April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

A New Guide on Programming for Children with Autism, Ways to Share Poetry, & Other Excellent Resources | Professional Reading

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Adams, Sullen S. Crash Course in Gaming. 125p. appendix. bibliog. further reading. index. Teacher Ideas Press/Libraries Unlimited. 2013. pap. $45. ISBN 9781 610690461; ebk. ISBN 9781610690478. LC 2013031465.

Librarians who are considering adding a circulating video-game collection will find guidance in this volume. It provides readers with information on evaluating video games, building a strong circulating collection, creating programming for all ages around that collection, and engaging children and teens with related literature. The book focuses on building a collection for users ages 18 and under but also notes the benefits of gaming for adults and seniors, and provides tips on how libraries can offer programs to engage users of all ages. Readers will learn about the pros and cons of gaming and how games utilize complex problem-solving, decision-making, and digital-literacy skills. The detailed chapter breakdowns allow readers to target the aspects of collection development that appeal most to them, such as “Gaming Programs,” “Circulation of Games,” or “Cataloging Tips.” Multiple appendixes provide a detailed outlook on the landscape of game-related books and films and notable games as of the book’s printing. Libraries looking for guidance on building, maintaining, and growing a successful circulating collection for gamers will find this book invaluable, as will libraries with a need to overhaul their collections.–Amy M. Laughlin, Darien Library, CT

Bartlett, Wendy K. Floating Collections: A Collection Development Model for Long-Term Success. 128p. appendix. bibliog. chart. ebook available. index. Teacher Ideas Press/Libraries Unlimited. 2014. pap. $55. ISBN 9781598847437; ebk. ISBN 9781598847444. LC 2013033820.

Though many librarians may have heard the term “floating collection,” they may not fully understand exactly how it works. A floating collection is a system-wide collection that is not owned by any specific branch. When items are returned to a branch, they simply stay there until they circulate again. The pros and cons of floating various collections are discussed. The author offers information on challenges library systems may face as they begin to prepare their collections, staff, and communities. Although clearly an advocate for promoting this practice, Barrett does discuss the importance of a hard pre-floating weeding of collections and a second weed a year into the practice. She argues that floating is a service to communities, is fiscally responsible for budget-strapped systems, and, in the end, a benefit to library staff. Chapters include tips on how to approach the practice with staff, how to ready facilities and collections, and, most importantly, how to manage new collections. Also offered are practical evaluations, FAQs, and a list of larger systems in the United States that offer floating collections.–Allison Santos, Princeton Public Library, NJ

redstarKlipper, Barbara. Programming for Children and Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 168p. appendix. diag. further reading. index. notes. photos. websites. ALA Editions. 2014. pap. $45. ISBN 9780838912065. LC 2013044207.

For librarians who offer or are thinking about offering programming to children and/or teens with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), this how-to guide is a must-have. Klipper, who has worked with people with autism since 1986, begins with an excellent overview of autism. She then discusses best practices and the decisions that need to be made before libraries start a program. For librarians who are already providing programs or services for those with ASD, this book offers many sample programs from around the country. There are storytime models; programming for school-age children, teens, and families; and program plans for school libraries. Helpful side boxes include tips on ways to supplement or adapt existing programs and library spaces. For example, the author includes information on selecting read-aloud books, using a registration questionnaire to query caregivers about their child’s special needs, and setting up a quiet corner. The appendixes include valuable resources such as vendors, websites, and publishers; suggested books and their related sensory activities; rhymes and their related sensory activities; and keys to a successful library visit. All of this will give both new and veteran librarians a good foundation for thinking about programs for children and teens with ASD. This resource should be in every public and school library.–Renee McGrath, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY

Vardell, Sylvia M. Poetry Aloud Here 2: Sharing Poetry with Children. 296p. ALA Editions. 2014. pap. $45. ISBN 9780838911778.

This resource has been updated from its 2006 edition. Designed for librarians and teachers who want to share poetry with their elementary school-aged children, it covers a wide range of topics. The author has had a great deal of experience with the form; she maintains a blog, Poetry for Children and she writes the ‘Everyday Poetry” column for ALA’s Book Links. In this excellent guide, she gives advice on why it’s important to expose young people to poetry and includes an extensive list of poets who write specifically for children. She includes poets from different cultures and countries. Other chapters explain the types of books that are available and lists the ones not to be missed in each category. The chapter on how to promote poetry is a gem and provides links to curriculum. The “Practitioner Perspectives” side boxes give solid advice. Helpful back matter, including an index and a bibliography of poetry books and professional resource tools, makes this title one not to be missed.–Renee McGrath, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.