ALA Midwinter 2018

Local library love #alamw18

Conferences are so busy– and they keep you engaged for crazy long hours– that it is easy to forget that you are in a new city! I am always trying to be better at exploring the local scene when I travel to conferences– and this year is especially hard for me because I am right next to the Conference Center, and I hate the snow! But one thing I absolutely love and try to do is to see a local library in the city I am visiting. I love looking at the children’s rooms and collections and how they market and manage their spaces. Some of the cutest things from Denver Public Library main branch: This adorable play mailbox! I wanted to write my own letter and leave it! Or this little easel that allows young artists to practice- who may not be ready to stay seated- or able to…


Including the Shy Ones: Passive Programming & Interactive Displays

One of the biggest challenges that youth library staff faces is providing programming that reaches the widest array of children possible. We cast huge programming nets in hopes of filling our programs with happy smiling faces that are raring and ready for some fun… but what about the shy kids? What about the children that aren’t super excited about being “trapped” in a room with thirty other kids? How can we engage these children without forcing them into our programs? The answer lies in passive programming. This generally underutilized programming option can be the bridge that connects your more shy patrons with library resources and materials. The trick is to portray the passive program as something else entirely, such as a game or fun activity. From my experience, the best method is to create a program that requires no staff supervision, can be completed with very little instructions, and most…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Summer Reading > Numbers

Summer is over. But before I get out my cute new booties and pumpkin flavored everything, it’s time to reflect on what an awesome summer it was in the library. The easiest way to evaluate the success of an initiative is through numbers and stats and pie charts, etc. While these are effective (and necessary) it’s not always the best way to boost staff morale or provide inspiration. Our last Quarterly Youth Services Meeting was focused on the end of Summer Reading  and the beginning of back to school. I was supposed to share Summer Reading results but, honesty, the last thing I wanted to do was rattle off numbers to everyone. So I did something… very serious. Throughout the entire summer, staff had been sending in amazing pictures of displays and programs that really only the people in my office were seeing. I wanted to share them with everyone as…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

The Year of the Horse

Dí­a is not only a celebration of children and books, but a commitment to work daily towards connecting families and children to diverse books, cultures and languages. It may seem like quite the challenge at times to integrate diversity into your library everyday, but there are plenty of uncomplicated routes to daily diversity! If you take a moment to contemplate the many holidays and traditions celebrated throughout the world you will begin to see a wealth of opportunity. Everybody loves a party, so why not highlight various cultures through their respective festivities? It is a fun way to embrace the Dí­a initiative and encourage an awareness of various cultures in your community.  The Year of the Horse could be a great first step towards a year of multicultural observance in 2014! On the Western calendar, the start of the new year falls on January 31st, 2014 and is The Year…

Blogger Meg Smith

Solutions Without the Sacrifice

Searching for solutions does not need to be complicated.  Sometimes fresh ideas and unique perspectives offer us quick answers to correct potential concerns.  These staff suggestions have enhanced the effectiveness of our library services.  Dividing the Experience       When our story times for the five and under set exploded, we had to review what programming would best impact our growing population.  We decided to offer an additional story time but altered the age range to ensure we could meet the needs of most patrons.  Instead of offering a double dose of toddler story time for two year old children, we provided a combination program for children ages 1-3, a blending of two story times to reach a larger audience.  Adding this additional story time allowed us to offer variety in our programming for the most people, rather than simply repeating the exact story time on a different day of the week….