Youth Services Roundup


New year, new books, new reading programs at your library! You can keep patrons engaged year-round using programs in READsquared. This is a great time to start new reading challenges for the year as well. If you need banner and badge graphics, or entire program sets, there are many you can import from your control room. Detailed instructions available in your knowledge base.


From the ALSC blog: “The ALSC Intellectual Freedom committee is keenly aware that it’s part of our mission to ‘promote in-service and continuing education programs in the area of intellectual freedom for those who select library materials for children.’ We are working at developing information that can be helpful to the ALSC community. In the meantime, here are resources that can be immediately helpful..”


From No Time for Flash Cards: “We have been working on scissor skills in my classroom and have progressed to cutting lines on curves. So as we were learning more about cookies and Christmas this week (remember I teach at a church preschool so we go all out for Christmas) I decided to combine all three things and make some cookies with my students, this time with glue and sequins instead of flour and butter…”


School Library Journal takes a look at middle grade and young adult titles coming in soon in 2022 – check them out!

Meet Libby!

Is there a new phone or tablet in your life this holiday season? Explore the Libby app and start borrowing e-books and e-audio from our collection today!

You can also access our OverDrive collection anytime from your browser here.

RA for your Friday

It’s here! The Artist Formerly Known as the NPR Book Concierge is back on the scene with a new name – Books We Love. And what’s not to love! Mix and match the filters to explore recommendations from NPR staff and trusted critics. (Bonus – it includes recommendations going all the way back to 2013!)

Looking for even more end of year lists? We’ve got lists from the New York Public Library, the Chicago Public Library, Time, AudioFile, and the post of all posts, the annual compilation post from Largehearted Boy. Looking to make a best of list of your own? Here’s the RA for All blog on why that’s an awesome idea:

“Library generated best lists reflect the opinions of actual staff and readers. What did staff most enjoy and what was popular? It is not just critical acclaim or sales data. Remember bestselling mainstays like Daniel Silva, Louise Penny, and Colson Whitehead were extremely popular in libraries well before they became household names. Library workers and patrons often know what is popular and good long before the rest of the world catches up…”

Publishing usually screeches to a halt this month, but there’s still a lot to check out. We’ve got lists from Amazon, PopSugar, and The Millions. For all you genre fans out there, we’ve got romance from SBTB, sci-fi from Tor and Den of Geek, and crime reads from, of course, CrimeReads.

Nonfiction November may be over, but I’m happy to announce that we’ve added a nonfiction resource page to our Collection Development Guide. Also, Lit Hub has New and Noteworthy Nonfiction You Should Read This December. Check it out!

Looking for a new true crime podcast this winter? I suspected as much.

Finally, #FridayReads: I’ve been crashing earlier in the evenings lately, not sure why (DARK DARK IT’S SO DARK), so I’ve been reading in the morning. And I’ve gotta tell you, it takes a compelling reason for me not to hit the snooze for half an hour before my real alarm goes off. (What? You don’t have a prep alarm and a real alarm?) The Matzah Ball, by Jean Meltzer, is just such a compelling reason. In my earbuds is The Secret History of Home Economics, and I’ll be diving right into Holiday Bakeoff later. Happy reading!

Youth Services Roundup


From the Youth Services Shout-Out blog: “With ever more sophisticated non-localized group efforts to remove and ban books, it’s always good to be prepared when requests to remove books come your way. Some recent blog posts and an additional few thoughts can help guide you and prepare you…”


From the ALSC blog: “Our department’s end goal was to reach more kids through partnerships with teachers. We visit 60 classes a month and reach 1100 students. Most of the visits are to preschool through 3rd grade classes. Upper elementary students are difficult to schedule time with. In order to get into the classrooms we needed to connect with the teachers. That is where the idea of a Teacher’s Brunch was born…”


From Teen Services Underground: “This is a program I did for ZERO DOLLARS using supplies we already had. It took very little prep, and went over really well…”


There’s a new storytime blog for your radar – Storytime Solidarity. Check it out!

RA for your Friday

First things first. I mentioned this in a recent youth services roundup, but it bears repeating here: There’s been a lot in the news lately about efforts to remove books from school libraries, so this is a good time to highlight one of librarianship’s core values: Intellectual Freedom. In a nutshell (and quoting directly from the ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Manual, Ninth Edition, please enjoy), intellectual freedom is “the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction.” It’s why we protect patron privacy and build diverse collections. It’s why we craft collection development policies that incorporate the ALA’s Freedom to Read statement.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Voting for the Goodreads Choice Awards has opened! The first round started Tuesday and will close November 28. Even if you aren’t on Goodreads yourself (although if you are, come find me!), this is a great tool for reader feedback.

The best of 2021 lists are rolling in quite freely now; today we’ve got picks from Amazon, BookPage, Esquire, Kirkus (fiction), and Oprah.

The December LibraryReads and Indie Next lists are out, and the National Book Awards have been announced!

For my podcast crew, here’s a new one for your radar: Adaptation Nation. Their tagline pretty much sums it up (as the best taglines do): “We read it. We watch it. We talk about it.”

No RA Friday would be complete without wise words from Becky Spratford, so I’d like to share this reminder from a recent post on the RA for All blog:

“We want to be the conduit for conversations around leisure reading in our communities. The number of books we actually match with readers is NOT important. Rather, what is most important is cultivating relationships around books and reading at the library.”

I’ve said it before and I will say if forever – in many of our communities, the library is the only game in town for readers. Let’s cultivate those relationships!

Finally, #FridayReads: This weekend I am going all in on Elly Griffiths, with The Stone Circle as my current read and The Zig Zag Girl on deck. (Thanks to Elaine MAS for the suggestion!) In my earbuds is Nick Offerman’s latest and I am prepped and primed for the Bakeoff semi-final. Happy reading/listening/viewing!

