Guest Blogger

Knowing our value(s) at #PLA2024

If you had asked me just a few years ago, I would never have dreamed I’d be geeking out over sessions on data analysis or communication at the Public Library Association conference this year.  This children’s librarian tends to feel the most comfortable in the sunshine-y part of libraries, but the reality is that in these past few years, all librarians have found themselves amid challenges they may never have expected in the past.  To me, that means that I need to learn how to place the (perpetually lovely) world of rhymes and readiness amid its (often tricky) wider community context. Digging into disagreement So on the final day of this conference, I attended two sessions: Communicating During Controversy: How to Lead with What You Believe and Data Analysis for Equity and Opportunity: Analytical Frameworks in Action.  Each session was led by a panel of experts in their field.  There…

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

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…