Blogger Liza Purdy

A Little Marie Kondo for the Children’s Department

You all know Marie Kondo, right? She of the Spark Joy fame? I love watching her shows on Netflix. I just watched a new season last week, and it inspired me to think about decluttering our library’s programs a bit, now that our Fall session is underway. We are still in a strange “not quite where we used to be, but not mid-pandemic either” place, so I thought it would be a good time to reflect on activities that we embraced during the pandemic to see whether they are worth keeping. What changes did we make that the public really embraced? What did we love as a staff? What is everyone just OVER?

Blogger Liza Purdy

Do What You Do Best: Advice from a Child Welfare Expert

I’ve spent the last few months trying to educate myself on Childhood Trauma, ACES, and how to become a trauma informed library. The task is daunting! The learning curve is steep, the information is abundant and there are so many children in need of care. I was beginning to despair. Then an old friend of mine from high school (shout out to the Shaler Area Titans!), Dr. Lisa Schelbe posted her new book, The Handbook on Child Welfare Practice, on Facebook. Dr. Schelbe is an associate professor in the College of Social Work at Florida State University. Her areas of expertise are child welfare and child maltreatment prevention, among others. I knew I had a resource that could help me focus; she literally wrote the book on the subject! I reached out to Dr. Schelbe, and we had an amazing conversation about what practical steps we can take as children’s…

Blogger Liza Purdy

Trauma and Resilience in the Library

The last time I blogged here at ALSC, I started what I hope will become a series on Childhood Trauma, abuse, neglect, ACES. It is hard stuff to hear. Since writing that first blog post, I’ve taken part in training for mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect in the state of California, which further deepened my commitment to doing whatever I can to raise awareness in libraries of this painful and pervasive issue. I have read two good articles in the past month on Childhood Trauma: A Child Trends article on implementing trauma-informed care to  build resilience, and a Harvard University Center on the Developing Child article also on resilience. The Child Trends article defines resilience as “positive child outcomes despite exposure to trauma, prevention of trauma recurrence despite high risk for further exposure, or avoidance of traumatic experiences altogether in the face of significant risk.” (Bartlett, 2019). In…

Blogger Liza Purdy

The Trauma Informed Library

A month or so ago, I watched a terrific documentary on Amazon Prime called Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, based on a book by the same name written by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. The movie depicts the precarious state of Kristoff’s hometown, Yamhill, OR. The town has been devastated by economic hardships, the opioid crisis, and poor life expectancy in the past few decades. Kristoff checks in with some of his classmates who have faired far worse than he in the intervening years. I was fascinated by the documentary. I was particularly riveted by a segment regarding Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs. I had never heard of ACEs, but I believe that they are incredibly relevant to the role of the Children’s Librarian. Kristoff interviewed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General, and founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, which is a “national leader in the effort to…

Blogger Liza Purdy

Confronting Reality: Wade in the Water

Have you ever taken a personality test? The Enneagram, or Myers-Briggs or even what house you would be in if you were a wizard? I take them all, and every single time, I am embarrassed by my category. I’m a Seven, an ENFP, a Hufflepuff for heaven’s sake. I avoid pain pathologically. If it hurts, I’ll feel it, but only for a minute. Then I have play some music or read something beautiful or pet my dogs or do something that restores my hopeful stance.

Blogger Liza Purdy

Changes: Turn and Face the Strange

We’ve had a lot of changes in the past year, haven’t we? Changes in lifestyle, in government, in health. In our work lives, we’ve had nothing but change! It looks like there’s more change to come for all of us as we creep back, ever so cautiously, to something that looks like a life and work pre-pandemic. I had some big changes this month. I was promoted to Senior Children’s Librarian, which meant I moved branches and completely changed the scope of work that I do. A lot of it scares me, to be honest. I have to know DETAILS. DATA. There are EXCEL SPREADSHEETS involved. People expect me to know things. Is this my strongest skill set? Not even slightly. However, I have the opportunity to work in brand new and really exciting ways that do build on my existing skills.  I can stretch and grow, and that is…

Blogger Liza Purdy

Storytime Starters: New Pandemic Skills Coming to a Website Near You

One of the things I miss most in quarantine is Storytime. I love storytime so much! It is an opportunity to create a whole bodied experience for families. I get a rush from presenting it. I love thinking about what themes I am going to do, what stories would be just right, what songs would work, what flannels. I even make playlists to go with my theme to entertain the parents and kids during the playtime afterwards. We have been doing storytime virtually since the pandemic started, so I have been getting my fix in a diluted way. As we all know, it’s just not the same. I was trying to think of other ways to deliver the storytime experience to families after our summer session ended when I happened upon Syossett Library’s Storytime Starters on their Instagram feed. What a brilliant idea! They posted books, flannels and some videos…