Thursday, March 12, 2015

Libraries and the ACE Study: an Iron Fist Joint Post with Anna Donaldson, MSW


Anna Donaldson is a Departmental Analyst with the State of Michigan Division of Continuous Quality Improvement (DCQI) which monitors child welfare compliance and quality across the state. In the near future, she will be joining the clinical research team as Research Coordinator at the Momentous Institute in Dallas, TX as she as recently relocated with her husband to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. This new opportunity at the Momentous Institute will allow Anna to work with the team to gather and analyze data surrounding children's social/emotional growth and how the role of education can positively impact a child's ability to self-regulate, self-aware, and increase educational outcomes for at-risk children. Anna's main areas of interest are child welfare, specifically the impact of trauma on children and families, and improving quality of services provide to this population.

Bryce is Bryce. She's Anna's sister. She obviously did not write Anna's bio.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ask Away #1: Working with Children and Being an Adult

There came a point last year when I was really considering my intended audience for this blog. I got a picture in my head of readers in small libraries downloading my ready-to-go Story Action Pod prompts; maybe some newly-professional librarians wading their way through librarianship; other afterschool program providers and teachers looking for fun activities. When I get emails about my blog, these are mostly who they're from. But you were all still pictures in my head, who I envisioned with every post, moving me to continue to blog as I had been.

And then, at the Isthmus Beer and Cheese Fest, I met one of you in person. Cate from Chicago. I was so ecstatically relieved that you all really existed that I asked her for a hug. And a selfie.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Superhero PK-2 Party

I contend this is blurry due to superhero-ness.
The second Monday of every month is Monday Funday at one of our branches, where we provide a special evening program for elementary-age kids. Since this was the same type of program as the PJ Puzzles Storytime, I ended up planning for ages 3-8; but, of course, I could have differentiated if the group turned out (SURPRISE) a little older. I'll share those with you below, as well, with the caution that these are based on quick changes that have worked in the past and not tested day-of (actually, now that I started writing, I did do some day-of; details below).

As pictured, left, I dressed up as Captain America for the occasion, a plus of a household that has a few of those cosplay hoodies used as everyday clothing lying around.It was actually pretty cool: some kids brought costumes but were unsure if they should wear them to the party, but the second they saw me they were racing out to the car to change (or having their parents do that, because it was the first super-cold night of the season) (I KNOW. Pretend I'm writing this in November when this program took place).

Here's how it went down:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Questions to Ask Your New Best Friend at ALA Midwinter

Me and my instant best friend, 2001
August, 2000. My freshman year orientation overnight trip to Michigan State. Armed with newly dyed purple hair, my coolest urban decay make-up. and my favorite Squirrel Nut Zippers shirt, I was ready to to take on ADULTING and TURNING EIGHTEEN SOON and while we're at it, THE WORLD! AND maybe hope that someone would talk to me so I didn't have to approach anyone myself.

Turns out, I ended up approaching someone because she was kind of staring at me and I needed that to stop. We started talking about our majors and found out we were living in the same dorm and--gasp-- were accepted into the same residential college that no one else had ever heard of (which has since turned into something amazing; good on you, MSU!). We talked about high school marching band and AOL Instant Messenger. These were the only things I needed in a new best friend under the crushing oncoming anonymity of college. When we moved into our dorm, my room was right across from hers, so it was basically a done deal at that point.

As we get older, it's harder and harder to make friends. Luckily, conferences afford us with the chance to meet strangers with similar interests; see librarians you met online in real life; and shake hands with librarians whose blogs you follow or whose work you love, but have never connected with. Amy at the Show Me Librarian provides some tips on how to put yourself out there at conferences and join the conversation.

Conversely, you can always approach people who look as awkward as you feel and start a conversation with them. The thing about conferences, though, is that everyone wears name tags with their name and place of work on it. There goes your "what's your name? where are you from? what's your major?" small talk equivalents.

Monday, January 05, 2015

I Resolve to Rock in 2015: Mottos to Librarian By

This post is in conjunction with Storytime Underground's Resolve to Rock campaign.

I've written and rewritten this post like 500 times now. I'm torn, because: 1) In 2014, The Profession (what I've come to call the angle of librarianship which is akin to the phrase "The Business" in professional wrestling-- the aspects that help turn entertainment into sport) challenged a lot of people, apparently, including me. Resolutions sound exhausting. 2) I'm not one to normally make resolutions. 3)Actually, I think "resolutions sound exhausting" pretty much sums it up.

And then Brytani wrote a post that gave me feels. And so I thought: okay I'll write a resolution post. And then Arielle wrote a post about not being able to ever actually plan for your life. And seriously, everyone, if anyone knows what she's talking about when it comes to Your Life as a Ride, it's Arielle. So I decided to kind of let both these posts shape mine. Rather than resolutions, I'm going to take lessons I learned in 2014 and turn them into Mottos to Librarian By in 2015. Feel free to use them yourself, and add yours in the comments!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Kindergarten/1st grade Librarian Class Visit

In November, a K-1 split teacher at a local parochial school wanted a tour of the North community branch library, which is about a half-mile away and therefore walking distance for the small class.

Except, you know, when the high is 17 degrees.

After the class rescheduled twice and cancelled at basically the last minute once, we probably could have just said, "hey, we'll see you in the Spring." But truthfully, this wasn't one of our "regular field trip patron" classes and I really wanted to seize the momentum, not letting them forget about us. So, with the promise that they would in fact schedule a tour in the Spring, I went about concocting an engaging visit that would get a bunch of kindergarten and first graders sufficiently pumped about the library without them actually getting to go to the library, where many of them had never been before. They didn't even have a library at school!