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…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Why Children’s Librarians Should Run the World (or at least the library)

I’ve been thinking about leadership a lot lately as the Managing Children’s Services Committee has played a role in the ALSC Mentoring Program.  I’m always blown away by the quality of people we have working in the children’s department, and equally surprised that we don’t have even more children’s librarians who are moving up into management positions.

ALA Midwinter 2015

Leadership & ALSC Kicks Off Advocacy Button Campaign #alamw15

As part of the Everyday Advocacy campaign, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is giving away buttons with a call to action. The buttons, emblazoned with the slogan “Creating a Better Future for Children through Libraries,” will be available at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago and the 2015 ALA Annual Conference. Attached to each button will be a tip sheet, created by the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee, which includes talking points to help articulate the value of youth library service. A virtual button will be available to those who are not able to attend either conference. The campaign will be launched at the Leadership & ALSC session on Saturday, January 31 at 8:30am in McCormick Place West W179. For more information on the campaign, please visit the Everyday Advocacy website: