Blogger Heather Acerro

Keeping Connected with Custom Collections

At a time when Rochester Public Library (MN) has limited ability to provide direct services to children, teens, and families, our custom collection service has helped us stay connected. Since mid-March, RPL staff have been heavily engaged in city-wide pandemic response work, including setting up and staffing a day center for people experiencing homelessness and running a COVID-19 call center. We also provide library services through our digital library, Curbside pickup, Bookmobile services, Deposit & Homebound services, phone reference, and Internet access by appointment. This work has required our library to collaborate as a large team, with staff from multiple divisions sharing ideas and responsibilities on the various projects. As a result, our Youth Services team hasn’t had many opportunities to work together. During this time, two YS programs have allowed us to provide direct service to our kids, teens, and families. In June, we launched our Pen Pal program which has been…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Vote for Books!

Or rather, books about voting. How can we engage our young customers in the electoral process, and start imparting the importance of voting upon them at a young age? This would be the time to do a mock election at your branch—Peanut Butter or Jelly?  Chocolate or vanilla?  I recall seeing this great blog that had a secret voting booth and everything!  But this year, however…EVERYTHING is different, again thanks to the pandemic.  One thing that remains, though, is that publishers put out election-friendly books for kids during our presidential election year.  And today, I’m going to take a look at a few of them. First, for the picture book set: Jonathan London’s Froggy for President. Froggy is so excited to run for class president that he leaves his house in only his underwear and is once again saved by his reliable mom.  Of course, Frogilina would run against him,…

Commitment to Client Group

Virtual Reader’s Advisory – Helping Readers at Home

I used to be good at Reader’s Advisory. A child or caregiver approached the desk, they asked me for book ideas, and I gave them great books. End of transaction. Everybody walks away happy. Now, with my library closed and our school district’s kids home at least through the summer, we’re working on a mix of old and new strategies to help kids and families find the right books for them.

Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Literary March Madness

March Madness is in full swing! Yes the basketball games have officially begun but the college basketball tournament has expanded to a phenomena of competitions and brackets galore. A “one day” goal of mine is for a literary march madness bracket at the library. I’d like to delve deeper than a “battle of the best picture books.” Here are some ideas– let me know which one is your favorite. Or better yet add some ideas of your own! Battle of the Illustrations.  This entire bracket would be based in pictures and would be renowned pictures from different picture books. From the hilarious toilet scene in “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch, to the riveting conclusion of “This Is Not My Hat” by Jon Klassen to the scene where the zookeeper’s wife returns all the animals to their rightful homes in “Good Night Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann. The possibilities are gorgeous…

Blogger Paige Bentley-Flannery

Children’s Librarians are Experts at Readers’ Advisory

Librarians know their library collections! We know just the right questions to ask for each library customer seeking their next favorite book. Library customer: Do you have any new penguin picture books? Librarian: Hi! Yes, we have a wonderful selection of them! Library customer: I’m looking for a new book with a penguin wearing a sweater. Librarian: Let’s walk over to the new picture book section and look under Animals. (Point out the new picture book stickers.) I saw the book you’re looking for yesterday.  So many colorful sweaters! Books Found: Penguinaunt by Marcie Colleen, Little Penguin Stays Awake by Tadgh Bentley and Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters! By Marikka Tamura.

Blogger Katie Salo

State Reading Lists & the Early Literacy Librarian

One of my favorite tools in my librarian toolbox are our state reading lists. Before I get into the reasons that the state reading lists are awesome, I’ll give you a quick overview. A Quick Overview In Illinois, a committee made up of teachers, librarians, and educators chooses a list of twenty nominees. From those twenty nominees, kids and teens can read and then vote in February/March for the reader’s choice award. The book with the most votes then wins the Award for the year the voting took place. Illinois has four lists: Monarch Award for K-3rd graders Bluestem Award for 3rd-5th graders Rebecca Caudill Award for 4th-8th graders Abraham Lincoln Award for 9th-12th graders Many other states have their own lists. Some are by grade and some are by subject. (Check out Texas Maverick Graphic Novel Lists!) Why I Love State Reading Lists First of all, most of our…

Blogger Ericka Chilcoat

Warning: This Will Be Your Toughest Customer.

After working for 20 plus years as a children’s librarian, I feel very comfortable with young people. I’m good at getting them to open up and tell me what they are looking for. Children come in with parents in tow, after visiting the library with their class. “Remember me?” they ask, and I always let them know that they are unforgettable.