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 Kirby McCurtis

# looktolibraries

Have you visited the “Look to Libraries in Times of Crisis” page yet? Knowing that you and the families you work with need more help during this pandemic, ALSC created this resource page. Here you’ll find tons of reading recommendations,  virtual games and activities to help kids thrive at home,  tip sheets for managing stress, and articles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The idea for # looktolibraries is two fold:

Blogger AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Long (Inter) Division

Besides having the longest committee name in ALSC, the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation has an important task: to foster partnerships between library workers in all types of library agencies. Consisting of members from all three of ALA’s youth-serving divisions (AASL, ALSC, and YALSA), the Interdivisional Committee’s unique make-up is ideal for the collaborative work we do. This year, the Interdivisional Committee has received our charge from the AASL, ALSC and YALSA Presidents-Elect. We are to develop a shared online space for the three divisions to share the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) work done by our members. Ideally, this will be a resource clearinghouse where library staff serving youth in school and public libraries can network and brainstorm together around EDI topics and best practices. While I personally can’t wait to get to work on this project with the members of the Interdivisional Committee, I recognize that…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Pivot, and Pivot Again: How Do We Best Serve Patrons in the Constantly Changing Pandemic Landscape?

Preparing for the start of the 2020-2021 school year has been one of the most, shall we say, unusual experiences for libraries in generations. Would schools be opening in person or e-learning or a hybrid version? Would families have options? Would there be an uptick in homeschooling? Many, if not all of us, have had to grapple with this situation. My library serves four school districts as well as several parochial and private schools. We spent much of the late spring and summer trying to plan for each contingency, since there were so many unknowns. As late as the end of July, all of our districts were planning to offer families a choice between attending school in person or e-learning. The parochial schools had already decided to hold school in person. When Covid-19 positivity rates started to climb, one by one, our districts decided to move exclusively to e-learning. With…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Camp TV featuring your librarian

During the COVID-19 pandemic, while families and kids remain at home, libraries around the country have turned to virtual programming to help keep kids engaged and entertained, and keep skills sharp, especially over the summer. At The New York Public Library, our virtual Summer Reading programs for children include parent/child book discussions, author visits, cultural programs, virtual summer camp, and an online reading log and activities.

Blogger Kary Henry

Homeschool Book Club: Past, Present, and Future

In a slightly selfish act, I created our Homeschool Book Club just so my students could read books from the Bluestem Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards list. You see, I was in the midst of my term as a Reader for the Bluestem Committee. I wanted to interact with students who had read the very books that I had voted for….or against. Looking at my decision more generously, our homeschool students hadn’t been able to cast their votes in this statewide award. Honestly, I was excited to give them a chance to do what non-homeschooled children across our state did every year: vote for their favorite book!

Blogger Kaitlin Frick

To-Go Library Services

How has your library been handling programming in the time of COVID? At Darien, most of what we do – from storytimes to vendor programming – has gone virtual. But as the months wear on, we’ve come to realize that patrons (much like their hard-working librarians) are pretty burnt out on technology. So last month when we reopened to the public, the Youth Services Team rolled out a few fresh ideas for engaging with our community.