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


Megan Roberts

Inclusive Storytimes

June 1, 2017

The month of June, which is both Pride Month and the American Library Association’s (ALA) GLBT Book Month, is a perfect time to celebrate the voices and experiences of the LGBTQ community. I founded Family Storytime at the LGBT Center of Raleigh (N.C.) Library with Director Erin Iannacchione in 2012, after noticing there were few … Continue reading Inclusive Storytimes


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



Ashley J. Cooksey

Partnerships Beyond Four Walls

January 3, 2017

Sometimes collaboration is accidental. I’ve had lessons that just happened to coordinate with the curriculum. For instance, our library at West Magnet Elementary in Batesville, Arkansas, was able to give students a “virtual field trip” via live stream to see President Barack Obama answering questions at DC Public Library’s Anacostia branch. Our 4th graders were … Continue reading Partnerships Beyond Four Walls


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 …


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


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


Ernie Cox

Tween Read-Alouds

March 1, 2016

This scene was one that would make any librarian feel warm and fuzzy. However, with a few swipes and punches of a smartphone, the verdict was in: “not for your grade level.” Mom was doing what schools, and often what libraries as proxies, have trained her to do—think about books in terms of levels. Reading … Continue reading Tween Read-Alouds


Jennifer Burek Pierce

Your Story Matters

January 4, 2016

This was the prompt conclusion of organizer Hank Green as he spoke before an enthusiastic crowd of teens and tweens at NerdCon: Stories—a conference embracing “the power and magic of storytelling,” featuring podcasters, novelists, cartoonists, musicians, and poets—on October 9, the morning it opened. At 9:01, someone sitting near me in the auditorium of the … Continue reading Your Story Matters


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