Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Team Building in the Time of Virtual Meetings

Usually at this time of year I am planning our library’s Youth Services Winter Retreat. Sometime around the second week of December the Children’s Services department of eight staff members and the Teen Services department of three staff members take a whole day to reflect on the past year’s programming and services, to plan for spring, and to begin summer reading plans. We also have at least one fun activity that serves as a team builder. Retreat sounds fancier than it really is, we don’t actually go anywhere. We gather in the meeting room of one of the branches and might go out to lunch. Well this year, the retreat will be virtual. The meeting over our virtual platform we’ve got down pat. But team building seems more important now more than ever. We have three new librarians who have only met in person maybe a couple of times. I…

Guest Blogger

An #alsc20 Highlight by Sarah West

Institute Graphic Plain

This year I had the chance to attend ALSC’s Virtual National Institute. I was so excited, I had never been to the National Institute, virtual or in person. Thanks to the 2020 Friends of ALSC Virtual Institute Scholarship, I got to attend. Of course the first thing I did when I got the email was to look at the schedule. I saw that this year there was a panel called “Diversity Needs Jewish Books: A Missing Piece of the Diversity Conversation.” I stopped in my tracks. As a 26 year old Jewish woman, I had grown up with just a handful of books about Jewish people, but how many times can I read Joseph Had a Little Overcoat? I didn’t know I’ve been waiting for this panel my whole life, but now I knew.             “Diversity Needs Jewish Books: A Missing Piece of the Diversity Conversation” was hosted by four…

Guest Blogger

Dinovember… In the Before-Times or During a Pandemic

November is Dinovember and dinosaurs have invaded the children’s department! Inspired by Refe and Susan Tuma’s What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night and librarians everywhere, Dinovember is a special month where dinosaurs come out to play. In 2019, our children’s department staff helped me celebrate our first Dinovember with programming, displays, and crafts. 

Blogger Heather Acerro

Keeping Connected with Custom Collections

At a time when Rochester Public Library (MN) has limited ability to provide direct services to children, teens, and families, our custom collection service has helped us stay connected. Since mid-March, RPL staff have been heavily engaged in city-wide pandemic response work, including setting up and staffing a day center for people experiencing homelessness and running a COVID-19 call center. We also provide library services through our digital library, Curbside pickup, Bookmobile services, Deposit & Homebound services, phone reference, and Internet access by appointment. This work has required our library to collaborate as a large team, with staff from multiple divisions sharing ideas and responsibilities on the various projects. As a result, our Youth Services team hasn’t had many opportunities to work together. During this time, two YS programs have allowed us to provide direct service to our kids, teens, and families. In June, we launched our Pen Pal program which has been…


Batchelder Award – Call for Suggestions

Books are arriving and the 2021 Batchelder Award committee is busily reading, but we need your help in ensuring we are identifying the very best in children’s literature published in 2020.  Please consider suggesting a title to the committee for consideration.  Visit the Batchelder Award page, log into your ALA account, and fill out the suggestion form.  It’s that easy! The Batchelder Award is awarded to a United States publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originating in a country other than the United States and in a language other than English and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States during the preceding year. More information can be found on the Submission Process page and FAQ’s about ALSC’s Book & Media Awards pages. Hurry – suggestions close on October 31, 2020! Today’s guest blogger is Suzanne Harold , 2021 Batchelder Award Committee Chair. This…

Blogger Liza Purdy

Storytime Starters: New Pandemic Skills Coming to a Website Near You

One of the things I miss most in quarantine is Storytime. I love storytime so much! It is an opportunity to create a whole bodied experience for families. I get a rush from presenting it. I love thinking about what themes I am going to do, what stories would be just right, what songs would work, what flannels. I even make playlists to go with my theme to entertain the parents and kids during the playtime afterwards. We have been doing storytime virtually since the pandemic started, so I have been getting my fix in a diluted way. As we all know, it’s just not the same. I was trying to think of other ways to deliver the storytime experience to families after our summer session ended when I happened upon Syossett Library’s Storytime Starters on their Instagram feed. What a brilliant idea! They posted books, flannels and some videos…