Tuesday, December 29, 2015

SRP 2016: All Abilities Invited

Maysoon Zayid sitting on a couch talking to a reporter.
Text reads, "I love telling people I have brain damage because it's so
uncomfortable for people. They're like, 'No you don't! You're okay!'"
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.

Monday, December 21, 2015

So You're Subbing a Preschool Storytime

*Updated in 2018 with a few changes/current favorites
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.

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 7, 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: