ALA Annual 2015

#alaac15 Prescription for Reading Success

I attended the session “Early Learning in the Library: Tools, Partnerships, and Promising Practices” and was enthralled with the information presented by the guest speakers, who were grantees in the IMLS program. Since 2013, IMLS has funded $8.5 million in early learning projects in communities nationwide. One of the most interesting? A partnership that is brewing with the national organization Reach Out and Read. Pediatricians in the Reach Out and Read network routinely distribute books to babies during well visits – but the IMLS partnership looks to have pediatricians “prescribe” a visit to the library as well, so young families are encouraged to continue to read and share books with their young ones. Click here for more information, and to view the contents of the “Prescription for Success” toolkit.  

ALA Annual 2015

#alasf2015 A funny thing happened at the store

There is so much going on at #alasf2015, that a couple of times I’ve had to take a break from all the noise and confusion of the conference. There just is so much happening all at once that at times it is a bit too stimulating. The first time I took a break I sat in the lovely Yerba Buena Gardens and watched the world go by. The breeze felt great. The second time was when I got something to eat at Whole Foods. I was checking out and made a comment about visiting from Maine and guess what? My cashier was also from Maine! Not only was she from Maine, but she grew up in the town right next to mine! When I told her where I worked she said her family uses that library all the time. How cool is that? We chatted a bit about books and…

ALA Annual 2015

#alasf2015 Meeting your hero is pretty awesome

I didn’t actually meet Gloria Steinmen, but I heard her speak to a packed audience this morning starting at 8:30am. Gloria has been my hero throughout my life. I’ve admired her passion and commitment advocating for women to be seen as equal citizens and our right to control our bodies. Her message of being aware and opening your mind to seeing things with a different perspective was a reason I became a children’s librarian. Gloria said many amazing things as she spoke, but I found it admirable when she would admit that there were moments in her life when she connected the dots. Though she may have been talking about equality of the sexes, not realizing a female rock band could elicit as much screaming from fans as their male counterparts until she witnessed the explosion of emotions while at a Heart concert. That realizing your state legislators were more…

ALA Annual 2015

#alasf2015 Sightseeing and Books

I went sightseeing today. A great way to get acclimated to a different time zone. (I’m from Maine) I walked a lot, not realizing just how steep the hills were in San Francisco. Yet, no matter what I saw, from the murals in Coit Tower to Alcatraz island from Pier 39, everything reminded me of a book. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko Angel Island by Russell Freedman Diego Rivera by Susan Goldman Rubin Hattie Ever After by Kirby Lawson Dragonwings by Lawrence Yep. Regardless of their format, books offer the curious reader so much.  

Awards & Scholarships

ALSC Institute Reflections

Oakland farmer's market

Last month I was lucky enough to attend the 2014 ALSC National Institute in Oakland, California thanks to a generous scholarship awarded to me by the Friends of ALSC. I am so grateful for the time spent at the Institute last month and would like to thank the Friends for enabling me to participate in such a stellar weekend of learning and fun. And a huge thanks to everyone at ALSC who worked hard to put together the Institute! Some of my favorite moments from the Institute have to be the wonderful author presentations and panels, especially the hilarious author panel that took place at Children’s Fairyland with Jennifer Holmes, Daniel Handler and Mac Barnett. The crowd was filled with giggling librarians and even a few fairy wings! After our breakout sessions at the park, a reception awaited us in the Emerald City. There was even a yellow brick road!…

Institute 2014

Tech Access on a Budget at #ALSC14

Mary Ann Scheuer, Cen Campbell, Suzanne Flint, & Claudia Haines led a wide-ranging discussion of tech in library children’s services, and how to afford it. They began with the core values of Accewss, engagement, creativity, and learning; and talked about how technology use fits into these values. They (and the audience) shared lots of examples of low and mid-cost uses of tech in the library that promote these values: Access app chats-Demonstrate and have a conversation in the library w/ parents & caregivers about using quality apps with their children in an engaged, developmentally appropriate way. Bonus points for incorporating the ECRR 5 Practices into shared parent/child tech use! eReaders for students- libraries write grants to make a circulating collection of (eReaders and content) available to students Community Tech Experts & Technology Sharing- Businesspeople and other community members with tech gear and know-how share their expertise, demo the equipment, etc….

Institute 2014

Making Advocacy Awesome @ #ALSC14

Making Advocacy Awesome @ #ALSC14 My first program of the conference was led by the awesome triple-threat team of Jenna Nemec-Loise, Helen Bloch, and Katie O’Dell. They jam-packed their session with information and inspiration to turn us all into powerful advocates for libraries and children’s services. Jenna Nemec-Loise started us off with a tour of the excellent & comprehensive resources on the ALSC Everyday Advocacy Website:, and described the elements of advocacy: Be Informed Engage w/ Community Speak Out Get Inspired Share Your Advocacy Story Helen Bloch talked about “building the foundation,” or having the groundwork already done, the relationships already established, etc. so that you are ready to advocate for your library at any time- to respond to crisis or to seize an opportunity. Think about advocacy in terms of Who, What, Where, When, Why, & How. Who- budget deciders, possible allies, local media What- Demonstrate the value…