Monday, September 29, 2008

Diablo Cody: In Praise of Judy Blume

Because Judy Blume is one of the most outspoken authors against censorship and it is Banned Book Week...

Check this out this article from Entertainment Weekly, written by EW columnist and Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody:,,20229048,00.html

I'm a Judy Blume "real" girl for sure!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Banned Books Week

Welcome to Banned Books Week! September 27-October 4

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is held the last week of September each year. The purpose of the celebration is to remind us that we shouldn't take this freedom for granted.

Many challenges have to do with "protecting" children. It's worth reading the ALA's statement regarding this situation:

Although this is a commendable motivation, Free Access to Libraries for Minors, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (ALA's basic policy concerning access to information) states that, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.” Censorship by librarians of constitutionally protected speech, whether for protection or for any other reason, violates the First Amendment.

How is your branch celebrating or promoting Banned Book Week? Have you read a banned book this year?

Check out these sites:

Banned Books Week (ALA)
Banned Books Week (jointly hosted by all BBW sponsors)
Fahrenheit 451: Freedom to Read (Pelham Public Library, ONT)
Banned Books Challenge (blog reviewing banned books)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pokemon Challenge

If you have not seen Anders Johnson's ALD LIVE for his Pokemon Challenge group please watch. It is very clever.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ALSC Institute

I just got back from the Association for Library Service to Children's National Institute. This is a conference held every two years (it's in Atlanta in 2010): "a two and a half day intensive learning opportunity with a youth services focus." I came away with a lot of great content to add to the website and tons of programming ideas--which I will type up for Cindy Mares in the near future. I attended the technology track and the lifelong reading track (they also had a programming track and we got to hear 4 authors speak: Sharon Creech, William Joyce, Laura Seeger, and Christopher Paul Curtis). It was a very well organized conference and would be a great one for anybody in youth services looking for a nice professional development opportunity. I'll attach my notes once I've finished them, but feel free to contact me if you want more info about the Institute.

Monday, September 22, 2008

YSIG Meeting Reminder

Our next meeting of the Youth Services Interest Group is next week! We will meet Thursday, October 2, from 8-9.30am in the Castlewood meeting room.

I have some plans for our time together, but am very interested in your ideas! If you have an issue or a topic that you would like to see addressed at the meeting, please let me know, either in comments here or via email.

See you soon!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Caldecott Hopefuls Blog

I'm sorry to push down Melissa's post about the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy website--please make sure to visit!

I wanted to direct everyone to the ALD 2009 Caldecott Hopefuls blog. Here we are posting and discussing great picture books published in 2008 that have a chance at the 2009 Caldecott Medal. Towards the end of October, Melissa will take our postings and create a final list of about 10 books on which we will have patrons vote for a winner. Then we'll compare our winner with the ALA winner mid-January. Feel free to comment and shoot me an email if you want to become a contributor.

New Early Literacy Resource!

Lori Romero, Richard Lyda, and I all recently had a chance to work on a new resource website for Colorado librarians. We're part of a state-wide organization called Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy, and the website is one of our first projects. We're trying to bring together as much material as we can for librarians who are working with literacy-based programs.

Will you take a look at it and let us know what you would love to be able to find here? What resources do you wish for as you plan your literacy-based storytimes? It's very much a work in progress and we could use your input!

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Controversial Material

For your information about a children's book:
We have on order for ALD a book titled Uncle Bobby's Wedding by Sarah Brannen. Douglas County has already had a reconsideration request on the book. It deals with same sex marriage. Read this article for Jamie LaRue's response.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


That alphabet soup refers to the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of which is having their annual fall conference on September 20-21, 2008 in Lakewood.

I would encourage you to check out their brochure and see if you'd be interested in attending! They have agents, editors, authors, and illustrators as speakers and lots of workshops and panels.

Even if you don't attend, it's good to keep the SCBWI in mind. We all occasionally get patrons who approach us about being readers for their manuscripts, or want us to answer questions about the state of children's publishing, and the SCBWI is a great referral in those situations.

In addition, Koelbel, Smoky, and Southglenn have copies of The Children's Writers' and Illustrators' Market, which can also be a help.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

School Visits

Richard Lyda (OS) Miryam Loo-Camacho (GL) and I visited the Challenge School on E. Mississippi on Sept. 3rd and 4th (evenings). We set up a table near the library. It was a parents night and they were going from room to room but we were lucky and spoke to many of them as they passed by. We were excited to hear that many were loyal ALD users and they were happy the new Glendale library would be located near their school on Parker and Florida. We made library cards, handed out information and bookmarks, used the laptop to show the webpages for teens and kids and handed out invites to the construction party this month and the booksale. All in all we had a fun time even though there were "lulls" at times. This is a Cherry Creek school but kids come from all over including Koelbel, Smoky and other areas. How was your school visit?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back to Storytime!

Welcome back to storytime!

I'm spending some quality time with the 6 Every Child Ready to Read early literacy skills this week for a training project I'm working on, and thought I'd do a review post about them as we head into storytime season.

The six skills researchers have identified as essential for kids to have in place before they can be successful readers are:

Print Motivation: Loving books! Being interested in books and enjoying books.
Important Because: Kids who are more interested in books are more motivated to learn to read on their own.

Phonological Awareness: Hearing sounds! Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words, like rhymes, syllables, beginning sounds.
Important Because: Kids have to be able to hear how words "come apart" before they can sound words out successfully.

Vocabulary: Knowing words! Knowing the names of things.
Important Because: The bigger a child's vocabulary, the easier it is to recognize words on the page and understand what is being read.

Narrative Skills: Telling stories! Being able to desribe things and events and tell stories.
Important Because: This is the comprehension piece. If you can describe what you're reading, you can understand it. If you can't understand it, you're not going to be very motivated to read.

Print Awareness: Seeing print! Seeing print everywhere, knowing how books work, how words work on a page.
Important Because: You can't start tackling learning to read print until you understand what it is.

Letter Knowledge: Knowing letters! Knowing that letters have different names, shapes, and sounds.
Important Because: You can't start to sound words out if you don't understand what words are made of.

If you do a storytime, tell us a little about how you provide your literacy tip to parents in your sessions. Do you do it at the beginning? Middle? End? Do you have a routine, or do you try different things each time?