Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Let’s Be Positive! What are some of your favorite programs?

During this time of confusion and stress, I thought I could talk to staff at my library and see what some of their favorite programs are that they have done in recent months. A lot of ideas are shared throughout social media about programming, and I thought it would lighten the mood to have staff reminisce about fun times at the library. 

Commitment to Client Group

Ten Tips for When the Library’s Closed

The situation is changing moment to moment and decisions are constantly being reevaluated. The safety of our public is our top priority, as much as we believe in the necessity of the library’s services. We are caught in a difficult place, and the need to slow the spread is winning out: More and more libraries are finding themselves being closed to the public or shut down entirely.

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Is “New” Necessary? Ideas for Enhancing Your Existing Children’s Library Programs

When it comes to designing and developing children’s programs to run in the library, we are always on the lookout for something different or new or a way to put a unique spin on something we’ve done in the past. We don’t like reusing “old” programs and often will try just about anything to avoid repetition. But I question whether this is a sustainable model given that the number of programs offered in the past 5+ years has increased by over 17%.


Notes from a Novice Budget Member

In July, I began my first year as a member of ALSC’s Budget Committee. “I’ll see the inner workings of the organization!” I thought. “I’m excited to learn more about how the division operates!” I manage budgets in my job as a children’s librarian–covering programming and materials collection for the children’s room–but those spreadsheets have fewer columns and definitely fewer zeroes than ALSC’s $3 million budget. I read the introductory documents and started getting myself acquainted with ALSC’s revenue streams and costs. (There are many. Let’s discuss the price of conference AV services another time.) I began to learn about how the division’s budget intersects with the finances of the larger ALA organization. I had opportunities to sit in on meetings and ask questions, but as a new member to the committee, I haven’t always known even what questions to pose. Sitting in the room for my first official Budget…

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Teaching Children about Meditation

Frank Sileo and the APA’s Magination Press have provided a great tool for teaching children about meditation in an accessible, kid-friendly way:  Bee Still. When I first saw this book in my pile of new-to-me titles, I couldn’t wait to read it and add it to our shelves. Sileo teaches children how to benefit from focusing and being still; to stay present.

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Underdogs – Ten Books You May Have Missed in 2019

Another year is behind us, with wonderful new releases in the picture book genre. I’m excited to share these particular titles with you. They’ve flown somewhat under the radar, with little fanfare. They stood out to me for various reasons: unique topics, incredible illustrations, humor. Please let me know about any other “underdogs” from 2019 you’d like to share! And without further ado… my 10 favorite underdogs! You are New by Lucy Knisley Good books for baby storytime are hard to come by, so I was excited to stumble upon Lucy Knisley’s “You Are New.” I love the minimalist illustrations, abundance of action verbs that lend themselves well to caregiver-child interactions, and hopeful message about being new in the world. Change to I love you from head to toe?” Bloom Boom by April Pulley Sayre Photographer and author April Pulley Sayre really hit it out of the park with this…


Yawáyro Book Kits

The Yawáyro Book Kits are a collaborative project of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians and the Santa Clarita Public Library. Funding for the kits was provided by a Talk Story grant from the American Indian Library Association and the Asian Pacific Americans Library Association. The goal of the project is to foster cultural awareness and literacy of Indigenous People through a curated selection of book titles about, and/or by Indigenous Peoples with discussion questions and other supplemental materials to be used by families, classrooms and other community groups. The book kits are available at the three branches of the Santa Clarita Public Library, as well as the Tribe’s offices in the San Fernando Valley and will soon expand to the Palmdale office. Yawáyro has been a successful collaboration between our library and the Tribe. The project started as a result of the Santa Clarita Public Library approaching the Tribe…

Administrative and Management Skills

The Importance & Wonder of Award Seals

Header for ALA Award Seals page

Every book awards season, readers and librarians alike anxiously count down to the ALA Midwinter meeting where, at the Youth Media Awards, the announcement of winners and honorees will take place. For ALSC members, the Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal, Pura Belpré Medal, Sibert Medal and the Geisel Award – to name a few – looms large. Equally as important as the books chosen for those prestigious medals and awards, are the award seals that will soon appear on those books.