Youth Services Update: November 2023

3 children of visibly different ethnicities reading while laying in the grass.

Upcoming Opportunities

These opportunities are available for free unless otherwise noted. Descriptions are provided by host organizations.

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Laura Bush Foundation Collection Grants  SCHOOL LIBRARIES

November 27, 2023  |  11:59 PM CTate

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provides funds to our Nation’s neediest schools so that they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning. Per the grant guidelines of the Laura Bush Foundation, the grant is to be used to purchase school library books, e-books, and magazine requests as outlined in your grant application. Use of the funds for shelving or furniture of any kind, equipment (i.e.: computers, electronic readers, Kindles, etc.), staffing, software, videos, guides, tests or exams, classroom book sets, or similar items, is prohibited. For more information, visit the grant announcement.

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International Games Month

November 2023

International Games Month is an initiative run by volunteers from around the world to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games. First celebrated in 2008, this celebration focuses on the social and recreational side of gaming. Gaming at the library encourages patrons of all ages to interact with diverse peers, share their expertise and develop new strategies for gaming and learning. At the library, kids can socialize with their friends and play board and video games while surrounded by books, librarians, and a real world of knowledge.

decorative logo for picture book month

Picture Book Month

November 2023

November is Picture Book Month, a tribute to the enduring importance of the picture book form. Dianne de Las Casas—author and storyteller—and her team co-founded the month-long celebration to champion the power and beauty of picture books by celebrating this print format in an increasingly digital age.

CSLP’s Virtual Summer Symposium

December 7, 2023  |  11:30 AM – 4:30 PM Eastern

The CSLP Summer Symposium is a half-day virtual offering for public library staff to connect, learn, and collaborate as we plan for summer library programming around the 2024 theme of Adventure Begins at your Library.

Sessions will include:     

  • Simplifying Summer: Adventurous Observations from a Seasoned Storyteller
    • Get inspired and organized while streamlining the planning process.
  • 2024 Manual Highlights: Adventure Begins at Your Library!
    • Gather ideas to jumpstart planning for summer 2024!
  • Once Upon an Adventure: Practical Tips for Gathering Stories to Promote Your Library
    • Learn how a good story becomes good marketing, as well as practical tips to find stories that you can use for advocacy and promotion.
  • Taking Adventure Outdoors: Programming and Partnerships facilitated
    • Panel discussion on ideas, resources, and partners that can support outdoor library programming.

Learn more and register at: able to attend?  Sign up to receive a notice when recordings are posted

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Penguin Random House Winter Book and Author Festival 2023 (virtual)

December 7, 2023

A free day-long event celebrating reading, authors, and librarians everywhere! Enjoy a day packed with author panels and interviews, book buzzes, virtual shelf browsing, and adding to your TBR pile. You’ll hear from many of your favorite authors, whose work runs the gamut from Picture Books to Young Adult titles to the best new Fiction and Nonfiction for adults. There is something of interest for every reader. Attendees will also have the opportunity to check out the virtual exhibit hall, access eGalleys, and enter to win prizes and giveaways. For more information, visit Library Journal’s event webpage.

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J. Frank Dobie Library Trust

December 15, 2023

When famed Texas author and folklorist J. Frank Dobie passed away in 1964, he left the majority of his estate to create the J. Frank Dobie Library Trust for the purpose of assisting small Texas libraries in purchasing books. Awards are selected annually by a committee and presented at the opening luncheon of the Texas Library Association annual conference (attendance is not required). The J. Frank Dobie Library Trust Awards Committee is accepting applications for 2024 grants through December 15, 2023. For more information, visit the grant announcement.

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Texas Municipal League Director’s Association Award

December 30, 2023

Each year, Texas Municipal League Director’s Association confers awards to public libraries for outstanding contributions to public service. The 2023 Libraries of Excellence Award is now open for applications! Libraries are so integral to their cities, providing much needed resources to support their community. Be recognized as a Library of Excellence to highlight your best work of the year and earn your award. For more information, visit the award announcement.

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Siddie Joe Johnson Award Nominations Open!

Deadline January 5, 2024

The Siddie Joe Johnson Award is presented to a public or school librarian to recognize outstanding achievement in children’s library service. Nominees are evaluated based on outstanding or innovative programs, sustained high performance, leadership ability, involvement in professional organizations, community involvement, and cooperation with parents and other libraries, especially outside their own system. The recipient will be honored at the Texas Bluebonnet Award Celebration during TLA’s Annual Conference. For more information, visit the award webpage.

Ongoing Tools

These tools are available for free unless otherwise noted. Descriptions are provided by host organizations.

Decorative logo for the Cross Timbers Library Conference

Cross Timbers Library Collaborative (CTLC)

The Cross Timbers Library Collaborative (CTLC) is an established group for library professionals in the Cross Timbers region which welcomes librarians and library staff from southeastern Kansas across Central Oklahoma to Central Texas to take part in a collaboration of ideas, best practices and continued partnership. The collaborative’s mission is to serve the Cross Timbers region through staff development, resource sharing and innovative programming. For more information, visit the CTLC website.

Decorative logo for Tom Green County Library System

Toymaker and Rocketry Camps

Tom Green County Library (TGCL) has developed a Toymaker Camp where participants engage with simple machines and basic circuitry. Each day, participants build a toy using common items and the engineering design process to get their toy functioning. Toy builds included inclined plane mazes, Automata theatres, pulley-spinner toys, light sabers, rubber band racers. Similarly, TCGL has developed a Rocketry Camp where students spend the week learning how to design and build rockets from scratch using RocSIM software. Beginner students have a goal of designing and building a stable rocket, while advanced students build egg lofters with an altitude and duration goal. Finally, TGCL provides tutorials for replicating this programming and graciously makes it available to all via the library’s learning management system.


Achievery is a free online learning platform created by AT&T to provide K-12 students with engaging and entertaining content paired with learning activities for everywhere today’s connected students learn.For more information, peruse the program website.

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Advocating Digital Citizenship in Libraries: Resources for Public and School Libraries (Webinar)

Libraries are the hub of their communities, and often the hub of digital citizenship learning. Learn strategies, lessons, standards alignment and more to help you teach and advocate for digital citizenship in your library, and beyond. Presented by Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, the co-author of Advocating Digital Citizenship: Resources for the Library and Classroom, this webinar is packed with on-the-ground practices and information. For more information and to access content, visit the event page in Niche Academy.

Decorative logo for the Bookshare initiative


Bookshare® is an ebook library that is designed to make reading easier. Bookshare® offers downloadable audiobooks for a fee, but is FREE for students with print disabilities. For more information, visit the organization website.

Need more support?

Resource Archive

Wish you had access to a repository of all the tools that have been featured in the monthly Youth Services Updates? Check out our Resource Archive for more information.

Training Catalog

In addition, be sure to peruse our Training Catalog for webinars that focus on Youth Services. Our holdings are constantly updated, so check back often.


For more information, visit our youth services page, contact Christina Taylor at, or call 512-463-5465.

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