Derry Public Library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Class of 2016

The Derry Public Library recently held its first graduation ceremony for children who completed the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program by the end of August 2016. Considering the program launched in October, finishing in this short amount of time is quite the feat! Eight children finished within less than a year and the Children’s Department wanted to celebrate this special achievement with the children and their families. We plan to have a yearly celebration for all of the children who finish prior to the end of August, so that the graduation ceremony coincides with the start of the school year. That way, children who are beginning Kindergarten can receive their certificate prior to (or at least quite near) their first day!

With such a small group this year, we decided to have a short ceremony where each child was presented with an achievement certificate, a small literacy-related gift, a coupon for a free ice cream cone, and a sense of pride in their reading future. We designed a set of alphabet cards that we printed on cardstock and laminated. Each child was given a set of these, some Play-Doh, and a card with instructions on how to use the cards with Play-Doh to encourage playing with letters. Children can roll the Play-Doh into logs and then trace the letters to create words, giving a nice tactile experience with the alphabet! We also laminated each child’s die cut crayon that was used to mark their progress on our Milestone Wall. After removing their crayons, we made a “Class of 2016” sign with all of their names on to hang under the 1000 Milestone Marker. The families were very thankful for our efforts!


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Fall Conference registration is now open!

Click on the story-time owl for conference information!

Click on the story-time owl for conference information!

Please join us at the Beane Center in Laconia on Thursday, October 27th for our annual fall conference, sponsored by Children’s Librarians of New Hampshire (CHILIS-NH).

This year, we’ll focus on protecting our youngest patrons with expert advice from local law enforcement and the New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. We’ll wrap up the day with a variety of ideas from seasoned professionals for taking your story times up a notch.

As always, we’ll conduct a business meeting, elect new officers, have raffles and delicious food, and ample opportunity for networking and sharing our successes and challenges.

See you soon! ~your CHILIS-NH Board

In Memoriam


Nancy LangIn July 2016, Nancy Lang, who worked at the Dunbarton Public Library as the Children’s and Teen Librarian, passed away after a battle with cancer. Probably no one in the NH library community had a longer tenure on the CHILIS Board than Nancy. Nancy joined the Board more than 15 years ago, and served in various roles including Newsletter Chair, Treasurer, conference photographer and CHILIS webmaster. Nancy’s “institutional memory” was invaluable, and she helped the Board grow as a governing body. Nancy gave countless hours toward the work of CHILIS and shared her wisdom and sense of humor with all of us. She welcomed new members to the organization, donated many items to conference raffles, and offered her technical expertise to many of our projects. She will be greatly missed, both by those of us who served with her over the years as well as by many children’s librarians around the state.

Great Stone Face news…

Click on the image above to see the complete voting results!

Boston Bruins Sponsor NH Summer Reading

sponsorLabelCheck out the page NH Summer Reading & the Boston Bruins under the Summer Reading menu tab above for all the amazing details. Fun, prizes, and incentives for everyone. CHILIS thanks the Boston Bruins organization for its support of kids and reading in New Hampshire. When you read, you score!

GSF Tally Report Now Available Online

Great Stone Face logoYou can now report the results of your school’s or library’s votes for the winner of the Great Stone Face Award by completing an online form at . Please note: please use this form to report vote tallies. It should not be used to conduct online voting with kids.

By following the link provided, your vote tallies can easily be added to our totals, and the results can be quickly tabulated. Sarah Hydorn, who has been the official vote-counter for many years, is thrilled!! She strongly encourages you to use this option, although, of course, any vote tallies she receives, be they online, email, or snail mail, will be gratefully added to our totals. Please follow the link, take a look at the form, and enter your vote tallies as soon as you have them–we think you’ll agree that it’s easy to do!

As always, thank you so much for your participation—we couldn’t do it without you!
Deadline for vote tallies is April 30, 2016.

The winner of the Great State Face Award will be announced at the NHSLMA conference on May 12, 2016.

If you have questions, please contact Sarah at

Spring Conference 2016 Wrap-up

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Look at all of you beautiful people!

Thank You!

The CHILIS Board would like to thank everyone who helped make Spring Conference 2016 such a smashing success, including:

  • The raffle fairies for putting together such wonderful prizes
  • Gail Drucker of Laconia Public Library and her daughter Moriah for coordinating the raffles
  • The directors of Derry Public Library; Richards Free Library (Newport, NH); Wadleigh Memorial Library (Milford, NH); and Hopkinton Town Library for sharing their talented staff as presenters
  • Our KBA performers for showcasing their talents
  • Lisa Kleinmann of Durham Public Library for her outstanding service to children, which earned her the coveted Children’s Librarian of the Year Award – Congratulations, Lisa!
  • All of the volunteers who helped out in the absence of a Conference Co-chair for Kristin


Storytime Under (Co-)Construction:

How to Rebuild Storytime to Put Children at the Center


Nicole Giroux, Head of Children’s Services at Derry Public Library, presenting on Whole Book Approach storytimes

Slides from Nicole’s presentation are available on Google Slides here: Storytime Under (Co-)Construction. You can also download her book list, which includes storytime suggestions and resources on picturebooks, here: Whole Book Approach Storytime Book Suggestions.

