Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

“I Have Glitter in My Hair, and You’re Telling Me I Have to ‘Network?'”

When I started my first full-time youth services position back in the beginning of 2019, a word came up in those first conversations with my new coworkers that completely terrified me: networking. I had come from the world of teaching, and networking seemed like a very intimidating, corporate concept that seemed to have little to do with my job of planning story time themes and creating fun children’s area displays. I wasn’t even quite sure how the process worked– my mind could only conjure up images of a fancy cocktail party where everyone tried to get the ear of the “big guy” (whoever that was). Fast forward almost five years, and my idea of networking in the library is very, very different from what it was. While in 2019 I had thought about it as an unquantifiable ability that I would need in order to “get ahead,” today I think…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Developing Social Skills . . . in Your Staff

How are your social skills post-pandemic? Not your party repartee; no doubt you still sparkle there! We’re talking about your ability to listen and to communicate clearly, respectfully, and often as you lead your team at work. And about that team . . . how effective are your staff’s social skills?

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Remember That Day When…

It was awesome. Twenty-four kids who met 45 minutes earlier, were all cheering for each other as they took turns throwing underwear into a cardboard toilet. Their shouts of victory when the lid closed on the toilet with each slam dunk shot is legendary. The joy the library brought to these kids that day and to this librarian was immense. Working in a library has those moments. There are spots of joy and success that stick with us as we venture through the years. The Captain Underpants program with the milk-crate toilet was held over sixteen years ago and it has stuck with me. I also often recall the outreach event at which I watched a colleague bravely sing camp songs to a packed room of kids and parents. She held everyone’s attention. It was amazing! We ran out of flyers at our library’s information table that night. These memories…

ALSC Online Courses

ALSC Webinars You Don’t Want to Miss!

Working at the reference desk has become very unpredictable. Stories of unusual, stressful, or unprecedented events are much more frequent. Over this past year, challenges to materials in the collection have grown exponentially. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom reported a 38% increase in the number of titles challenged in 2022 from the previous year. Often the children’s collection is the target of these demands for censorship. Addressing the challenges can be difficult and stressful. It is even harder in a library without collection development policies and procedures. More than ever before, libraries need to have collection development policies, have procedures in place, and have staff trained to address challenges. The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee and the ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee have prepared a two-part webinar to support librarians to effectively and less stressfully address book challenges. 

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

How to Plan Future Programming With Uncertain Staffing Amounts

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Children’s 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. A large part of managing a children’s department is keeping the department staffed and the programming going. How does one plan programming for Summer Reading when you aren’t sure who will be working in your department? How do you plan if you aren’t sure you will be fully staffed? Early this year, I had two staff notify me that they will be moving out of state in spring. Years ago, I would be sad to see great employees leave but focus on filling the openings  and continuing with our plans. Now, I…

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…