Guest Blogger

Elementary Programs that Rock!

Planning programs around a theme can feel either limiting or liberating. The theme can either force superfluous programs or hopefully create inspiring programs that can hold up beyond the theme’s lifespan. As the primary planner for elementary programming at my library, I was challenged and inspired by this year’s “Libraries Rock!” reading theme. Thankfully, this theme produced the planning of programs that can live outside the summer reading theme, such as “Instrument Exploration,” and “Rock Buffet.” Instrument Exploration The goal of Instrument Exploration was for children to be able to handle, hear, and see instruments, as well as be able to create their own to take home. I began the program by reading 88 Instruments by Chris Barton and then we discussed how trying out many different instruments can sometimes lead us to an instrument we might want to play. After our discussion, the children had an opportunity to choose…

Guest Blogger

Challenges and Joys of Serving in Rural Kentucky

Twelve months ago, I entered the library world as a Children & Youth Services Coordinator in rural Bath County, KY and both the struggles and the joys that come with serving this community continue to surprise me. To give you an idea of my county, you need to know exactly what I mean by rural. approximately 1000 people in town 12,000 people in the county 80% of the population live in poverty Transportation is a major concern few people having the means to purchase gas for a car no forms of public transportation – no shuttles, buses, or taxis; no Uber or Lyft. Aging community Few local businesses No major industry Illiteracy is high Public education is poorly funded All of this means that the library is very necessary and yet viewed as an unnecessary relic. Many people continue to believe that the library is for people with money who…

Guest Blogger

Challenges and Successes of a New ALSC Chair

I am the former chair for School-Age Programs and Service Committee (SAPS). As a first time chair, this past year was one of learning. I share my reflections on this new experience for those who are new ALSC committee chairs — I hope that my gleanings are helpful to you! When Nina Lindsay asked me to take this job on, I admit that I was trepidatious. How would I lead a national group of librarians who I (largely) never met and lead them? How would they trust me and follow my leadership? I lead committees within my home system of San Francisco Public Library, but these consist of people that I have been working with for years, that I see at least on a monthly basis, and who inhabit a common work culture. SAPS consisted of public and school librarians serving school-age to middle school-age students from the West, South,…

ALA Midwinter 2018

Let the Good Food and Drinks Roll- #alaac18

“In America, there might be better gastronomic destinations than New Orleans, but there is no place more uniquely wonderful. … With the best restaurants in New York, you’ll find something similar to it in Paris or Copenhagen or Chicago. But there is no place like New Orleans. So it’s a must-see city because there’s no explaining it, no describing it. You can’t compare it to anything. So, far and away New Orleans.” — Anthony Bourdain (this one’s for you)