Why I’m not blogging anymore, I guess

Photo of a tumbleweed against a fenceIt’s been ages since I last wrote here regularly, and I’m not sure I ever will again. That makes me sad — I’ve gotten a lot from blogging here, on the YALSAblog, and on The Hub over the years — but maybe it’s time to just accept that and move on. Or maybe not? I don’t really know.

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Leave a Comment May 5, 2014

Ten Years of ALA Conference Logos

I’m not at PLA this weekend — a bummer since I miss my Indiana friends, but understandable since I’m attending other conferences this year. Anyway, with all the PLA goodness in my Twitter feed, I’ve found myself thinking about ALA conference logos. There have been a few over the years that I found especially appealing, and since I’m having a hard time writing about work but want to be blogging again, I thought exploring past logos might be a fun, quick way to get back in the habit of posting.

So, reverse chronologically (and not including PLA because I had trouble finding older logos):

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Leave a Comment March 18, 2014

Guest Blogging for The Desk Set

Last month I guest blogged for The Desk Set, a local group that — among other things — raises money for the Passages Academy libraries. (Passages Academy is the multi-site school in NYC for middle and high school kids who are incarcerated or awaiting trial or otherwise part of the juvenile detention system. Their librarians are all top-notch and I’m so glad I had a chance to work with them and do outreach to the two locations in the Bronx!)

Anyway, I put together a crash course in YA lit, looked at top authors in different NYPL branches, and made the case for failure. Let me know what you think!

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Leave a Comment February 4, 2014

Is There an Expiration Date in Teen Services?

by Flickr user Mark Turnauckas

by Flickr user Mark Turnauckas

A few things I’ve seen out in the YA library world and my own experiences at work in the last month or so have me thinking about the ebbs and flows of working with teens.

Last month, someone sent a message to ya-yaac with the following observation: (more…)

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Leave a Comment January 7, 2014

The Rookie Manager: What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Managing

by flickr user sean bonner (cc by-nc-sa 2.0)

by flickr user sean bonner (cc by-nc-sa 2.0)

There has been a LOT going on with my team over the last couple of months, but I can’t really talk about it here.

I’ve navigated disciplinary issues, inter-department relationship building (and repair), personality conflicts, issues of motivation and attitude, and more — but I haven’t been able to write about any of it because I manage a small team and no matter how I reframe the situation or obfuscate identities, anyone who knows my team and reads my posts will know who I’m talking about. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting in private diary entries and in the exercises I’m doing with this book, but that’s not the same as having to frame thoughts coherently for an audience and being able to exchange experiences and ideas with others. I’m also seeking advice from other managers and other people within my system, but again, that’s not something I can really share widely.

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Leave a Comment November 13, 2013

The Rookie Manager: Team in Transition

by George Thomas (cc by-nc-nd 2.0)

by George Thomas (cc by-nc-nd 2.0)

This week is my part-time staff member’s penultimate week. He’s still going to be with the library, he’ll still be working with teens, and he’ll likely still be working out of our branch, but he’s moving into a new role as a fellow in BridgeUp, an intensive mentoring and college-prep program. I am really psyched for him, I’m really psyched for the kids he’ll work with (he’s going to be phenomenal at this), and I’m really psyched for the library — but it means that my team is going to go through a transition, and I have to lead through that time of change!

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Leave a Comment November 6, 2013

What’s Darien Library’s Secret?

On Friday I attended the Programming Unconference Northeast at Darien Library and had a fantastic time: I reunited with Connecticut YA folks I hadn’t seen in a while, made some new YA friends (including a bunch from NYPL whom I hadn’t met yet!), got a couple good programming ideas, and was energized by conversations with other people who want to do good work.

darien library logoBut that day also provided me the opportunity to talk to a couple of Darien librarians to find out what their secret is.

I’d known about Darien Library even as a library student in Indiana. I assumed at the time that their greatness was a product of the wealth in the community, but after moving to Fairfield County and seeing other libraries with just as much money who weren’t nationally known, I realized that money isn’t enough to make a library successful. (It may be necessary, but it’s not sufficient.) So what’s Darien Library’s secret?

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Leave a Comment September 30, 2013

Starting the New and Handing Off the Old: Onboarding, Organizational Memory, and Succession Planning

by flickr user chris messley

by flickr user chris messley

I recently joined the Editorial Board of In the Library with the Lead Pipe, and just last week my term as member manager of The Hub ended. Joining an already-established group and handing off an ongoing project to someone new has had me thinking about onboarding, organizational memory, and succession planning among librarians.

While this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, it’s caught my attention before. (more…)

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Leave a Comment August 21, 2013

#ALA2013 follow-up: keeping up with ebooks

ala annual 2013 chicago logoOne of the things I did at Annual this year was lead a table talk at the Maintaining Teen E-Collections session where we discussed the difficulties in keeping up with what’s going on in the ebook world and good resources to follow to stay current. I came with some ideas, but I also learned a lot from participants! Here’s the final list of suggested resources:

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Leave a Comment July 15, 2013

The Rookie Manager: Assessing the Me, the We, and the You

i have no idea what i'm doing dogI still don’t feel like I know how to assess myself as a supervisor. At first when I started this job, I felt like I didn’t know how to assess myself in my new role at all, but I’ve teased out some of the different aspects to my work now: I’m a librarian, I’m a department head, and I’m a supervisor.

I know how to assess myself as a librarian. I know when a program has gone well, if the collection is in good shape, if a reference transaction went well, or if I’m developing relationships with my patrons and making a difference in their lives. I know how to assess myself as a department head (mostly). I know when our overall statistics are headed in the right direction, I know if I’m coming up with successful new initiatives, I can assess the department with YALSA’s Teen Services Evaluation Tool, I can kind of get a sense for whether or not we’re making a difference in the community, and and I know when my vision meshes with what my patrons need and where I think we can go.

It’s the supervisory part I’m finding trickier.

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2 Comments June 4, 2013

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