Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Smile! Here Comes Summer Reading!

Summer Reading is almost here and for some who are reading this, it has already started! The last couple weeks before kick off day are often chaotic and filled with the stress of preparing for big events, numerous programs, decorating the department and organizing materials for all the check ins. Many children’s librarians are feeling lost in this mountain of work amidst doing numerous outreach visits. Here are some ideas and inspiration collected by the Managing Children’s Services Committee to get you and your staff to your kick off day …with a smile.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

It’s Kindness Month!

Have you been spreading random acts of kindness this month? A small gesture of kindness can create a happy, creative, and productive work environment. Youth Services is a busy place filled with hard-working staff. A perfect place to surprise someone with a kind gesture! There is still a week left in the month. (You even have an extra leap day!) Take a few minutes to express kindness and gratitude for having each staff member on the Youth Services team. Try one of these simple ideas:

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Winter Fun for All

“It’s never too early to plan for next year!” It’s a phrase often said in libraries, and while some of us cringe at the thought of “next year,” the holiday season is a great time to reflect. For nine years, we held a blow-out Christmas event. It drew 1,500 patrons to the library on a chilly night in December for trolley rides, letters to Santa, and even Santa himself. It was an event that families looked forward to every year; something that became a holiday tradition alongside cookie making and caroling. So we kept it going, right? An annual event for 1,500 people! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But the problem was, it was broken.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Bullet Journaling

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. There are so many things on a Youth Services Librarian’s to-do list. Add managing a department and the to-do list gets longer and complex. Attempting to keep to the deadlines efficiently can be stressful. It is helpful to have a good planner system in helping accomplish long to-do lists.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Training Storytime 101

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. In public libraries, storytime is the bread and butter of children’s programming (and arguably, of all library programming). Much has been written on best practices for providing storytime, both on this blog and elsewhere. There are innumerable resources for those learning how to develop their storytime skills. But are there best practices for training others on how to present storytime?  As a supervisor, part of my responsibility is training new staff on planning and presenting youth programs, and storytime is both the most basic and yet also one of the most complex…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Thank you and grateful for Public Libraries

Over 20 years ago I was new to America. Everything was new. I left behind my family and friends in India. I was fortunate that even before I learned to drive, I was introduced to the Public Library. I was not used to Public Libraries as we do not have them in India. I was used to school, college and university libraries, circulating libraries run out of garages or special libraries to which we had to purchase membership.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Collaboration and Equity for Summer Programs: A Recap of a #PLA2022 Preconference

The PLA conference was over a month ago, but I’m still unpacking the preconference I attended. “Best Practices for Summer Learning Based on Racial Equity” was a half day workshop presented by Christy Estrovitz from the San Francisco Public Library, Sheryl Evans Davis from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Christi Farrah from the Massachusetts Library System, and Elizabeth McChesney from the National Summer Learning Association.  The workshop revolved around the 2021 “Everybody Reads” summer program sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library along with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Like everyone else, the Library had to think fast about how to offer a summer reading program during the pandemic. The program consisted of a kit that included a 38 page full color booklet that featured eleven books for a variety of ages. Each book is a positive portrayal of an underrepresented community. The booklet includes activities to go along…

Administrative and Management Skills

Staying Out of Trouble

Whenever I look at something going bad, I ask:  Are there systems in place?  Are they up to date?  Are they implemented?  It all leads up to making decisions on high consequence, low probability events, or what many call high risk – low frequency. Think of your library.  Each library consists of a distinct set of offices, branches, departments, or at a minimum, colleagues each with set of things for which they are responsible.  Let’s just call them the things we do; each of us.  Your job is complex.  There may be hundreds or thousands of things you do that need to happen correctly so that your library, office, branch, or department can function; consistently delivering upon its mission.  Those things all have one singular goal; doing it right. In youth work, if you are going to recommend titles, you do it right.  If you are presenting a story time,…