Posted in Conferences & Events, Librarianing, professional development

Signal Boost: Submit a Proposal to Host Jason Reynolds in Spring 2022

Today’s a big news day, huh? Just on the heels of my post about the Kids’ Book Awards Finalists, Every Child a Reader announced that not only is Jason Reynolds extending his term as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for an additional year, but that they are accepting proposal submissions from schools interesting in hosting an event with Mr. Reynolds! Events are likely to be held in April/May 2022, as Mr. Reynolds will be holding in-person events. The press release is here and you can read full details on the Every Child a Reader website.

If you’re not a school library, please consider getting in touch with schools nearby and collaborate with them on submitting a proposal. Other criteria, from Every Child a Reader, are as follows:

  • Audience for events should be in the 5th-12th grade range.
  • The location should have a system in place for how they will select two student interviewees in advance of the event.
  • Jason’s goal for the Ambassadorship is to visit small, underserved communities that don’t often have the opportunity to host authors.
  • Events must be private/available to students only.
  • Please complete this google form with your event proposal no later than December 1, 2021.

Good luck!

Posted in professional development

Women’s History Month: Women to Know

March is Women’s History Month, and as I’ve looked through my books, I realize I have quite a few on women in history: women like Codebreaker Elizebeth Friedman, and astronomer Vera Rubin are two real-life figures in history who are finally seeing their stories told; books like My Day with the Panye praise Haitian women for their strength, and fictional characters like Dominguita Melendez and Ruth Keller shine a spotlight on young women taking charge.

For the next couple of weeks, as we finish March, I’ll be spotlighting women to now in my review posts. Some you may know, others may be new to you. And that’s okay: it means their stories are finally being told. Now, go out and tell others about them.

In the meantime, some links to keep the Women’s History Month momentum going:

National Women’s History Museum

National Women’s History Alliance

 

And some activities:

Women’s History Month trading cards (Counting on Words, Teachers Pay Teachers)

Women’s History Month coloring poster and writing activity (The Constant Kindergartener, Teachers Pay Teachers)

Women’s History Month poster set (Create-Abilities, Teachers Pay Teachers)

Education.com List of Women’s History Month resources

 

Posted in Graphic Novels, professional development

YALSA announces Great Graphics Novels for Teens!

Diamond Comics’s Bookshelf email is a great resource for anyone who loves and/or works with graphic novels. This week, they reminded me that YALSA released their Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, along with a great graphic of the Top Ten. Clicking graphic will link you directly to the article on Diamond’s Bookshelf page.

I read six out of the top 10 this year, and 36 out of the total 125. This is a solid list; really happy with it. And now that I’m seeing the Wonder Twins is up here? Ridiculously excited; I just requested it and had to restrain myself from requesting about 25 more right off the bat. For the total list, click here, and consider signing up for Diamond’s emails, if you don’t already get them. You can visit the site here and see for yourself.

Posted in professional development

Adventures in Readers Advisory: Celebrity Book Clubs

Not kidlit related, but YA crossover into adult related.

My library still has grab-and-go service, so browsing is a challenge, especially for my senior patrons who may not have online access – or may not want it! That’s been the biggest frustration voiced by many of my patrons, for kids, teens, and adults alike: they miss browsing. We’ve taken some measures where we can, like putting up a browsing table behind the pick-up request area, where patrons can see look over some books and ask to see them. One of us library staff can head over, pluck the books, and hand ’em over. I’ve managed to get a lot of kids’ books circulated this way.

Remember when everyone and their aunt or uncle had a celebrity book club? When I first got the idea to promote celeb book club picks, I figured I’d have my pick of names to show off books for. Welp, it looks like most of those have dried up in the pandemic, but I found a few mainstays: Jenna Bush Hager for the Today Show, Good Morning America, Reese Witherspoon, and the original celeb book club powerhouse, Oprah Winfrey. Luckily for me, Oprah recommends four books for February and Jenna Bush Hager’s spotlighting two this month!

