Guest Blogger

Knowing our value(s) at #PLA2024

If you had asked me just a few years ago, I would never have dreamed I’d be geeking out over sessions on data analysis or communication at the Public Library Association conference this year.  This children’s librarian tends to feel the most comfortable in the sunshine-y part of libraries, but the reality is that in these past few years, all librarians have found themselves amid challenges they may never have expected in the past.  To me, that means that I need to learn how to place the (perpetually lovely) world of rhymes and readiness amid its (often tricky) wider community context. Digging into disagreement So on the final day of this conference, I attended two sessions: Communicating During Controversy: How to Lead with What You Believe and Data Analysis for Equity and Opportunity: Analytical Frameworks in Action.  Each session was led by a panel of experts in their field.  There…

Guest Blogger

Rocking the How-To Stage at #PLA2024

By my final day at this year’s Public Library Association conference, I had somehow not made it over to the how-to stage, so I was grateful when I checked in for its closing session, called “How to infuse musical magic into your storytime: learn an easy ukulele song.” I’m a children’s librarian who offers storytimes but I’ve never really felt comfortable with an instrument, let alone playing one in front of my storytime families.  This is where the format of the how-to stage is genius.  Imagine a tiny TED talk: a few rows of chairs and some informal standing tables surround a small stage.  The presenter only has 20 minutes to introduce a topic and send their audience home with practical skills we can immediately apply.  The idea that I could get through all my musical jitters and learn an instrument in two-thirds of my typical lunch break?  Sign me…

Guest Blogger

Making Data Less Scary at #PLA2024

I’m going to start this post with a confession: I failed a statistics class in college.  I’ve never been a math lover, and honestly, this sort of thing can scare me if I think about it too much.  I know that I’m not alone in this feeling, but I’m willing to bet that everyone in the full ballroom on Thursday morning at the Public Library Association conference would agree that data is an essential way that we librarians can tell our stories and educate others on our impact.