Blogger AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Opinions of Middle School Students Who are Frequent Users of BOTH Their School AND Public Libraries

So I’ve been thinking a lot about our “frequent fliers,” those kids who visit our school library often.  Sometimes they come because they read nonstop and they tear through books like tornadoes, and sometimes they are in the library because the library is their safe space. I decided to reach out to the kids who use BOTH our school library and one of our local public libraries and see what appeals to them about their libraries and why they use them both. I created a short google survey and emailed it to our students, just over 650 kids in grade 5 – 8.  I wanted to know what they liked about each library, and what they’d like to see done to improve each as well.  Students’ responses were anonymous, so no one was forced to give a name or email address that would identify their identity. I received 45 responses,…

Guest Blogger

Networking at a Table Full of Beads

I am here to attest to the absolute joy and calm that the Boulder Public Library’s Library Lodge brought to so many #pla2024 attendees, particularly the Friendship Bracelet area. A huge thank you goes to the staff who came to Columbus, and to their colleagues back home who kept the library running. Three days of sessions and exhibits is a lot to take in, and knowing this space was here as a respite helped many an attendee regroup and process the ideas and information heard, whether inside our own heads or more often, in conversation with others at the table.

Guest Blogger

Rocking the How-To Stage at #PLA2024

By my final day at this year’s Public Library Association conference, I had somehow not made it over to the how-to stage, so I was grateful when I checked in for its closing session, called “How to infuse musical magic into your storytime: learn an easy ukulele song.” I’m a children’s librarian who offers storytimes but I’ve never really felt comfortable with an instrument, let alone playing one in front of my storytime families.  This is where the format of the how-to stage is genius.  Imagine a tiny TED talk: a few rows of chairs and some informal standing tables surround a small stage.  The presenter only has 20 minutes to introduce a topic and send their audience home with practical skills we can immediately apply.  The idea that I could get through all my musical jitters and learn an instrument in two-thirds of my typical lunch break?  Sign me…

Guest Blogger

Making Meaningful Connections and Sharing the Knowledge

Day 2 at #pla2024 was filled with formal and informal sharing about creating connections with our communities and trying to meet the social-emotional learning needs of our patrons. Ann and Ellie both wrote about the “Baby Time Boredom” session, citing ways to be more culturally responsive in our services to babies, toddlers and their caregivers. There were so many “ah ha” moments there, easily incorporated into current services I know we already do in my library system.

Guest Blogger

Making Data Less Scary at #PLA2024

I’m going to start this post with a confession: I failed a statistics class in college.  I’ve never been a math lover, and honestly, this sort of thing can scare me if I think about it too much.  I know that I’m not alone in this feeling, but I’m willing to bet that everyone in the full ballroom on Thursday morning at the Public Library Association conference would agree that data is an essential way that we librarians can tell our stories and educate others on our impact.