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For the first time, I am joining the over 300 librarians participating in the Library Day in the Life Project! The Library Day in the Life Project is a semi-annual event coordinated by Bobbi Newman of Librarian by Day. Twice a year librarians, library staff and library students from all over the globe share a day (or week) in their life through blog posts, photos, video and Twitter updates.
I am currently working as a school library intern one day a week in a K-8 independent school. This is my day:
6:20 Wake up, shower, eat, catch up on email, Twitter, and Tumblr
7:25 Make the 20-minute commute to the school
7:45 Arrive, meet with my mentor librarian and talk about day’s plan before school starts at 8. She found a box of old paperbacks to give away to students, so a gaggle of lower school kids are sifting through. It takes them a while to understand that these are books they get to keep and don’t have to bring back to the library!
8:00 School starts, no classes for the first two periods, but a board committee is meeting in the library. I catalog a stack of donated books including some popular chapter books and easy reader non-fiction. Mostly copy cataloging, but we do add longer descriptions and more subject terms, though these are totally informal. Have to look up a few series numbers for a few titles that aren’t clearly numbered and do a bit of original cataloging for some Pokemon books. A few books are library bound, so I just add barcode and spine labels to go straight on the shelf.
9:50 Time for the daily school-wide assembly! Wednesdays are kind of a grab bag, so I never know what to expect. Today, the 8th graders did a flash mob dance to Eye of the Tiger to interrupt a fake current event. Not the usual fare, but lots of fun.
10:05 Recess time! More students hear about the free books and check them out. A 2nd grader comes by to do a survey about what kind of books people like to read. I answer comic books from her list of choices. Start shelving the overflowing returns cart.
10:20 First of two 5th grade classes in a row. I observe the lesson which includes a review of BibMe, which they are using for a project, and some read-alouds that tie into their other classes: The Hatmaker’s Sign by Candace Fleming for their colonial unit and the beginning of The Friendship by Mildred Taylor, since they just read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
11:10 During the second 5th grade class, I shelve books and finish up a few cataloging tasks from earlier.
12:00 Lunch-time! After eating, we are on library duty. More kids come in and finally empty out the free paperbacks box. Lots of students are in using the computers, but mostly to take pictures of themselves with FaceTime.
12:40 Study hall/SSR time. The library is open to 7th graders for quiet study or reading and lots of students are using the computers and some settle in on the couches and in the storytime area to read. I help a student find some more dystopian books to read — she’s read a lot, but I give her a few more titles that interest her.
1:20 I go collect the 1st grade students for their library class. The single file line does not stay single file for the very short walk to the library! I observe the lesson which includes a reading of I See a Kookaburra! by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page and a look at some of Steve Jenkins’ other awesome non-fiction books. The students also watch a short video about the rainforest to tie-in with their regular class unit.
2:10 No more classes today, so my mentor librarian and I go over some professional development stuff before I head home for the day.
2:50 Lots of errands to run!
5:00 Home for the evening. Time to catch up on email, Twitter, Google Reader, etc. I have some YALSA committee stuff to work on, including finishing up the press release for the YALSA Writing Award Jury (look out for the winners soon!) and writing a blog post for the YALS Advisory Board to go with the upcoming Winter issue.
February 1st, 2012 ♥ Libraries ♥ No Comments »
The Central Rappahannock Regional Library (Virginia)
This teen page for a regional library uses lots of bright colors and incorporates a variety of content without being too cluttered. Some of my favorite features:
- Integration of social media with colorful buttons and a large Facebook embed
- Easy access in the sidebar to general library resources and teen resources
- Persistent catalog and site search at the top
- Prominently displays recommended books with both cover images and summaries
Teton County Library (Wyoming)
The Teton County Library keeps things simple design-wise, but makes it really easy to find its essential information. What stands out for me:
- Use of Google calendar to display events is much more user-friendly than other library event calendars I’ve seen
- Featuring teen contest winners along with the winning entries
- Quick access to catalog, chat, and information about the teen board
- Big, colorful photos from the library’s Flickr feed
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
The main teen page for the Carnegie Library keeps things colorful with artwork from a local artist and a customizable color scheme. Other features I like:
- Easy-to-read, prominent events listing
- Featured teen reviews with cover images
- The blog is amazing! It’s frequently updated with booklists, things to do in Pittsburgh, fun links, etc.
