Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Pack in the fun with Nature Backpacks

The heady months of summer are winding down, yet you still may be experiencing an influx of young people in the library. While this is a fun time to see so many new faces in the library, the nice weather creates an opportunity to partner with your local forest service or park service departments to encourage families to explore the outdoors into the upcoming autumn. 

ALA Annual 2016

Tween Spaces – Wants or Needs?

A library’s space, and how it relates to children of all ages, is the theme of this year’s ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program: Libraries: The Space to Be . If you are attending ALA Annual in Orlando, join President Andrew Medlar to learn more about space design during a panel discussion that will focus on best practices for small, medium and large libraries, and how libraries are creating spaces that are vital to children and the communities that support them. Speaking of space design – does your library have a space created specifically for the tween user? Yes, tweens. Previously best known as “school age patrons”, the 9-12 year old set has graduated into their own sub-community of library users, with many libraries paying attention to this demographic by creating specialized spaces within their children’s departments that cater directly to the pre-teenage.  Today, libraries are defined as much by their spaces as they…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Food in the Library? An interview with Amanda Courie about Summer Food Programs

Over the past few years, there has been a growing awareness in public libraries that children within their service areas may not be getting enough to eat during the summer months when school breakfasts and lunches are unavailable. Many libraries have partnered with state and local organizations to address this “food insecurity” by offering summer food programs, but this may seem like a daunting enterprise for small, rural, and/or understaffed libraries. Caroline County Public Library, one of eight rural Maryland libraries that my organization serves, began offering a summer food program last year. I decided to interview Amanda Courie, Youth Services Manager, to find out how this kind of program can work on a smaller scale. Amanda, I understand that Caroline County Public Library is a small system. How many full time staff members are there? How many of them work in youth services? “We are a small system!  We…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Taking the Lead in Helping Kids Become Good Digital Citizens

Digital citizenship. It’s a complex subject that I’ve thought a lot about in recent years- and one that I’ve been figuring out how best to address in my role as a public librarian. For our kids to be contributing participants in the Digital Age, they need to be informed about a whole host of issues such as internet safety, privacy and security, cyber bullying, digital footprints, information literacy, copyright and creative credit, and more! So when Mariah Cheng, one of my regular patrons who also happens to be an elementary school teacher, approached me about teaching a series of digital citizenship workshops at the library for children and parents I jumped at the opportunity to partner with her. Mariah had recently become a Certified Educator through Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship Initiative which offers training and curriculum for free to K-12 educators so that they can teach their students and…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Partnering with Homeless Serving Organizations

Located in an urban area, my library has a large population of people experiencing homelessness. All of the schools in the area are Title 1 funded schools, which also indicates a high level of need for transitional housing and other services for families.   Although we regularly see homeless populations in the library, I wondered why we don’t see more and what we could do to make these potential patrons feel welcome and aware of not only our warm building in winter months but also our wealth of resources and programming for families. I developed a loose plan to visit the shelters and homes that serve families, provide a storytime, talk about resources and distribute library cards. I honestly thought it would be a cinch to get the shelters on board. But I was setting myself up for difficulties. I had an elevator pitch that largely skipped why this might…