Blogger Abby Johnson

Advocating for Diverse Books

I went to a grown-up pre-conference at the 2022 PLA Conference: Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers (check out our PLA 2022 live blogging here!). Many times when choosing conference sessions, I look for content specific to youth librarianship. It’s what I know, it’s what I do. But here’s your sign to look outside our youth librarian box now and then. Although the presenters, Robin Bradford, Alene Moroni, and Becky Spratford are experienced in adult services, everything they said translates easily to youth collections. I want to share my takeaways advocating for diverse books in your collections.

Blogger Abby Johnson

Braille Enhanced StoryWalks® at #PLA2022

Y’all know I love the StoryWalks® at my library, but you know what could make them better? Increased accessibility for those with disabilities! In this morning’s session Braille Enhanced StoryWalks®, we learned about adding Braille text to StoryWalks®. The Library of Michigan and the Michigan Braille and Talking Books Library partnered to make this happen for dozens of library districts in their state, serving millions of residents.


What Marketable Skills Do Children’s Librarians Have?

I was having a conversation with a friend recently about librarians moving to jobs in other fields. Taking the leap from libraries to a corporate job sounds scary. But it did get me thinking about what marketable skills we develop as children’s librarians. Being a children’s librarian sounds like a very specific career. And we certainly develop specific expertise. But many of the programs and projects we undertake build very marketable skills. I hope for you that you’re in youth librarianship because you love it. If you’re feeling like a change might be nice, though, consider the following as you peruse job ads.

Blogger Abby Johnson

Circulate Hotspots at Your Library

Does your library circulate hotspots to your community? Ours is just about to. Like many libraries, we were lucky enough to receive an Emergency Connectivity Grant. This provided funds for us to purchase 150 hotspots and 20 Chromebooks to circulate to our county. I know many libraries have circulated hotspots for years, but this was brand new to us. Here’s what we thought about as we got our hotspots ready for our community.

Blogger Abby Johnson

#ALAYMA Announcements Oh My!

This morning a few of my colleagues and I tuned in to the livestream of the Youth Media Awards and oh my goodness! So many fabulous books were honored, including a few books of my heart. And I look forward to reading the ones I haven’t yet read. A few books of my heart were honored this year and it was so amazing to hear their titles called! In particular, my colleagues knew that I was really rooting for Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. Just last week, I suggested it for my library’s LGBTQ+ book discussion. I told our leader that I was going to go ahead and put in the ILL requests before it got bombarded with shiny stickers and no one would loan it to us for awhile. Yay for me that I did that because boy howdy did it get bombarded! Another book…