TATAL Online: Teens at the Arlington Library (Virginia)
The Arlington Public Library’s teen blog is another great example of a library blog. What work for this site:
- Integrated Facebook page information and Twitter feed
- Lots of pictures in the posts and in the sidebars
- Great links to related sites
- Frequently updated with a nice mix of book information and other fun stuff
See more library teen pages (a work in progress!). What are some of your favorite library websites?
November 15th, 2010 ♥ Libraries, Library Spotlight, Marketing ♥ 3 Comments »
The Library Routes project is collecting stories from librarians and other information professionals about how they came to the profession. They are looking to “document either or both of your library roots — how you got into the profession in the first place, and what made you decide to do so — and your library routes — the career path which has taken you to wherever you are today.” The project started in the UK, so it features a lot of posts from across the pond, but it’s broad in both geographical and professional scope.
I first became interested in librarianship as a freshman in college. I’m not sure what made me look into it, but I did some research on how to become a librarian and applied for a marketing internship at my school’s library. Luckily, I had a great mentor who set me up with a job in the interlibrary loans department in the fall — a job I kept until I graduated. The librarians there were very encouraging and gave me a lot of responsibility for a student worker. I also volunteered at a local elementary school library, which was lots of fun. Throughout college, I was still weighing a lot of career options. I also really wanted to get into newspaper or magazine publishing (I worked as an editor at my school paper for four years), but I was wary of the declining job markets in those fields. The librarian field was supposed to be growing, so I applied to library school. I chose to go to UCLA because of the in-state tuition and the full-time, on-campus nature of the program.
As I started library school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on. Since I’d worked in an academic library, I ended up getting a job as a reference desk assistant at UCLA’s undergraduate library, where I stayed for the duration of the program. I was also still pining for journalism, so I tested out news librarianship by interning at the National Public Radio reference desk over the summer. But I fell in love with children’s and YA librarianship through coursework and UCLA’s amazing young adult and children’s services student group. Through that group, I volunteered reading books to kids at the campus hospital and participated in a juvenile detention center outreach group.
After graduating in 2008, I started the job search. I had heard the horror stories of endless searches, but was in denial that it would happen to me. I still couldn’t make my mind up about what type of library I wanted to work in, so I applied to the gamut of library jobs. I tried to boost my resume for public libraries and interned for a total of eight months at two branches of the San Diego County Library system while I lived at my mom’s house. Those internships gave me a lot of great experience working with kids and teens. During that time, I aced a few public library interview exams, but by that time the economy was in the hole and the open positions were few and far between. By May 2009, I had been on the hunt for 14 months with still no prospects in sight. My boyfriend, who graduated from UCLA’s program a year after me, did manage to find a job after graduation, so I made the decision to move with him to Santa Barbara, CA. So, I was tied down to a location with an extremely limited selection of library jobs in the toughest economy in years. Without much hope of a library job, I actually managed to land a really nice position at the University of California Santa Barbara that lets me utilize a lot of my librarian skills. For now, I work full-time in research development helping faculty find and secure extramural funding.
Since I still hope to eventually work in a library, either when something local opens up or we decide to move in a couple years, I do a few things to stay involved with the library world. On a broader scale, I read library blogs and publications, participate in committees (just finished up with the YALSA Great Book Giveaway Award jury), attend conferences when able, and do research and write articles for this blog. Locally, I’ve made contact with some public librarians and volunteer at my local branch. I’m also working on some projects at my job with transferable skills like creating online guides to funding sources, planning and presenting database workshops, and developing outreach plans to promote our office’s services. We’re also working on collaborating with the university library.
