Blogger Kirsten Caldwell

Should Libraries be Quiet?

For years, debates have raged over the appropriate volume levels in libraries. Should they maintain a serene quiet, with librarians ready to shush any loud disruptions? Perhaps there could be designated quiet zones for those seeking focused study, while allowing for a slightly livelier atmosphere in areas designated for children. The time of librarians expecting hushed whispers from children as they browse the stacks seems to have passed.

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Every Word a Poem with Sophia Thakur at #ALAVirtual20

I will admit that I was not familiar with poet and storyteller Sophia Thakur before her featured presentation at #ALAVirtual20. Several minutes into it, my family could find me crying in the kitchen at her beautiful and inspiring words. (Shedding tears of joy/inspiration/amazement is a common occurrence for me at ALA, and now my family gets to witness this during the virtual conference). Thakur is a “performance poet” from the United Kingdom. Throughout her presentation, she recited some of her poems, but EVERYTHING she said was itself a poem. I am hoping for a transcript because I was desperately trying to write down every word that she said. She epitomized her statement that “Poetry is in the gap between art and conversation.” She talked about literacy and empathy. She encouraged people to tell their own stories because literacy is a tool to explore the self. Reading empowers through windows, mirrors,…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Welcome to #ALAVirtual20

Welcome to #ALAVirtual20! I had been looking forward to my first visit to Chicago and the home of #ALA, but I am still excited to spend the next few days immersed in everything LIBRARY! I started my conference with an ALA Happy Hour via Zoom. Mixologist Andres Arias showed us all how to make Palomas. The Paloma, one of the best-selling cocktails in Mexico, was first created in Mexico and is similar to a margarita. With drinks in hand, we then broke into small groups to meet each other and discuss our favorite drinks, Chicago, and, inevitably, Covid19.  We were then challenged to some trivia about Chicago, home of 5 major league sports teams in addition to some amazing libraries! While I knew Chicago was famous for its deep dish pizza, I learned that brownies originated in Chicago (at the Palmer House) and about Holy Cow dark chocolate potato chips…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Playgroups at the Library: Explore the Power of Play and Connect with Your Community

Several years ago as a response to the community’s request and as part of Wilsonville Public Library ‘s strategic plan to “Advance the Library as a community focal point and resource hub,”  the library’s youth services team developed a weekly playgroup.    This program has proven to be a well-attended and a valuable resource in the community for parents and caregivers of young children to connect and for children to explore the power of play. How Playgroup works at Wilsonville Public Library— Each Monday morning, library staff set up the library’s largest meeting room with a variety of toys.  These items for Playgroup are purchased from our library’s program supplies budget.  The following items were selected to promote growth and learning in several different areas– Imaginative Play Including Play Kitchen, Puppet Theater, Dolls Sensory Stimulation Includes Foam Blocks and Sensory Toys Gross Motor Skills and Eye-Hand Coordination Includes Ball Games and…

ALA Annual 2018

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Graphic Novels #ALAAC18

  The first point discussed was that Graphic Novels are a FORMAT rather than a genre. Of course, there are many different genres within the Graphic Novel format. While this may be obvious to us librarians, we must remember that patrons, parents, and educators may not realize this. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Reaching Kids and Families with Graphic Novel Programming was a fantastic session sponsored by the ALSC.  I got lots of great ideas for graphic novel book clubs as well as background to share with those who think of graphic novels as “comic books.” Benefits of Graphic Novels 1. Graphic novels help children develop VISUAL LITERACY SKILLS.   The format makes readers notice details, visualize things from different angles, and move easily from picture representations to real life.  These are skills needed for computer programming, geometry, problem-solving, and even putting together IKEA furniture. 2. Graphic novels…

ALA Annual 2018

Michelle Obama AND Carla Hayden…in the same room! #ALAAC18

  After Trombone Shorty warmed up the crowd, ALA President Jim Neal welcomed First Lady Michelle Obama to the stage. She was as graceful, smart, and inspiring as you could imagine. I was trying to take notes and enjoy the moment. Here are some of the highlights from her conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. (Ms. Hayden is the 14th Librarian of Congress. She is the first female and the first African-American to hold the position.) Books and Reading Ms. Obama explained that reading has always been a part of her family. When she was little, she set up her stuffed animals and would read to them and show them the pictures. So, of course, she read to her girls when they were little. She claims to still know every word of Dr. Seuss by heart. Barack and Malia read the Harry Potter series together, and Michelle read “Life…


Summer at the Movies with the Library

Summer blockbusters, popcorn, and a reprieve from the hot weather. All things that conjure up pleasant memories of summer at the movies for many, I’m sure. What about adding library programming and awesome librarian superstars to the movie-going experience? This summer San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) has teamed up with a local movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse at the New Mission, to partner on their Kids Camp. Kids Camp runs from May to August at the theater and is a way for kids and their families to affordably see films together with low ticket prices at just $1 – $5, with all proceeds going to local non-profits. On Wednesdays the films are free so SFPL staff has been facilitating pre-show crafts weekly in the lobby. Library staff also get to introduce the film and talk up Summer Stride and get some time in the spotlight! Did I mentioned that the…