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.

Guest Blogger

Ever-Evolving ERGs #PLA2024

I attended a presentation on Employee Resource Groups, one of my rare non-youth-related sessions from this week. Kristy Lorenz (Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH) told us about her experiences in the Working Caregivers Employee Resource Group (or ERG) and shed light on the way these groups can have ripple effects throughout the organization. While an organization might view ERGs as beneficial mainly because they promote retention and provide a way to gather feedback from different groups, staff can benefit from the supportive environment in so many ways. These groups provide a play for validation, a sympathetic ear to have your voice be heard, and also a soft place to land for new employees. They can exist for members of a particular race or ethnicity or for people with shared experiences, such as parents and caregivers of elders. Lorenz highly recommended the book The Power of Employee Resource Groups (Berrett-Koehler, 2022), by…

Guest Blogger

#PLA2024 Day 3

I started off the morning at the Children’s Author Breakfast, which is always a “must see” moment for attending as a Children’s Librarian. We got to listen to Gennifer Choldenko, Loren Long, Daniel Nayeri, and Maleeha Siddiqui discuss their current and upcoming titles. Plus, Daniel Nayeri is a bit of a Chicago fan, and we were serenaded by their various hits as a part of his talk. Another fun tidbit is that Loren Long spent six weeks creating a large diorama of the town for The Yellow Bus. This allowed him to better draw the path that the bus took on its drive. Next up was Baby Time Boredom. Make sure that you check out Ann’s blog post and Ellie Richardson’s post about this session. In addition to her recap, some take-aways that resonated with me include evaluating our coloring/writing table for diversity and adding labels to toy bins and…