Easily created in Google Slides, it’s really just a book cover, blurb, and title of the slide. Place them around pickup areas to provide a browsing opportunity that won’t lead to folx spending a lot of time in the library (we have a max number patrons allowed in at a time), yet still providing them with some new books that they can request. For those of you with tech-savvy patrons, add a QR code that will link straight to the book detail page on your website and let patrons request the book right away. I doubt I’ve got these in the building at the moment (I’m writing this from home today), because the second a new book club pick is announced, the holds blow up, but if you have any copies in your location, keep them at your circ desk, ready to hand off to anyone who wants a copy to take home then and there.

Want to do these with kidlit? Why not? Here are a few I came up with today.

I’m sure more creative friends can do something even more exciting in Canva or Publisher. Share if you do, I’d love to see!

 

Posted in Librarianing, professional development

Adventures in Canva: Romance Flyer

I know it’s not kidlit-related, but I made a thing and wanted to share! I’m still trying to play around with templates in Canva, so I tried my hand at a contemporary romance flyer that I can display at my little teller window at circulation. Here’s what I came up with:

I didn’t put in titles, QR codes, authors, because I want to keep it unfussy and hope it sparks conversation. If this works, I’ll give it a shot with some YA titles, some MG titles, and display them by our pick-up station, where patrons grab the books they requested. I’m trying to create opportunities for browsing in a space were we can’t browse for the moment, if that makes sense. Let me know what you think, please!

Posted in professional development

Readers Advisory Fever: PW’s and GoodReads Best Books of 2020

Although I feel like my life has been on pause since March, it’s that time again: Best Books lists are coming.

Winter, annual book lists, same thing.

Publisher’s Weekly has their lists up, and these are a big help for readers advisory (“He/she/they just want a good book, can you just suggest a good book?”) and for end of year budget money – if you haven’t gotten these into your collection, it’s a good bet you’ll want to put some money toward those now. Here’s the Best of 2020 Picture Books, Best of 2020 Middle Grade, and the Best of 2020 YA.

 

Next up, it’s YOUR chance to vote. GoodReads has opened up their opening round of voting for the Best Books of 2020. While it’s your chance to voice your opinion on your favorite books this year, it’s also a great chance to see what’s popular: talk these books up, and get them on your shelves. There are 20 categories here, including good ones to talk up, like Debut Novel, Comics and Graphic Novels, and popular genre fiction, like Mysteries and Thrillers, Romance, Humor, Horror, Fantasy, and Sci Fi. There are categories for Young Adult, Young Adult Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Middle Grade & Children’s, and Picture Books, so that’s a nice breakout to keep handy.

Posted in Conferences & Events, professional development

Upcoming: Latinx KidLit Book Festival

There’s a great professional development/learning opportunity coming up in December: The Latinx KidLit Book Festival is free, virtual, and takes place on December 4th and 5th!

 

The author list is a dream: Elizabeth Acevedo, Eric Velasquez, Francisco Stork, Gabby Rivera, Raúl the Third, and SO MANY MORE. My head is spinning. Zoraida Cordova is also attending, so I’ll be sitting here, in front of my computer, clutching my Brooklyn Brujas books and squealing.

Fill out the Librarian/Educator information form and get on this mailing list. There are also links to Educator Resources for a variety of children’s books by Latinx authors and illustrators further down on the Educator Resources pages – don’t miss these.

The panels look fantastic. I particularly want to see the one on Picture Books in the Age of Activism, and the Fantasy, Myths, and Legends also looks amazing.

Made for readers and educators alike, try to catch this festival. We need to support these authors, illustrators, and publishers!

Posted in geek, professional development

Happy Halloween Week!

Hi, all! I took a couple of days off and actually got to GO somewhere: my Hubs, my Kiddo, and I took a nice weekend trip upstate to visit family (we wore masks the entire time; let’s hear it for the Kiddo, who didn’t sweat it once for the 8 hours or so that we were with family!) and enjoy the leaves turning color. We had cider donuts, hot drinks, and relaxed, and it was so nice to be somewhere that isn’t my living room. Now I’m back, rejuvenated, and ready. I’ll be starting up my posts again shortly, but in the meantime, I created a little Halloween Bitmoji library for you. Each book will link to the book’s detail page on WorldCat; from there, you can enter your ZIP code and find libraries in your area that have them. Come on in, help yourself to some Halloween candy, have a seat if you can get that black cat to move over, and enjoy some books and my dorky dab dance.

