Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Advanced Readers Advisory: Comfort Youth Librarianship

During uncertain times that never stop being uncertain, I find myself wanting to curl up in the “comfort portions” of children’s librarianship. One of the aspects of my job that has not been altered drastically by COVID-19 is readers advisory and my speciality: advanced readers advisory. The kids are still reading, reading and reading. The kids are still coming in thinking they have read every book in the library and it is still my job to stump them. Here are “five of my back-pocket tricks” to win readers advisory.

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Highlights from Liz McChesney- Distinguished Service Winner #alaac21

In todays ALSC membership meeting, 2021 ALSC Distinguished Service winner Liz McChesney made a beautiful speech. I am inspired. I already knew she was great (quick disclaimer that I was a member of the committee that picked her) and she did give a shoutout to my child. But her speech inspired me as a children’s librarian to serve the children and their families to the best of my capabilities. Her speech highlighted some of the many things she cared about (and everything she cares about is very meaningful and important) including equity, collaboration and fellow people in librarianship). She helped me think about WHY I am a children’s librarian and HOW I can make sure my population is receiving the services they need. My blog post does not do her speech justice. I strongly encourage you to listen to the recording when it is posted (her speech is the beginning…

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Own Monday, Own ALSC Day at #alaac21

It’s Monday of ALA Annual Conference 2021 or as I like to call it- ALSC Day! Today is when the big ALSC meetings are happening: in a mere nine minutes (10 a.m. CST) we have the 2021 ALSC Awards Presentation and at 2 p.m. CST is the ALSC Membership Meeting. The Awards Presentation features 2021 award winners that were not highlighted at last nights banquet: the recipients of the 2021 Batchelder, Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media, Geisel, and Sibert Awards. This afternoons membership meeting is themed: “Strategizing Youth Services in Time of Transition. President Kirby McCurtis will have her last hurrah as our fearless leader and members will hear from the  2021 Distinguished Service Award recipient, Liz McChesney, learn about division news and accomplishments, and engage in a member facilitated discussion. A recording from the meetings will be available at a later time, but I hope to see you there.

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Stay engaged at a virtual conference #alaac21

It’s time for ALA Annual! I’m really doing my best to start the day strong- I am a mom of 2-under-2, life is crazy, I probably wouldn’t even be able to attend annual if it wasn’t virtual. I am so fortunate. BUT, let’s be real. I’m tired, my toddler keeps trying to mean mug the computer- I don’t want to have awkward IM conversations and I’m pretty sure my trusty laptop wants me to give it a week off. I just realized I was in a video queue to meet and author, chickened out and Xed out and tried to attend a video conference that is full. I’m trying to picture this as it was a “typical” in-person annual. I would probably awkwardly chat with said author, mispronounce something and stumble away opposed to what I just did, which is the equivalent of saying nothing and running away. I would…

Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Virtual Programming is Here to Stay

With COVID numbers decreasing, the rollout of vaccines and the weather getting better it can seem like a good time to say goodbye to your camcorder and video editing. I am here to convince you otherwise. Virtual programming should not go anywhere. It is accessible, necessary and important for 21st century libraries. 1. We Already Know How to Do ItHalf the barrier for virtual programming in “the before” was not having the proper tools. Think about all the time and money your library has probably invested into virtual programming and how much you have grown since a year ago. Why throw away all of that valuable knowledge? 2. Virtual Programming is AccessibleVirtual programming allows individuals who cannot access the library attend programs, people who need to be able to pause something or add subtitles watch at their own pace, and reaches people outside of your geographic zone. The reach goes…

Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Pandemic Reflections on Youth Librarianship: One Year Later

It’s been one year since COVID-19 shut down the United States and the world tentatively approaches it’s “new normal.” Let’s take this opportunity for “pandemic reflections,” and see how the year has impacted youth librarianship. As my friend and co-blogger Abby wrote the other day, “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay.” This month marks many anniversaries… the last in-person storytime, the last “busy” desk shift, the last school visit. I will forever remember working the weekend everything was shutting down. I printed out coloring sheets about washing hands and did a “germs are not for sharing,” storytime. This was all while anxiously awaiting updates from our director. What followed was a government shut down, an abundance of family time, and new phrases like “six feet,” “social distancing,” and “mask up.” Emotions raged while we felt unessential, to feeling overly essential, to everywhere in between. Hiring freezes and furloughs hit libraries…

Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Zoom on: A look at Zoom storytimes

A huge benefit of maternity leave during a pandemic is virtual library programs. And as a children’s librarian myself it can be a little bit of professional development and really a lot of fun for my children and I. Here are some of my observations after watching dozens of Zoom storytimes across the United States. There are many different platform options, which you can read about here but today we’re focusing on Zoom. Attendance Numbers are always important and counting participants can be difficult in a digital environment. Here are some of the methods I’ve seen. Registration: in the registration form, participants have a section to put how many people will be attending the storytime. Chat box: the facilitator encourages participants to type how many people are attending in the chat box Eyeball: The facilitator will try to see how many screens/ individuals are participating and add that to their…

Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Redefining Reading Goals in 2021 #readbetter #readmore

I’ve found in recent years my reading goals have been pretty standard: read all the books on [INSERT NAME HERE] national, state award list. A coworker posed an interesting question: what books are we missing that aren’t necessary said award contenders? Which leads me to my new 2021 objective: how can we redefine our reading goals in 2021? Read the Kid Recommendations– What book does a kid want you to read? Next time you talk to a kid- (yes it’s harder in a pandemic) ask them to assign YOU what to read next! Finish those Series– I recently told my book club how rarely I read the second book in a series and how it’s even rarer for me to read an entire series. One of my attendees said, “but Ms. Emily, you’re supposed to be the person I talk books with, and I can’t even talk about the second…