ILA 2012 Conference Presentations


If you didn’t have a chance to attend the 2012 ILA Conference, be sure to check the ILA web site for handouts from the programs.

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Book Talks: Teen Reads to Enjoy on Crisp, Fall Night!

Product Details

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

Tennyson is not happy when he finds out his twin sister Bronte is dating Brewster Rawlins, also known as Bruiser.  Bruiser was voted the “most likely student to get the death penalty before graduating high school” by the entire school.  He’s the kid no one really knows, no one talks to, but everyone hears the nasty rumors about.  Bronte insists that Bruiser is misunderstood and that is when Tennyson decides to confront Bruiser.  In the school’s locker room, Tennyson threatens Bruiser to stay away from his sister, but instead of fighting back, Bruiser just walks away without a word. That is when Tennyson sees something quite disturbing……Bruiser’s back is covered with scars, bumps and bruises… if someone has been beating him again and again.

This is where the story begins! Brewster and his little brother Cody live with their uncle, a mean man who abuses both of them physically and emotionally.  But Bruiser has a gift……if he loves you, he will take away your physical pain and injuries as well as your emotional anger, hurt and grief, and heal you at his own expense, whether he wants to or not.  Thus, Cody and other loved ones  never exhibit any wounds.

Neal Shusterman has crafted a compelling, thought-provoking novel that demonstrates the power of love and what sacrifices one will make for those he cares for.

Submitted by Mary G. Adamowski, Head of Youth Services, Orland Park Public Library


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“Open Book Interview” with Mary G. Marshall

Mary Marshall in the Baldwin Library Closed StacksWhat do you do, and how long have you been doing it?   I am the Assistant Director (8 years) and Head of Children’s Services (13 years) at the Addison Public Library.  I previously was a children’s librarian at the Helen Plum Library (Lombard) for 6 years. My first professional library position after receiving my MLS at the University of Michigan was with the North Suburban Library System creating the Ela, Vernon Hills, and Warren-Newport Libraries.  I have also worked with rare books and taught College Freshman English courses.

Why are you an ILA member?  I think it is essential to belong to professional organizations such as ILA and ALA to network with other professionals and to continue my opportunities for professional growth. Plus, it’s fun! I’ve met some wonderful friends through ILA.

What’s your number 1 source of news in children’s services/literature?  My favorite source of library news is ALA Direct and the great links.

Other than Facebook, what is your favorite social media?  Pinterest—great ideas for both work and home.

What do you think children’s librarians will be doing ten years from now?  I think books (in a variety of formats), early literacy education, story times, school-aged and family programs, and school outreach will still remain our primary duties as children’s librarians.  Technology will continue to grow in importance; children’s librarians will need to spend more time learning about technology and discovering ways to use it with our young patrons

What are you currently reading?  I’ve just started J.K. Rowling’s new book The Casual Vacancy and The Book Thief (Markus Zusak). I’m always reading several books at a time in a variety of formats, so I’m also reading Shoemaker’s Wife (Adriana Trigiani) on my Kindle and listening to The Italian Matchmaker on my iTouch.

What children’s book character would you most like to be and why?  I would love to be Posy from Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild because the book was set in London, and Posy, the main character, attended the Children’s Academy of Dancing and was training to be a ballerina.  Becoming a ballerina and living in London are two of my fantasies.  I thought few people were familiar with this book until I saw You’ve Got Mail, which has an entire scene about the main character’s love of Ballet Shoes.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  Other than a ballerina (see above), I wanted to be a librarian.  I read Nancy and the Bookmobile (an old book even then) when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, and I thought the best job in the world must be a librarian.  At the age of eight or nine, however, I couldn’t imagine spending six years beyond high school to attain the education I would need.

What’s one “rule” you wished every librarian followed?  I would like all librarians to follow the golden rule of management: manage others as you would like to be managed.

Harriet Welch, Hermoine Grainger, Sammy Keyes of Nancy Drew?  The “H’s” have it; but if I had to choose one, I vote for Hermoine.  She’s everything I would like to be—brilliant (and not afraid to show it), fearless, creative, and a leader.

