Thursday, August 10, 2017

No Wall Space? No Worries!

I would LOVE a bulletin board.  Or a column.   Or really just any bit of open, free wall space for display usage.  However, the reality of my library building thwarts my hopes and dreams of glorious wall-sweeping book displays.

On the upside, Ashley Cooksey, over at AASL's Knowledge Quest, has compiled five excellent display ideas that require no wall space.  From front-facing books to social media marketing, get more from your shelves (and get students to take more books OFF your shelves) with these space-creative ideas.  Check out the full list HERE.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Ready to Booktalk?

Sychronicity. Recently, two things related to readers advisory and booktalking appeared in my inbox and on top of that it's the time of year I start thinking about professional goals met and those to set. So, whether you're an expert or a novice, booktalking and readers advisory are skills that can be improved with practice and confidence to better serve your patrons.

Here are two current resources to help grow your RA skills:

Junior Library Guild covers Six Mistakes Booktalkers Make in this recent online article by Deborah B. Ford. While the title says mistakes, the article really provides tips and concrete advice for giving great booktalks.

South Central Library System is hosting a daylong RA Rethink workshop at the Sun Prairie Library on Thursday, August 17 presented by Becky Stratford of RA for All. The workshop will empower library staff to provide great RA services and to improve their booktalking skills. For a full description of the workshop and to register, click HERE.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Celebrate - You Conquered SLP!!

Pixabay image

Another summer is under (or almost under) wraps!

Here's to you fearless children's and teen library staff for:

  • creating fun exploration, learning and literacy support for kids
  • hosting a ton of fun programs for youth of all ages
  • smiling and friendly customer service for kids AND grown-ups
  • recommending a ton of good books and media for kids to try
  • surviving your 4-week, 6-week, 8-week, 12-week SLP and still smiling
  • putting all your other tasks on hold to concentrate on summer goodness for youth
  • not letting patrons see how tired you got

Hope you have some days off, time to dip your toes in cool water, a moment to lift a glass and some days to enjoy the no-summer-library-program-ish break before schools get started again.

Give yourselves a pat on  the back. You did it again!!

Friday, August 4, 2017

YSS South Central Area Meetup in September


One of the YSS Board's goals is to increase opportunities for professional development and networking for our members and potential members. Regional meet-ups are one facet of achieving this goal. Come be inspired!

YSS Regional Meetup - South Central Area
Friday, Sept. 22 | 12:00-4:00 PM
Cost: $0

Starts at: Beaver Dam Community Library, 311 N Spring St., Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Ends at: Columbus Public Library, 223 W James St, Columbus, WI 53925
(The drive between libraries is approximately 15 minutes.)


12:00 pm Lunch and welcome at Beaver Dam Community Library
12:30 pm Program Swap, Discussion, and BDCL Tour
3:00 pm Columbus Library Tour and snacks....

Beaver Dam Community Library

At Beaver Dam Community Library, we'll start with lunch (Jimmy John's sandwiches or bring your own) and a welcome activity before the program swap and discussion commences. Then YSS Member Sarah Cournoyer will give a brief tour of the library's children's area.

Columbus Public Library

Afterwards, we'll head over to the Columbus Public Library where YSS member Jenni Frencham will give us a library tour, provide snacks, and allow time for a short wrap-up discussion.

Please join us with a Teen/Tween, STEAM, passive, or successful program to share. Bring a friend or colleague that isn't a YSS member yet and let them see the benefits YSS membership has to offer.

Please RSVP and indicate your lunch preference here:

Questions? Email Sarah Cournoyer at sarah (at) beaverdamlibrary (dot) org

YS design inspo

Check out this fabulous book store for fun ideas to copycat in your space.

I'm also loving the new look for the Forsyth County Library in North Carolina. Anyone else stalk new library construction now and then?  See more on the homepage of the construction crew.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Teens and SLIME

I thought it would be easy.  I had been seeing between 15 and 20 teens at Teen Crafternoon in the early weeks of summer reading, so I figured why not do slime for the upcoming week?  I faithfully gathered my liquid starch (surprisingly difficult to find, I ordered THIS brand from Amazon), giant Elmer's glue, and food coloring.  I prepared plastic cups and spoons for mixing purposes.  I felt ready . . . BUT apparently if you advertise slime-making to teens, they turn out en-mass.  I was quickly overwhelmed with more than 30 attendees attempting to make slime in our very confined programming space.

It was MESSY.  I mean, slime on clothes, slime in hair, slime on the floor, and the WALL levels of messy.  These were TEENS, I thought it would be no problem! I have vastly underestimated the amount of exposure the kids in my community have to craft projects, particularly ones where mess is inevitable.

