ALA Midwinter 2016

You’ll Never Go Wrong with Notables! #alamw16

If you have a few free minutes at the conference, stop by the Notable book discussion. You’ll hear thoughtful insights about a range of titles for children. I personally would rather spend extra time there than in the exhibit hall! The work this committee does is so impressive and important. It is an open meeting, so audience members can quietly come and go. The books they are discussing are all on a table in the room, so if something catches your attention in their discussions you can check it out in person. Don’t worry, if you’re #alaleftbehind, you can see what they’re discussing with this online list. Soon we’ll all get to see what titles they pick to be on the 2016 Notable Children’s Books List!

ALA Midwinter 2016

New ALSC Competencies Discussion #alamw16 #leadalsc

ALSC’s Education Committee has updated the importance and useful Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries. At a breakout session, my table discussed the competencies with a focus on how to use them. Here are some ways to use this document: -Self-reflection and career growth -Staff reviews -Creating job descriptions -Managing staff reorganizations -Designing spaces -Advocating for resources from decision makers

ALA Midwinter 2016

Leadership & ALSC #alamw16 #leadalsc

ALSC members are the best! There are so many ways to get involved and make wonderful friends while doing good work. We just went around the room at Leadership & ALSC, and every person stood up to say who they are and why they are here. Yes, many people are here because they are on the board or a committee. But there are also new members and long-time members who want to get more involved. It is easy to do! Fill out a committee volunteer form, and check off many committees that interest you. Send it in anytime (at least once a year), and you will hear back with information about how you can get involved. It may sound silly, but this is truly one of my favorite mornings at conferences, where ALSC members can put faces to names, reconnect with old friends, and cheer one another on for the…

ALA Midwinter 2015

Bold Library Marketing #alamw15

Lots of Children’s Librarians wear many hats. I help with marketing, web, and social media at my library, so I was really looking forward to Ben Bizzle’s session yesterday “Start a Revolution: Stop Acting Like a Library.” He did not disappoint! His presentation was engaging, funny, and full of insightful information. The marketing he and the creative team at the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library in Arkansas have been doing is so awesome. Really attention grabbing, very funny, and also effective! After using some new marketing ideas, they saw attendance at their programming grow exponentially. I loved his ideas so much, I immediately bought his new book, and look forward to taking the ideas back to work. The first thing I’m going to try is putting together a creative team that meets on a regular basis to discuss our marketing plan. If you, like me, help with marketing at your…

ALA Midwinter 2015

My Uncommons Meet Up #alamw15

I am very interested in services to special needs populations, and I know a lot of other librarians are, too. So I booked the Networking Uncommons this afternoon for an hour, which basically means my name and topic appear on the Uncommons schedule (and we have primary access to any tech we need in there: mics, projectors, etc). Then, it’s just a matter of spreading the word and hoping people show up to talk and share ideas. About 15 people came, ranging from librarians who are already doing work with this population (hi, Tess and Renee!) to people who are going to be trying something soon or are just starting to look for ideas. Aside from all the ambient noise that necessitated the use of a mic, which made me feel like our friendly chat became more “official,” it was a great hour filled with useful discussion and connections made….

ALA Midwinter 2015

What a friendly and supportive group we are #alamw15

A round of applause for future librarians and leaders! At the Leadership & ALSC meeting this morning, we begin by going around the room and introducing ourselves. A heartwarming round of applause went around the room when a few self-identified “lurkers,” current students at Dominican studying to be librarians, introduced themselves. More applause greeted the table of Emerging Leaders. It’s so cool to be in a room with people who all feel passionate about the same thing, and are all here to learn from and support one another.

ALA Midwinter 2015

ERT/Booklist Author Forum #alamw15 #comics

A fabulous way to kick off the conference: seeing 4 of my favorite comic creators and champions. My favorite bit so far is learning about their favorites from childhood. Cece Bell loved Archie and her big brother’s National Lampoon, Jeff Smith read the Sunday strips and Mad magazine, Francoise Mouly read books like Asterix, and Gene Luen Yang loved superhero comics. Francoise Mouly and Jeff Smith are discussing the power of comics because they are hand drawn. The reader can see the hand of the artist and that personal touch allows comics creators to tackle very personal topics in a way that is different from prose authors. Comics creators are also different from painters because they are in the business of communication. Comics should not be open to interpretation, their message should be understood if the creator did their job.