April 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

News Bites: Register Now For International Games Day and Get Freebies for Your Library

International Games Day

Game on: Libraries in the United States and across the world are coming together to celebrate the American Library Association’s (ALA) 5th Annual International Games Day @ Your Library on Saturday, November 3. Beginning this year, National Gaming Day has been renamed International Games Day to reflect the interest of libraries outside of the U.S. It’s up to individual libraries how they celebrate this special day, but there are lots of freebies for your library if you fill out a registration form. (So far, nearly 900 libraries have registered.) There are three new sponsors for the event. PopCap is donating copies of their games Bookworm and Bookworm Adventures to the first 2,000 libraries that register. Ravensburger is donating 1,000 copies of its board games, Labyrinth, as well as coupons for $5 off on orders at the Ravensburger online shop. And all of the games on GameTable Online’s site will be available to play for free on that date to encourage everyone to join in the fun.

So hurry up and register for International Games Day @ Your Library. If you need ideas for gaming activities, check out The Librarian’s Guide to Gaming: An Online Toolkit for Building Gaming @ Your Library. And ALA has a press kit that you can use to publicize the event that includes posters, public service announcements, and more.

Environmental Video Challenge

Student video project: Explore the Blue Water Challenge, launched by Take Me Fishing and Discovery Education, is a hands-on project for students in middle school. Students in grades 6 to 8 are asked to select a waterway or water-related issue in their community, do research to identify a problem related to their chosen project, and develop and carry out an action plan to create positive change. Teams of two to four students, along with a teacher acting as mentor, must then create a two- to five-minute video that shows how they improved a community waterway or water resource. The video can be a documentary, a news story, an interview, a digital story, etc. Make sure to check out the Challenge overview, application, and rules. All entries must be received by March 14; winners will be announced by the end of April. One grand prize-winning team will receive a U.S. water-based adventure trip for up to four students and their mentor, a $1,000 scholarship check for each student, and $5,000 for the school to continue work on the project. Second and third place winning teams will receive scholarship checks and teacher awards.

The Water Challenge is part of ExploretheBlue.com, a free resource for K–8 teachers and parents to engage students in discussing the importance of outdoor recreational activities like boating and fishing and to encourage an appreciation of our lakes, rivers, streams and oceans. The site features lesson plans, activities, and much more.

Listen Up

The Collier Brothers:  More than 40 classic children’s titles by acclaimed authors James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier will be released in audiobook and ebook formats by AudioGO under the Audio Bookshelf imprint throughout the year. Among the historical fiction and nonfiction titles are Newbery Honor Book My Brother Sam Is Dead (1974), The Bloody Country (1976), The Winter Hero (all Four Winds Pr, 1978), With Every Drop of Blood (1994), Jump Ship to Freedom (both Delacorte, 1981), The Jazz Kid (Holt, 1994), and The Winchesters (Macmillan, 1988). In addition, the 23 volumes in the Colliers’s “Drama of American History” series will be released as ebooks. With these releases, a whole new generation of children will be able to enjoy these great books in new formats.

Save the Date

Book and author festival: If you’re in the area, make sure to visit the annual Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books and Authors on Saturday October 13, 2012 at The Lincoln School in Providence. Tickets are $5 at the door, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The event runs from 9 am to 5:30 pm. An awesome group of authors and illustrators—Tom Angleberger, Harry Bliss, Michael Buckley, Brian Floca, Marie-Louise Gay, Alan Katz, Lynn Munsinger, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Stephen Savage, Gary Schmidt, and Chris Van Allsburg—will each give a 30-minute presentation about their work, life, and philosophy. Then, you’ll be able to talk with them and have your books signed (you can bring up to three books to be signed or purchase the books at the Festival). Also, you can participate in bookmaking crafts, enjoy an exhibit of antique children’s books and books that inspired these authors and illustrators provided by the Providence Athenaeum, and listen to a concert by children’s performer Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players. For those attending the event, professional development credits are available. And of course, donations are accepted to help promote early childhood literacy in Rhode Island. Make sure to check out the schedule of events. If you need directions to the Festival, they’re available online.

Calling All District Library Supervisors

Survey: For the first time in more than 40 years, a national survey of school district library supervisors is being conducted by a University of Maryland research team. Dubbed the Lilead Project, the survey will launch on October 10 is the first of its kind to be conducted in more than 40 years. It will poll more than 300 library supervisors in the largest preschool through grade 12 school districts in the country as well as the largest school district in each state. The aim of the survey is to “create a concrete, national picture of the challenges school district library supervisors face, the tasks they’re being asked to perform, and their value—perceived and real—in their district.”

The project, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), is being led by Dr. Ann C. Weeks, Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Prior to her appointment at the University, she was Director of Library and Information Services for the Chicago Public Schools, Executive Director of the youth divisions at the American Library Association, and Coordinator for the National Library Power Program. In addition to the survey, there is also an online community, the Lilead Network, where district library supervisors, and later other school library professionals, can come together to share their best practices. All district library supervisors can join the community—even if they are not part of the survey.

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Phyllis Levy Mandell About Phyllis Levy Mandell

Phyllis Mandell was Managing Editor/Multimedia Review Editor for SLJ.