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Pursuing excellence for library service to children

Last Build Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2017 13:23:52 +0000


Intellectual Freedom in the Age of Fake News Or…When is an Apple a Banana?

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 05:01:26 +0000

 CNN recently launched a “Facts First” campaign to remind people that facts do exist, and that, “An apple is not a banana.”(  Apparently, no matter how often someone might suggest it, an apple is not another name for a banana, a different form of a banana, or a substitute for a banana . . .So why is CNN running this ad? Perhaps because one recent poll found that 46% of Americans believe that the “mainstream media” report fake news, i.e., that they do not tell the truth about events and issues. (, accessed Nov. 13, 2017). How did we get here? One explanation could be that the concept of “truth” has been conflated with the idea of “agreement”.  Kids already seem affected, not by what is true, but by the level of approval they receive for postings on social media. False information slinks in. And frequently, falsehoods have what...

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Rethinking Summer Library Programs….in November

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 05:01:37 +0000

Summer 2017 may be over, but Summer 2018 planning has only just begun…we know it to be true!  Our Summer Library Programs may be just 10 weeks out of the year, but program planning is perennial.  We design our summer library programs to be engaging and impactful, and we care deeply that the kids in our communities have a positive experience.  But let’s face it–it takes time to do that effectively. So, earlier this month, 60 passionate Youth Librarians in Wisconsin got a jump-start on rethinking their summer library programs.  And it was at their annual YS workshop where I had the pleasure of facilitating a lively discussion about accessibility and inclusion for youth with disabilities in summer library programs. Before redesigning your library’s summer program, it’s important to consider the big picture at the very beginning of planning.  What is your overall goal in providing this summer library program...

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Notable Children’s Recordings – a year in the life of a committee

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:01:31 +0000

Learn more about what life is like on the Notable Sound Recordings committee and how you can suggest titles to be considered for this recognition.

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2018 And Life to Go: Resolutions Anyone?!

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 05:01:50 +0000

Not Another New Year’s Resolution Article I promise.  No eye candy.  No videos strung by html with care.  But it is Elf themed, which you need to watch if you haven’t already. You’ve got just six weeks and four days before the new year makes you keep writing 2017 for a few weeks.  Resolution lists anyone?  Please tell me you aren’t recycling last years, or even lamely “upcycling” them, just to sound trendy or get your friends off your back.  Let’s get real, and let’s apply it to our professional world.  Here we go… Mentoring For the love of candy canes, you have a story to tell, and believe it or not, you could totally help out an up and coming mentee.  No, really.  And it’s easy to get matched. For example, Florida Library Association has a mentoring program every year, that officially only runs one year at a time,...

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Engaging Your Community : What Does That Mean?

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 05:01:43 +0000

A definition Community engagement is an important emerging trend in public libraries.  What, exactly, is community engagement, you ask? Well, according to Dr. Crispin Butteriss of, it can be described as both a process and an outcome.  In other, words it is both a noun and a verb.  Butteriss further describes it as “the process of getting people better connected into the community and for ensuring that the services they were designing me[e]t the specific needs of the people they are working with.” Applying the principles of community engagement specifically to libraries has been the focus of ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative.  The LTC initiative “seeks to strengthen librarians’ roles as core community leaders and change-agents.” On a regional level, RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System) has formed a community engagement networking group. I am my library’s youth liaison to the community.   I do outreach with several different agencies,...

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Trending Tweenward

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 05:01:41 +0000

Anyone who has worked with me probably knows that I have a special place in my heart for Tweens. I love tween books and tween programs.  At my old branch, we had a Tween Area, and I have even graced a few of my Tweens’ Snapchats. What I also like about Tweens is that they are a bridge.  They are bridge to Children’s Librarians and Teen Librarians, to us and Teen Services- particularly if you are like me and serving as a Children’s and Teen Librarian!  In my experience when you say “I’m a Children’s Librarian” to someone, what comes to mind is younger kids. Tweens can sometimes be forgotten or overlooked, making me wonder if there will ever be a Tween Librarian position. I guess it was a no brainer that I attended YALSA’s 2017 YA Symposium in Louisville, Kentucky two weeks ago.  I sat in on sessions ranging...

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Championing Children’s Services: Take the Survey – Enter to a Win Prize!

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 05:01:34 +0000

The ALSC Public Awareness Committee, in conjunction with ALSC Leadership, is working on a new campaign that will help you promote all the terrific things Children’s Librarians do to those who hold public office.   The goals for creating the forthcoming Championing Children’s Services Virtual Toolkit are: – Helping youth staff advance their message to elected officials – Garnering support for the critical work libraries do in their communities   This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA In order to produce the most useful end product, your feedback (and that of your friends) is needed.  It will only take a few minutes to fill out the survey and as an added incentive you could win a $25 gift certificate for Out of Print Clothing!   Just follow these simple steps enter: Step One: Take the Championing Children’s Services Survey. Step Two: Tell all your friends and colleagues to...

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Archived Webinar: Get Involved with ALSC!

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 17:00:05 +0000

On Wednesday, November 8, Vice-President/President-Elect, Jamie Campbell Naidoo, led us through “Get Involved with ALSC: Navigating Opportunities within the Organization.” This fun, free, and informative webinar helped members and prospective members learn different ways to get involved with our organization…and as a 6-month-old employee, it also helped me! Communication within ALSC. Get in on this “ALSC goodness!” There are many different outlets for communication within ALSC. One of my favorites has been ALSC-L, our listserv. As Jamie mentioned, you do NOT need to be a member of ALSC to join ALSC-L. This listserv is an outlet where individuals with questions or recommendations related to library service to children can communicate. The amount of knowledge sharing that happens on this listserv has been super helpful for me as a person learning more about librarianship. It fascinates me when a subscriber posts that they are looking for a book in which they...

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What Do Tween Library Users Want?

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 05:01:16 +0000

Have you ever had a moment where a patron recognizes you, but you can’t identify who they are? One day while I was walking between library departments, a young teen called out my name and stopped me in my tracks. She started asking me personal questions. I politely answered her, but I couldn’t figure out how this teen knew so much about me. Suddenly, the teen began to discuss Percy Jackson, and I immediately recognized her as one of my library’s former tweens. In a matter of a year, she changed so much that she was nearly unrecognizable. This encounter reminded me how important it is for the library to have consistent library programming for tweens and to have program evaluation. Children grow up quickly, and as a library, we need to ensure that we are growing and changing with our audience. As another year begins to close, I always strive to...

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Website Content Curation

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 05:01:00 +0000

One of the ALSC competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries is to create and maintain “…a physical and digital library environment that provides the best possible access to materials and resources for children of all cultures and abilities and their caregivers.” While providing a physical environment can appear a more stable though still challenging undertaking, maintaining a digital library environment is a constantly changing task, requiring ongoing assessment and modification. While assessing the databases and websites that we feature and promote at our urban public library website, I was daunted with the task of selecting new sites for our Homework Help section. Luckily I was part of a sub-committee, so I was not alone in approaching this work. Part of the curation process is combing through our current list and eliminating archaic sites. To start, one of the sub-committee members suggested copying and pasting all of the headers...

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