Youth Services Librarian Becomes Director

Kelly Harris, former head of youth services and assistant director of the Amagansett Free Library, is now the director of the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton. I caught up with Kelly on Saturday when I found her at work at her desk, an iced coffee from a nearby coffee chain in her hands.

Kelly is a self-proclaimed library geek. If you have any doubt, “Just ask my husband,” she says. Kelly makes him stop at every library they pass while vacationing, and they’ve visited libraries from Vermont to Hawaii.

Kelly has worked in libraries since she was a teen. Her first job was as a page at the Mattituck-Laurel Library. Before she knew it, Kelly was done with college and working full time at the library doing anything that needed to be done: covering all three service desks, working on promotional materials, and conducting storytime. Barbara Moore always joked that she was trying to “grow a librarian,” and that’s exactly what she, Karen Letteriello, and others at Mattituck-Laurel accomplished.

During her last semester of library school, Kelly somehow managed to work full time, attend the Palmer school full time, complete an internship at the Amagansett Free Library, plan her wedding, and move to Greenport. After her internship, Kelly was hired as the children’s and YA librarian at Amagansett and later became assistant director. Cynthia Young was a mentor to Kelly and – knowing Kelly’s goal to become a library director – did everything she could to prepare Kelly for the job.

Kelly is thrilled to be director of the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton, and is looking forward to filling the newly renovated library with programs and materials reflective of the Sagaponack and Bridgehampton community. The Fridays at Five program kicks off with Arlene and Alan Alda on July 1st. Alan will be talking about his book Things I Overlooked While Talking to Myself and Arlene will be discussing her children’s book Lulu’s Piano Lesson.

Stop by and visit Kelly at the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton this summer. As she says in her first edition of From the Director’s Desk in the newsletter Library Link: “my door is always open.”

The Magic of Words

On September 14th, 2011, Youth Services will host the program “The Magic of Words: A Storytelling Skills Workshop” featuring Heather Forest, storyteller and children’s book author.

For over thirty five years, Heather has been teaching and performing nationally and abroad as well as in our communities. This resident of Huntington uses a minstrel-style method of storytelling to share stories from around the globe with audiences of all ages. Heather’s virtuosity paired with her ability to teach makes her workshops unforgettable. 

Heather – in addition to holding a Masters Degree in Storytelling and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change – is the recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award, the founder and director of Story Arts, Inc., and the webmistress of Story Arts Online.

The interactive storytelling workshop for staff of Suffolk libraraies will begin promptly on September 14th at 9:30am (coffee and tea at 9:00am) and end at 12:30pm. Registration for “The Magic of Words” is now open to all Suffolk Public Library staff. Take a peek at some of Heather’s books such as The Little Red Hen: An Old Fable, illustrated by another Huntington resident, Susan Graber.

Treasure in the Booth

The word “buzz” is used frequently at BEA; you hear it almost as often as “e-book.” But there is BUZZ, and then there is lowercase buzz. I discovered the latter type browsing in the smaller booths and reading treasures like My Name is Elizabeth! by debut author and illustrator Annika Dunklee and Matthew Forsythe.

As you can see from her unwavering gaze, Elizabeth knows what she wants, and it is NOT a nickname. Don’t call her Betsy or Lizzy or Liz. It’s Elizabeth, thank you very much!

Published by Kids Can Press in September and starred by Kirkus, this gem is already shining.

LAPC Meeting Begins with a Tour of the Farmingdale Public Library

On Monday, May 16th, the Nassau and Suffolk chapters of the Librarians’ Alliance for Parents and Children (LAPC) met at the newly renovated Farmingdale Public Library. The meeting began with a tour of the facility. Farmingdale has adopted a Glades-style method of organizing their picture books. The books are grouped into categories such as nature, transportation, lift-the flap, concepts, first steps, and favorites. Within those sections, the books are arranged by author. For more information about the arrangement of the picture books at Farmingdale, contact the Youth Services Department.

The library has also experimented with QR codes, which can be seen around the library on bookmarks and on signs such as this one. In case you are new to QR codes, these codes can be read by a smart phone with any of the many free QR code readers available. The code acts like a link to information on the web. For example, once the QR code on this sign at the Farmingdale Library is scanned, a website with education games for kids can be accessed. QR codes can also lead to the library catalog, book lists, or book trailers. Already making QR codes? Experiment with designing pretty ones.

The tour was followed by the LAPC meeting, at which participants shared information about parent/child workshop resources, toys, early childhood specialists, policies, and collections. The next LAPC meeting will be in September at the Patchogue-Medford Library, where another children’s room has recently been remodeled. Stay tuned to the LAPC listserv for more details.

Going to BEA?

