Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Global Children’s Libraries, Literacy, and Programs: ALSC On the Road in Athens, Greece

When Jella Lepman initiated the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), she did so for the purpose of creating a dynamic venue for the international exchange of ideas around children’s literature and literacy. Just a day ago, I returned from the 36th IBBY International Congress in Athens, Greece where ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter and I engaged with librarians, book creators, researchers, and educators from around the globe. With a theme of “East Meets West Around Children’s Books and Fairy Tales,” the congress was an amazing opportunity to learn about numerous children’s books and literacy programs from colleagues in Asia, Europe, and beyond. Día @ IBBY During the three-day conference, we shared a poster about ALSC’s Día initiative, describing the benefits for libraries and classrooms, numerous success stories, and plethora of online programming resources and book lists. The poster, which focused on promoting diversity, inclusion, and advocacy with Día,…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Strong Dose of Back to School

Summer Reading is Over! So, pat yourself on the back!  It’s been a long road to hoe, but you’re just the Joe to hoe it.  It’s time to don the oven mitts and grab the red hot throat of back-to-school!  You’re going to need a strong dose of resources to help this season’s batch of students succeed this fall, winter – and beyond! National Library of Medicine No, I’m not going to ask you to visit the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for remedies for your upcoming stresses.  This month, we’re talking about their AMAZING resources for kids!  They’ve got something for every age group and every electronic device.  So let’s getting digging! Free Stuff! So, let’s start with the cool NLM swag.  Bet you never thought you’d hear that in the same sentence. Visit NLM’s Educational and Printed Materials section of their site to order posters, trifolds, bookmarks, and…

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 Jonathan Dolce

Children in Crisis: Literacy brings Hope

Supporting Detained Children It’s little wonder that on ALSC’s listserv that the topic of supporting children caught up in a web of immigration policy came up.  Frankly, it’s in the youth services librarian’s DNA.  We do all we can every day for every child who walks through our library’s doors.  And for those we encounter in our outreach efforts, we do that much more.  It is not an unreasonable leap that librarians nationwide would want to get library materials and services to detained children. Why Literacy Behind Bars is so Important Before we delve into efforts by REFORMA and other non-profits and NGOs, the question that you need to be ready for is simply “why?” If children are being detained, whatever the circumstance, literacy is integral – key – to their chances for success. Here’s your top-5 why’s and ALL of these are about kids right here: 2/3 of students…

Blogger Renee Grassi

Make it Okay: Mental Health Awareness Month

                            Did you know? One in five children today has a diagnosable mental health condition. One half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of fourteen. Nearly one in ten children have an anxiety disorder. 37% of students with a mental health condition ages fourteen and older drop out of school–the highest rate of any disability group. Why is mental health important to the work we do in libraries? Mental health is an essential part of children’s overall health and a key indicator for lifelong success. It has a complex relationship with kids’ physical health and their ability to succeed in school, at work and in society. However, if a child is experiencing a mental illness, a person can’t tell just by looking. If mental illness goes untreated, the implications are severe for the a child’s quality of…

Awards & Scholarships

National Medal for Museum and Library Service

It has been a big, huge, enormous, gigantic, week at Rochester (MN) Public Library. After our second year of being named a finalist , we are honored to be a winner of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Service! Let that soak in. And then read it again: We are honored to be a winner of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Service! That is a great sentence, but it is nowhere near the whole story. This award is the result of years of listening to our community, living our strategic plan & core values, being agile, taking risks, failing, succeeding, measuring outcomes, and listening some more. We strive to increase equity by targeting services to those who have limited access due to language, finances, health, safety, literacy, or other…

Blogger Nina Lindsay

Calling Everyday Advocates to National Library Legislative Day!

Nina Lindsay (right) visits with Bethany Hoglund (left) and Bernice Chang (center) at the Bellingham Public Library Children's Room

I’ve just returned from the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, delivered by Naomi Shihab Nye in Bellingham WA.  You will hear more on this event soon, but you can check it out now on Twitter at #Arbuthnot2018 (and contemplate your application to be the host site for the 2019 lecture with Debbie Reese?  Applications close May 15th). During her talk, which will be published in Children and Libraries, Nye said that she encourages everyone to read obituaries, and shared a little about how many amazing people she has discovered through them. “We don’t have to look far for heroes; but we do have to remember how many there are.” This made me think of the amazing work each of you do every day, in your libraries.  While in Bellingham, I visited the Bellingham Public Library and was impressed at examples of what I know so many of you accomplish: maintaining library environments…