Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Shy Librarian's Guide to Presenting

My readership varies. There's friends, family, librarian colleagues that I know and that I don't know. If you'll indulge me this one, I'm gonna speak directly to one particular group this time: those of you who have thought about presenting, but thinking about actually doing it is just one big NOPE.

And everyone, I have a confession: I used to be really pretty shy. No, really.

Throughout my twenties I had a major learning curve. As an educator, I attended a lot of professional development. You would think, since educators, like, know how brains work and everything, professional development about engaging instruction would be, you know, engaging instruction.

It wasn't. Quite a few were more like this than I care to admit. If it makes you uncomfortable to watch that, imagine sitting through 2.5 hours of it.

I got sick of complaining. I wanted to do something. Be the change, and all that. But I just couldn't talk in front of groups of adults. I got super nervous and seized up. PROBABLY because I had been such an insufferably critical audience member; I understand that now. But also, because I was mostly just kinda shy.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hows and Whys of our Successful Field Trip Adventures

Alternate title: That One Time the LPL YS Department Went to a State Conference with a Slide Deck of Chuck Norris Memes.

Last week I went on a turn-and-burn tour of the Wisconsin Dells to present at the 2014 Wisconsin Library Association Conference, and I would most definitely do it all again because Brooke, Linda, and I had the best time ever. We finally got to talk about our field trip adventures in a systematic way, which I never would have been able to do without this collaborative opportunity.

Additionally, every slide had a Chuck Norris meme related to what we were talking about at the time. Because normal powerpoints are not my forte. I basically approach every presentation I do like the opposite of battledecks. 

And so, for your reading pleasure, here are some highlights from that presentation. And a link-dump so you can download basically everything we have on library field trips. Because this is your luckiest day.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pete the Cat Field Trip for Second Graders: A Guest Post by Brytani Fraser

Brytani Fraser is a first-year librarian in western NC where she provides programs for all ages in two small branches and advocates for small-town and rural libraries.

 Bryce Don't Play is going as Brytani's blog, The Neighborhood Librarian, for Halloween but adding GIFs because, well.  Here's her guest post:

I've used Sara’s ideas for field trip scripts a few times now and I give them an enthusiastic thumbs up. Since my library is small and my visitors are often in the Prek-2nd grade range, the one that gets the most use is The Pete the Cat plan. Just today, I had 110 second graders visit the library and used the Pete the Cat adventure once again. Allow me to regale you with this real life instance of a scripted, themed tour saving my sanity.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Iron Fist Child Management: The Class

Oh my goodness, everyone. I've looked like Abed here since I found out my proposed class was accepted with UW SLIS Continuing Education, and am so happy that it's posted and people can register for it and please maybe register for it so it doesn't get canceled!

Announcing:
Iron Fist Child (and some parent) Management: The Class.

This is something I've wanted to do since I found out that this is a thing, Marge was nice enough to set me up with a contact at SLIS. I sent them a proposal, followed up with the exact description that you see on the website, and here we are!

Here's what I really want to say about this course for those on the fence:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Built-in Self-Regulation: A DOAWK Book Launch Story


*All GIFs are Diary of Wimpy Kid quotes by Jeff Kinney ran through the Madden Giferator. You're welcome.

I held a DOAWK "The Long Haul" party a few weeks ago,and I was originally going to write that up. I still will, here, with a free downloadable PPT so you can make one too; but it was what I added last-minute the night before (isn't that always the case?) that I really want to talk about.

SO. DOAWK at my library has a wide appeal, and a very small but incredibly fandom-like hoard who attend our DOAWK programs each and every year. This year, there were around 15 kids in attendance. I go back and forth about whether I want to keep doing these for 15 kids, but I'm glad I did this year.

Anyway, wanting to keep it fresh and also appropriately geeked-out, I went for something I hadn't tried before:

Friday, October 03, 2014

Top Five Takeaways: #ALSC14

I was so frickin' lucky to get to go to the ALSC Institute in Oakland, CA, everyone. And you're pretty lucky if you didn't get to go because I'm gonna lay out for you the top five things I learned at this conference (you I know both know that ten would be all TL;DR). Because if there's one thing I know, conferences are hella expensive (the thing about ALSC was that they actually fed you without you paying extra, so that was cool). Not just monetarily, but in your own time and the time of your library.

But that's all right. As my banner motto says, "it takes a village, but it's nice to have a blog." I've got you covered, as much as animated GIFs will allow.
So buckle up, throw out all your liquids over 3 ounces, put your phone on airplane mode, and keep your seat in an upright and locked position (you entitled jerk), because here we go to Oakland!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tween Scavenger Hunt in the Library!

We have been fortunate enough to partner with many groups in the library. One group, and adventure camp with 10-25 kids, visited the library each week to look around. They were planning a biking tour of scavenger hunts around town for one of their final projects, and wanted us in on the action.

I met with the group leaders a twice before hand, once with Brooke. They were undergraduate students trying so hard not to look like they were undergraduate students. They came in with ideas that were SO NOT doable, I left the first meeting with a bad taste in my mouth. I wonder how often this happens in libraries, that University students ("on behalf "of their universities, of course) come into the public library asking for a hell of a lot, and we take it as kind of an insult: What do they think we do all day? What kind of partnership IS this? But then I remembered: I was a 20-year-old education student once, too, and I remember what it was like to dream of all this stuff I could do with kids but it was like really, really, a lot, and dependent on lots of factors that I could not control, but I assumed I could do it all JUST AS SOON as I got that degree. THEN I would change the world. WITH KNOWLEDGE. And that's where these kids' heads were at. Needless to say, there were no rhyming verses, or archives work, or riddles they would need to ask multiple staff members for, or any other of their (very good, from an idealistic perspective) ideas. I asked for their input without promising anything. They actually had really good insight on how well their kids could read (pretty well, with one reluctant reader), what their favorite spots in the library were (00s and the graphic novels), where they were having trouble (finding good chapter books and the catalog). I ended up incorporating this into the hunt.


I wanted to make sure what we did was engaging for the kids as well as super-easy on the precarious sanity of a short-staffed summer (say that five time fast). And then, I remembered there are actually two episodes of Adventure Time that take place in a library. And with a GIF, an incredibly easy-to-make/engaging Tween Scavenger Hunt was born.