So, did I spend the next three days attempting to remove slime from office walls, programming space carpeting, and one of my favorite Out of Print shirts?  Yes.

Did the teens enjoy making ridiculously goopy slime?  Yup.

Would I do it again?  You better believe it.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Early Literacy Resources from Saroj Ghoting

Saroj Ghoting, a nationally recognized early literacy consultant,  has a blog on her site called Storytime Share that provides examples of early literacy asides for different books read in storytime, both fiction and nonfiction. As you're planning your next storytimes, you might glean some ideas. 

Also of interest is the page on Early Literacy Environments. Whether you have an early literacy play space in your library or you want one, this page has information, ideas, and graphics you can use today. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Drag Storytime at your library?

drag queen performer reads stories to white presenting children in Orlando

We are prepping for our first Drag Queen Storytime as our outreach event at Pride in the Park (our city does Pride in fall--I don't know why!)

We've got our paid performer lined up, a time slot at the family friendly festival, and books selected.  A little Todd Parr, This Day in June, and a couple of other possibilities on the bench.  My hope is this becomes a regular collaborative effort between the library and The Center, our local LGBTQ group.

ALSC has a great little blog piece about the programs here if you're thinking of jumping on the bandwagon.

Has anyone done a Drag Queen storytime?  Please share your experience in the comments!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Guest Post: Power Up Conference Highlights

Guest Author: Susie Menk, Youth Librarian, Manitowoc Public Library

Power Up: A Leadership Conference for Youth Services Managers & Staff
March 30 - 31, 2017  Madison, WI

Keynote speaker - Gretchen Caserotti
Gretchen was an engaging speaker who had an air of experience that was easy to recognize.  My favorite quote from her presentation comes from John Quincy Adams - “If your actions lead your people to do more, dream more, act more, you are a leader.”  Leadership is more of influencing others to be and do their best than it is power.  Three points that Gretchen emphasized were that 1) no one is going to do it for you, 2) you have to execute and 3) you set the tone/mood/stage for your library or department.
Reflective Leadership - This workshop, led by Leah Langby, explored steps and processes to use when planning programming or services for youth services.  The four stages included exploration (is it a fit for us?), installation (develop, prepare and plan for change), initial implementation (try it out, make adjustments) and full implementation (how things are done).   Part of smart planning is doing pre- and post—discussions of the project.  Having a willingness and openness in communication to make decisions about programs will help develop stronger programs that work.  Leah’s workshop focused on the concern that rather than just jumping from one new idea or program to the next, if we take time to analyze and discuss new programs we will be better able to develop programs in the future.

Moving on Up? - This workshop, presented by Alea Perez, focused on how to empower staff to make the most of their individual talents and strengths.  What I got most out of this presentation was being flexible, making sure you and your staff have time to work alone and RECHARGE, seeing conflict as a challenge to overcome, and staying positive.  Asking questions of your staff and yourself as to how can we make this department better or how can we make this work better for each staff member.
Leading Change in Innovative Programming for Youth - This workshop was led by Krista Riggs and I appreciated her concept of changing not by fighting the old, but building up the new.  One of the key steps to building up the new is visioning what it will look like.  If you know where you want to go or what you hope to accomplish it helps you figure out the steps to get there.  One key point she emphasized was how open and non-threatening brainstorming needs to be.  It’s important that staff feel comfortable asking questions, sharing ideas and expressing opinions.  It’s also a good idea to invite outside people into your brainstorming sessions.

Addressing the Need for Confrontation - Renee Wallace did an outstanding job with this topic.  She recommended a book entitled “Effective Difficult Conversations”, which I hope to read soon.  She had excellent suggestions for preparing and handling difficult conversations.  Make sure to establish goals—what are the expectations and why it needs to be that way.  Renee also strongly suggested have a witness for difficult conversations so there would be no questions about what happened.  After the matter has been dealt with, be sure to go over future expectations and what the future will look like.  Document every time you need to have a difficult conversation.

Launching Your Youth Council:  Models and Best Practices for Teen Leadership - Erin Shaw led this interactive discussion of Teen engagement in libraries.  Her biggest tip was to actively recruit teens.  Don’t wait for them to come to you, you must go out and find them.  One of the neatest program ideas I heard at this presentation was teens hosting a talent show for kids.  Teens got to set up the AV equipment, stage and even put together a budget for prizes.  It looked like a great idea, low cost and easy to implement.  Another simple idea was teens making buttons and selling them at the service desk to fund their programs.  Another point Erin made was getting buy-in from other staff members.  Invite them to TAB meetings and get their ideas for programming.  If you can build positive relations between teens and staff that will go a long way to making teens feel welcome in the library which will lead to more teen involvement.