Blogger Jaime Eastman

Library Play Spaces: A Guide to Design and Standards

A library play space with several sections of different toys and seating.

Libraries and play belong together, but maintaining library place spaces is hard work. We strive for fun, but also intentionality. We want enthusiasm, without caregiver disengagement. Finding the perfect play area remains elusive, but it’s worth the effort. Recently, we took great steps to consider just what we want our library play spaces to be. Keep reading to see what we learned.

Blogger Jaime Eastman

Toddler Games: Motor Skills + Fun for Ages 18-36 Months

Library program room set up for Toddler Games with bean bags, blocks, crawling tunnels, and balancing stones

Do you want to engage toddlers, practice motor skills, and capitalize on the enthusiasm of the summer Olympic Games? We did! With increasing toddler attendance at our early learning programs, we wanted to add programs specific to the target age of 18 to 36 months. Practicing gross motor skills and free play was a great start, and the beginning of Toddler Games. Read on for more details.

Blogger Jaime Eastman

Leadership at Any Level: Empowering Library Staff

Text reading Leadership at Any Level: Empowering Library Staff over a shelf of books

Definitions of leader and leadership are endless, but no specific person or job title makes you a leader. Rather, leadership is a conscious, daily decision. Before you can lead anyone else, you must first lead yourself. Then, it’s all about owning and customizing the journey. Here are some go-to tips (and my examples) for incorporating elements of leadership wherever you are. Own Your Journey We all have gaps, blind spots, and opportunities to improve. First, admit both the good and bad. Next, own your development. Actively seek growth opportunities. If you make a mistake, admit it. Then, commit to doing better. Further, focus on choosing evolving, long-term goals that allow you to adapt. Your focus will likely change as you grow, and that’s okay. Look for ways to build regular learning into your schedule. Finally, remember small steps add up to much progress. Make Space A few years ago, I…

Blogger Jaime Eastman

Mastering Mentorship: Tips for Success

A hand writes the word mentoring in red letters

Mentorship is an important part of professional development and growth. But how would you define mentorship? Writing this post, I struggled to find a definition that resonated. Too many focused on the ambiguous work of a mentor, failing to define either mentor or work. Finally I found this beautiful definition: I love how this definition captures so many parts of mentorship. Moreover, it doesn’t require years of experience, specific skills, or job titles. Instead, it focuses on everyone having something to offer others. For me, that’s key. I’ll be focusing on mentors and mentees as equally important participants in the relationship.

Blogger Jaime Eastman

Progress Over Perfection: Embracing Imperfection in Library Work

An open book sits on a white blanket with a pair of glasses and a bouquet of flowers on top. Text reads progress over perfection.

I’m not really a big resolutions person, but starting a new year makes me reflective. What are my big picture goals and ideas for the upcoming year? Here’s the thing: those plans need to be in pencil. In light of life’s changes, single, inflexible plans often spell disaster. One thing I’ve learned in library work is to embrace progress over perfection. Let me explain.

Blogger Jaime Eastman

Personalized Self-Care for Success: A Guide to Prioritizing You

A cross stitch reads "I'm not a hot mess I'm a spicy disaster" surrounded by flowers and pepper plants.

Have you ever told someone it’s not selfish to practice self-care? On the other hand, how often have you prioritized your own self-care? Be honest. Even if it’s not as often as you’d like, that’s okay. As we move into winter breaks, holiday travel, and wrapping up another year, personalized self-care is hard. I’m struggling with it, too. Let’s talk about how we can make it better.