Rising to the Challenge

Dialogue on Public Libraries: Rising to the Challenge  Read the rest of this entry »

Kansas Association of School Librarians Shares Great Resources

KASLKASL, the Kansas Association of School Librarians is a non-profit, educational organization that promotes the interests of school libraries in the state of Kansas, encourages professional growth of library media specialists, and develops cooperation among all types of libraries and educational organizations to enhance library service.

They have fabulous resources for school librarians and for anyone interested in promoting libraries. If you want to strengthen your partnership with your local school library staff, or if you provide your local school with library services, check out these links:

Notable Children’s Books 2016

Notable BooksThe Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) has announced its 2016 Notable Children’s Books!

Each year an ALSC committee selects the best children’s books published during the previous year. According to the ALSC criteria, “as applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.” The Newbery, Caldecott, Belpré, Siebert, Geisel, and Batchelder award and honor books are automatically added to the Notable Children’s Books list.

Check out the complete list of Notable Children’s Books here.

Planning Events for National READATHON Day?

Graphic for National READATHON day 2016The American Library Association and Penguin Random House have partnered to support the second annual National Readathon Day, which will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2016.

“It is a day dedicated to the joy of reading and giving, when readers everywhere can join together in their local library, school, bookstore, and on social media (#Readathon2016) to read and raise funds in support of literacy. This year, Readathon Day is presented as part of ALA’s Libraries Transform campaign, and will benefit ALA’s Every Child Ready to Read initiative, a program that supports the early literacy development of children from birth to age five in libraries across the nation” (Accessed from ALA.org).

For more information about how the program works, visit the official Readathon2016 page.

Read Across America Day

RAAlogoHave you made plans for a Read Across America Day program?

Sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA), Read Across America Day takes place on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2nd. Time may seem short, but the NEA has a lot of resources you can use on their website. Their posters, images, web advertisements, certificates, and other program materials are all free!

You could also use this Seuss Reading Challenge or play Seuss Bingo. Another great resource is Random House’s Seussville. It has online games, author information, and printable activities.

Privacy & Confidentiality Policies

At the NCKLS directors’ meeting on February 11, we discussed privacy and confidentiality policies. The American Library Association’s model policy may be found here.

In addition, you may find this supplemental checklist of best practices, created by the Illinois Library Association, helpful in reviewing or developing a policy for your library.

Día Turns 20 Mini-Grants from ALSC & Dollar General

Dia_webbadge1_vert_2pHave you considered planning a Día event at your library? Día, the library event celebrating the connection of children and books, turns 20 April 30, 2016, so the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has a funding opportunity to help you celebrate!

Applications for 20 mini-grants of $2,000 are now open an available here. ALSC members in public libraries within 20 miles of a Dollar General retail or corporate location are welcome to apply. Start thinking about how your library would like to celebrate 20 years of connecting children with diverse books and apply now!

For more information about Día, as well as downloadable activities, visit the website: Día! Diversity in Action.

ALA Youth Media Awards


The American Library Association Youth Media Awards were announced Monday morning.

If you haven’t had time to look at the list, check it out below.

John Newbery Medal:

Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña

Newbery Honor Books:

  • The War that Saved My Life, written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • Roller Girl, written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson
  • Echo, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan


Randolph Caldecott Medal:

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, and written by Lindsay Mattick

Caldecott Honor Books:

  • Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Troy
  • Waiting, illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de le Peña


Coretta Scott King Author Book Award:

Gone Crazy in Alabama, written by Rita Williams-Garcia

King Author Honor Books:

  • All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  • The Boy in the Black Suit, by Jason Reynolds
  • X: A Novel, by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon


Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award:

Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Troy Andrews and Bill Taylor

King Illustrator Honor Books:

  • The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
  • Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de la Peña


Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award:

Hoodoo, written by Ronald L. Smith


Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award:

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford


Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:

Jerry Pinkney


Michael L. Printz Award:

Bone Gap, written by Laura Ruby

Printz Honor Books:

  • Out of Darkness, by Ashley Hope Pérez
  • The Ghosts of Heaven, by Marcus Sedgwick


Schneider Family Book Award (books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience)

(Ages 0-10):

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, written by Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Sean Qualls

(Ages 11-13):

Fish in a Tree, written by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

The War that Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

(Ages 13–18):

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, written by Teresa Toten


Alex Awards (10 best adult books that appeal to teens):

  • All Involved, by Ryan Gattis
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Bones & All, by Camille DeAngelis
  • Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, by David Wong
  • Girl at War, by Sara Novi?
  • Half the World, by Joe Abercrombie
  • Humans of New York: Stories, by Brandon Stanton
  • Sacred Heart, by Liz Suburbia
  • Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League
  • The Unraveling of Mercy Louis, by Keija Parssinen


Andrew Carnegie Medal (children’s video):

That Is NOT a Good Idea, from Weston Woods Studios, Inc.


Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

Jerry Pinkney


Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:

David Levithan


May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site.

Jacqueline Woodson


Mildred L. Batchelder Award:

The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy written and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick

Batchelder Honor Books:

  • Adam and Thomas, written by Aharon Appelfeld, illustrated by Philippe Dumas, and translated from the Hebrew by Jeffrey M. Green
  • Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village, written by Fang Suzhen, illustrated by Sonja Danowski, and translated from the Chinese by Huang Xiumin
  • Written and Drawn by Henrietta, written, illustrated, and translated from the Spanish by Liniers.


Odyssey Award (audiobook produced for children and/or young adults):

The War that Saved My Life, written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and narrated by Jayne Entwistle.

Odyssey Honor Recording:

Echo, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan and narrated by Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, MacLeod Andrews, and Rebecca Soler


Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award:

The Drum Dream Girl, illustrated by Rafael López, written by Margarita Engle

Belpré Illustrator Honor Books:

  • My Tata’s Remedies = Los remedios de mi tata, illustrated by Antonio Castro L., written by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford
  • Mango, Abuela, and Me, illustrated by Angela Dominguez, written by Meg Medina
  • Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh


Pura Belpré (Author) Award:

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir, written by Margarita Engle

Belpré Author Honor Books:

  • The Smoking Mirror, written by David Bowles
  • Mango, Abuela, and Me, written by Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez


Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award:

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Sibert Honor Books:

  • Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, written and illustrated by Don Brown
  • The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club, by Phillip Hoose
  • Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March, written by Lynda Blackmon Lowery as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley, illustrated by PJ Loughran
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes


Stonewall Book Award—Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award:

George, written by Alex Gino

The Porcupine of Truth, written by Bill Konigsberg

Stonewall Honor Books:

  • Wonders of the Invisible World, written by Christopher Barzak
  • Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU, written by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth, illustrated by Fiona Smyth


Theodor Seuss Geisel Award:

Don’t Throw It to Mo!, written by David A. Adler and illustrated by Sam Ricks

Geisel Honor Books:

  • A Pig, a Fox, and a Box, written and illustrated by Jonathan Fenske
  • Supertruck, written and illustrated by Stephen Savage
  • Waiting, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes


William C. Morris Award:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, written by Becky Albertalli

Morris Finalists:

  • Because You’ll Never Meet Me, written by Leah Thomas
  • Conviction, written by Kelly Loy Gilbert
  • The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, written by Stephanie Oakes
  • The Weight of Feathers, written by Anna-Marie McLemore


YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults:

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War, written by Steve Sheinkin

YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalists:

  • Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir, written by Margarita Engle
  • First Flight Around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race, written by Tim Grove
  • Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad, written by M.T. Anderson
  • This Strange Wilderness:  The Life and Art of John James Audubon, written by Nancy Plain

Early Literacy Calendar 2016

EL Calendar 2016The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) has once again created an early literacy calendar!

This colorful calendar includes one suggested activity per day based on a combination of Every Child Ready to Read II, STEM, and fun. The calendar is free to download and print. Print up a bunch to give away to storytime families!

Getting statistics from Verso for your annual report

If your library uses Verso– not just the Norcat Libraries– here are some ways to get the statistics you need for the annual report to the state library


To find out your circulation statistics on Verso


  1. Log in and go to the Staff Menu
  2. Select Statistics
  3. Select Circulation Statistics
  4. Select Item Location (this gives children’s and adult statistics separately)
  5. From the drop down menu choose your library
  6. Run statistics by year then click 2015
  7. View in HTML
  8. Add the totals from Checkout and renew for your total circulation.  DO NOT count the Checkin column


To see how many items were added to and deleted from the collection


  1. Log in and go to the Staff Menu
  2. Select Statistics
  3. Select Circulation Statistics
  4. Select Item Activity
  5. Select your library
  6. Enter a start date of 01/01/2015
  7. Enter an end date of 12/31/2015


You can also get the information on material added to and total size of the collection this way

  1. Log in and go to the Staff Menu
  2. Select Statistics
  3. Select Database Statistics
  4. Select Locations Collections
  5. Enter a start date of 01/01/2015
  6. Enter an end date of 12/31/2015

If you do not enter the start and end date, you get the numbers for your entire collection on the day you run the report.


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