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CCB Newsletter
December 2014/January 2015


In this Newsletter…

News and Updates

CCB Reduced Hours During Finals and Winter Break

The CCB will be open at reduced hours during finals week and the winter break season, including closing for break December 19-January 2. Please check the calendar below or online for details. Regular spring semester hours will resume on Tuesday, January 20. For upcoming events in January that may not have made it into the newsletter yet, please subscribe to our main listserv or follow us on Facebook.

Book Bonanza in the New Semester: Galley Giveaway and the 14th Annual Book Sale

The CCB is planning for our next big galley giveaway right after the beginning of the new semester starts. On Friday, January 23, you can stop in when the doors open for the day to get free pre-publication copies of new books for children and young adults, while supplies last.

We are also eagerly anticipating the 14th annual CCB Book Sale. If you haven’t attended the sale before, be prepared for thousands of brand-new books for youth of all ages and interests at a greatly reduced price. Reserve a spot in our Sunday pre-sale for early access and the best selection—we’ll begin accepting reservations for $20 tickets late in January. The free-admission book sale will take place in the CCB from February 16-18, during which time the CCB’s normal operations will be closed. Keep your eye on the 14th Annual Book Sale webpage on our site, as well as on our calendar to stay in the loop with book sale happenings. As always, feel free to contact us at for more information.

Storytelling Volunteer Listserv

The CCB periodically receives requests for volunteers to help with story times and storytelling events throughout Champaign-Urbana. As a result, we are creating a listserv where we can share these opportunities with people who have genuine interest in this kind of volunteering. These events can provide great experience for prospective librarians and anyone looking to boost their public speaking skills, and they're usually a lot of fun. The requests could include reading a predetermined book for a group of kids, putting together a full story time program around a theme, doing a storytelling performance at a larger event, or almost anything else in between. No matter the event, we provide details and work with the event coordinators and our volunteers to make sure that everyone is on the same page. If you would like to be included on this new list, sign up at  

Behind the Scenes at the Bulletin

If you’ve ever been puzzled by the CCB’s Wednesday-morning closures, then you’ll be pleased to know about the important activity that takes place at the CCB during that time. The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, a nationally recognized review journal of children’s books and the source of most of the CCB’s collection, is the only major reviewing periodical for children’s literature whose entire reviewing staff meets regularly and reads everyone else’s reviews for the issue. Check out our video about the Bulletin meetings to meet the reviewers and find out why this meeting time is so important. Watch the video here or check out the CCB website to learn more!

December Calendar

  • Wednesday, December 10: Youth Lit Book Club, 5-6 pm
    Reading My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins
  • Monday, December 15-Thursday, December 18: CCB Reduced Hours—Finals Week
    The CCB will operate on reduced hours during finals week. Monday and Wednesday, the CCB will open from 2-7 pm. Tuesday and Thursday, the CCB will open from 10am-3pm.
  • Friday, December 19-Friday, January 2: CCB Closed—Winter Break
    The CCB will be closed due to winter break. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  • Monday, January 5-Friday, January 16: CCB Reduced Hours—Winter Break Interim
    The CCB will operate on reduced hours. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, the CCB will open from 10am-3pm. On Wednesdays, the CCB will open from 2-7pm. The CCB will remain closed on Fridays until the beginning of the spring semester.
  • Monday, January 19: CCB Closed—Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    The CCB will be closed due to MLK Day. We apologize for any inconvenience. Regular spring hours will resume Tuesday, January 20.
  • Friday, January 23: Galley Giveaway, 10 am-5 pm
    Stop in at the CCB to pick up free pre-publication copies of new books for kids and teens at our first Galley Giveaway of the year. Open during regular CCB hours until galleys are gone.
  • Monday, January 26: Fourteenth Annual Pre-sale Reservations Begin

Events take place at the CCB unless otherwise noted. For complete descriptions of events, visit the calendar on our website.

New Bibliographies on the CCB Website

Suffragettes, Artists, and Pilots Oh My!: Biographies of Women of Action
Created by Michelle Biwer, CCB GA

Burning Brightly: Fiery Titles that Bring the Heat
Created by Anna Shustitzky, CCB Outreach & Communications Coordinator

Storytelling Bibliography: Stories and Legends from the Land of the Rising Sun: Stories about Japan or Japanese Culture
Created by Kate Rojas, CCB Volunteer

Our Affiliates Out and About

Associate professor Carol Tilley will be presenting a panel at the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Centennial Celebration, which will be held in Chicago, Illinois January 27-30. The panel entitled “Looking Back and Looking Forward” will also include GSLIS faculty Kathryn La Barre and David Dubin, as well as Toni Carbo, professor emerita at the School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. This panel will situate current issues of LIS education in a changing society with respect to analogous problems during the past 125 years, and the ways our founding mothers (including Illinois' Katharine Sharp and Margaret Mann) rose to meet those challenges. Professor Tilley will also be participating in ALISE as Director of External Relations, which is an elected position of the ALISE Board of Directors.

