ALA Annual 2019

This Recap Does Not Give Justice to Justice Sotomayor at #ALAac19

  Sonia Sotomayor entered to a standing ovation to which she replied, “My favorite people! I love librarians” because librarians open the world to children and give them opportunities they otherwise could not have. Early in the discussion, she came down off the stage and wandered through the audience hugging and shaking hands with adoring fans! She said so many inspiring things, here are a few of my favorite quotes and details: She is “living proof of how libraries can affect people for life.” She loved going through the old library card catalogs! Her first chapter books were “Nancy Drew.” In 6th grade, “Lord of the Flies” really affected her-she wanted to become a lawyer so she could help people see that laws serve us as a community Laws help us make sacrifices for the greater good Our greatest obstacle in life is fear. “Most important skill for librarians is…

Blogger Nicole Martin

Roller Girl Rocks

I just got around to reading Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015) and boy, was it awesome! This great graphic novel for middle-grade readers follows twelve-year old Astrid, who is inspired to join a summer youth roller derby camp after her mother takes her to a Rose City Rollers derby match. Astrid immediately falls in love with the sport and aspires to be like the rad roller ladies, whose colored hair, witty names, and rainbow socks absolutely scream cool. Unfortunately, Astrid’s best friend Nicole doesn’t seem quite so impressed by the roller derby. Soon after Astrid discovers that her bestie will be spending her summer at ballet camp with one of her not-so-favorite people, Rachel. So begins Astrid’s summer of growth as she learns that sometimes friendships change and that skating is not quite as easy as it looks. The story felt very authentic to me, capturing the sort of girl drama that can blossom between friends, especially…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Fall programming for kindergarteners to tweens!

Building a Mystery (not the Sarah McLachlan song) Have you ever attended one of those murder mystery programs for adults? Now you can make one for your tweens and teens at the library. To run a good murder mystery program at your library you need to put your creative librarian hat on and let your imagination run wild. It is easy to spend money on a pre made mystery kit, but if you have the time, make your own. Create the mystery setting in your library, have a librarian go missing and set the crime scene. Caution tape and a duct tape outline of the body make for great props. Perhaps the librarian was found under a crack in the floor, or downstairs under a stack of books. Make sure evidence is planted and there is an estimate time of death. Identify what staff member will be the victim and…

Call to Action

Take action with #VLLD 15, and let your voice be heard!

As most of us can’t physically travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in National Library Legislative Day (NLLD), ALSC’s Advocacy and Legislation Committee has developed resources so you can contact Congressional leaders from home! Check out these easy-to-use resources for taking action from your library community during the week of May 4-8, 2015. Contact Your U.S. Senators and Representatives  Talking Points to Use with Legislators  Letter to Congress Template  Sample VLLD 15 Tweets


The Newbie’s Guide to Hosting a Día Program

Thinking of hosting a Día program at your library? While the ALA Building STEAM with Día grants deadline has passed, it’s never too late to set up your own program. Have questions about where to start, who to contact, and what kinds of things you should do? Well, look no further—we will answer your questions right here! First thing you must do, is log onto, read a bit about Día and what others have done in the past, then register your program. This registry creates a searchable database of Día programs of all sizes from across the county that highlight Diversity In Action. Not only is the database a resource for you to find ideas, and printables that may work for your community, but it’s also a great place for your library patrons to find programs they might be interested in attending. Then you need to take a deep…

ALA Midwinter 2015

Witches, Goonies, and Winnie-the-Pooh: Jason Segel at #alamw15

You know it’s going to be a cool conference when the first person you spot standing outside of McCormick Place is Jason Segel. I’d just hopped off the bus and there he was, hanging out before his talk! Way cool. Segel, an actor and writer, was this morning’s interviewee during the Auditorium Speaker Series. He talked about how his own childhood experiences with night terrors inspired his children’s book, Nightmares! (co-written with Kirsten Miller). “I dreamed witches were eating my toes.” Sounds kind of adorable? “It’s adorable if you’re the eater, not the eatee,” he quipped. He’s been writing since age 22, and is heavily influenced by Roald Dahl, Tim Burton, Goonies, and Labyrinth. While writing The Muppets screenplay, Segel re-read A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh for inspiration and to get in “kid brain” mode. Segel’s primary interest is exploring the human condition of always wanting to be something more, of…

ALA Midwinter 2015

Leadership & ALSC Kicks Off Advocacy Button Campaign #alamw15

As part of the Everyday Advocacy campaign, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is giving away buttons with a call to action. The buttons, emblazoned with the slogan “Creating a Better Future for Children through Libraries,” will be available at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago and the 2015 ALA Annual Conference. Attached to each button will be a tip sheet, created by the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee, which includes talking points to help articulate the value of youth library service. A virtual button will be available to those who are not able to attend either conference. The campaign will be launched at the Leadership & ALSC session on Saturday, January 31 at 8:30am in McCormick Place West W179. For more information on the campaign, please visit the Everyday Advocacy website:

Early Literacy

Recruiting Supermodels #alsc14

I was a pint-sized model. In 4th grade, I read aloud storybooks to friends at an after school daycare center that I attended. At the time, I had no idea that this experience would prepare me for my career as a children’s librarian. And I certainly had no idea that I was imparting a love of reading to my listeners–my peers. Speakers at today’s “Inspired Collaboration: Early Childhood Partnerships” made me recall this memory when they talked about how they recruit everyday library users to model experiences for potential library users. As a professional, you can tell patrons about a service and model it for them yourself. But sometimes people may feel most inspired to try something new when they see someone just like themselves doing an activity. One of the presenters shared a story about how mothers in a housing community receive early literacy training. In turn, these mothers…