Awards & Scholarships

The Mentor Connection, Finding the Next Distinguished Service Award Winner

I am certain many, if not all of you reading this blog can think of an individual who had a profound impact on your future direction in children’s services. A person whose interest, support, and encouragement you have always remembered and been grateful for in your life. It might have been a person who gave you the freedom to develop programs that hadn’t been done in your community and that freedom made the difference for children who didn’t know what a library could mean in their lives. Such an individual should be recognized by our profession with a Distinguished Service Award.

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

2021 Arbuthnot Lecturer – Send Your Suggestions!

The Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee is seeking suggestions for our 2021 honoree. The lecturer may be an author, critic, librarian, historian, or teacher of children’s literature, of any country, who shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature.  The lecture will be given in April or May of 2021 at a site to be chosen next year. ALSC members are welcome to send suggestions to the committee for consideration. The nomination form is available online and the deadline for submissions is July 31. Recent past lecturers include Dr. Debbie Reese, Naomi Shihab Nye, Jacqueline Woodson, and Pat Mora. The complete list of past lecturers is on the ALSC website. The 2021 lecturer will be announced at the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting next January in Philadelphia. For more details about the lecture, please visit the Arbuthnot site. –Jennifer Duffy, Children’s Librarian at King County Library System (WA), is writing this post for the 2021 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee.  She can be reached at…

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

What made me read?

The new Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report was released last month, and it has some interesting statistics in it. For instance: “Three critical measures of a school-aged child’s (ages 6–17) relationship with reading have remained fairly steady since 2010. In the seventh edition of the Kids & Family Reading Report: -Fifty-eight percent say they love or like reading books for fun. -Fifty-two percent agree reading books for fun is extremely or very important. -Thirty-one percent read books for fun 5–7 days a week (known as frequent readers); 41% of kids read for fun 1–4 days a week (known as moderately frequent readers); 28% of kids read for fun less than 1 day a week (known as infrequent readers).” “In the past two years, both kids and parents are less likely to say that when picking a children’s book to read for fun, the type of book doesn’t matter, it…

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

A Call for More Free, Accessible Professional Development

A Children’s Librarian By Any Other Name… “Early childhood educator,” “parent educator,” “community worker,” and “social worker.” These are all terms Children’s Librarians have used to describe themselves in the 2017 Every Child Ready to Read report. Children’s Librarians are expanding their skill set and taking on new and exciting roles to best serve their communities. The caveat, of course, is that many librarians are not trained as early childhood educators, parent educators, community workers, or social workers. As our job description expands, so is our need for training and mentorship. The strong sentiment in the field that library and information graduate programs don’t adequately train librarians with real life skills persists. In a 2014 article on the recruitment and retention of Children’s Librarians, Virginia Walter states “no public library can assume that a graduate of an ALA-accredited program has received any relevant training” (p. 27) The lack of preparation…

Call to Action

Involvement Challenge

Are you looking to get more involved at your library? Consider these options. Do you have a staff intranet? Ask if it would be OK to contribute content. We recently started using Jostle, and the Manager overseeing its content asked for a few more reporters. My boss asked me if I was interested, and I looked at it as a great way to be creative in a couple different ways. The first idea I am flushing out is a series titled: Meet the Management Team. We have a group of 15 Managers who meet bi-weekly at a Management Team meeting, so I started with our Executive Director, and our Deputy Director. My thought behind it was to ask them for interesting facts about themselves that staff may not know about them, but may help us to understand how their management style has become what it is. For example, my manager…