Before the pandemic, my system would require every information person to be trained in story time, including managers. The reasoning was that in an emergency, anyone could cover the program, and we wouldn’t have to cancel. We also have Emergency Story Time kits at every branch with books reserved for programming, so they don’t circulate; CDs of classic kids songs, song cards, and miscellaneous items like puppets or scarves. Our big emergency story time kit is in a big container with a lid and usually located in the back of the workroom. A few years ago, we updated them to include a laminated list of tips, tricks, songs that everyone knows, etc. Another ALSC blogger, Angela Reynolds covered this topic in 2011. In this new phase of pandemic, and working from the perspective of a manager, I no longer see the absolute necessity in emergency program coverings. Most libraries seems…
They’re Back and They’re Excited
Covid numbers are down in Los Angeles County! The mask mandate has been lifted, and life is feeling more akin to pre-Covid days. In the library, storytimes have moved inside, playtime afterwards has been reinstated, and we are living it up! After two years of outside or virtual programming, it feels wonderful!
Staff Love Languages
Ahead of Valentine’s Day, it’s a good time to think about the love languages of your colleagues/staff. This is always important to think about, but it feels more important with the low morale, stress of Covid & handing out test kits, and winter blahs; I want to ensure that my staff feel appreciated and supported as much as possible. Below is my riff on the five long languages as they apply to working in the library.
Holiday Seasons are Hard!
Tis the season for antsy children who can’t wait to get out of school, grandparents who feel nostalgic for quiet libraries filled with story hours, exhausted parents, nannies who don’t want to comply with food rules, and children’s library staff who are DONE.
A Librarian’s Hierarchy of Needs
If you have studied psychology or self-improvement at all, you may have come across Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I am not a scientist, but basically it’s a pyramid breakdown of what you need in order to master your life. The things you need to achieve a self-fulfilled life. At the bottom of the pyramid, is the physiological needs like safety, food, water, etc. This moves up until you get to the top where you are self-actualized because you have all your needs met and can really dream.
Pondering Indoor Story Times
This next phase of the “new normal” as I so often hear it phrased, means indoor programs are on the horizon. Of course, there are many heroic libraries and librarians that have been doing in-person and indoor programs for many months, or maybe over a year. Indoor programs and relaunching a regular service of programs brings a lot of feelings and emotions to the front of my mind. Now that I am in management, I won’t have to do any of the programs, but I want to ensure that my staff feels safe and comfortable. However, I also want to provide an opportunity for education and fun at the library for youth and their families.
Everyone is Welcome at PRIDE!
One of the things that patrons missed the most during the pandemic has been the ability to browse and see displays. My library has been offering a robust collection of “Grab and Go” items of curated books and bundles to offer patrons in even the most limited iterations of pandemic library service, a little something extra to take home. The pandemic has also made us rethink the physicality of the building. In before times, displays were in shelves or on bulletin boards, but now, we need to think about where people see us. As a result, we have been putting more displays on our windows! Window displays or “Library on the Glass” as I have coined it, can be anything from booklists, pictures of book covers, patron-created Haikus, notes of love for the library, etc. Since we opened fully for browsing and hanging at the library on June 1st, it…
Statewide Virtual Performer Showcase: Lessons Learned
When school is dismissed for the summer, and excitement around library Summer Reading Programs (SRP) begin, library traffic increases dramatically. Here in Kansas that means staff at approximately 323 public libraries have been planning a schedule for months. This schedule includes challenges for a reading program, educational or entertaining performers, and crafts or hands-on activities. This winter, two regional youth consultants designed and offered a virtual showcase of performers to help meet social distancing guidelines and other changing needs librarians face, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The showcase is now available via the state’s regional library system webpage. This showcase helps staff make informed decisions when scheduling performers. The showcase used an existing Statewide Performer’s Directory to contact performers and gauge interest. Then, youth consultants divided the performers expressing interest into categories and scheduled recording dates and times. Reception from the performers was overwhelmingly positive. Consultants recorded ten minute segments using…