Monday, March 27, 2017

"All Are Welcome" Buttons: Now in Arabic!

Button with colorful text, "All Are Welcome"
in both English and Spanish.
Soon after a team of Oregon librarians made their bilingual "All are Welcome" buttons available, they received quite a few requests for Arabic.

I'm happy to share that this has become a reality!

Button with colorful text, "All Are Welcome"
in both English and Spanish.
The artwork for these buttons is by a local artist in the Portland, OR area. The artist generously donated his time to create the design and wished to remain anonymous, otherwise we would gratefully give credit where credit is due.

These buttons are now available on Etsy. All proceeds benefit EveryLibrary. So far, the team has raised $3,000 to support funding for libraries!

All questions should be directed through the Etsy shop.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Social Sustainability in the Workplace

A Venn Diagram that intersects social
sustainability with environmental and
economic sustainability.
A situation can be viable, but if it is not
bearable or equitable it cannot be
At our team meeting every month, a volunteer shares a sustainability tip to help us be more sustainability-conscious. This month was my turn, and I shared a little about social sustainability.

According to Social Life, a UK-based enterprise specializing in place-based innovation, social sustainability is "a process for creating sustainable, successful places that promote well-being, by understanding what people need from the places they live and work. Social sustainability combines design of the physical realm with design of the social world – infrastructure to support social and cultural life, social amenities, and systems for citizen engagement and space for people and places to evolve."

Social sustainability has many aspects to it, and you can read more about it at the United Nations Global Impact. Since our tips focus on small changes we can do today, I decided to focus on the one that might be the one the most immediately within our control. Namely, the idea that a workplace is not sustainable without employee retention; and workplaces lose money in production and staffing every year due to staff burnout; and it’s important with everything going on that we are sure to make our workplaces as socially sustainable as possible. I was in fact so happy to learn about this whole concept, because it rectifies the problems I have with the term "self care"-- while I was on board for awhile, "self care" has seemed to become this catch-all of workplace happiness and quite frankly, I've begun to think about it as a way that toxic workplaces can blame employees for their own low morale or other reactions to systemic workplace toxicity. This article helped to validate those feelings when I thought it was just me. I like viewing workplace culture through the social sustainability lens because it seeks to work on the workplace as well as the individual. It's about how we can make small changes to improve our workplace, not just about how we can steel ourselves against workplace toxicity as if it is an unexplained phenomenon that cannot be helped.

Stressful situations can flip your lid, and I know regular readers are familiar with this term but here is a video that explains it (it talks about kids, but we all need it!) Here are some things that have worked for me to stay engaged when it's tough:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Summer Reading Hype videos: Call for Contributors

Quote by Brene Brown written in black on a blue background. Text says:
"You either walk inside your story and own it or you
stand outside your story and hustle through your worthiness"
All right everyone, I know a lot of us are feeling it right now. Doubling down to welcome our patrons, worrying about a bunch of different stuff. Perhaps your compassion fatigue is pretty high and  your regular attempts at self-care aren't working as well as they normally are.

I've got a post brewing that addresses this new normal, but until then, I figured I would put out this call:

Did you enjoy last year's Summer Reading hype videos?
Do you want to contribute to a culture of support in the Youth Services community?
Do you have tips, commiseration, encouragement or just plain humor that you want to share, connecting to others to lift each other up when the going gets tough?

I'm currently in search for volunteers to create a new batch of Summer Reading hype videos!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"All Are Welcome" Buttons

Button that says "All are Welcome" in English and Spanish
with colorful artwork
Public libraries are community spaces that are welcoming to all, and we need to demonstrate that now more than ever. Make a small gesture to show that you welcome everyone in your library by wearing this colorful bilingual button. (All are welcome / Todos son bienvenidos)

A team of library staff in Oregon is are selling these buttons in packs of 5, 10, or 20 on Etsy. 100% of the proceeds will be donated directly to EveryLibrary, a nonprofit which helps libraries across the nation win their local ballot initiatives. Consider buying enough to share with your local library workers and community partners.

The buttons are 1.75” across, and have the usual metal pin on the back. The team made the button design not library-specific, so that you could share them with other people in your community.

This is a initiative taken by some librarians working in Washington County, Oregon, on their own time and with their own funds. The artist generously donated his time to create the design and wished to remain anonymous, otherwise we would gratefully give credit where credit is due.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Countering Ableist Language in the Workplace

Accessibility Series logo
Amy is a public librarian in New York City and they have a passion for reference work of all kinds. They are neurodivergent (ADHD, and learning disabled: nos), chronically anxious, and chronically ill and aren't afraid to talk about any of it. They believe education is fundamental and work hard to combat stigma against disabilities. (Amy uses They/them/their pronouns)

CW: For the use of slurs (particularly the r-slur and mental health related slurs) and a discussion of hurtful ableist language.

I find that ableism is something most of the neurotypical and non-disabled people I work with have never heard of. I find that even co-workers who fit within the various disabled and neurodivergent categories don't understand what it means or how it works. Particularly, there are a lot of misunderstanding about the realities and consequences of ableist language.  

