Friday, June 24, 2016

Lego May-nia

Clever signage shared by Hafuboti

If you are looking for clever tie-ins for month-long passive programs, you may want to follow Hafuboti, a blog by Nebraska children's librarian Rebecca McCorkindale. She freely shares her ideas and inspiration to all.

Here's what she has to say about the activities and tie-ins with Lego in May:
"This remains the most popular annual passive program. I can’t think of any program that we have where kids ask about it throughout the year."
Read more about it here!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I'm Your Neighbor

I'm Your Neighbor is a project which promotes the use of children’s literature featuring “new arrival” cultures and groups to engage the entire community in a discussion of commonalities and differences. 

The project features a recommended list of books and an evolving list of engagement projects for educators, librarians, and community organizations who seek to build bridges.

The goal of the project is to both support communities as their cultural makeup evolves and to create opportunities for children’s literature featuring refugees, immigrants, and “new” marginalized groups.

Recent topics covered by the I'm Your Neighbor blog include: the new Muslim children's book imprint at Simon & Schuster, the keynote address by author Maria Testa for the Citizenship Ceremony in Portland, and book reviews!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CCBC Diversity Data Getting Richer/Deeper

The latest edition newsletter of the Friends of the CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center in Madison WI) contained some exciting news.

Long known for it's excellent statistical data on children's books by and about people of color, the CCBC still receives many additional questions looking for additional data to put their statistics in perspective.

CCBC Director KT Horning writes:

"For 2016 we are launching a pilot project to do a more in-depth analysis of the year’s picture books (excluding non-fiction titles, such as picture-book biographies). We’re keeping track of the things people want to know. Just how many picture books have animal, rather than human, characters? How many books about African American characters are historical? How many feature LGBTQ families? Or Muslims? Or people with disabilities? We’ll be able to tell you in early 2017. 

But for now, with about a quarter of the picture books that we’ve received to-date analyzed so far, we can tell you that:
  • 45% of main characters are human beings, 43% are animals, and 15% are something else (such as a zucchini, a fairy or a cupcake)
  • main characters are ten times more likely to be an animal than an African American person
  • African American main characters have a two in three chance the character will be an athlete
  • a main character that is an animal is three times more likely to be male than female
  • a main character is more likely to be a spoon, a screw or a shape than Asian Pacific, First/Native Nations, Latino/a, or a person with a disability
Will this change with more data?  Stay tuned!"

Wait,what?!?! You haven't received this news yet because you aren't a friend of the CCBC. Well, please don't wait - join this great CCBC-supporting organization today!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Letting Kids Be Bored in Summer

Pixabay Image
"What?!?!" you say.

In a fascinating article, psychologists suggest this very thing:

"There are activities and summer camps galore to fill children’s time and supply much needed childcare when kids are out of school. But psychologists and child development experts suggest that over-scheduling children during the summer is unnecessary and could ultimately keep kids from discovering what truly interests them."

Does this have implications for our work in summer? To read the brief, thought-provoking article, stop here.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Will You Be a Candidate?

Are you looking for a way to give back to your colleagues, your state and WLA?  Serving on the YSS Board is an amazing opportunity to make new connections, facilitate continued learning and sharing for librarians across the state, grow through your own professional development, and volunteer your time to make WLA and youth services in our state strong and vibrant.  

Join the team that brings you the Early Literacy Calendar, 52 Weeks of Teen Programming, and fantastic webinars and conferences every year!  New ideas and talents welcome.

The YSS Board has 3 open positions to fill in 2017: Chair-Elect and 2 Directors-At-Large.  Take a look at the short descriptions of each position below and email with questions, comments or a statement of your interest in a position.  But don't delay - the deadline to hear from you is July 1 and we want YOU!

We're looking forward to working with you!

