October YouthShare News

October YouthShare News

YouthShare: News You Can Use

by Katelyn Patterson

Ellison Machine Swap

Both CTLS Ellison machines and die sets will be returned to CTLS at our upcoming Membership Meeting. If you are interested in borrowing these for your library, let us know! If someone from your library will be at the meeting, you can pick it up there. If not, we can arrange something else for the near future. Let me know if you are interested in borrowing the Ellison machines or any of our other loanables.


Election season is upon us! A time where reliable information seems scarce and everyone seems to be fact-checking. I can’t think of anyone better equipped to ensure an informed electorate than our librarians! Here is a round up of ideas for helping your community get the information they need to be informed voters.
How will you be serving your community this election season? Are you a voting site? I would love to hear your plans.


Upcoming Youth Services Professional Development Opportunities:

September YouthShare: News You Can Use

September YouthShare: News You Can Use

YouthShare: News You Can Use

by Katelyn Patterson

Starting Year 3 of Bots & Books

I am so excited to announce that we will be able to continue our work on the Bots & Books grant during fiscal year 2017, thanks to funding from the Texas State Library and Archives and the Institution of Museum and Library Services. For those that are unfamiliar with this grant, we are getting public libraries all around the state the equipment and training they need to begin offering robotics programming to their youth patrons. So far I have been fortunate to work with 27 libraries around Texas. This year, I am pleased to add the following libraries to our grant:

  • Beeville
  • Bulverde/Spring Branch
  • Cameron
  • Cedar Park
  • Del Rio
  • Dilley
  • Garden Ridge
  • Kingsville
  • Lake Travis
  • Lampasas
  • Library at Cedar Creek Lake/Seven Points
  • Livingston
  • Tye Preston/Canyon Lake
  • Wells Branch

SRP Wrap Up

Summer is over and you are figuring out the stats, right? Well, don’t forget to report your successes to your local media! Don’t just include total number of participants, but any percentage increase from the previous year, if it applies. And speaking of local media, check out this short clip of Barb Langridge from ABookAndAHug.com booktalking about great summer reads during the local news. What better way to get in front of your community!

Please take a moment to take the TSLAC End of Summer Survey to give your feedback. And in early October TSLAC will be sending every main and branch library a packet with a USB drive containing the 2017 Collaborative Summer Library Program manual and artwork for the early literacy, children, teen, and adult programs for those of you who wanted to get started early.

New Youth Services Discussion List

As we begin a new fiscal year at CTLS, I wanted to kick off our new Youth Services Discussion List. Of course, I will share with you any youth related news or events that are coming up that might be helpful, like some of the links or upcoming CE opportunities you will find below. But this is not just a place for me to shout from the rooftop. My hope is that this list will be a place where anyone involved in providing library services to youth can come to ask questions, share ideas, and encourage each other. Think of it as a Pubyac or ALSC-L specific to Texas youth librarians and staff. You can subscribe here if you are interested in joining the discussion.

Additions to the Professional Collection

We are always striving to provide you with quality resources to help your library thrive. In addition to grants and workshops, we also have a Professional Collection of books and other materials that you can check out for free on topics from readers advisory to collection development to customer service to library management. Here are a few materials we recently added that you should check out!

The Very Ready Reading Program from Demco helps you learn how to best incorporate early literacy tips directly into storytime for caregivers to continue on their own. We have purchased all three curriculum for you: Birth-24 Months, Ages 2-3, and Ages 4-5. Each curriculum has several ready-to-go storytime programs with songs, rhymes, and books, as well as printables for presenters and caregivers.

One of the goals of our Bots & Books grant is talking about how we can tie STEM activities to literacy. Cross-curriculum is a school of thought that, to increase understanding and retention in students, we should be teaching more than one subject at once. The National Science Teachers Association recommends the following books for doing just that. The One Minute Mysteries series offers short stories with problems to solve using either math or science. We have purchased all three in the series: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Science, 65 MORE Short Mysteries You Solve With Science, and 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math. These are great for children 8-12.

Similarly, the Picture Perfect Science series provides ready-to-go lessons that include suggested science-related picture books that are tied to inquiry-based science lessons. We have purchased all three in the series: Picture Perfect Science Lessons, Grades 3-6; More Picture Perfect Science Lessons, Grades K-4th; and Even More Picture Perfect Science Lessons, K-5th. Though these were written with teachers in mind, they are filled with great ideas you can use if you are wanting to incorporate more STEM activities into your storytime.


Youth Continuing Education Opportunities Coming Up

And just like that,#publibchat is a thing!

And just like that,#publibchat is a thing!

