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

Was it Hard to Drag Myself to the 7am #PLA2024 Children’s Author Breakfast? Yes. Was it Worth it? YES!

No one has ever called me a morning person, but I managed to pull myself out of bed on Thursday for the #PLA2024 Children’s Author Breakfast and boy am I glad I did! Hearing Gennifer Choldenko, Loren Long, Daniel Nayeri, and Maleeha Siddiqui speak made for an excellent start to my day. You probably know Gennifer Choldenko from her Tales from Alcatraz series (Al Capone Does My Shirts, etc.), but today she spoke about her very personal new middle grade novel, The Tenth Mistake of Hank Hooperman. She told us that this book was greatly inspired by childhood memories of her big brother, who often took on the role of caregiver to his younger siblings. In this June 2024 release, Hank is taking care of his little sister Boo, as usual, but their mom has never stayed gone for over a week before and the kids are running out of…

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.