Youth Services Roundup


Programming is an increasingly important part of library service, and literacy-themed programs and events are a great place to make an impact. Join NCLS on December 21 from 2-3pm for an overview of these celebrations and programming ideas to promote them at your library. Sign up today!


The latest bundle from Talking is Teaching is all about caring for the earth! Check out posters, parent tip sheets, social media content, and more in this shared folder.


From No Time for Flash Cards: “Not A Box by Antoinette Portis is a wonderful book for children, and it celebrates imagination and absolutely encourages drawing… Earlier in the day, I had prepped paper with rectangles glued onto them. Each student chose the color they wanted. These were waiting for my students in our art area, along with markers…”


From DLD: The recent webinar on the Performers and Programs database has now been posted. You can find the video and the slides here.

Youth Services Roundup


The second edition of Out and About in the North Country is out, and I have a copy to give away! (Hat tip to the North Country Children’s Museum for hooking me up.) Just email me with the subject line “OUT AND ABOUT” by Thursday at 4pm for your chance to add this to your library’s local interest section!

(Also, congratulations to Lowville Free Library, the winner of the COLOR ME HAPPY giveaway. Look for that in your delivery soon…)


There’s been a lot in the news lately about efforts to remove books from school libraries, so I thought this would be a good time to highlight one of librarianship’s core values: Intellectual Freedom. In a nutshell (and quoting directly from the ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Manual, Ninth Edition, please enjoy), intellectual freedom is “the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction.” It’s why we protect patron privacy and build diverse collections. It’s why we craft collection development policies that incorporate the ALA’s Freedom to Read statement. Check out this short video (and longer ones!) from the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom to take a deeper dive.


From the ALSC blog: “We launched a big addition to our library collection last month: eleven podiums that make up our new Trail Tales! Trail Tales is based on StoryWalk®. This project was long in the planning. My colleague had tried to find funding to create a literacy/walking experience at the outset of the pandemic, but was unable to secure a source for us. However, we didn’t give up our dream of a StoryWalk® of some sort! We kept our eyes open for potential partners…”


From Jbrary: “A few months ago I shared the amazing work of libraries who created displays, scavenger hunts, and contests around the book The Day the Crayons Quit. Awhile later I heard from Sarah Viviani, a youth services librarian in central Florida, who took those ideas and ran with it! Here is how she created a virtual event for families that included a crayon-making activity and science experiments. Firstly, she created her own set of giant crayons. I would pay money for these!”

RA for your Monday

It’s Nonfiction November, and NCLS is celebrating on our Instagram account! Follow along with other accounts using the hashtag #nonfictionbookparty or check out What’s Nonfiction for a weekly tour. Lit Hub also takes a look at noteworthy nonfiction out this month.

In other November news, we’ve got picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GMA, Entertainment Weekly, The Millions, and NPR. For all you genre fans, we’ve got romance from SBTB, horror and fantasy from Tor, novels from CrimeReads, and sci fi from Gizmodo.

We are officially at the place where the best of the year lists start coming out, and there’s no better place to start than with the Publishers Weekly Best of 2021, broken out by genre and with over 10 years’ worth of previous lists to scope out.

In awards news, the Kirkus Prize winners have been announced, and the Carnegie shortlists are out!

Looking for pop culture tie-ins? Check out these reading recommendations for fans of Squid Game and Dune.

Finally, #MondayReads: I have been reading the way I’ve been prepping for the holidays, which is to say, with abandon. Right now, I’m tag-teaming Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead and Once There Were Wolves, because those are the two that absolutely have to go back next week. In the hierarchy of reads, non-renewable library books first. (And yes, I just googled ‘Hierarchy of Reads’ to prove that anything clever I can think of already exists on the internet. Confirmed.) Happy reading!

Youth Services Roundup


We may not be officially in the holiday season yet (or maybe we are? I heard Christmas music over the weekend…) but I’m kicking this week off with a present. I’ve got one set of Build-a-Word crayon boxes from Lakeshore Learning to give away – just email me by Wednesday (11/10) at noon with the subject line “COLOR ME HAPPY” for your chance to win!


The ALSC blog shares two low-cost, self-directed programs highlighting thankfulness and gratitude that can be done with minimal staff involvement. Check it out!


Adventures in Storytime highlights a new counting book for ABC/123 storytime and shares a song to use with bubbles. (Doing a counting storytime? NCLS has Talking is Teaching bookmarks that feature number-themed picture books. Give a shout if you’d like some to share with patrons!)


From Teen Librarian Toolbox: “I love fandom programming. I find fandoms to be a great source of programming inspiration and it is always so much fun to have a theme. It can make marketing easier as well! Here are three popular fandoms with upcoming releases that would make great springboards for upcoming tween or teen programs…”

Youth Services Roundup


Just a reminder, the next YS meetup(s) will take place on Wednesday, November 10. Sign up for the morning or afternoon session today!


Registration is now open for the first ever CSLP Summer Programming Symposium on December 2! All library staff that are interested in summer programming should consider attending this free, online event that will cover programming ideas, outreach/partnerships, and promotion/marketing. You can find more information, including the day’s schedule, on the CSLP website.


From Teen Services Underground: “I don’t have a huge YA section, but I have kept books that haven’t gone out because I loved them 20 years ago, or maybe because they fit a themed display (that obviously wasn’t very popular.) But by not weeding our collections, even if we technically have room for everything, we are doing the collection a disservice. Here are a few tips I have learned over the years that have helped me…”


From Adventures in Storytime: “The whole snake thing has been a running joke for a couple of months now, and it was a theme I had not done before, so I figured why not, plus I found a couple of cute songs/rhymes to go with it…”