May I introduce, the magic that is the Internet. A while ago I posted about how I wished there was a Twitter chat for public librarians and… [cricket sounds]. Several months later, a public librarian from Massachusets ran across my post and said she had been considering the same thing. A couple of weeks later, we have a website, a Twitter account, and a survey out to gather feedback for putting a monthly chat together.


So, ya. There it is. I am so incredibly excited about this and so grateful that Elizabeth contacted me to get it going.


So if you are a public librarian on Twitter and are interested in connecting with and learning from others, please keep this on your radar. Please fill out our survey to give us some feedback about how you would like to see this go down. And make sure to join in the discussion when we have our first chat!

August Youth Services News

August Youth Services News

I wrote the following for the CTLS Newsletter. The entire newsletter can be accessed here.


YouthShare: News You Can Use

by Katelyn Patterson

Libraries Helping a Healing Nation

Tragedy struck again right here in Dallas since last month when I talked about the occurrence in an Orlando night club. The Dallas Public Library was committed to supporting their community in the days that followed and even helped to preserve the tributes left as a memorial to the fallen officers during a rain storm.

Libraries and supporting organizations all over are playing their part to help communities trying to understand our current national climate. Recently Storytime Underground, a collective of Youth Services Librarians, made public comments about the importance that the library reflect these events and movements to help our communities cope and understand. The Oakland Public Library has a wonderful page of resources called Listen, Learn, Participate: A #BlackLivesMatter Resources Series. Earlier this year, WebJunction provided a 2 part post on Racial Equity in the Library: Part 1: Where to Start and Part 2: Diverse Collections, Programming, and Resources.

And of course, book displays and booklists are being created for the same reasons. I particularly want to point to the We Need Diverse Books Summer Reading Series. In addition to the wonderful graphic design, each post simply and briefly states the title’s similar themes (friendship, relationship with grandparents, searching for family, etc.).

Similarly, as we get closer to November, patrons may want to know where to get the best information on the candidates and the election. Library Journal recently reviewed several Free Resources for an Informed Electorate that you may find useful.

August is Read a Romance Month

Did you know that August is Read a Romance month? At the recent Romance Writers of America conference in San Diego, a presentation was made showing just what a huge impact the Romance genre has on the publishing industry. Do you see romance flying off the shelves at your library? Here is an excuse to introduce the genre to others who haven’t dipped their toe into it.

Library Extension

My new favorite Chrome Extension is called Library Extension. By installing this to the Chrome browser, anytime you browse for books online at websites like GoodReads, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon, Library Extension will let you know if the book or ebook is available at your local library. Borrow and Place a Hold buttons will even take patrons directly to that title in your catalog. They support many libraries (I looked up a few CTLS members) and if you don’t see your library, contact them to let them know! Right now it only works with Chrome but will soon be available for Firefox, too. This is a great way to drive traffic to your site and catalog and could be a great extension of service.

School Library Journal TeenLive Conference

On August 10th, School Library Journal is offering their 5th annual TeenLive Conference, formerly called SummerTeen, which is a free, completely virtual conference discussing teen materials and programming. Keynote speakers are Meg Medina, author of Burn Baby Burn, and Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Raven Cycle. Register to “attend” the event here or follow #SLJTeenLive on Twitter.


#BookReview: The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

#BookReview: The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

The Seventh WishThe Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

middle grade

A school uninvited Kate Messner from an author visit because her latest book, The Seventh Wish, deals with substance abuse. My father is an addict. I felt all of the fear, anger, and disappointment that Charlie feels when her sister’s heroin addiction starts to tear their family apart. Rebecca Stead meets Wonderfalls, this book uses magic to deal with a very real and common problem. Kids need access to this book.

View all my reviews

Pokémon Go: What You Need To Know

Pokémon Go: What You Need To Know

Has your library caught the fever that is Pokémon Go? This phenomenon is catching fast and is getting people out and engaged in their communities. There are many ways that libraries can harness this power for good for their patrons!

Thomas Findley, Adult Services Manager at the Frisco Public Library, gave me permission to share their planning around Pokémon Go:

We here in Frisco are furiously putting together a “flash” social media
campaign to talk about it (as well as the information literacy aspects about
it), but really, it is just in support of bringing players into the library.

We are a pokemon “gym” where people can battle against each other.

The social media campaign for the next two days will be to drum up the
conversation about the library and pokemon go; then, starting on Thursday,
something different will take place: we will be releasing “lures” into the
library for anyone to come by and use. These lures only last for about 30
mins and so we will be setting them off three times a day, starting @ 1pm,
then @ 2:30pm, then the last one @ 4pm.

We will then set off a bundle of them before one of our Basic 3D design
classes on Thursday evening.

