Our sixth meeting of the school year was a breakfast meeting on April 20 at Neil Elementary School on 86th and Michigan and hosted by Perma-Bound Books represented by Turk Glazebrook (standing) and Ione Graves (seated to his left next to flag). The breakfast included homemade potato, sausage, and egg dishes prepared by our CTLA member hosts Rich King and his wife Helen Carter. Guest speaker Earl Sewell (seated at Turk's right) gave a heartfelt and personal talk about his life journey and latest projects, including a Master's Degree in writing and theater. He and a CTLA librarian acted out a scene from one of his Kimani Tru series books to depict how relationships can be dramatic yet real and honest to hold the attention of urban teens. Earl has introduced a lead hispanic character into his stories for diversity and authenticity to better represent cities like Chicago. June Andalcio (seated next to Earl at table) welcomed everyone, especially Dorsey Chamber, our faithful and dedicated CPS Network Librarian at central office. Dorsey provided the lastest updates about CPS libraries, as listed on their website. Rich showed us his $50,000 newly remodeled library (from a Target grant) located next to the school's main entrance.
Our fifth meeting of the school year was a breakfast meeting on February 9 at Greene Elementary School on 35th and Honore and hosted by CTLA and Greene teacher-librarian Marie Szyman. The breakfast included local Mexican dishes. Feburary was our annual Penny Auction to give and get library treasures for pennies! Pictured above is Rita Felton-Mitchell reading her self-published book (through Amazon's CreateSpace.com) titled Movin' Up North (illustrated by D. Hagan) about The Great Migration of African-Americans up north to be free of the Jim Crow laws and social oppression. In this story based on her family history, the story starts The South and ends up in Chicago, considered "The Promised Land". She sold copies for $7 each with all proceeds going to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Also pictured is the Greene Library, which Marie showcased, including her SOARS library automation.
Our fourth meeting of the school year was a luncheon meeting on January 19 at Dave & Buster's on N. Clark St. and hosted by Kevin Walsh and Children's Plus. As shown above, we were treated to a full buffet of salmon or baked chicken, along with many delicious side dishes and Children's Plus signature box of chocolates for dessert! Kevin stated how his brother Dan sent his regrets and hopes to see us again next year. Kevin again stressed their love of books, schools, and teachers and CTLA thanked him for his very big heart and TLC! Guest author John Madormo (pictured above) from the Chicago area gave a facinating talk about his broad background in media, communications, and writing over 35 years and how he succeeds at his craft. Everyone got a personally signed copy of his Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire: "The Homemade Stuffing" Caper, which was the first book in the series. In addition, lucky raffle winners got the pre-release copy of the second book: "The Camp Phoenix Caper", due out February 21. A third book is in production, and hopefully many more. Children's Plus also gave all attendees school posters and a game card to Dave & Buster's arcade room upstairs!
Our second meeting of the new school year was an evening meeting on November 15 at Connie's Italian Restaurant and hosted by Kori Kubitz and Jo Ann Flournoy. Kori is our longest continual host and sponsor dating back 20 years in partnership with her late father Jack. As always, we were treated to fantastic three course meal, a great theme (superheroes), great gifts, prizes and raffle, plus a great multi-media presentation all the wonderful capabilities, resources, and services of Capstone, Rosen, and many other quality children's book publishers! Each attendee left with eight brand-new books to add to their school collections on the theme of superheroes and Thanksgiving! Pictured above is President June Andalcio welcoming first-time members along with long-time members that filled the room.
Our first meeting of the new school year was delayed until October 25 due to our teacher strike in September. Thankfully, Mackin Educational Resources was very accommodating and rescheduled our meeting arrangements at the UIC Student Center West for an evening meeting. Mackin provided a selection of appetizers and soft drinks followed by a delicious fully catered dinner. Everyone was also given a copy of The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School. Though the author Candace Fleming could not attend this postponed meeting, Mackin will try to bring her to a Spring meeting to even support a second CTLA meeting! As of last school year, Mackin became an approved CPS library and book vendor. Mackin was well represented by Steve Jarrell, their new Chicago area rep., plus their national sales director and their national customer service director! Steve is very familiar to CTLA for his years of service with another local library vendor, so we welcomed him back! Steve said that Mackin prides itself on never saying 'no', but rather finding a way to meet the needs of all schools. For example, CPS has SOAR in place for on-line library automation, while Mackin offers a great eResource tool called MackinVIA. Mackin is working with Jeremy Dunn, who was present at the meeting, to bridge the tools and offer value-added premium services to all CPS customers. President June Andalcio led the meeting.