Blogger Kathia Ibacache

Is Access to Information ever Complex?

People might believe that access to information is a right for most U.S. citizens, with the exception of incarcerated persons. For some people, especially in urban areas with easy access to public libraries, personal computers, internet access, and educational institutions, access to information is a matter of every day practice. However, is access to information ever a complex issue? Access to Information In theory, the public’s understanding of access to information is correct as expressed in the American Library Association’s mission, which states the role of libraries is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” Nonetheless, what happens in communities in rural areas where transportation is scarce and people lack access to computers, the internet, books, and a public library? Then, access to information becomes problematic….

Blogger Kathia Ibacache

Mentoring Program: Symbiotic Learning

The mentoring program enables symbiotic learning. The ALSC Mentor/Mentee Mentoring Program pairs two members from the youth librarianship world to work together to build skills, encourage networking, create awareness in the competencies needed to serve children in the public library setting, and develop leadership skills leading to empowering a peer. The mentoring lasts one year in which mentor and mentee’s active communication is paramount to the successful fulfillment of goals. A Few Words about my Mentee The mentoring program matched me with Crystal Laiben, a librarian who serves in rural Bath County, Kentucky. Crystal is an energetic and self-motivated Children & Youth Services Coordinator, who has the crucial responsibility of serving both children and teens alike. In any urban or even suburban setting this task can be manageable. However, Crystal is serving a town of 1,000 people where transportation is scarce, illiteracy is high, and where 80% of the county…

Blogger Kathia Ibacache

Playtime in the Preschool Years

Playtime in the preschool years is paramount for children’s motor, social, and emotional development. Then why has it become second place to academic learning of basic kindergarten curriculum? Playtime Is playtime devalued in the U.S.? As a children’s librarian you might have come across a well-intended caregiver who was looking for a book to teach a preschooler to read. Valeri Strauss, an education writer for the Washington Post, refers to a report, which states that learning to read in the preschool years or even in Kindergarten shows no indication of school readiness and success for the future. On the contrary, there is extensive research asserting that playtime in the preschool years is of utmost importance for the development of a well-rounded child. A child might know the ABC’s, numbers, colors, and nonetheless fall apart completely when faced with a disappointment because that child has not developed preschool age emotional intelligence that…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Growth Mindset

I attended the Early Learning with Families development training this May. This meeting focused on two subjects: Elements of Playtime and Growth Mindset. This blog will refer to Growth Mindset. Growth Mindset Think about the term “mindset.” Now, think about the way people perceive themselves in terms of their intelligence, talents, and personal potential. Dr. Carol Dweck compares fixed mindset and growth mindset when assessing the responses people give to a frustrating experience in her book Mindset.  According to Dweck, people with a fixed mindset find it difficult recovering from failure. Moreover, they feel they deserve the poor experience for being foolish or just because life is unfair and there isn’t much they can do to change bad experiences. On the other hand, Dweck reports that people with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity to learn and try things differently next time. [1] [1]See Dweck (2006) especially the…

Blogger Kathia Ibacache

STEM: Leadership Tips When you Get Coding Bots Out

STEM can overwhelm some librarians. However, do not despair. There are some organizational ideas and leadership tips worth trying if you are willing to give coding bots a try. After a year of an introductory STEM programs at the Simi Valley Public Library, it was time to spice this program up with a new element. Why not buy bots to teach kids computational thinking through basic coding? The idea became a proposal and with minor changes the proposal became a reality. We purchased two of the following four bots: Wonder Dash, Coji, Ozobot, and the Robot Mouse, to implement a year’s worth of monthly STEM programs focusing on coding. Wonder Dash and Azobot: are fine bots for kids 6+. Here children will be practicing coding at a basic and intermediate level if they dare to explore all the potential of these bots. Coji and the Robot Mouse: are convenient bots…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Do You Ever Say “No”?

Do you ever say “no” to your patrons? This question has haunted public libraries since we adopted the contemporary business model that states “the client is always right.” Moreover, it is part of the common core of public libraries to offer as much welcoming a place for our customers as we can provide. However, what happens when a customer is infringing into the positive experience of another client? More interestingly, how do we respond to this infringement when the parties involved are caregivers? It’s time to use redirection in public libraries. Redirection in Public Libraries As a Youth Services Librarian, I have worked with our Library’s staff to use redirection when witnessing in older children a behavior that might disrupt the library experience of other patrons. In other words, we avoid saying “no.” Instead, we use a narrative that help us reach the desired behavior using redirection and using positive…

Blogger Kathia Ibacache

Professional Goals and Your Performance

Images: Courtesy of Pixabay.com Did you achieve all your professional goals in 2017? Workplace goals are hard to define sometimes. Even for high achievers, setting realistic goals is more troublesome than we would like to admit. Other people might find setting goals a waste of efforts as they are not really met. Below you will find some tips to make your goals process more effective and valuable to yourself and your library. How does it work? Our library adopted the 4×20 Performance Evaluation design by which each one of us had to generate one or more Company, Library, and Professional goals. Once goals were set, staff had to meet four times for twenty minutes with their supervisors to discuss progress, changes, and completion of goals. During my first 4×20 progress chat with my library director, I realized some of my goals were too broad and thus not realistic. So I…

Blogger Kathia Ibacache

Children & Teens: Cross Collaboration

Have you thought about the benefits of cross collaboration among libraries? Do you belong to a collective of libraries that meet to share library trends and new ideas for children and teen services? Simi Valley Public Library is part of the Meet & Greet group, which is a collective of seven public libraries from different library systems that meet every three months. What do we do? Share library trends for children and teen services that have worked for us. Share innovative program ideas. Share ideas for tween spaces. Discuss books that have impacted us. Discuss ideas to advertise our collections. How do we do it? We meet in different locations every time, depending on the hosting library. The idea is to end with a library tour focusing on the Teen and Kid’s space and learn from the hosting library. Our meetings are in the morning. The hosting library usually offers…