Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

(re)Defining Leadership

A few weeks ago, I attended a day-long, local library conference, which was run entirely by library staff. In fact, the majority of the presenters were front line staff.  The program sessions and poster topics were relevant to everyday branch experiences. Ensuing discussions were meaningful and applicable to our daily work. The day left me feeling invigorated. Later that evening, several of us took some time to catch up and to socialize. During the course of the conversation, we discussed our career aspirations and professional goals. In our group of seven, all except one commented that they had no interest in a managerial position. However, several acknowledged that they would like more opportunities to use and to develop leadership skills. Our conversation made me think about how leadership is perceived and applied within the context of our work. Start with Yourself Often, discussions on leadership focus on management and leading…

Blogger Elizabeth Serrano

2019 ALSC Election Results

2019 results graphic

On Wednesday April 10, 2019 ALSC announced the 2019 Election results. A huge thank you to all candidates who stood for election and for your active involvement with ALSC. We appreciate your commitment to library service to children! Now, the 2020 Nominating and Leadership Development Committee is seeking nominations from personal ALSC members for another group of amazingly engaged and talented members for the 2020 ballot. The nomination form for the 2020 ballot is now open and will close on April 19! This ballot will be voted on in the spring of 2020. 2019 ALSC Election Results: Vice-President/President-Elect Kirby McCurtis, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon Fiscal Officer Amber Creger, Schaumburg Township District Library, Schaumburg, Illinois “New-to-ALSC” Board Director Maggie Jacobs, New York Public Library, New York, New York Board Director April Mazza, Massachusetts Library System, Natick, Massachusetts Caldecott Committee, 2021 Carmen Lynette Boston, D C Public Library, Washington, DC Edie Ching,…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Let’s do better #alacouncil #alamw19

It’s a somber time at council this last day of #alamw19 We have been voting over the last few days to make the work of libraries more supportive for civil rights of diverse genders, disabilities, sustainability, and the social justice of fines at libraries, etc. All huge and giant issues for the library and the issues that we see in our daily lives of work.   But, by now you may have heard that there was a violation of the code of conduct at an ALA Council forum on Monday afternoon. If not– check twitter. And this morning– more than 100 people are in this room– sitting in the aftermath of failing a person… and failing ourselves. If we can’t guarantee a safe space to discuss council issues for all people– not just the majority being white persons– I wonder how are we failing in our libraries?   This is…

Administrative and Management Skills

Children’s Librarians Are Experts at… Leading a Team

Gretchen Caserotti gave an inspiring keynote presentation at the 2017 Power Up Leadership Conference for Youth Services Managers and Staff about natural leadership traits inherent in children’s librarians. The comparison has crept into my thinking multiple times since. Using LLAMA’s Leadership and Management Competencies as a framework, it’s easy to see why children’s librarians are experts at leading a team. Change Management and Problem Solving Who hasn’t planned the most beautiful, age-appropriate story time for 4-5 year olds, only to be surprised by a room full of toddlers? Or sensed in the first pages of a story that you’re losing the wiggly kids in front of you? Children’s librarians are experts at flexibility and problem solving. We can improvise a Plan B, achieve buy-in, and motivate a group to follow our lead, breaking into song or dance when needed. We take risks, try new things, persuade others, and keep a sense…

Blogger Kathia Ibacache

STEM: Leadership Tips When you Get Coding Bots Out

STEM can overwhelm some librarians. However, do not despair. There are some organizational ideas and leadership tips worth trying if you are willing to give coding bots a try. After a year of an introductory STEM programs at the Simi Valley Public Library, it was time to spice this program up with a new element. Why not buy bots to teach kids computational thinking through basic coding? The idea became a proposal and with minor changes the proposal became a reality. We purchased two of the following four bots: Wonder Dash, Coji, Ozobot, and the Robot Mouse, to implement a year’s worth of monthly STEM programs focusing on coding. Wonder Dash and Azobot: are fine bots for kids 6+. Here children will be practicing coding at a basic and intermediate level if they dare to explore all the potential of these bots. Coji and the Robot Mouse: are convenient bots…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Supporting Children’s Services through Career Transitions

Recently, I re-read the ALSC Blog post, Why Children’s Librarians Should Run the World (or at least the library), which asked why more children’s librarians weren’t moving into management positions. One explanation was that they prefer not to give up the job satisfaction received by working directly with children. I’ve certainly heard that reluctance from children’s librarians who would make excellent supervisors. If you are on the fence about testing out a leadership role, know that you can shape your job to still feel linked to your original mission. I know firsthand – I was a children’s librarian for nearly seven years before deciding to explore supervision. I’ve now served as an assistant managing librarian, the children’s services coordinator, the youth services manager and a managing librarian. In that time, I’ve learned that you can support children’s services in a meaningful way even as job titles and responsibilities change. Give…

ALA Midwinter 2018

Leadership and ALSC at #alamw18

One of my favorite parts of Ala Midwinter 2018 was the Leadership and ALSC program. It started with an opening message from ALSC President Nina Lindsay, an update from the ALA Washington office and then a part where everybody in the room introduced themselves and said where they worked and their affiliation with ALSC. This part was super awesome because you were able to put faces to names and make new connections with people. I would highly recommend individuals to go to this program at future conferences. The second half of the program was a presentation- “Toxic Stress in the Library: The Upstream Impact of Life Adversity on Children,” presented by Dr. Janina Fariñas and Johanna Ulloa Girón MSW. The dynamic and brilliant duo tackled important and relevant issues about toxic stress and how it influences the way public libraries provide services to children. They provided real-life examples and solutions which they…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Summer Reading for Managers

Many of us working with kids and teens spend our reading time catching up on the books we’re excited to recommend to our readers. We encourage our patrons to continue reading and learning all through the summer so they can start the school year ready to grow. What if we did the same for ourselves? What if we carved out a little time over the summer (and all year round!) to educate ourselves on improving management skills? Here are a couple titles to start your reading journey. Please leave your suggestions for great management reading in the comments!   Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg               Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath                 Lean In: Women, Work, and the…