Blogger Liza Purdy

The Trauma Informed Library

A month or so ago, I watched a terrific documentary on Amazon Prime called Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, based on a book by the same name written by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. The movie depicts the precarious state of Kristoff’s hometown, Yamhill, OR. The town has been devastated by economic hardships, the opioid crisis, and poor life expectancy in the past few decades. Kristoff checks in with some of his classmates who have faired far worse than he in the intervening years. I was fascinated by the documentary. I was particularly riveted by a segment regarding Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs. I had never heard of ACEs, but I believe that they are incredibly relevant to the role of the Children’s Librarian. Kristoff interviewed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General, and founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, which is a “national leader in the effort to…

Uncategorized

Creativity and Process in the Children’s Library

We are on the cusp of “returning” in all sorts of ways to a life that is far more interactive than it was mid-pandemic. Our library has opened its doors. We are offering outdoor programming. We are more physically available to one another than we have been for a while. We hope it won’t be long before we can safely return to indoor programming. As we turn our sights to the future, we have a massive opportunity to evaluate how we program. Covid-19 forced us to press pause, and now we’re playing again, albeit at quarter speed. While we’re in this strange moment, let’s time to think about changes that we would like to make going forward. One of libraries central tenets is that we develop communities of learning. Learning and creativity are synonymous.  Lately, I have been researching ways to develop creativity in childhood, and creative play’s impact on…

Uncategorized

Glimmers of Hope: Sidewalk Stories

Hope! I can feel it in the air! Spring is upon us, COVID numbers are down, vaccinations are rising, and we here in California are moving down the color tiers of restrictions. We moved from the unrelenting purple tier to red last week, and more and more places are opening their doors to the public for the first time in a year! We are gearing up for our own rapidly approaching re-opening date at my library. Our doors are still closed to the public at the time of this writing. We have, however, started to do some outdoor programs, most notably Sidewalk Stories! The name is the program’s descriptor. We plunk down hula hoops at socially distanced intervals, crank up the sound system, make a little barrier, and away we go! We’ve completed three weeks of stories so far. I’ve learned a few things that I wanted to share in…

Blogger Liza Purdy

Confronting Reality: Wade in the Water

Have you ever taken a personality test? The Enneagram, or Myers-Briggs or even what house you would be in if you were a wizard? I take them all, and every single time, I am embarrassed by my category. I’m a Seven, an ENFP, a Hufflepuff for heaven’s sake. I avoid pain pathologically. If it hurts, I’ll feel it, but only for a minute. Then I have play some music or read something beautiful or pet my dogs or do something that restores my hopeful stance.

Blogger Liza Purdy

Changes: Turn and Face the Strange

We’ve had a lot of changes in the past year, haven’t we? Changes in lifestyle, in government, in health. In our work lives, we’ve had nothing but change! It looks like there’s more change to come for all of us as we creep back, ever so cautiously, to something that looks like a life and work pre-pandemic. I had some big changes this month. I was promoted to Senior Children’s Librarian, which meant I moved branches and completely changed the scope of work that I do. A lot of it scares me, to be honest. I have to know DETAILS. DATA. There are EXCEL SPREADSHEETS involved. People expect me to know things. Is this my strongest skill set? Not even slightly. However, I have the opportunity to work in brand new and really exciting ways that do build on my existing skills.  I can stretch and grow, and that is…

Uncategorized

Gratitude: Reasons I am Grateful This November

November is here, the start of the holiday season. This year is going to be strange for so many of us. Hopefully we can all stay safe as we celebrate! One thing that I am planning on doing as we approach a Thanksgiving that will look so different from years past is to practice gratitude. There are all kinds of studies about the importance of fostering a grateful attitude; it seems we can do nothing better for our mental health than to count our blessings. I am going to count mine with abandon in my personal life, but what about my professional one? What do I have to be grateful for as a children’s librarian in this year of the pandemic? I am grateful for my colleagues. As a public librarian, my day is usually spent focused on patrons and community members. This year, as I’ve hunkered down in my…

Blogger Liza Purdy

Storytime Starters: New Pandemic Skills Coming to a Website Near You

One of the things I miss most in quarantine is Storytime. I love storytime so much! It is an opportunity to create a whole bodied experience for families. I get a rush from presenting it. I love thinking about what themes I am going to do, what stories would be just right, what songs would work, what flannels. I even make playlists to go with my theme to entertain the parents and kids during the playtime afterwards. We have been doing storytime virtually since the pandemic started, so I have been getting my fix in a diluted way. As we all know, it’s just not the same. I was trying to think of other ways to deliver the storytime experience to families after our summer session ended when I happened upon Syossett Library’s Storytime Starters on their Instagram feed. What a brilliant idea! They posted books, flannels and some videos…