Guest Blogger

Baby Time Boredom No More at #PLA2024

It seems like baby time boredom is sweeping the nation, if the turnout at my first presentation for the day, Baby Time Boredom: Building Culturally Responsive Programming for Ages 0-3, was any indication. Annamarie Carlson (Westerville Public Library, OH) and Sarah Simpson (a former librarian and current Family Engagement and Literacy Specialist at the A. Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning at The Ohio State University) presented to a full house of fellow children’s services librarians waiting eagerly for fresh ideas on this classic program. Using a culturally responsive model looks different at every library, and that’s exactly the point. By weaving your patrons identity into your programming, you make things personally relevant to a family’s experiences. Simpson talked about pulling inspiration from “funds of knowledge” – children’s accumulated experiences in their households with siblings, friends, communities, and caregivers. In addition, it’s important to think about your community expansively. How…

Guest Blogger

#PLA2024 RA Meets AI: Building and Launching a Reader’s Advisory Kiosk

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most discussed topics at #PLA2024! After all, AI is a revolutionary new technology. Kara Reuter, Travis Clark, and Stefan Langer showed how they created the Recommendation Station for Worthington (Ohio) Libraries. Worthington Libraries have Recommendation Stations at all of their branches. To use the kiosk, a patron walks up to the station and scans a book that they’ve enjoyed. Then, the station’s software connects with the library’s reader’s advisory database. The database sends back read-alike book recommendations. The kiosk shows the patron each book’s cover, and if it is currently available at that branch. Patrons can click on each book to see more information, and then print off or email the recommendations. The focus of the kiosk is to encourage patrons to leave with a physical book in hand. They can also place a hold on a book that’s not available at their…

Guest Blogger

“Tell me more about that!” – Conference Conversations at #PLA2024

Looking for a quiet(er) spot to sit, breathe, and maybe attempt to put a dent in my inbox in between sessions, I ended up sitting on a bench in a corner at the end of a hallway next to a librarian from Hawaii who was eating a quick lunch. Not fifteen minutes later, I was delighted to have learned a handful of fascinating things about what makes Hawaii’s library system unique, not the least of which was that they’ve had paid library positions for teens/students for years!

Guest Blogger

#PLA2024 Day 2

I am going to jump around a bit as I took bits and pieces from various sessions that may appeal. First up this morning was another Science of Reading session with programs and initiatives from the San Francisco Public Library and Chicago Public Library. San Francisco has a really in-depth tutoring program called Fog Readers. It is a 1:1 tutoring program that pairs volunteers with children in need of reading intervention. Check it out! Chicago Public Library built on the idea of the Scarborough rope to create a Jump Into Reading initiative. It is currently trialing at a couple of branches and involves collection development, staff education, and programming. They have a dedicated decodables section and it is split into five sections based on the decodable skill. Sections include Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) Words, Blends and Digraphs, Vowel-e Words, R-Controlled Words and Vowel Teams, and Multisyllabic Words. Grab-and-go kits are also available…