Panel: 1000 Ways to Early Literacy


1,000 Ways to Early Literacy Panel: Leigh Maynard, Head of Children’s and Youth Services at Hopkinton Town Library; Letty Goerner, Head of Children’s Services at Wadleigh Memorial Library (Milford, NH); and Mo Churchill, Youth Librarian at Richards Free Library (Newport, NH)

Have you started 1000 Books Before Kindergarten yet? What are you waiting for? Check out our resources page to get started, here: NH 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.

Stay tuned for more pictures and news from Conference!

Conference Catch-up: ALA Midwinter

Didn’t get a chance to see what the ALA Midwinter Conference had to offer in Boston last month? No worries.  CHILIS members Nicole, Amber, and Liz took notes to share with those who were #ALAleftbehind (as non-attendees tweeted over the weekend).


Nicole and Liz in the ALA Lounge with a view of the expansive exhibitors hall.

ALA Midwinter is a great conference for swag, and this one was no different.  The biggest publishers were there with piles of upcoming books to give away.  Tween and teen literature were particularly laden with freebies, but preview copies of picture books could be found here and there.  Author signings popped up too.  The line for Mac Barnett and  Jory John (of The Terrible Two fame) was particularly long and winding! The Book Buzz Theatre and the Pop-Top Stage had author and publisher panels running most of the time the exhibit hall was open, so you could drop in to hear about the next great thing in books.


Check out this book haul – picked up in just the first hour!

Great youth services panels included:

  • Creating Out-of-This-World Children’s Science Programming with Free NASA Resources:  This was one of the conferences “Deep-Dive Sessions,” i.e. extended intimate workshops that were being piloted for the first time at ALA Midwinter. At the workshop, about 25 children’s librarians were led through hands-on demos of three programs to try with children using NASA’s online resource in an effort to ease into STEM programming. The activities included creating a scale model of the solar system to literally “Jump to Jupiter,” testing different materials to keep an astronaut save from UV radiation using UV reactive beads, and discovering how space exploration has changed from Galileo’s time to now.
  • We Need Diverse Book panel: This is a hot topic, and rightfully so.  The ALA Midwinter session was standing-room only, and we heard from a panel of teen authors on how they have included diversity in their own books and why it’s so important diverse books get into the hands of students. Those who attended the NELA session will remember that the official site of the We Need Diverse Books movement has resources on how to pepper more diverse titles into your own readers advisory (and those that attend the upcoming NERTCL conference will get more info on that topic too).
  •  Curiosity Creates: Research and Best Practices in Creativity Programming for Children: This session was led by Erica Fortescue from the Center for Childhood Creativity at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in San Francisco. She shared interesting research findings on fostering creativity in children, tips for implementing those findings in your programming, and information about the Curiosity Creates grant that supports creative children’s programming. Check out their website for more information on their grants and resources.
  • And of course, the Youth Media Awards!  Getting to see this highly anticipated award ceremony in person was a treat, especially hearing all the gasps when a picture book (Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena) won the Newbery for the first time in years.

Liz and Nicole at the Youth Media Awards

If you are hoping to get to a more local conference to learn and network, have no fear.  Registration is open for both NERCTL’s One-Day Spring Conference on Friday, March 11th in Haverhill, MA (focusing on expanding your readers advisory skills) as well as our own CHILIS Spring Conference on Thursday, March 17th at its usual locale SNHU.  You can find out more info about each conference by clicking the links.

Did you attend ALA Midwinter or another recent conference or training event you found helpful? Please share in the comments!

Fundraising ideas? We’d love them!

Dear CHILIS members,

Our new board has met several times since our inauguration in October and things are going swimmingly as we head toward our Spring Conference in March.  One board position remains vacant, however: that of our Fundraising Chair.

While that seat remains empty, the board is brainstorming together on ways we can raise funds for CHILIS to continue to provide NH youth librarians with resources to enrich their libraries and professional development.

One aspect of our services we wish to find a sponsor for is Summer Reading materials. We hope to find a local corporation that would love to have their name attached to children’s literacy and libraries.

Do you have an idea of who would fit that bill? If so, please email the board!  We’d love to hear your suggestions and will discuss them at our next meeting.

Want to have a more active role on the board as Fundraising Chair? Let us know! We’d love your input and ideas.

Congratulations to our new CHILIS Board!

For the full Board, click on the image.

Executive Board (voting members)

President:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kristen Paradise, Rodgers Memorial Library
194 Derry Road, Hudson, NH 03051

Liz Gotauco, Merrimack Public Library
470 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack, NH 03054

Immediate Past President:                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tara McKenzie, Conway Public Library
15 East Main St/PO Box 2100, Conway, NH 03818

Nicole Giroux, Derry Public Library64 East Broadway, Derry, NH  03038

Judith G. Russell, Converse Free Public Library
38 Union Street, Lyme, NH 03768