Tag Archives: ALA

ALA Annual Conference (and what you can do when you’re stuck at home!)

24 Jun

This week Chicago hosts the ALA Annual Conference where librarians from across the country will come together for networking, continuing education and the chance to meet authors and illustrators while learning about upcoming new releases. And as much as I love traveling to the ALA Annual Conference sometimes it’s just not feasible. So what can you do if you’re #ALALeftBeind?

There are amazing continuing education opportunities that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to participate in.  Check out WebJunction – a website built specifically for library training including self-paced courses as well as webinars across a wide-range of topics that librarians face.

If you can’t make it to the Annual Conference, check out ALA Online Learning many of ALA’s divisions host online learning on a variety of topics that interest librarians in all fields.

You can also check out state associations and local chapters who often have day-long workshops or conference based around a specific topic. These are most often more affordable and easier to get to.

And don’t forget to check out universities who often have continuing education opportunities. I’ve taken a class from the School of Library & Information Studies through the University of Wisconsin-Madison which I really enjoyed and they have a number of online courses they offer each semester at a low cost.

So even if you can’t make it to the ALA Annual Conference, don’t despair – there are plenty of other places to go to continue your education. It’s also important to attend continuing education opportunities for the networking aspect. Although I’m an introvert, it’s always refreshing to be around other librarians where I can bounce ideas off them and talk about library issues without having explaining it – they just get it. And that’s what I like most about this career, I am continually learning something new and it’s amazing.


Children’s Resource: Reading Beyond Booklist

16 Jun

ReadingBeyondLOGO-_FINALI’m so excited to promote this amazing booklist, just in time for summer reading and all those parents looking for books for their kids who read beyond their grade level.

The Reading Beyond booklist is a list of “75 titles chosen by the ALA-CBC (American Library Association & Children’s Book Council) Joint Committee to provide guidance to parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and anyone interested in discovering books for children who read at an advanced level and are seeking more challenging, but still age-appropriate, books.” (CBC website)

The list is broken down into three areas:

  • Kindergarten & 1st graders reading at a 3rd grade level
  • 2nd & 3rd graders reading at a 5th grade level
  • 4th & 5th graders reading at a 7th grade level

This list was curated with special care looking for diverse titles in different genres in the hopes that there is something for each and every child looking for some new titles. And I know, because I was able to be on this amazing committee working on this list for the past year. It was not an easy list of books to come up with as there was a lot of back and forth – whether the content was appropriate for the reader, whether the reading level was too easy or too difficult and ensuring that diversity was well represented with the list.

Share this great curated and annotated reading list with friends, family and your libraries!

Everyday Advocacy – Week of Tuesday, March 8

8 Mar

Take Action Tuesday

Introduce Everyday Advocacy to a colleague.

Everyday Advocacy isn’t just a one-person show!

This week, introduce Everyday Advocacy to a colleague who’s unfamiliar with the initiative.


Rather than introduce Everyday Advocacy to just one person, I’d love to introduce it to all my readers!  Everyday Advocacy is a grassroots effort to advocate for the amazing things libraries are already doing.  And the website has some really, really simple ways to begin advocating for your library, your job and the profession at large!

If you’re looking for new ways to encourage advocacy in your library, you definitely want to check out the Everyday Advocacy website. The website is FILLED with get inspired, speak out and engage in your community.

There is also a Take Action Tuesday blog filled with information about advocacy and what other libraries are doing to promote themselves and their services.  It’s also really nice because they post just once a week, so you don’t feel overwhelmed by trying to keep up with the posts!

And if you really want to get involved try out the Everyday Advocacy Challenges to really jump start your advocacy!

Now get out there and advocate for libraries!


Everyday Advocacy – Week of Tuesday, March 1

3 Mar

everyday.jpgI’m participating in the Everyday Advocacy Challenge so each week I’ll be posting a challenge to increase advocacy for my personal job and my profession.  So, here it goes:

Take Action Tuesday

Week of Tuesday, March 1

Write a diversity elevator speech using value-based language.

  • Want to articulate the importance of creating diverse collections and programs at your school or public library?
  • Hoping to talk to colleagues, administrators, and community members about why diversity in library service to children is so critical?
  • Use value-based language (VBL) to write an elevator speech that puts your focus squarely on how the library can improve diversity-related outcomes for youth and families in your community.
  • Identify a potential audience—students, educators, parents/caregivers, administrators, or policy makers—and be sure to tailor your speech accordingly.
  • Check out the awesome elevator speech infographic created by the ALSC Public Awareness Committee for more details and great visuals!

This is my personal elevator speech (which I think fits right into the diversity aspect):

  • I create an accessible and inclusive environment where children feel safe to read, learn and grow through children’s literature and library programming.


Diversity elevator speech:

  • I provide children with diverse literature to read that provides a mirror to see themselves and a window to see how others live.





Advocacy – The Easy Way

19 Mar

I’m so proud of myself – I actually read through Children & Libraries (the spring 2015 edition) already!  There were lots of interesting articles, but the one that stood out to me the most was “It’s How You Say It” written by Jenna Nemec-Loise about the importance of using value-based language when creating an elevator speech.

I’ve heard about elevator speeches for a number of years – short (one-minute or less) ways to inform people about library issues.  The problem with most of the information I have learned about elevator speeches is that everyone tells me they’re important, but I’ve never seen anything that shows how to write one or what it should look like.

Well, look no further – this article gives you concrete examples of elevator speeches, even going to show the importance of value-based language when creating your speech.   This type of language is “action-oriented” emphasizing the impact you have on children and families rather than the services and programs you provide. (Nemec-Loise, 32)

Nemec-Loise has even provided a template “I help [insert target audience] [insert verb phrase] at the library so that [insert proven/expected positive outcome for target audience].”

A great example she gives is rather than saying “I do storytime at the library,” try saying, “I help parents and caregivers promote kindergarten readiness at the library so their young children can start school ready to learn.”  Isn’t it amazing how much more powerful and impactful you sound when using the right words?

I’m excited to think about the ways in which I can create these types of elevator speeches for when I’m out in the community.  Definitely take a look at this article, it was well worth the read!  And if you’re looking for more information about advocacy, check out the ALA Everyday Advocacy website!


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