ALA Annual 2019

Bystander Intervention at #alscmm19 #alaac19

At the ALSC Membership Meeting on Monday morning, fellow ALSC Board member Elisa Gall and I gave an introductory presentation on the topic of bystander intervention. The topic of bystander intervention is important for all library workers, both in the context of the spaces in which we work and serve our communities and also in the context of our participation in professional spaces like a conference. Elisa and I focused our content on how to apply bystander intervention principles in a professional space—a particular need given past and continued harassment of colleagues in these conference spaces. What is bystander intervention? “Bystander intervention” refers to the actions we take in order to keep spaces free from harassment and hate—something we all have a responsibility to do. Harassment is purposeful and repeated conduct that is unwanted and known to be offensive. Harassment, in the context of this introductory training, is different from…

ALA Annual 2019

C-c-changes coming for ALA Council #alaac19

If you haven’t heard yet, ALA Council has been looking at ways to reorganize and reimagine how Council works and really, how the greater organization of ALA works. Last year, a Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) formed a 19 member team alongside Tecker International consulting firm, to complete a comprehensive look at what ALA in review form and also thinking about what we want ALA to look like now and in the future. This restructuring is pretty huge and will very much change how big decisions are made in ALA. There were lots of focus group meeting this past conference to discuss what members want from ALA. We know that there are many challenges, roadblocks, and burdens (financial and otherwise) that hinder participation in ALA and at conferences, and while the plans and designs of SCOE are still in the formulation phase, it feels exciting to re-imagine an ALA…

ALA Annual 2019

#ALAac19 – Take a Moment to Reflect

I am currently sitting in the airport, waiting to go home. As I sit here, I am planning for time tomorrow to really reflect on the sessions I attended and even on some of the authors I heard speak. I encourage you to do the same this week. If you are anything like me (and I know you are because I saw so many of you doing the same thing), I wrote down a number of websites and other resources/quotes that I want to go back to and explore. During my years of attending conferences and other professional development opportunities, I have found that If I do not schedule time in my calendar this week to reflect, those notes are just going to sit there. So, get home, take a nap, and then really look through your notes and see what you can implement into your practice. Safe travels!

ALA Annual 2019

News You Can Use #alaac19

One of my favorite parts of ALA is hearing about all the work that has been going on in other divisions, round-tables, and groups. While it’s easy to get caught up in all the great sessions that directly apply to children’s librarianship, there’s a lot of value in attending other sessions. We, as children’s librarians, are not an island unto ourselves. By remaining aware of issues in other aspects of the library world we can be better advocates for our families we serve, effective team players in serving our library’s overall mission, and better informed research-practitioners.   A good way to stick a toe in the water and branch out is by attending one of the many fantastic “News You Can Use” sessions at Annual. These sessions “offer the latest updates from experts on policy, research, statistics, technology, and more, based on new surveys, reports, legislation/regulation, and projects” from across…

ALA Annual 2019

Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy Banquet #alaac19

In a large banquet room last night, we laughed, we cried, and we applauded the many wonderful achievements of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Legacy award winners. I, for one, know I definitely cried at least three times – once for each of the incredibly moving speeches by Sophie Blackall, Meg Medina, and Christopher Myers (accepting on behalf of his late father, Walter D. Myers). It feels so important to honor these individuals that have given us books that are cherished and loved by multitudes of children (and adults) across the country. Plus, the handsomely illustrated programs done by Sophie Blackall weren’t too shabby! Keep your eye out on ALSC’s own Youtube channel for some clips of the speeches and reaction videos from honorees.  

ALA Annual 2019

#ALAac19 is winding down, last chance to enjoy D.C.

As the conference starts to wind down, the exhibit hall is broken down and all the books are quickly claimed, now might be a good time to get some fresh air in D.C. Hopefully, you have felt some of that wonderful D.C. humidity as you have walked around either to different events or maybe starting to explore… If you have time today, I recommend checking out some real D.C. libraries— I love to check out a real-life library when I go to a new city. We have lots of beautiful, award-winning libraries here in D.C. The closest branch to check out (library pun) is the Shaw Neighborhood Library (1630 7th St NW)— just walk about 15 minutes north on 7th street (convention center on your left). I would recommend stopping at Compass Coffee that you will pass on the way for an iced latte or cold brew. This location is…

ALA Annual 2019

Dealing with difficult people in the workplace #alaac19

I switched up my conference sessions on Saturday and went to a career development workshop on dealing with difficult people in the workplace. I have found that happiness in a job can be highly dependent on coworkers and Dr. Eileen O’ Grady had most of the answers (they exist)! My top takeaways: Identify who you are dealing with. Bullies, emotional vampires, narcissists- they all have different characteristics and different ways to deal with. Take care of yourself first and your needs. Identify what is non negotiable (eight hours of sleep, exercise etc.) and go from there. Care about yourself enough to assert yourself and advocate for change. Learn the difference between “I statements” and “You statements” and use them when needed. Silent withdrawal is harmful to everything and does not help a situation. I’ll end with this quote O’Grady posted by Cy Wakeman “Your happiness or engagement (at work) is…

ALA Annual 2019

Rights to Privacy for Minors #alaac19

Jam-packed in a late afternoon session today, librarians gathered to learn more about minor privacy rights in public and school libraries. Intellectual freedom issues are not restricted to adults, especially with the rapidly changing technology and digital landscape of today. The session was aptly entitled “So, are you going to tell my parents?”. Protection of minor’s circulation records, internet and digital data, as well as their actual physical presence in the library were all up for discussion. Coming away from the session I felt a weighty sense of responsibility for the young patrons I serve and lots of questions to investigate once I come home. For example, what are my state’s laws and statutes that protect minors in the library? Does my library fall in line with COPPA? What exactly did my own library say in their privacy policy and are my co-workers familiar with it? These are the sorts…