Jane Addams Book Awards Announced!

The Jane Addams Peace Association announced the 2010 Jane Addams Children Book Award today. The awards are "given annually to the children's books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence". It is one of my favorite awards and the winner and honor books are all fantastic choices.

Younger Children
Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter
Honor Books:
Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride, by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney
You and Me and Home Sweet Home by George Ella Lyon and Stephanie Anderson

Older Children

Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge
Honor Books:
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone
Claudette Colvin, by Phillip Hoose

Kudoes to committee members for fine choices!

Picture Perfect

We take alot of photos of our programs at the library.  Once taken, they go up on our Flickr account and are streamed on our webpage. Now, in our department, none of us are particularly stellar photographers.  We do tend to turn out some goodies but it seems often to be completely in spite of ourselves. We are eternally thankful for digital cameras that let us click away until something turns out decent. Of course, at some programs, it is painfully obvious that even volume of pix won't cure the bad shots we get.

But we have a solution!  Sarah over at Librarian in Black has linked up to the ALA TechSource blog where Cindy Trainor has helpfully given some tips that can make us, if not pros, at least more competant around the old Kodak. So smile and say cheese.

Photo from La Crosse Public Library's photostream


The Oldest Kid Joke Retold by the Book Stars

Hilarious trailer for Guys Read Funny Business coming out this fall starring lots of our favorite authors like Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Adam Rex, David Yoo, Paul Feig, Kate DiCamillo, Christopher Paul Curtis, Eoin Colfer, and Jack Gantos!


Author Days!

We invited author Rick Chrustowski for a visit with area kids yesterday and today and it has been wonderful.  He has a heavy schedule - stops at six schools and a final evening presentation for us tonight for Earth Day.  The first half of the visit has been a wild success. What factors helped?
  1. A vibrant, engaged presenter who inspires kids to read, write and draw.
  2. Willingness to share his talents by involving as many schools as we could accomodate to partner and share costs.
  3. Tying it into local Earth Day/Month efforts and picking up extra financial support as well as promotional support for the presentation for the general public.
  4. Keeping all partners informed and updated on logistics; schedules; deadlines.
  5. Careful scheduling and negotiating with partners that allowed sufficient time for Rick's set-up and take down and travel between sites that meant no speeding, dashing or overt sweating.
  6. Early contact with publisher and local bookstore to insure sufficient supplies of books.
  7. Creating a bookmark with Rick's autograph to hand out at the schools rather than having him do signings at each site.  We kept book signings at the library only (to help encourage attendance and because we have no time constraints for that evening presentation).
  8. Shared hosting of lunches/dinners between the schools and public library so lots of people got to interact and visit on a personal level with a book creator.
  9. Sending out promo bookmarks for the public library presentation to kids at schools who didn't have a chance to be part of his school visits. 
It's so much fun to help kids connect to the fact that real live people create the content in all those books on the shelves.With good preparation and willing partners, it is a perfect way to promote literacy and pique kids interest in books!


Easy SLP Decorating

Melissa over at the Imaginary Librarian has a great idea on a simple, cool way to make large wall or window size display art for the Make A Splash - Read summer program.  This would be useful in any number of decorating ways. I think about our book display shelves against the wall and how hard it is to get art up there in the back of the room that is visible at our desk.

A couple of weeks ago I did a post on a free clip art resource and Susan at The Book Chook shared another clip art source Free Clip Art by Phillip Martin that is worth exploring too. It has great kid-friendly cartoon clip art in a really wide variety of subjects.

But is that all there is?  Do you know of other easy resources for the artistically challenged among us? Share!

Shark clip art from Clip Art by Phillip Martin  http://www.phillipmartin.info/clipart/homepage.htm


Everything Old Is New Again

My colleague Georgia over at Come into Delight has a great post about an American Girls program she did recently as she paused between the calls of technology. It was focused on Addy who lived during the Civil War era and featured hand squeezed lemonade and entertainment that would have been part of a child's life in that era. The kids were delighted. Keeping Up with Kids blog has additional details provided by Georgia.

It has been interesting to see how popular some of the programs are with kids that reach back to share customs and activities from pre-computer times.  I've seen fascination with butter churning, flint making, sowing seeds, stitching and weaving and so much more.  It echoes what we see in some of our adult programs...people are just as hungry to find out how to make soap, preserve foods and garden as they are to learn how to use Skype and ipods and facebook.  It is an interesting balance and part of what makes program planning and creation so much fun.  There is always something new to try and everything old is new again!

