Youth Services Update: December 2023

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Upcoming Opportunities

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

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Call for Proposals – 2024 Setting the Trend School Libraries

Friday, December 22, 2023

The search is on for dynamic, innovative educators to share their ideas, stories, and successes! Every librarian has a great story to tell, so please consider presenting at the upcoming Setting the Trend: Librarians as Leaders conference. Sessions can include new technology ideas, library programming, curation, collection development, curriculum connections, makerspaces, research strategies, and partnerships. Sessions will be 45 minutes in length, and applicants can sign up to present a maximum of four different sessions. Proposals are being accepted via the event’s submission form, and please email with any questions. Proposal deadline is Friday, December 22, 2023.

This year’s Setting the Trend conference is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, 2024 in Clear Creek ISD (Houston, Tx) from 7:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Various professional learning sessions will be offered to allow attendees to explore, collaborate and learn about trending topics. This is a FREE blended learning experience with vendor fair, presentations, and special event speakers. Registration is open via the event’s online form.

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Rural Library Training Series

This is a series of free, virtual trainings. While these trainings are meant for rural libraries, anyone is able to attend.

The Talking Book Program and YOU! | December 19, 2023 @ 10 a.m.

Sometimes, the act of curling up with a good book or magazine can be difficult or impossible. But, thanks to the Talking Book Program (TBP), the National Library Service (NLS), and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), there are many options available to help Texans of all ages maintain the ability to read with access to books and magazines 24/7. The Talking Book Program is a free library service for Texans of all ages who are not able to read standard print books due to a visual, physical, or reading disability. For more information, visit the webinar webpage.

Start a Seed Library and Watch Your Community Grow! | December 20, 2023 @ 10 a.m.

Farmers and home gardeners have been saving and sharing seeds for millennia. Unfortunately, the tradition has been largely abandoned over the past 100 years. As an established community resource, libraries are perfectly suited to bring this valuable practice back to life. Chip Hadley, Round Rock Public Library Supervisor, will be presenting ways to incorporate a seed library into your own. For more information, visit the webinar webpage.

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Call for Volunteers – Children’s Round Table Reading Lists

Friday, December 22, 2023

The Texas Library Association’s Children’s Round Table is currently accepting applications for the Texas 2×2 Reading List Committee and the Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading Committee for terms starting in Spring 2024. Applications are due by midnight Friday, December 22, 2023 Central. For information, visit the Texas 2×2 Reading List Committee Application and the Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List Committee Application. Please email the round tabe’s leadership—Chair Elect Melissa Grzybowski or Chair Jennifer Eckert—with any questions.

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Texas Municipal Library Directors 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.

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Tocker Foundation Stipend

DEADLINE: January 20, 2024

The Tocker Foundation is pleased to provide travel stipends for staff at rural libraries to attend the TLA’s annual conference. Attendees will enjoy opportunities to learn from experts in the field, find new vendors in the exhibit hall, network with their peers, hear from authors as well gain valuable CEU’s at designated sessions. Library staff in towns of 12,000 or less qualify to apply for this grant. First-time attendees are given priority in this grant selection. For more information, visit the grant announcement.

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Cast Your Vote: 2024 CLEL Bell Award

DEADLINE: January 30, 2024

The CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards are an annual recognition of five high-quality picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children. Librarians, caregivers, and all picture book lovers are encouraged to vote on their favorites via the award webpage until January 30, 2024.

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Texas Library Association Grants, Awards, and Scholarships

DEADLINE: January 31, 2024

Jeanette & Jim Larson Grant

Longtime Texas Library Association (TLA) member Jeanette Larson and her late husband, Jim, an architect, established this fund to help a public library or public library branch annually acquire materials in the mystery genre to delight their customers. Jeanette is a well-known library consultant, children’s services specialist, and author with work experience at the Mesquite Public Library, Austin Public Library, and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Both Jeanette and Jim are voracious mystery readers and viewers, borrowing many books, videos, and audiobooks from their public library. The fund is their way of giving back to all the libraries they have used. The Committee seeks to understand how applicant libraries will expand their collections; entice new users to their libraries and how this grant will update or expand their collections. Application is open to any public library in the state of Texas, including individual branch libraries of a larger library system. For more information, visit the grant announcement.

Woll Memorial Fund Grant

This fund was established to perpetuate Christina Woll’s love of reading and commitment to providing quality literature for children. Based on the merits of individual applications, awards of up to $1000 will be granted to Texas school or public libraries. Submission deadline is January 31, 2024. For more information, visit the grant announcement.

