ALA Annual 2015

Listening in on Notable Children’s Books #alaac15

Yesterday, I had a random free hour in my day (what?) and I decided to stop by the Notable Children’s Books discussion. It was so inspiring to hear such intelligent, funny and thoughtful librarians critiquing some of the most interesting books of the year. If you’re at ALA, I would recommend listening in on their discussion. They meet from 1-4 today and 1-4 tomorrow in room 3022 W at the Moscone Center. If you’re at home, just go read Sidewalk Flowers (by Jon Arno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith). Then read it again and talk to all your favorite people about it. This will get you closer to replicating the Notable’s experience!

ALA Annual 2015

I’m Your Neighbor #alaac15

I spent the first part of my morning at the session New Immigrants, New Approaches: Serving Your Communities Deep Diversity with Programming and Aquisitions and it was a great way to start the day!  One of the best parts for me was learning about the resource I’m Your Neighbor which is a database of children’s books about the experience of new arrivals.  I’m really excited to find more books on this topic to share with my community: books that reflect the experiences of some of our children and introduce some of our children to new experiences. Especially, because I just heard Anne Sibley O’Brien discuss research that actually demonstrates how sharing books about different cultures can positively impact how cultural groups feel about each other.  (This is something that we all feel, but it’s always so inspiring to see the research!)    

ALA Midwinter 2015

Joint ALSC and YALSA Member Reception at #alamw15

After my last meeting of the day, I went straight to my hotel, removed my snow-covered boots and sat down on my bed.  Part of me wanted to stay in my cozy spot, but I’d told a colleague I’d meet her at the ALSC and YALSA Joint Member Reception.  So I figured I’d better put my boots back on. And I’m very glad I did!  In addition to catching up with my colleague, I got to see some other familiar faces and meet a few new brilliant librarians.  I loved getting to hear about everyone’s conference highlights and favorite Youth Media Award recipients.  Whenever I am in the presence of a large group Children’s and Teen Librarians, I am astounded by their vast knowledge, passion for their work and openness to new ideas.  What a perfect a way to end my conference.

ALA Midwinter 2015

The Amelia Bloomer Project at #alamw15

I might not see you at #alamw15, because I’m spending most of my time meeting with Amelia Bloomer Project members.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My days are filled with fascinating discussions about a wide variety of books for children and young adults.  We assess these materials based on four main criteria: feminist content, excellence in writing, appealing format and age appropriateness for readers.  We make a top 10 list from the years offerings and a longer list of however many books we feel met our criteria this year. Want to learn more about our committee?  Feel free to look at our blog or even stop by to observe.  All of our meetings are open to the public.  Find us at the Fairmount Hotel (200 North Columbus) in the Embassy room.  We might even share our delicious snacks with you.  (Snacks are very important to most committee…

Guest Blogger

You Are Not Alone: My Experience at the 2014 ALSC Intitute

I returned from Oakland almost a month ago now, but I’m still processing much of what I experienced at the ALSC Institute and still pondering how to implement what I’ve learned in my own work.  As I look back at the conference as a whole, what comes into focus for me are particular moments when I saw the work we do in a new light.  We’re all so busy at our jobs that it can be hard to take a step back to think about the impact our work has and to be intentional about how we want to support our communities.  When I look at the Live Blogging coverage of the institute it seems like a lot of sessions have already been well-covered, so what I want to share with you are little moments that were meaningful for me.  We’re all having breakfast and listening to incredible authors speak…

Institute 2014

Every Day You Do It! #alsc14

Andrea Davis Pinkney’s closing session talk was a great end to the ALSC Institute experience.  In addition to giving us a wonderful peek into her creative process, she clearly identified herself as a lover of libraries and librarians.  She called us “Fairy god-librarians!”  (Time to make new business cards?) And, you know what?  We are.  That’s one thing that I will take home from the ALSC Institute: the pleasure of meeting colleagues from around the nation who are incredibly generous, dedicated and brilliant.  I hope this is something that you already know and that you hear on a regular basis, but regardless, please take a moment to recognize how amazing you are.  You work so hard and your work has a huge impact on the children and families in your community.  As Pickney said “Every day you do it!”

Early Literacy

Aiming for Inclusion Breakout Session at #alsc14

At tonight’s Breakout Sessions I participated in Aiming for Inclusion in Public Library Early Literacy Programs.  Tess Prendergast and Kelly Clark, of Vancouver Public Library, discussed strategies that they initially used in special programs for children with disabilities, but then found to be very useful and appealing to a group of children with a wide range of abilities.  For example, children with special needs often benefit from getting to re-tell a story in several different ways.   Guess what? So do typically developing children!  They brought up some barriers that families with children who have disabilities may encounter with library programs, such as group size and program pacing, and discussed ways they’d tried to minimize these issues. We got to meet Moe the Mouse and to sing the Pete the Cat song together.  It was really nice to be in a smaller group where everyone was able to participate in the conversation and…

Institute 2014

Taking a moment to rest at #alsc14

I have already learned so much at the ALSC Institute and my brain is buzzing with new ideas to take back to my library system.  Thanks to our fabulous presenters I’m thinking about ways to advocate for the importance of the work we do, ways to collaborate with community partners, ways we could better welcome children with special needs into our branches….and so much more!  I know this afternoon will bring even more great new ideas, but sometimes it’s important to take a step back and collect yourself for a moment.  How do you keep yourself feeling energized at conferences?  (Or during your work week?!)  Whether it’s catching up with a colleague over lunch, taking a little walk to explore your surroundings or taking a nap with the stuffed llama in your ALSC gift-bag, I would recommend fitting a little self-care into your conference experience.   It will help prepare your brain for all the…