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…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Give Yourself Grace #Alsc20

A theme I have really noticed during #alsc20 is #giveyourselfgrace.We all have strengths. We all have weaknesses. #giveyourselfgrace.It can be easy to think you are not doing enough, or are doing bad work. #giveyourselfgraceThere are so many great ideas out there and you cannot always do everything. #giveyourselfgraceUnplanned, unforeseen personal events are always happening. #giveyourselfgraceYou have a life and a family and anxieties and troubles. Those are valid #giveyourselfgrace Add more reasons in the comments and remember. GIVE. YOURSELF. GRACE.

Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Different Location, Same Conference Excitement #ALSC20

Hi friends!! My name is Emily Mroczek (Bayci) and I am very excited to share #alsc20 with you all via the live blog!! Shout out to the organizing committee to all their hard work! Shout out to all the ALSC staff for transferring to virtual. Special love to ALSC for a scholarship to attend this conference. And hello to everyone! One of the most important ways to be part of a virtual conference is engage, engage, engage. So #letsdothis. Personally, I am thrilled to be able to attend this conference #alsc20 from home. As a working mom, it can be very difficult to serve on ALSC committees and attend conferences while fulfilling my other duties. Here’s to hope that this starts a precedent of what great things we CAN accomplish virtually! (Side note my 20 month old son is really enjoying making faces at all the conference presenters) I thought…

Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

What is the future of children’s librarianship? #covid19 #childrenslibrarian

What is the future of children’s librarianship? #Covid19 has instituted a (valid) fear among many people about job security, a change in job duties, and an all-together new approach to “normal.” This was my first year on the committee for my library’s Summer Reading Program and in a weeks time we revamped it to something that has never been done before. Kids were given all their logs and prizes in one kit, instead of having multiple pick-ups. Hunts for the mysterious “Sasquatch” were done online and we did not have our helpful teen volunteers. However, we had comparable numbers of participants to year past. And that wasn’t the only unusual aspect of summer reading this year. In a time when our shelvers are usually full to the brim with work, they were asking for extra projects. At hours when the library is usually louder than a playground, it was silent….

Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

These are unprecedented times #COVID19

I never imagined a time when librarians would be advocating to close libraries, when the ALA Annual conference would be cancelled, or when staying inside would be the norm, but here we are. #COVID19 has struck the world and it is terrifying. And that is OK. These are unprecedented times. As a librarian, it is typically hard to imagine that we could ever be deemed “un-essential.” Just because libraries are not open- does not mean we cannot help people. Librarians around the world are rising to the challenge, putting on digital story times, providing access to different resources, aiding students and teachers with online learning and more. We are proving more than ever that we can be of support, even without our physical buildings and materials. The pressure to produce can be overwhelming. I am inundated with e-mails and Facebook notifications every time I log online. There seems to be an…