Guest Blogger

Kal Penn Closes Out #PLA2022

I found it interesting that Kal Penn brought us back to the concept of Imposter Syndrome this evening as the closing speaker for #PLA2022. Of course, not everyone may have attended the Career Self-Care Session where Erin Collier-Plummer spoke of managing imposter syndrome, but I had and so it struck a chord. Why do so many of us not give ourselves enough credit for being the right person for a job – having the qualifications and the passion to do it and do it well? Hearing Kal Penn’s journey from being a successful actor to serving as Associate Director of White Office for Public Engagement for President Barack Obama was inspiring enough. But after entertaining us with the details, I was surprised to hear Kal Penn talk of Imposter Syndrome – that even this accomplished individual was hesitant about his qualifications. What resonated with me was that it was his…

Guest Blogger

Accessibility of All Sorts #PLA2022

The #PLA2022 Virtual Conference had multiple opportunities to learn more about accessibility, while the conference itself utilized captioning throughout and sign language interpreters for the headline speakers. This struck me as especially pertinent in the week that the movie CODA was recognized for outstanding performances of its cast – many of whom are deaf – and that I am writing a reading response for Cece Bell’s graphic novel El Deafo. Sonia and Scott Norris spoke on Scalable Web Accessibility Training for Library Staff in Every Position. They shared fundamental accessibility components as well as more advanced ones for your library’s web team to utilize. The training should be meaningful and relatable to staff while complying with state laws. Just as we translate library information to a variety of languages, and utilize multiple marketing tools to reach different audiences, we should strive to meet the needs of the members of our…

Guest Blogger

The Library’s Role in Equitable College Prep #PLA2022

Not every child who wants to go to college has the monetary resources to help pay for college prep classes and tutors. But the library can step in and help with phenomenal free resources. Aryssa Damron of the DCPL discussed how the library can help high school students find the tools they need to get into college. The most important thing we can do is to update our own knowledge. Things have recently changed! Do you know the top scores for the big tests? The top SAT score is now 1600, and the top ACT score is 36. Take a look through the Common App and the Common Black App and familiarize yourself with the requirements and the schools that each application represents. Evaluating your collection is crucial. Nothing in the physical collection should be older than two years. Your test prep books should be located in a highly visible…

Guest Blogger

Oregon Libraries at #PLA2022

Since Portland is hosting the conference this year, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give shout-outs to some great sessions from library workers in the state. While I’ve lived in Oregon since 2015, there are plenty of libraries I haven’t visited and library workers I haven’t met yet. I’ve really enjoyed networking with colleagues and learning about the wonderful goings-on in our beautiful state.

Collection Development

Freedom of Expression through Zine Making

#PLA2022 inspired me in many ways. Hello… uh, Portland? There’s a reason they say “Keep Portland Weird” and I absorbed as much of it as I could. The food was incredible and the PLA folk, well…the bee’s knees. I had many engrossing conversations with strangers from my tribe and enjoyed everyone’s hair, glasses, and general uniqueness. Powell’s books blew my mind. Every room. Every floor. What a knockout! In addition to the richness of the people and the landscape (and book stores), most inspiring were the PLA programs focused on collections. From guidelines to removing bias and barriers from the nonfiction section, to handling First Amendment audits and requests for reconsideration, the selection of programs were relevant. They arm us with practical tips tools to support intellectual freedom and inclusiveness. As a youth programmer, I am always looking for ways to support youngsters’ intellectual freedom and freedom of expression while…

Guest Blogger

A Librarian’s Blog About: “A Kids Book About”

Marching up and down the Exhibitor’s aisles in search of swag, I stumbled across a booth with a very attractive display of books. They were uniform in color and design, with a minimalist sensibility and an even more eye-catching collection of titles. Some might call these “tough topics”- about racism, body image, cancer, gratitude, anxiety, belonging, creativity, emotions and more. I was drawn in by it all – the clean, graphic book covers and straightforward approach.