Guest Blogger

Welcoming Spaces at #ALSC20

Dana Bjerke, Adele Murray, Amy Kennedy Fosseen, and Liz Veaderkpo from Hennepin County Library presented “Collaborating to Create Welcoming Spaces for Children, Youth, and Families.” This was great for me- I survived one library renovation several years ago where the architects never spoke with youth services staff; we made the new space “work,” but it wasn’t designed in a way that was ideal for actual use by the patrons and staff. My county is currently discussing construction of a new building for my current library. The presenters discussed their own renovation experiences, and how they worked on keeping everyone connected, collaborating, and taking into account multiple perspectives. Architects need to talk with library staff to understand how the space works for playful learning in libraries, and how families use spaces. Try to get a liaison to help you communicate with them! Administration answers to the community, county, and board; it…

Administrative and Management Skills

Ask ALSC: Storytime Collaboration

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. As the country practiced stay-at-home safety, libraries and librarians dusted off their tools and created virtual storytimes and activities that created additional resources for families during this difficult time.

Blogger Meg Smith

No Summer Break When Planning School Partnerships

It may be tempting to focus on partnerships with the school system just during the traditional school year; however, planning partnerships year round can help ensure planning is collaborative and programs are maximized. For Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center in North Carolina, we have several projects in the planning stages that will serve as opportunities for collaboration between the school system and the public library during the next year. Cumberland County Coding Camps Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center partnered with Cumberland County Schools and Workforce Development Board to provide free coding camps to underserved youth in the community to strengthen skills in digital literacy. These week long summer day camps are housed in low income neighborhoods in community recreation centers. Participants gain skills through daily coding sessions on topics of interest to them. Youth gain insight from area speakers sharing details of their military and technology…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Story Time Deep Dive at #alamw19

I have been lucky to connect with the amazing Mel (of Mel’s Desk) at past conferences, and she has been gracious to host some story time deep dives, at the Networking Uncommons, where attendees can come and chat about story time and youth services and brainstorm answers! If you are unfamiliar with Networking Uncommons it is a free space like a makeshift empty meeting room with tables and chairs to have informal meetups or just hang and chat. There are some art supplies and button makers if you feel the need to do some crafting! See my awesome coloring page from the Office of Intellectual Freedom that I started during this meetup! This year, the spot is super hard to find– across the street from the convention center and away from all the action of midwinter. But, we were joined by one other children’s librarian, and for 2 hours we…

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

ALSC Mentoring Program Perspectives #mentorALSC

mentorALSC Newsletter Header

In February, one of our ALSC Mentoring Program matches contributed a piece to the #mentorALSC Newsletter on their experience in the program up until that point. Below is their fun and inspiring message! Mentee – Marlowe Being new to the profession, the time spent in conversation with my mentor has been invaluable. It has provided training in the form of a wealth of ideas, networking opportunities with seasoned library professionals and increased my confidence within my newly minted role as the Youth Services Librarian. Our monthly conversations allow me to talk about upcoming events, current happenings within my library as well as current trends within the profession. In addition, the calls provide me with an opportunity to ask lots of questions using my mentor as a sounding board for my thoughts. It is especially beneficial for me as a mentee because my mentor is Paula Holmes who also happens to…

Blogger Meg Smith

Stories Cross Boundaries

  For Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, NC, March is associated with storytelling. This March celebrates our 9th annual Storytelling Festival. Expanded from one week to an entire month, this year will offer even more performers and programs to promote cultural diversity. The theme, Your Passport to the World, integrates international folktales, oral storytelling, and puppetry through a dynamic celebration of world cultures. Our free and inclusive festival provides one of the only literature-based, cultural arts programs many families may experience within our community. Our Community Relations Department created passports for each participating child and customers will receive passport stickers when they attend festival programming or check out books from our international themed book displays. We are excited to see children’s stickers from around the world as they share in this experience with their families. Collaboration remains a central component of our festival. With partnerships with…

Blogger AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Collaborating on a Mini-Con

The annual Comic-Con in San Diego is a juggernaut that everyone looks forward to. Photos of celebrity sightings, interview snippets, and panel videos dominate the web during the event. And Comic-Con isn’t about just comics anymore of course – it’s about books, movies, graphic novels and all things pop culture in general. So what about those of us nowhere near San Diego? You DIY your own!

Blogger Meg Smith

Transforming Ideas into Reality

As I attended the North Carolina Library Association’s (NCLA) Executive Board Meeting this past week in Black Mountain, NC at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, (https://www.blueridgeassembly.org/) I was struck by the passion of my colleagues from across the state who are committed to improving the lives of our library patrons and communities by brainstorming new ideas to encourage change. As Vice Chair/Chair Elect of the Youth Services Section of the NCLA, I’m excited to see how these ideas bring growth and new possibilities. It makes me consider how ideas are able to move beyond the planning stage to become fully fledged concepts, whether these ideas take root as a project within our individual libraries or grow to strengthen the existing work of our professional associations. Passion, people, and purposeful promotion are all necessary to take those valuable ideas beyond board room discussions and move them into practical implementation within our…