Blogger Lisa Nowlain

Kindness and civility?

kindness civility?

I wonder if the call for kindness in our profession in reaction to the Wilder Award change, and in the past, is related to the call for civility happening nationally. Both are often leveled at BIPOC, LGBTQIA, immigrants, or other vulnerable folks, and can feel like a call to… Let’s listen to what Ijeoma Oluo, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Amelia N. Gibson, Dr. Dawn Quigley, Alia Jones, and countless other BIPOC are saying. For instance: The latest debate on the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award has brought up a lot of conversation online. What people are missing is that the conversation, and the way we have it, are actually connected to people’s physical and emotional safety – not specifically in the moments of conversations we are having, but in a culture that kills and oppresses BIPOC. Lisa Nowlain is the Youth Librarian at Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City, CA. She is…

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

If humans were oviparous

I have been looking around at all the pregnant people at our library and thinking hard about what life would be like if we laid eggs. Would we need incubators at the library? Would we have storytimes for eggs? Babies might come out a lot more developed, so we’d have to change baby storytime. Hopefully there would be more gender equality. Honestly, this month’s post is a little wackadoo because your humble Youth Library is losing it over Summer Reading (and all the programs that happen before it). Lisa Nowlain is the Youth Librarian at Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada County, CA. She is also an artist type.

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

Circulating tech kits to teachers

The California State Library has a grant opportunity called Pitch-an-Idea. We were lucky enough to get one of their grants and create a Technology Lending Library for teachers and after-school providers. All teachers need is a library card to check these kits out for a month, and non-profits sign an agreement for their employees. What makes this unique is that the kits are not for individual checkouts – they’re made to be used in school or after-school environments. It has built a lot of great partnerships with schools and teachers. We have done outreach at principal’s meetings, with the Superintendent’s Office, at teacher meetings, at local events with non-profits, and more, and it is always great to have something to offer that makes people’s eyes light up and say, “Really?”   We’re currently halfway through our grant period, and we’ve hit some speed bumps for sure, but the tech is circulating….

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

All I Want for Christmas

This is total fluff. Total! In the face of real actual wishes – ie dismantling white supremacy in the library and out, preserving net neutrality, and etc and etc (I could go on)- this is silly. But here you go. It would help my sanity when meeting new people (ie at holiday parties etc) to see these stereotypes as good outreach opportunities but some days I have just totally had it.   Lisa Nowlain is the Youth Librarian at Madelyn Helling Library at the Nevada County Community Library in California. She is also an artist type and you can see her work at

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

Class Visit Idea Round Up

Display by Teen Intern of books sorted by Hogwarts houses

We get class visit requests often here in Nevada County, CA. We have nine school districts, nine special or charter schools, and 4 private schools scattered around our rural county, where 68% of residents live in unincorporated areas. It makes it really special for kids to get to the library, so I feel a lot of pressure to make their school visit great. The image above is an easy one – make a special display focused on the classes’ interests or recent project. I spent a while researching good class visit templates, but unlike storytimes, there aren’t a lot of them out there. So here are a few ideas. I’d love to hear what you do in the comments!   Preschool and Kindergarten visits: My goal with these is to get kids feeling like the library is a place for them. I have some quick sketches featuring different things you…