Image: 'Pioneer Dream House' http://www.flickr.com/photos/57402879@N00/98264661


Computers in Libraries Conference

I can't be there...boo-hoo. But I don't have to be!  Thanks to twitter and librarians like Librarian in Black and Librarian in the Cloud (and a host of others) blogging about sessions they are attending I feel like I am getting a good handle on the sessions.  Following along with Twitter hashtag #CIL2010, I am keeping my toes in the fast and furious action. 

A good place to start catching up with the action if you haven't started is over at John Kennerly's Speaking of Information blog where he lists 6 ways to follow CiL online.  Do it!

Image: '(photo of Stormtroopers watching a photo of+Stormtroopers)²'   http://www.flickr.com/photos/49462908@N00/3708150348

Howdja Do? Fuse 8's Top 100 Children's Novels

Betsy Bird's tops list is finished (and if you haven't seen the care she lavished on all 100 books, you must visit).  Liz over at A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy via Teacherninja via Reading Zone has a fun meme asking which have you read. Mine are in bold.

100. The Egypt Game - Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard - Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe - Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches - Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking - Lindgren (1950
94. Swallows and Amazons - Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn - Brink (1935)
92. Ella Enchanted - Levine (1997)
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Sachar (1978)

90. Sarah, Plain and Tall - MacLachlan (1985)
89. Ramona and Her Father - Cleary (1977)
88. The High King - Alexander (1968)
87. The View from Saturday - Konigsburg (1996)
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Rowling (1999)
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek - Wilder (1937)
84. The Little White Horse - Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief - Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three - Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Lin (2009)

80. The Graveyard Book - Gaiman (2008)
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family - Taylor (1951)
78. Johnny Tremain - Forbes (1943)
77. The City of Ember - DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust - Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog - Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers - Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain - George (1959)
72. My Father's Dragon - Gannett (1948)
71. The Bad Beginning - Snicket (1999)

70. Betsy-Tacy - Lovelae (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Stewart ( 2007)
68. Walk Two Moons - Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher - Coville (1991)
66. Henry Huggins - Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes - Stratfeild (1936)
64. A Long Way from Chicago - Peck (1998)
63. Gone-Away Lake - Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock - Keene (1959)
61. Stargirl - Spinelli (2000)

60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi (1990)
59. Inkheart - Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Cleary (1981)
56. Number the Stars - Lowry (1989)
55. The Great Gilly Hopkins - Paterson (1978)
54. The BFG - Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows - Grahame (1908)
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays - Enright (1941)

50. Island of the Blue Dolphins - O'Dell (1960)
49. Frindle - Clements (1996)
48. The Penderwicks - Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy - Curtis (1999)
46. Where the Red Fern Grows - Rawls (1961)
45. The Golden Compass - Pullman (1995)
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Blume (1972)
43. Ramona the Pest - Cleary (1968)
42. Little House on the Prairie - Wilder (1935)
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Speare (1958)

40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me - Stead (2009)
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix - Rowling (2003)
37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Taylor (1976)
36. Are You there, God? It's Me, Margaret - Blume (1970)
35. HP and the Goblet of Fire - Rowling (2000)
34. The Watson's Go to Birmingham - Curtis (1995)
33. James and the Giant Peach - Dahl (1961)
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - O'Brian (1971)
31. Half Magic - Eager (1954)

30. Winnie-the-Pooh - Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising - Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess - Burnett (1905)
27. Alice I and II - Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet - Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women - Alcott (1868/9)
24. HP and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling (2007)
23. Little House in the Big Woods - Wilder (1932)
22. The Tale of Despereaux - DiCamillo (2003)
21. The Lightening Thief - Riordan (2005)

20. Tuck Everlasting - Babbitt (1975)
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda - Dahl (1988)
17. Maniac Magee - Spinelli (1990)
16. Harriet the Spy - Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie - DiCamillo (2000)
14. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Rowling (1999)
13. Bridge to Terabithia - Paterson (1977)
12. The Hobbit - Tolkien (1938)
11. The Westing Game - Raskin (1978)

10. The Phantom Tollbooth - Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery (1908)
8. The Secret Garden - Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver -Lowry (1993)
6. Holes - Sachar (1998)
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Lewis (1950)
3. Harry Potter #1 - Rowling (1997)
2. A Wrinkle in Time - L'Engle (1962)
1. Charlotte's Web - White (1952)

92 out of 100..whoa, I'm a bigger reader than I thought! Of course I am pretty old so some of this stuff was new when I was a kid! How about you?


