Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Let’s Be Positive! What are some of your favorite programs?

During this time of confusion and stress, I thought I could talk to staff at my library and see what some of their favorite programs are that they have done in recent months. A lot of ideas are shared throughout social media about programming, and I thought it would lighten the mood to have staff reminisce about fun times at the library. 

Commitment to Client Group

Ten Tips for When the Library’s Closed

The situation is changing moment to moment and decisions are constantly being reevaluated. The safety of our public is our top priority, as much as we believe in the necessity of the library’s services. We are caught in a difficult place, and the need to slow the spread is winning out: More and more libraries are finding themselves being closed to the public or shut down entirely.

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Is “New” Necessary? Ideas for Enhancing Your Existing Children’s Library Programs

When it comes to designing and developing children’s programs to run in the library, we are always on the lookout for something different or new or a way to put a unique spin on something we’ve done in the past. We don’t like reusing “old” programs and often will try just about anything to avoid repetition. But I question whether this is a sustainable model given that the number of programs offered in the past 5+ years has increased by over 17%.


Notes from a Novice Budget Member

In July, I began my first year as a member of ALSC’s Budget Committee. “I’ll see the inner workings of the organization!” I thought. “I’m excited to learn more about how the division operates!” I manage budgets in my job as a children’s librarian–covering programming and materials collection for the children’s room–but those spreadsheets have fewer columns and definitely fewer zeroes than ALSC’s $3 million budget. I read the introductory documents and started getting myself acquainted with ALSC’s revenue streams and costs. (There are many. Let’s discuss the price of conference AV services another time.) I began to learn about how the division’s budget intersects with the finances of the larger ALA organization. I had opportunities to sit in on meetings and ask questions, but as a new member to the committee, I haven’t always known even what questions to pose. Sitting in the room for my first official Budget…

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Teaching Children about Meditation

Frank Sileo and the APA’s Magination Press have provided a great tool for teaching children about meditation in an accessible, kid-friendly way:  Bee Still. When I first saw this book in my pile of new-to-me titles, I couldn’t wait to read it and add it to our shelves. Sileo teaches children how to benefit from focusing and being still; to stay present.

Guest Blogger

Soledad O’Brien loves libraries! #PLA2020

The award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien loves libraries and librarians! Some inspirational takeaways for me: She feels a strong sense of kinship with our industry—“we both woke up one day and realized ‘omg! we are in the social justice business!’ “ She shared many statistics showing the number of people who trust public libraries has actually gone up at a time when trust in other institutions is declining. When nobody in America seems to agree on anything, 90%! of people describe the library as a welcoming place. Libraries invest in knowledge, in serving all people where they are, which gives those people power—power that can never be taken away. Who defines representing people, all people, better than libraries? Nobody, she concludes. And finally, she feels that libraries are great unifiers in a divided world. The Big Ideas talks have been educational, inspiring, and a great way to start each conference day. As a…

Guest Blogger

In the Middle – and Loving It! #PLA2020

Are you a middle manager? If so, you are well acquainted with your position’s particular joys and frustrations. When you’re in the middle, you’re nimble and lead change by working “up, down, and across”. Ideally, you have an energized, hardworking team and supportive, communicative upper management that appreciates all the unique talents you bring to the position. Maybe not? Read on.   At Leading From the Middle, Youth and Teen Services Manager Jessica Trujillo and Assistant Director Selwa Shamy from Montclair Public Library identified challenges and presented tips for those of us working in middle management. From caring for yourself (it can be easy to forget this part) and your staff (communicate, communicate, communicate) to dealing with upper management, and working effectively with other departments, this session covered a lot of ground.     Just a few of the tips I came away with: ● Don’t be shy about tooting your own horn…

Guest Blogger

Catching Up, and a Cold, at #PLA2020

As PLA 2020 winds down, it’s the perfect time to think about the the past few days: the sessions I attended, the ARCs I grabbed. What I love most, though, is the chance to talk to people I don’t normally see day-to-day, or only see virtually between conferences. I love meeting new people and making great connections, but I love seeing old friends from across the country even more.  These friendships are so important to me for a number of reasons. I have only worked in 1 library system, so my frame of reference is pretty limited. Making connections with librarians from other cities has been key in broadening my awareness of programs, challenges, and ideas. I knew a handful of these friends would be at PLA, and I couldn’t wait to see them. But then it happened. My nose was a little stuffier than normal (allergies, ALL THE TIME),…