Demco/Upstart Innovative Programming Award

The Demco/Upstart Innovative Programming Award recognizes two libraries – one school and one for all other library types (i.e. public, academic, and special) that have implemented innovative programs that other organizations can drawn upon, adapt, replicate, and scale to fit the unique characteristics of their institutions and the communities they serve. Each winning library receives a $1,000 check and a plaque. Submission deadline is January 31, 2024. For more information, visit the award announcement.

Vivian Greenfield Award | February 1, 2024

This scholarship supports educational endeavors reinforcing work with youth. This can include, but is not limited to professional development activities (like taking a course or attending a conference), implementing a new idea in the workplace, performing a study, and more. Submission deadline is February 1, 2024. For more information, visit the scholarship announcement.

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Take Your Child to the Library

First Saturday of February  |  Annually

Take Your Child to the Library is an annual international celebration that encourages families to take their children to their local public library. To celebrate, libraries across the country and around the world welcome families with programs, activities, and special events.

Libraries across the country are encouraged to register and participate. Participation is completely customizable – it can be as simple as handing out bookmarks or as elaborate as a full day extravaganza. Furthermore, registration is simple and free via the event registration form. Then, once libraries register, they’ll be placed on the map for their community to find. For more information, visit the event website.

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Texas State Library and Archives Commission Grants

Library Capacity Grant  |  DEADLINE: February 7, 2024

Library Capacity provides funds for programs and services that expand the capacity of library staff to meet identified and/or demonstrated community needs through professional training and development opportunities. It enables library staff to learn, expand, and/or hone skills needed to provide responsive programming and services to community members. Submission deadline is February 7, 2024. For more information, visit the TSLAC Grants Page.

Texas Reads Grant

The Texas Reads Grant funds public library programs to promote reading and literacy within local communities. Programs may include, but are not limited to book talks; English literacy classes; author visits; book clubs or discussion groups; Día (El Día de los niños/El día de los libros; Born-to-Read or Every Child Ready to Read programs; One Book, One Community programs; or programs to enhance summer reading club activities.

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Talking Book Program’s Family Book Club

Beginning February 27, 2024

The Talking Book Program (TBP) is excited to announce a new family book club! Beginning on February 27, 2024, TBP will offer three Family Book Club meetings per year. These events are designed for kids to read the same book as their parent or another person in their life so they can discuss the book together. Titles targeting readers in grades 3 – 7 have been chosen. However, since they’ll be read in community, other ages are welcome to participate. Audiobooks are available for download on BARD, via a shipped cartridge for talking book machines, or for check-out from school and public libraries. Furthermore, TBP will send a list of discussion questions and related activities in advance of the meeting. For your convenience, book descriptions and meeting date are outlined in the November 20th  TBP Youth Services Newsletter. Please contact the Talking Book Program at if you did not receive this information.

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Call for Proposals: Children and Teen Services (CATS) Annual Workshop

March 11, 2024

The Children and Teen Services (CATS) Interest Group of the California Association of Libraries (CAL) is thrilled to announce that its Annual Workshop will be held in Colorado Springs at the Library 21c on Monday, March 11, 2024. The workshop planning team is seeking proposals for sessions, and presenters will attend the Workshop for FREE! Furthermore, presenters are not required to be a current member or CAL or the CATS Interest Group to present or attend. Session topics may include anything related to serving kids, teens, and families in libraries, along with other subjects critical to librarianship. New presenters are encouraged to submit proposals; moverover, organizers welcome the diverse perspectives from public librarians, school librarians, educators, and support staff. To express interest, complete the Presenter Submission Form.

Ongoing Tools

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

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Tools for Reimagining School Readiness

Libraries play a vital role in preparing young children for school by providing interactive and playful programs in which children can develop social, emotional, math, science, and executive function skills and practices. Research has shown these skills to be important for later academic and lifelong success. The Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit provides free, online, research-based resources, created specifically for library staff. These resources make it easy for you to enhance what you are already doing, with eye-catching tips, planning tools, program surveys, activity ideas, family conversation starters, social media posts, and more. This webinar introduces library staff to the background and components of the Toolkit, along with testimonials from practitioners about how they are reimagining school readiness in their own libraries. Come away with ideas and strategies for supporting your families and communities. For more information, visit the webinar website.

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Children’s Book Council’s Young Adult Literature Playlist

This is a YouTube playlist of young adult book trailers compiled by the Children’s Book Council (CBC). CBC is the nonprofit trade association of children’s book publishers in North America, dedicated to supporting the industry and promoting children’s books and reading. For more information about the nonprofit, visit the association’s website.

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Houston Public Library eCard

All Texas residents are eligible for a free My Link library card which gives you access to all of their digital content including audiobooks and ebooks. For more information, visit the service’s webpage.

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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