Posted in professional development, programs

The Bitmoji Library is done!

I completed my Bitmoji library this morning! Aren’t my colleagues and I adorable?

This was so much easier than I thought it would be. There are several good videos online; I primarily used Ms Farah’s tutorial and DJ Silene’s tutorial, which were super clear and helpful.

Again, I used Google Slides, and insert a background using a search for “floor and wall background”. I played around with different keywords, like “cozy”, “library”, and “study”, but the results came back more cluttered than I’d like, so I went with this space that I could personalize. Next, I did a Insert and searched for “transparent book case”, because I didn’t want a background that would break up the experience of the scene.

Next, I created the Bitmoji. The PC app didn’t work well with my laptop, so I downloaded the app on my phone and emailed myself the Bitmoji. So. Easy. You can even search different keywords to see your avatar in silly costumes, reading, hanging out with a dog, you name it. Click on the avatar you like, and you get the choice to send it to yourself via email.

My colleague, Esti, sent me a few Bitmojis she had of herself, but I altered my avatar to create my colleague Alicia’s, which I also texted to her to make sure she was happy with the image. She was! Hooray!

The thing about Bitmojis is that they will show up with a white background around them, and you want that background removed. Thanks to the tutorials above, I learned about Remove.bg, a site that lets you upload an image, and download the same image with the background removed. Huzzah!

After choosing book covers and linking them to the library’s website, like I did with yesterday’s bookshelf post, I dropped in the Bitmojis, and finally, used one of Hafuboti’s Libraries Are for Everyone posters to give my library space a little personal touch. Voila!

I sent a link to my colleagues, and told them to make copies and customize to their delight. All you’ll need to do is click File, Make a Copy, and you have your own copy to enjoy. I’m thinking of adding slides to create bookshelves for different topics and subjects, and I can switch up the Bitmojis while I’m at it. This will be fun for Outreach!

Other Bitmoji Libraries

This Bitmoji Library is Library Goals.

This School Library/Media Center has some fun links, including links to an online chess game and a design-your-own-mask activity.

Knowledge Quest: Can Brandi Hartsell become my Bitmoji guru, please?

Mrs. Korzi got a shout-out from School Library Journal for her Banned Books Library, and it is fantastic.

Posted in professional development, programs

In which I play with virtual bookshelves

I have virtual bookshelf envy. There are some really amazing ones out there, and once again, I am in awe of the librarians out there, especially, in this case, the school librarians, who are figuring out ways to keep their kids reading, engaged, and interested. So I started playing around with creating my own virtual bookshelf, and made one with Google Slides.

While I was able to link each individual book in the Google Slide to my library’s book detail page, it doesn’t work if I download it as a PDF or a JPG, so that’s something you may want to keep in mind (at least, I haven’t figured out how to do it, yet, if it’s a possibility). So I’ll link the Google Slide here, if you want to see the links, and post the .JPG below.

This is a quick Back to School bookshelf I put together for littles, but I think it looks pretty snazzy, no? I found a quick video that is super helpful, if you’re interested. You can open a Google Slide blank, change the background and do an image search to find a bookshelf. From there, you can Insert book cover JPGs and PNGs, size them as you want, and put them on the shelves. You can click on the book cover, click the “insert link” icon, and add links to your library system, a GoodReads link, or your own book reviews, and share as you’d like. If you do want it to show up as a graphic file, and save it as a PNG or JPG, though, I haven’t figured out how to keep those links available when you download (unless you want to link the bookshelf files to the Google Slide, which has the links).

How will I use this? I can email the Google Slide to schools that I normally work with, and offer them a bunch of bookshelves with subjects of interest to the teachers and students (Minecraft bookshelves for the WIN!). The kids can click through to the library system’s page, and either borrow an ebook, if we have it available, or request a hard copy to be sent to their nearest open library to be picked up. I’ll report back on how this works, and if you have done something similar, I’d love to hear from you on how it’s working.

Next up: a Bitmoji library!