Blogger Amy Steinbauer

The show must go on? Emergency Program Plans.

Emergency Plans? Stack of books, two black music notes, two multi colored puppets

Before the pandemic, my system would require every information person to be trained in story time, including managers. The reasoning was that in an emergency, anyone could cover the program, and we wouldn’t have to cancel. We also have Emergency Story Time kits at every branch with books reserved for programming, so they don’t circulate; CDs of classic kids songs, song cards, and miscellaneous items like puppets or scarves. Our big emergency story time kit is in a big container with a lid and usually located in the back of the workroom. A few years ago, we updated them to include a laminated list of tips, tricks, songs that everyone knows, etc. Another ALSC blogger, Angela Reynolds covered this topic in 2011. In this new phase of pandemic, and working from the perspective of a manager, I no longer see the absolute necessity in emergency program coverings. Most libraries seems…

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Room for another challenge? 1000 Hours Outside

Have you heard about the 1000 Hours Outside movement? It was created by Ginny Yurich to encourage people of all ages to spend time outside, embracing nature and setting aside screens. (For detailed information, visit the official site). This movement has also been a game-changer for developing programming and partnerships at my library ever since a coworker (Thanks, Connie!) discovered 1000 Hours in 2020. By the first summer of the pandemic, families everywhere seemed exhausted by screen-time. 1000 Hours Outside offers the perfect framework for engaging families of all ages and adding a twist to outdoor programming that we were already doing—and you probably are, too. From story time and story walks to tie dye parties and chalk the walk afternoons—during much of the pandemic, every in-person program we offered took place outdoors. Why not reinvigorate the classics with a challenge? Wait, another challenge? Between Summer Reading, Winter Reading, 1000…

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Robust Policies to Protect Patrons and Staff

Younger, Jamar. “Guards, police keeping order at PIma County libraries for $750K a year.” tusan.com, 16 March 2014. https://tucson.com/news/local/guards-police-keeping-order-at-pima-county-libraries-for-750k-a-year/article_88cb1d09-85e5-51c9-a54b-3f6c4c7e5b10.html Accessed 18 November 2022. Creating a safer and welcoming environment in the library is nothing new. However, in the past decade safety in the library, and outside on library property, has become a major concern for patrons and staff. Today, we are dealing with an environment where patrons and staff are increasingly looking over their shoulders. For patrons, they are at a point where they will leave the library if another patron is causing problems. Especially in the Children’s area. I have seen parents leave with their children to get away from angry or loud patrons. For staff, they are afraid to even do their job especially when a patron is yelling or getting angry as they are not sure if that patron will become violent or will accost them in…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Media Mentorship 

To use technology or not to use technology? I feel it is no longer a matter of “not” to use. The pandemic has shown us that technology is a part of everyone’s daily life, and we need to be there for our young patrons and their caregivers to guide them, just as we do when helping patrons find the right information and books. As with any media, we are here for our patrons to advise, program, and curate.   “student_ipad_school – 038” by flickingerbrad is licensed under CC BY 2.0.  Training takeaways Recently, I attended a virtual training session on Media Mentorship where youth librarians from Maryland and Indiana learned about the use of digital media and our roles as digital media mentors. Prior to the training, attendees read A Guide to Media Mentorship by Lisa Guernsey of New America. During the morning session, presenters examined the basics of media mentorship—old…

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Early Literacy STEAM at the Library

This fall, our children’s services team brainstormed ways to extend family visits to the floor after storytimes and programs had ended. We noticed the floor would be packed for the 20 minutes before and after a program, but it cleared out quickly. We decided to use our passive STEAM stations, typically reserved for special programs or rainy days/school break boredom busters. Our pie-in-the-sky goal was to have families seeking the library as a place to be, even if there wasn’t a specific program or storytime happening. The more practical purpose was to have families stay engaged in the department past the event that brought them there.

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Children’s Librarians, I love you!

I had the tremendous pleasure of attending the ALSC National Institute in Kansas City from September 29 to October 2. The educational programs were wonderful! If you haven’t had a chance to look through the slide decks, check them out here. The authors and speakers at the General Sessions were AMAZING. The line-up included Christina Soontornvat, Angela Joy, Adam Gidwitz, Hena Khan, B.B. Alston, Julian Randall and Young Vo. ALSC was not playing with their panelists!  I came home with a renewed appreciation for kid lit writers, and a ton of new books to read. While the programs and panelists were wonderful, my very favorite take-away from the National Institute was how much I love Children’s Librarians! It was amazing to be joined together with people who have committed their professional lives to “engage communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children” (ALSC Vision Statement). We are such a positive,…

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Children’s Librarians, I love you!

I had the tremendous pleasure of attending the ALSC National Institute in Kansas City from September 29 to October 2. The educational programs were wonderful! If you haven’t had a chance to look through the slide decks, check them out here. The authors and speakers at the General Sessions were AMAZING. The line-up included Christina Soontornvat, Angela Joy, Adam Gidwitz, Hena Khan, B.B. Alston, Julian Randall and Young Vo. ALSC was not playing with their panelists!  I came home with a renewed appreciation for kid lit writers, and a ton of new books to read. While the programs and panelists were wonderful, my very favorite take-away from the National Institute was how much I love Children’s Librarians! It was amazing to be joined together with people who have committed their professional lives to “engage communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children” (ALSC Vision Statement). We are such a positive,…