_Thank you -- goal achieved!
[updated February 7, 2012: People stepped up to calls from across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the blogosphere for more signatures. The 25,000 signature threshold was surpassed a couple of days before the February 4 deadline; in the end, 27,093 signatures were collected!]

As the school library media specialist, I naturally have an interest in the future of school libraries. I also believe that our school district and the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation feel the same way, and do their best to fund the seven school libraries in the district to the best of their abilities.

If you believe in the power of school libraries and their place in the education of our young people, please sign the White House petition to provide dedicated funding to help support effective school library programs when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is reauthorized.

Here's the full-text of the petition:

We petition the Obama Administration to: Ensure that every child in America has access to an effective school library program. Every child in America deserves access to an effective school library program. We ask that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provide dedicated funding to help support effective school library programs. Such action will ensure more students have access to the resources and tools that constitute a 21st century learning environment. Reductions in school library programs are creating an ‘access gap’ between schools in wealthier communities versus those where there are high levels of poverty. All students should have an equal opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to learn, to participate, and to compete in today’s world.

As of January 30, the petition still needs close to 3,000 signatures (before February 4) to be forwarded to President Obama. Please sign the petition and ask your friends, family, colleagues, and  fellow library-lovers to do the same. Thank you for your support!

_Did you know you can search for library books from home? The MBUSD district-wide library catalog is available online at destiny.mbusd.org. Click on the Robinson link at the bottom of the Elementary School section to access our catalog. (You can also access it by clicking on the Destiny Library Manager image on our homepage.)

But, wait -- there's more! You can now search for books on-the-go with the free Destiny Quest app. What's the point of looking for library books away from school or home? I see myself using the app when I'm not on a computer (which is often, at home); when I'm at the public library or the bookstore and I need to find out which books are already in our collection; and when I'm working with colleagues off-site and we're talking about/researching books.

The interface of Destiny Quest is user-friendly and I anticipate it being a helpful tool for primary grade students who are still learning how to type and search online. Second graders will be learning how to use the app in March when it is installed on the school iPads.

The free app, available through the Apple iTunes App Store or Android Marketplace, runs on iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads with iOS 4.2 or later, and on Android 2.1-2.3.7 phones. To download the app to your own device, go to the iTunes App Store or Android Marketplace and search for Destiny Quest, click on the app name, then click on Free and Install to install it.
_Once the app is installed, you need to set it up by clicking on the "Try Destiny Quest" button and entering our district url: http://destiny.mbusd.org.

Then, select Robinson Elementary from the list of MBUSD schools. You can now access the library as a guest.

__Here’s some of what you can do with the new app:
  • Search for books in our collection
  • See the top ten recent checkouts
  • See recent additions to our collection
  • Access resource lists of books on different topics
[Click on the images below to enlarge them.]

_For more information on the app and to view a video on how to use it, you can visit the Follett Destiny Quest App website. You are also, of course, more than welcome to come see me in the library for a short demonstration.

[Thank you to Mira Costa Teacher Librarian, Mrs. Lofton, for allowing me to modify her original blog post about the app.]
_The American Library Association hosts the annual awards ceremony during its Midwinter Meeting in January (held in Dallas this year).

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (FIC GAN)

John Newbery Honor Books:
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin (FIC YEL)

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:
A Ball for Daisy illustrated and written by Chris Raschka (E RAS)

Randolph Caldecott Honor Books:
Blackout illustrated and written by John Rocco
Grandpa Green illustrated and written by Lane Smith (E SMI)
Me … Jane illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell (E MCD)

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:
Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans (973 NEL)

Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books:
Eloise Greenfield, author of The Great Migration: Journey to the North (811 GRE)
Patricia C. McKissack, author of Never Forgotten (E MCK)

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:
Shane W. Evans, illustrator and author of Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book:
Kadir Nelson, illustrator and author of Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans (973 NEL)

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:
Ashley Bryan is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime achievement.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:
Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider (RL 3 SCH)

Theodor Geisel Honor Books:
I Broke My Trunk by Mo Willems (RL 1 WIL)
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (E KLA)
See Me Run by Paul Meisel (E MEI)

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:
The Jury chose not to award a book in the category for children ages 0 – 8 because no submissions were deemed worthy of the award.

Two books were selected for the middle school award (ages 9 – 13):
close to famous by Joan Bauer (PB BAU)
Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick (FIC SEL)

The teen (ages 14-18) award winner:
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children's book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States:
Soldier Bear (originally published in Dutch in 2008 as “Soldaat Wojtek) by Bibi Dumon Tak

Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book:
The Lily Pond by Annika Thor

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh, written by Duncan Tonatiuh

Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Books:
The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred illustrated by Rafael López, written by Samantha R. Vamos (E VAM)
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina illustrated by Sara Palacios, written by Monica Brown (E BRO)

Pura Belpré (Author) Award:
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Pura Belpré Author Honor Books:
Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck by Margarita Engle
Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller by Xavier Garza

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:
Balloons over Broadway:  The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet

Robert F. Sibert Honor Books:
Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor by Larry Dane Brimner
Drawing from Memory by Allen Say
The Elephant Scientist by Caitlin O’Connell and Donna M. Jackson
Witches!: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzerand

Stonewall Book Award -Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright

Stonewall Honor Books:
a + e 4ever by Ilike Merey
Money Boy by Paul Yee
Pink by Lili Wilkinson
with or without you by Brian Farrey

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States:
Rotters produced Listening Library (book by Daniel Kraus)

Odyssey Honor audiobooks:
Ghetto Cowboy produced by Brilliance Audio (book by G. Neri)
Okay for Now produced by Listening Library (by Gary D. Schmidt)
The Scorpio Races produced by Scholastic Audiobooks (by Maggie Stiefvater)
Young Fredle produced by Listening Library (by Cynthia Voigt)

Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video:
Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of Children Make Terrible Pets, based on the book by Peter Brown (E BRO)

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
The Returning by Christine Hinwood
Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:
Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin
In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens by Brooke Hauser
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Robopocalypse: A Novel by Daniel H. Wilson
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures by Caroline Preston
The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

William C. Morris Award finalists:
Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults, ages 12 – 18, each year:  
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults finalists:
Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos
Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition by Karen Blumenthal
Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy
Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein by Susan Goldman Rubin

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:
Susan Cooper is the 2012 Edwards Award winner. Her books include: The Dark Is Rising Sequence: Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark Is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; and Silver on the Tree.

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children's literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site:
Michael Morpurgo

_Well, I was hoping to have high circulation figures for December, but I think most of us were a bit distracted with the book fair, parent-teacher conferences, and the upcoming holiday season. Riptides checked out 839 books and placed 54 holds during the month, compared to 767 books checked out during the same period in 2010. I hope 2012 is a record-breaking reading year for us ... let's go Riptide Readers!