What do you always have to eat in your pantry or refrigerator? Chocolate, oatmeal, berries, and pasta—but not mixed together!

What is your favorite experience as a librarian?   I received the Bechtel Fellowship ($4,000) to read and research at the Baldwin Library (University of Florida), which has one of the largest historical collections of children’s books in the United States. Imagine spending four weeks reading and researching historical children’s books—it was amazing.  I would encourage all of you who are personal members of ALSC, have an MLS, and have eight years of experience working with children to apply for this amazing opportunity. The deadline is December 30, 2012.

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#ILAconf2012 Recap certainly bounced higher in Peoria! Thanks to all the librarians who LEARNED, CREATED, and PARTICIPATED with us at the 2012 Illinois Library Association Conference.  The Youth Services Forum hopes you were filled with inspiration and motivation to help bring positive change in your home library.  We also hope that you met many new library friends and got the chance to catch up with old ones, too!  Let’s recap some of the exciting things that happened this week at ILA:

On Tuesday…

  • Kevin Carroll Katalyst inspired us with his story about how a rubber ball and the importance of play can change our lives.
  • We celebrated the achievements of our library colleagues at the 2012 ILA Awards Luncheon.  Don’t forget to Be Proud and Be Loud and nominate a librarian for next year’s 2013 ILA Awards!
  • We aimed younger and learned how to develop targeted summer reading programs for babies.
  • We were mad about science and heard how libraries are bringing science for grades 3 – 5 to their communities.
  • We learned how one library cooperate with United Way and other local early childhood education programs to better serve youngest patrons.
  • We were immersed in the latest and greatest books of the year for kids and teens with Andrew Medlar’s engaging program The Books of the Year.
  • We had RECORD NUMBERS at this year’s Stories and Spirits program, where we mingled and networked with other library colleagues from across the state.

On Wednesday…

  • We had a FULL HOUSE as we welcomed Anna Dewdney, illustrator of the 2013 iREAD Summer Reading Program, at the Youth Services Author Breakfast.  We also celebrated the inspiring work of Sue Quinn, this year’s winner of the Davis Cup, and Victoria Rakowski, this year’s recipient of the Golden Ticket Award.
  • We learned how using sign language in storytimes can make your library programs more inclusive and promote literacy.
  • We heard a panel of youth services librarians and technical services staff who discussed the “De-Deweying” of their picture books developing more patron-friendly and browsable collections.
  • We brainstormed ideas for iREAD 2015 and explored programming and craft ideas for the 2013 iREAD Have Book, Will Travel program at the iREAD Showcase. Check out the iREAD Pinterest Page for more great ideas!
  • We rolled on the river exploring Peoria’s nightlife at this year’s ILA pub crawl!

On Thursday…

  • We sang Do Re Mi, Aiken Drum, and learned the hows and whys of using music with babies at Wee Be Jammin.
  • We learned how to take our children’s book discussions outside the box at Not Your Mama’s Book Discussion program
  • We learned about stop-go animation, minestorms, and scratch from a panel of totally techy youth and teen librarians….

AND SO MUCH MORE!! Click here to access all the conference handouts.  And if you’re on Twitter, join the conversation online and see what people are saying about #ILAConf2012.  What did you do to LEARN, CREATE, and PARTICIPATE at this year’s ILA Conference?

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Kids Art Show

As children’s librarians it seems that we are always looking for activities that are new and innovative, however, there are some programs that just seem to work and they become anticipated annual community events.  At the Edwardsville Public Library, one of these such programs is our annual Kids Art Show.  This is an event for which we invite area youth, ages 2-18 to submit their original artwork for display within the library’s youth department.  Any artistic medium is accepted, and we have seen painted furniture, photography, clay sculptures, scribble drawings, paintings, etc.  We ask that paper art be mounted on black paper and framed art have the necessary mounting hardware attached.  The submitted artwork is labeled on the back with the child’s name and phone number and is then displayed throughout the youth library – on walls, tables, and the tops of lower shelving units.  Officially the program runs for a couple of hours and is modeled after a formal art gallery reception.  Family and friends of the artists are all invited, as well as the general public.  Fancy snacks are served and classical music is played in the background.  Attendees have the opportunity to speak with the young artists and discuss their work.  The artwork is then kept on display for about a month after the event.

