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Pursuing excellence for library service to children

Last Build Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 05:01:36 +0000


Balancing Act

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 05:01:36 +0000

I will admit that I am a sucker for planners, calendars, and any book that promises to help me organize my life. And yes, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and my sock drawer looks amazing. While I would recommend Marie Kondo’s book if you are looking for inspiration to de-clutter, today I’m recommending a title that will help you with not only clutter, but also with that nebulous thing called work-life balance: The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less by Christine Carter. While you are welcome to sit down and read the book cover to cover, Carter recommends dipping into the book where you need it most. Included throughout are proven strategies for taking charge of yourself and your life by backing away from busy and overwhelm, figuring out what is most important to you, and focusing there to create a more satisfying and...

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The Novel Effect App

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 05:01:03 +0000

Do you have a favorite book app?   I love hearing about new ones. Last March,  I discovered Novel Effect – “a voice interactive storytelling app. Add music, sounds and even character voices simply by reading a book out loud with the app.”  Add the app to your tablet or smart phone and if needed use a wireless speaker – while your device is open, no screen time needed.   I was so excited and couldn’t wait to share the app with teachers, librarians and parents.  So many creative ways to use the app – even with poetry! The books are separated by sections – Bedtime Stories, Winter + Winter Holidays, New Releases, Award Winners and more! A selection of favorites: Wolfie The Bunny by Ame Dyckman The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats Be Who You Are by Todd Parr Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson...

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Submit Your Mock Elections Results!

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:01:42 +0000

What is taking the top honors in YOUR Mock YMA elections? Submit your results now at Do you have February 12th marked on your calendar as a red-letter day? If you do, you might be as much as a children’s lit geek as I am! It is, of course, the day the ALA Youth Media Awards will be announced from the ALA Midwinter Conference in Denver. I love to hear which titles are selected as the official winners. And I love, love, love to track what librarians, students, and other children’s book lovers have selected in their mock elections. Again this year, the ALSC Blog is compiling winners of Mock Elections from around the country. Check it out here. We hope to see these lists grow extensively in the coming months. You can also find this tab at the top of the page of the ALSC Blog. If your...

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Advocacy Through Programming

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 03:23:49 +0000

When considering how to best advocate for services and programs offered by public libraries in our current environment, which includes a proliferation of information and digital access to multitude of sources, I tried to answer the questions: To whom is this program or service of value? How are we changing the landscape of our communities? How are we advancing the mission of public libraries to fight oppression and inequity? With those questions in mind, I will walk you through a small program that had big impact in our community and sent a strong message of our values and the tenets in our community. Remember that advocating is not only done by messaging, advertisement, or campaigns. We advocate every day through relevant services, programs, and collections. Creating strategic community programs and showing how essential libraries are to children and adults is a great way to advocate for libraries. In 2016, like...

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Creating Relevant Programs with Tween Interests

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 05:01:46 +0000

On Tuesdays, I get to spend time with my regular teens.  As I walked over to the teen department, I  stumbled into an interesting discussion. In the midst of homework and computer games, my teens discussed the library. One mentioned that she started to come to the library regularly when she was a tween. She appreciated that the library had a variety of materials for her to checkout.  Another teen talked about how awesome the programming was and how much she appreciated the staff.   One of our newest teens surprised me the most. She just moved to my library from out of state and shared her own experience. After she agreed with the previous comments, she shared that her previous library only offered duct tape crafts, book discussions, and anime nights for teens.  She felt like the programs were okay, but the library wasn’t in tune with her and peer’s needs....

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Self Care in 2018

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 17:01:22 +0000

Lisa Nowlain is a Youth Librarian in the Nevada County Community Library system in California. She’s also an artist type and you can see her work at

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Tips for Circulating Technology Kits

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 05:01:28 +0000

Someone in our library had the idea: why not allow children to bring home a piece of our makerspace, the TEA Room (Technology, Engineering, and Art). Thus the TEA kit, our circulating technology kit was born. We started circulating them a year ago, and at one time we had over ten holds on one kit. The kits were intended for the same age range as our makerspace, patrons in grades 3-6, but over the year we’ve expanded that range to include younger patrons. There were a few bumps along the way, so I present five tips to help you get started with circulating your own technology kits. Start with what you have. We had some technology we didn’t use as often for programs anymore, like the LittleBits Kit and the Sphero, so we decided to make them into a kit for circulation. Print instructions and ideas for use. For some...

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Community Assessment for Inclusive Library Services

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 05:01:44 +0000

Leveraging partnerships is essential to supporting the development and growth of new programs and services for children with disabilities. One of the best things you can do when serving an undeserved population like families with children with disabilities is to collaborate with other local organizations to gather community feedback about people’s perceptions and experiences of your library. Whether you decide to take a more formal or an informal approach in gathering information, performing a comprehensive community assessment is a necessary first step in growing this area of service.  Assessing your community helps identify opportunities and gaps in service for different age groups. It can help you learn about what types of programs your library could be offering to families with children with disabilities.  This process can also help you determine what the best and most accessible mode of communication is for families, or identify areas for improvement in your library’s...

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The 2018 ALSC National Institute…it’s coming!

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 18:08:26 +0000

Wow, 2018 is here already! I remember when I first started my position with ALSC last year there was so much talk happening around the 2018 ALSC National Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m thrilled that the time is almost here! We’ve made some major exciting announcements over the past few months. Did you miss any of them? Here they are: Award winning author, Grace Lin, will be presenting our Opening General Session! Check out the press release. Our Breakfast for Bill speakers will include authors and illustrators, Margarita Engle, Raúl Colón, and Mike Curato! Check out the press release. Brian Selznick and David Serlin will be presenting our Closing General Session! Check out the press release. All Aboard! Embracing Advocacy and Inclusion! The programs lined up for the institute have also been fun to look through. As a new employee, I’ve been learning so much through our webinars, community forums,...

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Children & Teens: Cross Collaboration

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 05:01:19 +0000

Have you thought about the benefits of cross collaboration among libraries? Do you belong to a collective of libraries that meet to share library trends and new ideas for children and teen services? Simi Valley Public Library is part of the Meet & Greet group, which is a collective of seven public libraries from different library systems that meet every three months. What do we do? Share library trends for children and teen services that have worked for us. Share innovative program ideas. Share ideas for tween spaces. Discuss books that have impacted us. Discuss ideas to advertise our collections. How do we do it? We meet in different locations every time, depending on the hosting library. The idea is to end with a library tour focusing on the Teen and Kid’s space and learn from the hosting library. Our meetings are in the morning. The hosting library usually offers...

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