Blogger Heather Acerro

Highly Recommended: Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong

I don’t need to tell you that it is a challenge to match a child with a book they will love on their reading “level”. I don’t need to tell you about the numerous conversations that I’ve had with adult caregivers reassuring them that their child can check out books above or below their reading “level”. Or that they can check out graphic novels or comic books or magazines and still get practice with reading. This practice is frustrating for librarian, child, and caregiver.   On the recommendation of an educator, my team recently listened to the Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong podcast by APM Reports. I was shocked to learn that the reading programs that have been just a nuisance to me, are actually harming children.   Essentially, a 60-year-old unscientific theory on how children learn to read has been turned into a multi-million dollar industry and it…

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Library Work Has a Trauma Problem – Can It Be Fixed?

The public might think of libraries as calm and gentle, but library workers know the truth: library work can cause trauma. Most of us have had at least one experience – if not many experiences – that broke our hearts, wore us out, or left us feeling alone and unsupported. A groundbreaking new study from Urban Libraries Unite has sought to dig deep into that trauma and explain why it’s happening. They also propose four changes to help mitigate library staff trauma and make sure that library staff do not feel alone in their experiences.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Sailing Into Summer READing 2022

Raising a Sunken Ship Years and years ago when I was a wee volunteer at a public library in Central Florida, I was lucky enough to be a part of a crew that put on a puppet show by the name of “Foghorn Follies“. They brought me on board as a hand in the show. Little did I know, but one day, when I raised anchor and sailed off to become a librarian, I’d once more sound the foghorn and gather unsuspecting audiences for the corniest puppet show this side of the St. John’s River. But first, Atlantis! Years ago, like, 40 of them, there was a Six Flags Great Adventure park in Florida called “Atlantis”. It was here that the Kiddie Kingdom featured a King’s Sandbox and where the Foghorn Follies show was moored. While the show only lasted two seasons, a librarian fell in love with the show,…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

It’s a Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood: Creating a Serviceable Service Map

It's a Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood

My system is rethinking, relaunching, and rediscovering what our community and neighborhoods are like right now, and how the library can fit into our local communities. It feels like the perfect time to start this work, as our neighborhoods have been pretty closed off the last couple of years to keep us safe. I warned my staff when our fiscal year started in October, that pretty much all they would hear from me this year is the word: Resetting. And that word is perfect as a launch to reset yourself in the community, and reconnect.

Our Organizational Support

Engagement Connections

ALSC Conversations Image

The ALSC Membership Committee does a wonderful job at connecting members to meaningful engagement opportunities. I’m here to add a few upcoming items to the list! Below are recently announced opportunities for ALSC members to apply for or engage with over the next few days and month. Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Award Applications for this grant are being accepted through this Friday, April 22! We’re grateful for our friends over at Simon & Schuster for funding this annual grant that is exclusively available for ALSC members to apply for. If you’ve ever wanted to host an author or illustrator visit, here’s your chance to apply for funding to make it happen! Submit your Committee Volunteer Form Now is the perfect time to submit volunteer forms for a process committee appointment! All of our committee members play a significant role in furthering ALSC’s impact to achieve our vision of building healthy, successful…

Guest Blogger

Indigenous Voices: Authentic Children’s Literature in the Classroom and Library

Early in 2021, I began conversations with people at the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC), the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), and California Indian Education for All, about providing a virtual event that featured Native writers. It would be available to the public, at no charge. I was—to put it mildly—thrilled! 

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Learning Beyond: 21 st Century Summer and Out-Of-School Time Toolkit

Long before COVID-19 upended what we know about informal youth learning in libraries, ALSC commissioned a Task Force to consider the shift in core activities that would mark learning in the 21st Century. From this planning task force, an Implementation Task Force was formed in 2019. The Summer and Out-of-School Time Task Force was charged with creating a national tool predicated upon evidence-based approaches for developing quality and impactful programs and services for children. Learning Beyond: 21st Century Summer and Out-of-School Time Toolkit is the culmination of the ensuing work. The Toolkit reveal happened at the 2021 Annual Conference of the National Summer Learning Association in Washington, DC, where ALSC President Lucia Gonzalez introduced the work as “an integral part of the roadmap we need to help our children move forward through public library service.” 


ALSC heads to Kansas City for #alsc22

Christina Soontornvat Opening Session Speaker at Institute

By now you’ve probably learned the news of our 2022 Institute happening this fall in Kansas City, MO. It’s been a long time since we’ve been together in person. (2018 Institute in Cincinnati feels like ages ago…I guess it was!) Opening Session Speaker and Programs Thanks to our friends at Scholastic Inc., we’re excited to welcome Christina Soontornvat as our Opening General Session Speaker! More speakers will be announced very soon along with Big Ideas sessions and other exciting news. The education programs are now available on the ALSC website and are all aimed to increase your ALSC Competency development! (But if you want to further enhance your Competency development before then, I encourage you to register for our spring online course, Utilizing the Competencies to Boost Skills and Services. This course begins the week of April 4th.) Registration The Institute is intentionally kept intimate to encourage small education programs,…