Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Winterizing Your Library Programming

Color photo of a little free library covered in snow

Summer READing prep you say? So, preppers are prepping like crazy for summer reading. But, let’s face it: it’s still winter! Spring ain’t gonna spring anytime soon and the groundhog’s only just thinking about making some French press. While you’re doing your headless chicken routine hiring and lining up summertime performers, have a gander here for some great ideas for sort of now-ish! Don’t let the icy conditions slip you up! Okay, no more puns…for now! ; )) Feb Planning! 1 Students learn about George Washington Carver with this reading passage. [READ MORE] 2 This art-based idea focuses on the work of Langston Hughes, a well-known African American author who wrote poetry and plays. [READ MORE] 3 With adventurous characters, exciting plots, and three to five chapters per book, Leaves Chapter Books check all the boxes to engage beginning readers. [LEARN MORE] 4 Want more activities for Black History Month? [READ MORE] 8 Fun Facts about…

Administrative and Management Skills

Staying Out of Trouble

Whenever I look at something going bad, I ask:  Are there systems in place?  Are they up to date?  Are they implemented?  It all leads up to making decisions on high consequence, low probability events, or what many call high risk – low frequency. Think of your library.  Each library consists of a distinct set of offices, branches, departments, or at a minimum, colleagues each with set of things for which they are responsible.  Let’s just call them the things we do; each of us.  Your job is complex.  There may be hundreds or thousands of things you do that need to happen correctly so that your library, office, branch, or department can function; consistently delivering upon its mission.  Those things all have one singular goal; doing it right. In youth work, if you are going to recommend titles, you do it right.  If you are presenting a story time,…

Blogger Abby Johnson

#ALAYMA Announcements Oh My!

This morning a few of my colleagues and I tuned in to the livestream of the Youth Media Awards and oh my goodness! So many fabulous books were honored, including a few books of my heart. And I look forward to reading the ones I haven’t yet read. A few books of my heart were honored this year and it was so amazing to hear their titles called! In particular, my colleagues knew that I was really rooting for Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. Just last week, I suggested it for my library’s LGBTQ+ book discussion. I told our leader that I was going to go ahead and put in the ILL requests before it got bombarded with shiny stickers and no one would loan it to us for awhile. Yay for me that I did that because boy howdy did it get bombarded! Another book…

- LibLearnX 2022

Highlights from the #LibLearnX Virtual Mystery Hunt

It’s Day 4 of LibLearnX, and I am so excited for all the #ALA Youth Media Award winners and honorees! There are several titles on those lists that are new to me, and I can’t wait to hunt them down and give them a look. To wind down from all that joyful energy, I returned to complete the Virtual Mystery Hunt, and it was more challenging than I expected, but I WAS VICTORIOUS. I’m happy to have finished, but beyond the brain itch these puzzles scratched so nicely, I actually learned a lot about ALA and all it has to offer. Here are some of the highlights:


Pandemic Programming: Connect & Play

In an effort to be responsive to community feedback, our library system resumed limited in-person early literacy activities in October 2021. Storytimes and a drop-in program we call “Connect & Play” are currently underway with a variety of risk-reducing COVID considerations. Connect & Play is a program we have been doing for many years. Here’s the play-by-play I’ve found makes for a successful experience for families in our current environment. Underpinning all the activities are the familiar early learning practices of “Talk, Play, Read, Write, Sing Together,” as well as the principles from Reimagining School Readiness, covered more in-depth in a previous ALSC blog post. Format: A 2-3 hour period where children 0-5 years old and their caregiver/s can drop in for as long as they like. Each week, participants engage with 4-5 stations that support different aspects of early literacy & learning. Each week, the specifics of each station…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Staff Love Languages

Examples of Staff Love Languages

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, it’s a good time to think about the love languages of your colleagues/staff. This is always important to think about, but it feels more important with the low morale, stress of Covid & handing out test kits, and winter blahs; I want to ensure that my staff feel appreciated and supported as much as possible. Below is my riff on the five long languages as they apply to working in the library.