The CCB will also be presenting a poster on the Closing the App Gap grant project at the ALISE Centennial Celebration. More information about the presentation will be available shortly on the CCB website.

The 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting will be held at McCormick Place West in Chicago, Illinois from January 30 through February 3, 2015. Visit GSLIS at Booth 2037 or check out the CCB website for updated information prior to the conference. We hope to see you there!

Feature: Mix IT Up!: Reflections and a Look Ahead

Since August of 2011, the Mix IT Up! project has engaged GSLIS students and community organizations to work together on issues related to youth advocacy and information technology.  The IMLS-funded program is wrapping up at the end of the fall semester, so we sat down with Principal Investigator Rae Montague and Project Coordinator Joe Coyle to reflect on its impact in the community and the future of the important collaborations that came out of it.

Based on a combination of youth services librarianship and community informatics, Mix IT Up! was developed with two ideals in mind: “to increase the information technology (IT) skills of youth and library school students and shift attitudes about the traditional role of librarians and libraries by positioning library and information services at the center of mutually beneficial and dynamic student-community partnerships.” Building upon previous grants and partnerships, Mix IT Up! continued the strong tradition of collaboration between GSLIS and the surrounding community.

Working with sites like the Tap In Leadership Academy, the UP Center, Jefferson Middle School, and many more organizations, Mix IT Up! scholars have challenged the traditional library role with some exceptionally creative projects. As Coyle explains, “we think about literacy very broadly: digital literacy, community literacy, etc.” Based on this broad, inclusive definition, Mix IT Up! projects have included library collection development, ongoing writing and literacy programs, and workshops about everything from music production to stock portfolios. The program evolved over time through continued conversations with its community partners, and student participants engaged in projects that built on their unique skills while addressing the needs of the community.

One powerful example of the scope of this project can be found at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center. Two Mix IT Up! scholars developed writing workshops for incarcerated youth, while another scholar built on her work with the Urbana Free Library’s Teen Open Lab to assist with digital music production programming for the JDC. One young incarcerated poet was published in the 2013 Words Unlocked poetry anthology; another workshop participant was able to work with an incarcerated writer in Texas, a unique collaboration that allowed both to develop a stronger relationship with writing. Finally, in conjunction with his role as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, the JDC hosted acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers in 2013 for a moving presentation about the importance of reading. 

For the twenty or so GSLIS students involved in the project over the past few years, Mix IT Up! has provided the opportunity for extended engagement with the community that goes beyond what many traditional assistantships have to offer. In their roles as research assistants, employees, and volunteers, Mix IT Up! scholars gained firsthand experience building relationships with and between multiple organizations towards a larger goal. This experience translates well to youth advocacy work post-graduation, both in a library context and in the broader community. Scholars, faculty, and community members also participated in several conferences as a team, sharing Mix IT Up!’s success and building valuable professional experience in the process. Throughout the course of the project, scholars met biweekly to stay apprised of the project’s efforts, further develop potential collaborations, and support each other in their work.

Although Mix IT Up! has reached its conclusion, many of its associated projects are still going strong. Montague emphasizes that this is “one slice of a much broader interaction that [GSLIS has] had” with the Champaign-Urbana community. There are many ways to get involved, including one-time volunteer work, assisting with fundraisers, or even developing a full GSLIS practicum with a site. Several participating organizations have also put together an Amazon Wish List of books to supplement their continuing programs.

For more information about the project and its partners, including biographies, stories, and further resources, visit the Mix IT Up! website at If you are interested in volunteering or would like to discuss the project, please contact Project Coordinator Joe Coyle at

New Books We Just Had to Read

Every month, the CCB Graduate Assistants highlight books reviewed in the most recent issue of the Bulletin that we were excited to read.  These decisions are based on personal preference, but all books listed are Recommended by the Bulletin. For complete reviews, visit the Bulletin website ( to learn how to subscribe.

