#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!! 😀

All Ages High Contrast Storytime Titles

All Ages High Contrast Storytime Titles

I helped pull together a list of books for a high contrast/monochrome/black & white storytime theme and I thought I would share the list here. I didn’t focus too much on board books because there are many examples of high contrast books for babies. Tana Hoban and Roger Priddy have several. But we wanted to make sure there were plenty for toddlers and preschoolers that would also present good storytime material. Several of these books are wordless (Suzy Lee) or don’t lend themselves to a large storytime crowd (Hervé Tullet). This list gave us plenty to work with for reading aloud and also for having available for check out immediately after.

Board Books

Hello Baby series by Roger Priddy

Several different titles from Tana Hoban

Several different titles from Peter Linenthal

Picture Books

Wave by Suzy Lee

Shadow by Suzy Lee

The Zoo by Suzy Lee

Mirror by Suzy Lee

Please Mr Panda by Steve Antony

It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw

Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

Round Trip by Ann Jonas

Freight Train by Donald Crews

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson

The Garden of Abdul Gasazi by Chris Van Allsburg

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle

Night of the Gargoyles by Eve Bunting

Help We Need a Title! and several other titles from Hervé Tullet

The Red Shoes by Sun Yung Yoo

Unspoken by Henry Cole

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Ish (and several other titles) by Peter Reynolds

Yellow Umbrella by Jae Soo Liu

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

The Boy and the Airplane by Mark Pett

And some for the older crowd…

Picture This by Molly Bang

Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman

Some of these are better than others for the theme, but all of theme have high contrast or a pop of color that plays into the text. And there was plenty to work with! This theme will lend itself well to simple black and white crafts after storytime, too.

Battle of the Picture Book Barcodes

Battle of the Picture Book Barcodes

The Rodman Public Library in Ohio was inspired by Travis Jonker of School Library Journal’s 100 Scope Notes blog. In March he created a gallery of creative picture book barcode placement.

Rodman Public Library has created the Battle of the Picture Book Barcodes letting anyone (not just library card holders) vote for their favorites. What a cute and easy way to engage the public! Check it out and go vote!

via Rodman Public Library.

Breastfeeding Support @ the Public Library

Breastfeeding Support @ the Public Library

Going to go ahead and start with this… breastfeeding at the library is NOT an offense. You should NOT ask a mother to cover up or leave. Check your state’s breastfeeding laws, but if you are in Texas our Public Health Provisions, section 165.002 states  that “a mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.”

Breastfeeding is becoming more and more common. There are campaigns supporting and encouraging breastfeeding in public. And the health benefits to baby and mother are becoming more known and talked about with new mothers. If you are a library that supports children and families, you will run into this. You should know how you plan to respond if there is a situation. When it comes to children, we tend to have a list at the ready of what they are allowed and not allowed to do. You can go to this area. You cannot have food or drink. You must be quiet.

Families with children are some of our best patrons! Instead of being so restrictive, what if we tried to make a welcoming and nurturing environment? I took one of my children to a birthday party at a bounce house place recently. I was surprised to find in the bathroom a lounge area with soft lighting, comfy seating, and a nice diaper changing table with a basket of supplies (wipes, extra diapers) in case someone forgot. It made me think, why can’t a public library offer a similar environment to our new mothers? I can hear the complaints about someone taking all of the supplies or living in the lounge area already.

Sure, implementing something like this could create issues that would need to be addressed. If someone was abusive of the supplies, make them available upon request. But think of the goodwill you will have from some of your best, most consistent patrons? A comfortable, welcoming place to feed their children’s minds and their tummies? Yes, please!

Let us consider how we as a public institution can be supportive of breastfeeding mothers. As a breastfeeding mother, I can say that it is not as intuitive as one might think. The first three months can be very hard and discouraging. It is no wonder so many women decide to stop breastfeeding after first giving it a shot. Lactation consultant services are typically pretty expensive. It would be wonderful to provide that service to low-income families. The Pensacola Public Library in Florida offered a class on breastfeeding. The Oakland Public Library in California hosted a series of events for new mothers that included a clothing swap, an introduction to baby sign language, and a chance to ask questions to a lactation consultant. And the Lincoln County Public Library in Kentucky hosts a regular Breastfeeding Support Group.

What has been your experience with breastfeeding in the public library? Have you been approached with a complaint about someone breastfeeding? How did you handle it? Has your library provided supportive services before? How did it go? Please share with me!


Texas Teen Book Festival Dates have been announced!

Attend the 2015 Fest

Join us for a FREE one-day festival celebrating young adult literature!

SATURDAY, September 26, 2015
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
St. Edward’s University
3001 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Schedule coming soon!

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter at @TXTeenBookFest #TTBF15

Authors & Panels

Coming soon, but check out our exclusive 2014 interviews on our blog.


You may bring 3 personal copies to sign for every 1 title purchased at the festival. CASH, CHECKS (made out to BookPeople), and CREDIT CARDS will be accepted.


St. Edward’s South Congress Market of Ragsdale will be open all day for attendees to dine and purchase food and drinks. Menu to come.

Writing Contest

A new component for this year’s gathering is the Texas Teen Book Festival Writing Contest, sponsored by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books! More information HERE.

St. Edward’s Admission & Tours

Visit the St. Edward’s Admissions Tent outside of the Main Building for more information and campus tours.  The Admissions Office will also have a booth in the Exhibitor Hall.


Have fun!
Connect teen readers to local and award-winning authors
Encourage interaction between aspiring writers and established authors
Bring together teens who enjoy reading and to encourage struggling readers
Support, promote, and celebrate recreational teen reading
Promote life-long reading

Event & Parking Map

TTBF Event Map

via Attend the 2015 Fest |.