Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

It’s Kindness Month!

Have you been spreading random acts of kindness this month? A small gesture of kindness can create a happy, creative, and productive work environment. Youth Services is a busy place filled with hard-working staff. A perfect place to surprise someone with a kind gesture! There is still a week left in the month. (You even have an extra leap day!) Take a few minutes to express kindness and gratitude for having each staff member on the Youth Services team. Try one of these simple ideas:

Administrative and Management Skills

Leadership and Management Reading List

While the librarian stereotype is that we spend our days reading, we all know the truth as to how busy our workdays truly are. It usually takes intention to carve out time to develop and improve our skills. A couple of books and resources that I have loved over my career include: How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority by Clay Scroggins What I love about this title is that it is written for anyone interested in leadership. Every good organization needs leaders as they are your coworkers who inspire and motivate, but leaders aren’t always managers and many don’t have titles. Scroggins highlights various leadership lessons, such as building a support network and being a problem solver. The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhou Julie was the V.P. of Design at Facebook and…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Winter Fun for All

“It’s never too early to plan for next year!” It’s a phrase often said in libraries, and while some of us cringe at the thought of “next year,” the holiday season is a great time to reflect. For nine years, we held a blow-out Christmas event. It drew 1,500 patrons to the library on a chilly night in December for trolley rides, letters to Santa, and even Santa himself. It was an event that families looked forward to every year; something that became a holiday tradition alongside cookie making and caroling. So we kept it going, right? An annual event for 1,500 people! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But the problem was, it was broken.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

“I Have Glitter in My Hair, and You’re Telling Me I Have to ‘Network?'”

When I started my first full-time youth services position back in the beginning of 2019, a word came up in those first conversations with my new coworkers that completely terrified me: networking. I had come from the world of teaching, and networking seemed like a very intimidating, corporate concept that seemed to have little to do with my job of planning story time themes and creating fun children’s area displays. I wasn’t even quite sure how the process worked– my mind could only conjure up images of a fancy cocktail party where everyone tried to get the ear of the “big guy” (whoever that was). Fast forward almost five years, and my idea of networking in the library is very, very different from what it was. While in 2019 I had thought about it as an unquantifiable ability that I would need in order to “get ahead,” today I think…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Developing Social Skills . . . in Your Staff

How are your social skills post-pandemic? Not your party repartee; no doubt you still sparkle there! We’re talking about your ability to listen and to communicate clearly, respectfully, and often as you lead your team at work. And about that team . . . how effective are your staff’s social skills?

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Remember That Day When…

It was awesome. Twenty-four kids who met 45 minutes earlier, were all cheering for each other as they took turns throwing underwear into a cardboard toilet. Their shouts of victory when the lid closed on the toilet with each slam dunk shot is legendary. The joy the library brought to these kids that day and to this librarian was immense. Working in a library has those moments. There are spots of joy and success that stick with us as we venture through the years. The Captain Underpants program with the milk-crate toilet was held over sixteen years ago and it has stuck with me. I also often recall the outreach event at which I watched a colleague bravely sing camp songs to a packed room of kids and parents. She held everyone’s attention. It was amazing! We ran out of flyers at our library’s information table that night. These memories…

ALSC Online Courses

ALSC Webinars You Don’t Want to Miss!

Working at the reference desk has become very unpredictable. Stories of unusual, stressful, or unprecedented events are much more frequent. Over this past year, challenges to materials in the collection have grown exponentially. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom reported a 38% increase in the number of titles challenged in 2022 from the previous year. Often the children’s collection is the target of these demands for censorship. Addressing the challenges can be difficult and stressful. It is even harder in a library without collection development policies and procedures. More than ever before, libraries need to have collection development policies, have procedures in place, and have staff trained to address challenges. The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee and the ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee have prepared a two-part webinar to support librarians to effectively and less stressfully address book challenges. 


Reading with Our Ears

June is Audiobook Appreciation Month, so this format of reading is on my mind even more than usual. I had wanted to share something highlighting audiobooks, but was lacking inspiration until recently when I was cleaning out old email messages (because Outlook keeps “yelling” at me that my inbox is too large) and came across an article I emailed to myself back in 2014. It sparked an idea for this blog post. Audiobooks have been consistently increasing in popularity for several years. For the 11th year in a row, the Audio Publishers Association has reported that audiobook revenue percentage in the American market has grown double digits. It’s been estimated that the North American children’s audiobook market will rise from nearly $100 million to over $650 million by 2028. It’s safe to say – this is a growing market. The popularity of podcasts and the lack of available CD players,…