Blogger ALSC Membership Committee

Finding Your Yes While Fighting Burnout

In September, I had the opportunity to attend Utah Library Association’s Annual Fall Workshop. During the keynote speech, given by Rebekah Cummings, a librarian at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, I found myself with tears streaming down my face. At one point during her talk she asked us to turn to our neighbor and state three things that inspire us. I struggled to come up with a single answer. The only reason why that I could come up with is the idea that I am simply burnt out. 

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Ukulele Storytime for Beginners from a Beginner

Have you ever wanted to play the ukulele in storytime, but felt like you couldn’t possibly be good enough? There are many fantastic librarians who are expert ukulele players, but I often find learning from great players intimidating. If you’re overwhelmed, I (definitely a beginner) can help. A few years ago, I decided I was going to start playing the ukulele in storytime, despite the fact that I did not know how to play the ukulele and am generally unmusical. It has always been a little baffling to me that I am paid to sing to children, given that I was once told by a choir teacher to “maybe just mouth the words at the performance.” Despite all these obstacles, I actually do play the ukulele at storytime, and no one has ever complained. Let me reassure you that if I can do it, anyone can do it. Here are some…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Programming with Purpose through Community Engagement

For those looking to program with purpose, the entire process begins and ends with your community. Similarly to how we perform diversity audits on our collections, it’s important to also take a critical eye to the programs and services we offer. As professionals we understand that every community is different and has different needs, and that our offerings ought to be tailored to those needs. It can be easy to go on “auto-pilot” when it comes to programming, especially when we have recurring programs such as LEGO® Clubs or storytimes, however we should remember to look at all programs from time to time to evaluate their effectiveness.  Programming with purpose means that ideally every program we offer has some kind of goal for our community behind it. The first two questions I always ask myself when planning programs are: 1. Which population in my community am I serving/who is this…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Developing Executive Function @ the Library

Ever since Every Child Ready to Read focused children’s librarianship on scientific research and empowered librarians to see themselves as experts who can speak to parents, our field has increasingly looked to brain development to support our practices and inform what we do.  Early literacy, however, is not the only growth going on in the brains of our early childhood customers.  Executive Functioning skills start to develop at around 7-8 months and peak between ages 3-5.  Can librarians help with this development as well?

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

The show must go on? Emergency Program Plans.

Emergency Plans? Stack of books, two black music notes, two multi colored puppets

Before the pandemic, my system would require every information person to be trained in story time, including managers. The reasoning was that in an emergency, anyone could cover the program, and we wouldn’t have to cancel. We also have Emergency Story Time kits at every branch with books reserved for programming, so they don’t circulate; CDs of classic kids songs, song cards, and miscellaneous items like puppets or scarves. Our big emergency story time kit is in a big container with a lid and usually located in the back of the workroom. A few years ago, we updated them to include a laminated list of tips, tricks, songs that everyone knows, etc. Another ALSC blogger, Angela Reynolds covered this topic in 2011. In this new phase of pandemic, and working from the perspective of a manager, I no longer see the absolute necessity in emergency program coverings. Most libraries seems…

Blogger Abby Johnson

Evaluating Native American Books

It’s November. Depending on your community, this may be a time when teachers and patrons were clamoring for books about Native American nations. I blogged earlier this month about Thanksgiving books, and now the holiday is over and Native American Heritage Month is drawing to a close. As books come back onto your shelves, it’s the perfect time for evaluating Native American books in your collection. Here are some areas to take a look at.

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Expanding Reader Response through Multimodal Opportunities

In the real world, how often have you read a chapter, an article, or a blog post and immediately thought the best way to make sense of what you just read is to answer discussion questions or write an essay? Contrast that with the number of times you’ve read something that resonated with you—maybe it thrilled or even haunted you—and then instantly sought someone to share your thoughts with. Or perhaps you sat still after reading, letting yourself fill with feelings first, and then turned those feelings into drawing, music, or even dance.  When a text moves a young reader in a significant way, we see them respond to texts in a variety of ways that are more authentic than answering prewritten discussion questions or answering a writing prompt. We see them laugh aloud and physically imitate characters actions or voices. We see them using cushions and giant blocks to…