Ways Public Librarians Can Support Media Specialists to Celebrate National School Library Month

April is School Library Month! Here are some easy strategies for public librarians seeking to build productive partnerships with their school colleagues.

Get in touch with your local school librarians! Sometimes, this can be the most difficult aspect of cross-agency collaboration. I’ve noticed that, especially with regard to youth services librarians in larger, more bureaucratic public library systems, outreach specialists may try to follow a chain of command, asking for the building principal or even the superintendent for access to the school librarians. In many cases, those administrators may either not realize that the public library wants to help, rather than place demands, on school staff, and they often have a lot on their plate anyway. Reaching out to school librarians directly can be more effective, or better yet, ask a school librarian you have worked with in the past to connect you.

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Give local school librarians and teachers some extra privileges. One easy way to support the educators in your community: create a special patron class in your automation system, with an increased checkout limit. Nashville Public Libraries are on the cutting edge of this, with their Limitless Libraries program. They even have the high school and middle school libraries as routing stops! If your library doesn’t allow holds against on-shelf materials, you might consider a different policy for teachers. No teacher or school librarian wants to swing by the public library at the end of the day to find the audio version of Fahrenheit 451 has been nabbed since they looked it up in the OPAC that morning. Continue reading

App of the Week: Whisper

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Title: Whisper
Cost: Free
Platform: iOS and Android

When I read the New York Magazine article about Whisper, comparing it to one of my favorite blogs, PostSecret, the author waxed poetic about it hearkening back to the golden age of’ anonymity in online sharing. I had to try it.

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It’s a simple app. Compose your message, the app will suggest images based on the words you use, or you can use the camera on your device. It will give you a variety of fonts to choose from as well.’ The app auto-generates hashtags based on your text input, but you have the ability to remove or add more. Continue reading

New Year’s Resolution: Getting to Know Fellow YA Librarians

I don’t know about you, but I love the days when I get to hang out with youth services librarians and talk shop. I’m pretty shy, so it’s hard for me to get to know people. At conferences and hanging out on Twitter, I’ve heard/read remarks about librarians wanting to get to know each other. But it can be hard when we’re so spread out. I’m lucky if I get to see some of my fellow Connecticut librarians once or twice a year. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all knew each other?

So I came up with this idea – that we should get to know one new person a month. I created this questionnaire – it’s pretty short, with just 10 questions. Take a look here and fill it out.

And help us get the word out so we can meet more of our people!

Library Test Kitchen: Call for YALSA Feedback

by Paulina Haduong

Hey YALSA!

I’m an Ed.M. Candidate in Technology, Innovation, and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This semester, I’ve been a student with Library Test Kitchen, a library innovation class at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. I’m working on a class project right now that’s designed for teens and YA librarians, and I’d love to get some input!

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For the last few months, I’ve been fascinated by the YA GoodReads community, and the recent trend of using GIFs in book reviews. To that end, I’ve been developing a kind of “photo booth” for use in a library’s teen room. The gist of the concept is that teens (or anyone, really), would be able to scan a book and make a selfie-GIF as a #bookfeel. I’m playing around with the idea here, and the outputs are on this Tumblr. In theory, the app would sit on a computer inside of a cardboard photo booth.
Continue reading