Blogger Jonathan Dolce

You Still Can’t Beat Free!

word "free" written in white on a green field. The words free has a red $0 price tag attached

You Can’t Beat Free I can’t remember the first time I said “you can’t beat free” as a librarian — I think it was 2003. 17 years later, it’s still true. And public librarians – gosh – we can squeeze a nickle sideways, am I right? Well, if you’re done squeezing blood from a nickle, try FREE on for size! The Secret of My Success The secret of my success has been my ability to not just grant write, brainstorm and work with some amazing teams. More often than not, it’s my ability to locate free stuff. Lots of times, the free stuff snowballs into something mega, or just plain comes in handy. Many of my colleagues wonder how I’ve done it. It’s not that I fall backwards into free things for libraries. Oh contraire. Sorry, it’s a lot of work. Step One? “Oh, good!”, I hear you say. It’s…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Self-care Guide During COVID

Man wearing glasses and yellow shirt with hands in namaste pose

Self-care During Covid Self-care During COVID is critical. Through daily practice, you can help relax your body, increase mental focus and keep things in perspective. COVID and our efforts to keep safe can create stress and strain. Enjoy this handy guide, specifically designed for librarians for getting the most joy out of your every day. The Librarian’s Breath Who you are as a librarian is reflected by your breath. In addition to a refreshing breath mint, try the following three steps: Beginner’s Program Shelving picture books requires a complete lateral stretch.Note how the shelver forms a triangle. To the casual shelver, this pose may feel intense, but does become easier after above three carts of shelving. This posture gets its name from a common shelving situation. The shelver is diagonally aligned when a patron approaches. Beginners should use this opportunity to utilize a kick stool to support themselves as they…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

19 Positive Summer Reading Activities During COVID

chalk board with words what's your story

Adapt If COVID has taught me anything, it is to keep in mind the one-word slogan of Navy SEALS: Adapt. We are public librarians. We adapt. We adapted during the digital age to maintain our relevance. COVID is not going to stop us. Irrespective of where you are right now, summer reading has boiled down to three options: passive, curbside or virtual. We remain in the unique position of being able to touch the lives and hearts of our community. We have a responsibility to remain positive, and to disseminate hope. Read on to see how 19 positive summer reading activities during COVID can make the difference. 1 – Radio I’ll never forget growing up the impact just one radio station had on my hometown. The station was 45 minutes away by car, but everyone in my school knew it; always had it on. You couldn’t see the DJs, but…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Imagine Your COVID Summer Slide Story!

Darth Vader reading on a playground slide

Imagine Your COVID Summer Slide Story? Summer slide in the age of COVID.  I don’t think anyone can really imagine what this summer will look like in terms of a summer reading program for any age group.  The show must go on, though – so let’s imagine your story together! Scheduling Scheduling a time for your summer reading program is essential.  Pick you set of dates, beginning and ending, as well as your “big” program days.  You’ve had some practice with online programming by now.  Now, just do it bigger! Space Familiarity is critical for your audience.  It gives a sense of anticipation, a recognizable (or branding) setting, and a reassuring repetition.  If the space you’ve been using for online programming isn’t as polished as you’d like it, time to refine!  Sound problems?  Get them ironed out!  This is crunch time! Supplies Your list of supplies this summer is going…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Children, Pornography and Suicide

red octagon with hand raised palm up in stop gesture

Children, Pornography and Suicide I know that Children, Pornography and Suicide are terms you never want to hear in tandem.  As tough as it is, it is a reality.  Most of us work with children who are at-risk.  And as Chris Crutcher once said, “When you work with at-risk children, you are going to lose some.  I don’t like that answer”. The CDC reported in 2019 that: “the number of young people dying of suicide jumped…56% between 2007 and 2017“ That’s people aged 10-24 years of age, well within our realm of service. While we don’t want to think of any child as being capable of “looking up porn”, the reality is, it is ubiquitous.  We know how to lock our doors from strangers, and how to train children to recognize a multitude of dangers.  We understand that substance abuse claims over 70,000 children every year in the U.S.  But think…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

The Art of the Con – plan, host, conduct and maintain!

star wars cosplayer

The Art of the Con The Art of the con or convention is a fine art, but thankfully for you fearless reader, we have on hand Elise VanCise, creator and coordinator of the Annual Astor Library Geek Fest, now in its fourth year!  Elise is the young adult coordinator for the Astor County Library in sunny Astor, Florida. First Things First! J – For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on what it takes to plan, host, conduct and maintain a successful con.  But first, what exactly is a Geek Fest and why would a library want to have one? VanCise – Geek Fest is the name we gave to our mini-comic con or convention.  It’s a one-day con where we have cosplay, anything you geek is basically our theme – superheroes, science fiction, horror – anything you want!  This year we have exhibitors that do everything…