Oh Frabjous Day!

A new blog for children's librarians!  A new blog for children's librarians!  Doo-dah-doooooooo!  Stop over at the brand new kid on the block,  Keeping Up with Kids, the blog with youth content for public librarians started by by my buddy Leah Langby at the Indianhead Federated Library System in Wisconsin. Although it is aimed at system member libraries working with youth, it looks like there is plenty of content to get you not only connected to great resources but thinking about what we do as well.

Although there are plenty of blogs focused on kids lit and librarianship in general, content focusing specifically on youth work in libraries is fewer and farther between.  So it is always a cause for celebration when I find someone new to follow.  Thanks Leah and IFLS system members for sharing!

Image: 'Home-grown Noddy'  http://www.flickr.com/photos/18276635@N00/3515044023

Happy Library Week

Time to celebrate all things library!  From Neil Gaiman's videoconference today to D.E.A.R.(Drop Everything and Read), from Geek the Library to bloggers celebrating libraries and supporting them in tough times, it's a time to stand up and cheer for libraries.  On a local level, lots of libraries are sponsoring celebrations, special programs and efforts aimed at bringing a birthday ambiance to the week.  Friends groups and volunteers are celebrated, extra tours are scheduled and Book Festivals are happening!

Here at our library we are sponsoring an "Adopt-a-Book" program this week.   Brand new, fully-processed books are on display that patrons can adopt for the library.  We pop a bookplate in and they are ready for instant check-out.  This is the first time we have tried this at my new library although we did this before at my former job.  It was a great way for our community to support us and raise money in the process!

What are you doing to celebrate?

Image: 'Birthday Cake'  http://www.flickr.com/photos/22998854@N02/2311733808


Mooo - Clip Art for You!

The Buzz column in the April 2010 issue in School Library Journal notes a great clip art resource that is new to me: The Open Clip Art Library. It has thousands of clip art images that are free to download and can be used for any purpose. And if you are an arty type, you are encouraged to upload images to share with all.  It's a pretty great resource, especially for folks using Open Office or looking to shake up the usual clip art they rely on. The categories are a little broad and it may not be easy to get just what you need quickly but it really has an amazing variety of stuff to browse through.  Oh, be still my commercial-art-beating heart!

Thanks to Kathy Ishizuka for sharing this great site.

Image: Cartoon Cow by lemmling from OCAL


Libraries - Woot!

For the oldsters out there who remember the campaign that said there are more libraries in the U.S. than McDonald's, here is an updated piece that presents some great facts for people.  Check this How Libraries Stack Up 2010 page developed by OCLC found by my colleague Linda J. at Scribd. I love tiny tidbits of data!  Libraries rock!

Image: 'Stacked - the paperback swap haul'  http://www.flickr.com/photos/11868335@N00/4483505584


Encouraging the Browse

I just popped into the universe of Library Society of the World on FriendFeed and have been enjoying the conversations more than I can say. I am new enough to say I am not *quite* willing to characterize the fabulous characters and esprit de corps but it feels like a mighty good place as participants from libraries of all types ask questions, declare and share and sassy-talk as good as it gets.

A question today about whether browsing behaviors have been explored in surveys garnered a range of comments and got me thinkin'... how do we best encourage and enhance browsing by kids and families who use us?

Of course,  it can be encouraged by the "Art of the Display"on each book shelf. Leaving room for face out display is a huge selling point for our books and leads browsing kids to all kinds of fun books outside of their interest area.  And what to choose?!?  As someone who has an art background, I look for book covers that have large graphics, interesting titles and are designed in a way that says, "Read ME!". I always pass by books in series to find hidden gems -well-written fiction; intriguing non-fiction; authors who know how to write but may not be well-known.  I like to look for picture books and easy readers that need an extra boost (forget Curious George, Berenstein Bears and Seuss -kids and families find them on their own) - this is secret spy-stuff reader's advisory that is so deep and so stealth that kids find treasures in spite of themselves!

