Thursday, May 26, 2016

Shoutout to My Negative Voice

On May 16th I presented the pre-conference “It’s Always Been Done that Way: The Conundrum of Us versus Them (and what we can do about it, maybe)” at the New Jersey Library Association Conference in Atlantic City, NJ. People ask, ‘how did it go?” I definitely do mention that I had a lot of fun, but mostly I just say “it sure did happen!”

I don’t say this to humblebrag or intentionally sell myself short. I say this because to me the best outcome was “it happened.”

Because it almost didn’t happen. Twice.

Twice I found myself with a fully written email to my wonderful NJLA contact, Sophie: the person who reached out so many months ago about crafting a proposal, the person who negotiated with me and the Conference Committee from a single session to a pre-conference + panel, the person I sent my entire presentation to in a nervous burst a few days before the conference, the person who absolutely believed in me throughout this entire process. Twice I found myself hovering over the “send” button on an email that was basically forfeiture: I cannot do this. I am sorry.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Crafting a Parent Presentation

Today you can find me at the ALSC blog talking about potential partnership opportunities with schools.Since it's written, I figured I'd share here an alternative post on something I do a lot in my job: talking to parents about the library.

Your local PTO or parent group meeting is a great place to reach local families who may not be regular library patrons.  It’s important that we librarians are able to break down the jargon and make the library an accessible community asset, as parent meetings are a great place to make connections with residents who may never have set foot in a library—or had a bad experience, and have since been scared to return.

Here are my four main components to every parent meeting presentation:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Holidays and Libraries: Rethinking Our Programming

This week I was honored to present at the New Jersey Library Association Conference in Atlantic City. I have a few posts mulling around in my head about it, including at least one more really heavy one. For ease of posting something soon, however, I'd like to share my contribution to the panel "Rethinking Holidays & Cultural Celebrations in Libraries" that I presented with the lovely Dr. LaShauna Dean, Assistant Professor of Mental Health and Addiction Counseling at William Paterson University. 

This will probably read harsher than many of my other posts, but understand I am very passionate about the topic of inclusion.

I do not celebrate holidays in the library and do not suggest running holiday programming.

I know how I sound to some of you: I’m no fun, and I don’t like whimsy, and I Scrooge around shushing carolers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Awesome New-to-Me Blogs

I'm celebrating 5 years of this blog, albeit a little late (even though I sincerely thought that my blog's birthday was tomorrow. I swear).

I really can't tell you how much your following my blog means to me. I've lately been revisiting some of my older posts, and how much has changed around here has quite frankly been ridiculous. Thanks, reader, for hanging around! And thanks to everyone who creates their own corners of the web to share what works for them. Putting yourself out there isn't the easiest thing to do, and I appreciate the hell outta you for it.

Last year, when I actually remembered my blog's birthday, I shared my favorite new-to-me blogs. I thought I would do the same this year. Last year's post focused mainly on programming blogs, and this year I've widened my librarianing scope a bit. Here's a snapshot of my new favorites:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

What is a Librarian: An Unsolicited Rant

Yesterday I checked my phone in the morning to find that Book Riot posted an article on non-degreed librarians, and how they have value as humans.


As I read it, that’s what this article was about.


I was disappointed, but not surprised, at the number of negative comments that this article received.


I could write here the many arguments I’ve had when this topic comes up and the comment section explodes: about the process to become a brewmaster and how there are people who run breweries or make beer who are NOT brewmasters, technically (they are usually called head brewers). Or I could talk about the one time a child ran me down in a grocery store calling for her “library teacher” and how I said hi to her rather than explaining that my teacher certification lapsed years ago (and even then, I was never certified to teach in THAT state). Or even how people who are nurses for their entire careers have to take an updated test every few years to prove that they can still Be a Nurse Good; so please stop with “librarians are the doctors/para-professionals are the nurses” because last time I checked it was not a universal requirement for even librarians to keep up with certifications (I mean, it may be that April will arrive and I will have spent 5 years in libraries and I will be summoned to engage in a Hunger Games-style competition using only the Dublin Core, so stay tuned). But instead I want to hit a bit closer to home here, parking this officially in Unsolicited Rant territory.


This was not the only thing I saw shared on social media yesterday. Another widely shared link was to a Libraries Transform post. The supporting text, when shared by ALA, that accompanies this post is “Librarians are early literacy experts!” This was shared on Facebook, at the time of this writing, 496 times. That many shares tells me that a lot of librarians agree with it. And before I recognized the funny juxtaposition that inspired this post, I was kinda pissed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Quick tips: Daily Vroom Early Literacy App

Yesterday was the first day of the second run of Child Development, Library Space and Behavior. Every week of the course, I include one "quick tip" video that can be used right away to help with behavior.

This is also the beginning of an otherwise busy season for me, but I want to keep writing as it has done me good and will do me good; and I say, god bless it! (...any other Christmas Carol nerds out there in cyberland? Any RENT nerds chuckle at my use of the word "cyberland"?) So I figured where I can I'll share a "quick tip" that's been useful to me lately at work.

Today I want to share a wonderful app that you and your family patrons can access for free: Daily Vroom.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Building Relationships from the Ground Up: An Interview with a Natural

In my last post, I came to the conclusion that one foundation of self-care is creating and maintaining healthy boundaries in working relationships.

Having moved across the country in the past year, I’m in the process of creating and maintaining an all-new set of relationships. And if my social media newsfeeds are to be believed, making IRL friends as an adult is something that a lot of people struggle with.

To help me start with this reflection, I looked to the person in my life that is probably the best relationship-builder I know: my husband, Caleb*. Nearly all the people I now call friends are people I’ve met through Caleb. He has been asked to stand at weddings several times and he’s a godfather to two. His best friends are those he’s been friends with since FOREVER. And their friendships are not just of convenience, since we’ve moved so far from his hometown in Florida and they still keep in touch frequently. He tells basically every FB friend “happy birthday” and while I don’t understand it he sees is as an important Facebook Friend Role.