Show Me The Awesome Week 4

For those readers who are new to the blog or to Show Me The Awesome:

Show Me The Awesome: 30 Days of Self-Promotion is being co-hosted by Sophie Brookover, Kelly Jensen & myself for people in library land to share the things they’ve done. It can be about promoting something specific, or about how to promote, or why to promote.

The image for Show Me The Awesome is courtesy of John LeMasney via; and if you’re using the image with your post, please remember to give John credit.

We are using the hashtag #30awesome on Twitter and Tumblr.

Want a taste of what was said in Show Me The Awesome in prior weeks?

A round up of Week One’s Show Me The Awesome.

A round up of Week Two’s Show Me The Awesome.

A round up of Week Three’s Show Me The Awesome.

I’ll have a Show Me The Awesome post like this one up every Sunday for the month of May. Every night, I’ll be editing this post to add that week’s contributors, with name of post, blog/Tumblr, and a short excerpt of the Awesome.

Leigh Woznick, Guest Post at Tea Cozy (added 5/20): “Like lots of other librarians, I participate in listserv, Facebook, Twitter & blog discussions, and read YA & middle grade books to keep myself, if not on the cutting edge, at least up-to-date. Though my family teases me about being surgically attached to my iPhone and iPad, they are my direct conduit to what I need to know. The generosity of my fellow librarians is amazing. Librarians may be all over copyright and plagiarism when we’re teaching our students to write & cite, but we’re much more open source when it comes to ideas for how to reach & teach.  Many of us are overworked and understaffed and/or underfunded, so we are more than willing to help each other out.

Unexpected Outcomes at Professor Nana aka Teri Lesesne (added 5/20): “Being in a library science department and teaching online courses in literature for children, tweens, and teens means I do not often have the chance to interact with students. So, when the opportunity presents itself, I leap at the chance. My colleague Rosemary Chance arranged for the two of us to do a continuing education program for undergraduate teacher education students. “Let the Heart of a Book Touch the Heart of a Child” became our theme since we spoke to the groups on Valentine’s Day. Basically, we booktalk some of the Notables (ALSC) winners for the year. After the booktalk, students are invited to take a free book with them to begin or build their future libraries.”

Beer & Books Talk for Central Oregon Beer Week at By The Barrel by the Bend Beer Librarian (added 5/20): “Now there are thousands of beer blogs out there and several great ones already here in Bend, so why another? What can I offer? As a librarian who has worked in several different capacities—tech support for library school and distance education, thesaurus construction and maintenance, serials and monographic cataloging, original and copy cataloging, and now reference work—I have a good idea of the world of recorded knowledge and the structures that support it. That is what I want to share with my community via book reviews, book talks, interviews with authors of beer books (I hope), reference and research assistance, and any other information or service that I can provide but have yet to think of. I consider my patrons to be all of Central Oregon’s beer geeks, aficionados, and lovers and those simply interested in some aspect of beer, the beer business, and the culture and material goods around beer.”

Difficult Patrons In Your Library at Angelina 41 (added 5/21): “You never know if interactions with patrons are going to be positive or negative, but the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you can only control yourself. People may scream at you, berate you, or become upset about what you’re telling them, but your reaction to it is within your control. When I feel an interaction turning sour, I set an intention to remain calm and to maintain the dignity of both the patron and myself. It doesn’t always work out as well as I’d like, but the main thing is that I keep trying to provide a positive experience for people who enter our doors.

Using My Platform Positively at Stacked (added 5/21): “When I spoke up about ARCs, suddenly I found this little blog about books and reading being responded to in other blogs, both those within librarianship and those outside of it. It was the post that riddled me with a lot of guilt, then frustration, sadness, then anger. I was mad and upset about how my words were read and twisted. It hurt how people responded to me in a personal manner — as if my career and personal life choices and decisions were things that factored in to what I had said in one single post. After sitting on what I’d put out there for a couple of weeks, and thinking about how my piece had spawned reaction, I realized something big. I had a platform. People were listening. Rather than rest on posting, though, I figured out that using this platform as a means to speak out was just the first step. I needed to use what I had in order to implement change. If something like ARCs could spur such heated discussion and rile up the sort of response it did, maybe I was on to something. So I put those thoughts and that post into action, suggesting a panel for the American Library Association’s conference on the topic. It was accepted, and now we’re in the process of organizing over 500 responses to our survey on how librarians, booksellers, and others use Advanced Reader’s Copies so we can talk about why they’re valuable and how they’re used in the book world.

StoryWalk ™ at Valley Storytime (added 5/21): “Basically,  StoryWalk ™ is this:  a picture book is posted along a walking path. As you walk, you read the story. It can be that simple– just the pages of a book along a path. Or you can ramp it up and create signboards with replicated pages, and add some activities to go along with the walk. That’s how we did it. And it is awesome. Nothing like seeing a bunch of kids (and adults)  jumping, running, skipping, and reading at the same time. But even more awesome, and what I wanted to share here, is the cooperation that happened in order for our   StoryWalk ™  to happen.

Finding My Voice at So Tomorrow (added 5/22): “I wanted to write about one of the things I do really well: preschool visits. I have to say that I absolutely love this age group and find their enthusiasm infectious.I can remember being so nervous to do any kind of visits when I first started out. The fear of a group of strangers was terrifying to me (even if those strangers only came up to my knees). It took a while before I realized that the trick to a successful group visit was to share my absolute favorite material, and nothing less and then my natural enthusiasm for those stories would shine through. Realizing that was my “lightbulb moment” and I have looked forward to having preK classes come in to my library ever since.

