Category Archives: Children’s services

Can this school library be saved?

Animated-Flag-ArizonaIt’s not fun to think about libraries being closed down; but I think we need to stand up and scream about this every time we hear about these kinds of threats! Advocacy starts with knowing what is happening – and that includes knowing the bad things happening in our profession. Then we need to take the next step and DO SOMETHING! If you want to come fill out postcards to mail to your stakeholders, stop by our office! If you want to call your legislators and tell them about the value of libraries, do it! In this specific library, they are collecting money and will take checks at the address below.

You have a lot of options in connecting the information on the value of libraries with funders and other stakeholders; but we need you to GET OUT THERE AND DO IT!!! You might try just sitting quietly in your library and hoping that everyone else will do the work to save your library and your job – but really, that’s not going to work. Read our Advocacy material, or email us to ask what else you can do!

(From the Arizona Republic, by )

“When I was a kid, I was always at the library.

There, I would find incredible vehicles of transportation to other worlds … “A Wrinkle in Time” … “The Phantom Tollbooth” … Hans Brinker and his quest for those silver skates.

I’ve been thinking about my old friends, Ramona and Henry and Beezus, ever since I heard that students at William T. Machan Elementary School may find themselves locked out of the library this fall.

Cuts have hit this poor school hard

Federal cuts to Title I schools have forced Machan to lay off its library aide.

Volunteers who work as reading tutors at the central Phoenix school say they were notified just before the end of the school year that the library would be closed next year.

“As a group, we felt very sad for the students,” one of the volunteers, Mark Landy, told me. “The library is the only source of reading materials for the majority of the student body.”

Once upon a time, before the recession and state budget cuts, Machan had a certified librarian. But that’s a luxury long gone. Now the K-8 school can’t even afford an aide.

Maybe you’re thinking it’s no big deal. The public library, after all, is only a few miles away. But it may as well be on Mars.

Machan is a poor area. The median income is $26,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many of the parents are immigrants who never made it past sixth grade and virtually all of the students qualify for a free- or reduced-price lunch. They don’t have books or internet access at home, and they certainly don’t have a way to get to the city library.

Library wasn’t just a place for books

What do have … did have … was a school library that served not only as a resource but a refuge. Suzanne Luna, who ran the library, brought in guest speakers like Marshall Trimble, the state historian, and Alberto Rios, the state poet laureate.

She organized book clubs and chess clubs and Wednesday tutoring sessions for fourth and fifth graders. She collected bicycles from Every Kid Counts, a Scottsdale non-profit, and gave them away to the children who read the most books.

Machan Principal Julie Frost is determined that the library won’t close. She just doesn’t yet know how she’ll be able to keep it open.

Maybe teachers can check out books for their students, she says, or maybe volunteers can keep it going or maybe somebody in the community has an idea.

“I’m not going to let it happen,” Frost said. “Our library is too important to our students.”

How you can help save this school

The school’s volunteers don’t want it to happen either. They’re hoping to raise the $15,000 it would take to keep the library open next year.

If you’d like to help, send a check — made out to Machan Elementary School Library – to

Save Machan’s Library, 24 W. Camelback Rd. # A533, Phoenix, AZ 85013.

Landy says all checks will be refunded if the group doesn’t reach its goal.

Surely, there is a way to keep this library open.

I can’t imagine growing up without “The Secret Garden” and “Charlotte’s Web” and “Little Women.” A world without “Stuart Little” and “Black Beauty?” Unimaginable.

Except, of course, to a child who doesn’t have access to a book.”

(Read this entire article here!)

Hundreds of Communities to Celebrate National Summer Learning Day on July 13

Summer Learning Day Logo


“BALTIMORE, MD –  What happens when learning takes a vacation during summer break? Research shows that summers without quality learning opportunities hold our nation’s youth back – year after year – in core subjects like math and reading, and in life experiences like college and career exposure. In fact, the math and reading skills low-income students lose each summer are cumulative and contribute significantly to the achievement gap between lower – and higher – income students. See Summer by the Numbers Infographic here.