When I first started exploring the library profession, people always emphasized the unexpected routes the job could take you and the need for flexibility and adaptability. I never would have guessed this is where I would be right now, so I’m very much looking forward to the other twists and turns that await me in my (hopefully) long career.
April 19th, 2010 ♥ Libraries ♥ No Comments »
This is part 2 of my tips for the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting. For more, see part 1.
Recommended Events for Youth Services Librarians
YALSA 201 from 4 to 5 p.m., Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Room 160A: Chat with: 1) members of YALSA’s Nominating Committee, which identifies candidates for YALSA’s Board of Directors and certain awards committees; 2) members of YALSA’s Publishing Committee, who help oversee YALSA’s book publishing program; 3 ) various committee chairs & conveners and learn what it’s like to lead a YALSA committee, jury, taskforce, discussion group or interest group; 4) and more!
YALSA Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m., Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Grand Ballroom Foyer. Enjoy free drinks and hors d’oeuvres, mingle with other YALSA members, and win cool YALSA swag. This event is sponsored by Disney/Hyperion Books.
Games, Gadgets & Gurus from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Room 153 A/B. Come play games — both board and video; demo gadgets — like e-readers, mobile phones, digital audio recorders, video cameras and the latest software; and take advantage of the opportunity chat one-on-one with a tech guru who will work with you to troubleshoot your most pressing tech problem. Ticketed event, $40.
The Boston Public Library (BPL) Teen Librarians invite fellow Teen Librarians to come to the BPL Young Adult (Teen) Room, located at 700 Boylston Street. Tours and a meet and greet will be provided from 9 to 12 noon and 2 to 5 p.m. Coffee and refreshments will be available in the morning.
NMRT Orientation from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center room 151 A/B. The program will provide a fun and informative introduction to the Midwinter Meeting. You will learn from the pros how to decipher the conference program, navigate the exhibits, the structures of ALA and NMRT, and ways to get involved.
YALSA Leadership Development from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Boston Park Plaza Imperial Ballroom. This is a leadership training session for YALSA’s Committee, Jury and Taskforce Chairs. Never been a Chair, but thinking about being one? Come to this event to learn the leadership basics. A continental breakfast will be served from 8:00 to 8:30.
Visit The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Bus leaves at 10 a.m. from the Convention Center. Includes presentations by children’s book historian, critic, and author of Golden Legacy, Leonard S. Marcus and award-winning author, Norton Juster; lunch; opportunity to visit the rest of the Museum; and a reception with the authors. $50 per person. RSVP directly with The Carle by Friday, January 8, 2010, at (413) 658-1155 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HarperCollins Spring/Summer 2010 Title Presentation from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Westin Boston Waterfront Burroughs Room. Light refreshments will be served.
ALA After-Hours Social from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at The Black Rose, 160 State Street (between India St & Chatham Row).
Chair & Convener Drop-in Web 2.0 Training from 8 to 9 a.m. at Seaport Hotel Waterfront IB/IC. Get some hands-on help and practical tips from the Web Advisory Committee on how to use YALSA’s password protected wiki, ALA Connect and other online resources to help you accomplish work and connect with group members between conferences.
YALSA Candidates’ Forum from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Seaport Hotel Waterfront III. Meet the candidates for YALSA’s 2010 election slate and participate in a Q&A.
Best Books for Young Adults Teen Session from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Room 258 A/B. Hear local Boston teens talk about their favorite picks for the 2010 BBYA list. This is a great event to hear teens talk candidly about the books they’ve been reading, especially if you’re not currently working in a library or don’t have an active group of teens.
YALSA Discussion & Interest Group Open House from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Room Room 153 A/B. Want to get more involved in YALSA? All of YALSA’s Discussion and Interest Groups will be at this event. Come learn a little about each and decide which one(s) you’d like to opt into, or learn how to start a new one.
YALSA Blogger Meetup from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Room 153C. For current YALSA bloggers to meet and for interested members to learn more about contributing to the blog.