Ableist language is insidious, nasty, and ingrained into so much of our everyday discourse that it can be difficult to begin rooting out. Disabilities, and thus disabled people our/themselves, are often the butt of jokes. Words like “insane” and “psycho” are solidly entrenched as appropriate adjectives to use when discussing people or situations that seem abnormal or even just annoying.  Individuals without mental health issues or learning disabilities may jokingly claim these identities when owning up to perceived mistakes or irregularities. The normalization of casual ableist speech is so pervasive that I catch myself engaging in it as well, for all that I'm disabled and neurodivergent myself.

It is important to steadily counter this perceived norm, particularly within the library, as we are often seen as authority figures, or educators. Not only that, libraries are billed as welcoming for all people, we should be mindful not to exclude people by careless language use. What follows are some examples of ableist conversations that I find myself repeatedly running into in the library, and how I counter hurtful “jokes” and slurs while educating against their use.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Iron Fist: The Class PLUS Programming for School-Agers


(This post is ridiculously late, I know. Look out for a post sometime in the New Year about what I've been up to this fiscal year! I really can't wait to share)

Looking to reconsider your space and programming in the New Year with your kid patrons in mind?

Looking for a resource that might save you some money that you don't have for a design consultant?

OR have you just recently fallen down the rabbit hole of my Iron Fist posts and want to sink your teeth into behavior management at your library?

Well you're IN LUCK: I will be running the course "Child Development, Library Space, and Behavior" January 23-March 3, 2017. It's an asynchronous class with a very doable work load (2 discussion questions a week; a culminating project of your choosing; and you're done) with tips you can use right away.

This course is designed with the student in mind: content to digest, questions to help you reflect and synthesize with classmates; and hopefully, a frame of reference that will stick with you as you continue to make changes in your library. I am here for you to get as much out of this class as you can, and there are a few different ways you can engage to make the class the most meaningful it can be for you.

Want to know more? Here's my post about my second run of the class with some more encouragement.

Ready to register? Click this link to get more information. Register by January 9 to get 10% off!

Can't make it? That's okay.  I wanted to also share with you a couple of videos I put together in the past year. They're both only one take, and are pretty long, and I apologize there are no captions or subtitles. From now on, I will make sure to retain my transcripts for further accessible sharing:

2nd and 3rd grade programming from Bryce Kozla on Vimeo.
This video was done right after my "Top Five Places to Hide and Cry in Your Library", I care way less than in previous videos I've made about whether your see my CP-hand or not.

Special Programs and No-School Days from Bryce Kozla on Vimeo.
This video was done soon after my move to Oregon, amid watching lots of WWE promos and the reality show "Legends House", and I think it shows. I'm loud. I point a lot. Like, way more than normal. I might as well say "Listen here, Mean Gene." My accent is still pretty bad in this one. NOTE TO SELF: Even though it looks good here, never get that haircut again. EVEN THOUGH it looks good here.

What professional development resources are you digging lately?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"There Goes Your Hero": An Accessibility Series Post

Chris Frantz is the artistic mastermind behind my blog design and the Accessibility Series logo (check out her amazing business, On a Roll Designs). I've known Christ Frantz for 20 years, mostly as an acquaintance; but it wasn't until we reconnected on Facebook that we became closer. I found out over Facebook that she has cerebral palsy, like me-- or, as people with cerebral palsy on the Internet call it, we're both "ceeps"*. When I first thought of the Accessibility Series, the very first post I ever wanted was this one, originally published by her  on her personal website in November 2013.

 “What are you going to call me?”

I looked up, probably from reading celebrity gossip. “What’s that?”

“On the blog,” my husband clarified. “What are you going to call me?”

It was a fair question, and one I’d been posing to myself since I’d decided to start this project. See, in my years on LiveJournal he came to be known as Mr. Beets, a takeoff on my nom de pixels “Bears Eat Beets.” (FACT.) On Facebook I usually refer to him as “my better half,” “mah boo,” and other similarly corny titles. In real life he gets tagged with all sorts of affectionate nicknames, most of ‘em scatological in nature.

His query prompted all sorts of suggestions from both of us, and eventually devolved into us reciting the epic list of David Ryder’s many monikers from Mystery Science Theater 3000 (which tends to happen with more discussions in our house than it probably should HAHA IF THAT'S POSSIBLE).

By the end we still didn’t really have an answer. I couldn’t come up with anything good on my own, either.

I’m going to call him Brandon. Because that’s his name.

Brandon is a lot of things. He’s a dork of the highest order. He’s a pub trivia dream teammate. He’s a sabermetrics devotee. An engineer. A borderline socialist. He’s the owner of an insanely good head of hair and he’s our fat cat’s favorite cuddle buddy. He’s both a mature appreciator of meta humor and a giggly seven-year-old when it comes to fart jokes. For me personally, he’s a lover (as much as I hate that word), a protector, a fan, and a support. He’s a caretaker - I don't just mean he hugs me when I'm down or makes me soup when I’m  sick; my well-being and the fulfillment of just about every basic need is essentially in his hands. Most of all he’s the best best friend - he listens, he makes me laugh harder than anyone else, and he calls me on my shit.

What he is not is a hero.