Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Tales from Self-Isolation

I haven’t had this much time off since high school summer vacation.  However, a pandemic is a much more stressful than time off school.  How did YOU continue being a librarian during this time off?  Here’s what I did. First, I helped with a portion of ALSC’s upcoming Virtual Storytime Services Resource Guide.  I am very excited to see the completed work! I live in Ohio, and thankfully, there were several online networking (and venting/commiserating) opportunities.  The State Library of Ohio continues to have a weekly “Ohio Youth Services Meet Up” every Tuesday morning.  I cannot tell you how much the sharing and listening that occurs in this meet up has helped me keep my sanity.  In addition, the North East Ohio Regional Library System also had a series of meet ups that served the same purpose. I watched a bunch of free webinars from publishers and publications previewing upcoming…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

TV Tips to Look Your Virtual Best

I started working at the library when I was 16 as a page (aka “shelver,” at the branch where I work now, though I worked elsewhere in between).  In truth, I never left.  My aim, however, was not originally to be a librarian.  My first goal was to work as a writer or producer in television, which is totally NOT as dramatic as it sounds. And I did it!  For 7 years…while still working as a page. (Again—TV?  Also not as lucrative as it sounds).  I eventually transitioned to be a librarian, and I have always seen a through line in those two professions.  Both are about disseminating information, whether to entertain, educate, or inform.  The medium is just different. I am, though, suddenly realizing that my background in television will help my career in children’s librarianship in a surprising way: by helping me frame my virtual programming videos. I am…

Pandemic

Connecting Communities to Other Virtual Storytime Providers

If you read this blog regularly, then you are aware that ALSC is currently creating a Virtual Storytime Services Resource Guide, offering tips and ideas for supporting virtual early childhood programming during the pandemic and beyond. However, not all libraries may be able to create their own virtual content.  Maybe they can film some short videos but feel like it is not enough.   Or perhaps a library wants to supplement their own offerings with the plethora of material available elsewhere.  There are also marginalized and under-served groups that require libraries to work creatively to meet their needs. To that end, one portion of the Virtual Storytime Services Resource Guide will focus on “Connecting Communities to Other Virtual Storytime Providers,” items that will meet these needs.  The work group focused on resources offered in different languages, including American Sign Language, as well as websites that encourage parents to take on…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Winter Preschool STEAM

Back in October, I wrote about the aptly named Fall Fun Preschool STEAM program, the first of its kind I had offered.  I had been inspired by a colleague’s presentation, which you can read more about in the link. In February, our department held a Winter Preschool STEAM program that was also tons of fun, and I wanted to share. About 30 people (kids and caregivers) attended.  We started by creating a sensory snowman…aka a snow globe.  Voss water bottles were PERFECT for the snowman, and the lid resembled a hat.  Strips of blue flannel for a scarf really made him pop.  I’ve made snow globes before with glycerin and they never really worked.  Using clear glue, as suggested in the link, was a great upgrade…and added to the science as we discussed how the glitter was suspended by the glue. Next, we made a “melted” snowman…basically, it was white…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

The Virginia Hamilton Conference Creative Outreach Grants

The Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth celebrates its 35th anniversary on April 30th at Kent State University.  The Conference is the longest running event in the country that focuses exclusively on multicultural literature for children and young adults. Besides offering workshops on a myriad of topics, the Conference offers several awards, including the Virginia Hamilton and Arnold Adoff Creative Outreach Grants for Teachers and Librarians.  The application deadline is February 28th, and you or a colleague may be eligible. Each year, two $1000 grants are awarded—one to a K-12 teacher and another to a school or public librarian.  According to the Conference website, criteria for a proposal includes a program that: Promotes awareness of multicultural themes and issues through outstanding literature; Illustrates the use of exemplary multicultural literature, particularly but not exclusively the works of Virginia Hamilton; Demonstrates effective organization, methods and/or library service; Includes a plan…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Staff Empowerment

My first position as a department head coincided with the opening of a new branch.   It was hectic.   Our branch was the first in a major capital building campaign, and it featured a lot of new technology.  Besides different phones and fax machines, we also had an audio recording studio and a Smartboard.   To top it off…we were short staffed.  Just after the building opened, the head of children’s (I was teen at the time) left for a different position.  Therefore, we had a lot of substitutes in the building for a few months, which was difficult because they were not comfortable with the new equipment.   The department heads (me, the head of adult, and the branch manager) were running ragged.  Not only were we doing our typical job and handling the high volume of visitors we faced the first 6 months, but we were constantly…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Gingerbread House Fun

I’m tired.  Actually, my feet are killing me.  But it was worth it. Last night (as of this writing), my library hosted 70 people in a holiday Gingerbread House decorating program.  Obviously, our customers were excited. A word of digression before I explain how we put on this fun—a concern about diversity. Our branch is in a very diverse area and, although the program had worked in the past, I was concerned.  While we avoided religious symbols, Frosty, Rudolph, Santa, and the rest of the secular Christmas gang were represented in the candy used for decoration.  We did have blue and white frosting available if anyone wanted to make a Hanukkah-themed house.  Several members of our new-immigrant Southern Indian community did come and participate.  I would think hard about your community, as there are ways to do a fun “house” program that could be inclusive. We did a Halloween haunted…