Freedom to Read Foundation’s (FTRF) fifth annual author event, to be held in conjunction with ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table Midwinter Social at 6 p.m. at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston St. Lesléa Newman (Heather Has Two Mommies) and Michael Willhoite (Daddy’s Roommate) will be discussing and signing copies of their groundbreaking books. GLBTRT’s Stonewall Book Award Ceremony will begin at 7 and the authors will speak and sign books beginning at 7:30. Refreshments will be provided. Donations will be accepted at the door to cover costs and support the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Conable Scholarship Fund, and the GLBTRT is conducting a book drive of “useful and current” titles for GLBT youth to donate to the Community Church of Boston’s resource library.
Youth Media Awards from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Grand Ballroom. Awards to be announced include: Alex Awards, Andrew Carnegie Medal, Coretta Scott King Book Awards, John Newbery Medal, Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, Margaret A. Edwards Award, May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award, Michael L. Printz Award, Mildred L. Batchelder Award, Odyssey Award, Pura Belpré Award, Randolph Caldecott Medal, Robert F. Sibert Medal, Schneider Family Book Award, Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, and the William C. Morris Award.
Joint Youth Division Member Reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Westin Copley Place America Center. Come here to unwind, mingle with peers and enjoy light hors d’oevres as well as a cash bar.
Morris & Nonfiction Award Program & Presentation from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Westin Copley Place Essex Center/South. Come to this new and free event and help YALSA celebrate the 2010 winners for the Morris Award and first-ever YA Nonfiction Award! Open bar and light hors d’oeuvres from 7:30 to 8. From 8 to 9:30 authors are invited to speak about their winning titles. Mingle with the authors and enjoy more refreshments from 9:30 to 10. Authors attending include nonfiction nominees Sally Walker, Tanya Stone and Phillip Hoose.
Harry Potter fans may also want to check out Harry Potter: The Exhibition at the Museum of Science. The exhibit features more than 200 authentic costumes and props from the Harry Potter films, all displayed in settings inspired by the film sets. View iconic items such as Harry’s original wand and eyeglasses, the Marauder’s Map, and even pull your own Mandrake. Adult tickets are $26.
January 6th, 2010 ♥ Conferences, Libraries ♥ No Comments »
The American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting is coming up quickly. This year’s conference takes place in Boston from January 15 to 19. The meeting mostly involves association business — committee meetings, discussion groups, institutes, and other meetings related to the nitty-gritty work of the association. I’ve never attended the midwinter meeting, but I’ve attended a couple Annual Conferences. I thought I’d share some general conference tips for first-timers and those looking for new ways to enjoy and benefit from conference attendance.
- Wear comfortable, ice-friendly shoes! Conferences always involve a lot of walking and a wintry Boston will provide additional obstacles.
- Dress presentably and in layers. You will be networking with colleagues, so look professional, but the combination of cold weather and unpredictable meeting room temperatures require some flexibility.
- Have business cards on hand with at least your name and e-mail address. Also include your Twitter name, website, or any other social networking contact info to expand your online network. VistaPrint offers 250 free cards with a preset template or more flexible options starting at $20.
- Travel light. You will accumulate lots of freebies, handouts, and other documents, so start the day with minimum accoutrements, especially if you don’t plan on returning to your hotel room during the day.
- Don’t try to do everything. It’s tempting to attend every meeting, speaker series, and social event, but you will get tired eventually! Take a leisurely lunch or plan an afternoon to see some Boston sights for a break from the conference.
- Strike up conversations with people you don’t know. Making connections and sharing ideas are the most valuable aspects of a conference, so introduce yourself to exhibitors, people you see at mixers, and those sitting next to you on the shuttle buses.
- Step outside your librarian comfort zone. Just because you’re a public librarian or a school librarian doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mingle with academic librarians. Attend events that sound interesting, even if they don’t directly apply to you or your current job. You never know what you might learn!
