An Opportunity Too Good to Pass Up

The USBBY Bridge to Understanding Award Committee seeks to identify and honor innovative programs that use children’s literature as a way to promote international understanding, and libraries are eligible for this award. Does your library program promote “reading as a way to expand a child’s world”?

To learn more about the award, view information about past winners, and to access entry, criteria, and application forms, please visit the USBBY website. Or, you can contact Suffolk’s own Doris Gebel, president of USBBY, at the Northport-East Northport Library.

The award carries a monetary prize of $1000 and a certificate. The submission deadline for the next award is January 31, 2012.

What is LAPC?

While some children’s librarians in Suffolk County have been throwing around the acronym LAPC (pronounced “laps”) since 1982, others may be mystified about what this group is all about. LAPC stands for Librarians’ Alliance for Parents and Children. According to their informatative blog, LAPC is “a coalition formed for librarians who conduct Parent-Toddler Workshops.  LAPC began in the fall of 1982 with a group of six librarians who saw the need for a network to share ideas and materials which relate to Parent-Toddler Workshops.”

The group meets quarterly. Three meetings are held at pre-determined Suffolk County library, and the spring joint meeting with the Nassau County LAPC rotates between the counties. The next hosting library is usually determined at the LAPC meeting, and then a point person makes arrangments for the meeting room and publicizes the date on the LAPC listserv.

If you think this group would be helpful for you, I encourage you to join the LAPC listserv. Speak to your colleagues if you are unsure whether anyone from your library already attends the meetings. If you have LAPC-related information that you would like posted on the LAPC blog, please contact Michelle at Brookhaven or Audrey at Huntington.

Say Hello to my “Little Friends”

The best part of strolling through exhibit floor at the ALA Midwinter meeting is coming across little gems! In Dallas my treasure was Little Friends, a lovely easy reader by debut author/illustrator Onur Tukel, published by Marshall Cavendish.

Three seasons take the reader through the budding friendship of two girls and the boy across the street. Sara and Louisa are established friends. They live next door to each other and do everything together. Barry lives across the street. He likes to play with his puppet, and doesn’t say much to anyone at all. After an argument over a shared love of swinging from their special tree resolves, the three form a friendship based on their fondness of adventure and a gentle tolerance of each other’s differences.

Each of the three chapters gently pushes a different character center stage, and by the end they felt as real as the kids in my neighborhood. The colors change delightfully with the seasons;  Browns shift to blue and white and finally green. Cartoon boxes keep the pace moving along with full page spreads drawing attention to the big moments. Marketed for ages 7-9, this book may be appreciated by readers who prefer kids instead of animals as their main characters. It’s also perfect as a read aloud or for kids who are ready for a little meatier vocabulary.

I hope Tukel has more stories about the Little Friends up his sleeve! If you can’t wait to see more from Tukel, check out what he’s done for grown-ups. Contact Youth Services to borrow the galley today.

Dream Big Recap

Sixteen children’s librarians presented storytime ideas in front of their peers at the SCLS program Dream Big!: Bringing the Early Literacy Manual to Life. A variety of books, songs, fingerplays, flannelboard stories and crafts for ages birth to five were demonstrated. Many of the ideas were from the Collaborative Summer Library Program Manual, but some of the storytime elements were original creations.

“The meeting was tons of fun today!” One participant wrote afterwards. “I am so proud of us creative librarians!!”

The librarians should be proud – it is one thing to get up in front of children, but performing in front of peers can be intimidating. The audience was superb as well; they gladly clapped and sang and tapped along, just like they were kids again!

“I learned some great new songs and stories to share with my little friends!” another librarian said on facebook. You can discover some new stories, too, by taking a look at the list of books your colleagues presented.

What’s Happening on the Web Today?

Websites such as WordPress, Wikipedia, and Google are striking today in protest of The Protect IP Act (PIPA) and The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I found this article from PC World helpful in figuring out what it’s all about. It seems more objective than other explanations I’ve seen on the web, and the article includes links to the actual legislation. PC World is owned by IDG.

2012 Mock Newbery Results

On Tuesday morning, 30 librarians discussed a short list of outstanding books at the 2012 Suffolk County Mock Newbery Discussion. Both groups selected Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai as the winner, and both groups selected The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright (drawings by Barry Moser) as an honor book. Group 1 selected one additional honor book: Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming.

Renee McGrath, Youth Services Manager at the Nassau Library System and member of the 2012 Newbery Committee, joined us to share some of her experience preparing for the discussions that will take place in less than two weeks at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. Everyone can take part in the excitement of the awards by watching the live webcast  of the press conference from their home or library (the webcast begins at 8:30am EST).

The discussion leaders – Ann Burke and Marybeth Kozikowski – did a fabulous job selecting a list of titles that reflect the kind of variety the Newbery Committee sees each year. Ann and Marybeth each facilitated a discussion group and were so appreciative that the librarians came well-prepared and ready to examine the books in the context of the Newbery criteria. Many thanks to all who came and participated – especially the brave souls who stepped up to introduce the nine discussion titles:

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart  Candace Fleming
The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale  Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright
Inside Out & Back Again  Thanhha Lai 
Junonia Kevin Henkes 
Small Acts of Amazing Courage  Gloria Whelan 
Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert  Marc Aronson 
Waiting for the Magic  Patricia MacLachlan
Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku  Lee Wardlaw 
Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures Brian Selznick 

Youth Media Awards: What You May and (May Not) Know

All year long, select members of the American Library Association serve on book and media award committees. These ALSC and YALSA members are examining the best of what is published and produced for children and young adults in the current year (for the 2012 awards, they’ll be considering what was published in 2011). Some of these members have been elected by their fellow division members, and some have been appointed by the division president.

In a few short weeks at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, the award committees meet, discuss, re-discuss, and vote on the winners. Award-winning authors, illustrators, and publishers are called early in the morning on the Monday of Midwinter. The life-changing news is given in strict confidence (watch a short video montage of the phone calls from the 2009 Midwinter meeting). At 7:45am CT, ALA division presidents will announce the top awards in children’s and young adult literature at a large press conference. The ALSC president, Mary Fellows, will announce winners for the Newbery, Caldecott, Carnegie, Arbuthnot Lecture, Sibert, Geisel, Batchelder, Odyssey (with YALSA), and Pura Belpré (with REFORMA) awards. The YALSA and ALA presidents will announce their awards as well, such as the Printz and the Schneider Family Book Award, respectively.

Even if you won’t be in Dallas on the morning of January 23, 2012, you still have an opportunity to take part in the excitement by attending the Mock Newbery Discussion at SCLS next Tuesday morning. Or, follow @alayma on Twitter, and watch the live webcast of the press conference on your computer. Virtual seating for the webcast will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it’s best to “arrive” early. If you will be in Dallas, try to attend the joint youth division reception on Monday night in addition to the press conference. The reception, co-sponsored by ALSC, AASL and YALSA, will begin at 6 pm CT.

Barbara Moon is serving on this year’s Odyssey Award Committee, and Renee McGrath of the Nassau Library System is serving on the Newbery Committee. Are you or someone you work with on an award committee that will pick their winners in Dallas?