If you’re heading into New York next week, grab the April 25th edition of Publishers Weekly and read the BEA Overview, which includes “BEA at a Glance,” a day by day summary of conference highlights, and “The Big Children’s Books of BEA,” featuring forthcoming titles like Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book by Tom Angleberger and Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) and Maira Kalman.

Get the scoop on YA and Middle Grade Buzz Panels, provided by Shelf Awareness. Even if you can’t attend the sessions, take a look at the titles that publishers believe will be hot this fall.

And, of course, there’s the BEA website, which includes a page just for librarians. Get tips for making BookExpo a great experience!

Button Making Systems

SCLS Youth Services has three button-making systems to create 1″, 1.5″, and 2.25″ diameter buttons. Would you like to make buttons for your staff or patrons? First you need to prepare your art work/templates to fit the size you need. Take advantage of the Button Biz Design Center to help you prepare for making buttons. You can also view tutorials online for using the new systems. Then contact SCLS Youth Services to set up a time to use the button makers.  

If you have 1”, 1.5”, or 2.25” button templates that you are willing to share with other libraries, or if you need more information, please contact Youth Services.

New Die Cuts for Summer 2011

SCLS Youth Services has recently added a complete line of 4″ block number and letter (both upper and lower case) dies. We’ve also added the Passport. To request a die cut, please refer to the directions.

Have you purchased new die cuts recently and would like to share them with other libraries? Please contact Youth Services and we’ll update the list.

Placing a Hold on a Die Cut

Here are complete instructions for placing a hold on a die cut:

  1. Go to the Staff Catalog
  2. Type scls dies into the search bar (Keyword or Title)
  3. Choose the record and place a hold (request the item)
    1. A-B
    2. C-F
    3. G-L
    4. M-P
    5. Q-Z
    6. Alphabet and Numbers
  4. Use your library’s staff card or the department’s staff card.  Please check with circulation and make sure your card has a 0 p type.
  5. Place a specific hold on the die you would like to request
  6. Choose your Pickup location
  7. If requesting more than 1 die, repeat process for each

Brooklyn Artists Share Their Stories

On May 5th, CLASC sponsored the program “Illustrating Books for Diverse Audiences” at the Long Island Library Conference. What a treat it was to hear from three different artists all united by a passion for representing the diverse community they observe everyday in their Brooklyn communities.

Pat Cummings had the audience laughing with a story of how, as a child, she had a tendency to get in trouble. At the age of four, she decided to travel – unaccompanied – on the bus across town with a group of older girls attending a ballet class. She joined in the class, twirling and leaping and thoroughly enjoying herself. At the end of the class, the teacher pinned a note to Cummings’s shirt and sent her back on the bus. When the little girl arrived home, her frantic mother discovered the note which simply read: “Please don’t send her back.” Cummings, who is a warm, funny, and eloquent speaker, did more than merely entertain her audience – she showed how she developed into an artist who values the importance of including all children in books for young people.  

R. Gregory Christie followed with an equally passionate talk about his artistic goals. In a world that bombards us with violent images that are often thoughtlessly presented, Christie endeavors to bring “another type of extreme” to his artwork. Christie means to communicate, to “take something that you know about and find the beauty in it.” By finding beauty and sharing it with the world through children’s books, album covers, and editorials, Christie brings some sense of balance to the images presented to people of all ages.

Following these two impressive speakers was Selena Alko, who charmed us with her personal story about her journey as an artist. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Alko has found New York City to be wonderfully “diverse and stimulating.” Alko, who is married to illustrator Sean Qualls, has done portraits of musicians such as Mick Jagger and Macy Gray for magazines. In the book I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother, Alko’s first published book as the author and illustrator, she tells the story of her growing family, featuring her son Isaiah as the protagonist. The success of this book has led to Alko writing and illustrating full-time, and her forthcoming book “B is for Brooklyn” promises to be another celebration of diversity.

The artists are as genuine and kind-hearted as they are talented. I could have listened to them all day, and I suspect others in the appreciative audience felt the same way. Many thanks to CLASC for arranging a stellar program and the artists for sharing their art and their stories.

Northport Wins YSS Award

The Northport-East Northport Public Library has been awarded the 2011 Pied Piper Award from the Youth Services Section (YSS) of the New York Library Association. This honor recognizes excellence in library programming and promotional materials targeted to the young people in New York State. In partnership with the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center, children’s librarians Liz and Janet developed an exhibit guide, bibliography and supporting materials for the Down on the Farm Museum Cove exhibit and program series. The library’s Community Services Department took these materials and turned them into documents that are both visually stunning and age appropriate.
Congratulations to the staff of the Northport-East Northport Library on this successful collaboration!