The program is low cost, low maintenance, and attracts a high amount of first-time library visitors.  While these aspects are all beneficial to the library,  the most rewarding part is seeing the young artists beam with pride when art show attendees compliment their work.

Anne Wolfe

Youth Services Librarian

Edwardsville Public Library

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eBooks apps for Children: The Monster at the End of this Book

Not all books are created equal and not all ebook apps are created equal.  There are many duds out there, but there are a few gems.  The Monster at the End of this Book app from the iTunes store is one of the gems.  In this interactive version of the classic tale, children get to actually break through Grover’s barriers and turn the pages to see the monster at the end of this book.

In case you are not familiar with the story, Grover tries to stop you from turning the pages because he has heard that there is a monster at the end of the book.  Of course, the pages keep turning no matter what obstacles he puts up to stop the reader from turning the page.  Finally, we find out at the end of the book who the monster is (and no, I’m not going to spoil it if you haven’t read it).  

In the app, Grover reads to the children and they can interact with him on each page.  For instance, when they come to the brick page, they tap the bricks to get them to break and fall down.

The animations are great and add to rather than distract from the original story.  My niece, who is 4.5 years old, is addicted to this app and asks to read “That silly monster book” each time I come over.    As an added bonus, there is a parents section that suggests tips for helping children develop reading and pre-reading skills.

For more information, check out at the app store:…starring/id409467802?mt=8

Kate Hall

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Animal Fantasy at its Finest stopped to think what it might be like to experience STARS for the first time?  Or GRASS?  Or SOAP?  Or CHOCOLATE?  Well, Young Fredle is about a young mouse who experiences all of it.  After a close call with a peppermint patty and a bad stomach ache, this mouse is pushed out to live on his own away from the burrow he always knew and loved.  The Missus of the house, saving his life, decides to take him outside the house to live near the lattice wall.  What Fredle doesn’t know is that danger lurks around every corner—falcons, raccoons, rivers, snakes, and worst of all, barn cats.

I love everything about this book, but what struck me was Cynthia Voigt’s amazing talent for describing things Young Fredle is seeing for the first time.  Without knowing the name for things and not ever having seen them before—things like the the sun or ice cream, for example—the reader is challenged to think of things from a mouse’s point of view.  How could a mouse comprehend the phases of the moon?  Or how would he know the difference between right and left? Voigt’s language and details paint the perfect picture in your head.  It’s a beautiful story to read, and, if I may say, an even better story to listen on audiobook.  It did win an honor Odyssey award, after all.

Young Fredle isn’t all about the language.  The characters are pretty fantastic, too.  All the different animals depicted in this story are true to form–the rambunctious dog Sadie, the raucous and mischievous raccoon gang, and the crafty cat, Patches.  Fredle meets many friends and foes along the way, nearly evading disaster at nearly every turn.  My favorite character is, of course, Fredle.  You wouldn’t think that a mouse could have such depth. And by the end of the story, Fredle is not the same.  He can even tell himself.  His adventures and experiences have shaped him into a new mouse—a mouse who is not afraid of a little adventure, a mouse who learns to speak his mine, a mouse who no longer abide by the rules once set for him by his parents.  I think at its heart, this story is a coming-of-age story.  Fredle was once naïve and a follower, but at the end of the story, he makes his own rules.  He creates his own family.  He finds his own meaning of the word home.

Young Fredle is a wonderful story, and would work great as a read aloud for Grades 2 and 3, too.  And do NOT miss the audiobook.  The Who-Hahs are my favorite part.

Renee Grassi, Head of Children’s Services

Glencoe Public Library in  Glencoe, Illinois

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