Administrative and Management Skills

COVID Trauma Anniversary: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

It’s March. Again. After the most surreal year most (all?) of us have ever experienced. Time for our collective COVID trauma anniversary. It’s okay if you’re not okay right now. And just remember that your colleagues, vendors, and patrons may not be okay right now either. And even if you’ve been doing okay, there may be some new or old emotions welling up again. I want to share some resources that may help.

Blogger ALSC Membership Committee

The Self-Care I Needed to Survive the Pandemic

As I reflect on this past year, one thing that kept me motivated was the routine of meeting with my ALSC committee members. Though we were working on shared interests and committee charges, the act of being a part of a team gave me the self care I needed to survive the pandemic.  Each of us takes care of ourselves in unique ways. There are some days when we just need to survive and do nothing. There are other days when we want to take action and unleash our sense of ambition. I have my share of both of these mental capacities but overall, I know that I thrive knowing that I am a part of something bigger and that I can make a real impact with my work. Working on committees kept me balanced between personal self-care and connecting to the value of Children’s Services. Seeing how our colleagues…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

New Approaches to Virtual STEM Programs for Kids

When Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) closed to the public nearly a year ago, children’s librarians scrambled to adapt programming to the virtual world. Library Lab STEM programs began with a cooking demonstration showing the chemical reactions in Snickerdoodle cookies and expanded to a variety of science and coding experiments. 

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Jolly Holidays All Year Round

After battling the elements to get to the branch (snow, snow, and more snow), I spent several days last week changing my seasonal displays. I am lucky to work (and live) in a truly diverse community that has for a long time featured large Catholic and Jewish populations and now boasts a growing African American community along with immigrant groups from Turkey and southern India.  I’m always excited to feature diverse books, and offering mirrors and windows to a diversifying neighborhood always seems very worthwhile. Nothing makes this clearer than my holiday displays.  I recently dismantled my Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents’ Day books, plumped up my Black History Display, and looked ahead to upcoming holidays…and what a plethora are approaching!  Not to forget: February 26th: Purim March 14th: Pi Day March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day March 20th: Norwuz March 27th: First day of Passover March 28th: Holi…

Programming Ideas

Virtual “Field Trips” to the Library

I like to start a school class visit to the public library where I work by walking up the stairs to the front door and stopping before entering to say, “When you go inside, be sure to look up!” The branch has very high ceilings, and there are two murals painted to mimic a cloudy blue sky, with seagulls flying around the light fixtures. Even the teachers and chaperoning parents get excited when they see the murals! My hope with this is that it sets the stage for the library to become something memorable, and a welcoming place they know they can turn to. With our system being closed to the public for almost a year, we have shifted to virtual class visits to connect with students and teachers. During these visits, I try to impart that same welcoming feeling, but have had to come up with some new pitches. …

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Spotlight On: Early and Family Literacy Committee

Once again, the Public Awareness & Advocacy Committee is excited to share another hard working ALSC committee with you! ALSC process committees create valuable programs, publications, and resources for youth librarians. While we love our book awards, we also love our toolkits, webinars, best practices, and networking opportunities… and all of this value is for members, by members! Previously we have featured the School Age Programs & Services Committee and the Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee. This month we wanted to highlight the work done by the Early and Family Literacy Committee. Current Co-Chairs Lori Romero and Joanna Ward were kind enough to answer some questions about their committee and the work they do.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Singing Brings Connections

Before I was born, my mom was a kindergarten teacher. When I was young, I remember her waking me up most mornings by singing “Good morning to you… good morning to you. We’re all in our places with sunshiny faces. Good morning to you… good morning to you.”  When I started my career as a Children’s Librarian, I decided to begin each storytime with this same song. It gave me a sense of familiarity and comfort in those early days of nervous storytime presentations.  In the subsequent months I began to notice the audience swaying back and forth as I sang, and it was only then that I realized I swayed as I sang too. It was our shared ritual- the singing, the swaying, the pointing at our “sunshiny” cheeks. Something we all looked forward to each week. I remember parents telling me how their child would “play” storytime at…


To Boldly Go Where They Have Not Gone Before

If you are lucky, you will have the opportunity to host a library school student; someone who thinks working with youth, caregivers, and families is absolutely the best.  Given that, I must be extremely lucky.  At last count, I have been able to do so fifty-two times.     Sometimes they are paid, sometimes not.  They can be called interns, or practicum students, or a number of other titles.  Whether they are just entering the professional workforce straight from college and graduate school, or have any number of years’ experience within or beyond the library world, an opportunity awaits for everyone involved.  In just one or two semesters, your investment of time, and sharing of knowledge, can turn out to be the pivotal learning experience for an aspiring children’s librarian. It all begins with a promise.  You promise to train them in all manner of library things.  They promise to apply…