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Pursuing excellence for library service to children

Last Build Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2018 04:01:06 +0000


STEM: Leadership Tips When you Get Coding Bots Out

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 04:01:06 +0000

STEM can overwhelm some librarians. However, do not despair. There are some organizational ideas and leadership tips worth trying if you are willing to give coding bots a try. After a year of an introductory STEM programs at the Simi Valley Public Library, it was time to spice this program up with a new element. Why not buy bots to teach kids computational thinking through basic coding? The idea became a proposal and with minor changes the proposal became a reality. We purchased two of the following four bots: Wonder Dash, Coji, Ozobot, and the Robot Mouse, to implement a year’s worth of monthly STEM programs focusing on coding. Wonder Dash and Azobot: are fine bots for kids 6+. Here children will be practicing coding at a basic and intermediate level if they dare to explore all the potential of these bots. Coji and the Robot Mouse: are convenient bots...

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Get ready for National Library Legislative Day 2018

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:01:13 +0000

Hello, Friends! It’s time once again to make plans for National Library Legislative Day (NLDD). This year’s two-day event will be held on May 7th and 8th in Washington, DC. For those unfamiliar, NLLD brings together librarians, trustees, and other library supporters to advocate for library funding and support for library issues. Attendees attend a day-long advocacy training and briefing on the legislative issues, then put their skills to work the following day on Capitol Hill. Registration for the in-person event has closed; however, you can still participate virtually from your home or office. Register to participate at home and you’ll receive all the information and tips to get in on the action. This year, the Advocacy and Legislation Committee is asking librarians and other library supporters to participate virtually by creating your own Libraries Transform ‘Because statement’ and sharing your statement and a photo on social media to extend...

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Libraries Partner with Community Agencies to Help Fight Food Insecurity

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 04:01:57 +0000

The Realities of Food Insecurity Food insecurity is a growing problem across the nation. Food security is a federal measure of a household’s ability to provide enough food for every person in the household to have an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is one way to measure the risk of hunger. Currently in the United States, 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger.[1] Food insecurity can cause individuals and families to make extremely difficult choices between buying food and paying bills. These choices can affect the ability of children to learn and grow, the ability of seniors to seek critical healthcare, and can cause health complications for people of all ages. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 41.2 million people lived in food- insecure households in 2016. 8 million adults lived in households with very little food security and 6.5 million children lived in food-insecure households.[2] This problem...

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An Autistic Take on DDC

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:01:03 +0000

It’s Autism Awareness Month, or Autism Acceptance Month if you’re one of us. According to the Dewey Decimal System, I have a disease, but I don’t think of it that way. Sure, I have some real diseases, like Hashimoto’s. My thyroid attacking itself is a disease. But I don’t think of the way my mind works as a disease. Yet, if I wasn’t afraid of needles, and I was going to get a tattoo, I think it would read “616.85882.” The Dewey Decimal System is part of my identity as a librarian, and 616.85882 is the call number for autism in adults. The Dewey Decimal System works well with my autistic mind. Indeed, my autistic superpower is that I can remember strings of numbers, manipulate them, and read them back.  (It’s called “working memory.”) The DDC feels, in fact, like something that only an autistic could have come up with....

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Library Displays – Toys and Early Literacy

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 04:01:02 +0000

When creating displays in the youth department  it is a good goal to educate parents, children and educators on early literacy practices. Keeping the practices of Every Child Ready to Read in mind, the librarians in our youth department teamed up to construct a display that went beyond books and promoted the aspect of play by putting toys in our display case. The catch is the toys we used weren’t just any toys, we searched through our basements and found the toys we had kept from our own childhoods. Depending on our ages, we found Madame Alexander Dolls, Cabbage Patch Dolls, My Little Ponies, Trolls, Barbies, old Playskool, old Fisher Price, old McDonald’s Happy Meal toys and much more. Our library’s display case has 7 sections that are 30.5”wide x 18”deep x 58” tall with adjustable glass shelves in each section. Not only were we able to efficiently fill the...

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Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): The Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit is here!

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 04:01:52 +0000

The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation (SPLC) is pleased to announce the publication of the Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit. This toolkit is the result of a three-year collaborative effort with members of AASL, ALSC and YALSA. It is a collection of information, research, and examples that will help facilitate and incorporate collaborative initiatives between public and school libraries. The Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit is organized into five chapters, and includes helpful links for additional examples or information. “Getting Started” provides tips for identifying potential partners for collaboration, as well as suggestions for initial partnerships and etiquette tips. Even without specific projects in mind, this chapter outlines communication strategies that help to establish relationships with collaborators both within and outside of your library space. “Why School-Public Library Partnerships Matter” highlights research that supports collaborative library initiatives. Whether in a public or school library,...

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The 2019 Batchelder Committee wants your help!

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:01:22 +0000

The 2019 Mildred L. Batchelder Award Committee is asking the ALSC membership to submit book titles for consideration.  The Batchelder Award is a citation awarded to an American publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding translated book of the year. Books eligible for the award are those originally published in a foreign country and subsequently published in English in the United States. For the complete terms and criteria, please refer to the ALSC website. The 2019 Batchelder Committee calls on ALSC personal members to submit titles for consideration. Please remember: Only books from the 2018 publishing year are under consideration for the award. Also, please note that publishers, authors, illustrators, or editors may not nominate their own titles. Please go to to post your suggestion. You will need to have your ALA login & password handy to access the suggestion forms. The submission deadline is...

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Tales from a 6th grade Bookclub

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 04:01:02 +0000

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to obtain a through a private donor for a program with our local Catholic school- St. John’s. After meeting with the Head of School we decided to offer a bookclub to all Upper School students (6,7,8 graders) that would begin in January after winter vacation The club meets once a month on Fridays in the school after classes are done for the day.  Six students signed up and each month I lead them through a conversation and activity based on a book, that they get to keep thanks to the donor funds. My favorite activity was trying to draw portraits using our feet after reading Dusti Bowling’s Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. Afterwards we looked at the works of different artists born without arms.  Other activities have included choreographing their own dance pieces and 90 second book summary videos. My favorite...

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Meet Your ALSC Board – Linda Ernst

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 04:01:38 +0000

In this monthly feature, we profile ALSC Board members. We hope to offer information about the people who work to guide the organization so that you can feel more comfortable in reaching out to them with your concerns, questions, or comments. To continue this series, we invite you to meet ALSC Board member, Linda Ernst. Why did you join ALSC? How long have you been a member? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables? “To my favorite librarian” – that’s what my English teacher wrote in my senior yearbook many years ago.  I was aghast! No way! So what if I had been working in the school library “forever” and I loved to read.  Liking books didn’t mean you were going to end up working with them did it?  Fate has a way of twisting & turning and I did find my way into the library field...

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Let’s Talk About Diversity… with Isabel Roxas

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 16:01:47 +0000

For those of you who are regular ALSC blog readers, this post may seem a bit like déjà vu. After all, didn’t you just read something about diverse book recommendations last month? Well, you’re right – you did. Author/illustrator Melissa Iwai stopped by the 53rd Street Library in February to share some of her favorite diverse picture books, and I shared her list in my last post. But representation matters all the time, and so often children can’t find themselves on library shelves chock full of books featuring white, non-disabled children – and animals, of course. It’s important we know and have available books representing every child who might come into our library as well as the children they’re likely to meet. So earlier this week, illustrator Isabel Roxas came to 53rd Street Library for our April installment of Let’s Talk About Diversity. Born in Manila, Philippines, Isabel has illustrated...

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