Who are we as librarians but literature experts who read widely (if only reviews!) to find the fascinating, the unique, the facts and the fiction?  Yep, we acquire popular dreck but we can lead kids - pied-piper-like- to the more powerful, the more fascinating, the good stuff.  We are the ones, through our selection and collection building work and our face out displays among the shelves, that can make browsing a fun sport in libraries. Thanks LSW for leading me to think about this most fundamentally fun part of our job!


Wrap Your Head Around Post PLA Wrap-ups

Ok, ok, I couldn't make it and still have enough staffing available for our youth area.  But that doesn't mean I didn't wish I could go.  Now, thanks to bloggers around the kidslibrary blogosphere, reports of sessions from the Public Library Association's Portland conference are starting to come in. Eva M over at Eva's Book Addiction has a great post about a session that focused on training staff at all levels to be welcoming to kids and teens using the library.

We all know the drill.  We build it - great programs, a welcoming atmosphere, cool stuff for teens, great stuff for families - and in they come!  But teens, families and kids bring a level of activity and sometimes chaos that can be a challenge to staffers not directly serving these age groups. Yet, staffers beyond children's folks should find ways to welcome these groups and support them.  Training is a key part of this process - as well as support of the administration in placing value in kids and understanding their needs.  Whether we come from a small library or a multi-branch system, we each can do our part to promote helping our co-workers understand our clientele better.

Thanks Eva for a thoughtful post!

Image: 'I 'm starting to crack'  http://www.flickr.com/photos/21560098@N06/3812840962

Kids and the Circle of Life

One of my colleagues today shared on Facebook an album of photos of her dad - from very young tot through his early eighties. The pictures were in chronological order - from eager-eyed young boy, to  sophisticated looking teen, through early manhood and marriage and then on through his years as father and worker and on to his retirement years. The man he became and the boy he was were wonderful to follow in the pictures.

At the same time, colleagues shared the most amazing Times Online story of Keith Richard and his book collection. It is so huge that he thought about training in librarianship for a bit to get it organized.One quote especially touched me.. “When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser.”

Each day that I work with kids and see eager young faces I imagine the arc of their lives - will they be happy and hopeful; be adventurous, studious, rebellious, reflective or crazy; will their life be sweet or sad; rich in experiences or a trap from which they can't escape? And I think is there anything that I can do to make that experience while they are young just a little happier and a little better so that as they grow older they not only want to remember the library fondly but support a place that means so much to so many?  I hope I can.  I will always see the eyes of that future self with a long-lived life in the bright little peepers of the kids. And I'll keep trying to make a difference for them.

Image: 'H'Mong babygirl - mũ mèo nh�'


What to Do When Faced with That Self-Published Book Donation?

We all have received unsolicited donations of self-published materials from eager community members.  It's hard to accept everything that comes through and painful to find the right words to let down the person who is so proud of their work. Some work is worth adding to the collection - most misses the mark so severely that it is simply impossible to even give it away.  At the same time, one can appreciate all the work and love and passion that the person has put into the work even when it is not noteworthy. 

I like the policy statement at my present job that was developed to help us when faced with this situation:

"We sincerely appreciate local authors who are willing to support the library by donating their works. However, we are not able to add all donated material to the collection. The following paragraphs explain the standards by which materials by local authors are selected for the library collection.

All materials donated to the library become the property of the ...... Public Library and are examined by library staff to determine which are to be added to the collection. The staff, in choosing materials, assures that they meet the criteria established in the ...... Public Library Materials Selection Policy. Materials not selected are offered to other libraries in the ......Library System. Those gifts still remaining are then placed in book sales conducted by the Friends of the Library.

We select only those materials that fit within the scope of our collection. The scope of the circulating collection does not include materials that are rare, unavailable through established vendors, or sparsely owned by other public libraries of similar size. Exceptions may be made for materials by local authors that create community interest by being featured in library or community sponsored programs, as well as those reviewed or publicized via local media.

Although it is necessary for us to subscribe to the above guidelines, we understand the significant effort involved in publishing one’s own creation and applaud the generous spirit with which these materials are offered."

How do you handle this situation?

Image: 'The end is, in fact, nearer than+he+thinks+-+Explored' http://www.flickr.com/photos/40252592@N05/3857844352