Email Lists for Youth Services Librarians

Email Lists for Youth Services Librarians

This is a portion of my latest newsletter article for Connecting Texas Libraries Statewide. As I reference in the article, someone recently asked me to compile a list of valuable email lists for youth services librarians which prompted me to turn it into part of my regular newsletter YouthShare article for our April newsletter.

Email Lists for Youth Services Librarians

As with so many things, the Internet has made sharing with and learning from other librarians so easy. When you need a quick last minute craft for storytime or you want to learn how other libraries are structuring their summer reading programs, you can turn to the Internet. There are many wonderful online resources for youth services librarians these days. In addition to blogs and Twitter, the good, old fashioned email listerv is alive and kicking. We at CTLS have a few lists that are not only great for letting us make announcements, send information about upcoming workshops, and forward other pertinent information, but also for allowing our members to pose a question to their fellow librarians to share ideas and learn from each other.

I recently filled a request for suggested email lists for youth librarians and I wanted to share them here.

ALA’s Association for Library Services to Children or ALSC has many listservs for specific topics from Preschool Services, Middle Grade, Storytelling, and Dia! You can see them all and subscribe to them here. The general ALSC-L list recently had a fascinating conversation about Common Sense Media and their reviewing and labeling practices and how librarians should be involved, or not, with their work.


Child Lit

Child Lit discusses the latest news in and critical analysis of children’s literature. Expect discussion about diversity, representation, assistance finding a specific book requested by a patron (The cover is green!), I always get a little giddy when I get an email from Jane Yolen in my inbox. She weighs in on this list from time to time. The best response I can recall is when someone wrote to the list with a book stumper. They described a book a patron requested and Jane Yolen chimed in and said it was one of hers!



Pubyac is an email list focusing on delivery of youth services in public libraries, “focusing on programming ideas, outreach and literacy programs for children and caregivers, censorship and policy issues, collection development, administrative considerations, puppetry, job openings, professional development and other pertinent services and issues.”

For instance, a recent conversation took place on PUBYAC asking where public libraries would be shelving the upcoming published edition of the new Harry Potter play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Will it go with the rest of the Harry Potter books or with other plays in the 800s?



Similar to ALSC, ALA’s Young Adult division, YALSA, also offers many different lists for specific topics such as Teen Advisory Boards, Serving Older Teens, and Teaching Young Adult Literature. You can see these and subscribe to them here.



CTLS-L is our general list where make announcements, send workshop registration information, forward pertinent information, and where our members can begin discussions on a wide array of topics.


Texas State Library and Archives

Here is an email newsletter dedicated to updates about Summer Reading Program.

TXYAC is TSLAC’s public youth and children’s services email list where the Youth Services Consultant shares information.



The Texas Library Association has many specific email lists you can sign up for. Your TLA member status must be current. Their youth specific forums are the Children’s Round Table or CRT and the Young Adult Round Table or YART. You can see all of the specific forums they have and subscribe to these and others  by logging into the Members Only section of the TLA website.

Free Webinar on Reading Diversity from Teaching Tolerance

Free Webinar on Reading Diversity from Teaching Tolerance

Check out this free webinar on the text selection tool, Reading Diversity, from Teaching Tolerance. Go here for more information and to register.

Title: Reading Diversity: Tools for Selecting Diverse Texts

Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Time: 04:30 PM Central Daylight Time

Duration: 1 hour


Include diverse voices in your classroom with a unique tool for culturally responsive text selection: Reading Diversity! In this webinar, participants will learn how to use Reading Diversity to select texts that reflect their students’ identities and offer them windows into the diverse lived experiences of others. This tool utilizes a multi-dimensional text-selection model that prioritizes critical literacy and cultural responsiveness as well as text complexity. Register today and use Reading Diversity to make your classroom more inclusive tomorrow!

You’ll receive a certificate of completion once you finish this webinar.

via Event Registration

Come See Me at #TXLA16

Come See Me at #TXLA16

I haven’t posted in a couple of months because I have been selling my home and buying another. It has been intense and agonizing, but we are finally out of the fog and I can focus more on work and the upcoming conference!


