Author Archive: Linda W. Braun

Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Ready to Code

September 1, 2016

The OITP–Google project, Libraries Ready to Code, launched in April 2016 and will continue through the fall of this year. The team working on the project hosted focus groups and one-on-one interviews and conducted site observations in order to learn what’s going on across the country. As project researcher for this initiative, I wanted to … Continue reading Ready to Code

Linda W. Braun

Using Design Thinking

May 31, 2016

What if I said that that’s not how that program—or any library program—should work? By running a program in that way you aren’t really supporting youth learning. Imagine instead if you: Start by asking youth to talk with one another, in small groups or in a full group, about what they like and don’t like … Continue reading Using Design Thinking

Linda Braun

Everything Is Messy

October 30, 2015

I realized that word was a fitting—and not necessarily negative—description. Many people serving youth and families in libraries may find it to be a “messy” business. It’s messy because: The audience we work with is not static. What youth and families need is always changing, and how libraries support those needs has to change too. … Continue reading Everything Is Messy

Linda Braun

Listen First

May 20, 2015

Listening and not speaking up are often hard for me. I think they’re hard for many library staffers. Those working in libraries are often so focused on telling others about all the great stuff we have to offer youth and families—databases, homework help, free books, downloadable music, etc.—that we don’t always make sure we understand … Continue reading Listen First

Linda Braun

Moving Beyond Same-Old

December 10, 2013

As I wrote this column, I decided to check my go-to dictionary, the Merriam-Webster, about the definition of “outreach.” It stated: “the extending of services or assistance beyond current or usual limits <an outreach program>; also: the extent of such services or assistance.” Youth services outreach frequently centers on luring young people inside the library … Continue reading Moving Beyond Same-Old

Linda Braun

The Whole Library Approach

August 12, 2013

It’s probably no surprise to you that sometimes library staffers prefer to work with one age group over another. Children’s services staff members may love working with kids but may not be so crazy about working with teens or adults; young adult staffers may be wild about teenagers, but preschoolers and adults may be another … Continue reading The Whole Library Approach

Linda Braun

Managing the Managers

March 27, 2013

Sometimes relationships with those up the organizational chart are fantastic. Sometimes they are awful. Whether you work for an angel or a demon, you need to manage the relationship. Since what is required to accomplish that feat is not always obvious, I’ve put together 10 tips for success. Build relationships. Whenever I talk with library … Continue reading Managing the Managers

Linda W. Braun

The Lowdown on STEM

September 20, 2011

Each week I have at least one conversation about how schools and libraries are working to support teaching and learning in STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I’ve discovered that some librarians are struggling to figure out what their role should be in the STEM universe. I’m here to give you a few pointers. First, … Continue reading The Lowdown on STEM