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Leveraging School Partnerships

Building relationships with other organizations can take time and continued effort before you finally start to see the fruits of your labor. The results of these partnerships can go beyond what you thought possible at the onset and bring forth great benefits for both organizations and the community as a whole. This is made even more challenging with staff turnover (in both organizations) and having new people step in to maintain the relationship. Our service area, Oklahoma County, has 15 public school districts, the largest of which is Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) which has about 34,000 students at 33 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, 8 high schools, 4 alternative schools, and 6 charter schools.  ONEcard In the fall of 2016, we began the ONEcard program with Oklahoma City Public Schools. This program automatically gives all OKCPS students a library card that matches their student ID/lunch number. Parents/guardians have the…

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Celebrate Summer with Audiobooks

Ah, June. School is out. Summer Reading has begun. And many families are ready to travel. Since June is Audiobook Appreciation Month, what better way to celebrate both audiobooks and summer than with titles great for family sharing? Added bonus – depending on your library, it might count towards Summer Reading for everyone!  I’ve been hooked on audiobooks ever since a grad school assignment required me to listen to one. I had tried listening to books a few times, but just couldn’t get into the format. One book changed it all: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, narrated by Lynn Redgrave. I was drawn into the story in ways that I never imagined possible. It was pure magic. And it was a perfect way to pass the time over my weekly 6-7-hour (roundtrip) commute.  In this digital era, it seems that the library’s physical audiobooks collections are slowly becoming obsolete. Many households…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Thank you and grateful for Public Libraries

Over 20 years ago I was new to America. Everything was new. I left behind my family and friends in India. I was fortunate that even before I learned to drive, I was introduced to the Public Library. I was not used to Public Libraries as we do not have them in India. I was used to school, college and university libraries, circulating libraries run out of garages or special libraries to which we had to purchase membership.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Collaboration and Equity for Summer Programs: A Recap of a #PLA2022 Preconference

The PLA conference was over a month ago, but I’m still unpacking the preconference I attended. “Best Practices for Summer Learning Based on Racial Equity” was a half day workshop presented by Christy Estrovitz from the San Francisco Public Library, Sheryl Evans Davis from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Christi Farrah from the Massachusetts Library System, and Elizabeth McChesney from the National Summer Learning Association.  The workshop revolved around the 2021 “Everybody Reads” summer program sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library along with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Like everyone else, the Library had to think fast about how to offer a summer reading program during the pandemic. The program consisted of a kit that included a 38 page full color booklet that featured eleven books for a variety of ages. Each book is a positive portrayal of an underrepresented community. The booklet includes activities to go along…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Rock Your Next Interview!

Getting an interview for a position you are interested in is super exciting, but also can be pretty scary because many times you only have one chance to make a great impression. After 8 years of hiring for youth services positions at all levels, here are some of my tips for rocking your job interview. Be prepared to share your experience and successes. This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by the amount of candidates I’ve interviewed that struggled with effectively sharing their qualifications. Before the interview, review your resume and think about how your previous experience has prepared you to succeed at this position. What are the highlights you want to be sure you share? Are there any programs, partnerships, or initiatives you helped to develop, implement, or improve? If there are any specific qualifications or skills that this position calls for, like understanding childhood development,…

Administrative and Management Skills

Staying Out of Trouble

Whenever I look at something going bad, I ask:  Are there systems in place?  Are they up to date?  Are they implemented?  It all leads up to making decisions on high consequence, low probability events, or what many call high risk – low frequency. Think of your library.  Each library consists of a distinct set of offices, branches, departments, or at a minimum, colleagues each with set of things for which they are responsible.  Let’s just call them the things we do; each of us.  Your job is complex.  There may be hundreds or thousands of things you do that need to happen correctly so that your library, office, branch, or department can function; consistently delivering upon its mission.  Those things all have one singular goal; doing it right. In youth work, if you are going to recommend titles, you do it right.  If you are presenting a story time,…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Using Yoga in Storytime

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. As libraries reopen, some have in-person storytimes, while other libraries are still exclusively online. Others have created a hybrid using both. No matter which way storytime is presented, we are all looking for fresh and inventive ways to help children learn and have a positive time during storytimes. One simple and fun way to welcome children back is to include yoga. Incorporating yoga in storytime is very easy to plan, given some simple dos and don’ts. Here are a few resources to help guide you.