Saturday, June 24, 2017

Nominate Someone!


Pixabay image
WLA Awards nomination time is here again.  What an opportunity to nominate a valued peer, board member, library or innovative program to receive deserved recognition!

I really can't say it better than Leah Langby, our current YSS past chair, does in this Keeping Up with Kids blog post!

Go ahead, you know you (or a posse of you) can boost a colleague or library doing amazing work for their community!!

Friday, June 23, 2017

First time at annual? Me too!

I've been happily anticipating my first ALA annual conference and trying to figure out how to best use my time while there to make sure I am exposed to the best in programs for children and teens.

I was pretty happy to discover that you can sort the conference offerings by unit.

Here is the ALSC sponsored schedule and the YALSA schedule.  I've heard tips on when or whether to hit publisher events (one says never, one says which ones are the most fun), information on shipping ARCS back home so you don't need to haul them, and where to eat. (Giordano's Pizza, Firecakes Donuts, and Lula Cafe if you're wondering.)

What are your tips for first timers?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Project Implict

Along with "looking outward" to increase diversity in our library collections and being more aware of how we, as librarians, can create safe spaces for all, I think it is important to turn inward and look at how our our perceptions and biases are created.  A great resource for closely examining our "implicit social cognition - thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control" is Project Implicit.  Project Implicit is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 by three scientists with a stated goal to "educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a 'virtual laboratory' for collecting data on the Internet."

What does this mean for you?  It mean a host of  IATs (Implicit Association Tests) that you can to discover your implicit associations on topics such as religion, sexuality, disability, and race.  I think that knowing our biases and their basis is a good step toward creating library collections and environments that are as open, diverse, and welcoming as possible.

Try out some of the IATs HERE.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Shout Out to the CCBC and their Picture Book List for Older Readers

Every day brings a new question. Monday, it was a request for picture books for older readers, as in middle school age. Well, I knew about Demi, Paul O. Zelinsky's illustrated fairy tales, and Patricia Polacco's stories, but I wanted to provide  a wide field of titles for the reader to choose from to satisfy their request.

This is where the Cooperative Children's Book Center comes in and earns a shout out from a grateful librarian! The CCBC has a myriad of lists to consult and share including the one I needed today: Never Too Old - Picture Books to Share with Older Children and Teens. Compiled by Megan Schliesman and updated annually, this list is organized topically. If you haven't used the CCBC booklists lately, do yourself a favor and see the wealth of resources available to you.

Monday, June 19, 2017

WLA Sneak Peek - YSS Luncheon Speaker

It was just announced last week that the YSS luncheon speaker for Wednesday Oct 18 will be Angela Davis Pinkney!! Here's what our YSS board representative writes:


We are thrilled to announce that Andrea Davis Pinkney is the Youth Services Section Luncheon speaker for the WLA Conference this year!  Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times best-selling and award winning author of numerous picture books, novels, and narrative nonfiction for children and teens (including The Red PencilA Poem for PeterHand in Hand:  Ten Black Men Who Changed America, and Let it Shine:  Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters).  Ms. Pinkney is a respected children's book publisher and editor. Her love of libraries, her perspective on diversity, and her energetic and inspiring speaking style will leave you ready to continue your terrific work in libraries across Wisconsin!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Leadership Training Opportunity Deadline Nears!


We've mentioned the WLA Leadership Development Institute (August 9-11 in Madison) in this blog previously.  It's an opportunity to be part of a cohort of library folks who will gain knowledge on communication, strategic planning, collaboration and relationship building, critical decision making, and strategic planning - all skills we use and need to hone as youth librarians.

The deadline to apply for this three day immersive institute is June 23. More info is here.

You don't need to be a member to apply. Don't delay and take advantage of this unique opportunity!!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

South Asia Book Awards Announced


The South Asia Book Awards for 2017 have just been announced.  What a great way to add recommended diverse books to your collection!  The award is sponsored by SANOC (South Asia National Outreach Consortium) and the committee is made up of librarians, teachers and subject experts.

The awards committee examines and discusses books for youth published in English that focus on the culture, people or heritage of South Asia.  The committee looks at the text and illustrations for accurate portrayals of South Asia, the experience of individuals living in South Asia or South Asians living in other poarts of the world. The countries and islands making up South Asia are: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the region of Tibet. The books are judged on literary quality, cultural authenticity and potential for classroom use.

And the winners are:

Maya by Mahak Jain; illustrated by Elly MacKay (Owlkids Press, 2016). The loss of her father and a blackout in her Indian city combine to distress Maya.  Her mother’s bedtime tale of a legendary banyan tree kindles the child’s imagination, bringing her comfort and soothing memories of her father.  Alluring illustrations of the lush dream landscape and animals Maya visualizes will engage readers. (Grades K-3)


What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein (Disney-Hyperion, 2016). In the Nepalese Borderlands, twelve-year-old orphan Nandu realizes his destiny as a “mahout” (elephant driver). Through a vivid jungle setting and Nandu’s first-person narration, this story reveals the rich diversity of the natural world and the connection between humans and animals. (Grades 4-7)

To see the full list of awards, honors and commended titles, click here.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Links of the Month - Teen Services Undergound

Summer as the library is bananas.  There are programs and increased checkouts and a giant amount of fun.  I also find that I am not as up on what is happening out in the world of libraries, simply because I don't have as much time to explore new topics and recent articles.  Never fear, Teen Services Underground is here!  At the end of every month they round up some awesome online resources and pop them into a list.  Easy and quick to browse, it is my go-to during the summer when I am pressed for time, but still want to see what is new and great!  Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Finding Sex-free, Swear-free, Magic-free Reads for Young and Young Adult Readers

As librarians, we devote effort to making sure that our collections include something for everyone and that we stand up for the freedom to read. Often this means books that are challenged for content like sexuality, realistic issues, race, ethnicity, LGBTQ characters or families and so on. However, it also means making sure we have reads on the shelf and the ability to provide readers advisory for our patrons on reads that don't involve subjects like magic, swear words, sex, drugs and so forth if that is what they desire.

Maybe you've already developed strong skills in this area, but I've discovered that it is an area where I could grow. To that end, it would be great if you'd share your book lists, resources, favorite series and titles, or publishers for conservative reads in the comments.

This article on Serving Conservative Teens from School Library Journal published on March 4, 2015 has good suggestions on inclusive services for this audience in general, as well as some title suggestions.




Monday, June 12, 2017

Tips for a Child Who Hates to Read


Publishers Lee and Low Books have a blog, The Open Book, that often addresses issues and topics on diversity, literacy and inclusion. They recently published a helpful post by Jill Eisenberg that suggests fifteen ideas to share with parents whose child hates reading. These are practical, doable and suggest easy ways for parents to be gentle literacy coaches with their child.

You can read the post here.