We will continue this across the weekend and try to get folks to share
themselves in the library using twitter/Instagram/hashtags.

Our social media team snapped into  action yesterday and here is a quote
from one of their organizing emails from our very own Library Assistant,
Britney Cossey: “If you play Pokemon Go, please try to take some photos from
around the library in fun places (ex. maybe catch a character on a book shelf
or on a One Stop). One of the things that is making this game so popular
(besides it being Pokemon) is that it is so interactive with the real world.
If we could find fun ways to show the characters in our library or on the
square, the better I think the posts will do. If you can get a photo of a
rare or popular character, even better! Also, we’re wanting to use a hashtag
for people to share posts and photos of what they catch, where they catch
them, and their experience of playing the game around the library.”

Combing the viral popularity of this game, a fun  way to share about careful
info lit practices, and engaging a very interesting demographic about the
library as a place to come  to and be, will be fun to see how this fans out
and inspires other things in the staff and users of this library.

Hold onto your hats people (or poke balls)!!!!!


Thomas Finley
Adult Services Manager

The info lit practices Thomas speaks of are the concern over access to personal information on the device. The Skokie Public Library is giving patrons a tour of several nearby PokéStops and talking about neighborhood landmarks. Each of their sessions begins talking about digital and physical safety. The City of Round Rock posted these safety tips on Facebook recently:


This School Library Journal post sums up quite nicely what librarians need to know before getting in the game.

Y’all Means All: Inclusion in our Public Libraries

Y’all Means All: Inclusion in our Public Libraries

[This newsletter article is from the July issue of the Connecting Texas Libraries Statewide monthly newsletter. You can sign up for that here.]

Y’all Means All

Though June was  LGBT Pride Month and we were able to celebrate the location of the Stonewall Uprising becoming designated as a National Monument, therecent incident at an Orlando nightclub reminds us that inclusion is one of the most important services that we can provide as libraries. How can we make sure that all of our patrons feel welcomed? ALA’s Annual Conference took place in Orlando weeks after the incident and they had a host of support events organized. Here is a roundup of PRIDE book displays from libraries and bookstores all over the world. What are you doing towards inclusion in your community? What more can we be doing?

Libraries and Autism

There is currently a push for England’s around 3,000 public libraries to become more welcoming spaces for people with autism. They are creating a network of autism-friendly libraries, educating staff about Autism Spectrum Disorder so that they can be more tolerant and understanding, and creating spaces for them to feel comfortable and welcome.

On our side of the pond, two libraries in New Jersey have put together this wonderful site of resources including decals letting your patrons know you are mindful of their needs, a brief training video for staff on providing customer service to those in the autism community, and this non-verbal communication tool. They also offer a $5,000 grant for those that are looking to create new programming or enhance current programming to benefit people with autism and their families. They are accepting applications for the 2017 grant starting September 1st.

And right here in Texas, our very own Cedar Park Public Library recently received an award from Autism Speaks for their Sensory Storytime. They were awarded $550 to purchase supplies including magnetic storyboards, musical shakers, carper circles, and weighted lap pads among other items. Youth Services Manager Kit Coates provided me with a brief description of their program: “Sensory Storytime is a Library story time specifically designed for children on the autism spectrum. It was developed to address the need in the community for a story time for this specific population and began in the fall of 2014. Held once a month, the story time is a chance for children on the autism spectrum to experience story time in an environment that is aware of and responsive to their needs. Adaptations to the traditional story time format are made to account for the needs and wants of children on the spectrum. The staff member responsible for the program received training in providing story times to children with autism, and has
further researched best practices in other libraries. The story time is approximately one hour in length, and closely follows a posted schedule so children are aware of what will occur. Sensory Storytime includes books, songs, fingerplays, and flannel boards proven to be engaging and meaningful for autistic children. The story time also includes sensory activities involving water, sand, rice, and other materials. All the books, songs, and activities are carefully researched and purposefully selected with the needs of the children in mind. They have participants register in advance, and this past fiscal year have had between 6-8 children and about the same number of adults at each story time, which has been a perfect size for this group. You can learn even more about their program by checking out their blog.

If you already have programming, make sure it is posted where special needs families can see. Here in Central Texas, the Autism Society lists local events so that families only need look in one place to find events and programming to fit all of their needs.

Please share with us what you are doing to make your library inclusive to all! Simply by sharing you can inspire someone else to do the same in their community. Write to me or share on our discussion list. And thank you for all that you do!

YouthShare Series

I am hoping to have a series of YouthShare sessions in FY2017 because it has been awhile since we have had these. I put together this quick survey to get some feedback and gauge interest. These and other workshops are for you and we value your input. Thank you!