Exhibit Hall Tips
All fully-registered attendees can enter the exhibit hall, as well as anyone who purchases an Exhibits Only registration. The hall will be packed with booths from lots of library-related vendors including publishers, book wholesalers, software companies, library supply companies, furniture vendors, and more. Plus, the various divisions of ALA will have displays and people on hand to discuss what they do and offer for members. If you’re not in the market for anything in particular, I recommend browsing the aisles one by one to see what’s out there. For the most part, exhibitors are there to sell stuff to librarians, so they’re open to conversation if you have questions about their products. Some booths will definitely be more eye-catching than others and many will offer freebies ranging from pens and buttons to bags and books. You don’t need to engage with every booth you pass by — that would take forever — but it can be nice to make conversation with exhibitors of products you’re currently interested in, or might be in the future. Your exhibits card allows the exhibitors to swipe the magnetic strip and load up their database with your contact information. They often require this to enter into a contest (no more dropping off your business card) or to sign up for a mailing list. It’s really easy and there will be lots of fun giveaways, but be prepared for some e-mail marketing after the conference.
A big draw in the exhibit hall, especially for newbies, are the publishers’ booths. This is where you’ll find the Advance Reader’s Copies (ARCs) and the author signings. Many publishers will also have books available for sale at a discount and copies of their catalogs for perusal. They are also a great place to make connections with the sales teams and hear about upcoming books. ARCs will usually be piled in stacks around the publisher’s booth. These are free for the taking! Obviously don’t grab 10 copies of your favorite author’s new book, but if something catches your eye, it’s yours. Publishers often stagger the ARCs they put out, so you can find something different on Sunday than on Saturday, or they may have certain ARCs by request only. Really popular titles, like last year’s Catching Fire, might have an advertised release time that people will line up for. Others may only be available when the author is signing. If there’s something specific you’re looking for, inquire with the publisher, otherwise just pick up what’s available and maybe you’ll find your favorite book of 2010. Remember that wheeled carts aren’t allowed, so come prepared with a sturdy bag or plan to grab a freebie bag. ALA even has an onsite post office to mail back the books and other giveaways you accumulate. Located in the Exhibit Hall at the back of the 2500 Aisle, the post office is open Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Monday 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Attendees receive one mailing envelope or tube, compliments of ALA. Additional ALA envelopes or tubes are $1.
To map out your exhibit hall visit in advance, take a look at the 2010 Midwinter Meeting Cognotes Preview. It includes an alphabetical listing of exhibitors and a map.
Open Committee Meetings
A lot of committees have closed meetings, but there are enough with open sessions to keep conference goers occupied. Fully-registered attendees are welcome to stop by the meetings for as long as they want and the committee chair will often ask for short comments from the audience. Read more for a schedule of open meetings.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 5th, 2010 ♥ Conferences, Libraries ♥ 1 Comment »
Here are some upcoming grant opportunities for those working with youth in libraries or other community organizations.
Coming Up Taller Awards, sponsored by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, honor extracurricular arts and humanities programs for underserved children and youth. Programs must be regularly scheduled and have been operational for at least five years. Last year, a Teen Advisory Group from the City of Willcox, Elsie S. Hogan Community Library in Arizona won an award. Award recipients receive $10,000 each, an individualized plaque, and an invitation to attend the annual Coming Up Taller Leadership Enhancement Conference. Nomination applications are due January 29, 2010.
Miley Cyrus and Youth Service America have teamed up to create Get Ur Good On, a social network for youth to encourage community service. The network is awarding 100 $500 Get Ur Good On grants to youth-led service projects on Global Youth Service Day, April 23-25, 2010. Projects should address important community needs such as poverty, education, and environmental sustainability. Applications are due February 22, 2010.
The Gannett Foundation supports local organizations in communities served by Gannett newspapers and broadcast stations through community action grants. Grant priorities include education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment. Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000. Applications are due to local offices by February 16 or August 17.
January 4th, 2010 ♥ Grants, Libraries ♥ No Comments »
It’s Banned Books Week! Celebrate the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment by drawing attention to frequently challenged books. Check out ALA’s frequently challenged books lists. It’s not surprising that many are teen books.