Children’s Librarians Can Do Anything at A Fuse #8 Production (added 5/22): “You must be willing to make a fool of yourself. Remember those days in library school where you had to conduct a mock toddler storytime for your peers, and you thought it was the most embarrassing thing you ever had to do?  Baby, you had no IDEA what you were in for!  Whether it’s an 18-month year old taking a bite out of your neck or a general flailing of the limbs in an effort to engage a baby, you are going to look silly. And if you can do it wearing blue fur, all the better. . . . Long story short, the best training ground for not just picture book authorship but ANY job is children’s librarianship.  I bet you could apply additional skills to additional problems.  It’s just that flexible.”

On The Radio Part 2 at Librarianship As A Subversive Activity (added 5/22): “Three times a year, Ameet and I go to lunch (sometimes at a bar) and brainstorm our show theme schedule for the next semester. We pull from library literature, pop culture representations, our current research, conversations with our Atlanta-area colleagues, other radio programs, and daily operations in our library. We try to never say “That’s crazy” to each other which has helped a few eccentric and exciting themes make it into the lineup. For instance, in the past six months, we done shows called “Alcohol Archives,” “Library Apocalypse,” “The Myth of the Archive,” and “Dogs in the Library.” After we’ve got twenty or so themes, we start grouping them into series, e.g. Cultural Production, Community, The Library & the Individual, The Future Is Now, or Shark-Infested Waters. A series has four or five episodes and the overall series theme informs and constrains each individual show to keep us on track. Shark-Infested Waters was a series about libraries and politics or the law, and contained the shows “The Lobbyist Librarian,” “Copyright & Catastrophe,” “The GSU Case,” and “Privatizing Libraries.”

Personalize It at Storytime Katie (added 5/23): “This is going to be a short and quick entry, because this is super simple to implement — personalize your storytimes. The more familiar you become to your storytime families and vice versa, the more important storytime becomes to them and the more parents will value your advice and tips. . . . Provide read-a-likes! I have a ridiculously scary memory, so I remember from week-to-week that Bella really loved “Hilda Must Be Dancing,” so I pulled out “Brontorina” for storytime a few weeks later. Guess what? Bella loved that one, too.

Iron Fist (aka Parent Management) at Bryce Don’t Play (added 5/23): “Like kids, parents will meet as high expectations as are set for them and will adapt their behavior to meet those expectations.  Unlike kids, parents are capable of thinking hypothetically and higher level reasoning. This is good, because they can more easily figure out acceptable activities based on rules; it can also be bad, if an adult is prone to rationalizing that rules don’t apply to them. Now before you get all defensive-rational, parents, I’m saying that all adults do this. It could be in the form of lots of things, from drinking and driving to using your neighbor’s WIFI signal to being so generous it’s a detriment to others (there’s a special place in Hell for people who let more than one car in front of them at a time at a previously red light that just turned green. Not that this just happened in front of me 2 hours ago so I’m completely still bitter about it, or anything.) Anyway, this all may be a catalyst for the bad behavior we see from parents on a regular basis in the Children’s Room.

Advocate or Vacate at Sam’s Lit Cafe 2.0 (added 5/25): “School librarians, or teacher librarians, or whatever the name du jour happens to be are not by nature “horn tooters.” We do our jobs quietly and just are. We do our best to make sure that our school looks good, our students are happy, and our teachers have what they need at zero-hundred hours on the clock of doom. If we receive thanks or our efforts are publicly lauded, we hang our heads and whisper a quiet “Oh, it was nothing.” Well, guess what? Our “Oh, it was nothings” are giving legislators and administrators around the country reasons each and every day to eliminate our positions. Because we have shied away from talking about our programs, our value to the schools we serve, and the many duties we juggle on a daily basis, we are viewed as expendable. . . . We matter. We know we do. We see it on a small scale every day. There is even hard data to prove it. Let’s just let our awesomeness shine and light our successes and the successes of our colleagues, let’s give our students and teachers something to be excited about. Now, go ahead,  you can do it. Show us YOUR awesome!

Dynamic Connections at Library Grits (added 5/25): “The main job I do is not about books, or research or inquiry. The job I do is about people, it is about helping people. It is about making a connection with people so they trust me enough to enable me to help them. My job is to make sure I am interrupted all day by people who need my skills, my expertise, my problem solving, my suggestions, my conversation, my smile and sometimes my hugs.”

Librarians as Catalyst in a STEM/History Collaborative Project at The Sassy Librarian (added 5/25): “Brace yourself, I’m going to compare librarians to eggs. On the surface, I realize that doesn’t make sense, but if you understand the chemistry of cooking, you’ll figure out where I’m going with this. I am a cook, who not only enjoys the physical act of making great food, but who also insists on understanding why and how dishes work. In baking, eggs play the key role of binder, allowing other ingredients to not only meld together, but also to physically hold them in place while the outside forces of friction (think your mixer paddle) or heat work a reaction. I think school librarians are like eggs.

Show Me The Awesome at The Hub: Campaign For Quality School Libraries In Australia (added 5/25): “Even if you don’t want to go public, take the time to reflect on what it is you do and how it matches up to your dreams and expectations when you first decided to enter the profession.  If there’s a disconnect, work out how to work back to what you wanted. Make a plan , share it, and share your successes. You know you’re awesome – time to let others know too.  Show them it’s more than circulating books.”



10 thoughts on “Show Me The Awesome Week 4

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