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.

Administrative and Management Skills

Katrina to Ida: Staff Communication and Community

There has been a lot written, in this blog and in other publications, about the role libraries and librarians can play in helping communities that experience a natural disaster. Children’s librarians play an especially important role in providing kids and families with resources for recovery and resiliency. But library staff are also going through the disaster and aftermath themselves. Having gone through two major hurricanes, 16 years apart to the day, I would like to share what I’ve learned about taking care of the library’s greatest asset during and after a disaster-the staff.

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Applying the SOAR Model to Virtual Children’s Programming During a Pandemic

How did the Parkway Central Children’s Department at the Free Library of Philadelphia get a head start on virtual programming before the pandemic? In November of 2019, I attended a series of Skills for Community Centered Libraries training sessions with a cohort of my colleagues at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The training was developed by the Free Library with funding from IMLS, in partnership with seven other libraries around the United States & Canada. This curriculum will soon be available to all public libraries. In that setting, I was inspired with a spark of an idea about putting bite sized pieces of Storytime programming on Instagram Stories – this idea developed and blossomed into so much more as our world changed. I had no idea, in late 2019, that our job was about to change so drastically and we would have to bring all of our programming to the…

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Lets Talk: Finding the Balance While Reopening During Summer Reading

For the past year or so, libraries around our country have either been closed completely or opened with lower capacity and hours. Now libraries are reopening with limited capacity and hours while other libraries find themselves opening at 100%. Although we are all looking forward to reopening and seeing the little faces lined up for reading logs and arms filled with books, librarians are scrambling to adjust summer programming that was already set for the virtual scene. This includes reading logs online, virtual programs and events, and books reserved online for pick up — no browsing the isles. How do we find a balance in such a rushed environment of reopening? In my local community, we have different library systems and all systems have been faced with the task of reopening. Patrons are excited about our reopening and want to browse and attend in-person events. As we created our summer…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Statewide Virtual Performer Showcase: Lessons Learned

When school is dismissed for the summer, and excitement around library Summer Reading Programs (SRP) begin, library traffic increases dramatically. Here in Kansas that means staff at approximately 323 public libraries have been planning a schedule for months. This schedule includes challenges for a reading program, educational or entertaining performers, and crafts or hands-on activities. This winter, two regional youth consultants designed and offered a virtual showcase of performers to help meet social distancing guidelines and other changing needs librarians face, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The showcase is now available via the state’s regional library system webpage. This showcase helps staff make informed decisions when scheduling performers. The showcase used an existing Statewide Performer’s Directory to contact performers and gauge interest. Then, youth consultants divided the performers expressing interest into categories and scheduled recording dates and times. Reception from the performers was overwhelmingly positive. Consultants recorded ten minute segments using…