Guest Blogger

The Bookstore Model of Customer Service at #PLA2020

Coming from a bookstore background, I was excited by this session as I feel that there are aspects of retail that librarians can adapt in order to make their organization successful.  All four presenters are currently in the library world, but were in the bookstore world at one time (or are still).  Here are a couple of tidbits that I pulled out of this session: The Internet has changed customer service from transactional to relational.  The only places that can get away with transactional service are ones where you can’t go anywhere else (ex. the DMV). People judge customer service by the same standard, whether it is at the store, the library, or the doctor’s office. Libraries can define service expectations for their employees based on their mission and values. Companies who are known for good service (ex. Apple, Disney, Trader Joe’s) use customer service templates.  A template isn’t a…

Guest Blogger

Limitless Libraries #pla2020

One of the meetings that I set up before PLA was with the NPL staff member who started the Limitless Libraries project and now coordinates their curriculum kits so I could pick her brain and see the reality of their project. As items are requested by students, they are put in these bins.  Each bin is for a different school.  There are approximately 120 schools who are a part of the program.  The bins are located in their staff workroom in the first basement.  (FYI-you can’t tell the workroom is in a basement!)   The materials are then bagged up and go out each day to the schools.  Each bag is for a different school.  The school delivery service added the library to their route and they pick up the bags.  Items are returned to the library through the same delivery service.   NPL also carries over 100 curriculum kits…

Guest Blogger

#PLA2020 Visit NPL

If you have a spare hour while you are in town, make sure that you stop by the Nashville Public Library.  It is about a 15 minute walk from the convention center.  There are a lot of fun nuggets to explore and be delighted.  Here are a couple of my favorites: The book drop is a miniature replica of the Nashville Public Library and is just as you enter the room. As you go up the stairs from the first to the second floor, the stairs are painted to look like book spines. Doesn’t every kid (and adult too!) want their own reading fort?  This structure is designed with nooks and crannies that are perfect for readers. This replica of the Ryman Auditorium is perfect for dramatic play!   Lisa Mulvenna is the Head of Youth/YA Services at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library.

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Programming Be “Tween” the Lines #alsc18 #act4kids

I LOVE programs where I come out of the session with program plans that can be easily adapted for my library.  This program had plenty of great ideas, from fuzzy moon sand to boo bubbles.  My favorite program was the Barbie bungee.  A couple of us were given a pile of rubber bands to make an interlocking bungee for Barbie.  Our goal was for Barbie to bungee jump and for only her hair to touch the floor.  You didn’t want her to crash, but you wanted the hair to reach the floor.  We estimated how many rubber bands that we would need and tested it out.  Sadly, our Barbie crashed as we used 3 too many rubber bands. This program can be easily recreated.  Supplies you will need include: -some sort of doll (multiple that are exactly the same).  You can use superheroes, Barbies, or whatever would be fun for…

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Grown-ups Are People Too. #alsc18 #act4kids

Do you work with small children and their caregivers?  Then this presentation is for you!  Julie Crabb from Anythink Libraries showed off her tricks to engaging caregivers and making them WANT to attend your programs. Step 1: Make slight adjustments to what you are currently doing.  Can you add in a pop song or one that caregivers will recognize?  An excellent suggestion from the audience was that just about every nursery rhyme can be set to the song We Will Rock You.  The Jbrary YouTube channel has a great example of All the Little Babies set to the tune of All the Single Ladies.  You may ask why to do something like this.  Grown-ups will leave your program with ear worms, which will lead to more grown-ups singing in their homes. Step 2-Research your city and events.  What’s hot for parents?  Does your community offer a coffee story time?  How…

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

A is for Advocacy #alsc18 #act4kids

First, this session was recorded and will be on the ALSC web site at some point.  I highly recommend taking an hour to watch it with your staff. Some takeaways that I wrote down from this session include: -Who is not being represented in the books that you share? -When doing outreach to diverse populations, focus on what’s working, rather than what’s broken.  Look for sustainable solutions. -Check your pronoun usage in programs, policies, interactions, and when sharing books. -Whose childhood matters?  African American children are thought of as more adult than white children at a younger age.  This means that people may let a 10 year old white child go for doing something childlike, but not an African American child for the same action. -Know your community.  Know your library.  Who are the community leaders?  Do they visit your library?  Why not? -You are a change agent.  Connect with…

Live Blogging

Library Visiting at #pla2016

One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new city is to check out their libraries.  Since I was a day early for the conference, I got some behind-the-scenes looks at 2 local libraries. Mary Kuehner was kind enough to tour me through Denver Public Library’s Children’s Library.  I also got to go down in the basement and see some of their cool stuff that they use in outreach and programming.  Check out this ice cream cart that they fill with books for community events! Denver Public Library also has a great program where they train volunteers to conduct weekly story times at local preschools.  I think that their number was 150 preschools.  These are all books in storage that the staff put together for their volunteers.  The size of this project blew me away. In the afternoon we went out to visit the Koebel Library, part of…

Live Blogging

Morning Jam Session, Story Time Style

One of the sessions that I most looked forward to at #pla2014 was Wee Be Jammin: Using Music to Promote Early Literacy in the Library.  I am a big music person when it comes to story time.  My undergrad degree is in music and I have used it to develop music-based programs at the library.  This group of Chicago-area presenters had stuff that I have not heard of before and I really learned a lot.  From adding hand motions to “Hickory Dickory Dock” to singing a clean up song for getting your scarves back in the bag, I was furiously scribbling notes and singing along.  What was even more fantastic was that the music and developmental theory was given for each story time age group. In case you missed this session as it was full, the handouts are on the PLA conference web site.  In addition, the presenters have even…