Each year the ALSC Notable Children’s Books Committee identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.
How can you build and maintain professional connections when you can’t meet up in person? Making a long-distance (or trans-Atlantic!) mentorship work across time zones is no easy task under normal circumstances, and with the additional challenges the pandemic presented, ALSC mentee Aryssa Damron and ALSC mentor Celeste Rhoads had to lay out some ground rules together for communication before beginning our partnership. The ALSC mentorship program was a great opportunity to establish good communication habits across many channels, and many of the tricks and guidelines applied to this working relationship could be used to establish professional connections and maintain relationships with fellow-professionals outside of an official mentorship program.
The first time I did virtual storytime, I created a Mr. Rogers-inspired background in my living room, broke out some carefully crafted finger puppets, and thoroughly enjoyed performing on Zoom. Over the following weeks, I grew to appreciate many aspects of virtual programming. But, like so many children’s librarians, I also began to feel like something was missing. I wanted to hear giggles, tales of lost teeth, and requests for favorite songs. I missed the kids.
The Preschool Puppet Show presented by the librarians in Children’s Services at the Allen County Public Library has been a long running and popular event with children and their grown-ups in our community. The Puppet Show is normally held annually in Spring. Our entire department is involved in the event in one way or another, but the bulk of responsibility for the show usually falls on three librarians each year. Who these librarians are has varied throughout the years as the torch has been handed around.
Moderator Edith Campbell of this past week’s ALSC webinar, “Problematic Award-Winning Texts: Daniel Boone, the Newbery Award, and Children’s Librarianship,” concluded a terrific program by noting that there is no go-to list of problematic texts. It is the responsibility of all to “formulate our understanding,…to educate ourselves.”
For about a year and a half now, just about every communication I’ve gotten has begun with the line, “In these unprecedented times…” It’s just been a never ending loop of adjustments and changes to fit the shape of our new world. But as a wise TikTok sage once said, “I miss precedented times.”
I am delighted to be the new Chair for IFLA’s Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section. If you are not familiar with the Section, I encourage you to learn more! I joined this Section as the ALSC representative to IFLA in 2017 and became Secretary of the Section in 2019.
Have you done something cool at your library? Coordinated a research project with implications to youth librarianship? Have something to say but not sure where to share it? Look no further than Children and Libraries, the quarterly journal published by ALSC. Children and Libraries (affectionately called CAL) is always on the lookout for articles of interest to ALSC members. Have you done something cool at your library? Coordinated a research project with implications to youth librarianship? Have something to say but not sure where to share it? Look no further than Children and Libraries, the quarterly journal published by ALSC. Children and Libraries (affectionately called CAL) is always on the lookout for articles of interest to ALSC members.