Blogger Ericka Chilcoat

1000 Books and Smiles!

This weekend we held our very first 1000 Books before Kindergarten graduation! We had 10 graduates who reached this milestone. Some registered with our pilot program in October of 2016;  others with our full rollout in January of this year.  I am still flabbergasted at the amount of planning that went into the graduation. Try as we might, there were still last-minute details that threatened to derail us, such as a “broken” printer! Luckily, we pulled it together, thanks to my fabulous detail-oriented partner-in-crime Susan Flinspach, who has put in thousands of volunteer hours toward this program. I believe the parents, children, family members, volunteers and local officials that participated all had a great time.

Blogger Ericka Chilcoat

Thoughts on Graduation

graduation, graduates, cap and gown

This is the time of year when you can’t avoid the evidence-it’s graduation time. You either know someone who is graduating or someone you know is going to a graduation. A friend’s child barely made it across the finish line and there’s relief. Others are in the throes of meeting final requirements, getting signatures, and making arrangements for the big day and beyond.

Blogger Ericka Chilcoat

A Message from E.V. Barnett

Earl Vernon Barnett was my uncle, and he passed away in 2009. I saw him when our family took trips to visit relatives in Phoenix, Arizona. I had such a good time on those trips. Part of it was hanging out with my cousins-we’d and walk down the street from my grandmother’s place to the “candy house”, where a woman sold all kinds of goodies out of a window in the front of her house. The best part though, was sitting in my grandmother’s living room, surrounded by cousins, aunts(I have 10 of them) and listening to the stories and anecdotes that were passed around the room like a box of chocolates. As a shy little girl, I didn’t have much to say, but I adored my aunties. They have some great nicknames-Pappy, Cookie, Bright, Peanut–and you can only imagine the stories behind how they got those names. It was…

Blogger Ericka Chilcoat

A Reminder to Support Our Colleagues

Many years ago, I was scheduled to attend a library workshop about an hour away and I was running late. I knew that the library where the meeting was being held was closed that day, and the attendees had received instructions to ring the doorbell at the back door to be let in. I got there and rang the bell, but ten minutes later, I was still waiting.  I texted a co-worker who was also attending the workshop and she got the word to one of the facilitators who came and opened the door for me. No one wants to be the one catching the cow by the tail, not knowing what you’ve missed and having all eyes on you,  but soon I settled into my seat, and the discussion and had a question for the instructor. The administrator responsible for handling the housekeeping portion of the workshop announced to everyone that…

Professional Development

Two Little Magic Words

This time of year, I enjoy looking back at what I am thankful for. I remember my first job as a Children’s Librarian in a little hamlet in Los Angeles County almost 22 years ago. One day there was a meeting of the Friends, and I was there to ask them to support a children’s program. They voted yes, and I was happy, but kind of in a fog, and not too sure about how these things worked.  A Library Assistant who attended the meeting nudged me and said quietly through a bright smile, “Say thank you.” So I did. I’ll admit that I was a little annoyed that she had to prompt me, but I shouldn’t have been. That was my introduction to the Friends of the Library and the beginning of a career of learning to say thank you.