Tuesday, February 27, 2018

All You Need to Run a Great Minecraft Library Party

This post is authored by Jennifer Johnson, 2018 blog intern.

This month’s program is another high-interest one: Minecraft Party! This would be great for Libraries Rock! Summer Reading (rock, mining, there’s something there, right?). I honestly think I could do a Minecraft program once every month or so, and registration would fill up every single time.
I’ve found that it’s a good idea to give your patrons a paper bag with their name on it at the beginning of the program so that they have a place to put all the goodies they will gather.
So without further ado, here are some game, activity, and snack ideas for your next Minecraft celebration! (Note: these were done over the course of a couple years of these programs. I recommend three to four of these activities for a one-hour program.)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

HR 620: A Review for Library Staff

A couple months ago I wrote about accommodations in the wake of the announcement of HB 620, which was a proposed amendment to the ADA.

This bill, now HR 620, passed in the House and is on its way to the Senate.

There are definitely implications for libraries here.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Announcing: Fostering Grade Level Reading!

Just in time for the proposed elimination of funding for the Institute of Museum of Library Services, I'm pleased to announce a new project funded by a Library Services and Technology Act grant: Fostering Grade Level Reading!

A teddy bear with an open book in its lap, appearing to read
on a blue background. Text reads, "Fostering Grade Level Reading."
Picture created in Canva with a free image as decoration.

Fostering Grade Level Reading (or Fostering Readers, as the team is calling it colloquially) is really one of those dream-come-true projects for me. As project co-manager, I'm able to deep dive into my background with literacy research to work with our project team toward providing librarians and out-of-school-time providers with what they need to support children learning to read, and foster student ability to read at grade level by third grade. At our first in-person meeting, I was able gush with our reading specialists about big names in educational research, which was fun! I'm using brain cells that haven't been tapped since 2009 which... hurts my head. But in a good way!

Fostering Grade Level Reading is a partnership between Washington County Cooperative Library Services and OregonASK. Right now, our subject matter experts are compiling research in preparation to create a toolkit for use in libraries and for out-of-school-time teachers/caregivers. In accordance with our LSTA timeline, we will have a toolkit prepared for publication online, available for free by the beginning of 2019.

We need your help: Currently, our funding is made possible by a grant obtained through the State Library of Oregon while Katie, project co-manager, was employed there are the state Youth Services Consultant. Katie has since become my new coworker (!!!) and our employer has taken over as the fiscal agent for the grant. We are applying for a second year of funding, which would allow us us to: 1) strengthen the toolkit with an official pilot and unofficial feedback from those around the country who are using it, and 2) make informed recommendations for training with the toolkit. For the second year funding, we are asking for support from youth services library staff in the form of letters of support; the more, the better! This will enhance our justification that not only is a product like this needed; but an evaluated and vetted product like this is crucial to filling the knowledge gap posed "after" Every Child Ready to Read. If you work in libraries and are not a youth services staff member, but can speak to the importance of this project for libraries and youth services, you're welcome to send one along as well.

Please email me (brycek at wccls at org) or Katie (katiea at wccls dot org) your completed letter of support! Letters are due to us by March 16, 2018 for compilation and submission with our grant application.

Thanks for your consideration!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Investing Energy in Trying Times: What's Working for Me

Comedian Maria Bamford, looking stern. Text says:
"If you stay alive for no other reason at all, please
do it for spite."

I’ve started to write this post a couple times and then stopped, deleting. Because it’s hard to talk about and think about. Because I might say the wrong thing. But then Abby (who I recently met IRL, which was awesome) told me that I’m one of the reasons she feels as though she can talk mental health as a library professional, so here we go.

Disclaimer: this post promises to be at the very least, self-indulgent and/or deeply personal. It is absolutely a million percent about me and has no implications for anyone else. That said, if something I talk about here sounds helpful to you, you’re welcome to try it.

Disclaimer 2: yes, I am extremely privileged, and I acknowledge that.