I attended my first ALA Annual Conference in 2008 as a relatively new children’s librarian. It was a great experience but also a little overwhelming. Since then, I’ve only missed one Annual for a family trip to Alaska. Over the years, I have become savvier about creating my schedule for each day. So, whether it is your first ALA or your 10th, these are some staples to consider adding to your schedule.
I’m counting down the days until it happens, 5 weeks from now, when it all comes to a head: public schools in New York City close for the summer and Summer Reading officially begins. Maybe you’re in a community that sees an early start to summer, or maybe you have a few more weeks to prepare yourself for what will inevitably be a summer of fun, friends, and great books. My library system always has its own summer reading list, but a lot of kids like to read “off script” and pick titles that don’t coincide with the theme. Even so, they’re often looking for recommendations and an opportunity to swap some shop talk about interesting titles.
As June looms closer and all of our programs and prizes that fit the Summer Reading Program theme have been selected, ordered, and organized it can become easy to ignore the self-care needed to keep our spirits and energy high throughout our busiest season. This is my tenth summer working as a children’s services librarian and while it took a few years, my friends and family finally realize that May through July is my tax season. These are the months where I see the most patrons, do the most labor intensive programming, and host the most storytimes for a wide range of ages. With this in mind, I have created a list of things we can do to ensure our self-care does not go by the wayside. For while our duties will be increased our energy is finite and we must plan accordingly.
Today is Earth Day! All around the world, libraries will be putting on programs and highlighting collections that encourage youth to engage in their communities in order to protect and renew the planet we call home. This year, our library combined our passion for early childhood services with our passion for sustainability, and got extra-creative about designing a library space from a repurposed shipping container. Taking inspiration from shipping container libraries around the world, our Director, Gretchen Caserotti, got to work, collaborating with the city and local community partners (the YMCA and St. Luke’s Health Care). The shipping container was installed in July 2018, and interior and exterior finishings were completed in September, with an opening date of October 1, 2018. Since opening, we’ve had more than 2,000 caregivers and their children come through the Tiny Library’s doors and engage in new ways with the space, and…
Are you planning to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in June? If so, you might be interested in extending your stay a few days. The National Association for Media Literacy Education will be holding their conference from June 26-28 in Washington, D.C.
Spring has sprung and with it comes extra special programming celebrating Día! Día is incorporated year-round by emphasizing the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds with many libraries commemorating by planning special events around the end of April.
We’ve all seen it before: kids gathered around a computer, playing the latest version of Minecraft or Tanki, squabbling for space as they swap tips and best practices (though they might not call them that). Or maybe you’ve seen a motley crew of kids come running down your stairs after your weekly chess program, excitedly chattering about this move or that move. No matter how you slice it, games have a place in libraries. The format they may take changes from month to month, library to library, but the fact remains the same: Libraries are a great place to game and learn.
Join me in celebrating our 50th Year of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards! Awarded annually, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognize outstanding books for children and young adults by African American authors and illustrators which reflect the Black experience. The first Coretta Scott King Award was presented in 1970, two years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. The award was designed to commemorate his life and works, and to honor Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace.