Blogger Lisa Nowlain

Circulating tech kits to teachers

The California State Library has a grant opportunity called Pitch-an-Idea. We were lucky enough to get one of their grants and create a Technology Lending Library for teachers and after-school providers. All teachers need is a library card to check these kits out for a month, and non-profits sign an agreement for their employees. What makes this unique is that the kits are not for individual checkouts – they’re made to be used in school or after-school environments. It has built a lot of great partnerships with schools and teachers. We have done outreach at principal’s meetings, with the Superintendent’s Office, at teacher meetings, at local events with non-profits, and more, and it is always great to have something to offer that makes people’s eyes light up and say, “Really?”   We’re currently halfway through our grant period, and we’ve hit some speed bumps for sure, but the tech is circulating….

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

All I Want for Christmas

This is total fluff. Total! In the face of real actual wishes – ie dismantling white supremacy in the library and out, preserving net neutrality, and etc and etc (I could go on)- this is silly. But here you go. It would help my sanity when meeting new people (ie at holiday parties etc) to see these stereotypes as good outreach opportunities but some days I have just totally had it.   Lisa Nowlain is the Youth Librarian at Madelyn Helling Library at the Nevada County Community Library in California. She is also an artist type and you can see her work at www.lisanowlain.com.

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

Class Visit Idea Round Up

Display by Teen Intern of books sorted by Hogwarts houses

We get class visit requests often here in Nevada County, CA. We have nine school districts, nine special or charter schools, and 4 private schools scattered around our rural county, where 68% of residents live in unincorporated areas. It makes it really special for kids to get to the library, so I feel a lot of pressure to make their school visit great. The image above is an easy one – make a special display focused on the classes’ interests or recent project. I spent a while researching good class visit templates, but unlike storytimes, there aren’t a lot of them out there. So here are a few ideas. I’d love to hear what you do in the comments!   Preschool and Kindergarten visits: My goal with these is to get kids feeling like the library is a place for them. I have some quick sketches featuring different things you…

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

Above the fold and locally famous

Going on the radio to promote early literacy and library services was surprisingly fun, and a great outreach tool in my rural county where people aren’t always able to make it to the library and storytimes. Below is a comic about my experience.   Lisa Nowlain is a Youth Librarian in the Nevada County Community Library system in California. She’s also an artist type and you can see her work at lisanowlain.com.

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

All kinds of brains

As a youth librarian I feel like I switch gears a million times a day from customer service mind to grant program management to professional to dancing silly time. This comic does not represent every day in any sense and I left out my bad habit so (Netflix etc). Lisa Nowlain is a Youth Librarian in the Nevada County Community Library system in California. She’s also an artist type and you can see her work at lisanowlain.com.

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

The Tougaloo Nine

The past few weeks have been violent and frightening. I’ve been trying to think about what I can do as a youth worker in the political and social context of our country, and ALSC has been providing some great resources as has SLJ. It can be helpful to look back in our history as a profession and think about how our profession is not neutral and we need to be active about where we are now. This American Libraries article, Desegregating Libraries in the American South, deserves a second look. Below is an image of the Tougaloo Nine, who sat-in at the all-white Jackson (Miss.) Public Library. When they were marched to the courthouse, a crowd of 100 black supporters were pistol-whipped and bitten by dogs, helping to galvanize desegregation in Mississippi. While purchasing diverse books and finding ways to put them into children’s hands is an important aspect of…

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

Asking for help

I planned a jampacked Summer Reading program on my own in my new library system. I really went for it, since we had gotten the ALSC Baker and Taylor grant , I’m an overachiever, and we were hiring another youth librarian. However…we never found anyone who was qualified! It’s tough to hire in a rural area (we will be opening up the list soon, though, and I love this area so keep an eye out!). So here I am, the only Youth Librarian this side of a big mountain pass in my county, doing Summer Reading alone. But am I really alone? Who have you asked for help? What non-Youth Services people are your heroes this summer?   Lisa Nowlain is a Youth Librarian in the Nevada County Community Library system in California. She’s also an artist type and you can see her work at lisanowlain.com.