That’s why July 13 has been designated as National Summer Learning Day – an advocacy day aimed at elevating the importance of keeping all kids learning, safe and healthy during the summer. Led by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), National Summer Learning Day unites the country in advocacy efforts and celebrations hosted by hundreds of partner organizations from libraries to parks and recreation centers and civic and non-profit groups that intend to double last year’s goal and reach two million youth served. NSLA’s Smarter Summers, Brighter Futures website supports promotion of National Summer Learning Day with an events calendar, summer meals locator, and user-friendly resources for families, summer programs providers, and municipal leaders – all to help keep kids healthy and engaged during the summer break.

Continue reading Hundreds of Communities to Celebrate National Summer Learning Day on July 13

Engineering books for young readers!

Getting students involved and interested in STEM activities from a young age is so important! If you are a library person working with young people, this article from UCL Engineering lists some titles you may find useful to encourage an interest in STEM topics:

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
“For the early grades’ exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity.



Detective Dot by Sophie Deen
“Nine-year-old tech whizz Detective Dot has a dangerous new mission from the Children’s Intelligence Agency – investigate teenage trillionaire Shelly Belly. Dot’s going to have to use all her coding skills, cunning and gadgets to crack the case.”



Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
“Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer.”



The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
“Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?”

Try Camp Read A Lot!

Image result for camp read a lot

Do you want to read books and chat about them?? Sounds great! Check out the Camp Read-A-Lot programs! (Remember: you can receive up to $300 in scholarship money from CMLE for your continuing education!)

You can have reading fun this summer at three different Minnesota locations:

  • Welcome to the 2017 SELCO Camp Read-a-Lot

    We are happy to bring you the 9th Annual Camp Read-a-Lot!  A professional development opportunity for those who work with children’s literature, focusing on specifically on grades 2-5.  Our campers have the chance to read from a set list of books prior to camp and then spend the day discussing the books with their peers.  They’ll also have a chance to hear from Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen, Assistant Professor in St. Catherine University’s Master of Library Information Science Program, and Minnesota children’s book author Lauren Stringer.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017  |  Check-in begins at 8:30a, Camp runs from 9:00a-4:30p  |  $30 Fee

    Welcome to the 2017 TdS Camp Read-a-Lot

    We are happy to bring you the 1st Annual Camp Read-a-Lot!

    Join us for a professional development day designed for librarians and teachers who work with children’s literature, focusing on grades 2-8. Campers read and discuss new children’s literature and fresh techniques to bring reading alive to students and patrons.

  • Wednesday July 26, 2017

    SAMMI and Plum Creek

    Mark your calendars for Camp Read-a-Lot 2017, July 26 & 27.  The Plum Creek Library and Pioneerland Library Systems along with SAMMIE are once again sponsoring CAMP READ-A-LOT, a conference full of fun and education for teachers, media specialists, homeschool educators and public library staff.  Camp Read focuses on literacy and literature for today’s young people and is designed to help educators and librarians enhance student reading experiences.   July 26 – 27, 2017

Troy library receives donation of more than 1,000 books, other materials


(From, By Meghan Foley Sentinel Staff)

“As the Gay-Kimball Library director was defending her budget and proposed repairs to the building at town meeting in March, something was floating in the back of her mind.

Hours earlier, Stephanie R. Charlefour had learned the small library she oversees was one of three recipients of a national grant that would flood its shelves with new books and other materials geared toward helping children learn and become strong readers.

Charlefour had applied for the grant from the Bookapalooza program, which is run by the Association of Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association. Each year since its inception in 2007, the program awards a variety of materials, including books and DVDs, to three public or school libraries in the United States.

The Association for Library Services to Children receives the materials from publishers to evaluate for awards, according to a news release from the organization. But once the books have been reviewed, the association has nowhere to store them. Hence the creation of Bookapalooza.

Charlefour was excited, but couldn’t share her news at town meeting because it wasn’t yet public, she said.

“I remember thinking, ‘This is such a huge honor,’ ” she said. “But I couldn’t announce it publicly until I had gotten the go-ahead.”

Continue reading Troy library receives donation of more than 1,000 books, other materials