Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Building a Children’s Book Discussion

I was a summer library kid. I was too overscheduled during the school year (totally my choice, overachiever that I was) to attend many library programs then, but during the summer I visited several times each week. I participated in the summer reading game, creative writing and book discussion. Back then, we read a book a week and brought a bagged lunch to eat outside, weather permitting, to talk about the book.   These experiences, which I thoroughly enjoyed, played a huge part in me becoming a children’s librarian. So, of course, I wanted to recreate them for the students I serve. I managed to do several years of writing programs but always felt some trepidation about book discussion, mainly because you must trust that kids are going to prep/actually read the book beforehand. I eventually got a book club for 4th through 8th graders up and running. Unlike the…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Serving on the ALSC Advocacy & Legislation Committee

After three years, my time on the ALSC Advocacy & Legislation Committee has come to an end. When I was first asked to serve on this committee, my initial reaction was to decline (hard pass). What did I know about advocacy (besides being a loud mouth) or legislation (besides that it is usually complicated), in relation to libraries? After talking it out with friends, I regained my composure to accept the initial appointment, and a later appointment as co-chair. Because, ultimately, I saw not only an incredible opportunity to make a positive impact in the profession, but a learning opportunity for myself. As my final act on this committee I wanted to share with you some of the work this committee has done, and encourage you to be involved in a process committee in the future.   During the last three years, this committee has: Changed to a fully virtual…


This summer is B-A-N-A-N-A-S–how can you help as a manager?

Summer reading has arrived. By now, many public librarians are hard at work implementing all the fun programs that have been in the works for months now. Performers, STEAM, movies, story-walks, storytimes, free lunches, and so much more. Staff in the youth department is hopping. As a manager, there are some inexpensive ways to help everyone keep cool, calm, and as stress free as possible. There is not a lot of downtime at the library during summer but before the hectic work day begins, take a minute to leave notes of encouragement and praise to staff. Everyone appreciates being recognized for their hard work and it will help staff push through the really tough days knowing management recognizes their commitment to summer reading. Keep a white board up in a staff area and encourage staff to share positive moments they have helped facilitate during summer, i.e. a book suggestion was…

Blogger Nina Lindsay

Diversity Jedi

Brick wall busted open

I value conferences most for their amazing conversations–the hallways are essentially a primordial Twitter, with threads going in multiple directions, between friends and strangers, for days.  A great way to spark those conversations, especially for introverts, are intriguing ribbons, and ALSC is always listening for phrases or ideas our members may want to don…for instance, by following popular hashtags. But we realized that the #DiversityJedi ribbons we shared on Twitter last week were not the best way to have this particular conversation.  #DiversityJedi is a more complicated concept than a ribbon can communicate, as commenters swiftly pointed out: “I get the sentiment, but If ALSC truly wants to recognize #diversityjedi work, they would not create a ribbon. They would show it through actions, in programming, publications, & policies. This work is imperative, but ribbons only appropriate and trivialize” @TeachChildLit “This is appropriation. This is hurtful. This is erasure. We named…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Why have Technology in the Children’s Area?

“I bring my child to the library for books, not computers.” “Why have computers in the kid’s area?  My child has too much screen time already… why do I have to face more at the library?”  We don’t often hear this type of complaint but when we do, we are careful to reply in person and bring a broader context to the dialog about technology. First, we will say that it is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to set limits around their child’s use of technology (see the ALSC White Paper on Media Mentorship). Second, I suggest that we open up a conversation with this library patron.  In that discussion, we can increase our understanding of the variety of experience and ability that fills our community. As a public library, our mission is to make access to information available to everyone.  For children with a physical, learning, or other disability…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Be a Library Champion

Because Libraries Make Leaders

Earlier this month, library advocates from across the country converged on Capitol Hill for National Library Legislative Day. This year, the Public Awareness Committee (PAC) was pleased to have their new Information Sheet included in legislator packets.                     Today, we have super-library-advocate, Amy Koester, with us to talk about how she used the new information sheet at this year’s NLLD.

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Growth Mindset

I attended the Early Learning with Families development training this May. This meeting focused on two subjects: Elements of Playtime and Growth Mindset. This blog will refer to Growth Mindset. Growth Mindset Think about the term “mindset.” Now, think about the way people perceive themselves in terms of their intelligence, talents, and personal potential. Dr. Carol Dweck compares fixed mindset and growth mindset when assessing the responses people give to a frustrating experience in her book Mindset.  According to Dweck, people with a fixed mindset find it difficult recovering from failure. Moreover, they feel they deserve the poor experience for being foolish or just because life is unfair and there isn’t much they can do to change bad experiences. On the other hand, Dweck reports that people with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity to learn and try things differently next time. [1] [1]See Dweck (2006) especially the…


Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Collaborate to Stop the Summer Slide

As the school year wraps up and Summer Reading approaches, now is a perfect time to collaborate with your local school and public libraries. We all know how important it is for students to maintain reading skills during summer vacation. It’s time to reach out and work together to give kids the best summer opportunities. For schools with summer reading expectations, providing summer reading lists to public libraries can help to ensure that they have listed books on hand for students. School librarians can help to facilitate the connection by reminding teachers to prepare and share lists in spring. Having reading lists early helps public libraries to purchase books before Youth Services Departments get too busy with summer programs.  Public librarians who serve youth can contact their local schools to promote summer reading. At the elementary level, visiting library classes to encourage students to participate in summer reading can get…