Upcoming events:

February 3 Children’s Librarians Meeting

February 15 SCLA/PLDA program: How to Fill Out a Training & Experience Exam. Brentwood Public Library. 10am.

February 15 Children’s Department Managers

February 21 Free Booklist Webinar: Books for Youth Alert: New Titles for 2012

February 29 Performers Showcase

March 23 YSS Spring Conference

April 28 Authors Unlimited

May 3 Long Island Library Conference

May 11 Assistive Technology and Resource Fair. SCLS Blue Room and Auditorium. 10am – 4pm.

May 14 Children’s Department Managers

May 15 PALS Public Services

August 11 Battle of the Books

September 25 Children’s Department Managers

October 19 CLASC/SCLS Fall Literature Conference: Timeless Tales, Emerging Visions. Featuring Katherine Paterson and John Rocco.

December 13 Children’s Department Managers

Screen Free Week

The Early Years Institute is participating in Screen Free Week during April 18th – 24th, and they invite you, your library, and the families in your community to participate as well. Jessica Wyatt, coordinator of Screen Free Week at EYI, reports that there is still time for your library to register a “screen free” activity to be included in the Screen Alternatives Guide.

For more information, activity registration forms, posters, and more, visit The Early Years Institute.

Senses Engaged at the Fran Romer Workshop

Could YASD possibly have better timing? On Friday at the Fran Romer Memorial Booktalk Workshop, YASD hosted author/editor extraordinaire Marc Aronson as the keynote speaker. Marc’s book, Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Spice, Magic, Slavery, Freedom, and Science, co-written with his wife Marina Budhos, was recently announced as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes in the category of Young Adult Literature. The March/April 2011 issue of The Horn Book focuses on non-fiction for young readers, featuring Aronson’s article “New Knowledge.” As if that wasn’t enough to make Aronson a serendipitous selection for YASD’s annual spring event, he is also the chair of this year’s National Book Award committee in the category of Young People’s Literature. Kudos to YASD for bringing an internationally known expert in literature for young people to Suffolk County!

Aronson inspired the audience to think of teen literature as something that is constantly evolving and impossible to define unless using clarifiers such as “right now” or “has been in recent years.” According to Aronson, we can never truly label teen literature because as soon as we do, it changes.

Also emphasized was how important non-fiction books (which Aronson suggests we call “reality books”) are when you consider them as handbooks for young people making important life decisions. An example he gave was non-fiction books about war and how teens may use these in determining whether or not they enlist in the armed forces.

Aronson urged us to “look for writing that engages the senses” when we seek quality non-fiction. All of the books selected for the break-out sections – in which librarians practiced their book talking skills – certainly engage multiple senses and deserve a place in our reader’s advisory arsenals.

Many thanks to all involved in putting this memorable morning together and the staff of the Harborfields Public Library for their hospitality. If you missed this program, you can read up on what Aronson has to say at his blog, Nonfiction Matters. YASD kindly donated extra copies of the March/April 2011 issue of The Horn Book to SCLS, and you can request your very own copy from Youth Services.

Autism Awareness Month

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, the Northport-East Northport Public Library has created a display of materials about autism at each of their branches. Accompanying the display is a bibliography of additional resources for families. The poster above the display explains the origin of the colorful puzzle-patterned ribbon for autism.

On April 27th at 10:00am, Stacey Ratner, MS, BCBA, of the Variety Child Learning Center will be speaking at a Children’s Librarians meeting at SCLS. Please join us to learn more about how you can successfully include children with autism in your library programs.

International Children’s Book Day

April 2nd is International Children’s Book Day, and there’s still time to display books from around the world or take a book home to share with a child this weekend. The newly published 2nd edition of If the World Were A Village: A Book About the World’s People might make a great title for family reading and discussion (view the book trailer here or download the teacher’s guide.) Take advantage of the resources provided by USBBY and plan an activity introducing International Children’s Book Day to your family or community. These resources may also be useful for summer programs incorporating the theme One World, Many Stories.

CLASC Annual Meeting and Dinner

CLASC sure knows how to make a business meeting fun! It’s not too late to RSVP for the CLASC Annual Meeting and Dinner on Thursday, April 14th with Victoria Kann, author of the Pinkalicious books. All are welcome to this evening of food, friends, networking, prizes, an author presentation, book signing and, of course, a CLASC business meeting.

Please see flyer here for full details and RSVP info:

Fran Romer Memorial Booktalk Workshop

YASD reports that there are still spots to register for the 2011 Fran Romer Memorial Booktalk Workshop on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 9:00am-12:30pm at Harborfields Public Library. The topic is Truth is Stranger than Fiction: Non-fiction for Teens. The keynote speaker is Marc Aronson.

Good news for latecomers: anyone who registers between now and April 8, 2011 will be entered to win a book of their choice to be signed by Marc Aronson on the day of the event! To register, visit YASD online and download the registration form.