Director-At-Large (2 year term)
Attend Board meetings online and in person at WLA conferences
Help Chair with planning and executing projects throughout the year
Serve on/Chair committees, as needed
Act as ambassador for YSS and encourage membership/activity in the unit

Chair-Elect (3 year term)
Term of three years (one as Chair-Elect, one as Chair, and one as Past-Chair)
Attend Board meetings online and in person at WLA conferences
Take over for Chair if Chair is unable to compete term or is unable to attend a meeting
Help Chair with planning and executing projects throughout the year
Serve on committees, as needed

Uphold WLA bylaws, YSS Procedures/policies and oversee running of section
Call Board and Membership meetings and officiate
Make Agenda for Board and all meetings
Conduit between WLA Office and YSS Section
Appoint Committee Chairs and/or Committees and Special positions
Help Chair-Elect prepare to take Chair position
Serve on the YSS Board the year after, as Past-Chair

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hey, You SLP Champs!!

You are in the teeth of the SLP adventure! Keep up the great work!  "Is it all worth it," you might wonder.

Check out this research news from the State Library of Virginia on results of their recent study on the efficacy of summer reading programs for part of that answer:

Every summer, public libraries in every state offer a reading program. Anecdotal information shows that parents, children and teens love their summer reading program.  Staff at the Library of Virginia wanted to explore further the impact that library summer reading programs have on supporting summer learning and preventing summer reading loss. Partnering with the Virginia Department of Education, using a system that tracks what children are reading in the summer, and working with the expertise of an international research company, McREL, we conducted a study on the impact of the summer reading program in Virginia.

The conclusion of the study are:
Children and teens who attend the summer reading program offered by Virginia's public libraries perform better academically and experience greater gains in their academic performance than their nonparticipating peers. Summer library reading programs may serve as an alternative avenue to close the achievement gaps between minority groups and nonminority peers.

Participation in summer reading programs has a positive effect on student achievement outcomes by preventing learning loss even two years after participation.

An infographic of the study may be found at

More information may be found at

Source: Enid Costley, Children's and Youth Services Consultant Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad   Street, Richmond, VA 23219  804.692.3765

Thursday, June 16, 2016

We're The People 2016 Summer Reading List

The We're The People blog began in early 2015 when Edith Campbell invited a handful of colleagues who share a passion for children, literacy, and diversity to work with her on a Summer Reading list. Books recommended on the blog are ones written or illustrated by Native Americans or writers/illustrators of color that have withstood a critical review.

Their 2016 Summer Reading List is a great resource for creating your own summer reading book lists, or as a stand-alone resource to share with families at your library!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Building a Home Library

The 2016 update of the ALA-CBC Building a Home Library lists are here!

Every two years the ALA-Children’s Book Council Joint Committee produce a set of booklists that provide a good foundation for a child’s home collection. These lists were developed from titles compiled by ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee for each age range: 0-3, 4-7, 8-11 and 12-14.

The four Building a Home Library Lists are available for download in booklet and handout formats. The lists are also available on the Children’s Book Council’s site.
-- as seen on the ALSC listserv 6/13/16 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

When Tragedy Strikes

How can we in libraries respond to our families in the aftermath of a crushing and tragic blow - whether from gun violence or a natural disaster? Three and half years ago, after the Sandy Hook tragedy, we wrote on this blog (and hoped it would be for the last time):
"You might have some parents or kids looking for help in dealing with the stress, grief, fear, and other feelings that are roused by such a horrific event.  Here are a few tip sheets and bibliographies that might be useful to you as you try to sensitively answer those questions. A display might be a good way to get the information out there to people who don't want to ask."

Having resources at the ready to share with families  is vital.

Here are some links to help meet the needs of our communities:
Orange County Library System put up a page with information and resources

Betsy Bird shared resources in her SLJ Fuse 8 column

A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet shares excellent resources to help children

South Central Library System (WI) shares bibliographies on helping children cope and teaching tolerance

Monday, June 13, 2016

Where Are YSS Powerhouses?

Pixabay Image

We're so glad you asked!

YSS Powerhouse Presents are webinars about issues and innovative service models presented by YSS members. The free webinars are brought to you by one of Wisconsin's Library systems and the YSS board.

Each webinar is archived at that system but also on the YSS Resource page on the WLA website. If you missed the spring webinars, Transforming Collections with Katherine Elchert and Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser and Transitions and Transformations with Sharon Grover, Dawn Wacek and Sue Abrahamson, stop by the resource page and catch up!