2019 LBGTQIA+ Starred Review Roundup

I stepped away from Medal on My Mind last year and am continuing to do so again this year. But I had a draft of this list and wanted to get it out there, even though it’s old news. A quick comparison from last year’s list shows over double the number of starred reviews: 141 titles received at least 1 star (68 in 2018) and 39 titles received 3+ stars (14 in 2018). Also worth noting, one starred, #ownvoices book by an LGBTQIA+ author was withdrawn from publicationnot for its LGBTQIA+ content, but for “problematic representation of the Kosovo War, genocide, and Muslim characters.”

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2019 Tween Book Group Activities

I’ve been leading Tween Book Group for over two years now and it remains my favorite program of all time. Why? Because there’s nothing more fun than helping kids build relationships with literature—and, of course, each other.

Our hour-long Tween Book Group is structured with about half the time devoted to discussion and half the time devoted to an extension activity. I really try to make it feel like a club, so I’ll often make and give away custom swag (typically buttons). But my signature move is drawing a whiteboard schedule based on the book. And one of my tweens’ signature moves is erasing bits of my whiteboard masterpiece at the end of the program.

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Debrief: ALA Virtual 2020

It’s been a long time since I last posted something. I always mean to, and then I never get around to it. Before when I would blog, it was to place value on things I was doing in a job I didn’t love. Today, I’m compelled to capture the inspiration I feel from attending ALA Virtual 2020. Inspiration feels like something to hold onto, now that COVID-19 has changed our industry—possibly even forever, depending on who you ask.

I tried writing an in-depth post, but found the task of capturing everything impossible. Instead, I’m sharing the email I sent to my entire library today. I’ve redacted specific details related to my library, and in lieu of presentation slides I’m linking to the ALSC Blog recaps where appropriate.

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Program-And-Tell: Nearly New Year’s Bash

new year's bash
So many shapes left behind at the community art table!

You’ve probably heard of New Year’s at noon programs (where you celebrate New Year’s Eve at noon for the midday crowd). But, since our regular family programs happen at 2:00pm on Sundays, we couldn’t exactly do that. We opted for a New Year’s Eve Eve celebration, with games and crafts. It ended with a mock ball drop and a bubble-filled dance party. Read on to learn what the activities were and feel free to share your own ideas in the comments!

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Program-And-Tell: Kids Craft Market

kids maker market
A child shows their grown-up their newly purchased perler bead creation.

In mid-December, I hosted our second-annual (and my first ever) Kids Craft Market. Kids signed up to “sell” their wares—be it origami animals or bracelets or “fake paper airplanes”—to other kids. Besides the general anxiety of worrying if people will show up, it’s one of the easiest programs I’ve planned. And it’s one of the most rewarding! Continue reading “Program-And-Tell: Kids Craft Market”