Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month 2020

Two Weeks In! We’re two weeks in to Hispanic Heritage Month 2020. I’m sure you’ve had some amazing successes – but please do not give up!  This is no time to kick back and plan for Halloween! I want you to consider – strongly – reading resources that focus on Hispanic-American art as well as the art of graphic novels.  Graphic novels set themselves up years ago – decades at this point – as not just a form of storytelling, but an artful way to bring imagery to life.  This month, why not celebrate the contributions of superior graphic novel artists from the Hispanic-American culture?  Or the most prolific Hispanic-American illustrators? Where is a non-Latinx to begin? So, where is a non-Latinx to begin? Consider your award winners first, such as… The Américas Award “The Américas Award encourages and commends authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality and classroom-ready children’s and…

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 Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

It’s Just Stories, Isn’t It?

At some point working in a children’s library setting, this may happen to you. Whether it’s the library board, the city council, an administrator, or even one of your customers, they will observe a story time program, be suitably impressed by your event, and ask quite innocently about what exactly you are doing. To the uninitiated, what happens in the room is fun and entertaining. A great place to be in and of itself, but we all know there is lot more to it. Admittedly, in one way or another, these questioners are the ones who pay for what we do, so this provides a great opportunity to inform and enlighten. It’s time to break out your best elevator speech that lends method to the madness. Here at the library, during our infant, toddler, and preschool programming we build a foundation so when young children are taught to read, they…

Blogger Abby Johnson

Book Care Packages: A Curbside Service

One new service my library has debuted since closing our doors to the public due to COVID-19 is Book Care Packages and they’re going like gangbusters. Patrons fill out a form on our website to request a Book Care Package (personalized selections) or a Grab Bag (“random” selections for either ages 0-3, ages 3-6, or ages 6-8). I’ve wanted to offer this type of service for many years. With our patrons unable to browse the shelves, now was the perfect time to get it going. Many libraries offer similar services. I based our Book Care Packages form on Seattle Public Library’s Your Next 5 Books reading recommendation forms. Other libraries offering similar services include Hinsdale (IL) Public Library’s Book Boxes, Coos Bay Public Library’s BookBox, Eisenhower Public Library’s YA’ll Read Teen Subscription Boxes, and Greenwood (IN) Public Library’s Your Next Favorite Book. Some of these libraries include trinkets or candy…

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…

Children's Librarians are Experts

Fear of being left behind (foblb) #PLA2020

The good news is I’m here, which is more than I can say for last PLA. Snow was predicted (again!) for Chicago, so I hopped on a flight a day early on Monday night in hopes of actually getting here. Being early for a big (8,000 library peeps!) conference is a great idea. Saw the Nashville Public Library while it was still quiet-ish! an amazing storytime by…wait for it, 3! people who were not librarians but “performance artists.”There were lights, recordings, puppets, juggling, witty repartee and more. Lots of fun, and they’re doing it again tomorrow morning, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30. Brian Hull, or the “Professor” manages Wishing Chair Productions and told a few of us librarians about the deep, strong tradition of puppets here in Nashville. He’s super excited about the String City shows coming up which are an extra you can order on the PLA app.