Author Archive: Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson

Leadership in Librarianship

September 1, 2017

These questions have been on my mind since I attended Power Up: A Conference in Leadership for Youth Services Managers and Staff at the Information School of the University of Wisconsin–Madison in March. This amazing event had a dynamic array of presenters who talked about topics such as empowering teens to be leaders, finding your programming style, … Continue reading Leadership in Librarianship


Abby Johnson

Summer Reading Reboot

May 1, 2017

It’s understandable. Summer is a busy time at the public library, and repeating a program saves work, even if it’s not the best thing for your youth participants or staff. Though your plans for summer reading are probably set, now is an opportune time to take inventory of what you’re doing, what is and isn’t … Continue reading Summer Reading Reboot


Abby Johnson

’Tis the Season …

November 1, 2016

In recent years, there has been much discussion among children’s librarians about whether to provide—and how to execute—holiday programming. I think the answers to those questions depend on your community, and the first step is to stop and think objectively about what you’re offering and why. Start by reading “Librarians—Check Your Holidays at the Door,” … Continue reading ’Tis the Season …


Abby Johnson

Pulling the Plug

May 2, 2016

Maybe your funding, meeting room space, or employee availability is limited. Maybe the attendance isn’t there, or the staff member who supervised the service has left the branch. How do you decide to discontinue a program? Libraries should allocate resources in the most efficient way possible. Of course, “bang for your buck” can mean something … Continue reading Pulling the Plug


Abby Johnson

A Place for Play

September 10, 2015

There is a wide range of possibilities, no matter what your budget may be. An amazing play space can make your library a destination for young patrons, as it has at the Barrington Area (Ill.) Library (BAL), where open-ended activities engage a variety of age groups and encourage adult-child interaction. BAL’s activities and spaces in … Continue reading A Place for Play


Abby Johnson

Sponsored by Your Library

October 7, 2013

What does a commercial-free space mean to you? With corporations doing their best to surround children with advertising from birth, providing commercial-free spaces is essential to our continued democracy, which depends on creativity and critical thinking, skills that pervasive marketing can repress. Libraries, with our continual campaign for intellectual freedom, are the perfect places to … Continue reading Sponsored by Your Library


Abby Johnson

Nonfiction Programming

May 28, 2013

Almost every state in the Union has adopted the Common Core State Standards, which emphasize that students read literary nonfiction. A great way to stimulate students’ curiosity and encourage youngsters to pick up informational books is to include nonfiction in your library programs. With a wealth of new narrative nonfiction being published each year, a … Continue reading Nonfiction Programming


Connect Guys with Authors

November 13, 2012

It was a sunny June afternoon, perfect for playing baseball, taking a dip in the local pool—or having a virtual chat with a favorite author over Skype about what you’ve been reading. That was the message the New Albany–Floyd County (Ind.) Public Library set out to impart this summer through our first “Guys Read” program … Continue reading Connect Guys with Authors


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Make Room for Homeschoolers

April 23, 2012

Did you know there are an estimated 2 million home-educated children in the United States? According to a report from the National Home Education Research Institute, there were approximately 2.04 million American homeschoolers in 2010, and that number is increasing by 2%­–8% each year. That’s almost 4% of all school-age children in this country. Do … Continue reading Make Room for Homeschoolers


Reach Out through Outreach

November 18, 2011

Some of the most important library work I do is outside the library’s walls. Outreach—traveling offsite to bring service to potential users—is essential to serving my community and especially its children. Outreach allows librarians to put a friendly face on library services and to meet our patrons where they are (which is all the more … Continue reading Reach Out through Outreach