Guest Blogger

PLA 2022 Goes to Ramona’s World

When I realized that #PLA2022 was happening in person, in Portland, I knew the one thing I had to do. Visit Beverly Cleary’s stomping ground! I had to pay homage to the dearly departed author of the enduring characters Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Henry Huggins. After the preconference I attended I took the tram to the Grant Park-Hollywood neighborhoods. The Multnomah County Library has a ”Walking with Ramona” walking tour map of landmarks featured in Cleary’s books and from her own childhood.

ALA Annual Conference 2021

Poster Sessions for Children’s Services at #ALAAC21

I have always loved to take a little bit of time to peruse the poster sessions at in person ALA Annual Conferences. Most of the presenters are from the academic world and usually have nothing to do with my job as a children’s librarian in a public library. However, I still like talking to people who are passionate about their work. There is usually something I can learn and use in work as a public librarian. Once in a while the subject relates directly to serving children. So, I explored the virtual poster sessions this year. While I missed being able to ask questions, it was still fun to see how excited the presenters are about their work. Here are a few projects that can be useful to us working in children’s services. “A Bibliography of Children’s Literature to Celebrate Multilingualism and Facilitate Translanguaging Pedagogies” by Grace Enriquez, Ed.D. and…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Team Building in the Time of Virtual Meetings

Usually at this time of year I am planning our library’s Youth Services Winter Retreat. Sometime around the second week of December the Children’s Services department of eight staff members and the Teen Services department of three staff members take a whole day to reflect on the past year’s programming and services, to plan for spring, and to begin summer reading plans. We also have at least one fun activity that serves as a team builder. Retreat sounds fancier than it really is, we don’t actually go anywhere. We gather in the meeting room of one of the branches and might go out to lunch. Well this year, the retreat will be virtual. The meeting over our virtual platform we’ve got down pat. But team building seems more important now more than ever. We have three new librarians who have only met in person maybe a couple of times. I…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Recharging My Library Battery at #ALAVirtual20

I was a little worried that #ALAVirtual20 would not come close to recharging my library batteries. I am happy to report that while it’s different, it’s pretty good! It’s so great to take two or three (or more if you are lucky) days to immerse yourself in all things library-world, outside of your day to day job. I am always grateful for the opportunities that I get to attend a conference. Sure, I’m not having that full immersion experience, even though I am away from my library office. There are the frequent declarations to my family, “I’m working! Do you see me working?” Hit pause on the recorded session, “We can go for a practice drive in an hour, when I’m done WORKING.” (I have a 16 year old.) I wasn’t interrupted this much in the months that I was working from home when we were under the Stay at…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Healing Reading Trauma at #ALAVirtual20

Wow! A lot was packed in to the #ALAVirtual2020 session “Healing Reading Trauma: Rebuilding a Love of Reading Through Libraries for Liberation” presented by two teacher-librarians, Julia Torres and Julie Stivers. There is so much to learn about equity work. I was drawn to this presentation because as a public librarian I have seen what they describe for over twenty years, how most schools’ reading programs actually turn kids off to reading. I’ve experienced as a librarian and as a mother how the leveled reading programs don’t fit many kids, how the reading choices made available to kids disenfranchise them. However, this session opened my eyes to how children from oppressed communities, disabled children, and LGBTQ+ children are not just taught to dislike books or see reading as a chore, but are actually hurt and oppressed by teachers, librarians, and an education system that does not offer reading material that…

Children's Literature (all forms)

Illustrator LeUyen Pham

“The power of picture books is painting the world the way you want see it.” Yesterday I sat in on illustrator LeUyen Pham’s talk “Wandering Wonderful: How an Outsider Found Her Way In.” Pham shared intimate stories from her childhood and related her experiences to her favorite books. It was a beautiful glimpse into a reader’s journey to the woman and artist she is today. I am really inspired by author and illustrator talks, especially from artists like Pham who allow us in.  Hearing their personal stories helps me connect their books with kids. When you can say, “You know I met this illustrator. She was really cool. She loved Charlottes Web and told us a story about her pet ducks. And yes, her family ended up eating the ducks, but she didn’t”, kids see the creator of the books they love as real people who even were once kids…

ALA Annual 2018

Welcome to New Orleans

I was really hoping my first blog would be about Michelle Obama’s talk but unfortunately life took over and I had to miss it. That’s the thing about having the annual conference in your home town, you can’t really get away. However I was able to start the festivities with two great vendor parties. Actually my conference started yesterday at the Book Buzz at the New Orleans public library. I was glad to hear the publishers’ book talks about the new fall books coming out. It’s also easier to tell a vendor what’s wrong with their product when you’re sharing blue crab beignets. The peripheral events around the annual conference are great ways to reconnect with old friends, meet new colleagues, and bond with your coworkers while also schmoozing with publishers and vendors. My consolation prize for missing Michelle was that I got to meet Trombone Shorty, New Orleans’ favorite…