Blogger Mary R. Voors

Children’s Librarians are Experts… Call for Guest Bloggers

If you’ve been reading the ALSC Blog this month, you have most likely seen many posts from our ALSC committees with variations on the theme “Children’s Librarians are Experts in… ”  Focusing on ALSC Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries, we hope to feature guest posts in December from active children’s librarians about how they demonstrate their children’s librarian expertise.

Children's Librarians are Experts

Children’s Librarians are Experts at Displays

Walking into any library’s Youth Services Department should be a welcoming, engaging, and fun experience. At the Deerfield (IL) Public Library, we are fortunate to have two large glass cases that house displays of our own making and, more importantly, artwork from our community. Our in-house displays promote just about every aspect of Youth Services, from books and other materials to programs and Summer Reading. Displays from the community send the strong message that our library is a proud partner with many local organizations. To make the community displays a reality, I reach out in August to each preschool director, elementary and middle school art teacher, our homeschool families, as well as two organizations that serve adults to schedule the displays. It currently works that each group can have a month in the display case, but in the past, we’ve also hosted displays for two weeks in order to fit…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Children’s Librarians are Experts at Partnerships: Meeting the Needs of Special Education Classrooms through Outreach and Advocacy

Last fall, I was approached by a teacher at Asbury Elementary, a public, K-5 school in my library’s service area, about bringing library resources into his special education classroom. As someone with almost no training in special education, forming this partnership has given me a greater awareness of how to best meet the needs of children who experience disabilities, both in the context of school outreach as well as in a traditional public library setting. I’m inspired to gather and share resources with my colleagues on how to effectively reach and serve children who experience a range of developmental, emotional, and physical disabilities, and how quality intersectional literature can aid educators and caregivers in understanding complex identities. Background Enacted in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) establishes the provision of a free and appropriate public school education for eligible students ages 3–21. According to the The National Center…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Children’s Librarians are Experts with the Data to Back It Up!

Do you ever try to explain your job to a friend, family member, or member of your community that isn’t a “library person”? Sure, you can simply say you work with children in libraries, but what if they ask more? If you’re like me, you start in on a long winded spiel about early literacy, collection development, and programming and begin to notice their eyes glaze over.

Administrative and Management Skills

Children’s Librarians Are Experts at… Leading a Team

Gretchen Caserotti gave an inspiring keynote presentation at the 2017 Power Up Leadership Conference for Youth Services Managers and Staff about natural leadership traits inherent in children’s librarians. The comparison has crept into my thinking multiple times since. Using LLAMA’s Leadership and Management Competencies as a framework, it’s easy to see why children’s librarians are experts at leading a team. Change Management and Problem Solving Who hasn’t planned the most beautiful, age-appropriate story time for 4-5 year olds, only to be surprised by a room full of toddlers? Or sensed in the first pages of a story that you’re losing the wiggly kids in front of you? Children’s librarians are experts at flexibility and problem solving. We can improvise a Plan B, achieve buy-in, and motivate a group to follow our lead, breaking into song or dance when needed. We take risks, try new things, persuade others, and keep a sense…