A couple months ago, I wrote a post about performative allyship as it relates to storytime—specifically, my own storytimes. I conducted a diversity audit of the books I used during storytimes at my branch and realized that I was failing as an ally and social justice advocate. I decided to make a change and resolved “to read at least one book featuring characters of color or another marginalized identity in every storytime I lead.”
A year ago, I left my AmeriCorps position at an inclusive preschool and child development center for my first true librarian gig. My time with AmeriCorps was one of the most rewarding, confusing, challenging, and life-changing years in my life. For a moment, I thought I would ditch librarianship altogether to become a preschool teacher. Instead, my experiences kindled the special passion I have for early literacy in my library work.
Even though I broke my suitcase and got lost way more times than I’d like to admit, I made it safely back to Eugene! Last weekend was full of so many surprises—including some hard truths. Rather than delve too deeply into it all, I’m going to suggest that you take a look at my and other contributors’ guest posts on the ALSC Blog. There was so much coverage of the conference that you’ll almost feel like you were there.
Inspired by Travis Jonker’s series of posts about the highest circulating books at his school library (chapter books, picture books, nonfiction books, diverse books), here’s a list of the highest circulating juvenile fiction at my small public library branch this fiscal year. It’s a lot of the same, but it’s interesting to see a few differences.
Last week, I shared something really personal: I came out to my 8-year-old niece. Since then, I’ve received some wonderful words of support and, perhaps more importantly, some really great book recommendations to further my discussions with young people about what it means to be LGBTQ+. All the books I sent my niece were focused on gay (white) men—yikes!—so I’m thrilled to take this opportunity to share more books (with her and with you) to include a broader representation of the LGBTQ+ community.
I led this branch Family Storytime in anticipation of our El día de los niños/El día de los libros program at the main library. For the record, I tend to use diverse books in all my storytimes and actively look for ways to promote diverse books at all times—not just on special celebrations like Día. April is also National Poetry Month, so I threw in a poem here, too.
Each year since grad school, I’ve tried to take one ALSC/YALSA e-course to keep my librarian skills sharp. This year I’m taking “Building Reflective Collections…Always Teens First” with Julie Stivers (@BespokeLib). I’ve loved the course so far, and I wanted to take a second to share a bit about what we did for one of the assignments.