One of the biggest challenges for me since COVID-19 has been keeping my students engaged in reading. My position was created at the beginning of last school year, and as we built what is now our new Learning Commons, I worked hard to get students excited about the incoming collection of books and the ability to stop by and pick out whatever book they wanted. Shortly after our space opened, COVID became our new reality, and I tried to keep kids engaged with reading through our Academy Book Mobile and other initaitives. I knew all along though, that part of the appeal and excitement about our new space was being able to be browse the shelves. Unfortunately, it is something we just can’t safely offer at this time. So, I’ve been working on curating an eBook collection that students can safely peruse and reflects what they want to read, while…
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The start of a new year is a great time to set new goals, work on new projects, and begin advocating for libraries! Reaching out to share information about your library and voicing your opinions on legislation that impacts libraries can lead to tangible benefits in terms of funding and community support. However, getting started in advocacy often can feel intimidating and overwhelming. To help, Justin de la Cruz, Chair of the Committee on Library Advocacy, and Joe Thompson, Chair of the Committee on Legislation, have answered some questions you may have so you, too, can advocate like a pro!
Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior. ~James Clear, Atomic Habits
In today’s new normal, we as a society are faced with the many challenges brought on by the Pandemic: Parents have adjusted to working from home. They’ve become teachers. Children have gone from learning in a classroom setting to their bedrooms; having physical movement to being stationary. Where they previously had social interactions with peers, they’re now often in silos watching a single screen throughout the day. After nearly a year of Covid-19, data proves that this has been no easy adjustment by any means. An article by Human Rights Watch outlines just how this disease has devastatingly impacted children around the world. Though what is also discussed are beneficial approaches to alleviate suffering. What I’d like to hone in on is how one organization provides help for the mental health of children due to the effects of Covid-19. Through the National Children’s Alliance , a new useful training is…
I have always had the tendency to apply idioms and proverbial phrasing to the “bumps in the road” encountered while human-ing (I also make verbs out of lots of things). It is one of the ways I’m able to persist in difficult times and have had to rely heavily on this during a year where words like “challenging,” “chaotic,” and “concerning” are all surface level descriptors of 2020, a truly transformative year. Yes, I mean transformative.
How has your collection development changed due to COVID? This is the question I’m hearing asked from lots of librarians around the country right now. Are you facing budget cuts? Have you shifted collection funds to digital materials instead of print? Are you ordering as many new books as you normally would? Do you even have space for all the new stuff with reduced traffic in your buildings and lower circulation? Let’s talk about it; I would love to hear!
We have survived an exhausting year, one that I can barely remember and that will also never forget. You all have been amazing finding ways to connect to your communities and with each other and I just want to say thank you so much. It is with great pride that I stand as president of this division, and with six months remaining in my term, I am committed to ensuring ALSC remains inclusive, financially stable, and in tune with the needs of library professionals serving children everywhere.