The Texas Library Association Annual Conference is in a couple of weeks in Houston and I will be presenting at a session called Bleep! Blorp! Books! Robots in the Library. We will be talking about how to get started with robotics programming in a public library setting. I will be speaking from my experience working on the Bots & Books grant for Connecting Texas Libraries Statewide. Presenting with me are Bob Loftin and Cecily Ponce deLeon from the Plano Public Library. They have presented at PLA on their robust robotics program in the past. Also joining us will be Megan Clark of the San Antonio STEM Connectory, formerly of the New Braunfels Public Library, where she works with First Lego League Robotics competitions.

We hope to provide an overview of the benefits of robotics, how the Plano Public Library got started and let their program evolve, and how you can take this kind of programming to the next level through FIRST Lego League.

If you are going to conference, please come hear what we have to say and add to the conversation! Our session is on Thursday, April 21st from 10am to noon.

Patron Privacy Series for Texas Library Staff Begins February 9 | Library Developments

Patron Privacy Series for Texas Library Staff Begins February 9 | Library Developments

I am SO GLAD to see that we are going to start talking about patron privacy here in Texas! I have reached out to the Library Freedom Project to see about bringing them here for workshops, but haven’t gotten any interest from librarians. I hope this is the beginning of a long conversation… Looking forward to this series with Gretchen McCord.

via Patron Privacy Series for Texas Library Staff Begins February 9 | Library Developments.

A very special three-part webinar series on patron privacy for Texas library staff kicks off on February 9.

Patron Privacy – What Texas Library Staff Should Know

(For Texas Library Staff Only)

Are you confident in your ability to handle requests for patron information from authorities? When is the last time you had a refresher on Texas laws related to library records? Do you have questions regarding privacy and the online environment, employees, volunteers, or serving minors? The Texas State Library & Archives Commission invites Texas library staff to attend this very special Webinar series on privacy, presented by Texas attorney Gretchen McCord.

During this three part series, Gretchen will provide guidance and training focused on privacy in the areas of constitutional law, federal law, Texas state law, and application of the law and ethics. She will discuss how to minimize the risk related to privacy issues in the library, and will address frequently asked questions. Attendees will also have ample opportunity to ask questions of this noted privacy expert, so this is a webinar series that you do not want to miss!

About the presenter: Gretchen McCord is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas, specializing in privacy and copyright.  Gretchen provides legal advising and training in the areas of copyright law, privacy law, licensing, and other legal issues associated with digital information and social media.  With a total of over twenty years of experience as a lawyer and a higher education librarian, her practice (Digital Information Law) focuses on assisting educational institutions and libraries, small and mid-sized businesses, and non-profit organizations as they transition into the digital world.

1.5 TSLAC CE hours per session

Attendees must register for each part of the series separately.

Part 1 – February 9, 2016 from 2-3:30pm CST — Register:

Part 2 – February 16, 2016 from 2-3:30pm CST — Register:

Part 3 – February 23, 2016 from 2-3:30pm CST — Register:

Questions? Please contact Naomi DiTullio, Distance Learning Consultant,  Library Development and Networking Division, or 1-800-252-9386 (toll free in Texas).

Getting Excited and Inspired for #SummerReading at CTLS Workshops

Getting Excited and Inspired for #SummerReading at CTLS Workshops

Last week I was in Mansfield and Cedar Park having our first Summer Reading Program workshops and we had a blast! Here are just a few highlights!

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Suzan Nyfeler is our fantastic tour guide through the 2016 manual! We talked books, songs, decor, and display ideas.

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2016-01-22 14.17.47The photo booth was a big hit!

2016-01-22 09.55.14The morning was spent brainstorming and sharing ideas…

but the afternoon was spent playing games, making crafts, and doing theme-related activities.

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We had such a wonderful time! A big thanks to the Mansfield Public Library and the Cedar Park Public Library for hosting us. I will be on the road again next week at the Jourdanton Public Library and then again in February in Edinburg, TX.