Alice’s Choice: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Reading Level: Gr. 8-10
Pages: 398p.
Publisher and Year: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2014.
ISBN: 978-0-316-40451-8
Price: $18.00

Roe witches have made charms and calmed seas for the whalers of Prince Island for generations, a tradition passed down from mother to daughter.  Avery’s destiny to take up the mantle of the Roe witch is thwarted by her mother, who binds Avery to a magic-free existence in the city far from her grandmother.  Determined to reunite with her grandmother to become the next Roe witch, Avery spends years trying to summon her powers—but her attempts grow urgent after a prophetic dream of her own murder that challenges everything she has been told about her destiny.  Assisted by kindhearted sailor Tane, Avery returns to her grandmother, but leaves fraught with questions about her birthright and the source of her powers, and a brutal realization that her murder is inevitable and she might never become the next Roe witch.  This historically grounded supernatural tale of destiny perfectly captures the tragedies of love, power, heartbreak, and sacrifice.  Avery is forced to make difficult choices saturated with human desperation despite their supernatural nature, and her romance with Tane is tender and sweet, making the result of their struggles all that more heart wrenching.  Kulper’s author’s note explains her choices about Tane’s background, and about how Kulper supported the historical accuracy of her book with folklore and information about the whaling industry.  Avery’s frantic search for where she belongs and her tragic first love with Tane makes this a supernatural romance you won’t want to miss.

Michelle’s Choice: The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Reading Level: Gr. 9-12
Pages: 368

Publisher and Year: Putnam, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-16783-6
Price: $18.99

Adelina Amouteru is about to be burned at the stake for using her powers to murder her father. She is one of the few survivors of the plague, which spread throughout the kingdom of Kenettra, killing most but sparing some children. The illness left these children with easily identifiable markings: scars, changes of hair color, etc.… but soon it became evident that these “malfettos” possessed more than just unseemly scars as a result of their suffering. A select few, called the Young Elites, developed magical powers, such as Adelina’s own talent for deadly illusions. All “malfettos” are seen as demonic and the scourge of society, but only the Young Elites are hunted down and killed by the government. Adelina is rescued by the Dagger Society, a group of Elites who aim to rid the kingdom of discrimination against Elites and rule the kingdom themselves. Ostracized all her life until now, Adelina accepts their invitation to join them, but a suspenseful story unfolds around her own dark past and the Society’s possibly even darker motivations. Adelina is not a “nice” girl and she is shown enjoying using her powers to torture others, but this combined with her thirst to prove herself and her limitless ambition make her an intriguing protagonist. Recommended for those who have been seeking complex female villains and antiheroes, and those who enjoy excellent fantasy worldbuilding.

Anna’s Choice: Circle, Square, Moose by Kelly Bingham, illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky.
Reading Level: 3-7 yrs.
Pages: 40
Publisher and Year: Greenwillow, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-229003-8
Price: $17.99

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: this is not an animal book. This is a highly educational book about shapes, such as circles, squares, and… oh no… what’s that moose doing there? Despite the narrator’s best efforts, Moose simply cannot be discouraged from contributing his own creative examples of a variety of shapes. The narrator grows extremely desperate, crying “OUT! Please?” when Moose interrupts one too many times. Back again after Z Is for Moose, Zebra the Referee tries to halt Moose’s antics . . .  only to set off a high-speed chase through the rest of the book. After Moose leaves Zebra in a tangle of (curve-shaped) ribbon, the narrator abandons the story entirely and Moose and Zebra must finish the lesson themselves. The artwork throughout the book, both the original and the moose-influenced, is impressively detailed and thoughtful, even down to the choice of font for the increasingly irate narrator. Bland, friendly colors give way to eye-aching visual chaos as Moose tears through the book, and hilarious asides add an extra dimension to the struggle between narrator and Moose. New Moose readers and longtime fans alike will be impressed with the enthusiastic, surprisingly agile Moose, and they may actually learn a few things about shapes in the process.

Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

John, Antony. Five Flavors of Dumb. New York: Dial, 2010. ISBN 978-0803734333.

For more book selections or to order this one, visit the CCB’s Amazon Wish List.

CCB Fall Hours and General Information

Note: The CCB will be operating on reduced hours during finals week and winter break. Please see our calendar for more information. Our spring hours will be available shortly; please consult our website or follow us on Facebook for the latest information.

Fall Hours

  • Monday: 10am-5pm
  • Tuesday: 10am-7pm
  • Wednesday: 4pm-7pm
  • Thursday: 10am-7pm
  • Friday: 10am-5pm

For more information about the CCB and our collection, please visit the About Us page on our website.

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