[updated March 18: The district libraries are updating the library software program beginning today; the data migration should occur during the weekend and the new system set up early next week. Librarians will be attending training next Thursday and Friday, March 24 and 25. Due to this training the Robinson Library will not open until 10am on Thursday and will be closed all day on Friday.]
[updated March 3: Many thanks to the Board of Trustees for approving the purchase of the new Follett Destiny software!]
The school district is very close to having the purchase of a web-based library management system approved by the School Board. All six library media specialists and the high school teacher librarian have been meeting monthly with Ms. Gerger, the district's Teacher on Special Assignment, to discuss and decide the merits of upgrading the library OPAC (online public access catalog) system. By upgrading to Follett Destiny, our students, staff, and parents will be able to access all district library holdings online. The web-based interface will promote library-to-classroom-to-home learning. If the purchase is approved at the March 2 board meeting, the new system will be implemented in mid-March and functionality should be available by late-March.
One of my favorite events of the year as a librarian is the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association's annual Children's Books and Literacy Dinner. This was my third year attending and it was fabulous for a number of reasons: all of the district library media specialists and the high school teacher librarian attended, author Eve Bunting sat at our table, I picked up quite a few books and had them autographed, and I got to meet a twitter friend in person (Alyson Beecher, principal of San Rafael Elementary School).

I think the highlight for the MBUSD library staff was sitting with Eve Bunting. She is nothing but gracious and kind. I met her for the first time at the 2009 SCIBA dinner and she was generous enough to pose for pictures with Mrs. Snively (Grand View librarian), Mrs. Kalenik (MBMS librarian), and myself. This year was no different (see pictures below). Mrs. Jones (from the Pacific library) asked Mrs. Bunting how many books she's written; according to Mrs. Bunting, her husband keeps track of the number but she thinks she's written about 280 books, with seven more in the works this year!
During the dinner several authors spoke about their most recent book or how they became authors. The night was emceed by Young Adult (YA) and picture book author Cecil Castellucci, and the guest speakers were YA author and National Book Award winner Judy Blundell, middle grade authors Brandon Mull and Dr. Cuthbert Soup, and YA author (and high school teacher) Andrew Smith. Cecil even sang a song about how great children's literature is!
Publishers gave away books by the authors in attendance. After the dinner we're given an opportunity to get our books autographed. Experienced dinner attendees come prepared with their own bags because we receive so many free books. I even saw a lady pulling a folding cart on wheels! 

I picked up a copy of every book, ranging from picture books to middle grade fiction to young adult fiction. A few of the books I received will go into the Robinson collection. (Sorry, I paid to attend this year's dinner so I'm keeping most of the books.) Many of these books aren't for sale yet, giving attendees (and their students and children) a chance to read books before they hit shelves.

<-- Here's the stack of books I brought home. Pretty impressive, isn't it? My son was particularly excited about Brandon Mull's new book, A World Without Heroes (Beyonders Book 1), which I had Mr. Mull autograph for him. I also had two pictures books autographed for my daughter.

I can't wait for next year's event ... I'm also considering attending the SCIBA children's literature brunch in the fall (Sisters Grimm and NERDS author Michael Buckley will be there!).

[edited February 28, 2011: Congratulations to Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann for their Oscar win! The American edition of The Lost Thing (the book) is included in Lost and Found: Three by Shaun Tan, which goes on sale tomorrow.]

Two children's books adapted for the screen are nominated for this year's Best Short Film (Animated) Oscar: 
Australian author and illustrator, Shaun Tan, is nominated for The Lost Thing, which is based on his 2005 picture book by the same name. 

You can view the film here

The School Library Journal website has an interview with Mr. Tan posted about the book and film.

[photo from the lines and colors blog]

The Gruffalo, a British picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is also nominated. 

The 30-minute film was broadcast on BBC1 (in the UK) during Christmas 2009.

[photo from The Telegraph website]

Thank you to Betsy at the Fuse #8 Production blog for the information!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the book title guessing contest based on Ms. Yukari's shirt. I received 61 entries from students in grades 3, 4, and 5. 

Congratulations to fifth grader Mia W. in Ms. Dreiling's class for answering the most titles correctly! She figured out 22 of the 25 titles. There is a 23-way tie for second place, with 21 titles answered correctly. Most of the second place winners are fourth graders; way to go!

The answers:

1. Little Red Riding Hood by the Brothers Grimm
2. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
3. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
5. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
7. Watchmen by Alan Moore
8. Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault
9. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
10. Aladdin by Anonymous
11. The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen
12. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
13. The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas
14. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
15. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
16. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
17. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
18. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
19. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
20. Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
21. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
22. the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
23. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
24. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
25. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie or Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stephenson

You can purchase the shirt, called "Storytellers," from Threadless.
Next (school) year's California Young Reader Medal (CYRM) nominees were announced February 1. Every year, in the library, we read the nominees for the Primary and Picture Books for Older Readers categories; the Intermediate category books are for independent reading.
PRIMARY (Grades K-3)
On Meadowview Street written and illustrated by Henry Cole. Greenwillow Books, 2007.
Let's Do Nothing written and illustrated by Tony Fucile. Candlewick Press, 2009. (E FUC)
The Odd Egg written and illustrated by Emily Gravett. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009.
Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated written by Florence Heide. Illustrated by Sylvia Van Clief. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2009. (E HEI)
I Need My Monster written by Amanda Noll.  Illustrated by Howard McWilliam. Flashlight Press, 2009.
written by Mina Javaherbin. Illustrated by A.G. Ford. Candlewick Press, 2010. (E JAV)
Henry's Freedom Box written by Ellen Levine. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Scholastic Press, 2007. (E LEV)
Wabi Sabi written by Mark Reibstein. Illustrated by Ed Young. Little, Brown & Co., 2008. (E REI)
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning
by Danette Haworth.  Walker & Co., 2008.
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2008. (PB LOO)
The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O'Conner. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009.