Hello, Again!

It’s been some time since I’ve updated this blog, and with the recent publication of my ALSC Blog Post on the difference between Multicultural Children’s Literature and Diverse Literature, it’s had a resurgence and received new followers.

So, to all my new followers, thank you! I encourage you to interact with me! Take a look at my portfolio, ask questions, make comments! As some of you already know, I can be reached on Twitter, via @aly_fp.

For those of you who haven’t gotten a chance to check out the post, it can be found here!

Looking forward to all the new posts to come!!



Multicultural Materials Guidelines Task Force

Below is a copy of an email I sent out last evening.  If you are interested in joining this important initiative, please do not hesitate to contact me: alyson.fp@gmail.com 



Dear Colleagues:

Many of you have already read ALSC’s White Paper entitled “The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Materials for Children” (available here).  If not, I highly urge you to read it, as well as participate in the “We Need Diverse Books” social media campaign.  

In lieu of all the recent hubbub around these important measures, I wanted to re-advertise and advocate for participation in an important effort currently being undertaken by members of the EMIERT (Ethnic & Multicultural Exchange Round Table).  I am currently the Chair for the Task Force on Establishing Guidelines for Selecting Multicultural Materials for School & Public Libraries, and we would love to have additional voices and advocates on our task force.  This is  a virtual committee, though we will be trying to get together at Conferences, such as ALA Annual, ALSC Institute, and the YALSA Lit Symposium. 

If you would like more information on the Task Force, or are interested in joining, please do not hesitate to contact me by replying to this email. Please feel free to proliferate and share this email amongst groups and listservs.

All the best,


Common Core Galore

Today is Common Core day!

Why?  Well first of if you head over to the ALSC Blog you can read my post on how you can use Graphic Novels to increase exploration of your Non-Fiction collection.  And for those of you that are feeling the heat with regards to STEAM and Common Core practices, this could be a great thing.

Also, because I finally got around to posting my booklists from this past summer.  I’m hoping to getting around to posting the curriculums I designed- I just need to make sure they aren’t proprietary in anyway.

This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern at the New York Public Library in their Public Programs and Lifelong Learning office.  I wore many hats there, and one in particular I wore was curriculum and booklist developer for a new program the office was piloting entitled Outside School Time Programming.  Without getting too much into the logistics of everything, as a team we developed themes that could relate back to the 10 standards of the Common Core, and wrote fun programming around them.  I then took these topics and ran with their general themes and created booklists.  While the program has expanded to include more age groups, the booklists I have shared are intended for grades 1-5.

These are not your typical booklists either.  There are no descriptions, and each category is broken down into even more specific categories. Additionally, there are no specified age groups and the lists are longer than one page.

A quick point about the age range thing.  I try to avoid putting ages on things at all costs, but I understand that people need a benchmark.  That’s why, if I ever put an age/grade level to anything, it’s always one number and a plus sign.  Meaning that this work is intended for anyone at least in this grade.  I don’t ever want a kid to feel embarrassed or unsure of what they are reading because they may be “too old” for it.

Okay, back to the booklists.  So, I feel like I created more, but right now all I can find are the four on the page-if I find more, I’ll let you know but the four up right now are: Visual Arts , PoetrySpies/Mysteries, and finally, Perilous Journeys.

Perilous Journeys was one of my all-time favorite things to work on, because I had the freedom to get creative.  There are books on many types of journeys: Animal Migration, Civil Rights, Immigration, Space Exploration, Myths, the Hero’s Journey, and even Explorers.  In creating this list, I wanted kids (and the educators) to see how such a broad theme could connect to some many different stories.

Feel free to explore the booklists by either clicking the embedded links above, or the “Booklists Galore!” button on the menu on the right.  I hope that these books can provide you with your own inspiration for booklists, programming, story hours, whatever it may be!

To view the NYPL’s 2013 Summer Reading Books that inspired my lists, click here.

Read Around the World

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of hearing Joe Fox from the Indianapolis Public Library system speak (very briefly) about his job.  At some point  the topic of summer reading came up, and Joe surprised me by saying that they were NOT participating in the STEAM oriented, summer reading program this year.

With the greater push for incorporating Science into libraries and literacies practices, it seems strange that a library would shy away from this, especially a library system that according to the 2010 census reaches 903,393 people.  Joe explained though, that for the past few years they’ve taken the science route and that this year they wanted to change this up to reflect their new mission statement, which is to highlight the diversity in their community.  So, this year the summer reading program theme is “Read Around the World”.

While they are still in the early planning stages, Joe talked about how programs will focus on teaching kids about the different cultures and communities from around the world that populate Marion County.

I think that this is just the bees knees.  Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about educating people,especially kids about the world and people around them.  This past semester I created a book list for the Monroe County Public Library to highlight the diversity of our community.  It’s titled “One Town, Many Cultures” .

One thing I do want to say about the list I created is that it is wrongly labeled as multicultural.  This list is not  multicultural, it is diverse.  While the books do not have stereotypical depictions or messages, not all the authors or illustrators identify as or have experiences as members of the culture they are writing about.   Some of the books are, but not all.

I’m hoping to reach out to Joe today and see if I can come and see a few programs and even share my booklist.  So when I do get out there, I’ll let you all know!


Follow Joe’s branch on Twitter at @waynebranch


It’s About Time

TMNT-Storytime Ninja's


Last night, I decided to get my rear in gear and get this blog going.  For some time I’ve had two other blogs that I kept: one for book reviews, one for everything else.  Eventually, i stopped updating them, because it became waaaay too tedious.

But, after listening to Amy Koester, Cory Dickason Eckert, and Kendra Jones (aka the Storytime Ninjas) about building my own Personal Learning Network, I decided to create a blog combining everything.  Why? Because if I’m going to “steal other librarians lives” – or at least be inspired by their ideas- than I better put my own stuff out there to get people thinking.

So without further adieu, let’s get blogging!