Are you “behind the scenes” staff at your library? Think you’re not directly serving customers? Think again! I’m a collection development librarian and even though I’m not in the public eye for most of my day, customer service is still an important part of what I do. Here’s how I make it a priority in my day.
Does your library have a StoryWalk®? Are you thinking of adding one? My library added ours in 2019 and our patrons LOVE IT! One question I get all the time is how to get publisher permission for StoryWalks®. Today, I’ll share what I’ve learned in the past 2 years.
It’s March. Again. After the most surreal year most (all?) of us have ever experienced. Time for our collective COVID trauma anniversary. It’s okay if you’re not okay right now. And just remember that your colleagues, vendors, and patrons may not be okay right now either. And even if you’ve been doing okay, there may be some new or old emotions welling up again. I want to share some resources that may help.
Have you committed to a reading challenge in 2021? There are all kinds of reading challenges on the web, challenging you to step outside your reading comfort zone and check off certain reading tasks throughout the year. I think it can be a really beneficial for librarians because I think we’re able to provide better service to our patrons if we challenge ourselves to read widely. I wasn’t going to commit to one this year, but then I saw that the American Indian Library Association is presenting their first ever Read Native reading challenge and I knew that was the one for me!
Did you tune in for the live Youth Media Award announcements this morning?! It’s one of my favorite conference activities, whether I’m attending in person or not. I wasn’t sure what it would be like without the reactions from the crowd, so I made my own crowd!
This afternoon I was able to tune into Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s talk while tackling some meal prep tasks in my kitchen. Joy Harjo (Muscogee (Creek)) is the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry and the first Native American to hold the position. One thing that poet laureates do (I learned) is that she works on a special project of her choice with the Library of Congress. Joy Harjo’s chosen project is a story map of living Native poets called Living Nations, Living Words and it’s an amazing resource.
As a collection development librarian, the exhibits are always a huge draw for me at conferences. Since we’re virtual this year, what do the ALA Midwinter 2021 exhibits look like? Well, of course I’m not able to pick up physical galleys (my shoulders appreciate that!), but there is still a lot to look through on the conference website. Bonus: many digital galleys are available to request by folks who aren’t registered for the conference, too!
As a youth specialist, I don’t always prioritize reading adult books, particularly doorstopper nonfiction history books. But I’m making an exception for Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619 – 2019 edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, our ALA Midwinter opening speakers.