I will be highlighting some of the crafts and activities we had at the workshop on the CTLS website and in the CTLS newsletter leading up to summer. These workshops have left me so inspired, I even started my SRP2017 Pinterest board. You can never start too early…

Happy reading!


Texas Girls Collaborative Project

Texas Girls Collaborative Project

I am so excited to be able to say that I am one of the newest members of the Leadership Team of the Texas Girls Collaborative Project, the local arm of the National Girls Collaborative Project. Both organizations are committed to working with nonprofits, schools, companies, and other organizations (libraries!!) to motivate girls to pursue STEM careers.

To be clear, the Leadership Team is a volunteer, advisory board position. I will continue my work with Connecting Texas Libraries Statewide as their Youth Services Specialist. While TxGCP also has a board, from what I can tell so far the Leadership Team acts more like a “sounding board” guiding the organization with input from a wide variety of advocates. I hope to provide a unique voice as there are no other librarians on their team.

I am a huge advocate for libraries to be utilized as informal learning spaces for all children, no matter what subject or gender. But as a woman with a daughter, I am particularly interested in making sure that young girls are given opportunities to pursue whatever career their heart desires and are given exposure to and encouragement in those areas where women are underrepresented.

I certainly don’t feel worthy to be sitting on a team with such amazing women and men. But I hope that I can provide a unique perspective and encourage STEM advocates to look to libraries as ideal spaces for reaching underprivileged, underrepresented children. I cannot wait to get started with them.


Free, Online Tutorials on Storytime Basics

Free, Online Tutorials on Storytime Basics

Are you a new librarian taking over storytime for the first time? Or maybe your children’s librarian is out and you are filling in? Or maybe you just need a refresher on some storytime basics? Then check out this wonderful series by the Early Literacy Facilitators, part of a project called iLEAD, Innovative Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover (ILEAD): The 21st Century Technology and Leadership Skills Institute, from the Utah State Library to use participatory technology to develop skills in library staff.

They give tips on everything from what to wear during storytime to best book placement to vocal inflection to singing! There are 19 short videos and I have included their promotional video below. And I love that they are big Mo Willems fans! 🙂

Thank you for sharing your work, Early Literacy Facilitators!

Some Free Professional Development Resources For Librarians

Some Free Professional Development Resources For Librarians

I am so excited to see that the Colorado State Library is expanding their training website! I utilized some of their modules in a library customer service training I did. They are apparently going to be including Makerspace programming, potential funding opportunities, and resources.

The Tampa Bay Library Consortium also has a great website, Florida Library Webinars, with tons of free webinars. Anyone can view the archived content, but only Florida librarians are able to attend live webinars.

I also recently ran across this round up of free resources that Chris May and Don Boozer presented at the Ohio Library Council Chapter Conference that I found worth pinning and sharing!

Keep on learning!

via Colorado State Library Expands Online Training Site.

#TXLA16 Robotics presentation

#TXLA16 Robotics presentation

Just got word that my proposal for a session on robotics programming at the 2016 Texas Library Association Annual Conference  has been accepted! The session, Bleep! Blorp! Books! Robots in the Library:  How to Sustain a Robotics Program @ Your Library, is tentatively scheduled for Thursday of the conference, April 21st. Headed to Houston in the spring!! 😀

Rock, Paper, Scissors Game with Scratch

Rock, Paper, Scissors Game with Scratch

I just created a Rock, Paper, Scissors game using Scratch! It was so much fun! After getting the basic functions down, I kept wanting to take it once step further. When Cat wins, he meows. When Crab wins, she does a little dance. When they tie, they both shake with frustration. 🙂 And I added a script to clear the scoreboard to start over.

Please check it out… and let me know if you run into any bugs!

Press the green flag to watch Cat and Crab have a rock, paper, scissors duel! Beetle keeps everyone honest by acting as referee. After each round, press the green flag again to watch them play again. To clear the score board and start over, press the space bar. Have fun!