Tag Archives: professional development

PLA Recap

28 Mar

pla 2018 conference logo final@ RGB
It was an interesting PLA to say the least. It started with Philadelphia’s fourth nor’ easter in three weeks on Wednesday, which led to me watching the opening session with Sally Yates online from home as the library was closed and we ended up with at least eight inches of snow.

I have to say, PLA did an amazing job of providing online access to the conference for the many people who ended up not being able to fly in to Philly due to the weather.

Thursday started for me at 4:30am when I woke up to get ready to head to the city for the children’s author breakfast which started at 7am. Breakfast was great as we got to hear from Erin Entrada Kelly (2018 Newbery Award Winner), Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass co-authors of Bob, Greg Pizzoli, author of the new title This Story Is for You (which is absolutely awesome), and sadly Andrea Davis Pinkney couldn’t get to Philly because of the weather, but we did get to hear a video interview and her publisher read a great letter she had written for the occasion.

The majority of the rest of my time was spent in programs – I specifically went to a number of programs about staff training as I’m looking for new ways to ensure my staff feels empowered to do the best job they can do at work. I’m excited to implement some of the ideas I learned about, especially in regards to technology competencies and public library philosophy that reaches past day-to-day operations and really teaches staff about the history of public libraries and why our role is so important in the community.

I also got a chance to hit up the exhibit hall and grabbed some really great ARCs (that I’ll be sharing in a post tomorrow) and I volunteered at the Pennsylvania Library Association booth for a little bit as well.

My favorite parts of the conference were the First-Time Directors program where there was some great insight from new directors and a feeling of camaraderie in the room as people asked for opinions on issues they were dealing with as new directors. I also really enjoyed the Big Ideas session with Steve Pemberton and can’t wait to get my hands on his memoir as he had a really tough childhood and was saved by books and the library.

And the end of the weekend, I had a really great conference and learned valuable information that I plan on implementing at work. It was also a lot of fun hanging out with librarians from around the country and gaining perspective about the future of public libraries.

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Director’s Thoughts #4

7 Dec

directors

I’ve been a library director for a total of almost 4 months!  There are days when I can tell you I have no idea what I’ve done, but I’m constantly busy and for the most part loving my new role. Our previous director, (I’ve been working for this library for the past 8.5 years) allowed us to try new programs and make many decisions based on what we saw were issues on the front lines.  He supported our new ideas and gave us all the credit when things went well.  He was in the role for 30+ years and in the last few years, didn’t spend much time out on the public floor.

Coming from a reference desk where I was always the go-to person for reference questions, reader’s advisory and tech questions in both children’s and adult departments, moving into an office in the staff area has been a huge adjustment.  It’s great to be fairly uninterrupted (I can get a lot of work done), but I also feel extremely disconnected from the community we serve.  So, a few days ago I sent a note to my departments heads making it very clear that if they were short-staffed on a desk anywhere in the library, that I was willing to jump in and help out where it was necessary.  I’m blessed with a large staff, so for the past eight years I’ve learned the ins and outs of children’s reference, but never got a lot of experience working circulation or in the adult department.  So starting in January (because December is nuts!) I’m going to be shadowing different staff members to better learn other areas of the library.  I’ve begun this process already – asking questions, observing what goes on and talking with staff members, but I want to be able to help patrons if I see them looking lost or needing some attention as I walk through the library.

There’s a fine line, I believe between micromanaging and having a clear understanding of how processes work and it’s definitely not my intention to micromanage, but I love to learn new things and as the director, I want to make sure I’m as educated as possible as to what happens in my library!

I already got the chance to work the adult reference desk for a couple hours yesterday.  I helped a gentleman print an insurance policy from his email and helped a woman put a few materials on hold (after figuring out which books in the series she had read and which she hadn’t).  I also troubleshooted (is that a word?) Overdrive on her phone for her so she could listen to books as she travels.  I love helping people and I just have to remember that even though I don’t have one-on-one interactions with patrons everyday, my staff does and it’s my job to make sure those interactions are positive and helpful!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/7/16

7 Nov

As I expected, it was an extremely busy work week, so I only got a chace to read Jubilee by Patricia Reilly Giff about a young girl who grows up with her aunt.  The girl suffers from selective mutism and only talks to a dog she saves on the island they live.  As she comes to terms with being different, learning her mother isn’t as far away as she thought and what it means to be a friend, Jubilee’s aunt stands by her to help her grow – never pushing her to speak, knowing she will when she’s ready.

This week, although always busy with work, I hope to spend some time reading and visiting with family for a long weekend! I’m going to attempt Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress and Lead By Example by Steve McClatchy (hopefully this doesn’t take as long as Start With Why). And a friend lent me Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, so I really need to get that read and given back before it gets sucked into my own collection of books and lost forever!


imwayrJoin Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/31/16

31 Oct

I got a lot of reading down  over the past 24 hours (not so much throughout the week)… I finally finished Start With Why – not a book that was easy for me to get through, it seemed a little all over the place and wasn’t as well organized as I would have liked.  But, I’m done!  I also read the heart-wrenching book,  Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur about the effects of war, especially on children and how quickly it forces them to grow up.  It is a middle grade book and one that I think would spark a lot of discussion among kids; I’d be curious to hear what they have to say.  I also read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yesterday and as I said last week, I was really happy with the way the series closed and I haven’t read anything else J.K. Rowling has published over the past few years.  I was hesitant to read the script being that it’s a different format than the series and in all reality written by other writers, but my curiosity was piqued so I gave it a shot. And I should have just left well enough alone.  It was sadly not the world of Harry Potter that I lived in for so many years growing up and unfortunately the script gave me nothing else I really needed in my Harry Potter world.  My real question is now, did the actual theatrical show do anything for the series as a whole?  I’m not sure that I see anyone else but the movie franchise actors as these characters anymore.  Again, my curiosity is piqued.

My reading over the course of the next week is as follows: Jubilee by Patricia Reilly Giff, because Patricia Reilly Giff, need I say more.  And I’m going to attempt Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress and Lead By Example by Steve McClatchy (hopefully this doesn’t take as long as Start With Why. I’ve got a busy work week, so we’ll see how much reading I can get done!


imwayrJoin Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/24/16

24 Oct

This was a strange week in terms of reading – I’m still struggling my way through Start With Why by Simon Sinek.  For whatever reason, I’m not drawn to pick this book up, but when I do, I enjoy reading it.  But, I did get a chance to read The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow which was a lot of fun and the first in a series, so I’m interested to see what happens next.  And I read (nerd alert!) The Weeding Handbook: a Shelf-by-Shelf Guide by Rebecca Vnuk, and yes although its completely nerdy, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to using it to update our collection development plan.

For the week ahead, I finally got my hands on a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and as happy as I am with how the series ended with book seven, my curiosity is still piqued to read the script.  I’ve also got a new middle grade book in hand for this week – Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur.


imwayrJoin Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

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