Children and Libraries (CAL)

Dear Reader, Meet CAL

Hey ALSC Members, have you read Children and Libraries lately? Children and Libraries (CAL) is ALSC’s quarterly journal written by members just like you. When I was a fresh MLIS graduate and working as the only children’s librarian at my first job it was hard to find peers that I could rely on. Having already been a member of ALSC, however, I relied (and still do!) heavily on CAL. While I didn’t know many youth librarians in the field yet, I now recognize many names in each issue of CAL – for the articles they are authoring and the great work they are doing. Children and Libraries is an excellent form of continuing education for any librarian working with youth whether you’re new to the field or looking for new tips and best practices. 

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Radicalizing Self-Care in Librarianship

“…I thought about the fact that although books don’t have feelings, the librarians forced to remove them from the shelves do.” Xochitl Gonzalez, “The Librarians Are Not Okay.” The Atlantic, March 15, 2023 Book challenges, protests against gender and racial inclusivity, salary stagnation, skyrocketing inflation, opiate overdoses, bad branch managers, years of being ‘essential workers’ -– we all know there isn’t a bath long or bubbly enough to repair the damage that long-term chronic stress does to the body and mind. Public librarians are housekeepers, zookeepers, referees, therapists, mandated reporters, front line emergency workers, cleaners of unidentified effluvia and other duties as assigned.  This is why bubbles-and-polish commodified self-care simply does not suffice. Most of us have, at this point, heard about the Urban Librarians Unite’s 2022 Urban Trauma Study, so I will not go into great detail about it here. In short, public-facing librarians experience significant trauma on a daily…


On School Shootings and Difficult Collection Development

There have been 160 school shootings since 2018. According to the Washington Post, more than 300,000 students have experienced gun violence in their school since the Columbine shooting in 1999. Every shooting leaves shocked, scared, and traumatized children in its wake. Children who have never had an act of gun violence in their school are also aware of these shootings. They happen in schools just like theirs, towns just like theirs. Sharing books can be a great way to support kids who have fears and to start a conversation about gun violence – but this is not easy, given the very small number of books published on the subject. How can we build a strong collection when there is so little published?

Blogger Tess Prendergast

Lullabies in the Library

I believe that singing lullabies is one of the most important things that parents and other caregivers can do to bond with and soothe their children. A lullaby, like all other songs shared with children, is also a great way to support a little one’s early literacy growth because lullabies have rhymes, rhythms, and new words just like any other type of song. As a practitioner and parent, I saw this to be true countless times over many years of bedtime lullaby singing to my own children and leading  lullaby singalongs in my library programs.   I parented in the era of cassette tapes and compact disks and learned some of my kids’ favourite lullabies by listening to tapes and CDs of Kathy Reid-Naiman, Raffi, Connie Kaldor and Pat Carfra (aka the “Lullaby Lady”) who are four of Canada’s icons in children’s music. Eventually, my program attendees learned their beautiful songs from me too, and I often heard…

Blogger Laura Schulte-Cooper

Summer Reading Lists Are Here!

2023 ALSC Summer Reading Lists

The 2023 ALSC Summer Reading Lists are here! Compiled by the Quicklists Consulting Committee, the lists are full of engaging and award-winning book titles to keep children reading throughout the summer. For young digital media fans, the committee also recommends a range of apps, podcasts, and websites to help kids discover and develop their interests. This year’s lists have a clean, straightforward design, making them easy to download and print for the children, parents, and caregivers in your library and community. Find the FREE lists on the ALSC website. More reading lists These annual summer favorites are the newest addition to ALSC’s recommended reading resources, which also include the Día and Graphic Novels booklists. The 2023 Dia lists feature lots of engaging stories that represent and celebrate diverse cultures and backgrounds. Revised in 2022, the Graphic Novels lists include titles that have popular appeal and are well-reviewed.

Blogger Kary Henry

Preschool Outreach Programs

I love doing traditional preschool outreach storytimes. Sharing great books and fun flannels? Singing and dancing to silly songs? I’m there for it. However, a friend at another library inspired me to expand my repertoire. I added preschool outreach programs to highlight STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering, and math) picture books and offer opportunities for preschoolers to engage in a different way than storytimes. Over the next few months, I’ll highlight some success stories and look forward to hearing how YOU shake things up in outreach!