panel. She warmed up Thursday’s #alsc14 audience by asking us to stand up and sing the storytime smash hit “To Stop the Train”–several times in a row. Singing not only works with kids, but is an effective tool when leading a storytime training for adult volunteers: people loosen up, get active, and have fun. After this clever icebreaker activity, their brains are primed to soak up the content rich presentation that follows. She also emphasizes to volunteers that their storytime presentations will make a lasting  impression on kids. “Storytimes are a kind of spell children need to have.” By creating this special timeless moment in a child’s life, a storytime volunteer is helping the child associate reading with fun…


Inspired Youth Grant Writing at #alsc14 #oakland

Do you need money for awesome youth programming at your library? Of course you do! As part of my library’s grant writing team (a tag team comprised of myself and the awesome librarian/superhero Katie Holahan) I am always on the lookout for funding opportunities. Nancy Baumann and Lisa McClure presented a great session this afternoon that provided practical, helpful tips on writing successful grants for anyone in need of funding. In addition to a wealth of suggestions for grant opportunities session attendees were also given an overview of McClure’s “inspiration to execution” tactics for grant writing. She suggests following the “6 Cs” when pursuing a funding opportunity. 1. Consider: Think about the funder’s mission compared to your library’s mission. Do they align? Be sure to know your youth trends and research. Consider yourself and what distinguishes you from other applicants. 2. Convince: It is important to demonstrate the need for…

Early Literacy

Recruiting Supermodels #alsc14

I was a pint-sized model. In 4th grade, I read aloud storybooks to friends at an after school daycare center that I attended. At the time, I had no idea that this experience would prepare me for my career as a children’s librarian. And I certainly had no idea that I was imparting a love of reading to my listeners–my peers. Speakers at today’s “Inspired Collaboration: Early Childhood Partnerships” made me recall this memory when they talked about how they recruit everyday library users to model experiences for potential library users. As a professional, you can tell patrons about a service and model it for them yourself. But sometimes people may feel most inspired to try something new when they see someone just like themselves doing an activity. One of the presenters shared a story about how mothers in a housing community receive early literacy training. In turn, these mothers…