Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Everyone is Welcome at PRIDE!

One of the things that patrons missed the most during the pandemic has been the ability to browse and see displays. My library has been offering a robust collection of “Grab and Go” items of curated books and bundles to offer patrons in even the most limited iterations of pandemic library service, a little something extra to take home. The pandemic has also made us rethink the physicality of the building. In before times, displays were in shelves or on bulletin boards, but now, we need to think about where people see us. As a result, we have been putting more displays on our windows! Window displays or “Library on the Glass” as I have coined it, can be anything from booklists, pictures of book covers, patron-created Haikus, notes of love for the library, etc. Since we opened fully for browsing and hanging at the library on June 1st, it…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Statewide Virtual Performer Showcase: Lessons Learned

When school is dismissed for the summer, and excitement around library Summer Reading Programs (SRP) begin, library traffic increases dramatically. Here in Kansas that means staff at approximately 323 public libraries have been planning a schedule for months. This schedule includes challenges for a reading program, educational or entertaining performers, and crafts or hands-on activities. This winter, two regional youth consultants designed and offered a virtual showcase of performers to help meet social distancing guidelines and other changing needs librarians face, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The showcase is now available via the state’s regional library system webpage. This showcase helps staff make informed decisions when scheduling performers. The showcase used an existing Statewide Performer’s Directory to contact performers and gauge interest. Then, youth consultants divided the performers expressing interest into categories and scheduled recording dates and times. Reception from the performers was overwhelmingly positive. Consultants recorded ten minute segments using…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Consider Stillness as a Librarian

When you are a super passionate, energetic, big idea thinker, and dreamer, you can be a complete asset to your place of employment. You dream big and come up with exciting services, beloved programs, and best of all- you have the zest to see them through! However, you can also be a scary nuisance to your institution and given advice like “your passion is unsustainable” or “work would be easier for you if you just came in, worked your hours, and left” because sometimes people who want to do more are scary… it means change!

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Ultimate Summer Reading Programming Guide 2021

cartoonish image of a computer keyboard with highlighted options button

Summer Reading 2021 So, it’s the ninth hour. Summer Reading 2021 is just about here. Things are changing rapidly, though. COVID safety guidelines are positively fluid. What’s a children’s librarian to do?! Fear not, fearless reader — you’ve got OPTIONS! A Spectrum of Five Options Five options…well, more like 5.2 Passive programming Hybrid programming Limited seating indoor programming Outdoor programming 100% digital programming Pre-recorded Live streaming Passive Programming I know you know what it is. However! There’s an awesome new reference and even a free webinar about this very topic that I want to direct you to. The webinar is a called “Passive Programming That Pulls Them In: Provocative Passive Programming Ideas”. You can find it on Niche Academy. As a matter of fact, they have an upcoming live webinar. Here’s the 10-4: PASSIVE PROGRAMMING THAT PULLS THEM IN: PROVOCATIVE PASSIVE PROGRAMMING IDEAS Wed May 12 at 2:00 pm US…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Where are you at now?

It’s been a year and change since the pandemic upended our lives and changed how we worked in our buildings, how we performed our story times, how we handled materials, and so much more. In a year, so much has changed and so much more remains unseen. I don’t know about your region, but with spring in the air and vaccine eligibility opening up, it seems like the whole world has reawakened from some drastically bad dream and is ready to begin again. In May of last year when my system started discussing reopening the buildings and resuming limited services at the branch, a few images started circling to facilitate staff talking about what their risks seemed to be, like this one: Most staff seemed to be in the lowest risk or moderate risk categories before we went back into the buildings. Once we resumed service in the branches, we…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Promoting library programs, Social media is only part of the answer

I’ve been around long enough to remember when my library system decided to centralize their social media accounts. Some of our branches didn’t care, they weren’t on social media anyway. Some of our branches almost held protests. They had branch social media teams which had slowly built up their followers through years of effort. I was on one of those teams. We had a posting schedule, we had gone to trainings, we followed tips about always including a photo and using variety in our types of posts. Having to give up control was really hard. Sorry for the long intro, I’ll get the point. Last year, during the months that our library branches were completely closed—after we had started offering online programs, but before we were able to start curbside delivery—our librarians (no, it wasn’t just me) wanted our social media guidelines to change to meet our new program promotion…

Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Pandemic Reflections on Youth Librarianship: One Year Later

It’s been one year since COVID-19 shut down the United States and the world tentatively approaches it’s “new normal.” Let’s take this opportunity for “pandemic reflections,” and see how the year has impacted youth librarianship. As my friend and co-blogger Abby wrote the other day, “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay.” This month marks many anniversaries… the last in-person storytime, the last “busy” desk shift, the last school visit. I will forever remember working the weekend everything was shutting down. I printed out coloring sheets about washing hands and did a “germs are not for sharing,” storytime. This was all while anxiously awaiting updates from our director. What followed was a government shut down, an abundance of family time, and new phrases like “six feet,” “social distancing,” and “mask up.” Emotions raged while we felt unessential, to feeling overly essential, to everywhere in between. Hiring freezes and furloughs hit libraries…

Blogger Kary Henry

Homeschool Hangout

Everybody needs a little fun…especially now, right? In addition to my Homeschool @ the Library programs and Homeschool Book Clubs, I offer Homeschool Hangout. Usually once a month, we gather together on Zoom to play games and do different activities. Some I’ve created on my own; others are games that I adapt for this virtual environment. All in all, the hour of Homeschool Hangout flies by, and everyone leaves smiling!