Blogger Nina Lindsay

Doing it All: “Small”

I’ve always lived and worked in urban spaces. While nearly 81% of the US population live in urban areas according to the 2010 census, my visit to the Association for Rural and Small Libraries conference in St. George UT in September made it clear how myopic it is exclude rural perspectives “by default” from professional conversations. I’ve since been thinking about how ALSC might better serve colleagues in rural communities, and all of us, by centering aspects of our work from a “small library” perspective, keeping in mind particular challenges that many of us work with:

Blogger Heather Acerro


At PLA 2016, I attended the “How Two Libraries Quit Summer Reading and You Can, Too” program with the real hope (deep in my heart) that I would never, ever, ever do a summer reading program (SRP) again. You already know where this is going. That program title was a trick to get me in the door, but the presentation was full of good stuff that re-invigorated my team to finally make the changes to our SRP that we had been imagining for years. That PLA session was the inspiration that made us examine everything we were doing and start over. Let’s begin with a tour of the past. Our SRP wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t a team effort, but rather a task on someone’s to-do list. Since SRP isn’t an easy program for one person to put together, we knew this was a practice that needed to change. Also,…


On the Road with ALSC… at IFLA!

Amazing hand-illustrated poster - IFLA 2017

ALSC members Christine Caputo and Marianne Martens recently attended the 2017 International Federation of Libraries and Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in Wroclaw (pronounced something like vrot-slav), Poland. Wroclaw is a beautiful city in western Poland, that in 2016 was both the European capital of culture and also the world book capital. The world book capital makes perfect sense based on the number of bookstores in the city, and the beautiful libraries.

ALA Annual 2017

From Alabama to Chicago and Back Again

Thanks to a grant from ALSC and Penguin Random House, I was able to attend my first national library conference.  I have been working in children’s libraries since 2005 as a page, and I’ve been hooked ever since! At the end of 2014, I became the Head of the Children’s Department at Homewood Public Library outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Living in Alabama in the summer with 90 degree weather and 90% humidity made me especially excited for the conference!  I have never been to Chicago, and I relished the opportunity to visit the windy city. Here are my six favorite experiences from ALA 2017: 1. Visiting the Harold Washington Library! The new children’s space at the Harold Washington Library opened recently to patrons, and it is an inspiring and innovative space.  Among the shelves of books are dozens of play spaces for all ages ranging from birth to tweens.  Parents…

ALA Annual 2017

ALA Chicago – The Great and The Cool

As a first timer in an ALA Conference, I felt the energy, curiosity, and overwhelming desire to attend as many programs and listen to as many amazing authors and speakers as possible. This trip was possible, in part, thank to the 2017 ALSC Penguin Young Readers Group Award, which allowed me to attend the 2017 ALA Annual Conference and the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet. The Great: Teen Space Upon my arrival, I set foot in the Harold Washington Library Center. Here, I attended three STEM tours for children, teens, and adults. Each one of these STEM spaces was designed based on age group and space. The Children’s STEM space used a large STEM table where children could build drawing materials from a Maker Space organizer unit on a daily basis. No need for a STEM staff. This initiative is based on children’s interest, curiosity to navigate the Maker Space unit, and desire…

ALA Annual 2017

Five Tips for Newbies Attending an ALA Conference

For many librarians, June means the ALA Annual Conference, but for we children’s librarians, June means the start of Summer Reading! I’d never attended the annual conference before, in part because that time of year is the busiest time of year for us at the library. Going out of town in the days before SRC officially kicked off always seemed impossible. But after hearing raves about the 2016 conference from other children’s librarians, I was determined to finally attend Chicago in 2017!

ALA Annual 2017

Go for the Gold: My ALA Penguin Random House Grant Experience

When I became a children’s librarian in 2014, I tried to adopt the mantra of  just try things. I took that attitude and applied for the Penguin Random House Young Readers Grant (and many other grants and programs). I was fortunate enough to win the grant and attend my first full ALA conference in Chicago. I had attended conferences before but there were five special perks from this grant that I would not have received elsewhere: The full experience. Because the 2017 conference was in my hometown of Chicago ,many of my friends and colleagues attended for a day or two. With my stipend, I was able to attend the entire conference from start to finish and truly reap all the benefits. (Example: a notebook full of awesome ideas I have already started to implement and a pile of amazing ARC’s). Opportunity to attend separate from my library. The stipend paid for my conference…