Blogger Emily Bayci

Small but mighty: Conquering February Library Events

For me, February is one of the most exciting but most overwhelming months in library-land. It’s the shortest month of the year and SO much is happening! Here is a small sampling of some February Library events and program ideas to go with them. I know I missed many, so please add ideas in the comments! February- African American History Month An important theme every month of the year, African American History Month is another opportunity to highlight amazing materials about past and current notable African Americans. Scavenger hunts are a simple, but fun and educational way to share knowledge with school-aged kids. I have also been pleased to find a growing amount of diverse and educational picture books for story times. February- National Library Lovers Month National Library lovers month is a great way to do shameless self-promotion for the best place ever- the library! One activity I did…

ALA Midwinter 2018

First time at 2018 ALA Midwinter? Join Us for a Welcome Dinner

For new (and old) ALSC members, conferences can seem overwhelming. The ALSC membership committee wants to meet you and welcome you to ALSC and to Denver! What: ALSC “Dutch” (pay your own) Dinner When: Friday February 9th at 6:30 pm Where: Euclid Hall, 1317 14th Street Who: New ALSC members or first-time Midwinter attendees! Why: To learn more about ALSC, eat delicious food, make new friends and learn how to conquer the weekend! How: Please RSVP at this link: or email There’s More!: After dinner, a group will head to the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) event featuring illustrator Jillian Tamaki.  Anyone interested is invited to join.

Blogger Emily Bayci

Passive Program in a Post: Learn Basic Braille

A new after-school feature at my library is our maker-cart which has fun and engaging activities that rotate every week. This has been an experimental project and some activities are a hit, while others are a miss. The Braille maker cart was definitely a hit! Supplies: A large poster with the letters of the alphabet in Braille Small stickers Colored bookmarks that kids can decorate with their names in Braille Informational Books about Louis Braille and Braille Braille books or other texts Instructions: We advertised this as an educational way to learn about Braille and how to create a bookmark with their own name in Braille. Kids used the giant Braille alphabet as a guide to the letters of the alphabet. They then would place stickers on the bookmark to outline their own names. It was helpful to have six empty dots as a template when kids were creating their…

Blogger Emily Bayci

Three years later: Advice to a young children’s librarian

This September marks my three-year anniversary of being a children’s librarian. I walked into this job not being sure what to expect. Now I could not dream of doing anything else. My biggest realization? Knowledge of books and information can always be learned but the most important skills are dealing with people: be it coworkers, administration, customers, children or local (and higher level officials). Here are five main items I’ve learned over the past three years: 1)   Be kind, always. A customer is not going to remember what information you gave them, what you were wearing, or your name. But a customer is going to remember how he or she felt when after their interaction with you. Do your best to make sure it always ends on a positive note, even when it’s tough. 2) Don’t hesitate to go for it Put yourself out there. Check the box for a committee you want to…

Blogger Emily Bayci

Spicing Up Story Time: Grown Up Music Style

Singing during story time (or any time for that matter) has never been my strong point. I’ve been known to have coughing fits in the middle of songs, make up random words to “the ants go marching one by one,” and to receive compliments from customers about my “lack of rhythm but high enthusiasm.” That is all fine with me though, I’ve learned long ago that every person has different strengths and weaknesses and I need to embrace those strengths and weaknesses. However I’m a children’s librarian. I cannot deny that sing is one of the key early literacy components and that music and dance is critical in children’s development. So sing and dance, I do! However, that obviously doesn’t mean I magically received Ariel’s singing voice (Ursula beat me to that), or that I’m Jim Gill’s number one fan (though he is great). I’ve tried to embrace the fact…

ALA Annual 2017

Go for the Gold: My ALA Penguin Random House Grant Experience

When I became a children’s librarian in 2014, I tried to adopt the mantra of  just try things. I took that attitude and applied for the Penguin Random House Young Readers Grant (and many other grants and programs). I was fortunate enough to win the grant and attend my first full ALA conference in Chicago. I had attended conferences before but there were five special perks from this grant that I would not have received elsewhere: The full experience. Because the 2017 conference was in my hometown of Chicago ,many of my friends and colleagues attended for a day or two. With my stipend, I was able to attend the entire conference from start to finish and truly reap all the benefits. (Example: a notebook full of awesome ideas I have already started to implement and a pile of amazing ARC’s). Opportunity to attend separate from my library. The stipend paid for my conference…