Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Book List: Books About Being Sick

Llama Llama Home with Mama book cover

Six weeks ago, I was in a bad car accident. I was driving along, minding my business and probably singing a song, and then a tractor-trailer lost control and veered into my lane. After almost a year of being extra vigilant with my health and safety to protect myself and others against COVID, I was suddenly thrust into a hospital and a painful recovery. Despite the scary accident and loss of two cars (my partner was in the car behind me), we are okay, healing, and happy to have each other still. That being said, sickness is on my brain! Since this is a common question for both caregivers, teachers, and parents– below is a list of my favorite sick picture books. (Don’t worry, I am okay!)

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

How Would Beloved Children’s Characters Survive the Pandemic?

Picture Book Characters

Allow me some brevity to the seriousness of the current climate. If you can step out of the moment for some light-hearted fun, join me in guessing how beloved children’s picture book characters would be surviving the pandemic and 2020. Below are my guesses of the fates for 10 beloved picture book characters. Corduroy: From Corduroy: I think of all the characters, this bear is gonna be a-ok! He is used to spending his time alone, wandering around with little purpose, and looking for something that is outside and unattainable. I think we can all relate to those feelings. Peter: From The Snowy Day: Peter has become all about those daily walks! He is walking around his neighborhood, local parks, and getting those 20,000 steps in. He has developed some serious local guides and is maybe Mr. Neighborhood by now. Caterpillar: From The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Sorry, friend. But this…

Administrative and Management Skills

How to look ahead…

We are in a historical moment. A pandemic. We can’t do what we have always done, and maybe that’s a good thing. I hope that our systems, our peers, and ourselves take a second or eighth look at what we have always done and see the potential to do more or rediscover what we could do. As numbers increase across the country, and more uncertainty looms with the flu season upon us, it’s getting kind of hard to go work. Even if you love it. And so many of us really do. This is a difficult time to work in the public, and it’s a difficult time to manage those who do. Psst. I don’t actually have any answers. I keep going because it’s my job, and I want to serve my community and support my staff. So, to go on… I practice safety at work. I wash my hands…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month. If we were in more normal times, this is usually the time of year that libraries would partner with fire stations to give out helpful reminders for all ages about how to stay safe at home. Instead, we are all home, and hopefully safe! If you choose to virtually showcase some fire prevention tips this month, here are book ideas to help. I am also including a song and a felt rhyme. If you are focusing on curbside service only, consider making a firefighter bundle of books! “Five little firefighters” felt rhyme from Read, Rhyme, and Sing Note- I love felt stories because you have some creative license. You can make your firefighters look exactly as you want! This one didn’t take me too much time and I had a lot of fun thinking about how I could reflect my community back in little felt…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

(Emotional) PPEs that aren’t supplied…

I cringe with this title, because, hopefully, the majority of these readers work somewhere that is supplying gloves, masks, and face shields in this public health crisis. But, I know better to hope for basic essentials. Instead, I wanted to talk about the PPE that lives in each and every one of us and is currently required for doing library work in a pandemic. It’s our emotional self and reserve that we need to use daily, sometimes hourly, to protect ourselves from the wear and tear of this job. P- People skills: Knowing how and when to defuse escalating situations. Giving service with a smile. (Even when it’s a snark hidden under a mask) Using a touch of humor to connect with patrons. Remembering that you can still safely connect with patrons through your sanitation shields. Meeting different users where they are- whether from 6 feet away or a screen…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

LESS is BEST with Reopening

As the weeks and months of library closure add up… and our move back dates get pushed back for the health and safety of our locations, I think there is a lot to reimagine in how our services, buildings, spaces, and lives will be changed in that aftermath. I’ve been sheltering in place since my library closed on March 15th, and sharing an apartment with my boyfriend who still works his 8 hour days in our spare bedroom. I haven’t seen any friends during this time, sparing a drive-by to a friend’s house for her birthday in early April. When we go out, we wear masks and gloves and wash our hands compulsively after– I typically forget why I am counting and end up counting until 44 before I realize that I could have stopped at 20. We head to Costco once a month and a farmer’s market on a…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Balancing Low Staff and High Program Needs

Ever since I transitioned from children’s librarian to a branch manager– I have been way more obsessed with the staffing needs that is required to run a children’s department, well. Depending on your branch, location, system, or building– children’s departments probably average anywhere from 3-15 programs a week. And while it might look to some managers or admin or even patrons, that those programs just appear magically– I know all the hard work that it takes to prepare, craft, present, and manage those programs– and all the staff needed to make those dreams possible.