Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Fostering Strong Communication

As a department manager in a busy Children’s Library, I think a lot about fostering strong communication between members of my team. Working in a group of six librarians who are rarely in the same place and are usually busy helping patrons, running programs, or preparing their next storytime means that we need to be intentional about the ways we share information to keep everyone informed and not he same page. Offering a variety of methods for team members to have input into decision making, share information, and have their voices heard has helped us build a stronger department. Communication Styles Different librarians in our department have very different communication styles, and getting to know everyone’s needs and preferences was the first step in improving our department’s communication. Do your co-workers prefer to get information in person or in writing, or both? Do they respond to emotional appeals, or is…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Summer Reading for Managers

Many of us working with kids and teens spend our reading time catching up on the books we’re excited to recommend to our readers. We encourage our patrons to continue reading and learning all through the summer so they can start the school year ready to grow. What if we did the same for ourselves? What if we carved out a little time over the summer (and all year round!) to educate ourselves on improving management skills? Here are a couple titles to start your reading journey. Please leave your suggestions for great management reading in the comments!   Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg               Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath                 Lean In: Women, Work, and the…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Surviving Flu Season as a Supervisor

stuffed animal teddy bear

You’ve finally figured out your schedule to accommodate for that extra class visit, the all-staff meeting, and the webinar two of your staff members want to participate in only to receive the following message from your colleague: “I’m sick and won’t be coming in today.” Ahhhh!! Cue panic and begin freakout! Or don’t. Having staff members call in sick is inevitable and even more likely during these winter months. Here are few ways you can be prepared to confidently handle even the most dire staff shortages. Program Plans: There should be one central location that everyone stores both the plans for their programs AND the materials, so in a pinch someone can grab the outline and supplies quickly. Also, it is great to have some ‘backup’ programs that everyone on staff could easily implement without needing much notice. Maybe it is a guest speaker who called in sick and nobody…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Why Children’s Librarians Should Run the World (or at least the library)

I’ve been thinking about leadership a lot lately as the Managing Children’s Services Committee has played a role in the ALSC Mentoring Program.  I’m always blown away by the quality of people we have working in the children’s department, and equally surprised that we don’t have even more children’s librarians who are moving up into management positions.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

The Three Rs of Summer for a School Librarian

Summer is in full swing! This particular season in my career is much different than my first summers as a children’s librarian. The management aspect of my current position as an elementary school librarian and the management aspect of my first professional position as a public librarian have never been more apparent than this first sweet summer “break” of mine.   While many people believe that school librarians have their summers “off” (I used to believe the same), I am seeing that being the only employee  in a busy elementary school library has demanded quite a few summer “management” type duties that are important to the vitality of the program. Alas, these duties cannot lay by the wayside while I bask in the sun and surf. I’ve decided to dedicate this post to allowing you a glimpse into the “Three Rs” of summer management of a school librarian.   Reading….

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

What Do You Do With An Idea (The Manager Version)

  What Do You Do With An Idea is a brilliant picture book by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom, that many of us know and love. It has an inspirational message that all creators, makers, dreamers, and children’s librarians alike can appreciate: Hold tight to your ideas and see them become reality. We all know that when we have an idea we need to consider it precious and valuable, but what if the idea is not your own? What do you do with an idea if you are a manager, or anyone else within a library, who has the power to help turn dreams into reality? How do we give meaning to the ideas of other people, while still upholding our jobs as a manager? It is a tight-rope walk between two vastly different terrains, but it is possible to achieve. We all know that feeling. Someone is sitting in…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Apps, Online Tools, and More!

Being a children’s librarian has to be one of the most fun and rewarding jobs a person could have, but that doesn’t mean it is easy! Balancing multiple responsibilities, tight scheduling, and having to constantly be “on” are just a few of the everyday challenges. Luckily, for us, there are tools out there to help us along the way. I posed the question to the ALSC Listserv “What are your favorite apps or online tools that help you stay organized, focused and energized?” Here are some of the ways youth service staff are using technology to their benefit. Productivity: Google Keep is a post-it style system for checklists and notes. Share across your devices or with others. See real time progress on collaborative checklists or setup location reminder notifications. 30/30 is a task management system with a built in timer that tells you when to move on to your next…