Tag Archives: children

NPR’s Book Concierge: Our Guide To 2017’s Great Reads

8 Dec

npr booksI’ve posted about NPR’s Book Concierge over the past few years and am always interested in seeing what kind of titles NPR chooses to highlight. Just a few things to point out this year (and I’m focusing on the kid/teen titles) – I think NPR focused on providing a diverse list of titles from different perspectives this year with a lot of great titles that I’m seeing on many other lists as well as few titles I’ll have to get my hands on (I haven’t heard about them yet!).

Take the organizing tool with a grain of salt because I first assumed that NPR hadn’t chosen and graphic novels for kids (because you couldn’t pick that format in the concierge tool), but I did find a title on the list, if you just pick Kids’ Books. Other issues I’ve found include titles being only available in a few genres, rather than crossing over to all genres that fit that title.

Regardless, I love checking out the titles that different organizations choose to promote that have been published over the past year – allowing me to catch up with titles that I haven’t gotten to yet or opening my eyes to new titles that I haven’t heard about in blogs, on Twitter or in reviews.

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Picture Book Month: Books

12 Nov

12“I am a child of books. I come from a world of stories…” And so starts the journey of a little girl who travels through the pages of books using her imagination on the way. If you to are a child of books, you’ll thoroughly enjoy pouring over these pages as the author and illustrator used text for classic literature throughout the book as part of the illustrations. I don’t want to give too much away, but this book is a delight to read and one that I need to add to my personal collection!  Continue reading

Setting Back to Zero: NYC Removes All Fines From Youth Cards

20 Oct

This is a really cool story! As of yesterday, Thursday, October 19th the New York City Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Library have reset all youth library cards to $0.00. So, if any child had a fine or fee for overdue or lost material – they’re library account is cleared and they are now able to check out materials again.

This is huge because 20% of youth cards for these three library systems currently have blocks on them – fines or fees too high to be allowed to check out materials. Plus, almost half of those children live in high-need neighborhoods where it is more likely that it would be more difficult to pay those fines. This is so awesome because so many kids can’t use the libraries with these blocks, but the library can offer so much for them.

What’s even better is that the JPB Foundation, a philanthropy focused on working in low-income neighborhoods, has pledged to help with the revenue loss of clearing these cards which is $2.25 million. Without this assistance, the library would have a much more difficult time removing these fees as that much revenue is hard to replace. Check out this story from the library systems!

Resource: Library Services for Children Journal Club

6 Oct

lsc-journal-club-logo-v3.pngBear with me as I introduce this story by telling you all how I met Lindsey. Lindsey (and her awesome colleague Dana) have this little website called Jbrary. I’ll wait for you to check out their amazing-ness if you don’t know who they are already. Go ahead, I’ll wait… You’re back? Awesome. So, I had been following Lindsey and Dana through their blog and on Twitter for awhile. We’d share each other’s posts and chat about children’s library stuff, but seeing as they live in Vancouver and I live in Philadelphia, we never met in person. That is, until the ALA Annual Conference in 2014 held in Las Vegas. I went to an open house for ALSC members and as we were playing a get-to-know-you game, I bumped into these two. I (and quite possibly all three of us) fangirled about finally meeting in person. And that is how I met Lindsey (online and IRL).

And, Lindsey just created this amazing new resource for children’s librarians called the Library Services for Children Journal Club. The LSC Journal Club was created to keep children’s librarians informed of research and articles published that pertain to our field and spend time discussing these materials with others. Lindsey will be hosting meetups in Vancouver, but she’s reaching out to bloggers and librarians around the world in the hopes that more children’s librarians create their own meetups – whether that means a relaxed setting with wine at someone’s house or in a staff meeting at work.

I find that many children’s librarians are so busy being children’s librarians, they don’t have time to spend on research and I love to learn more about my field, so any and all journals are a huge help!

I can’t wait to share this great resource with my own staff, but also with our county/consortium because I think it’s going to be super valuable! Check it out!

Director’s Thoughts #13 – Program Evaluation

24 Aug

directors

I’m finalizing our strategic plan that will begin officially in January and our next project to take on is program and service evaluation. It’s definitely a time-intensive, difficult project because people feel strongly about programs and services, what we should keep, what we should get rid of, what we need, what we want, etc.

I’m going to focus on programs right now as I haven’t even begun to think about evaluating the many services we offer. My goal is to first look at a program evaluation model. I want to gather information from the employee creating, planning and presenting the program as well as gather information from the public. My goal is to answer a few questions:

  • Why are we offering this program?
  • How does this program benefit the community?
  • Is this the right time of year to offer this program?
  • Does this program take up too much staff time?
  • What is the ROI for this program?
  • Does this program need to be repeated regularly?
  • Where are there gaps in our program offerings (specific time periods, groups of people, types of programs)?

To answer these questions, I’m working on some sort of evaluation form to write down any input information – time, cost of supplies, staffing, how often it happens, etc. Next, is the output – how many attendees. And finally, outcomes – skills/knowledge developed and social aspect (how is this affecting the community).

I also need to start working on a simple, but effective tool to gather information from program attendees – a short survey that helps us understand what the community is looking for and whether or not a particular program reached it’s intended outcomes.

As I said, this is not for the faint of heart, but I want my staff to free themselves from tired programs that are only happening because we’ve always offered it, to be able to jump on new trends and try exciting new programs (without it meaning it becomes a regularly scheduled program all the time). It won’t be an easy project, but it’s the next step toward moving us into the future!

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