ALA Midwinter 2014

Talking about Play at #alamw14

Today the Preschool Discussion Group brainstormed ways to incorporate play into storytime. Guest speaker, librarian Amanda Robinson, spoke to the group about the importance of storytime play. She reminded us that children learn every single time they play and that storytime is a great way to model good adult-child play. She encouraged librarians to add play before/during/after storytime because it’s a sneaky way to teach parents without making a formal presentation. Then the floor was opened for ideas and questions. Amanda emphasized the importance of toys such as blocks because they encourage imaginative play. Additionally, many parents now buy their children gadgety toys with bells and whistles, so many kids don’t have the opportunity to play with simple toys. Here are a few of the suggestions from attendees of toys that encourage imaginative play: ~Straws and connectors ~Felt board ~Lacing cards ~Sensory balls ~Magnetic Color maze ~Puppets ~Magnetic gears ~Magnetic…

ALA Midwinter 2014

Guerrilla Storytime Takes #alamw14 by Storm!

A group of about 50 youth services librarians took over the Networking Uncommons this afternoon for another round of Geurilla Storytime. This innovative, grassroots professional development event was led by the inimitable Amy Koester, who came prepared with her storytime challenge cup, egg shakers, and a blue ukulele.   Guerrilla Storytime gives librarians a chance to come together to crowdsource storytime techniques and solutions and to share activities, songs, rhymes, and rituals. It’s a casual, friendly environment as we pass the mic around to hear everyone’s ideas. As Amy so beautifully shared: if you’ve done one storytime, you have ideas to share! Participants were encouraged to ask their own questions and topics covered included: How do you incorporate writing skills in your storytime? How do you teach kids to participate in call-and-response songs? What does a yoga storytime look like? How do you include movement activities with kids who have…

ALA Midwinter 2014

HMH Books for Young Readers Dinner #alamw14

Tonight I was lucky enough to attend the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers dinner and spring 2014 book preview. I got a first-hand look at some of their brand new titles. Some of the ones I am most excited about are: Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won – This looks like it will be a cute picture book about how the power of a good hat can brighten up any bad mood. Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins – Steve Jenkins is a perennial favorite of mine and this book about animal vision looks just as fascinating as his other works. Barbarian Lord by Matt Smith – This upcoming graphic novel about Norse mythology has some beautiful artwork and the story sounds appealing to boot! A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier – Set in 1918 during the influenza epidemic, this book was described as being “Anne…

ALA Midwinter 2014

Tomorrow is a Big Day #alamw14 #alayma

So maybe you know what tomorrow is? Yes, tomorrow is the announcement of the 2014 Youth Media Awards which include the Newbery and Caldecott awards amongst many others. Tonight is a long night for the ALA staff, including some of my colleagues who are dutifully making sure that tomorrow goes off without a hitch. I want to say thank you to them. I also want to thank the committees who made some big decisions for tomorrow. They put in some long days at conference too, as well as doing a lot of reading, listening, and watching in their homes and libraries across the country. Kudos. Tomorrow is the pay-off for all of the hard work. Tomorrow, we get some big news. As a staff member, seeing the faces of so many gleeful attendees is one of the biggest perks of my job. See you tomorrow! Photo courtesy of ALSC

ALA Midwinter 2014

School-Age Programs and Services Committee @ #alamw14

This morning, I met with ALSC’s School-Age Programs and Services Committee. I’ve served as a member of this committee for a couple of years now, and I absolutely love it. Each committee member is dynamic and knowledgeable and our projects really don’t ever seem to feel like work. We discussed a range of things at the meeting, which included past and possible future projects. We specifically talked about updating some of our booklists, such as our Best Books for School-Age list. We would also like to publish more articles for Children and Libraries on programs/services that are relevant to you. Any topics/projects you would like to see from the committee? Leave them in the comments!