Blogger Chelsey Roos

Recovering from Program Failure

Almost everyone has a program completely fail at least once in their career. In library school, I learned how to build a good program, how to market a program, and how to incorporate elements of diversity into programs, but I didn’t learn how to recover when a program does an absolute belly-flop. Let’s look at three common ways a program might crash and burn (they’ve all happened to me!) and some ways you can salvage your time, supplies, or spirit in the face of program disaster.

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Encouraging A Culture of Rereading in Your Library

It happened again this week: a caregiver told a young reader to put a book back. “You’ve already read that one,” they said. “Go put that back and find something new.” I’ve heard many well-meaning adults say this to a child in their charge, often once they’re standing at the self-check. And I understand what they’re thinking – they want their little reader to grow by reading something new. But research on reading tells us that rereading is actually great for developing readers. How can we create a rereading culture that subtly (and not-so-subtly) encourages grown-ups to take home that Dog Man for the fortieth time?

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Class Visit Basics

School is back in session and the class visit requests are rolling in. School librarians are pros at managing class visits. But for many public librarians, class visits may feel a little less comfortable than our regular storytime jams and STEAM programs that happen in our own, well-known program rooms. If you’re new to class visits or if it’s simply been a little while, join me for Class Visits 101: how to prepare, books to share, and the magic of brain breaks.

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Storytime Safety Plans and Other Things I Didn’t Learn in Library School

In library school, I took a lot of children’s classes. A class about evaluating children’s literature. A class about planning programs. Even a class devoted entirely to storytelling. But there are some things I never learned in school. I never learned how to make safety plans to escort a performer out of a library event turned threatening. I never learned how to respond to online accusations about the supposed predatory nature of LGBTQIA+ books. As book challenges sky-rocket and board meetings become hostile, what does it look like for new library staff to be well-prepared for the profession?

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Smoke in the Summer: Supporting Families in Wildfire Season

The Canadian wildfires have brought a smoky summer to many of our communities. In some parts of North America, wildfire season is a yearly occurrence that is only getting worse. For others, this may be the first time you’ve had to deal with smoke and poor air quality. If a blanket of smoke has settled upon your community, simple programs and robust collections can help.

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Share Queer Joy

I am afraid to put up a Pride display. That feels unprofessional to admit, but it’s true. I live and work in a very liberal area, and yet I am still afraid. From book bans to anti-trans bills to storytime protests, it is a very scary time to be under the LGBTQIA umbrella, an umbrella that feels paper thin against the onslaughts of contemporary hatred. This June, let us shine a light on books of queer joy. That joy can be so hard to keep alight on our own.

Uncategorized

On School Shootings and Difficult Collection Development

There have been 160 school shootings since 2018. According to the Washington Post, more than 300,000 students have experienced gun violence in their school since the Columbine shooting in 1999. Every shooting leaves shocked, scared, and traumatized children in its wake. Children who have never had an act of gun violence in their school are also aware of these shootings. They happen in schools just like theirs, towns just like theirs. Sharing books can be a great way to support kids who have fears and to start a conversation about gun violence – but this is not easy, given the very small number of books published on the subject. How can we build a strong collection when there is so little published?

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Why We Need Sensory Storytimes

In my area, libraries are bringing back their pre-pandemic range of programs, but one program is mostly missing: sensory storytime. I live in a busy, urban area, and yet in my entire county, only one library system has a weekly sensory storytime. My family needs a disability-friendly storytime if we’re going to be able to attend. For Autism Acceptance Month, let’s talk about why these types of storytimes are so important, and why they can be so hard to get (or keep) in the line-up.