Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Valentines for Homebound Outreach

I share an office with 8 other people spanning two departments. Funnily enough (or “understandably enough”, still undecided) three people who are technically in the same library department as me make up Homebound Services. Together, seven of us are Outreach and Youth Services (or “Outreach”, for short).

If you were to visit our office on any given day, you might catch one of our Homebound staff members reading aloud a list of available romance novels, describing each cover. Or they might read summary after summary of movies a patron might want (I like to play the game of “guess the title” to myself). Their reader’s advisory phone calls are peppered with conversations about their patron’s daily lives.

And sometimes, you might overhear them say something that sparks this particularly popular, caps-locked tweet.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bryce Does 'Play'! A Babies Need Words Every Day Blog Tour post

I’m so happy to post my contribution to The Babies Need Words Every Day Blog Tour! Babies Need Words Every Day is an initiative by the Association for Library Service to Children through The Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee. There are posters and book lists in English and Spanish, as well as a media kit to help your form and strengthen early literacy partnerships in your community. The beautiful artwork was illustrated by Il Sung Na, author of A Book of Babies (2014) and others. Check out the rest of the roundup here!

Today, I get to talk about PLAY! But first I want to talk a little more about how BNWED is used in our libraries.

Monday, January 04, 2016

I Resolve to Rock in 2016: Choice. Empowerment. Strengths. Skills.

Well everyone, I've had quite a year! As I was thinking about a reflections post, my thoughts ended up at a resolutions post; and while I'm really not one to make resolutions, I figured some considerations and commitments for the New Year might be in order. So here's one for Storytime Undergroud's Resolve to Rock campaign.

Possibly the most challenging, most nerve-wracking, but overall most rewarding thing I added to the library conversation in 2015 was "It's Always Been that Way: An Unsolicited Rant" (Sept). Since then, I've been thinking a lot more about trauma-informed workplaces, and even asked my team members to join for a day-long training with Trauma Informed Oregon. I was so delighted with the feedback on our attendance, and it's spurred so many conversations.

This week I was again reminded of my dedication to a trauma-informed workplace when reading "Private Lives" at Hi Miss Julie,  which is not only a triumphant return to blogging for Julie, whose articles have continued to inspire far passed their posting dates; it also has clearly struck a chord in the library world for different reasons.

One thing that makes this post so powerful, I think, is her approach: She talks about a problem; she talks about what works for her, AND she talks about a time when she was personally involved in the type of ethical issue she ponders.

What I have seen happen so often with conversations like this is that they can spiral into a conversation made up of "don't" posts. And I truly hope that doesn't happen. Because I have a real sense that many individual librarians whose frustration translates to acting in questionably ethical ways come from backgrounds in trauma. Because when your lid is flipped, you're unable to think logically. What people in this position may respond to is not more shame, To be honest, not many people do, in general. I know I don't. And it's not that I think we need to treat people with kid gloves, but I DO think that we need to act in trauma-informed ways (and I really do think Julie's post is framed very well through this lens Seriously, go back and read it!). Because here's the thing:

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

SRP 2016: All Abilities Invited

Maysoon Zayid explains my whole life in one sentence.
This past October, I attended my very first Oregon Library Association Children’s Services Division Workshop. It was a wonderful day full of meeting new people (I don’t think there’s been a single day since July I haven’t met someone new!), sharing great ideas, and problem-solving.

The day ended with a share-out of all the ideas brainstormed for the 2016 CSLP theme, “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” I was the last volunteer to read off a list. I had not yet met everyone in the room, and I had spent most of the day, as I call it, “passing.” The unsaid words that are implied after passing, here, are, “as something other than a disability killjoy.”

Never minding the ableist voice in my head that still talks about things like “blowing my cover”, and how no one really wants to hear about inclusiveness YET AGAIN, I shared the following:
“I just wanted to add, as a physically disabled librarian who was once a physically disabled child, to please make sure that your fitness-oriented offerings are marketed and presented as ‘All abilities invited.’”  
My candor was well-received that day, and I wanted to make sure I shared more about this idea and what it means here, while you may still be working out your SRP plans.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

This Week in Professional Development: Dec 15, 2015

There have been so many great free opportunities for professional development popping up lately! Some can be viewed now; some are to sign up for now and engage with later.

As I've said before, I am so fortunate that I'm in a position where connecting library professionals to resources that can help with their everyday workflow is a valued part of my job. Like the variety of libraries you readers are from, our member libraries vary widely in size, staffing, structure, culture, and community. Free webinars and other resources that can be viewed at one's own pace can benefit everyone at  some angle or another. Isn't the Internet great?!

Here are a few of the things I've been sharing and signing up for lately. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and/or overall awesome, these will keep your mind chugging into the New Year and looking forward to what we can make with youth services in 2016:

Monday, December 07, 2015

The True Meaning of that Christmas-Related Reference Question

Alternate title: In Search of the Perfect Reference Interview: In which Bryce asks more questions than she has answers for.

Note; All gifs in this post are from the movie "Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas", which is unequivocally the best otter-based holiday film to date. They are not at all related to the text.

The Storytime Underground Facebook Group is a great place to share successes and get all-around support from the global Youth Services community. Occasionally, there will be a question whose answers are so varied and possibly polarizing that I get sucked in and can't stop thinking about it. Last week there was a question like that:

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

So You're Subbing a Preschool Storytime

Yesterday I subbed for a preschool storytime at one of our member libraries. Having come from a library that had librarians in each age group, this was the first program I’d done for the preschool set in… awhile.  I thought I might share my plan and some tips, since this time of year is prime time for vacations and illnesses,  and you may find yourself (an adult services librarian, director, library assistant, shelving aide, on-call reference librarian, archivist) asked to be a last-minute substitute for a beloved storytime. Because let’s face it, it may not happen all the time, but it will one day. Sooner rather than later, depending on the size of your library and staffing. And I hope you find this post useful.

Having come from education and libraries, I can tell you that being a substitute is one of the toughest jobs there is. That’s because children, as chaotic as they may seem, thrive on routine and familiarity. And sorry, substitute, but that already puts you in the negative zone, because you’re different.
But here’s the thing: You’re not supposed to be as “good” as the regular storytime provider. Families may ask about their regular storytime routines. Please take these as what they are: expressed appreciation for the storytimes they know and love. They are not a criticism against you. I promise that if you were their regular storytime provider, they would love you just as much.