I love ALA’s art for this year’s campaign featuring a quotation from To Kill a Mockingbird.
Also love this bag! I own one and it’s really nice and sturdy canvas.
Check out more products at the ALA Store.
September 28th, 2009 ♥ Libraries ♥ No Comments »
The ALA Public Programs Office let me know about this cool program for libraries. The Office, in cooperation with YALSA, and funded largely by Oprah’s Angel Network, is accepting applications for the third round of its Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books). Any library working within or in partnership with facilities serving at-risk youth or troubled teens, such as a juvenile detention center or alternative high school, can apply.
The program will select 265 libraries to receive 33 books (11 copies of each of the three chosen titles), supplementary materials including tip sheets, discussion questions, related reading lists and additional online resources, and access to an electronic discussion list for participating librarians. Up to 50 of the libraries will also receive grants of up to $200 to assist with programming. The library must hold a discussion for 6-10 teens for each book and let the teens keep each of the books.
The books chosen for this year’s program are:
- One of Those Hideous Books Where The Mother Dies, by Sonya Sones (Simon & Schuster, 2005)
- The Afterlife by Gary Soto (Harcourt, 2005)
- The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin (Speak, 2008)
September 7th, 2009 ♥ Libraries ♥ No Comments »
Whether you’re just considering working as a teen librarian, you’re in library school, or you’re in the middle of an unending job search, getting experience in the YA world is essential. Finding a paid position in a library can be difficult, even if you’re just looking to be a page. But there are plenty of other ways to keep up to date with the skills and knowledge that a YA librarian needs so that you’re ready when you land a job interview.
- Volunteer: Contact your local public library to see about volunteer opportunities. Let them know that you’re particularly interested in working with teens and that you’re considering being a librarian. Most libraries will be happy for any extra help. Some libraries have requirements for volunteers, like a specific time commitment or background checks, so make sure you get all the relevant information and follow up with the volunteer coordinator. Volunteering is a good way to get your foot in the door at a library without an extensive time commitment, which is good if you have another job.
- Intern: Interning is a step up from volunteering. Internships vary in length, but typically run for several months and expect anywhere from 10-20 hours a week since they’re intended for students. Some libraries, especially those in areas with library schools, will have formal internship opportunities. Those that don’t will often set up something informally if you ask the right person. Try contacting the teen librarian at a local library to see what your options are.
- Join a YALSA Committee: The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) depends on member volunteers to serve on its committees, juries, and task forces. While it may be difficult to hop right onto the Printz Committee as a fledgling librarian, there are plenty of others to choose from. Learn how to get involved at the YALSA wiki. They’re currently soliciting applications for selection committees.
- Get involved with a local association: Find your local ALA State or Regional chapter. Most will have a teen or children’s division with committees you can volunteer for. Also check for local conferences to attend for networking with librarians.
- Contribute to online discussions: Stay up to date with YA librarianship by reading and contributing to online discussion. YALSA-BK and YA-YAAC are two very active e-mail lists hosted by YALSA. Anyone can sign up for the lists. Read librarian blogs and comment on interesting posts or start your own. Post interesting YA links to Twitter and interact with other librarians.
August 11th, 2009 ♥ Libraries ♥ No Comments »
Stephen Abram, SirsiDynix’s Vice President of Innovation and amazing speaker on all things library, posted a brief article today about Facebook and libraries. For those who work with youth, using and understanding online tools like Facebook is an important part of our jobs and I may make an in-depth post in the future.
His post starts with a straightforward look at the differences between Facebook Groups and Pages, but this added insight really made me stop and think.
Of course the creation of a Facebook Group for your library does NOT absolve staff from having individual Facebook pages. Staff and management are individual experts and the key competitive advantage your library has against the generic search engines. If they’re not marketed well, and marketing themselves and building relationships with their key user groups then your library is just vanilla.
So, my opinion is that the library and it’s important segments have group pages and that librarians and key staff have their own pages. Try it.
I love, love, love this advice.